Giving Ryde's past to the future

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Opening Times

Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday
11am - 4pm

The Museum will be closed on Friday 3rd May, due to the funeral of our Vice President, Ron Watts.

Ryde District Heritage Centre is entirely run by volunteers.

Stair Lift Facility

Mayor-Milburn-on-the-stairlift

The new stairlift officially opened on 23rd of May 2014 by Ryde’s Mayor at the time, Cllr Roi Milburn.
Ring the bell for help!

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Ryde Entertainment

Ryde Entertainment

Fine Art Exhibition at Ryde 1881

The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.
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Ryde Entertainment The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.

Railings

Railings

Cyril the sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.
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Railings The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.

Local Newspapers

Local Newspapers

Ventilator Royals visit July 19 1873

Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport.

There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online
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Local Newspapers Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport. There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online

Historic Photographs

Historic Photographs

Young Boy by Matthews

Child photographed by Matthews
Child photographed by Matthews

Child on a horse Photographed by Knight

More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

Child photographed by Knight
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Historic Photographs More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

The Brigstocke China

The Brigstocke China

All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group front view

The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group side view

Brigstoke Terrace China Group reverse view

Brigstoke Terrace China Hare

Brigstoke Terrace China Horse
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The Brigstocke China All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903

An etching of the original arcade frontage

1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony
1836 - July - Opening Ceremony
1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000
1856 - October - frontage altered
1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement
1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861
1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda

An etching of the 1840s arcade interior

1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell
1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters
1895 - Death of Henry Knight
1903 - Arcade up for sale
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The Royal Victoria Arcade The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903 1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony 1836 - July - Opening Ceremony 1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000 1856 - October - frontage altered 1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement 1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861 1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda 1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell 1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters 1895 - Death of Henry Knight 1903 - Arcade up for sale

Original Logo

Original Logo

The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.

Historic Ryde Society Logo

The original logo copyright Lynne Phillips

Cyril the Sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

 
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Original Logo The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.  

Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria.

The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria.

The Princess Victoria Window Royal Victoria Arcade

The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.

Etching from 1874 of Crown Prince and Princess

 
2013-06-03T00:31:46+01:00
Royal Ryde Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria. The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria. The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.  

Royal visitors

Royal Visitors in Ryde


It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes.

It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

Etching of the Royal Kent Hotel, Union Street, Ryde
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Royal Visitors in Ryde It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes. It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

RYDE TREASURES

RYDE TREASURES


All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde.

Ryde Borough Mayor's Robe

Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.

Ryde Town Sargent Top Hat

 
2013-06-03T00:47:20+01:00
RYDE TREASURES All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde. Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.  
Contact Us
Tel: (00)44 01983 717435 Web: www.historicrydesociety.com eMail: admin@historicrydesociety.com
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1860s Leisure in Ryde

1860s Leisure in Ryde

The American Circus

Isle of Wight Observer August 25 1860

By dint of puffing on an extensive scale, the public were led to believe that the equestrian troupe of Messrs Howes and Cushing, introduced into the Island during the past week, would be of surpassing excellence; and further, a fac simile of a Spanish procession to a bull fight was to parade the streets in order to enliven the natives. Well, the thing turned out as genuine a piece of “Yankee cram” as can well be conceived. As to the out-of-door pageant, it was calculated to elicit feelings of pity, rather than of pleasure, for bipeds and quadrupeds all appeared fairly “used up”; and the tawdry “properties” with which they were bedecked ought not to have been submitted to the vulgar gaze of daylight, while the semi-nudity of many of the females had anything but a pleasing effect. The horses, too, looked sadly in need of grooming; and, in a town like Ryde where there are such numerous good turn-outs that point of itself would have stamped the concern as poverty-stricken. The entertainment in the circus was of the most ordinary, not to say mean, kind; and may be classed amongst the failures. The veritable Mr Rarey also failed to redeem the affair, as there was no vicious animal to be obtained for him to illustrate his powers of taming; but we guess he would have had practise in another direction had he stopped for one more night, that is, in subduing the vox populi which was becoming rather loud from disappointment in the equestrian performances.

