Chronicles: Water carts on Ventnor’s streets

The first picture in the gallery below shows Ventnor Local Board’s water cart laying the dust as it descends from near the top of Spring Hill in 1894. As can be seen, the road is much narrower than today, with a high stone wall on the south side. The road surface would have been more than a dirt track by this date (it has a cambered surface, for example), but in dry weather, before the era of tarmacadam, it would have been dusty. It is not known how much water the tank on the cart could hold, but the water sprays appear quite strong in this image.

The second photograph in the gallery, of the same date, reveals a side view of the water cart standing near ‘Oldfield’ on St. Boniface Road. The vehicle is complete with sign-written legend and rather fine horse. The carter is using a hand-held hose, perhaps to flush a drain. He is quite smartly attired for the task.

Michael Freeman Ventnor & District Local History Society. The photos form part of the Wearing Collection belonging to the Society. They are among a new collection of material recently gifted to the Society by Jill Wearing. This Article was first published in the South Wight Chronicle on 16 July 2020.

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