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2010 News Archive 


29/12/2010 - Ventnor Winter Gardens to Close 21st Jan -Updated


The Winter Gardens will be closing on 21st January. Staff have been told. And it seems it will go up for sale! Chris Welsford has resigned apparently. There will be a public meeting on 12th January in the Winter Gardens organised by the town council. At 7.00pm 

Thanks to Anne at the Chronicle for the info. - The Ed.



22/12/2010 - Undercliff Drive Gritting - Partial Success


Doug Nettleton from the shop has had a reply from Council Chief Executive Steve Beynon [You know, the one who gets paid more than the Prime Minister] regarding the lack of gritting of Undercliff Drive. Apparently the council have agreed to treat Undercliff Drive in Snow Conditions, once they have "secured the effective operation of the treated network".

So the good news is Undercliff Drive will be Salted, but the bad news is, it will only be done after all the primary and secondary roads are clear.


So that will be probably in June then!! - The Very Grumpy Ed.


PS. Still no replies from either of our Local Councillors, despite emails to them personally, regarding Salt Bins. Of course they may not have been able to get back home because of the road conditions!!


21/12/2010 - Re-Scheduled Bin Collections 


According to the Council's website, bin collections cancelled from Monday due to the snow will now take place on Wednesday the 29th December, subject to weather conditions. The following table shows the re-scheduled collection for the next 4 weeks.


Refuse normally collected on
Will be collected on
Monday 27 Dec
Tuesday 28 Dec
Wednesday 29 Dec
Thursday 30 Dec
Friday 31 Dec

Monday 3 Jan
Tuesday 4 Jan
Wednesday 5 Jan
Thursday 6 Jan
Friday 7 Jan

Monday 10 Jan
Tuesday 11 Jan
Wednesday 12 Jan
Thursday 13 Jan
Friday 14 Jan

Monday 17 Jan
Tuesday 18 Jan
Wednesday 19 Jan
Thursday 20 Jan
Friday 21 Jan
Wednesday 29 Dec
Thursday 30 Dec
Friday 31 Dec
Tuesday 4Jan
Wednesday 5 Jan

Thursday 6 Jan
Friday 7 Jan
Saturday 8 Jan
Monday 10 Jan
Tuesday 11 Jan

Wednesday 12 Jan
Thursday 13 Jan
Friday 14 Jan
Saturday 15 Jan
Monday 17 Jan

Tuesday 18 Jan
Wednesday 19 Jan
Thursday 20 Jan
Friday 21 Jan
Saturday 22 Jan

Kerbside Recycling Service

Week A collections are shown in bold
Please do not worry if your day of collection has moved into the next week.
Just place your box kerbside by 7am on your revised collection day.
The following roads are a Week A collection



    20/12/2010 - Salt/Grit Bins


    Several people have mentioned to me about Hampshire Council providing 1000 new Salt bins in rural areas [BBC News Website].  If the council refuse to do any gritting in this area, then a couple of Salt Bins placed at strategic places like the bottom of the Shute and along Seven Sisters Road would allow us to help us clear our own roads. This is something our local councillors should be pushing for - Come on Susan and Chris do something positive, a few hundred quid on a couple of bins would make a difference to the whole village - The Ed


    Ps. It will probably cost £2 or £3 Million each and 10 years by the time the council gets the consultants in - The Grumpy Ed




    18/12/2010 - We Are Cut Off Again


    Having travelled back from Essex today in upto 8" of snow in places, it was with dismay to find that even though I followed the alledged gritting route [See Map Below], there was no sign of gritting on Whitwell Road or Castle Road in Ventnor. If these roads were gritted, then either they were done at the wrong time or not enough grit.


    PS. I can wholeheartedly recommend Snow Socks, they go over your driving wheels and can get you out of really deep snow. We got completely stuck on the M25 near Gatwick, so I put them on and just drove up quite a steep slip road around several stuck 4x4's, then back onto the the M25 which was deserted as almost everything else could not get up the hill. I took them off after about 15 miles when the snow thinned so as not to wear them out. Obviously I had to put them on again to get up Seven Sisters Road in the village.



    18/12/2010 - Undercliff Drive Protest - Update

    The St Lawrence Homeowners Group has managed to get a postponement of the decision on the future of Undercliff Drive until 11th Jan 2011. We have a meeting with members of the council on 6th Jan to discuss matters.


