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29/12/11 - Variety Show Report


Elizabeth Fox has sent in a splendid report on the recent Variety Show put on by The Community Association at the Village Hall just before Christmas- Click








Updated 30/11/11 - The report is now complete with several pictures - The Ed.




27/12/11 - Christmas and New Year Refuse Collection


There will be no collection of domestic waste at all this year between Christmas and New Year. The service will resume on Monday 2nd January 2012, yes this is a bank Holiday, but apparently its simpler for everyone if the the Christmas week is just cancelled from a Council point of view!!


21/12/11 - What No Water?


Due to a leak in Seven Sisters Road, the water in several surrounding roads including Fishers has had to be turned off by Southern Water while the problem is being worked on, but they assure me it will not be for long. - The Ed 7.00pm


Update 10.00pm - Water has been back on for an hour or so, but its a horrible cloudy yellow brown colour even though we have run the taps for quite a long time.



15/12/11 - Brownrigg Farming on Channel 4's Drop Down Menu.


Enjoy some breath taking views across the Island, see where your turkey has been reared and get some great tips on how you should cook it from a TV celebrity chef.

Brownrigg Farming and our free range turkeys will be featured on TV, on Channel 4's Drop Down Menu.

The programme starts at 12 o'clock midday until 1pm on Thursday 15th December. This Thursday! Don't miss it!




28/11/11 - Cute Badger Video


The video below was taken by a remote Infra Red camera in our back garden of two amorous badgers taking time out from digging up our lawn. - The Ed.





15/11/11 - Has St. Lawrence Got Talent?


The St. Lawrence Community Association thinks so.  We believe that behind the closed doors of the lovely St. Lawrence Village there are lots of people with lots of interests and hobbies – and we never get to know about them.    We are thinking of holding a non-competitive/non-commercial exhibition of arts and crafts in the early part of 2012.   This would be just for the joy of exhibiting a much loved art or craft.  The range could be from beginners to experienced and would include adults and children of any ages.  


Initially we’d just like to find out how much interest there would be in the village for an event like this.   If you are interested in exhibiting your art or craft one afternoon up at the hall we would be delighted to hear from you.  We see the event taking place on a Saturday afternoon with FREE entry to everyone.   Refreshments (the usual delicious cakes + Tea/Coffee) would be available to purchase.  


If you are unsure of what sort of arts or crafts we’d like to see, there is a list below:


Bag making, beadwork, brass rubbing, cake decorating, calligraphy, candle making, card making, creative writing, crochet, cross stitch, making dolls’ houses, drawing, embroidery, felting, film making, flower arranging, frame making, Fymo, glass painting, jewellery making, jigsaw puzzle making, kite making, knitting, lace making, lapidary, leatherwork, lino printing, macramé, map making, metal engraving, model making, mosaic, needlepoint, oil painting, origami, paper making, paper-mache, pastels, photography, puppetry, quilling, quilting, scrap-booking, sculpture, sewing, silk painting, sketching, soap making, stained glass work, tatting, tapestry, taxidermy, toy making, water-colouring, weaving, wine making, wood carving and turning, writing music and songs


If you think you’d like to be involved in this exhibition, please complete one of the slips provided and leave at the Village Post Office.  Slips will also be available

at the Village Hall).  Alternatively, you can call Ann & Mike Dedman (855279) or Elizabeth Fox (855908) or e-mail: – or indeed contact any of the committee members (as per list on village hall notice-board).


Sample slip


I am interested in an Arts & Crafts Exhibition in 2012


Name: Elizabeth Fox

Telephone Number: 855908


Arts or Crafts that I’d like to exhibit:Photography, Jewellery making, knitting







10/11/11 - Undercliff Drive


Undercliff Drive Homeowners Group held a meeting on 4th November to discuss any developments made concerning the road.
The report about the results of the bore-hole expected from the National Geological Society has not yet been received but expected by the middle of November.
The matter of maintenance of the road was raised, especially the cordoned off area past the caravan site. Councillor Susan Scoccia promised to contact the Highways Dept and raise the matter. Susan also gave a report about the progress of the PFI. At present short to medium term maintenance of Undercliff Drive is included in the plans. All tenders have to be in by February 2012 and a decision will be made in July 2012.
Councillor Mark Robertson-Walker also attended and will make a report to Ventnor Town Council for their information.
A further meeting will be held once the results of the report are received.
Sandra Sheppard



5/11/11 - Pumpkin Report




Elizabeth Fox has written an excellent report on the recent Pumpkin Festival on the Community Association Page Click here




