100 Years Ago - April 20, 1912
ISLANDERS were among the many feared dead after the White Star liner, Titanic, sank on its way from Southampton to New York.
More than 1,500 people — at least six from the Island — were feared dead after the vessel crashed against an iceberg about 300 miles off Cape Race, Newfoundland.
At least two men from Ryde were reportedly among the 775 people saved but there was no news of the other passengers from the Island.
Other Islanders reportedly lost relatives who were on board.
Prior to the tragedy, Islanders had watched the Titanic leave Southampton on its maiden voyage.
An East Cowes man was fined for riding a bicycle without a light in York Avenue.
Frank Purser, who was accompanied by another cyclist with a light, told the court he thought one light would be enough for them both.
75 Years Ago - April 24, 1937
The paddle steamer Ryde, built for Southern Railway’s service between Portsmouth and Ryde, was launched in Dumbarton, Scotland.
The steamer, which was licensed to carry 1,050 passengers, was to be put into service to coincide with Southern Railway’s London to Portsmouth electrification scheme.
The vessel was launched from a shipyard on the River Leven, where it was built by William Denny and Brothers.
East Cowes boatbuilders featured in a film about the construction of lifeboats.
The Strand Film Company visited Groves and Gutteridge to take moving pictures of the construction of National Lifeboat Institution lifeboats for a film about the lifeboat service.
50 Years Ago - April 21, 1962
Trees planted by Queen Victoria were popular with visitors at Osborne House.
The queen and other members of the royal family planted trees to commemorate special, personal and national events.
Many of their plantings, including magnolias and oaks, were still flourishing and were among the main attractions at the house.
There were fears a new electricity sub-station would create a birdcage of wires in Newport.
The sub-station would supply electricity to Newport and Ryde and it would mean 16 overhead wires going into the site.
The proposals were outlined at a meeting of the county planning committee, where some members expressed concern about a birdcage effect.
Hospital staff were unhappy about the salaries paid to nurses.
Members of the Island hospitals branch of the National and Local Government Officers’ Association wrote to Island MP Mark Woodnutt, in protest at the low level of nurses’ wages.
The letter said nurses were struggling because pay had been frozen but the cost of living had gone up.
Meanwhile, the League of Friends of St Mary’s Hospital went ahead with plans to provide a £5,000 chapel.
25 Years Ago - April 24, 1984
Post office officials sent a mailbag containing £200,000 in pay cheques to the wrong address.
A bag of Easter pay cheques for around 2,500 council workers was mistakenly sent to the mainland, which led to a marathon task of reissuing them all.
County treasurer Mr D. A. Tuck found his department besieged by hordes of staff asking where their money was.
The Island owner of an important Constable painting gave the Tate Gallery another chance to raise £3million to add the masterpiece to its collection.
The gallery was £400,000 short of the target after the deadlinefor buying The Opening of Waterloo Bridge.
However, Elizabeth Sheldon, of Freshwater, who offered the painting to the gallery, even though it would fetch more at auction, agreed to extend the deadline by four weeks.
A £5.5 million contract for three new HM Customs and Excise patrol boats was awarded to Cowes-based Fairey Marinteknik.
The 26-metre Protector Class vessels would come into service in 1988 to help fight against drug smuggling around the British coast.
The contract meant at least ten new jobs at the company.
10 Years Ago - April 26, 2002
Vandals caused thousands of pounds damage to part of Ryde’s seafront.
The cost of replacing the damaged concrete pathway was at least £5,000 and security was to be stepped up to prevent a repeat of the incident.
Cllr Ernie Fox described those responsible as morons.
The first so-called Beckham and eggs morning drink licence was given to allow England football fans to watch a World Cup match in a bar at 7.30am.
Island magistrates allowed customers of Flanagan’s Bar, Sandown, to watch the England game against Nigeria, with alcoholic drinks.
The decision looked set to kick off a number of similar applications.
A new 39ft-high totem pole was surprising visitors at Ventnor Botanic Garden.
The huge pine structure was added to the Americas Collection and represented the west coast of the USA.
Woodcarvers created the pole from a pine felled in the garden and it depicted common creatures in Ventnor, including lizards, foxes and badgers.