John Langley, Newport:

On a recent stay in New Zealand, I was introduced to an elderly gentleman.

By strange coincidence he too hailed from the Isle of Wight, by name of Raymond Jolliffe.

I didn't learn much about him and how he came to be living in New Zealand but he told me that his family once owned the Falcon Inn in Cowes. It's down Medina Road, he said. When you get back on the Island drop round to the pub and see if anyone remembers me?

I promised I would do just that. As I was not too sure of the location I Googled it, only to discover that in 1942 it was bombed by enemy attackers on Cowes and its site is now under a big block of apartments with a view of Floatie going about its business (or not!)...

Isle of Wight County Press: Raymond JolliffeRaymond Jolliffe (Image: John Langley)

Not to be outdone in my quest, I contacted the IW Heritage Group and asked if anyone could shed any light on Ray's family history concerning the pub. 

Quite a few responses came, quoting from books such as Island Pubs, that showed the bomb damage.

The most interesting response came from a lady in her 90s who said she went to school with a Raymond Jolliffe at Denmark Road School in Cowes which would place him at around ten years old or thereabouts.

I wonder if a piece in the County Press might jog memories from our more elderly Island folk?

Ray said he thought there was a family connection in Newport down by the monument on the green at the beginning of Castle Road near Carisbrooke. He seemed to remember there being a bus garage nearby. Well, there still is, Southern Vectis keep their fleet near there.

Email if you have any information to pass on.