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Your Letters/Rants


Have your say here, email us your rant about "Global Warming" or the "Price of Fish" etc. and we will put it on the web - Try to keep it legal - we don't want to be sued!!!


Dear whom it applies. 

My name is Chloe Burke and I'm a second year student studying BA Contemporary Crafts, I live just above the botanical gardens on the edge of St Lawrence. I often walk through St Lawrence and visit the churches there. I'm currently studying sustainability in one of my modules at university. We had a talk on the restoration of churches and in particular stained glass. I instantly thought of the two churches in St Lawrence as case studies. 

I was wondering whether there was anyone I could speak to on the restoration of the churches? Or whether you had any literature on the restoration. I need to study in depth:

  • Manufacturing Process: a traditional technique adapted to the current condition (conservation and restoration), efficient ways of using less materials, labour and energy. 
  • Preservation of cultural heritages: national identity, traditional value and knowledge.
If there is anyone who might be able to fill it out but I'm also available to chat until the 25th February as I'm on work placement at Tregear Pottery in Niton I work with Pete Avery who lives in St Lawrence you may know him.

I would really appreciate any help you can offer, I'm going to visit the churches today with money this time to purchase some of the leaflets you have in the churches. 

Kind regards 
Chloe Burke

7 Steephill Court Road 
PO38 1UH

From: Josh Osborn  -  26/01/2016
Hello there,
thanks for all the interesting information on your website!

Do you happen to know if Richard Etherington still owns Orchard Campsite on the Undercliff Drive, just outside of Niton.

Many thanks,

Sorry I don't know, but I'm sure someone out there can help Josh - The Ed.

From: John Coe
Dear Sir/Madam
I am writing a biographical essay of the late Edward Daws, formerly of Wolverton Manor, St Lawrence and former Headmaster of Lindisfarne College [retired circa 1963]. The essay is for publication in my new and forthcoming book "Different Lives'.

As a former pupil of Mr Daws and as an 'overseas' boy who spent his holidays at St Lawrence with Mr & Mrs Daws [they were my guardians in the UK 1960-1965]I will be including much about St Lawrence in my book. Indeed, in my older years I used to sneak out of the Manor after light's out by climbing out of the 'dormitory' window, down a drain pipe and off to the St Lawrence Inn where I was on the darts team! Happy memories.

However, to the point, I am tracing biographical material about this wonderful man. For example, was he related to the Edward Daws MP [1806-1860]now buried in the family vault at St Helens? When did my Edward Daws die? Is there an obituary about him? Where is he buried and so forth and so on?

If you are aware of any such material I would be most grateful if you could point me in the right direction. I live in North Queensland, Australia so my researches are restricted to the internet. Any help you may be able to provide will, of course, be fully acknowleged.

With my kindest best wishes

Dr John J Coe  

From: Bob Reid
Phone: 01983 616 392
Hi everybody.

I have been doing a bit of research lately on "Bickie" Bickford Commander Royal navy who died in 1932. It was mentioned that a communication was sent to him from St Lawrence House, St Lawrence Isle of Wight.
On searching through the internet there appears to be no existence of an actual St. Lawrence House, unless I wish to buy a house in St Lawrence or wish to hire a house called St Lawrence House in Ventnor. (could this be the one and same).

Could you please advise if such a house still remains. The period in question for the moment is the 1930's to the 1940's.

Kindest regards Bob Reid. Ryde.

My first thought was St Lawrence Hall, which was where Admiral Jellicoe lived. - Ed

From: Vera Scott-Jackson

Three years ago I left St.Lawrence to live in Niton.I have been back a few times,visiting friends or church but not the village shop,until the other week.Now I must congratulate the new owners on the transformation of the premises,well-known to me after almost 30 years living in Undercliff Drive.From outside it all looks so inviting and inside doesn't disappoint with the range of goods for sale and local produce (including enticing home-made cakes.)I only met Pete but I wish him and his wife every success in their venture that can only benefit lovely St.Lawrence.

Vera Scott-Jackson

21/6/15 - Seven Sisters Road Origins
From: Chris Amy
Good evening Have you any idea of the origin of Seven Sisters Road. We are reading a book entitled Seven Years a Prisoner and wonder if it has any connection?
Thanking you in anticipation

21/1/15 - Woodcliffe??


From: Rupert Butcher
Dear Sir/Madam

I wondering if any of your readers/contributors could help me with some information regarding "Woodcliffe" now Woodcliffe self-catering apartments on Undercliff Drive. My great Aunt and Uncle (Mr and Mrs R Treadaway deceased) owned the property in the 70's, when I was a child, and were responsible for converting it into self-catering apartments. I can remember them showing my parents and I around the house shortly after they purchased it and particularly remember the servants quarters in the upper floors-which were quite spooky as they appeared not to of been touched since the servants left. After a while the house conversion was finished and I had some very happy memories of visiting and staying there. My great Aunt and Uncle retired to Ventnor at some point in the mid to late 80's

There was an apocryphal story within the family that this was the house of Lord Jellicoe, which thanks to your site and the information this lead me on to, was proved to be incorrect. Some family members have since suggested that maybe the house was built on part of the Jellicoe estate-which I also query, as I believe Woodcliffe would of been built at approximately the same time as St.Lawrence Hall. However, this has left me wondering what the history of Woodcliffe is and therefore would be grateful if anyone could shine some light on this?

Rupert Butcher



16/1/15 - Reynolds Family History


From: Andrew Maughan
Hello there,

Can anyone tell us more about a James Reynolds, who was born in 1774 in the Brightstone/Carisbrooke area, and died in 1863 in St. Lawrence)? James was living at 'Pelham Lodge' in 1861. He identified himself as a widowed gardener. I do not know his wife's name. In 1851 his daughter Maria, a school mistress was living with him at 'Gardiner's Cottage'.

