WITH the closing of the Cowes to Ryde railway in February 1966, large parcels of land were freed up in Newport, so aided and abetted by the Council, developers moved in and the town centre became one huge building site for the next ten years.

Scroll through the photo gallery above!

In an act of corporate vandalism, the Council demolished many fine old Victorian buildings, changing the character of the town forever.

For instance, the wrecking ball claimed warehouses in Sea Street that could easily have been converted into living accommodation ­— instead they were bull-dozed and the plot is currently home to the beautiful Sea Street council car park.

There was one change for the better, however ­— the construction of Medina Way and St Mary's roundabout.

Medina Way was opened on May 21, 1975.

It cost £1.2 million and was the largest project ever undertaken by the county council and remains the Island’s only stretch of dual carriageway.

Isle of Wight County Press: This is the junction of Riverway and Hunnycross Way. Newport railway station has been demolished and tons of earth have been put in place and landscaped in readiness for the new Medina Way. On the right is the former Mew Langton’s brewery and yard.

Junction of Riverway and Hunnycross Way

More than a mile in length, it made its way down through the fields that linked the College and what is now Hunnycross Way.

Reviewing 'Out of Time', a photobook I published in 2014, the late, sadly missed Keith Newbery wrote: "I asked Alan which photo he thought best illustrated where planning for the Island’s future had gone wrong and he selected a depressing view of the warehouses and what remained of the viaduct in Sea Street, Newport in 1973.

"When Harry Matthews captured this image, they were being swept away to make room for the ever-unlovely Medina Way.

"It was a time when the corporation crystal ball became rather cloudy and the council mistook change for progress.

"We must hope today's councillors take a more enlightened view."

The fact that South Street now resembles an industrial estate in Wolverhampton suggests Keith's hope was in vain.