1/11/11 - Niton Library


On October 1st the Niton library was taken over by a team of community volunteers to save it from closure. It is now called The Edward Edwards Library after the Victorian pioneer of the British lending library system who died in Niton. A memorial to him is in the Niton Parish Churchyard.
The volunteers have been training for months with much help and encouragement from library headquarters. A dedicated band of workers has been cleaning, decorating, gardening and repairing. We offer the same services as before with free book loans, internet access, information and the facility to return books, DVDs etc to any Island library.
Although small, the library is very busy with an average of 150 people per week coming through the door and is a valued part of the community and for the surrounding villages.
Fund raising is also an important activity as the library has to be self-supporting. We have received one-off donations from IOW Council and the Parish Council and pledges from local people and businesses. We have organised fund raising activities and it is hoped to form a 'Friends' support group.
The library opening hours are -
Monday  2 - 6 pm
Wednesday 9 - 12 am
Saturday 9 - 12 am
Tel: 01983 730863





5/10/11- St. Lawrence Pumpkin Festival

on 29th October


Just a few words about the St. Lawrence Pumpkin Festival 


Firstly,  we have lots of categories for you to enter:


  1. Biggest (home grown)
  2. Weirdest (home grown) – not carved or decorated
  3. Artistic – carved/hollowed/decorated (home grown or purchased)
  4. Funniest – carved/hollowed/decorated (home grown or purchased)


And for the creative cooks, you can enter your:


  1. Yummiest pumpkin savoury
  2. Yummiest pumpkin cake
  3. Yummiest pumpkin preserve


Secondly, please remember that you’ll need to complete an Entry Form (25 per entry), available at St. Lawrence Village Hall when you come to bring in your exhibits between 10.00am and midday.


Doors open to the public at 1.00pm (Admission FREE) and just for the fun of it, Fancy Dress is welcome!


Any queries please phone Liz Fox on  855908 or Chris Russell on 852466





5/10/11 - Cheaper Oil - Update


Thought I would give the village an up date on how we got on with the oil order under the Community Scheme.
I put through our order before the deadline of Wednesday 28th September and waited to hear. The Negotiator was ringing around on the Friday for the rates and what he was quoted on that day were as follows :-
Vectis 65 pence per litre for 500 litres or 64.2 ppl for 1000 litres and Pace 60 ppl for 500  litres or 1000 litres.  The Negotiator decided not to place an order that day as he had the feeling that the rate would go down on the Monday and he was right. (all prices are plus VAT at 5%)
Yesterdays quotes were Vectis 59.84 ppl for 500 litres and 58.84 ppl for 1000 litres,  Boiler juice 67ppl and Pace would not quote due to back office changes linked in with their merger with GB Oils.
Member price negotiated with Vectis Oils yesterday for all orders under the Scheme was 56.34 ppl  (+ VAT) which means there was a saving of at least 3ppl for the total when the order was placed.  Our  order arrived at 9.30 am this morning and the rate was clearly written on the delivery slip that it was part of the IW RCC group and it was 56.34 ppl, so all I need to do is check that when our bill comes through that the rate is the same (it should be as it cannot change from the price quoted).  The delivery day is quoted as 7-12 days after the cut off date for orders so I was impressed with the speed particularly as we were really low on oil.  On our previous 2 orders that we placed independently we paid 63.89 & 67.10 ppl  + VAT.
There are now 25 paid up members on the Island and  9 members ordered on this occasion a total of 11,200 litres, ideally they are looking for 15-20 orders for October, remember you cannot order in December as the Companies always putting up their prices due to demand.  (There is an emergency order on 4th January)
I hope this is helpful, I am happy with how the first order went and the price and do think the more people who join the better it will be.
Thanks Fran, Our New Roving Reporter!! - Sounds very good, I'll join up when I next need a fill up. - The Ed.




18/9/11 - Re Re Re Cheaper Oil


I attended the meeting on Thursday and it was well presented and all questions answered.
The crux of how it works I will list briefly below.
It is being run by Island Community Ventures who donate all profits directly to the charitable work of the Isle of Wight Rural Community Council in Helping Communities Help Themselves.
The annual membership fee per household is £20, businesses will vary.  Your membership does not start until they save you at least 3 pence per litre of oil ordered but you still have to pay it up front.
Each Village can do their own order with or without a co-ordinator as it can be either be e-mailed through on the attachment they send you or you can post it in but you must allow plenty of time.
They do the order as a whole Island and obviously if they say they have quite a few drops in one particular village they hope to save more as it keeps the running costs down for the supplier.
The supply may come from one of the Island Companies, it may be supplied by a Mainland Co and delivered by a Mainland Company or it may come from a mainland supplier but be delivered by a local Company.
You need to state on your application if you need to be present when the delivery is being dropped (e.g. for access purposes) and also if you need the baby tanker etc.
On average Oxfordshire have been saving between 5 pence and 8 pence per litre but at present they are unsure how much we will save due to the stretch of water.
There is talk of both the Island Fuel Suppliers merging which of course would create a monopoly.
They take orders every month EXCEPT December due to the Oil Companies generally increasing the rate due to demand, however they do 2 dates in January the 1st one on the 4th Jan is for emergency orders only.
The deadline for orders is 12 noon on the last Wednesday of each month and the delivery should be 7-12 days of the bulk order. You can put your order through well in advance of this date.
If a volunteer in the village would like to be a co-ordinator they do not pay the membership fee.
Once the order has been put through as a whole the Negotiator will let you know what rate he has got it at, obviously there does need to be an element of trust as when you order you do not know what rate you are going to get but as he will be ringing several you should be getting the cheapest.
Your invoice will come through the post as normal and you pay it as you would any bill (if you pay monthly to one of the Island suppliers this will not be suitable for you as you cannot pay in this way under the scheme).  You should check the rate on the invoice is what you have been quoted.
The next order is on Wednesday 28th September and vary on dates from the 22nd up to 29th of each month.
I have paid my membership fee and I am doing my order for this month.
If any one is interested they can phone 01983 524058 for an application but your membership has to be paid and cleared before you can do an order.
One more thing, of the membership money £2 of each does go the mainland to pay for the Negotiator whom I believe is the same person who is doing the Oxford one.
I would think that the more people who do join the better the deal we will get.
I hope that answers all the questions,
Regards Fran
Thanks Fran, Tell us how you get on with your order - The Ed.