His son George Reynolds (born 1818-died1867) left for New Zealand in 1861 with his wife Ann (maiden name unknown), and their children. He established a brick-making business with his son James in Christchurch, New Zealand.

George's eldest son James left a few weeks earlier than the rest of the family, on the same ship as the Joblin family, also from the area. Four of George and Ann Reynolds' children later married Joblin family members in New Zealand.

Any more information on the history of the Reynolds family, and the wives of James and George would be wonderful.

Many thanks,



31/10/14 - Admiral Jellicoe


From: Euan MacKintosh

My grandfather Evan MacKintosh was butler to Sir Charles Cazyer. He was present at the launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1907. Admiral Jellicoe, when my father was born in 1916, gave our family a signed photograph ,letter and a present of a shawl. I visited the site of St Lawrence Hall in 1966 with my parents. Part of the ornamental patio could still be seen despite the undergrowth. A return visit to St Lawrence will be made next year.
I did not join the navy myself but became a railwayman. In 1976, when I first started at Insch Station near Aberdeen, I intercepted a parcel for Shanklin. The sending clerk in London thought the IOW was one of the Western Scottish Isles!


Parts of the Garden architecture are still visible, mainly in peoples gardens - The Ed.



1/6/14 - Have You Lost a Black and White Cat


From: Liz Hawkins
Phone: 857015

Has anyone lost a hairy black and white cat ? He/ she has been coming in to help itself to our cats'' food. It is either very hungry or very greedy !
We seem to be fast becoming Stray Cat Central.





From: Peter Longworth
Phone: 01204 704143
I am currently carrying out research into the work of the Arts and Crafts architect Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott. Baillie Scott undertook some work on the Isle of Wight including the school at Bembridge. However, he also carried out some work in St Lawrence for the builder Leo Garvin. One of the cottages was shown in The Builder on the 20th September 1935. I also have a leaflet advertising the cottages.

I should be grateful if you could let me know whether you have any information about the cottages, including whether they are still in existence, the correct postal addresses and if there are any photos of them that can be accessed.

Many thanks,

Peter Longworth





31/5/13 - SCAPENS Circa 1930??

From: Ian Parsons

Had a couple of looks in the area with my uncle aged 86. We were looking for the house where his grandfather (my G Grandfather) lived around 1930. We believe the address was 3 Underclife Cottages.

He remembers there was a bus stop nearby and it was a short distance from a lighthouse (but not St Catherines he decided today when he saw it)! The surname is quite unusual SCAPENS, there is still one relative of that name on the IoW today, a cousin. There were several back in the 1960s with businesses in and around Ventnor.

Any assistance you can provide will be gratefully received and passed on. It will also put some more leaves on the family tree.


Hopefully someone will be able to help Ian piece together his family history - The Ed.


From: Liz Hawkins

Beware Dogwalkers !
The other day my husband took our dogs for a walk up at the top behind Seven Sisters road.
Suddenly the bird scarer went off and Portia took a unilateral decision to head... at speed.. down the Shute in the direction of home. Luckily there was no traffic on the Shute.
This is not a criticism of farmers. They are having a hard time and need all the help they can get.(Although this scarer knocks the spots off the ones I am used to !)
But dog walkers beware. It can catch you unawares. We were lucky.





26/11/12 - Ventnor Business Association Needs You! 


From: Ann Hutchins
Phone: 01983 852543
Hello I am contacting you via my role as the Ventnor Business Association Secretary.
The VBA have applied for funding, which has been agreed in principle, by the IOW Council. Our intention is to introduce historic trails in and around the Ventnor area.
If someone from your association could contact me I would appreciated their time to discuss this further.
My telephone number is above and I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you
Ann Hutchins (VBA Secretary)


23/11/12 - Coastal Defences


From: Chris Blunkell

My name is Chris Blunkell, and I'm doing research into how coastal communities respond to Shoreline Management Plan proposals that leave homeowners undefended in either the short, medium or longer term. I see that this has been an issue in your area, and wonder whether somebody might be able to talk to me about it? I would, of course, be happy to explain in more detail what I am doing and why.

With best wishes, and thanks in advance for any help you are able to give me.

Chris Blunkell
07941 831341




16/11/12 - Have you lost a Tabby Cat?


From: Liz Hawkins


We have a cold wet, hungry tabby cat in Seven Sisters Road (East)
Have you lost a cat ?
Does he have a home but is conning us into feeding him/her ?
We have dogs so Louise next door is feeding him at the moment.
Failing all else would anyone like to give him a home and a warm bed ?




11/11/12 - Need Some International Cash?? 


From: Philip Hawkins

Going abroad? Want to take some small change?

USA, HK, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic.

No good to me any more!



7/10/12 - Brannigans?

Hello, I found your web site and thought you might be able to help me. My Dad is really ill and all he keeps on talking about is a place he used to go to as a small child in St Lawrance. It was a club for children called Brannigans? They used to take him out on trip or he would just go there for time away I think. I have tried to research this or to find out where it is so that he can go to the area one last time. Do you know anything about this? It would have been about 1927.

Thank you Teressa

I have suggested it could have been Rhadagunds, which started in 1934, but does anyone know anything else? - The Ed.

Teressa Replies;

Thank you so much, after speaking to my Mum I think this is the right place. However any more information would be brilliant.

7/8/12 - Mirables?


I am trying to find out if one can look round the lovely victorian villa called Mirabelles.
I was born on the island & my family has always lived at Quarr.
  However I am now on the mainland & all relations now deceased. I have always yearned to see Mirabelles as I have the Brannon engraving of the villa in it's heyday.
Actually looking at the engraving I see it is spelt Mirables.Can anyone help?
I am coming across to the island later this year to pay my respects to Mum & Dad & would so love to see the villa.It may of course have been pulled down as I know there is a lot of subsidence there.
Will await a reply & keep my fingers crossed.
   Chris Southey
I hope someone can help Chris - The Ed.





18/7/12 - Undercliff Drive Memorial?


