100 years ago - January 4, 1919

A PAINFUL tragedy took place at an East Cowes property when the influenza epidemic led to a mother taking her own life.

Mrs Minnie Coles’ husband and four children had fallen ill with the flu and the worry of attending the sick ones and the fear of fatal results played on her mind.

Her husband said she had worried herself into a very bad state and had no one to help her.


Cowes was packed with spectators as one of the surrendered German submarines entered the waters just off the Island for public inspection.

It was moored off Thetis Wharf for Islanders to see the notorious craft.

The County Press reported these vessels had “wrought such murderous devastation on the mercantile marine of Great Britain.”

75 years ago - January 2, 1944

A remarkable Christmas reunion took place in Newport between a woman and her soldier nephew.

Mrs Snelgrove, who had not seen her sister in 30 years, had a visit from Serge. Ivor Richards, her nephew, who she had only met once.

The pair went to Christmas day service at St John’s Church and saw the meet of IW Foxhounds on Boxing Day.


A Shanklin woman was overjoyed to receive word from her soldier husband.

Pte G H Odell was presumed dead after there had been no correspondence for more than three years but a very special Christmas gift, a card on Christmas Eve, arrived at Mrs F Odell’s house.

It said he was safe and well, although a prisoner in Japanese hands in Malaya.

50 years ago - January 4, 1969

The County Press reported that 10,000 car ferry bookings had already been made for Saturdays throughout the summer season.

Captain I H Wheeler, manager of the British Rail car ferry department, gave the announcement at a meeting for hoteliers in Sandown.


Ryde Town Council protested a scheme to replace the tram shuttle service along Ryde Pier.

The new plan, from British Rail, was to remove the tram and rely solely on the train service.

Residents, and the town council, rejected the plans and stated train services were often unreliable and to solely rely on it, British Rail were putting all their eggs in one basket.

25 years ago - January 7, 1994

Torrential rain and severe flooding, which lasted continuously for a week, brought new year misery for hundreds of families across the IW.

Even the most senior of Island firemen and highways engineers said it was some of the worst conditions ever experienced.

Communities were cut off, roads were rendered impassable – some by severe landslips – and countless homes were swamped by thousands of gallons of rain and surface water.


An exciting and unique new species of meat-eating dinosaur was found on the Island.

The beast, complete with a mouthful of four-inch teeth, was excavated on private land in a five-year process that would amid a tight veil of secrecy.

Steve Hutt, the IW’s leading dinosaur expert, said they had 60 to 70 per cent of the animal including full skull and teeth – that is incredibly rare.

10 years ago - January 2, 2009

With the country entering recession, Islanders have backed local businesses this Christmas.

Several independent retailers have commented on strong support from the community, despite growing fears for many British businesses.

Richard Hodgson, of the award-winning Isle of Wight Cheese Company, said it had been a bumper year.


An IW man thought his new 'Pop Maths' quiz would be a great way to entertain him and his friends.

But Toby Collard's fun puzzle, which uses band names to solve sums, appeared on websites such as The Guardian online.

He said: "“I think people like it because it’s just so ridiculous and fun. It definitely keeps me and my friends amused — we annoy our girlfriends by playing for hours.”