14/9/11 - Re Re Cheaper Oil

I read with interest over the last few days the various articles regarding the above.
I discovered some little ago now that if you access, they can provide a graph showing Price Trends of domestic oil.  If you then insert a postcode, the site can provide you with an indication of who is likely to be the cheapest.  Invariably this shows Home Fuels Direct as being the best.
I have on several occasions bought fuel from them and until today, they have always been considerably cheaper than the Island's two main providers viz, Vectis and Pace.  Indeed, when I last bought from them the oil was delivered to me by Vectis! 
However, as I soon will need a refill, I checked the various prices yesterday.  This indicated that Vectis currently requires around 0.64p per litre, Home Fuels Direct about 65p a litre and Pace only 60p a litre. 
I trust readers of The St. Lawrence Website will find this information to be helpful for the meeting at Niton on Thursday - at the very least the Price Trends graph might be hepful.  They will have to use their discretion as to whether they purchase from Pace, Vectis or Home Fuels Direct. 
Clearly large variations in price are possible and I am sure that the residents of St. Lawrence/Ventnor/Niton etc should be able to set up their own bulk purchase collective.
Thanks Keith, I have reproduced the aforementioned graph below, Showing the cost of 900Litres of heating oil over the last 2 years, showing the price has almost doubled in that time. The Ed. 



13/9/11 - Re Cheaper Oil

I have just phoned  and asked a few questions, basically it is being based on a scheme in Oxfordshire that has been running for a while now and the lady tells me that on average they save approx. 5 pence per litre.  A  meeting is on at Niton Village Hall on Thursday 15th September at 7 p.m. and leaflets will also be available. It appears the designated co ordinator whom I assume will be a volunteer will ring around to find out the cheapest rate for the day (order day) which will not necessarily be an Island oil Supplier
and then put the orders through.  Maybe we could double up with Niton if not many people want to consider doing it?
I have heard of other areas doing this as I remember picking it up once when trying to find out current oil prices for domestic fuel.
If any one thinks they may be interested (no obligation) then they can go to the meeting (I shall be going if anyone wants a lift- 852601) on the above date as anything is worth looking at.
Thanks Fran




10/9/11 - Cheaper Oil?


Hi Alan
Has any one contacted you about getting together as a community to try and obtain cheaper oil?  I saw a bit about it in the paper about this saying it is now coming to the Island and wondered if you had noticed it?
In Niton they have a poster up about it in the Pub and people can add their names if they are interested.
I believe there needs to be a nominated person who people can phone with their orders on a certain day say each week/month (voluntary I think).
If anyone has any other details or knows if St Lawrence is covered by such a scheme, Please contact the website - The Ed.




6/9/11 - 1st Through Bus in 10 Years


I caught the first No. 6 bus through St. Lawrence yesterday morning to go and do my Council work in Ventnor, and then returned on the 14.37 back home.  I was told that this was the first through bus along the Undercliff Drive for 10 years!  It was great – quite alot of people on the return journey, and I am told 6 walkers got off in St. Lawrence on the 16.37!  Please can I remind all residents of St. Lawrence that the scheme is up and running, and St. Lawrence is being served by a bus route which has been enhanced by our Community Transport Scheme with a timetable that covers the day from Monday to Saturday. 


 (Photo taken of me, by chance, just as I got off the bus in Ventnor!)


Susan Scoccia


P.S.  The new 31 route was also launched yesterday (funded by IWC through this same scheme) which covers Bonchurch, Ventnor including the Esplanade, the Botanic Gardens and Castle Close, St. Lawrence.




31/8/11 - Pumpkins!!



Pumpkin Growers be aware – The St. Lawrence Pumpkin Festival needs YOU & YOUR PUMPKINS - See What's On page for details.



30/8/11 - Nat West Ventnor Branch Closing Petition


The Nat West Bank is closing in Ventnor in November. Please can you tell people via the village website that there is a petition in the Diabetic Charity Shop.




27/8/11 - New No.6 Bus Timetable


Susan Scoccia has sent me the Southern Vectis Timetable below, which is effective from Monday 5th September.




