Margaret Wright has sent me these superb photographs. The house dates back to 1900 while the rest are of the fire at J S Whites in 1911. These cards were sent to Margaret's grandfather, Arthur Tasker by his friend and work colleague, Charlie Meagher. Arthur was in London at the time, probably visiting his parents. The photos were taken by Beken and Son.
The house built in Park Road by my great grandfather and his brother, Morris Brothers, Builders, of Cowes. For many years its name was changed to 'The Croft', but I am delighted that it is now 'Albert Villa' again. The people in the old photo (c. 1900) are my great grandfather James Morris and his wife, Kate. The daughters are Gladys (died aged 21) Dorothy (my grandmother, married Arthur Tasker) and Winnie (married name Stears). I am the niece of Muriel Keena, whose recollections are on this site.
On the back of this photo (see below) is written, "Thanks for your letter, do not know if you have received any cards, but in case not, here come two.This one shows C and D shop, beams nearly burnt down, the crane down in C shop across Fox's lathe and Jeakes Radial drill. Fox's countershaft standing on its head. Fireproof door at bottom of C shop stood well. Toolroom a complete wreck, do not think any machines there any good, most of them broken by falling beams and brackets. They are fixed in the cage of Brown's Shop at present. F. Green's office and that bay of capstans to Pattern wall damaged by fire and water. Frank's office and tools totally destroyed, they are now blanking off toolroom end of A shop and blanking off top of Toolroom C and D Shop to the outlet of E Shop, to enclose wreckage. So much is WALKING that there will soon be nothing left of the portable stuff."
My grandfather Arthur Tasker is seated on the middle row, left. His friend Charlie Meagher is fourth along.
This card (see below) reads, "D Shop showing crane fallen across the London Lathe, hung up on one end by a bolt otherwise would have smashed the *** Machine of French's, one of its cog wheels embedded in the valve which you can see. The man there is not busy, he is looking at the damage, and B has had a good job trying to remember all the gear he had in the T Room will now try and explain proposed alterations new builders feeling better now paid up last Friday till noon. D Shop to be carried back to the level of C Shop, to be used as a Shafting Turning and Fitting Shop for same complete. C Shop as before, no tramway, new lathes etc. Stores behind C and D Shop to Bridge Road in Tool Room right through to Bridge Road in Tool Room right through to A Shop, right through to Bridge Road. New Test Shop for Dobson between A Shop and Ma???? Condenser Shop to be Plant Station Condenser door(?) possibly in B Shop. They may want my place, not sure yet."
The writing on these cards has been transcribed above