Cricket

Isle of Wight Observer November 3 1860

A meeting of the Ryde cricket club will take place at the Thatched-house Tavern (which was in Cross Street) on Monday evening to conclude the arrangements for taking and preparing a play ground. The rules are now published, and we extract that relating to subscriptions, as it may induce some to become members:- “That members pay 1s (5p) entrance and 2d (1p) per week, or an annual subscription of 10s 6d. (52p) Subscribers to the amount of 5s (25p) to be entitled to the use of the booth only”.

Ryde Volunteers’ Band 1860

21 JULY 1860

MR JONES’S CONCERT – THE RYDE VOLUNTEERS BAND
To the Editor of the Isle of Wight Observer
Sir, – I did myself the honour of attending this concert last evening, and permit me to say, as a stranger, that I was more than gratified – I was enchanted. The Ryde Band, under the able superintendence of Mr Jones, will certainly not be surpassed by any in the kingdom. They played in a manner which does them the greatest credit. Miss Cicily Nott sang and played admirably, as also did Miss Jones. “My beautiful Rhine” and “Home sweet Home”, by Miss Nott certainly surpassed anything I have ever heard. Altogether the entertainment was delightful, and I hope some day I shall again have the great pleasure and satisfaction of witnessing another concert at Ryde of a similar description. What with the beauty of the ladies and the beauty of the music, I was entranced.
If I, as a despairing old bachelor, went away with the heart ache by the one, I certainly went away with my heart full of the other. I could not help inwardly exclaiming “GOD BLESS OUR VOLUNTEERS!”.
Yours faithfully,
FREDERICK AUGUSTUS LEWIS
Victoria, Monkton-street, Ryde.

Ryde Cricket Club

Isle of Wight Observer July 13 1861

Sixteen of this club, eight married and eight single, played a match at Binstead on Wednesday afternoon. The following figures are the totals: single – 1st innings 64; married 41; single – 2nd innings 14; married – 38, with four wickets to go down. Another match was afterwards played, one innings each. The result was: single – 57; married – 30. The party partook afterwards of a first-rate supper at the Thatched House tavern, catered by Host Parsons, and spent a merry evening afterwards together.

The Thatched House Tavern, was between numbers 8 and 11, Cross Street, Ryde, run by Frederick and Mary Parsons.

BLONDIN – On Wednesday next the only man who ever “did the Falls of Niagara” will go through his unrivalled performance on the “tight rope” at Porchester Castle. The enterprising manager of the Theatre Royal, Landport, having engaged him for one exhibition. A better opportunity for people in this part of the world witnessing the renowned Blondin’s feats will not be offered. Special trains will run.

Ryde Cricket Club needs a field

Isle of Wight Observer June 8 1861

A meeting of the members of this club was held at the Thatched House Tavern on Monday evening, when it was decided that the practice nights for the present should be those of Mondays and Thursdays. A field kindly lent by Mr Young is made use of for play until a regular ground can be procured, which will doubtlessly be some time first, to judge from experience. Ground has been advertised for, solicited personally, and promised – but never actually offered, without it happened to be two or three miles out of the town – and still Ryde has no cricket ground. We heartily wish some person would offer a piece of land on reasonable terms, so that now we have what is likely to be a durable club, we may also have a place for its members to play the national and healthy game just alluded to.

Times, May 1864 – Social Refinement

DANCING, EXERCISES AND DEPORTMENT
MR RUSSELL THOMAS respectfully informs the Nobility and Gentry of Ryde and its Vicinity that his CLASS FOR INSTRUCTION in the above necessary accomplishments is held at the TOWN HALL every WEDNESDAY and SATURDAY. His exercises are highly recommended by the faculty.
Sandhill Cottage, High-street, Ryde

MRS HUBERT J SMITH having studied in London, Paris and Germany: continues to give PRIVATE LESSONS IN SINGING AND MUSIC to families residing in Ryde or its immediate vicinity.
Vienna Villa, Strand.

A YOUNG LADY, accustomed to TUITION, wishes an ENGAGEMENT as MORNING or DAILY GOVERNESS, with the usual accomplishments.
Address, A M D, H Mason’s Library, 7, Cross-street, Ryde.