    Sandra Sheppard


    9/12/2010 - Undercliff Drive Protest


    Further to the report and pending decision on Undercliff Drive.
    The St Lawerence Homeowners Group has written to the Council and protested that we have had no opportunity to put our point of view and that we feel that to make it a delegated decision is not democratic.
    We have contacted the County Press and hope that a article will appear on 9/12/10.
    Anyone interested in contacting us about these matters can get in touch through this website.


    Sandra Sheppard


    7/12/2010 - Undercliff Drive Future Uncertain


    There was report on IW Radio yesterday evening when I was driving home that suggested the Council were not going to spend any money on Undercliff Drive repairs other than patching. They would not even fund a £5,000 bore hole to investigate possible drainage work as the subsequent work would cost £1 Million and that they could not afford it.


    Apparently the decision on the future of Undercliff Drive is to be taken next week by Cllr Edward Giles alone, rather than the full council. This is of the utmost importance to those living between possible landslips, who may lose all access and services to their properties, it seems to be a done deal that is being quietly swept under the carpet!! - The Ed.


    The full report can be seen at IW Radio's Website here;


    There is also a very good article on Ventnor Blog Here;


    7/12/2010 - Gritting Routes the Official Position


    The Gritting Policy from the council's own website States "Precautionary salting is therefore carried out on all A and B Class roads, significant roads in towns and key roads in rural areas. During periods of snow, road will be cleared and treated in priority order, starting with the A Class roads. In prolonged periods of adverse weather additional roads will be treated as required."


    As you can see from the map above, the village is not on any of the councils gritting routes, despite Undercliff Drive being an A road. - The Ed. 



    6/12/2010 - Gritting?


    Having spoken to councillor Susan Scoccia last week, I thought I would raise the Gritting question with Town Councillor Chris Bonney, here is his reply;


    Many thanks for inviting my comment. It appears that gritting has been near non-existent throughout the Ventnor area and snow clearance seems to have passed us by entirely. It is hard to imagine what justification the Isle of Wight Council will have for this failure of duty of care. I shall be passing on the sentiments raised with me at the very first opportunity.

    Cllr Chris Bonney Ventnor Town Councillor for St. Lawrence Ward

    phone: 0795 868 3105

    Give'em Some Stick I Say - The Ed.


    3/12/2010 - What Gritter?


    Has anyone seen a gritting lorry in the area?


    Speaking to Councillor Susan Scoccia the other day, she says that St.Lawrence/Undercliff Drive is not on the Council's list of places to grit as we are low priority and they have to keep the grit in reserve for more important areas - Makes you think of reserving a couple of weeks worth of council tax "For more important" reasons, like going down to the pub, Oh no that closed due to council mismanagement of Undercliff Drive repairs!!! - the Ed.


    2/12/2010 - We're Marooned Again


    Following last night heavy snow St Lawrence looks like a winter wonderland, I've been out this morning to take some photos and saw more people walking in the snow than you ever see normally. Like me none of us can get out of the village to do any work - Shame!!



    Send Us Your Best Snow Pictures


    27/11/2010 - Here We Go Again - Snow in November????




    15/11/2010 - New Weather Data


    Thanks to we now have a virtually live weather data panel on our HOME PAGE Click HERE.



    As above it shows Temperature, Humidity, Dew Point, Wind Speed and Direction as well as Barometer, Cloud Base, Solar, Lunar and Rainfall data all updated every 5 Minutes. If you click anywhere on the data panel it will take you to which can show live data from around the Island.



    15/11/2010 - Vectis Scenery Exhibition






    3/11/2010 - Pumpkin Festival Report



    St. Lawrence Community Association held its second Pumpkin Festival and Competition on Saturday 30th October at St. Lawrence Village Hall – and it was a great success.  There were fewer pumpkins entered this year than for last year but nonetheless, the quality of the exhibits and the imagination employed this year was exceptional. 



    31/10/2010 - Web Central's October Solar Generation Report


    October has been very sunny and we at Web Central have generated 293Kwh of electricity during the month, with our newly installed Solar PV System.

    For full details - See The Green Page 


    26/10/2010 - Pumpkin Festival News




    19/10/2010 - Coastline Management Plan


    TheIsle of Wight council is currently completing itsShoreline Management Plan Policy. This policy will determine the maintenance and spending on theentire coastof the Island for the next 20,50and 100 years.

