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Bonchurch photos

Displaying the first of 48 old photos of Bonchurch.   View all Bonchurch photos

View all 48 photos of Bonchurch

Bonchurch maps

Historic maps of Bonchurch and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis.   View all Bonchurch maps

Bonchurch area books

Displaying 1 of 4 books about Bonchurch and the local area.   View all books for this area

Memories of Bonchurch

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Isle of Wight memories

Corydon BY JOY ARNOLD (now Holt) Age 83

I used to live up at Luccombe as a child during the begining of the war. We lived at Corydon and I have many happy memories of our time spent there. There were a lot of soldiers billeted at Luccombe. They used to park up their lorries outside my bedroom window and I can hear them now, singing, whistleing and shouting to one another. Some of them used to take time to play with my younger brother Dennis who was a todler at the time. I remember the German planes flying overhead trying to bomb the radar pilons up on the downs. We didn't realize the significance of why this was at the time. Also, my father who was in the Home Guard used to have to spend the night up there along with others, which caused a great deal of worry for my mother. I loved living up there despite the danger, and occasionally go back to visit on holiday as I live on the mainland. I hope to... Read more


Esplanade 1892, Ventnor
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I was born in Ventnor and although I have lived in Kent for many years Ventnor will always be "My home".

Anson Crash

St Boniface Downs 1927, Ventnor
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We moved to Ventnor from Carisbrooke in 1947, when I was 6 years old, so my memory isn't too good, but I remember an Avro Anson, which was obviously carrying newspapers, as the Ventnor Mercury confirmed, to the Channel Islands, colliding with one of the Radar Station pylons. Wreckage was widely scattered and at least one engine and an undercarriage leg came to rest in Combe Bottom, in bushes adjacent to the small arms range, which I last visited several years ago. The frightening thing about that incident was that Muriel Dixon, an elder cousin of mine, was walking her dog on the down at that time, in the dense fog responsible for the collision, and could only hear it. I believe, but could be wrong, that this took place on the day of HM's marriage to Prince Phillip and must have given Muriel some scary moments. One of the Cheetah engines laid in blackthorn bushes, surrounded by old newspapers, for twenty or more years and my ten year old son... Read more

Caruso Who?

Parish Church c1950, Ventnor
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I well remember walking home past St. Catherine's one cold dark evening, prior to Christmas when the choir to be practising for the Christmas services. The lights through the beautiful stained glass windows and the sound of the choir was all the encouragement I needed to join and I subsequently spent an enjoyable few months, trying to sing, which ended somewhat abruptly, when they found out where the noise was coming from. Happy Days

Forty Years Ago.

St Boniface Downs 1927, Ventnor
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Sept 1971, and Ventnor became the place of our honeymoon. We had a fabulous week, the weather was good, a lovely hotel just up the hill from the beach. At the end of it, we were very brave and returned to the mainland by hovercraft - a really new form of transport.The large one's now in Ryde, well ours would have looked like a dinky toy next to them - six people and the captain filled the craft. Since then, we have been back many times and now we go even more as our daughter and family live there in Wootton Bridge .The island has many good places to visit ,one of our favourites is the Garlik Festival. Fancy a holiday? Give the island a go, it's a great place to relax.

Childhood Fascination With The Mini Island

The Childrens' Pool c1950, Ventnor
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Every summer in the 1980s I would pester mum and dad to play on the mini Island, I loved it. I loved the fact that it was a little bit scary when you lost your footing on the slippery mounds of the 'downs' and you would slide into the 'sea'. I could have stayed there for hours as a child, much to my parents' boredom! Ventnor will always be sharp stones in your feet on the beach, hopping over the hot road for a mint choc chip ice cream then into the Gaiety in the height of summer.

Glenavon Hotel

St Boniface Downs 1927, Ventnor
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We stayed in a hotel called Glenavon which we think is, or was, in Ventor in September 1961, this being our honeymoon. We have been back to Ventor several times, without any sucess in finding the hotel. We would be interested in hearing from anyone who knows if the hotel still exists as the Glenavon or any other name, or maybe it has been pulled down? We would appreciate if anyone has any information, so we could retrace our memories of our honeymoon.

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