From: Amanda Selfe
Please can you help me, I passed in my car on the undercliff road and saw a kina tombstone or memorial stone with white fencing around it, just past the traffic lights on the right side of the road towards Niton.
I would love to find out the history and details of what it is, have you any idea?

Thank You

Amanda Selfe


I'm sure we've been asked this before, I can't remember the answer, can anyone help Amanda. I have found the following picture on Google Street View, but the photographer is also asking the same question. Use the Contact Us form to reply - The Ed.



Update 29/7/12 - Mystery Solved - Many thanks to Doug and Janet at the Post Office for supplying the following from the Village Chatter when the same question was asked several years ago;


Francis Gray Bacon


Have you ever wondered, as you travel between St. Lawrence and Niton, what’s the purpose of the railings n the bank by the bus stop near Cripple Path? They protect a simple memorial stone to an extremely talented young man whose life was tragically cut short by an accident.

Francis Gray Bacon was born in New York, on the 3rd of May, 1879 and in the latter part of 1882 the family sailed for England settled on the Isle of Wight at Ventnor. Frank was a bright boy with deep gray eyes that twinkled with merriment matched by a sunny smile. Everyone loved him, he was a quiet studious boy always ready for a romp or a game having outgrown his early delicate nature.

As he grew older he enjoyed himself in the way boy most loved in those times - fishing from the pier, playing tennis, cricket and horse riding. He  loved books  which were his valued companions; he loved them and all they told him. He had a marvellous memory, and an  inquiring mind. At the early age of five he began writing his first book on history, and four years later this favourite study found him immersed in Green’s “History of the English People”. He studied Latin and Greek and was reading Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott.

As time went on his studies included Botany and Geology, which he embraced with  rare enthusiasm. His greatest hobby however was military science and all the great wars in past history were events of fascination .

Frank was in the habit of keeping a diary and his remarks show an unexpected depth of thought, and clearness of observation. His entry for the 1st February, 1892 shows great excitement over the wreck of the S.S.Eider. Frank was a voracious reader, with a diverse range of books.

 A capital horseman, he was a familiar sight on his iron-grey pony, Prince. In his Diary he made a note that during the year, 1891, he rode 111times; and the final entry on the 23rd February, 1892; relates how he and his father were out that day. This was only two days before he took his last ride, the ride from which he was brought home, not dead, but yet dead to all around him, that beautiful Thursday morning! What happened, who can tell? But, as Frank and his father were quietly riding homewards down a slight hill, the pony stumbled on a loose stone, perhaps, and his young rider was thrown violently to the ground. He was unconscious when his father reached him and lifted him on to the grassy bank at the side of the road, a spot that is now marked by a block of Portland stone, bearing Frank’s initials and the date of the terrible occurrence. Two days after the accident he was laid to rest in the cemetery at Ventnor on the 2nd of March.








27/5/12 - Dolphin??


Bit of a long shot but did anyone happen to see some sort of creature breaching yesterday early evening?  We were sitting on the terrace and saw something like a porpoise come out of the water - white belly, darker sides - couple of times. This was glass of wine time, but not more!
There have been a few gannets around too so perhaps there is good fishing at the moment.


10/5/12 - Help needed from any St lawrence historians out there.


I'm hoping you can put me in touch with someone who is knowledgeable
about the history of St Lawrence.

I am writing up the life of Charles Levingston who was a Curate at
Crambe near York and later came to St Lawrence. I believe he and his
wife are buried there.

Is there anyone who could look into this for me?

I am also interested in his friend William Pearson (1822-1907) who
reportedly "each year he visit(ed) to tend and deck with flower his
grave" - have you any idea where WP would have stayed in St Lawrence
around the 1890s?

Thanks for any help you can provide




If anyone can help John, please send me the details and I will forward it on. - The Ed.






10/5/12 - Message from Ex Pat in Mombasa


From: Mr Kerry Yeomans
As a former long time resident of st Lawrence, now living in Mombasa ,I would just like to say how much i have enjoyed looking at the new sight ,it brings back many happy memories.

My best regards



17/4/12 - A Big Thankyou



From: Christine Russell

Thank-you to everyone who supported the coffee morning held at Whitwell Village Hall last Saturday. The event was a lovely memorial to a lovely lady and raised well over £500 which will be donated to OVACOME - the Ovarian Cancer Support Network.



2/4/12 - Letter from the Colonies

From: sandra couture
Dear st. laurence , about 20 yrs ago if not more, your corn oil had a recipe for carrot nut cake, that was very excellent. I have since lost that recipe and trying to find it on your web site with not success. Would it be possibe for you to sent me a copy? I would greatly appreciate it.
thanyou so much, in advance.
s couture



Can anyone help Sandra with her Cake quest, we are always ready to help when there's cake involved. Apparently there was a St Lawrence Starch Co. in Ontario, Canada who did a recipe book on using their Corn Oil, but they no longer exist.  - The Ed







24/3/12 - St Lawrence Garden Magazine Feature


From: Christine Russell

A lovely St Lawrence Garden is featured in the April 2012 edition of 'Kitchen Garden'. It belongs to Hazel and Richard Russell who will be too modest to mention this themselves. I hope they won't mind my doing so. The photographs do justice to a beautiful and productive garden.



 2/2/12 - Refuse Collection Changes


Dear Ed.
Thanks for lovely clear instructions re refuse collection on the St L  website.
All the best,





11/7/11 - Re; Lifeboat Photo on News page.


From: Christine Russell
Hi Ed,
What a super picture of the lifeboat assisting the stricken yacht. Did you take it? From the Sugarloaf? And was it the Bembridge boat? Brave guys. It was a rough and choppy sea.



