“When August is here and our lessons are done,
The Island of Wight is the Island of Fun.”
Doris Mankerts, St Paul’s School, Tottenham, M7
Fourteen days in the Isle of Wight
Our First Day
We left Waterloo at 8.40am having said farewell to our relatives and friends.
Lovely sunshine and blue skies helped to make the journey a very pleasant one.
From Portsmouth Harbour we went to the Dockyard and went over HMS Victory – Nelson’s battleship.
Particularly impressive was the scene of Nelson’s death.
Seeing HMS Iron Duke enter the dockyard for repairs, we were able to contrast battleships of today with those of over 100 years ago.
We went on to the Guildhall and saw some of its chief rooms, the Assize Court, the Council Chambers, the Alderman’s Room, etc.
The Lord Mayor, wearing his massive gold chain of Office, very graciously received us in the Banqueting Hall where he invited us to tea with the Lady Mayoress and his daughter.
Displayed for us was the wonderful collection of the city’s gold and silver plates.
Then came the crossing of the Solent
We were fortunate to see the Submarine L22. The Sally Port, Nelson’s landing stage was pointed out to us.
Mr and Mrs Johnson welcomed us to Ingersley. After exploring the house and garden we unpacked, settled our belongings and after a lovely walk by the sea, ended a very full and exciting day.
Our Second Day
This morning we opened our eyes to see grey skies and rain falling. Consequently, the morning was spent in arranging our rooms, or sorting our books and starting our diaries. By then the sun was starting to shine, so we donned macs and went for a walk as far as Lake. After an early lunch we went by motorcoach to St Catherine’s Lighthouse. On entering the door we saw a plomb-line which was placed there after the landslip of 7 years ago, when the tower moved about 3 inches out of the vertical.
We climbed a narrow spiral staircase which brought us to the engine room.
The light from the huge lamp above, which normally would have shone inland, was directed into this room whence it was reflected out to sea, thus saving the need for a second lamp. The lamp itself was made from prismatic glass, which reflected light, enabling flashes to be seen every 5 seconds at a distance of 100 miles. The lens weighs three and a half tons and revolves in a bath of 819 lbs of mercury.
On the return journey we passed through Niton and on to Black Gang to see the Chine. The skeleton of a whale under which we had to pass attracted our attention. It was interesting to notice the streamlets which were the cause of this wonderful Chine.
Godshill Church was our next stopping place. Captain Worsley, a descendent of the Lords of the Island, conducted us over the Church, showing us the monuments erected to his ancestors as far back as thirteen generations. He told us tales of many people connected to the church and showed us the famous picture of “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”.
After tea we went through the gate of the old Church on to the Downs.