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)

About Ventnor Heritage Centre |

About Ventnor Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre, with its museum and shop, is also the headquarters of the Ventnor and District Local History Society.

We are involved in community events, providing talks and slide shows on local history, and local heritage walksl  We also take part in the Ventnor Carnival and Fringe programme – in 2017 we collaborated with Ventnor Guitar Group on ‘Playing with History’, and in 2016 we showed  ‘Ventnor Unseen’,  a compilation of archive film clips with a soundtrack specially provided by local artists, which included  ‘Storm of 87’ written and performed by Paul Armfield.

One of the most interesting parts of our work is collecting local stories and memories; you can see some of these by searching this website for ‘Your Stories’, and if you would like to contribute your own stories or photographs, please see our main Your Stories page.

The Ventnor Heritage Centre and Local History Society are both entirely run and managed by volunteers. If you think y ou might be interested in joining us, please have a look at our Volunteering Opportunities – we would be delighted to  hear from you!


From our archives

Town Band

The Town Band is thought to have been formed in 1863 by George and William Pearson and Albion Wheeler; at various periods there were other local bands.  After the Second World War there were efforts to re-form the band but these were unsuccessful. The bandleader in pre-war days was Jacob Hess and his son, Leonard Hess, was a first rate cornet player. Jacob's brother, Arthur, played the string bass and was a real character with a flowing beard.  Other players included Fred Richards, Jack Howell (cornet), Arthur Bennett, Frank Bailey, Burt Adams  (clarinet), Bart Brown, Ern Howell (trombone), Dodger Ward (piccolo), Dutch Lale (side drum) and Harold Barons (?) (Bass drum/ tubular bells). There were regular concerts on Sundays in Ventnor Park and the Pier Pavilion and the band headed the carnival procession for many years. Other town bands included the Band of Volunteer Rifle Corps and in 1918, the Band of C. Company IOW Volunteers Regiment.Read more...