    No new coastal defenceswill be allowed to be constructed by private citizens or companies to protect against rising sea levels and changing weather conditions in areas that have not been designated.

    The Isle of Wight Councilclaim that they have conducted an adequate
    public consultationto decide on the conditions of this policy. Their consultation has totalled 25 hours of exhibiting the draft plan. That is 25 hours throughout the entire Island. The south and south west coast has been effectively unrepresented despite the fact that it is to be all but abandoned to the elements. Although there is an exhibition of the plan in Ventnor, it has so far been hidden in clear sight. Very few people are aware of it's existence and you can only see it by appointment and a fee of £1.

    A new free exhibition has been launched in Ventnorat the Winter Gardens
    . Open all day, every day from 10am until 10pm. A feedback form is available so that you can comment. The Isle of Wight Councilinsist on a
    closing date of Saturday 23rd October
    . That's this Saturday.

    Ventnor Town Council is trying to get that date extended so that you can have a chance to have your say on this critically important issue, but they hold out little hope against the hubris of the Isle of Wight Council's executives who know what's best.

    The Shoreline Management Plan will effect you. It will effect your family and children. It will effect the entire future of the Isle of Wight.
    Go along to the exhibition in Ventnor and have your say.



    16/10/2010 - Help


    We have received a request for information regarding the history of Well House in Niton - See Letters page


    30/9/2010 - Ventnor Botanic Gardens to Close?


    Rumour has it that the future of Botanic Gardens is under council scrutiny, they are meeting on October 12th to discuss the possible ending of council funding. The Gardens apparently cost the council £300,000 a year and they are obviously looking to reduce this, whether that figure includes the car park revenue I don't know, but it seems a slight increase in car park charges would easily cover the running cost. There is a questionaire on the Botanic Gardens website where you can leave your comments here; Hurry you only have a very short time to register your views - Do it now!! We have already lost our Pub, The Rare Breeds Park, The Tropical Bird park, the RailLiink bus service in recent years, we cannot afford to lose the Gardens or we shall become an isolated backwater. Then what would become of Undercliff Drive, the Post Office/Shop etc.


    The Botanic Gardens are one of the few sponsors that keep this website running - The Ed.



    16/9/2010 - Last Rail Link Bus



    Roger Silsbury has sent in this picture of the last RailLink bus to St Lawrence.


    Apparently there was Cake aswell !! - The Ed.






    Past, Present and Future Exhibition 11-19 September


    A new exhibition telling the story of Ventnor Winter Gardens from its launch in the 1930s until the present day is offering visitors an incentive to provide their feedback on the way forward for the south coast entertainments venue with ideas for its future.

    Visitors will be asked to complete and return a feedback form. All completed forms will be entered into a free prize draw, with opportunities to win some fun and entertaining prizes.

    Local businesses have generously donated prizes. The Royal Hotel has donated lunch for two people at the Royal Garden Cafe; its fully licensed café with a Mediterranean sunshine menu at Ventnor Botanic Gardens and Hillside has donated a bottle of Joseph Perrier Champagne, Cuvee Royale Brut.

    In addition the Winter Gardens is offering two tickets to a show of your choice, to be

    redeemed by the end of March 2011.

    The free-to-attend event, which runs from 11-19 September, is the start of a public

    consultation to establish the best way forward to secure the Winter Gardensʼ long-term future. The exhibition will explain some of the issues Ventnor Winter Gardens faces today, as well as the history of the building, plus posters and photographs from past events.

    Feedback forms will be available from the Winter Gardens and at supporting venues around Ventnor. The deadline for submissions is Thursday 30th September and the prize draw will be made on Monday 11th October.

    Suggestions and comments from exhibition visitors will be compiled and presented at the

    October Ventnor Town Council meeting.




     4/9/2010 - We Won!!!


    Dear All,

    Very many thanks to all of you who voted for the IWSR in the Lottery Heritage Awards category and I'm delighted to tell you (in case you didn't see it in BBC1) that we won. There will be more news on the Railway's website shortly Once again so many thanks for voting, and many of you for persuading friends and colleagues to vote as well.
    Best wishes



    2/9/2010 - Web Central Goes Green


    As far as we know the first significant Solar PhotoVoltaic system has been installed in St. Lawrence. A 4Kwp system is being installed as I type, this will produce 100% environmentally friendly electricity during daylight hours. Not being a diehard tree hugger, we like to be reasonably efficient, but we are not only saving the planet, we are getting paid for it by our Electricity Supplier. Click here for Full Story


    This also marks the start of our new Green Page where you can send in details of your own green projects, just send us an email or use the Contact Us Page.