Yes, I did take the picture - Thanks. The yacht was off Woody Bay, I however, was hanging out of a bedroom window about a mile away. Not sure if it was the Bembridge Lifeboat, but it came from that direction a some rate of Knots. - The Ed










From: Graham




I regularly check on you 'Green Page' to see how the solar installation is working, it appears to be a good investment. I am having a system installed tommorrow and was wondering how you linked your real time output to the pvoutput web page.
Your St Lawrence web site is a credit to such a small community . It appears to cover a range of topics useful to both locals and tourists.
Well done !


Its not too difficult to get your live generation data on, but consumption data is a bit more difficult and you will need to get your installer to route a couple of cables together so you can put Clamp round them. I will email more specific details. The Ed




From: Ann Clary
Phone: 01306 627 266

I am bringing a walking group to walk from Woodt bay to Steephill cove and would to know where to get off the number 6 bus and diretions along the coast path

Many thanks
Ann Clary



I'd Get off the bus at the Botanic Gardens  - Any other suggestions from actual bus users - The Ed.



25/3/11 - Thankyou


From: Denise Bowes
Friday March 25th 2011. Back home in Pulborough having spent four wonderful sunny days in Yarmouth harbour. YESTERDAY - it sems an age ago, we bussed to Ventnor, walked to the Botanic Gardens and Steephill Cove, then headed inland and hit upon PARADISE WALK (V73?)up and absolutely under the gault cliffs and to the Nature Reserve - full of violets and primroses. That 'walk'/'climb' was stunning - and not for the faint-hearted. So much work has been done to make it not quite impassable - it seems such a shame if it were to be consigned to the graveyard. I cannot give enough praise - I am 68 and my companion 79 and we are veterans of Madiera walks along the levadas so heights didn't bother us TOO much - but thank you for keeping it open , it was very much appreciated. Can we help in any way? Thank you Denise Bowes PS We bottled out at Niton and caught the 'once every two hours' bus (No 6) which didn't let us down. Wn't forget that for a very long time.





13/3/11 - Edward Daws 


From: keith hopton

I will this summer visit I.O.W> on holiday and would like to find my old headmasters home and if poss visit his grave. His name was Edward Daws and I belive he lived at Wolverton Manor, St Lawrence. He was also a Lay preacher and would have been involved with the local church, Could any one help me please?


Many thanks Keith Hopton....




8/3/11 - Brading Roman Villa


We had one of the monthly meetings of Vectis Searchers Metal Det. Club last night and two ladies from the friends of the Brading Villa came to give an excellent interactive talk and demonstration on Roman artefacts – some authentic, some reproduced.   It was very entertaining and enlightening.   They are available to do the same thing for any group - daytime, evening or weekends.   I think they charge around £25 but it’s well worth it.   It’s a way of fund raising for the Villa.    If you think it’s an item of news for the website the contact is Ann Evans on 741353.

Joan R.


27/2/2011 - Green Page Review


Just a quick mail to acknowledge and thank you for an excellent overview of your solar pv install. Close now to confirming my own similar install (16 Sharp mono 245's and sma 400tl) and your excellent review has just about sealed the deal. The Sharp panels and SMA 4000tl both looked to me like an ideal combo and your figures so far appear to be backing this up.
Well done, and again many thanks.
Glad you found it useful - The Ed.



27/2/2011 - Dog Friendly Holiday Accomodation Wanted


From: linda heald
Phone: 01243 787234
we are looking for superior accommodation either caravan in lovely surroundings or cottage for ourselves and our whippet lurcher in the St Lawrence area as near to the sea as possible out of school holiday times. would appreciate any help you can give us. Thank you.




I’ve recently learned that Farmhouse Fayre in Newport do a delivery service of fruit and vegetables to St. Lawrence!   I’ve tried it out for the last 2 weeks and it really is excellent.
There is an orderline answering machine (526831) to call to leave your order (plus name & address & phone number).  Payment is on delivery or can be left in a pre-arranged place (Farmhouse Fayre call you and tell you how much the order is going to cost).  All very simple and straightforward and excellent value for 50p per delivery.   A couple of neighbours can have one delivery made to one house and share the cost of the delivery!


Elizabeth Fox




From: Graham Tizzard
I visited St lawrence this year on a walking holiday and was really impressed with your area of the IOW. I particularly enjoyed visiting the botanic gardens and reading about its history. Another interest of mine is generating ones own energy so i was interested by your green page featuring the new solar pv installation locally.
Have you any plans of writing a follow up article ?


Yes, I wiil keep it regularly updated, just scroll down to the bottom of the page for the latest updates. - The Ed.




16/10/10 - Help


Many years ago I lived in the Well House Niton and my first child was born there. I would like to know the history of this house which stands alone in the middle of the road.

Many thanks.

Eileen Banks.

If you can be any help to Eileen, please use the Contact Us form and I will forward the deails on. The Ed.



13/4/10 - Colin the Milk and Colin the Post


How we miss them both. I'm sure everyone is sending Best Wishes for their speedy return to health and fitness.
Liz Hawkins


Yes, we second that here at Website HQ - The Ed. 


17/3/10 - Help Wanted


From: Caroline Dudley

Hi Several of us in Freshwater would be very pleased for advice on how you went about creating and getting plants, seats, etc. for the Peace Garden. We visited the garden a few weeks ago and thought that it was fantastic. We belong to the Freshwater Village Association and are setting up a wildlife section. Among our plans is the setting up of a wildlife/community garden where people can go and sit quietly to enjoy the wildlife. Freshwater Parish Council has asked us to present some proposals at the Parks and Open Spaces meeting in April and we want to produce some realistic proposals. The garden will need to be low maintenance. Any advice will be much appreciated.


Many thanks.


