MEMORIES included in the County Press's Wight Memories columns make up the bulk of This Island Life, a coffee table book which brings together the columns written and photographs collected by the historian authors, Alan Stroud and Brian Greening.

The County Press was pleased to give them the opportunity to sift interest from the multi million words published over the decades but it is the photographs mated with them that really lift this book.

There are extraordinary weather events – the great snow of 1881 which half buried Newport Guildhall - and there is Victoria's jubilee of 1897 when people perched on the ridges of roofs for a glimpse of the queen.

But it is living memory stuff that makes up the bulk of this book, from the Great Flood of 1960 which submerged much of Newport, to Dylan sinking the Island in 1969 with the first of the two great pop festivals.

Living memory is the most relatable because we can see how things have changed and how our lives have been shaped by events.

Not least there is the Mark Woodnutt Bembridge Harbour scandal and the part he played in effectively killing off big festivals here for so many decades before he was politically euthanised.

And there are names that are gone but not forgotten, Wray, Whitcher, Yelf Bros, Jukes, John Sheath and Co. and the rest.

This book should help them live happily in our memories.

This Island Life is published by Now and Then Books at £11.95.

The authors will sign copies on Friday, August 9, between 10am and noon in the County Press office in Newport.

By Richard Wright:

Keith Newbery was a big bloke with unshakeable opinions.

And his early departure from this life left an enormous void — not least in this newspaper which his column inches graced.

It is apposite for a man who believed passionately in roots that the latest book focussing on our rich heritage should pay tribute to Keith, who should have, in his prime, been the County Press's editor.

Authors of This Island Life – Brian Greening and Alan Stroud – were much encouraged in their past enterprises by Keith, with whom I was privileged to work in my earlier career.

I too was happy to help them both and publish their fascinating Wight Memories columns when I was the CP's news features editor.

I was delighted to be asked to review their latest offering and I know Keith would have been amused that they shamelessly nicked their book title from that of his County Press column.