    The Ed. Likes to save a penny or two!! - Mrs Ed.



    11/8/2010 - Local Councillor's Surgery 21st August


    Please come and speak with Councillor Chris Bonney about your local concerns or simply drop in to say hello.

    The annex, St. Lawrence Village Hall Saturday 21st August from 1.00pm to 3.00pm



    9/8/2010 - Thank you from The Shute.

    Christine and Chris Russell would like to thank the sunshine, nearly two hundred visitors, and particularly our hard-working helpers for making our garden opening on 8th August a happy and successful event. We raised £685 for the National Gardens Scheme, which passes the money on to charities such as Macmillan, Marie Curie and Help the Hospices.
    Best wishes

    31/7/2010 - Colin the Milk Update


    Following my chance meeting with Colin the Post yesterday I enquired about Colin the Milk who has also been vey unwell recently. Janet at the Post Office tells me he is now back home, again we wish him well. The Ed.



    30/7/2010 - Colin the Post Update


    I saw Colin the Post in Ventnor this morning, we had a chat, he said he was recovering well and on the mend, which we were very pleased to hear, I wished well from all in St Lawrence. The Ed.



    27/7/2010 - Isle of Wight Steam Railway Appeal


    We have had this Email from St lawrence Resident Roger Silsbury - The Ed.
    Dear Everyone,
    I emailed some of you requesting that you vote for the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in the semi-final round of the National Lottery Awards 2010 and with your help we won through to the finals.
    I am now asking if would support us in the finals, please.
    The IWSR is a finalist in the 'Best Heritage Project' category, the only Isle of Wight based project and the only Heritage Railway in the Finals.
    If you would be willing to support us, full details can be found on the IWSR website at and follow the link to the voting page. Alternatively, you can also vote on-line at or by phone on 0844 686 9460 (calls charged at local rate from a BT landline - other operators and mobiles vary). Voting closes at midday on 13th August. The winner will be announced on BBC Television on the evening of Saturday 4th September; filming by both the Lottery and BBC has already taken place in preparation for the programme.
    Please support the IWSR and fly the flag for both Heritage Railways and the Isle of Wight.
    Very Many Thanks
    Roger Silsbury




    19/7/2010 - Report from St. Lawrence Town Councillor

     – Chris Bonney


    In mid February I was elected as Ventnor Town Councillor for St. Lawrence ward. The time has gone by in a stream of activity – not just looking after the big issues of the moment, but also a never diminishing list of smaller matters. Here are some highlights of what I have been up to.




    First five months

    My first five months in office coincided with a phase of significant reorganisation at the council. Over this period I have taken on a number of responsibilities and key roles including being elected by fellow councillors as Deputy Mayor. As far as St. Lawrence is concerned, My primary and ongoing concern remains Undercliff Drive. When I started work back in February I read all the reports, met with engineers, spoke with potential publicity people and made discreet enquiries within the Isle of Wight council. Then the collapse of the coastline close to the Military Road near Brook upstaged Undercliff Drive.


    Road erosion

    It does not take much working out to realise that if the Military Road is allowed to close, the same political mindset will be used to decide the fate of Undercliff Drive – especially since no money appears to have been earmarked to look after either road. I was also keen to ensure that the South Wight is not cut off from the West Wight as this could have a negative impact on tourism and other businesses across the Ventnor area.

    I had heard that the Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils (IWALC), which represents most of the local councils and therefore communities across the Island, was planning to have an extraordinary meeting to decide on their grass roots position on the Military Road closure to provide input into the Isle of Wight Council's decision making.

    In April I was appointed as Ventnor Town Council’s representative to IWALC and at my first IWALC meeting it somehow fell to me to put together this meeting on the Military Road. I managed to get it organised in 10 days flat, with a lot of assistance from other Ventnor councillors and the new town clerk, David Bartlett, plus the very supportive staff at the Winter Gardens, where the conference took place.

