Isle of Wight Observer August 25 1877
THE NEW BOATING LAKE
During the week there has been exhibited at Mr Osborne’s, in Union-street, a water-colour painting, representing what the new boating lake to the east of the Victoria Pier will be like – when it is completed. The painting is the work of our talented young local artist, Mr W H Gray (the son of the late Mr W Gray), who has succeeded in making the scene at the end of the enclosed piece of land look so very picturesque, that we are sure all who have seen the picture will look eagerly forward for the time when the artist’s idea will be realised. A gentle slope, crowned with seats and neatly turfed, leads down to the margin of the lake, which is crowded with people, who watch with interest a lot of children who, wading in the water, are sailing their miniature yachts and boats. Further out, in the centre of the lake, are other lads racing each other in their canoes or narrow galleys. In the distance is Portsmouth, which is lighted up by sunbeams breaking through the clouds. Spithead too looks picturesque studded with its white sails, forts, and ironclads. Shadows thrown artisticly over the sands and water, make up so nice a picture that we were not surprised to hear one visitor say, as he looked at it, “How very pretty; I must go and see that.” Alas! we had to tell him all this was merely prospective. We do trust, however, our Corporation will be able to make our sea frontage only half as picturesque as Mr Gray has succeeded in making his picture, which certainly does him a great deal of credit.