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 Publications |

Ventnor Heritage Centre Publications

Ventnor Heritage Centre has a range of books and pamphlets (see list below) on the history of Ventnor and the surrounding villages.  These are on sale in the Museum shop, and can also be supplied by post.

Ordering publications by post:
The cost of postage is shown in the list below.  Payment can be made by bank transfer (contact us for details),  or by post.
If ordering by post,  please send your order (including cheque made out to VDLHS, along with your name, address and contact phone number or email) to: Publications, Ventnor Heritage Centre, 11 Spring Hill, Ventnor PO38 1PE.

New Publication: It used to be like this . . . by George R Haynes (£4, post and packing £1.50)

George Haynes was born in 1906 in Beach Cottage in Castlehaven, where his family were fishermen who also ran the beach, hiring bathing huts and bathing costumes out to  summer visitors.  He died in 1984, but left a typescript describing life in Niton Undercliff in the first half of the last century, saying I have written all that I thought should be recorded before it is completely forgotten, about things that are now totally gone.  We are now delighted to publish his account, which records in fascinating detail the day to day life of the time – fishing, schooldays, working in the ‘big houses’,  transport – even the weekly horror of ‘washday’.

 

 

Books: (Post and packing £2.50 each unless indicated otherwise)

Here Layeth – Memorials at St Boniface Old Church, by Joan Gordon (£1.95)
Inns & Ale – Bonchurch to Chale, by Vincent Chambers (£1)
The Ventnor West Branch Line (£4)
The Undercliff Isle of Wight, Michael Freeman (£9.50)
Ventnor Isle of Wight – The English Mediterranean, Michael Freeman (£9.50)
Victorians in Search of Winter Health, Michael Freeman (£9.95, post & packing £2.50)
Wight Wildlife, by Jim Knighton (£1)

 

Spiral Bound Booklets – £3.00 each (Post and Packing £1.50 per booklet)

Conflict and Conflagration
Old Men Remember
Paddling to Ventnor Pier
RAF Ventnor – The Cold War Years
A Seaside Story
Ventnor Breweries
A Winter Sanatorium
While I Breathe I Hope

DVDs

All Stations West (£11.99)
England’s Eden (£11.99)
Ventnor Scrapbook (£11.99)
Ventnor & the Undercliff / Ventnor No Finer Place (£8.95)

Society Local History Pamphlets (A4)

We have many pamphlets written over the years by Society members on specific topics. A full list of titles is available in the museum, and copies can be printed to order, price £1.50 each plus postage and packaging £1.50.


Exhibitions, stories, images . . .

The wreck of the ‘Underley’

As we know, the 'Back of the Wight' was certainly a dangerous place for mariners. But casualties also occurred off the Ventnor Coastline as well. In September 1871, the fully rigged ship "Underley" came ashore between Bonchurch and Dunnose Point. The ship was built in 1866 for the Australian trade. The owner was a Captain Chambers, who traded as the Liverpool and Lancaster line. The vessel was build in Lancaster and was regarded as a ship of fine lines with a tonnage of 1200 tons and carried passengers as well as cargo. The ship sailed from the Thames bound for Melbourne, but only two days later came to grief at Bonchurch. On the night of 25th/26th September she drove ashore in a south-easterly gale. On board were thirty passengers, the cargo included cotton goods, machinery and gunpowder. The captain was Captain Tidmarsh, but it transpired that a pilot from the Thames was in charge. Why was the ship so close into Bonchurch, which with a south-easterly gale would have made it a lee shore? The Court of Inquiry blamed the pilot for absence of care, and the captain for negligence in leaving his ship in charge of a pilot whose responsibilities ended at Dungeness. Tugs were sent out from Portsmouth but could not move her, as by now she had broached broadside on to the waves. The Ventnor coastguard stood by with their rocket line. All her passengers and crew were saved, except for a steward, a Mr Richard Tatton-Groves, who foolishly re-boarded the vessel, it is said to rescue his pet bird, and was washed overboard as the vessel began to break up. The crew were taken to 'East Dene' to recover, the pilot and the captain were accommodated at the Commercial Inn at Ventnor. This fine vessel became a total loss. For many years its ornately carved name board was to be seen affixed to a barn wall on the Landslip path close to where the wreck took place. We understand the board is now kept safely at a nearby property. Graham Bennett, September 2012 [easy_image_gallery gallery="877"]

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