Basically, Buses during the week leave from Spindlers Road in the Village;

To Ventnor at 9.26, 11.26, 13.26 and 17.26

To Niton at 10.47, 12.47, 14.47 and 16.47

No Sunday Service at Spindlers Road.


I assume the services that do not serve St Lawrence at Spindlers Road, during the week, are available at the top of The Shute starting at about 10.25 to Ventnor and 9.48 to Whitwell/Niton. - The Ed.



It was a nail biting few days. We were opening our garden at The Shute in Seven Sisters Road, for the National Garden Scheme on Sunday 14th August but it was damp, grey and windy right up to the last minute. What if it rained and nobody came? What would we do with the tons of cake we’d baked ? Bang on cue, the sun came out and so did the people. Nearly three hundred of them. Christine and Chris Russell would like to thank you all for coming and we’d especially like to say a huge thank-you to our helpers who were run off their feet in the kitchen. We raised £888 on the ‘gate’ for the NGS. And from the tea and cake we raised another £400 which we will donate to the Ventnor Boxing Club. Thanks too for the patience of our neighbours in and around Seven Sisters Road: there were a lot of extra cars about but it was all in a good cause.


Well done those Russells' - The Ed.



4/8/11 - Helicopter Tour of the Island



Just seen this video on You Tube, its quite long, but if you want to skip to the bit around these parts, its at about 9 minutes. - The Ed




4/8/11 - Undercliff Drive


The drilling on the top of the cliff has been finished and the results are positive and confirm Dr Deness's theories.  There will now be further examination of the core samples and we await those results.  Our thanks to Shelia Richards and her farm manager Keith Plant for all their help, and to the residents who have contributed money towards the cost.
We are also grateful to Dr Deness and Coresource without whom the drilling would not have taken place. Our thanks to to all the other organisations who helped.
Sandra Sheppard



27/7/11 - New Bus Service From 6th September!!


“Our No. 6 Community Transport Scheme is on track to commence on 5th September, which will bring buses along the length of Undercliff Drive for the first time for many years.  Not only will St. Lawrence have a greatly improved bus service Monday to Fridays across the day from 9.30 a.m. until 17.30 p.m., but we will hopefully be running the service on Saturdays too.  This scheme will be run with the support of Southern Vectis who will also be running extra buses commercially on this route and IW Council, and I cannot emphasise enough how important it will be for us all to support it if we want to keep a bus service in our village.

May I thank all those who have come forward to be assessed as volunteer drivers.  We have held two successful days assessing everyone, and 36 drivers have been approved to go forward for medicals and training, and will cover all the schemes on the Island.  We have more people who will be held on a waiting list, to come forward in the next phase of training.”



Hopefully I will have the finalised bus timetable soon.


Susan Scoccia





  The lighthouse at St. Catherines, the most southerly point on the Island, is a fully operational Trinity House lighthouse which is open to the public. It has been showing a light warning shipping since 1840 and offers the public the opportunity to see a classic piece of early Edwardian engineering in action. St. Catherine`s Lighthouse was automated in 1997 and is controlled directly from Trinity House in Harwich.
  Tours of the lighthouse last approximately 35 minutes and are given by trained volunteer guides who are happy to answer any questions you might have. See 
for details of opening times and directions.
  If you have some spare time and are interested in joining the team of enthusiastic and cheerful guides, who also meet socially, please contact  01983 855069 




20/7/11 - Local Entrepreneur Gets Award from The Queen



Andy Kemshall accepting his Enterprise Innovation Award from the Queen on behalf of his Company, SecurEnvoy, who specialise in computer security and authentification. Well done Andy - The Ed.





The Community Association’s Beach Clean and BBQ at Woody Bay on Saturday evening, 16th July was a great success.
Around twenty litter pickers gambled on the weather and were rewarded with two hours of sunshine and a sparkling sea. They didn’t have to pick much litter either – for which, thanks to the recent storms and / or unsung litter heroes in the village. Naturally, the ensuing cremated sausages and other burnt offerings tasted as good as ever.

A fun evening in a lovely spot. Thanks to everyone who was there – especially the guys who came all the way from Ryde.

The St.Lawrence Community Assoc. has recently donated £200 to Wight Nature as part of the cost of the repairs to the timber footbridge and broadwalk. The repairs now mean that the lower footpath that runs parallel with Undercliff Drive is once again safe !
Pelham Woods is a sycamore woodland adjacent to Inglewood Park and Undercliff Drive which has several footpaths with seating all of which has been managed by Wight Nature since 1997. The public are welcome to walk through the wood to see the mix of native plants, mature sycamores, hazel/ash scrub and wetland areas. Regular workparties carry out clearance as required with the cleared material being deposited to form eco-piles for the benefit of the resident wildlife.
Watch this website and other sources for the date of the next working party.


8/7/11 - Dramatic Rescue off St Lawrence



7.00 pm - RNLI lifeboat arrives to lend assistance to a stricken yacht.


