Ventnor Heritage Centre

"To make the past present, to bring the distant near . . . to call up our ancestors before us with all their peculiarities of language, manners, and garb, to show us over their houses, to seat us at their tables, to rummage their old-fashioned ward-robes, to explain the uses of their ponderous furniture . . . " Thomas Babington Macaulay describing what the study of history can do (written in 1828)

Ventnor Heritage Centre Monthly Meetings |

Ventnor Heritage Centre Monthly Meetings

 When the Ventnor & District Local History Society was first established in the early 1980s it began by giving a variety of talks on Ventnor and the Undercliff. Today the society continues to give local history talks at the popular monthly meetings, which take place on the last Friday of the month except for August and December.

The speakers cover a wide range of topics and focus on the history of Ventnor, surrounding area and the Isle of Wight. Meetings are very well attended and are held at the Masonic Hall in Grove Road, Ventnor, starting at 7.30 pm.  Entry is free to members of the Society,  visitors are very welcome, entrance is £2.00


Upcoming Meetings for 2018:

26th January – ‘The Island’s South Coast; Its Origins and Historical Changes’ By Dr Alan Clark

23rd February – ‘The History of Postcards’ By Nick Minns

13th April – Ventnor & District Local History Society, Annual General Meeting

27th April – ‘A Victorian Tour of the Isle of Wight’ By Bob Longton

25th May – ‘Lowtherville 1878 – 2018’ By Colin Beavis

29th June – ‘An Island Legacy’ By Kenneth Hicks

27th July – ‘A Victorian Boarding House & Renovation’ By Jonathan Collins

August – No Meeting

28th September – ‘Further Extracts from a Naturalist’s Journal’ By Andy Butler

26th October – ‘Isle of Wight Chapels’ By Len Pullinger

30th November – ‘Curiosities of the Isle of Wight No 2, Fact, Fiction or Fantasy’ By Mark Earp

December – No Meeting


Recent speakers include:

Professor Robin McInnes – ‘British Coastal Art’

Richard Smout – ‘The History of Island Elections’

Michael Freeman – ‘Mayfair by the Sea or Ventnor As You Never Saw It’

Colin Beavis – ‘History of Ventnor Bowling Club’

Jonathan Collins – ‘Researching British Soldiers of The Great War 1914-1918’

Janet Griffin – ‘The Ventnor Connection’

Andy Butler – ‘Extracts from a Naturalists Journal’

Judy Ballinger – ‘Pitfalls of Family History Research’

Roger Silsbury – ’50 Years of Railway Preservation on the IOW’

Richard Downing – ‘Ventnor Saved My Life’

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our past guest speakers for sharing their time and knowledge with us.

A Society Meeting

From our archives

Your Stories: Ventnor Roller Skating Club and dances at the Winter Gardens

Win Salter was born in 1935 at Moorhills Farm in Whitwell where her father, Fred Salter,  had followed his father Charles as the farmer. The photo of her father Fred on his hunter, dressed as a hussar, is from the early 1920s and taken in Whitwell; he was on his way to be a Marshall at the Ventnor Carnival. When Win was three, the family moved from Moorhills to Stenbury Lodge in Whitwell, where they were living throughout the second world war.  Although she was only a child at that time, Win recalls that when Southampton was bombed you could see it alight from Stenbury.  There were soldiers billeted on the downs, and she remembers them coming to the house sometimes for meals.  Her father caught rabbits, and mother would make a huge rabbit stew, followed by apple pie, and the soldiers  would park their rifles in a big pile in the porch and come in for the feast; they brought sugar for her mother, and bits of chocolate for the children - and nylons for Win's elder sister.  When D Day finally came  the sky was black with planes, droning across all day long. The family moved again, this time to Sussex …Read more...