Caroline Dudley



14/3/10 - London Marathon Sponsorship


I live in Hunts road in st lawrence and I am running the London Marathon in April. I am running in support of Help for Heroes  and was wondering if you would be able to put something on the St Lawrence website to inform people of this, I have put my website details containing updates on training and also if anyone would like to sponser or donate to my cause.  My new website is;
Kelly Lynch





3/3/10 - Accomodation Required


I am planning a coastal walk around the Isle of Wight in May.  I have looked at many websites to help me organise accommodation.
I have found campsites in all the areas I researched (as I plan to do the walk in 5 days with my dog and a small tent) except for the area around St Lawrence.  I found your e mail address on your website so I hope you dont mind me asking.
Do you know of any campsites close to the coastal footpath?  There is one marked on the OS map called The Orchard at Niton but there is no website and even the tourist info folk hadnt heard of it - do you know if it has changed its name?
Or failing that, do you know of a dog friendly b&b in your area?
Thank you for any help you can give me.
Best wishes
Naomi Whittaker
I have suggested Lisle Coombe, but does anyone else have any suggestions for Friday May 21st. Email me and I will forward on any suggestions - The Ed.

3/12/09 - London Marathon Sponsorship


I live in Hunts road in st lawrence and I am running the London Marathon in April. I am running in support of Help for Heroes  and was wondering if you would be able to put something on the St Lawrence website to inform people of this, I have put my website details containing updates on training and also if anyone would like to sponser or donate to my cause.  My website is;
Kelly Lynch



27/10/09 - St. Lawrence Hall Enquiry


I am not sure if you will be able to help. I have seen your website on St Lawrence, and you may either know the answer to this query or know someone else who does. I am researching the life of Admiral John Jellicoe, who commanded the British Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. During the 1930s he lived at St Lawrence Hall in St Lawrence. What I am trying to find out (and I live 300 miles away so cannot easily check on the spot) is whether St Lawrence Hall still exists, and if so whether it is still a private house or perhaps converted in some way. Also, whether or not it still exists, a more accurate idea of where it is/was in St Lawrence, since the address on his letters did not specify a road.
Thank you
Stephen Bishop



I have given Stephen some basic information about St. Lawrence Hall, but if anyone has any more detailed information or old photos - get the details to me and I will forward them on. - The Ed



16/10/09 - Diabetes Shop in Ventnor


The Diabetes Shop in Ventnor needs candles, any kind would be very welcome , they can be dropped in to the shop.


11/8/09 - Garden Open Day


Garden Open Day at The Shute, Seven Sisters Road.


We’d got rid of most of the weeds, most of the flowers opened and what luck! The sun shone. Around 200 people visited our garden on Sunday 9th August and we raised £673 for the National Gardens Scheme and £150 for the Village Hall. Our thanks to the family and friends who helped on the day, to the cake bakers who contributed delicious goodies and to all the people who came to see the garden.


A number of visitors asked us what we were raising money for. The NGS is a charitable organization which distributes the money it raises to other charities such as Macmillan cancer support, Marie Curie cancer care, and the National Trust.


Chris and Christine



4/8/09 - Fishers Debate


Following on from a conversation with Steve and Dee Jaggers of Pelham House, I can now put an end to the debate on why Fishers was so named.  Steve knows the original developer of Fishers, Clive Drew, who nows lives on the mainland. He says that Fishers was named after Mr Payne a Ventnor councillor who did good work for the local community and was nicknamed "Fisher". Unfortunately after the name was put forward to the authorities it was discovered that his real nickname was Skipper, but it was too late to change.


Thanks to all those who have contributed to this debate, it seems we were all quite close to the truth and the man in question, Mr Payne beit Fisher or Skipper, has been recognised for his community work. The Ed.



28/7/09 - Help


I have been given a copy of a large scale map of the Island which seems to be quite old. The original map was presented to the then Governor of the Island, the Right Honourable Thomas Orde Powlett and made by John Albin.
There is no date on the map which I would love to know. Can anyone tell me when this gentleman was Governor?
  Vera Scott-Jackson.


He was the Island's Governor from 1791 to 1807 as far as I remember. - The Ed [ I looked him up on Wikipedia - see,_1st_Baron_Bolton ]




I recently went on a tour of south coast of England and the Isle of Wight to see churchyards etc that were connected to my family tree research.
I knew that my great great grandmother (Mary Burke) died on the I.O.W in 1910 aged 103. I had absolutely no idea where she was buried but I knew that in 1901 she was living at Bank End Farm, St Lawrence an address she shared with her daughter and son in law Maria and William Truslove.
On her death certificate in 1910 it states her address as The Lodge, St Lawrence.
All I had were 2 old photographs that had been handed down through family over the years. One was of Mary aged 103 and the other was of her headstone.
On arrival at I.O.W I telephoned the records office in Newport and although they do not normally handle telephone enquiries I was lucky enough to speak to someone who went out of their way to help and told me that? Mary was in the churchyard at St Lawrence.
On the following day (11.06.09) my partner and I drove down to St Lawrence to look for the church.
As we went along the road we accidentally came along a sign for Old Bank End Farm so we went down the little side road to take a look.
The people at the cottage there directed us down the road to St Lawrence Church.
As we got to the churchyard I had a walk around and was disappointed not to find Mary's headstone. It was at this time that someone pointed me in the direction of the old church.
When I got to the old church I was lucky enough to meet the vicar just as she was leaving. I showed her the photographs and she pointed straight to the part of the graveyard I wanted to see.Not only did I find the grave of Mary but I also found the grave of Dulcibella Truslove the first wife of William Truslove.
Everybody had been so helpful and I would like to thank all the people of the I.O.W who helped me in what could have easily been a fruitless search.
As a matter of interest I have attached copies of the old photos that I had and a photo I took while I was at the grave.

Mary Burke

Is it possible to go on the mailing list for the newsletter?


Gerry Burke


Thanks for the very nice letter, its good to hear that the people of St. Lawrence were of such help, I'll forward your details to Doug at the Village Shop who publishes "The Village Chatter" - The Ed.






Folowing on from the letter of 6th June I have also recently taken a stroll through Paradise Walk and was met by red/white tape where a clearing operation is underway. The tape, together with the clearing activities, prevented me walking a path I have travelled over for some 20 years. Have we not established some rights of way through this area and can the new owner block these paths ?

