Ventnor Heritage Centre

"To make the past present, to bring the distant near . . . to call up our ancestors before us with all their peculiarities of language, manners, and garb, to show us over their houses, to seat us at their tables, to rummage their old-fashioned ward-robes, to explain the uses of their ponderous furniture . . . " Thomas Babington Macaulay describing what the study of history can do (written in 1828)

Publications, Sales and Shop |

Publications, Sales and Shop

We have a wide range of books and pamphlets written by Society members on the history of Ventnor, the Undercliff and the surrounding villages.

Publications are listed below: prices shown include cost of postage and packing

Please contact us at info@ventnorheritage.org.uk if you  have any queries about publications orders.

Ordering by PayPal:
Use the ‘Add to Cart’ button below any publication you want to order. You should receive your order within 3-7 days.

Ordering by post and paying by cheque:
Please send your order, including your name, address, contact phone number or email and a cheque or postal order to: Publications, Ventnor Heritage Centre, 11 Spring Hill, Ventnor PO38 1PE.  Cheques should be made out to VDLHS. You should receive  your order within 3-7 days of our receiving it.

Paying by bank transfer:
Orders can also be made online with payment made by bank transfer; contact us for details at info@ventnorheritage.org.uk

Overseas orders:
Please contact us direct for prices and availability for overseas orders at info@ventnorheritage.org.uk

Our museum shop at Ventnor Heritage Centre:
All these publications, as well as DVDs, greetings cards, prints  and postcards are available at the sales desk for visitors to the Ventnor Heritage Centre.

Books listed by title in alphabetical order

Carnival!  (Spiral Bound £5.20 including p&p):

The story of Ventnor Carnival from the early days through to the 1990s, and its place in the history of the town.




 

Castaways – Collectable Containers  by Stephen H Day   (£3.00 including p&p):

History of Bottle Collecting Ventnor including information on the history of local Chemists and Mineral Water Manufacturers of the Victorian/Edwardian period.




 

Conflict and Conflagration Ed. Violetta Vokes (Spiral Bound £5.20 including p&p):

Ventnor area in times of war, from the 16th century to the Second World War (incorporates material from previous  publications: The Ventnor Area at War 1939-1945,  Radar at Ventnor 1939-1945 , and Repairing the Ravages of War )




 

Here Layeth by Joan Gordon (£4 including p&p):

A record of the memorials and inscriptions at the Old Church of St Boniface in Bonchurch, regarded as being of Saxon origin, and still one of the most complete Norman buildings on the Isle of Wight.




 

Inns & Ale – Bonchurch to Chale by Vincent Chambers (£3 including p&p):

A trip around the Undercliff, listing the inns and describing their colourful history, and the history of the breweries – from the Star Inn Chale to the Blenheim and Walmer Castle in Ventnor.




 

The French Attack on Portsmouth 1545 by C T Witherby, Ed Violetta Vokes (Spiral Bound, £7 including p&p):

King Henry VIII  was  at war with France, the English fleet was hard pressed, and an attack was feared on Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.  This account describes the events of that summer, including the French landings at Sandown Bay, Bonchurch and Bembridge.




 

It used to be like this . . . by George R Haynes (Spiral Bound, £7 including p&p):

George R Haynes was born in 1906 in Beach Cottage, Castlehaven and lived there most of his life. He recorded  in fascinating detail the day to day life of the time saying I have written all that I thought should be recorded before it is completely forgotten, about things now totally gone.




 

Old Men Remember Edited by Vincent Chambers (Spiral Bound, £5.20 including post and packing):

These recollections  give a two-faceted picture of life in and around Ventnor in the 19th Century: Mark Norman was a working man who in a long life turned his hand to many things, while Henry Griffin was from a wealthy upper class family whose lifestyle was in stark contrast to Norman’s.




Paddling to Ventnor Pier by Graham Bennett (Spiral Bound, £5.20 including p&p):

The story of the resort’s pleasure steamers, those vessels which epitomise the Victorian and Edwardian seaside scene (incorporating earlier publications Steamers into Ventnor by Peter Bray and Dandie Dinmont).