    The conference included speakers from Wightlink, the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Brighstone Council and a world-class engineer who lives on the Island who explained the possible solutions available to us. We also had an informal contribution from the Environment Agency. The meeting ended with IWALC resolving to press the Isle of Wight Council to do all that was practically possible to save the road. In my book that is a significant win for us.


    Ventnor Winter Gardens

    Ventnor Town council has now employed the services of a very promising new Entertainments Manager to drive business forward at the Winter Gardens and he has quickly implemented a programme of events that will keep the venue busy across the summer holidays and into the autumn.

    The concession for the bar and food service was brought back in-house some time ago and since has gone from strength to strength. With good management it is now moving ahead of our expectations in bringing in much-needed profit to the Winter Gardens business.

    There will also be a public consultation, starting after the summer holidays, on the long-term future of the Winter Gardens and the action the people of Ventnor want us to take. More information about this will be available very soon.



    I am involved with reorganising the computer systems in the Winter Gardens and we expect to have WiFi available freely in key public areas very shortly. I am also instrumentally involved with Ventnor Town Council’s commitment to providing a revamped website, which among other initiatives will make available audio recordings of council meetings. This is not a minor issue; if we are to communicate with the public and with county council operatives and be part of the process instead of bystanders, we must get up to speed with our information and communication systems.


    Destination Ventnor

    The council has several new initiatives that are getting under way. Perhaps the headliner is Destination Ventnor. This will be a programme of activity to encourage Islanders and Visitors to see Ventnor as a worthwhile destination and to revitalise a sense of pride in our town.


    Ventnor Biodiversity

    Another key council initiative which dovetails with Destination Ventnor is called Ventnor Biodiversity and I have been tasked to lead on this. Our aim is to create a mutually supportive activities and publicity mechanism for the various groups of people who represent biodiversity-related organisations in the area. This initiative was catalysed by butterfly enthusiast Rob Wilson who is working to promote Ventnor as a Butterfly Town and home to some rare British butterflies.



    There is a beach environment advisory committee on which I am representing us to the IW Council, which monitors waterfront matters at Ventnor Bay, Steephill Cove and the other smaller beaches along our bit of coastline. If you have any matters you are concerned about that relate to this please contact me. In particular I am keen to have reports of regularly over full litter bins or a clear absence of a necessary litter bin. If you can send a picture to me, even better.



    I am increasingly concerned about closed or badly maintained footpaths. I have begun the task of walking each and every metre of our footpaths here in St. Lawrence to check on the state of them and expect to get this completed over the coming weeks. Any comments you have about these, again, I would like to hear from you.


    Let me know...

    If you would like to contact me about any of the issues here or any other local concerns, my preferred method is by email at cllr at bonney dot co dot uk or you can reach me by telephone, text or picture message on 0795 868 3105.



    5/7/2010 - David Firmstone Viewing


    Local Artist David Firmstone MBE, is having a By Invitation Only viewing of his new Small Works at Orchid House, Old Park in August - See Whats On




    16/6/2010 - IOW Steam Railway


    I received this email from village resident Roger this morning, I thought we at Web HQ could help by asking our readers for their help. - The Ed


    Dear All,
    Sorry for a round robin, but I'd like to ask you to vote for the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in the National Lottery Awards 2010. If we can win our category (Heritage) we can win £2000 and also be featured on a BBC programme. The address to vote is and follow the link to the Heritage section. Closing date is 1200 18th June, so don't delay, vote today!
    Hope you will vote and thanks
    Best wishes
    Roger Silsbury






    Dave and Hazel Trevan will be leading a walk in the Wight Summer Walks series  called  ‘Discover St. Lawrence’.


    When: Sunday 20th June 2010 Meet at: ‘Hejira’, Hunts Road St. Lawrence


    Time: 10.00 am


    Duration: Approximately 2 hours


    The walk takes in woodland, beaches and cliff paths.


    The walk is relatively easy but there are some short hilly parts. We will be pointing out wild flowers, wildlife, landscape features, and historic buildings.


    Stout walking shoes or boots recommended.

    There is limited parking at ‘Hejira’, so park in Old Park Road or car share if you can.



    10/6/10 - Mombassa Orphanage Appeal


    DO YOU HAVE ANY SMALL ITEMS YOU DONT WANT (toiletries,  pencils hair clips, note books - anything suitable for boys and girls all ages).
    PLEASE CONTACT THERESA NOBLE ON 854760  either for more information or to contribute, members of the lions club on the Island actually go to the orphanage .



