Isle of Wight Nostalgia

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Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson; you find the present tense and the past perfect. - Zingers

Isle of Wight Nostalgia site logo. If you have an Isle of Wight site, you are welcome to use this logo to link to this site. I'm always pleased to add other IW sites to my 'links' page.

The Isle of Wight is a small island just off the south coast of England. Its shape resembles a diamond, some 13 miles north to south and 23 East to West, and covers 147 square miles. Due to its separation from mainland UK it has developed a unique character & culture. It is a much loved holiday destination.

The Isle of Wight has a special magic for all ages. I first went there as a six-year-old lad on a day trip with my grandparents. Since then I have visited the island many times. The island is unique; the locals have their own way of doing things just that little bit different from the mainland. This website is my very personal view of the island. It was begun in March 1998 when I first connected to the internet. I thought it would be interesting to develop a site. In order to maintain quality and avoid intrusive 'pop-up' windows I do not use free ISP providers. However this site is, and always will be, free to access. In order to meet some of the cost of maintaining this site I have included a few unobtrusive advertising links. Links to individuals advertising IW services are not paid advertising and are provided to help the reader and the Island economy.

The idea of using the Isle of Wight for its theme was twofold. First, I had a fair bit of original material on the Island, and second, the Island is interesting in so many ways, I felt sure there would be something for everyone. The original few pages have become an extensive site with links to other sites I have developed since. The site has generated correspondence from all over the world, from homesick ex-Islanders' to people looking for a 'Dave Parker' who stumbled upon it by accident! I have also received a number of awards and complimentary comments from readers. For what ever reason you arrived at this site, I hope you find something of interest. If you have a specific area of interest, please click here for the site search engine.

Postbox outside Mottistone Manor

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Photo gallery

The photo gallery will be added to from time to time. There are more photographs in the Ward Lock illustrated guide book section and the Guests' Gallery below.

Ryde roadsign
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Guests' photo & picture gallery

This gallery is dedicated to interesting photographs & artwork supplied by visitors' to this site. If you have any interesting old photos you would like considered for inclusion please let me know. Note, I can only use photographs where the photographer is known as full credit will be given to each picture to ensure copyright is acknowledged.

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The QE2 is a frequent visitor to the sea channels off the Island. The QE2 seen here from Ventnor is on its way back to Southampton dock.

The QE2 is a frequent visitor to the local sea channel on route to and from Southampton

Information about the Island

All kinds of basic information can be found here. Everything from geography to local dialect, vocabulary, climate, population, motto, coat of arms, species, dinosaurs, rotten boroughs, poor law, celebrities and much more!

Island information

Glossary of place names

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Bookshop, book reviews & bibliography

I have reviewed some of the Isle of Wight books from my collection. I have given a brief description, author, publisher & ISBN details for each book where possible. Some of the books are out of print; position the cursor over the book cover for suggestions on where to obtain them.

Click here for book reviews

Click here for antiquarian / second-hand bookshops on the Island

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Dorothy Wright has published a number of books of local interest. A new book about Chale School (Fernlea Publications, ISBN 0-9519122-6-7) is now available from the author, Dorothy Wright or from Ottakers bookshop, Newport or Niton Books, Niton. Dorothy's book 'The Donkeys and Wells of Carisbrooke Castle' is also available. Many IW books are reviewed in the books section of this site.

Chale School

Wight Air Wrecks by Andy Gilliam seeks to chronicle the military aircraft that, from the early pioneering flights of local manufacturers such as J S White and Samuel Saunders of Cowes through the wartime conflicts and up to the present day, have crashed either onto the Island or into its coastal waters.
The book is published by Tempus Publishing, ISBN 0752423762.

Wight Air Wrecks

Videos & DVD by Maurice Gilliam from converted cine film are available. Bygone Boats shows the working life of Newport Quay during the 1950s. Steam Railways of the Wight and The Isle of Wight Roving Camera (NEW) are also now available. All priced moderately - prices on application to: Maurice Gilliam. The postal address is:
18 Hillside, Newport, PO30 2EB.     Tel: 01983 528970.