27/6/11 - 'From Muck to Murder'


Despite a cold wind and tennis on the telly, 77 people came to hear Christopher Russell's talk, 'From Muck to Murder', which he gave to the Ventnor History Society last Friday evening. It was a talk of two halves with the 'muck' part concentrating on his early life in Whitwell, mucking about on his Grandfather's farm. And for the 'murder' part, he described his thirty years as a TV script writer, working on many detective drama series including  A Touch of Frost and Midsomer Murder. Roger Silsbury has written a full report on the talk which will appear in The Chronicle. 




24/6/11 - Community Transport Scheme


The Great News is that our bid has been approved!! 

We are still looking for volunteer drivers (a good number of reserves is always required), so please get in touch with me if you are interested. 

Training is to start next week!!

We hope to have our Community Bus running through St. Lawrence from September.


Susan Scoccia

Tel: 852240




20/6/11 - Garden Open Day Success







The garden open day at Northern Star on Saturday attracted over 100 visitor who enjoyed the garden, plant sale and delicious home made refreshments.





Photo By Dave Trevan



I have been working with other interested parties to bring forward a Community Transport Scheme which will give St. Lawrence a bus service when Wightbus ceases to exist in September of this year. Hopefully you will have heard that IW Council is working with Southern Vectis to fund 8 such schemes on the Island, and our bid will be judged against all the others on a set criteria laid down within the submission and evaluation document.

Our intention is to run a service, Monday to Friday, on the old No. 6 route, which would slot in between the current No. 6 route, making it an hourly service alternating between the present Whitwell route and the old route of Niton Buddle Inn along the Undercliff Drive to Ventnor. We are looking at doing this three times a day into and out of Ventnor (the scheme uses the smaller 37 seater buses used for the school run, so the proposed service would run between school starting and finishing times).

In order to increase our chances of success, I am asking St. Lawrence residents for your support of our bid in the following ways:-


  • Volunteer Drivers – Are you over 18 and hold a full current licence? Are you able to give 1 day a week, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday – Friday? Full training for a PCV licence will be given by Southern Vectis.

  • Volunteer Coordinator – Are you available early mornings and afternoons 5 days a week to coordinate the volunteer drivers?

  • Letter or e-mail of support – Are you willing to write to me to give your support to this scheme? I will also have a petition to sign, also available at the village shop


Our bid needs to be in to IW Council by the end of this month so time is running short. Our scheme is supported by Ventnor Town Council, Niton and Whitwell Parish Council and Chale Parish Council, but, to be able to run our bus service along the Undercliff Drive, we need to show that the community of St. Lawrence are in support of our scheme.


PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY EITHER WRITING OR TELEPHONING ME IMMEDIATELY ON RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER to the e-mail address or the address below. Thank you for your support.


Susan Scoccia


Home Farm

Seven Sisters Road

St. Lawrence


Isle of Wight

PO38 1UY





8/6/11 - Niton Library


There will be a tea and chat meeting in Niton Village Hall on Saturday June 11th at 3pm for those who would like to ask questions about the forthcoming re-launch of Niton Library as The Edward Edwards Library run by a group of volunteers.


8/6/11 - FROM MUCK TO MURDER - Friday 24th June


Local author, Christopher Russell talks about his early life at Whitwell Farm and subsequent career as a TV scriptwriter.
7.30pm on Friday 24th June
St.Catherine's Church Ventnor

A Ventnor History Society event.
£1.50 at the door to non-members.


6/6/11 - New St. Lawrence Welcome Booklet







The St Lawrence Community Association has produced a new Welcome Booklet for the Village, it contains useful contact information for residnets and visitors.


The booklet can be obtained from the Village Post Office or can be printed directly by clicking the links below;


Welcome Booklet P1



Welcome Booklet P2







27/5/11 - 2011 NatWest Island Games XIV Medals Made in St. Lawrence

Isle of Wight Studio Glass has been commissioned to produce the medals for the NatWest Island Games XIV. Each medal will be a unique piece of craftsmanship, individually and skilfully made by the craftsman at Isle of Wight Studio Glass in Old Park Road.




25/5/11 - Blue Tits Are Go








The Blue Tits nesting in our nest box fledged this morning. They have fledged a few weeks earlier than last year, probably due to the fantastic weather we have been having. Last year was 6/6/10 and before that 26/5/09 and 4/6/08.












17/5/11 - Isle of Wight Best Kept Village Awards 2011


Secretary:   Mrs. J. Goodall, 20 Footways, Wootton Bridge PO33 4NQ  e-mail:
The judging of the best kept villages is currently taking place and the Awards Ceremony will be hosted by the IOW Best Kept Village Awards Committee on Thursday 22nd September at 7.30pm at Arreton Community Centre.   The High Sherriff will be in attendance.   Invitations will be sent with results in July.
The following awards will be presented:
Best Extra Large Village                £100
Best Large Village                         £100
Best Medium Village                     £100
Best Small Village                          £100
The overall Best Kept Village will be chosen from the above and will also receive £150 worth of Hursts’ Vouchers.
Best Kept Outside War Memorial     £50
The Award for an Island Conservation Project       £50
Judges will mark severely on litter found.   Please contact Mrs. Jenny Goodall if you require further information