    2/6/10 - Community Association Appeal


    1) Appealing to home-bakers who would like to donate a home baked Cake, Bread or Savoury, together with the Recipe and its origins/history or what it means especially to you (for the Afternoon Tea at the Village Hall on 12th June).   Contact Elizabeth - 855908 for collection 
    2) Items for our Bring & Buy Stall of kitchen paraphernalia (used but still useful) for the St. Lawrence Community Association Afternoon Tea on 12th June.   Contact Elizabeth - 855908 for collection 



    1/6/10 - Military Road


    Dear Islanders,

    As you know, the Military Road is under threat of closure. This is a jewel in the crown of this Island and a national asset. Losing this access way is liable to have serious implications for tourism, business and the Island economy in general.

    Next Wednesday 2nd June (tomorrow) there will be a conference on this subject. The Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils will be having an extraordinary meeting to discuss this and will be listening to key speakers on different aspects of what this potential closure means. This will include a presentation from Dr. Bruce Denness who is a leading authority on major remedial road realignment and stability projects worldwide, who will present a potential practical solution that we can afford. There will follow a debate by the IWALC to decide how to proceed and how we can lobby the Isle of Wight Council on behalf of communities and businesses across the Island.

    The general public will not be able to take part in the debate, but this is an opportunity to find out what the issues are, what solution may be available and how you are to be represented.

    Ventnor Winter Gardens, Pier Street, Ventnor. Wednesday 2nd June at 6.00pm.


    Kind regards

    Cllr Chris Bonney Ventnor Town Councillor for St. Lawrence Ward

    76 Albert Street, Ventnor PO38 1EX


    13/5/10 - Sizzling Sausage Success!


    If you are partial to a good sausage, then one of our website sponsors, The Real Island Food Company, is the place to visit. They have just launched their own, hand made traditional sausages, full of flavour, and made with TLC by their team of butchers in the company’s new shop in Niton High Street.



    “ We had a celebratory launch last Saturday, said Partner Jackie Phillips, and cooked sausages in the shop for shoppers to try. It was a great morning; with the aroma of sizzling sausages wafting down Niton High St and the shop full of customers! We were really pleased with the response and sold out of 46 kg of sausages by 11.30am!”


    The company has launched three flavours so far, with more in the pipeline. These are Niton Smokey Joes; a pork sausage with smoked bacon and paprika, Plain pork, and Pork with Garlic, Lemon and Thyme. They are made with a minimum of 90% meat and lots of wholesome natural flavours.


    “We don’t use any rusk or artificial flavourings, continued Jackie, “ and this gives our sausages a superb texture and flavour. They are also over 90% meat, so they are a very high quality sausage.”


    Sold under the name ‘Island Kitchen’ the sausages are available to buy from The Real Island Food Company butchers shop in Niton, via the webshop at  and from selected Island food shops including The Garlic Farm at Newchurch and  Island Deli in Ventnor. They can also be enjoyed at various pubs and cafes around the Island.


    For more information please phone Jackie or Debbie on 01983 731778.


    Bon appetit!



    26/4/10 - New Commitee Member


    Sandra Sheppard who has just joined the Community Association Commitee has sent in this picture of a squirrel in her garden.






    You've probably had a collection bag put through your door in the past couple of days asking you to donate various items for the Little Treasures Children's Charity.  Me being the suspicious type, I googled Little Treasures and it appears that they are less than generous with their charitable donation!!  Whilst they are a registered charity, very little of the money they make goes towards helping children - out of approx £108k less than £2k was donated for children during 2008-09.  So in summary, if you wish to get rid of some old stuff and don't care where or who it goes to then by all means use the bag.  But if you don't want someone making money out of it, then I'd leave well alone.


    Mrs Ed





     If you go walking to the east of Binnel Bay at the moment, be careful where you step, as hundreds indeed probably thousands of the caterpillars of one of Britain's rarest butterflies is on the move.


     The Glanville Fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) caterpillars are to be found all over the cliffs to the east of Binnel Bay, which is probably the best site in the area. This butterfly is only found on the Isle of Wight and in the Channel Islands.




    The butterfly lays it's eggs from May to July on its foodplant the Ribwort Plantain. The larvae spin a protective web over the plantain. From the spring onwards they emerge  to feed and bask in the sun. They form a distinct black mass over the foodplants and also wander off onto footpaths  which is why you need to watch where you are treading!


