Ventnor Heritage Centre

"To Collect, Record and preserve the rich heritage and history of Ventnor and surrounding villages, and share it with local and wider communities"

Local History Articles |

Local History Articles

Since 2015 Society members have been writing a weekly article for the South Wight Chronicle, our local newspaper.  It’s a labour of love that we inherited from the late Fay Brown, who provided the paper with a local history page for many years.

Since 2020 we have been publishing the articles on the News pages of our website a week after they appear in the South Wight Chronicle.

All our articles, and Fay Brown’s Local History Pages, are digitised and saved in our Collection Database, which is available for people to access in the Heritage Centre.  A few articles from early 2022 are available below as an example.

Local History Articles 2022

Station Memories (First Published 6 January 2022)
From the late 1920s travellers and staff alike would have sought the warmth of the Refreshment Room at Ventnor Station to escape the wintry weather. Over the years there were several different proprietors. Initially run by the Dixon family of Mitchell Avenue, it subsequently was run at different times by the Channings, (Gwen along with two Burke sisters from Wroxall managing it on a day to day basis with help from Molly Lush), Aubrey Randall of Bonchurch, and lastly Vi and Ken White who took on the mantle for the 18 months up to the railway’s closure.
Read PDF version here: Station Memories

Bath Road, Ventnor (First Published 13 January 2022)
The road from Belgrave Road to the Esplanade was named Bath Road. The reason for this was as a result of the common belief in Victorian times that salt water was a cure for everything from bruises to hysteria. A ‘bathhouse’ had been constructed at the western end of the esplanade for patrons of the Ventnor Hotel (also known as Fishers Hotel after its first Manager, John Fisher). After a dip in the sea, patrons would enjoy a hot bath. The bathhouse remains to this day and is now ‘The Spyglass’.  Guests would travel down the steep hill from the Hotel to the Bath House and so it became known as Bath Road.
Read PDF version here: Bath Road Ventnor

Captain Bernard Augustus Beavis MBE (First Published 20 January 2022)
Bernard Augustus Beavis was a Captain with the Clan Line Shipping Company, plying between England and the rest of the world. He was born in Whitwell in 1908, the son of Frank & Edith Beavis (nee Slaughter), one of twelve children and spent most of his life at sea, with the latter years as Master of his ship. He saw service in WWII as Chief Officer on board M.V. Anglo Canadian in 1942 in the Vizagapatam Roads in the Bay of Bengal, India, when the vessel was attacked by Japanese torepedo bomber aircraft for over two hours, eventually succumbing to a direct hit and set on fire. He was awarded the MBE for Bravery at Sea as a result of his actions when under fire.
Read PDF version here: Captain Bernard Augustus Beavis MBE

Regel Bus snowbound near Wroxall [First published 27 January 2022]
In December 1927 a blizzard raged across a large part of southern England, right from Kent to Cornwall. One to two feet of snow fell in that period, but in exposed places, huge drifts formed. The Regel Bus (driven by Fred Lawson) became snowbound in Wroxall on its trip back to Shanklin from Ventnor, at the point where Johnny Dore had his allotments. [Article updated post-publication in SWC to reflect accurate location of Johnny Dore’s allotments.]
Read PDF version here: Regel Bus snowbound near Wroxall


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