When Ventnor lost its railway

By the early 1960s, Ventnor Station was rather ‘down at heel’. The ‘Southern Railway’ signage, a relic of railway ownership before ‘British Railways’ took over in 1948, had not been replaced, perhaps an ominous portent.  The solution offered to the problems of the ailing rail network was drastic pruning under the ‘Beeching Plan’, including all Island railway lines. There was considerable backlash from Island local government and from Islanders and an Isle of Wight Railway Retention Association was formed, with S.G. Conbeer, of Altofts Gardens, Ventnor, one of its prime movers.

Despite an Island-wide petition with a staggering 82,000 names, Ventnor lost its rail service in April 1966. The one saving grace was that the Ryde-Shanklin line survived and was modernised through electrification.

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