Sunday, 23 November 2014

Carisbrooke Castle #1

We visited the Isle of Wight at the weekend, and despite a poor prognosis for the weather, Saturday 15th turned out to be a beautifully fresh and changeable autumn day, and we went to Carisbrooke Castle (for me, this was a revisit after a gap of around 50 years).

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Imitation Game


Further to the post That is All You Need to Know, we just went to see The Imitation Game, the historical thriller based on Alan Turing's central role in the cracking of the German Enigma code in World War 2.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Annals of the Poor

I've resisted reading the Rev Legh Richmond's 1814 Annals of the Poor, as it's a compilation of classic 19th century pious literature - not my cup of tea at all. However, it's also a classic of Isle of Wight literature, with ties to real locations and people, so I thought I'd finally give it a go.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Stephen Reynolds in Sidmouth

An edited cross-post from the Devon History Society site: The Great War: Stephen Reynolds in Sidmouth was a Sid Vale Association talk by Dr Nigel Hyman, exploring the little-known contribution of Reynolds (best known for his semi-autobiographical account of Sidmouth fisher-folk, A Poor Man's House) to the organisation of the inshore fishing industry during World War One. I dug into some background about Reynolds' life and works, and found some nice images in his 1910 Alongshore.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

1873 ads: a selection from Shaw's

A nice crop of adverts from the 1873 Shaw's Tourist's Picturesque Guide to the Isle of Wight. Unlike the locally-targeted ads in Shanklin Spa: A Guide to the Town and the Isle of Wight, these are general-purpose ones that must have appeared in the whole UK stable of Graphotype-illustrated Shaw's guides.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The lucky escape of Kerenhappuch Newnham

Parachute Petticoat trope
A steep flight of steps scales the cliffs, along which the pedestrian may proceed, and from which he can get a very extended view; but he will have to be careful, as not long since a girl, named Karanheippuck [sic] Newnham, was blown from the cliff, but her clothes, becoming inflated, broke her fall, and she alighted unhurt on the shore below, and was afterwards known as "Happie Ninham."

Monday, 3 November 2014

Shaw's Tourist's Picturesque Guide to the Isle of Wight

A pleasant set of images from Shaw's Tourist's Picturesque Guide to the Isle of Wight (pub. London, The Graphotyping Company, Limited, 7, Garrick Street, W.C. Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., Stationers' Hall Court, 1873).

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Southlands: Puseyites and Polynesian princesses

A bit more about Southlands, the long-disappeared marine villa at Blackgang, Isle of Wight: one segment of its short history links in to the story of two notable figures in Victorian Anglo-Catholicism, and that of a tragic exchange visit.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Lowcliffe and Southlands: from cradle to grave

I've touched on this topic a couple of times before, but I just found in Isle of Wight County Press Archive an editorial that's quite enlightening about the fate of Lowcliff (aka Lowcliffe aka Lowecliffe) and Southlands, two villas built in the 1800s on the unstable cliff terraces near Blackgang, Isle of Wight.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Giant angry owl - "Yarp"

A couple of Sundays back we were in Wells, Somerset - England's smallest city - as Clare had been shortlisted in a writing competition. Unfortunately she wasn't placed, but it turned out to be a pleasant day out, as I hadn't been to Wells since I was about 7.