    The caterpillars are unmistakeable with black bodies and distinctive red heads. The butterfly itself can be seen from May to June, and like the caterpillar is only active in bright sunshine. The female lays her eggs on warm, sheltered sites, preferring disturbed ground with young foodplants.


    Dave Trevan



    10/4/2010- Book Signing


    Village residents, Christopher and Christine Russell  will be signing copies of their latest book, THE QUEST OF THE WARRIOR SHEEP, at Waterstone's Newport next Saturday 10th April between 11am and 1pm.
    It's a baaarmy adventure story for 9 year olds and upwards.
















    15/03/10 - Your Village Needs You


    We have a great team which organises social events at our lovely village hall.


    We need two people who can spare 2 hours every 2 months to help us plan future events.


    If you think you might enjoy being part of a team that likes to organise ways for our community to get together and enjoy themselves, we need you.


    Please call us for a no obligation chat to learn more about the activities of the St. Lawrence Community Association:


    Christine Russell – 852966

    Maggie Ridley – 852051

    Ann Dedman – 855279

    Elizabeth Fox- 855908



    Or, if you are free on Friday 16th April, you have an open invitation to attend our AGM which is to be held at the village hall at 7.30pm .   We would love to meet you and answer any questions you may have.



    12/03/10 -HANDYMAN   NEEDED


    The committee of Wight Nature which manages Pelham Woods have identified that both the notice board at the Inglewood Park entrance and the wooden bench in the middle of the wood need urgent attention. We are therefore asking if anyone with some basic DIY skills could devote some time carrying out the necessary work.


    All materials would be provided by Wight Nature and completion of the work would ensure that the facilities will have an extended life.


    Anyone interested should contact Dave Trevan on 853927



    19/02/10 - Election Result


    I want to thank the people of St. Lawrence for electing me. Whether you voted for me or not, I will working at all levels on your behalf on issues that will effect the quality of our lives. The most pressing matter is to immediately gather a strategy group that will put me at the table with the Isle of Wight council's decision makers about the future of Undercliff Drive. The issue extends not just to ensuring that the road remains viable, but also putting in traffic control mechanisms that deter speeding and limit access for over-size vehicles.

    Other top priority issues are the prevision of a marked walk way / bridleway along the side of the very dangerous stretch of Undercliff Drive that currently has no pavement at all. There is a pressing need to get a more workable bus service into the area. There are many other issues that have been brought to my attention and, time permitting, I will be working my way through this list over the coming weeks and months.

    If you want to have your say about these or any other matters, I welcome your comments. You can contact me by phone on 857 320, email is or write to me at 76 Albert St, Ventnor, PO38 1EX.

    Chris Bonney






    Nine hardy villagers spent Saturday morning carrying out woodland management tasks in Pelham Woods for Wight Nature Fund. Organised by the St. Lawrence Community Association, the group were supervised by Dave Trevan.

    The main task was to clear scrub vegetation  close to the Inglewood Park  entrance to the woods, consisting mainly of Elder(Sambucus nigra), and to cut back new growths on previously felled pole sycamores .Seedling sycamores were also removed, the overall objective to allow more light into the woods and to encourage a more diverse and interesting ground flora. Suckers arising from the base of larger trees close to the path were also removed which should improve access in the summer months.


    The cleared materials were left in a series of ecopiles that will eventually form habitats for invertebrate animals, fungi and other organisms.


    Despite a rather cold start, the group soon warmed up and were able to have a short tea break sat on a seat overlooking the sea, in wintry sunshine!


    Hazel Russell found a fine specimen of the “Artist’s Bracket fung”i (Gandoderma applanatum) on whose white underside you can draw, while Dave Trevan pointed out the fungus “King Alfred ‘s Cakes” (Daldinia concentrica) which look like burnt cakes, growing on the bark of dead ash trees. This fungus can be used as tinder for fire lighting, as it burns slowly like a charcoal briquette.



    Overall the group were pleased with their efforts and much was achieved in a relatively short time.


    It is likely that more work parties will be planned for the autumn period.


    For those people interested in learning more about Pelham Woods.


    Dave Trevan will be leading a walk on Sunday 28th March called “Sign of Spring in Pelham Woods”. The walk will also take in the Paradise Walk, the Field Cowheat site and the Peace Garden. Meet at the Old Rare Breeds Park at 10.00 am.