  Has anyone been in touch with the Council Rights of Way Officers to check this out ?





Earlier in the week of this lovely sunny weather I felt the dog and myself needed a walk in the shade. I decided to make my way to the end of Inglewood Park and go via the footpath past the old railway bridge to Steephill Court Road. Just before I went up the footpath steps I noticed that the footpath signpost had been knocked down, presumably hit by the tracked vehicle that had travelled up the path towards the Whitwell Road.

 Once on the path that had lots of cut trees along it the dog did one of its usual tricks and ran off up a bank that had been formed by a machine that had ripped up a large tree and excavated an area of rock. As the dog did not return, when called, I had to climb over this rough excavated area only to find, to my surprise, a very large area had been cleared of trees which had been burnt on a very large bonfire. The area had been marked off with red and white tape. I wondered how the red squirrels, nesting birds, badgers etc. had coped when this bonfire was burning and how the people living in the nearby houses had managed with the smoke. How long had this bonfire in the middle of this woodland  burnt for considering its large size ?

 Walking back home we meet someone and once the dogs had said hello to each other explained how shocked I was at what I had seen. This person pointed out that the wood had come up for sale several years ago and it was rumoured that the owner was forming a consortium to commercially breed pigs in the wood. It was understood the owner had a license to fell trees and intended to sell the timber. They speculated that perhaps the pig breeding was the first stage in changing the use of the land with the final stage being an application to develop the area.

 There must be something that can be done about the destruction of this lovely piece of woodland that contains two well used public footpaths and suggest that people walk along the path to see for themselves the state it is in.

 As the Undercliff Society has been wound up at its AGM please use this forum to discuss what can be done to protect this and other local woodland areas.


An Islander`s View ! 



3/6/09 - Rants?


The Community Association discussed the connotations of the word 'rant' on this page of the website and we thought perhaps it attracted a certain amount of negativity in as much as it implied that people in St. Lawrence had things to get cross about.  Could we think of a more positive word or words?   One member suggested 'Village Views".  However, as the newspapers often illustrate, 'bad' news sells - so perhaps we should leave things as they are.  

What do you think?



I personally don't think that anybody would think they have a "Your Letters/Rants" page and worry that the locals are bad tempered, especially if they have a look through the page and find mostly letters from people asking for help on various topics. The page in question is the 4th most popular page looked at, I do think people look at the page because of its lighthearted name, I would say its a "Read Me" headline rather than "bad" news sells. On the other hand the name may put some people off form sending in a item fear of being lumped with the alleged Ranters. - The Ed.





We have been regular visitors to South Wight since our honeymoon in 1971.
My family would like to thank the Undercliff Society for their invaluable work in preserving the outstanding natural beauty of the area which we have so enjoyed and hope there is some way their protection will be able to continue. 
I would like to arrange to buy the Village Booklet and Village Chatter.
Many thanks


Maria Fox

Details forwarded to Duggletons - The Ed.




Can you tell me, is mr and mrs judd still at the b&b on the main road ? just along from the pub and what was the name of the pub ? i have not been to the island for 32 years and would like to come back some time, and re live my past.







Can anyone enlighten me on the present state of Mirables? I have been facinated with this house since a small child only ever catching a glimpse through the trees from the main road. Fay Brown sent me some lovely pictures and history some years ago and I have the Dennis Potter dvd of Blade on The Feather which was made there. Can the back of the house be seen without tresspassing and how is it reached?






 I am thoroughly looking forward to a weeks holiday in your part of the world, early July this year. Can't wait! We are bringing our "Jenny" (collie/spaniel cross) with us and she would like to know are there any places that she can/ cannot go. She loves to walk and swim. She would also like to know how far the local shops are from St Lawrence.

  Thanks for your help,



If anyone can help, please reply through the Contact Us page and I will forward it on.  The Ed.






Hi there, As a Portsmouth resident but frequent island goer I must comment and say how interesting your website is. I love all aspects of the undercliff and have been enchanted by it since being a young child. I am an avid book and postcard collector of the island and my main area for cards is the undercliff, also blackgang and through to Chale.


  My question is? is it possible to recieve newsletters? I would also like to purchase a village booklet but as I do not drive it is quite a feat for me to get to 'duggletons' any ideas??


  Best wishes to all in the village you have a very special place, best wishes Marcia

Thanks for you comments Marcia, if anyone can help her please contact  The Ed.






Liz Hawkins from Maple Cottage has sent in this letter of thanks


Thank you to everyone for their help in find our wayward cat Saffy.


She was holed up in a garden in Twinings with a very sore leg which turns out to be a torn cruciate ligament. Many thanks.


Poor Saffy!  Really pleased you found her though, Liz - I always thought it was only overpaid footballers who suffered with torn cruciate ligaments!!! - The Ed



Since last night's repeat of the late night firework display, we are being inundated with e-mails of complaint


Who on earth thought midnight was a good time to have a firework display ? They woke us up and our dogs who don't like fireworks were quivering.Then on Sunday there was a repeat performance at 11.30pm !


From LH


Please could the people who let off fireworks at midnight on Saturday and 11.30pm on Sunday please show a bit more consideration for others.


From JG


2/11/08 - Don't Mean To Be A Killjoy But......


Whilst I'm all for people enjoying themselves and I do love a good firework display myself, letting off fireworks at past midnight - what's that all about???  Please people have a bit more courtesy for your fellow villagers - or if you really have to do it so late then at least let people know you are going to do so.


Mrs X. from St. Lawrence


Yes, it even woke me from my slumber last night - not an easy feat!!!  The Ed



13/10/08 - Hunts Road Poo Rant!!