ROYAL ISLE OF WIGHT HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
THE EXHIBITIONS for 1864  will take place on Wednesday, June 22, in the grounds of Sir William Martins, Westmount; on Wednesday, August 17, in the grounds of George Young, Esq., Apley Towers
Patroness: HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY THE QUEEN
President: Col Vernon Harcourt
Vice-Presidents: Sir A Clifford, bart, Sir W Martins, Sir Henry Oglander, bart, Sir John Simeon, bart, Le Marchant Thomas, Esq., George Young, Esq.
Treasurer: Dr Turner
Committee: W H Anderson, Esq., J B Daubuz, Esq., Capt Katon, RN, A F Leeds, Esq., D McLachlan, Esq., W E Ratcliffe, Esq., Major Verner.
Hon Secretary: Gordon Watson, Esq.
Subscribers of £1 1s will receive twelve tickets; subscribers of 10s 6d will receive six tickets; subscribers of 5s 6d will receive three tickets. Non-subscribers will be admitted on payment of 2s 6d at the entrance to the grounds. Subscribers will have the privilege of using all their tickets at one or both exhibitions.
Subscription will be thankfully received by Mr J Williams, corn-factor, 16, High Street, Ryde; Mr N B Smith, 7 Melville-street, Ryde; and Mr T A Raynes, High-street, Ventnor.
LA TAGLIONI
LADIES and GENTLEMEN can have PRIVATE INSTRUCTION in this elegant NEW DANCE, just introduced from Paris by Mr RUSSELL THOMAS (a pupil of Madame Taglioni).
For terms, apply to Mr Thomas, Sandhill Cottage, High-street, Ryde.
NB All parts of the Isle of Wight visited.

Mr Oakeshott in Deep Water!

Isle of Wight Observer July 23 1864

CAUTION TO AMATEUR BOATMEN – Mr Oakeshott, of Pier-street, was about to take two ladies out in his cockle-shell on Monday evening; but they, in stepping in, instead of treading in the centre of the boat, trod on the gunwale, so the boat capsized and plunged the whole party in the water. Fortunately, a waterman, named Barton, was close at hand, and rescued them from their perilous position, and he was rewarded with five shillings, which is rather a low estimate of the value of a life.

Crown Assembly Room December 2, 1867

Crown Assembly Room poster from 1867

Crown Assembly Room poster from 1867

Although the date of the above concert is December 2, 1867, a similar concert must have taken place the following March, as this critique appears in the Isle of Wight Observer, of March 12, 1868.

NATIVE MINSTRELS’ CONCERT – The above concert took place on Monday evening, at the Victoria Rooms. Judging from the well-filled room, the Native Minstrels must have been gratified and well remunerated for their expenses and trouble. Of the performances itself we cannot but speak highly. The jokes, though sometimes sustained “usque ad nauseam”, were generally speaking original, and afforded very good amusement to the audience. We compliment the minstrels on their programme, and in part one we would especially mention the comic songs, which seemed to us better performed and much more popular than the ballads, although Messrs Wellington and B Williams sand their songs with much feeling. We cannot help remarking that there seemed to us a great want of power in the choruses, and would suggest the addition of two or three more members to their present number. The whole of part II was very amusing indeed, the Military Gorilla was original, and with the Four Black Crows kept the audience in very good humour. The solos on the bones and banjo were, in fact, superior to amateur performances in general, and were both deservedly encored. In the Troublesome Servant our friend the Bones was very droll. We were hardly so much gratified at the Silver Belt Jig, and the ballad which preceded it. The performance was brought to a close by the favourite Skedaddle, and we compliment the minstrels on their success. One very great drawback during the entertainment was the noise from the gallery, accompanied by the breaking of windows, and we have no doubt, that should the minstrels be prompted to favour us with another concert, they will see the necessity of placing some person in the gallery to check the somewhat uncivilised system of applauding peculiar to Ryde boys. It would be very creditable to our Native Minstrels if they would give a fashionable entertainment or two during the season in aid of our new church, and we have no doubt that the elite of Ryde would ensure for the occasions a very select and numerous audience.

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Centre Opening
HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester opened the first extension of Ryde District Heritage Centre on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andrew and Brian chat to HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the Lord Lieutenant

The logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on the two shelters on Ryde Pier, and digitised by Depth.

Historic Ryde Society Logo

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