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
Recent speakers have included:

Professor Robin McInnes – British Coastal Art

Richard Smout – The History of Island Elections

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’

Upcoming Meetings for 2017:
24th November – ‘Researching Sailors and Royal Marines of The Great War 1914–1918’ By Jonathan Collins

A Society Meeting


From our archives

Underley Shipwreck

  The Underley was a full-rigged ship of 1202 tons built in 1866 in Lancaster.  She was owned by a  Captain Chambers who traded as the Liverpool and Lancaster Line between Britain and Australia. Under the command of Captain Tidmarsh, the vessel was outward bound from London To Melbourne when she came ashore in a south-easterly gale on the night of 26th/27th September 1871.  She came ashore between Bonchurch and Dunnose Point. There were thirty passengers on board and a cargo of cotton, machinery and gunpowder. Passengers and crew were all saved except for a steward, Richard Tatton-Groves, who  reputedly re-boarded the vessel to save a pet bird and was swept overboard as the vessel started to break up.  Tugs stood by but they were unable to move her and she became a total loss. The Captain and the Pilot were both blamed for negligence at the Court of Inguiry. For many years a finely-carved name plate from the ship adorned a wall on the Landslip path.  We understand that this is now at a private house, close by, in safe keeping.Read more...

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