I am sorry to have to rant. Why on my frontage twice in six days? I can put up with foxes ,badgers and cats but not huge piles from a large dog. Any suggestions? I nearly trod in it whilst leaf sweeping. I have left a bag tied to our hedge with a polite message to use the bag. If I put a notice up I do not think the dog will read this or my rant. Sorry to be so graphic. I wonder if this happens to other Hunt's Road residents? Polite suggestions please.
Yours sincerely,
Hazel Trevan the Hunts Road Dog Shit Shoveller
(Also animal lover and dog walker)


Can she say Shit on this website? - The Ed.



4/9/08 - The Fishers Debate Continues


From: Fay Brown


  My attention has just been drawn to the Fishers query a little while ago. On the Web Site there is an error in the date I supplied for the building of Inglewood. I recalled that it was built in 1886 (not 1866) - I would not forget the date as I had seen it so many times at the top of the St. Lawrence Hall building when I lived at The Cottage in the War.
  Doug's suggestion was an interesting one. Albert Payne lived at Rocklea, St. Lawrence and had a distinguished record of public service representing St. Lawrence on the Council. He was proud that he was Chairman at the time of the Queen's visit in 1965. He was a school friend of Uffa Fox and frequently went sailing, and was Commodore of the Ventnor Sailing Club. A talented musician, he belonged to many local Societies - and was particularly well-known in the Ventucky Minstrels which he helped form in 1949. In his obituary it records that his last donation to the town was a horse trough dating from the turn of the 20th century. It was put as an object of interest in what was then called Steephill Pleasure Gardens (now Botanic Gardens). His daughter, Mrs. Doris Ross, who died in 1990, also gave dedicated service to Ventnor as a Town and County Councillor, and to many local organisations. It was whilst I was reading her obituary that I found the comment that her brother, before he went to Australia, used to farm the land in the vicinity of Twinings Road and Fishers before it was built upon - so it could well have belonged to Albert Payne and adds to Doug's theory. But the "Fishers" bit may be still debatable. We shall probably never know!!


Thanks Fay, I am sure we are getting to the bottom of the Fishers mystery. Out of interest our info that "Fisher" Payne, a hairdresser, owned the land came from John Stotesbury of Niton. We have confirmed from our deeds that the land was indeed bought by a Mr. Payne from the Railway co. - The Ed.




Re Fishers


The answer to the query about the name for Fishers is really quite trivial. Councillor Payne who purchased the land from the Railway Company was a keen fisherman hence the name as simple as that. Presumably it was considered a hilarious joke at the time.


Doug Nettleton - Duggletons


Thanks Doug - You are the font af all knowlegde. The Ed.





Dear Ed,

A while back you asked if anyone knows why 'Fishers' is so called. We hadn't a clue but wrote to Fay Brown, archivist extraordinaire of the Ventnor Local History Society, to see if she could enlighten us.

Fay delved into her extensive files and discovered that the road was named Fishers in October 1972 but no reason was given.
She wondered if there was a connection with Capt. Fisher, R.N. who had 'Inglewood' built in about 1866. The house, which later became St. Lawrence Hall, had extensive grounds.
Her second suggestion was that it may have been named after a Mr. Fisher who owned Fishers Hotel, later renamed the Royal Hotel. The road behind it, now known as Zigzag Road, was known as Fishers Road in the 1840s - 1850s.

Fay has the most amazing collection of archive material and is very helpful to anyone researching local history.  Our thanks to her.

Over to you

Christine and Chris


Thanks for that information, we had heard that someone called Fisher Payne, a hairdresser from Ventnor, bought the land from Southern Railways in the 60's - can anyone confirm any of these theories? - The Ed.





 We have a request from Theresa Noble for any small /medium gift bags for a charitable event , Tel. 854760 or email or drop of in St Lawrence cottage , Spindlers road , Thank You




As secretary to the St. Lawrence Community Association, may I say how pleased we are that the ‘concerned villager’ likes to participate in the beach cleans.
These were an initiative begun by the committee and as he /she will know, have, to date, been very well supported. It was unfortunate that this time a number of regular litter pickers were for various reasons unable to attend. That’s life. We expect most of the regulars to be back again next year, getting stuck into the cleaning and enjoying the BBQ.
If there is a drop off, then the committee will attempt to encourage participation, pointing out that village togetherness not merely good works is the objective. However, the committee do not see it as our business to berate villagers who choose not to get involved in activities we promote.

I’m sorry the ‘concerned villager’ thinks it ‘very poor’ that only three committee members were present but he/she will surely be aware that usually most of the committee are there, rubber gloves on, working hard. Unforeseen diary clashes happened this year. May I also point out that two of our members give their time, energy, brain power and enthusiasm but are not physically able to walk on the beach. This implied slight to their service to the community is unwarranted.

The scathing reference to the non attendance of the ‘chairwoman’ was also inaccurate, and unkind. Had the ‘concerned villager’ attended this year’s A.G.M. he/she would be aware that Susan, our hardworking chairperson, resigned in April. Peter who is now acting chairperson, devotes a great deal of his time to charity work, has attended every other beach clean, but was unable to be present this time.

May I reassure anyone considering more active involvement in the Community Association that being a member of the committee is not a ball and chain. You are not obliged to attend every one of the many events we organize. We work together in a spirit of good will and harmony, each giving to the village what we are best able to contribute. I can think of nothing more likely to put community spirited folks off joining the committee than being publicly pilloried by an anonymous writer.

The current committee are proud of what we have achieved so far, keen to encourage even greater community spirit and certainly not averse to critical comment. However, a valid rant is one thing; an inaccurate, anonymous whinge is quite another. Such a pity.

Christine Russell.




We like to participate in the beach cleans as we like to support the village as we use both beaches - Woody Bay & Binnel Bay - for leisure.  I was very disappointed with the turn out, as I know a lot of the community also use the Beaches for leisure and dog walking. 6 people turned up, only 3 from the committee turned up, very poor, yet again no chairwomen.  I know 1 person was ill, I hope she's feeling better. I think this is a valid rant.

Thanks - a concerned villager

I for one consider myself chastised, I promise to try and make the next one - The Ed.