17/5/11 - Cllr. Susan Scoccia - Annual Report 2010/11



This year, I have continued in the position of Chair of the Licensing and General Purposes committee for the Island, a position I find extremely interesting. During the year this committee has considered and determined taxi fares, our licensing policy and licensing fees. I have also chaired numerous sub-committee hearings which have included premises and personal licences, reviews of two licences, school transport appeals, removal of a bridleway from the definitive map, a footpath diversion, a village green and our first gambling licence application, which I think gives a flavour of the diversity of considerations that come before us. Tomorrow (Tuesday 16th May) I will be hearing the premises licence application for the IW Festival.

I continue as a member of the Planning Committee, which meets monthly, and for which we have regular monthly training sessions to ensure we are kept up to date with changing legislation and all aspects of this very important function. Along with Audit and Ethical Standards Committees, Full Council and Licensing, I have attended over 60 meetings during the year, which does not include informal meetings and briefings. Members’ information seminars are held regularly, and I try to attend as many of them as possible, which have covered such issues as adult social care, PFI, the Island Core Strategy, youth reorganisation, budget planning, regeneration and the economy, to name but a few.

And on the subject of budget planning, I am sure I do not have to spell out just how difficult it was setting this year’s budget and council tax, with savings of £17.8M to find! With the Coalition’s spending review, not only did we not receive the usual increase to cover inflation, pensions, NI, etc., but the Government also cut our funding by £9.2M. This meant that we have had to review every aspect of the Council’s services, and I do appreciate that there have had to be some unwelcome reductions in some areas. However, we were able to put an additional £2.2M into adult social care, £0.5M into the budget for LAC and children at risk, whilst maintaining investment into the reorganisation of our schools, the highways PFI scheme which will see our roads brought up to the standard we are all dreaming about over a 25 year period commencing in 2013, and investing in County Hall to ensure the latest business systems and IT technologies will give residents an even better service whilst reducing workforce costs and reducing the number of buildings from which the Council currently works.

During the budget process, I lobbied hard for Ventnor, ensuring that our library has been kept within IWC’s core service with only a small reduction in funded opening hours. I am very pleased that a ‘friends of Ventnor Library’ is progressing well, and I am sure, working with our excellent library staff, ideas will come to bear in respect of increasing usage and support and maybe opening hours in the future. It was at my request that an amount of £25K was allocated in the budget to assist the four beaches that had previously had lifeguards to bring forward either volunteers or other beach safety schemes, and I have been assisting the Town Council in this respect. The closure of some of our toilets went out to consultation at the beginning of the year. Again, I made strong representations in respect of Ventnor Botanic Gardens’ toilets and indeed the Marlborough Road toilets (as many of my residents were obviously concerned about these being closed when they are shopping in town), and these toilets have remained open. I then worked with an interested party in respect of those in Steephill Cove, who have now taken over these facilities. As I have also received many representations from Bonchurch residents, I have now provided the Town Council with all the financial costings of providing these facilities.

I am the Local Authority representative on the Island’s Fostering Panel, which meets monthly and considers various applications in respect of children who cannot remain with their immediate families. As a member of this panel, I attended a full day’s training, and also the wonderful Star Awards last October, where the achievements of these children is celebrated, and which is a very moving occasion.

I remain the LA representative for the Ventnor Youth & Community Centre, where I have been chair of the Management Committee for a number of years. We are still awaiting the outcome of the Youth Reorganisation proposals from IWC, a very frustrating time for all our youth workers, but I am hopeful that these details will be forthcoming very shortly, and we will then know where we are!

Our Youth Centre, together with the Youth Cafe, provide very important facilities for our Ventnor Young People, and, as a Trustee of Ventnor Together who set up and runs the Youth Cafe, I occasionally enjoy an evening volunteering and helping out.

As the LEA Governor on the Board of Governors for St. Francis, it is very pleasing to see how well our primary schools have come together into the one, and this is down to the excellent leadership of the headmistress and her staff. I attended a visit to the mainland last September when we visited a number of newly built primary schools to give us a flavour in respect of possibilities for our new school build. Many meetings produced the plans that we now have, which were presented to the Public at Ventnor Middle School on 16th February, and the planning application will be determined at the Planning Committee on 24th May. These are certainly very exciting times for all our pupils, which I found very engaging when I attended a School Council meeting last month where the children were discussing their wish lists for their new school.

As Trustee of St. Catherine’s School, I was pleased to be part of the interviewing panel for a new Principal, and to assist whenever I can in improving links with IWC.

