Cream teas at Ailsa Craig’s

In its day, Ailsa Craig’s Tea Garden (opposite Ventnor Station in Southgrove Road) was run by Gwen Newnham and family and was a very popular stop-over for walkers and train travellers alike. It was a very busy establishment until the demise of the railway, eventually closing in the mid 1970s. Read PDF version here: Cream… read more »

Old Tyme Music Hall

In the 1970 summer season, the Winter Gardens played host to the Island’s top bands, had a resident DJ, and organised regular dances, ‘ballroom as well as pop’. Additionally, it arranged a programme of ‘Old Tyme Music Hall’, performed by ‘a glittering cast of London artistes’. Read PDF version here: Old Tyme Music Hall

Tiger Tea – Part Two

Continuing the story of the Tiger Tea Stores run by Joseph ‘Tiger’ Sanders, a native of Derby, born in 1860. In 1886, his doctors there had given him just five years to live and so he came south to Ventnor for his health. He died on the Island in December 1952, aged 93, the Isle… read more »

Tiger Tea – Part One

Situated at 15 & 17, Pier Street, part of Regent Parade, the Tiger Tea Stores was established in the mid-1880s by Joseph Sanders. Mr. Sanders was an expert tea taster and blender. Tiger Tea was a choice blend of rich Indian and Ceylon teas, sold at one shilling and ten pence per pound weight (a… read more »

2021 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held online over Zoom on 24 September 2021 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. To attend the meeting you must be a member in good standing and register before noon on Wednesday 22 September. To register, click here. You will receive a confirmation email containing information about… read more »

‘Ventnor, Cradle of the Russian Revolution’

We’re delighted to announce that on 10 October 2021 we are repeating this intriguingly titled local history walk which was first presented during Ventnor Fringe in July this year, and fully sold out then. The walk follows in the footsteps of the Russian political radicals, writers and poets who visited Ventnor in the 1850s and… read more »

Marjorie Mackett

During the Second World War, the Undercliff area played host to women from all over the country, not just the Island, serving in the armed forces. Indeed, some Island-born women who served in the forces were posted to establishments at different places on the mainland. One such individual was Marjorie Mackett, born in Ventnor and… read more »

James Rousell & Son Building Contractors

The town of Ventnor grew very rapidly over the second half of the nineteenth century and the building trades grew likewise. One successful business was that of James Rousell & Son, established around 1880 and continuing until mid-way through the Second World War. Rousell were responsible for the construction of the new St Alban’s Church… read more »

Ron Bunnett, Bank Clerk

Ron Bunnett was just 15 years old when he joined the National Provincial Bank in September 1939, straight from leaving school. His first role was as a temporary clerk at the Taunton branch on a wage of £1 a week, but in February 1951 at the age of 26, he was assigned to Ventnor on… read more »

A Cat That Caused a Fire – Gibbs & Son

On Friday 29th January 1954, during the lunchtime closing hour, a fire was started on the premises at 53 High Street, Ventnor, when the cat knocked over a small electric fire behind the shop counter. There was nobody in the shop at the time and few people in the street, so it was a while… read more »