Dear Alan

Congratulations on a superb village website, you have done us proud.

I mentioned it recently during the course of a regular exchange of correspondence with an ex-neighbour of mine in Uxbridge, which prompted her to call it up and, in her latest letter, said how impressed she was with the content and the delightful way it showed off St Lawrence.  Well done!

Harry Kyle

Thanks, Nice to get some feedback - The Ed.



A resident of Inglewood Park has sent in the following letter regarding a planning application. - Lets hear your views - The Ed.


I would like to urge all residents of St Lawrence and the Undercliff to look at the design of a house on the following planning application:

It is for a replacement dwelling at 9, Inglewood Park. It is an ultra-modern design that doesn't fit in with the area at all. We are lucky enough to live in an area of outstanding narural beauty and this building will be an eyesore. If this design gets the go ahead it could have serious implications for the rest of the area, any part of the Undercliff could be spoilt by having a modern building erected. Once one is allowed to get through it could spawn others. The Undercliff is special - lets keep it that way. I am not being a "not in my back yard" protester, I don't have a problem with a conventionally designed and built bungalow erected on the site which is in keeping with the rest of Inglewood Park.




Does anyone know why the road Fishers is so called, we have been told that it is named after Fisher Payne, but we have not been able to find out much more? - The Ed.

The Railway Track where Fishers is Now



I would like to thank all the garden owners who participated in the 'Gallop Round the Gardens' today. My daughter and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon visiting the beautiful St Lawrence gardens and came away with loads of ideas to scale down for our own small garden. - Angie - Upper Ventnor


Thanks for adding our site to your links on your site - The Ed.


Thanks to all those who opened their gardens this afternoon and for the scrumptious tea and cakes. We had a lovely gallop! - Pauline Steps






A genuine rant at last - The Ed.

What’s all the fuss about?

The popular theory that we are in danger of causing catastrophic climate overheating due to increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting from burning fossil fuels emerged in the 1970s,hard on the heels of the opposite fear of an imminent Ice Age!
Both fears were responses to observations of small short-term temperature fluctuations-one up and the other down.
The history of these small ‘climate changes’ over the course of the last century is simple enough and not in dispute. From 1900 to 1940 rising, and 1945-1975, falling. 1975 to 1998 (the peak year) rising again. Total net increase in 100 years just 0.65 degrees C.
Not even a mouse should panic at such a tiny change in a favourable direction! Why then should we?
Since this is a genuine consensus agreeing the small extent of present ‘climate change’, there are no climate change ‘deniers’ and no division between good guy ‘Greens’ and bad guys in the pay of the wicked oil companies .
The true distinction is between those who favour the unproven theory that temperatures will rise exponentially in proportion to increases in future atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and the many reasonable people who think that the last century’s modest and erratic temperature increase is merely part of the rebound from the very low levels of the ‘Little Ice Age’, which hopefully may result in a rise of around 2.0 degrees, a wholly beneficial outcome, in line with many past climate adjustments, which we know occurred without the burning of fossil fuels.

Julian Pears




Our first email from a squirrel - The Ed


Dear Alan,

I love your website! Thanks for including the article about me and for the useful site. Hopefully we can find the help that we need locally now.

Love Cyrelle. ###




In reply to Mrs T....


Us Mature B Boyz Don't make a lotta noise

But what we say is true An' where credit's due,

We like to give it So we rote the rap innit.

An' though we never set out to play no games

the rappin' style gives a clue to our names,

Cos though St. Lawrence is home sweet home

One of us hails from the London zone,

London South to be precise

Where the rappin's cool and the jerk chicken nice.

But if that don't seem like no clue at all,

Here comes another. We ain't never called small!




Mrs T joins in - The Ed


Many thanx to you B Boyz, You sure know how
to get a sweat upon my brow.

In our garden I was bent and now indoors I've been sent
to solve the mystery of who you are?

Thanks for rating Mr T and I couldn't respond without Mr. B
so please give us a clue to your identity?

My given name is Mrs T

I'm not so infamous as some may be!

A millionairess I will never be, but luv St. Lawrence and my Mr. T

regards mrs t






This e-mail came in today in response to Mr Chris' e-mail, in a rhymey sort of styley!! - The Ed


Mister Chris, you is so right,

This is way the coollest site,

And the guy with all the technohow - That's Alan Burch -

should take a bow.

And yeh, St. L is just the biz,

An' what you gotta know is thiz:

That Dave Trevan is sure the man

Who got the garden in the can,

An' he's been tellin' everyone

That though you college guys had fun,

You worked your socks off - and it's true,

We know you did: we saw you too.

And we were really well impressed,

So wish you all the very best.

Whatever route you guys take next,

You've surely got St. L's Respect!


The Mature B Boyz of St. L



Rant of the Week


After spotting a CP Photographer at last week's Peace Garden opening, I thought I'd rummage through this week's CP to see if there was any mention or photos about the event.  Nothing was to be found, but then imagine my surprise when looking through the Weekender there is a piccie of Mr Titchmarsh cutting the ribbon "to open the show" but is in fact a pic of him cutting the ribbon to open the Peace Garden!!  Pah!


Disgusted of St. Lawrence



This e-mail was sent by someone who goes by the name of "Mr Chris" - it seems our very own Mr Trevan has a bit of a fan!! - The Ed


Lovin the website St Lawrence iz the shizz - by far my fav place on the island! The pics u've got up are beeeautiful too! oh and the man is dave trevan. hes the man with the plan wot can. a truly special southern island specimen 





I am so glad to see the Peace garden is now open & look forward to being able to go in & see it after watching the preparations for some time.
St Lawrence is such a beautiful peaceful place. Everyone is so relaxed & friendly & I don't know how they do it, but all the gardens are so pretty.
I am planning my visit in a few weeks & hope to find a few others enjoying your superhuman efforts, wishing you all a very peaceful & colourful summer.


BB - Essex.