Bygone boats - available by post

VECTIS Bus Operation Simulation

Free software from Invectis

Based on part of the Isle of Wight bus network, the user is challenged to run the system for a day. The simulator realistically allows for different seasons, times of day, bus sizes, customer behaviour, breakdowns and much more. You control twenty buses (four different sizes) on seven routes, working from 6 depots. Despite the age of the simulation and the fairly basic graphics (by today's standards) the game is still very playable (and even addictive!). If you're still undecided, have a look at some of the screen shots in the instruction pages. Click the Vectis banner to the right for download page and simulator instructions.
Bus simulation 'VECTIS' - Freeware

A Song for the Isle

This site recently featured a painting by Basil Scott-Evans entitled 'A Song for The Isle'. I asked if anyone wished to write an original piece of music to accompany the picture. Two pieces have been written. Due to limitations of space on my website I have had to limit the size of the file which has reduced the quality and length of the piece - my apologies for this.

The first piece is composed, arranged and played by Peter Pheby, with very special thanks to Derek Hicks. The music is entitled 'Solent'.

The second piece is not yet available

Play 'Solent'

View the picture

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Ward Lock guidebook - 1948

This section really gives the reader an atmosphere of nostalgia. Discover where it was illegal to undress on the beach! Remember the days when you could travel by direct steamer services to the mainland and France from piers such as Ventnor. And find out why the water and climate was especially favourable to visitors over fifty years ago. This edition of the Ward Lock travel guide is dated 1948, but the careful reader can find a number of give-aways that most of it was written pre-war.

Click here to view the guide

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Here is a collection of interesting maps. Some are links to other sites; these should open as a new page so the browser's BACK button will not work. Close the page to return here. Alternatively why not bookmark this site?

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Here are a few links to places of interest and sources of information. These are links to other websites. Email me if a link doesn't work and I'll either fix it or delete it. They should open as a new web page, which you should close to return to the Nostalgia page.
Alternatively, you may wish to bookmark this page in case you wish to return.

Index to links

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Remember the Pirate Ship that used to be moored in Newport Quay? The ship was used in the making of the BBC's 'The Onedin Line'. Admission included face painting!

Face painting was a popular part of a visit to the Pirate Ship

Isle of Wight geology & archaeology

The Island has an interesting geology that is re-shaping the coastline in almost real time. The frequent landslides at Blackgang are a stark example. Land sliding on a layer of clay has formed the Undercliff. There is a fossil shop at Blackgang where the staff are very knowledgeable - see the telephone page for a contact number. The following sections of this site will be of interest.

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Isle of Wight geography

Some geographical resources on the Nostalgia Website.

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The Red Squirrel is rare in most of the UK but can still be seen on the Island. It is popularly supposed that grey squirrels drive out the red variety. But greys tend rather to move into Red territory which, for reasons not yet understood, the red squirrels have already vacated. Nevertheless, the Solent forms a protective barrier enabling the red variety to flourish. This squirrel was photographed at Robin Hill.

Red squirrel photographed at Robin Hill

History of the Isle of Wight

Some historical resources on the Nostalgia Website.

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Southern Vectis timetable cartoons

Trotters Invectis Traders

Southern Vectis have enlivened their timetables with a series of witty cartoons. Apart from being great fun, they are also a record of recent events on the Island. Remember the mystery of crop circles? Or the opening of Newport's spaghetti junction? Enjoy them again!

View the cartoons

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The news section is no longer updated but the page contains some interesting items of news over the past few years.

Click here for the news

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Street Directory then and now; 45 years of change

I would like to thank Dave Bambrough for providing this nostalgic look at the changes to Sandown, Shanklin & Lake High Streets between 1957 and 2002/3. The information for 1957 was extrated from a local directory and the recent position recorded by Dave in Summer 2002 for Lake and Sandown and Spring 2003 for Shanklin.

Click here for Shanklin directory - new January 2004

Click here for Sandown directory

Click here for Lake directory

There are approximately 100,000 solicitors in the UK including the Isle of Wight. Many law firms use the best case management software for managing client files.

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Last updated 5th March 2008©1998-2014 Dave ParkerSite established April 1998