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 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The exact date on which it was removed form the station is not known, but after the line from Shanklin to Ventnor was permanently closed in April 1966 – just three months short of its centenary, many theories were put forward as to where it had gone: Cowes Ladies Lifeboat Guild, the Southern Railwaymen’s Home for Children near to Woking Station in Surrey, and a tourist attraction in Godshill all being suggested at somepoint in time. However, the mystery of the ‘Ark’ remains to this day.

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