 

RAF Ventnor – The Cold War Years by Don Adams (Spiral Bound, £5.20 inc. p&p):

An account of the history of RAF Ventnor, the information covering both human and technical aspect of the Cold War Days.




 

A Seaside Story by Graham Bennett (Spiral Bound, £5.20 inc. p&p):

An illustrated history of Ventnor harbour and piers from the first attempt to make a landing place in about 1843  to the demolition of the Royal Victoria Pier in 1993 (incorporating earlier publications The Harbours and Piers of Ventnor 1843 – 1988  and  Peeps at the Pier).




 

The Undercliff Isle of Wight by Michael Freeman (£13.80 including p&p):

A geographic history of the Undercliff, a narrow ribbon of uneven (and often unstable) tableland that extends for seven miles along the south-east coast of the Island. It is elevated some 100 to 200 feet above the sea and backed by near vertical scarp faces or steep downs. It is renowned for its micro-climate, especially in winter, once the resort of well-off Victorians.




 

Ventnor Breweries by Richard Downing (Spiral Bound, £5.20 including p&p):

A history of brewing in Ventnor, in particular the story of Burts Brewery in Ventnor High Street.




 

Ventnor Isle of Wight – The English Mediterranean by Michael Freeman (£13.80 including p&p):

Historical guide to Ventnor from its time as a tiny fishing hamlet in 1830, through its runaway transformation as a winter health resort in the Victorian era, to its later incarnation as primarily a summer holiday destination.




 

Victorians in Search of Winter Health by Michael Freeman (£14.30 including p&p):

This is the detailed story of how the tiny fishing hamlet of Ventnor was transformed into a winter resort that earned the title ‘Mayfair-by-the-sea’, such was the wealth of its many visitors and the fine shops and businesses that grew to service them. The book draws from the many hundreds of entries in the pages of the Times newspaper which, extraordinarily, provided Ventnor with its window to the world.




 

Wight Wildlife (A Beginner’s Guide) by Jim Knighton   (£3.00 including p&p):

As the title says, this is a beginner’s guide to the wildlife on the Isle of Wight and where to find it.




 

While I Breathe I Hope by Fay Brown (Spiral Bound £5.20 inc p&p):

A brief history of the Royal National Hospital, a Hospital for Consumption patients in Ventnor.




 

A Winter Sanatorium by Michael Freeman (Spiral Bound £5.20 inc p&p):

Ventnor as a health resort in the Victorian era.




 

DVD

Ventnor & the Undercliff / Ventnor No Finer Place (£12.00 including post & packing)

This historical Tour of Ventnor & the Undercliff explores the halcyon days of the Victorian and Edwardian era, with the help of the  photographic collection from the Ventnor Heritage Centre, before progressing to the 1920s & 1930s, and through to  the 1970s and 1980s. (Includes also ‘Ventnor – No finer Place’)




 

Society Local History Pamphlets (A4)

 

We have many pamphlets written over the years by Society members on specific topics. Titles include a wide range of subjects, such as Railways into Ventnor 1966-1966, Lowtherville Life, St Catherine’s Home and School Ventnor and Sinking of HMS Eurydice off Dunnose 1878.

For visitors to the Heritage Centre, a full list of titles is available at the sales desk, and copies can be printed to order.


Exhibitions, stories, images . . .

An Evening With Charles Dickens: Saturday 27 July

Our Ventnor Fringe event this yearwill be staged in the Ventnor Heritage Centre on Saturday evening 27 July, from 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm (tickets £6.00).  Origins Theatre will present its entertaining re-creation of ‘Charles Dickens: Storyteller’, capturing the atmosphere and energy that thrilled audiences during Dickens’ own time, with anecdotes, memories and extracts from some of his best loved stories. So step back in time for an hour - and why not get into the spirit by dressing in Victorian costume too? Mr Dickens says it would make him feel at home and he has promised to award a modest prize to the best dressed Victorian! Refreshments and a raffle will also be available for your enjoyment. Please note that tickets are £6 and booking is essential, through Ventnor Exchange in Church Street or online at https://vfringe.co.uk/programme/evening-charles-dickens/

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