Our Eighth Day
As the morning was fine we took an advantage it to go to St Boniface Down. We started very early, walked by the old Church and turned off on to the Downs following the Bridal Path to Wroxall Downs. We found out by experiment with the thermometer that “altitude effects temperature.” We went on climbing the Down until we got to practically the highest point. Here we noticed our direction and could clearly see the coastal plain. We descended the slippery face of the Down to Ventnor gathering rock rose, milk-wort and wild thyme. The rain began to fall heavily but we were fortunately able to get the bus to the door.
After lunch we wrote our diaries, and then, as the sun was trying to shine, we walked through Chine Avenue to Rylstone Park, and thence to the sea front where we paddled. As it rained heavily in the evening, we attended to our press-books and pasted pictures in our diaries.
Our Ninth Day
Saturday was “All Round The Island Day”. The motorcoach came for us at 10.00 am and after that off we went travelling through the beautiful Landslip and Undercliffe as far as St Catherine’s Lighthouse. The sun shone, larks sang, roses in cottage gardens, white clover in wide fields scented the air and we realised how beautiful England is on a June morning. Our first stopping place was Shorwell Church. We looked at the stone pulpit, the hourglass and the copy of the Great Bible (1541). We noticed that the church was lighted by candles and learnt what “Poppyheads” are (poupé).
Passing through Freshwater we saw Farringford, Tennyson’s home. At Freshwater Gate – the gap in the Downs, near the source of the Western Yar – we saw where it is feared the sea wall will one day break through and change the western peninsula into an island.
Then came the climb down into Alum Bay and the exploration of its coloured sands. We filled our bottles with strata and some of us found cuttle-fish while the sun shone gloriously. Those of us who walked as near to the “Needles” felt pygmies as we stood at the foot of the giant cliffs that refuse to submit to the forces of the waves.
At Yarmouth we were reminded that it was the crossing here that inspired Tennyson to write,
“Twilight and evening bell
And one clear call for me,
And may there be no sadness of farewell
When I set out to sea.”
At Shalfleet we went into the old Norman church built before the Domesday Book was made.
The liner Montchalm was steaming out of Southampton for her voyage to Quebec and ships of all sorts dotted the Solent. A member of the King’s Yachting Club told us that owing to the King’s illness, he would not visit for Cowes Week.
All along by the Medina, we sped to Newport wherein the Parish Church we saw the marble monument of Elizabeth, daughter of Charles I. By way of Ryde, Brading and Sandown we returned home.
Our Tenth Day
Our second Sunday was passed very pleasantly. We walked past the Old Church and turned to the right unto a wood where we picked many wild flowers (spotted orchid) and saw rabbits darting across our pathway, and cheeky little Robins flying very near to us. We climbed the Shanklin Downs to a high point and from here we saw plains, coastal plains, valleys, gap coastal line, peninsular, headland, bay, cliffs, horizon, mainland and the Solent. We wended our way home through the lane with its flowers to the High Road and thence to Ingersley.
The afternoon was spent in letter writing, and in the evening we again went to Church where a blind man from St Dunstan’s spoke to us, and a man with a beautiful tenor voice sang to us.