Of course, everything I have reported so far, are details of the committee work I do as a County Councillor. For me, the most important part of my role is to represent my residents and respond to their concerns and problems, which are many and very varied. It is very satisfying indeed to be able to assist people, which makes all the hard work and long hours worthwhile. What I have learnt as a County Councillor is that you need bucketfuls of patience and eventually you might get there. I’m thinking in particular about St. Albans steps which have now reopened after such a long time – the retaining wall has been rebuilt and an excellent job well done by IWC contractors – the graben has been reinforced and improved again with the wall rebuilt, and the piece of Undercliff Drive that is undermined by underground water is being straightened out again. I was also very pleased indeed when, through Ventnor Community Partnership, we were able to replace the clock on the corner of Pier Street on 25th August last year, something I had wanted to see done for Ventnor for a very long time indeed.

Lastly, I do not hold surgeries as I found them to be an unproductive use of my time, but I am very willing to visit anyone who wishes to discuss anything with me at their convenience, so please do not hesitate to get in contact with me either by telephone or e-mail.



14/5/11 - Community Association


The St Lawrence Community Association is always looking for new members. Anyone interested to contact 

Alan Stovell on 01983 852417


5/5/11 - We Are Back Online


After nearly three weeks of no phone or internet, we at web central are back online. BT and their hole diggers finally sorted out our dodgy connection today, so thanks again to those who helped us out.



3/5/11 Queen's Award for Enterprise Innovation 2011



Andy and Julie Kemshall, who recently bought a house in the village are off to Buckingham Palace in the next few months to collect their Queen's Award for Enterprise Innovation. Their Company SecurEnvoy who specialise in computer security and authentification have just picked up this prestigious award.

They were presented with the Queen's Award for Enterprise for Innovation at the Infosecurity Europe exhibition in London by the transport minister Theresa Villiers MP who attended the exhibition specifically to make the presentation.



1/5/11 - Website Problems


Due to BT Openreach's ineptitude, we at web central have had no phone or Internet for the last 2-3 weeks. We have endeavoured to keep things as up to date as possible with the help of friends and neighbours, but we have been a bit slower than normal. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible - BT Willing.


In a unrelated development the Web Server we have been using for the Live St Lawrence weather has ceased operating and we are activley seeking a new one. The link to the Isle of Wight Weather Station still works however, its just not quite as local.



9/4/11 - Peace Garden News


On Tuesday 5th April the peace garden volunteers joined together to celebrate the official unveiling of the new carved peace garden sign.

This has been hand crafted by wood carver Mike Evans from Yafford who used a piece of Yew wood taken from the Yew trees felled around the Old Church yard last year.


The volunteers were also pleased to accept a beautiful Italian wooden seat from local resident Lizzie Flynn and refurbished by Mike Evans. It has been positioned in the peace garden under the enormous Yew tree looking east. A very moving poem was written and read during the event by Gary Wicks as a tribute to the seat.

The peace garden has been donated bird boxes, squirrel nests and several beautiful shrubs and trees over the last 18 months & St. Lawrence PCC would like to thank all those who help & take an interest in the garden.

It is a place of beauty and peace that can be enjoyed by the whole of the community, so please do spend a quiet few minutes there whenever you can!

Monthly work party mornings take place on the first Tuesday of each month (weather permitting) so if you are free, why not come along and help shape this beautiful community garden.




Some exploratory work that could possibly increase the life of the road is proposed.
The engineer involved ( an expert in his field ) feels that it may provided a way to drain excess water to relieve pressure on the Undercliff and reduce likelihood of further major slips.
However the Council refuses to contribute to this work and suggests residents might like to pay for the exploratory work.  This work will benefit all residents of Undercliff Drive.  If you are able to help, please contact the following people.
Sandra Sheppard    01983 730253
Ann Thwaites         01983 730244
Joan Pound            01983 730339




The St. Lawrence Community Association

are holding their

 Annual General Meeting

on Friday 8th April, 2011

at 7.30 pm

in The Village Hall 



If you would like to know more about the St. Lawrence Community Association then the AGM is a perfect opportunity for anyone interested to come along and ‘listen in’.   Fundamentally our organisation is to promote and enhance the village of St. Lawrence for the benefit of residents and visitors.    The objectives are to liaise with all village groups and external authorities, to encourage care and enhancement of the village area, to carry out relevant agreed projects and fund raise, as required and importantly, to be a point of contact of communication for the village.   We endeavour to provide a social link and network for the local community to bring them together for a variety of events.


If you are a community minded person with a desire to help our organisation to continue its good work, please contact one of the people listed below, Maggie, Ann or Liz will be happy to answer any questions you have.  No qualifications are necessary, just a willingness to be a valued member of our organisation.

We would love to meet you and answer any questions you may have.  Everyone is welcome.


Contacts:   Maggie Ridley – 852051, Ann Dedman – 855279, Liz Fox - 855908




13/3/11 - Edward Daws


We have received a request for details of Edward Daws, previously of Wolverton Manor. See Letters Page for details.


11/3/11 - Local Authors Book Signing 


Chris and Christine Russell will be signing copies of their book THE WARRIOR SHEEP GO WEST in Waterstone's, Newport, on Saturday 19th March, between 10am and 12 noon. The book,  the second in the Warrior Sheep series, is mainly for children of 8-12 years but fun for younger and older folks too.