    12/2/2010 - Election Cards


    Apparently election cards for the forthcoming Ventnor Town Council Election will not be coming through our letterboxes. It seems we just have to turn up at our local Polling Station, which I assume is still at St Rhadagunds. Seems a bit pennypinching to me - I though they wanted us to vote, this seems likely to reduce the already low turnout at local elections - The Ed.



    The election is on 18th February - Polling Stations are open 7.00am to 10.00pm





    Ventnor Community Partnership has been asked to consult local residents on the future of the No.16 RailLink service, which is St Lawrence's only Public Transport link. All households in the area should receive the survey form soon, but the form can also be accessed and printed off by clicking the link below. Please take a few minutes to fill it in and hand it in to Janet at the Post Office or Susan Scoccia at Home Farm. The future of this vital link may be at stake so get your views heard.


    PS. There is no fixed deadline, so get your surveys in as soon as possible.


    PPS. You will need a Word.doc compatible program to be able to open the survey. If you don't have Microsoft Word then there are various free downloadable open source programs such as Open Office or Microsoft do a free Word Viewer program, that will allow you to view and print off the survey.



    27/01/2010 - St. Lawrence Community Association

    Following the recent report on the Christmas/Variety Show held by the St. Lawrence Community Association I would like to add that a final net profit of £309 from the event was reported at our recent committee meeting.   The committee agreed that £100 would be retained on its account with £100 being donated to the St. Lawrence Village Hall Trustees and £100 to be donated to the Barnardo’s charity (local branch in Ryde).  Thank you to everyone who supported this event and made these donations possible.


    13/01/2010 - No Rubbish Collection in Seven Sisters Area on Tuesday, will have to wait til Next Monday!!!


    I did see them collecting on Undercliff Drive yesterday  -The Ed.


    12/01/2010 - This from Island Waste - Who Knows?


    Refuse  collections 

    If your refuse was due to be collected today - Monday 11th Jan - and you live on a road that has been  completely cleared of snow and ice(predominantly the main roads ) we hope to be able to collect your refuse tomorrow - 12th January.


    Your bags need to  be placed at the kerbside  

    We will be unable to collect bags that are stuck

     Kerbside Recycling collections

    If your kerbside recycling box was due to be collected Monday 11th January (Week A)  and you live on a road that has been completely cleared of snow and ice we hope to be able to collect it tomorrow - Tuesday 12th Jan. 



    11/01/2010 - Monday Rubbish Collection Cancelled


    The council intended for the bin collections to resume to normal from today after the Christmas and New Year Holidays, but due to the side roads being treacherous they have been cancelled. We will try to find out when they will collect again.



    10/01/2010 - Local Councillor Comes to Rescue



    When asked by a resident of Fishers about the lack of 

    road gritting in Seven Sisters Road, local councillor Susan Scoccia,

    got on her "bike" [Husband Felice's Land Rover] and fetched some

    emergency supplies for various local residents. Susan has asked

    me to remind people to keep in contact with their neighbours to

    check if they need anything. 



    07/01/2010 - More Snow Photos from Christine Russell







    07/01/2010 - NEW - We Now Have Videos on the Website


    Whilst out taking photos this morning I spotted hundreds of Redwing and Fieldfare birds foraging

    for food in the snow. I took some video which can be viewed by clicking in the screen below;



     Plus a few more Photos;




    Our Front Garden 



    06/01/2010 - More Snow Photos


    Many Thanks to Dave Trevan for the following photos;


    Old Park Road



    Hunts Road



    06/01/2010 - Its Actually Snowing in St. Lawrence


    Despite the rest of the island having about 6" of snow overnight, we awoke to a light dusting. During the morning however we have had about 3" which is the most I have seen here during the last 10 years - Send in your best snow pictures - The Ed.





    04/01/2010 - New St Lawrence Hall Page


    With a great deal of help from Vera Scot-Jackson I have created a new page about the history of St Lawrence Hall.



    This was prompted by an email [See Letters Page] from someone researching Admiral Lord Jellicoe who lived there between the wars. He asked if anyone had any details and Vera came up trumps, as her family briefly owned the Hall before it was ravaged by fire in the 50's. The Hall was then demolished, before the Inglewood Park development in the 70's. CLICK HERE For Full Story