Society ‘Monthly Meetings’ are back!

We are very happy to announce the return of our regular monthly meetings, beginning in June. Our schedule of speakers for the rest of 2022 is below. As in the past, meetings will be at the Masonic Hall on Grove Road at 7:30-9:00 PM, on the last Friday of every month. There will be no… read more »

Ventnor Secondary Modern School swimming gala 1970

Ventnor Secondary Modern School was completed and opened in the spring of 1957 at a cost of around £160,000. It was among the finest secondary schools built on the south coast in the early post-war years and many Island businesses were involved in its construction and fitting out. Moreys, for example, supplied the Gurjun floor… read more »

Ena James, née Gatrell: growing up in Lowtherville

Ena grew up at 19 Lowtherville Road at the beginning of the twentieth century, part of a largely self-supporting family. Her two brothers, Gordon and Enis, were valets to Mr. Baillon who lived at Caithness on St. Boniface Road. It was not long before Ena was herself engaged to assist the Baillons, her job being to… read more »

NOAH’S ARK – ‘The first lifeboat’

Residents who regularly used Ventnor Railway Station in Mitchell Avenue before it closed in 1966, will remember the model of Noah’s Ark in the booking hall. It was constructed in 1933 by Mr M E Twyman of Freshwater and Mr J Needham from Totland Bay and was used as a focal point for charity collections… read more »

‘The Swamp’ – one of Ventnor’s stranger localities

Victoria Street in the 1870s had no buildings on its west side, the ground sloping steeply away to a large area of land that, for many years, was known locally as ‘The Swamp’, and today is mostly just a car park. It was in the 1880s that it gained notoriety as a wet and muddy… read more »

‘Isle and Empires’ by Stephan Roman

The new paperback edition of  Isle and Empires by Stephan Roman (Medina Publishing, 2022) is now available in our online shop and in the Heritage Centre. In this updated edition of the book the author asserts that ‘It is important that we understand the history of the British relationship with Romanov Russia if we are… read more »

Ventnor – Cradle of the Russian Revolution

During Ventnor Fringe, we will be repeating this very successful guided walk around Ventnor. The walk, Ventnor – Cradle of the Russian Revolution, is led by author Stephan Roman and is based on Ventnor’s fascinating 19th century connection with some of the Russian radicals of the 1860s: writers and poets who opposed Russian imperialism and… read more »

Herbert Charles Beavis

Herbert Charles Beavis was born in 1886, one of thirteen children (eight girls and five boys) to Frank Beavis and his wife Edith (nee Slaughter). Like his two brothers (Hector Beavisand Bernard Beavis), he had maritime connections (albeit tenuous). The family lived in Morey’s Cottage, Steephill, on the Steephill Castle estate where Frank was a… read more »