The first book in the series, THE QUEST OF THE WARRIOR SHEEP, has been shortlisted for a number of awards and is now also published in Germany and the USA.



2/3/2011 - New Weather Data Feature


I have just uploaded Daily graphs for Rainfall, Max, Min and average Temperature for February 2011 on the Weather Data Page.



15/2/2011 - Katy Price at St. Catherine's Church


Katy Price, the international harpist, will be giving a concert at St.Catherine's church, Ventnor, at 7 p.m.on Saturday February 26th. The Undercliff Singers of St.Lawrence will also be performing, this being the second time the Singers have appeared here with Katy. Tickets are £8 and all proceeds will go to cancer charities.


8/2/2011 - Ventnor Town Council Meeting



There will be a meeting of

Ventnor Town Council


Monday 14 February 2011

at 7 pm


St Lawrence Village Hall

Undercliffe Drive, PO38 1UY



6/2/2011 - New History Page


Local Historian, Dennis Shepherd, has kindly loaned us his work on the historically important Pre-Raphaelite Windows, currently in the Parish Church , we have created a page on the subject - Click Here.


4/2/2011- Simon Goodenough has Had Enough


Simon Goodenough, the head Honcho at Ventnor Botanic Gardens has put in for voluntary redundancy citing "too many pressures". He expects to be gone by June.


4/2/2011 - Chris Bonney Resigns as Councillor for St Lawrence


As many of you will have seen in the County Press, our Town Councillor, Chris Bonney, has resigned, he has emailed to say he will send more details in the next few days.


18/1/2011 - Old Church Interior Photo Request


Bridget Garton has been asked to write a piece about the history of St Lawrence Old Church for English Heritage, she urgently needs some old photographs showing the interior of the Old Church, they need to be either original photographs or good quality postcard images. Please contact either Bridget or The Ed.



18/1/2011 - Public Rights of Way


At their meeting in January, it was pointed out to the Committee of the St. Lawrence Community Association, that an area of woodland in the village had been fenced off and that it is no longer possible to cross it, as some villagers have been doing for many years.  We were asked to lend our support to an effort to have this pathway reopened and designated a legal Right of Way for all to use. We believe that keeping our footpaths and Rights of Way open is important to St. Lawrence and willingly offer our support. Below you will find an explanation of what is involved and how you can help. 




I am certain that many of us who are lucky enough to live in an area of outstanding natural beauty enjoy our fabulous country and sea views by walking the myriad of paths that run around St Lawrence.


The majority of paths are clearly delineated as public footpaths, bridleways or byways and we all have a legal right to use such footpaths. However, other footpaths that have been used for decades may not have been formally recorded as legal rights of way and if we are not vigilant they are easily lost, forever.


A case in point is a parcel of what was natural woodland that lies in between the old railway line footpath and bridleway V73 that runs from Inglewood Park up to the Whitwell Road. This walk is sometimes known as Paradise Walk.


I and others have walked paths that run through the centre of this land joining the bridleway and the public footpath for over twenty years. Walkers have now been prevented from using these paths by the erection of a fence and the bulldozing of the area.


We can reinstate our walks if we can substantiate that sufficient people have used these paths for twenty years, or more. If you are interested in saving our paths for future generations to enjoy please contact me at or telephone 855467.


15/1/2011 - Undercliff Drive Future - Final Decision


Picture taken April 2001 when Undecliff Drive was last closed.



Alan Councillor Edward Giles has informed the St Lawrence Homeowners Group that he has decided to adopt option C of the report which means that nothing will be done to prolong the life of the road, except rudimentary maintenance. He did suggest that we might like to pay for the test bore hole ourselves ( £5000 ) even though he stated that there was no money from the council to follow up any results!


Sandra Sheppard


8/1/2011 - Tony Papworth


It was with much sadness that family,friends and villagers made their farewells to Tony Papworth who died on Boxing Day 2010 at the Mountbatten Hospice. The Parish Church was filled with all who knew him at the service on January 4th. He was a lively member of the community, always on hand to help anyone, and was usually seen around walking the dogs of neighbours after his own beloved animals died. Tony loved life, people and cars and will be missed by everyone who knew him.Every sympathy is extended to Tony's wife Ann and their family.

Vera Scott Jackson



3/1/2011 - Community Association Variety Show Report


Click Here a full report on the recent variety show


2/1/2011 - Salt Bins


Both coucillors, Chris and Susan, have now got back to me on the subject of a few salt bins located around the village. Both have promised to take this up again as it was discussed last winter, hopefully something will be done this time.



1/1/11 - Happy New Year + New Weather Feature


Mrs Ed and I wish all our readers a Very Happy New Year - The Ed.


As of today, you can see virtually live weather data, Wind Speed/Direction, Temperature, Wind Chill, Cloud Base, Humidity, Rainfall etc, all measured in St Lawrence here;

This data is uploaded every 10mins, just use your refresh button, the wind speed and direction is updated every 48 seconds without the need of refreshing. I have added a new Weather Data page with regularly updated Highs and lows etc.