c o m f o r t , s t y l e , a n d e l e g a n c e
S u p e r b S c a n d i n a v i a n d e s i g n a n d q u a l i t y
h a n d c r a f t e d b y E L A N O o f N o r w a y
Isle of Wight
(Next to Argos &
Mon - Sat - 9am to 5.30pm
Sunday - 11am to 5pm
Telephone 01983 539700 Facsimile 01983 521181
6 Jack Douglas
Find out why he is so happy at the age of 78
10 Mick O’Halloran
He spent 15 years looking after pop icon Marc Bolan
on the road, and in those hectic days the Isle of
Wight was his only salvation.We find out why.
11 Andrew Turner MP
He loves old cars, is hopeless at DIY, loathes the idea
of wasting anything – but reckons the Isle of Wight’s
County Hall is so ugly it should be demolished!
14 John Hannam
We turn the tables on interviewer John, what were
his worst encounters with the stars?
18 Shoot to thrill
Isle of Wight Gun Club, at Sainham introduces you to
19 Giving kids a swinging time
Peter Hammond tells us how golf can be a great
hobby for young and old.
ISSUE 1 November/December 2005
Welcome to the first issue of
Island Life, the Island’s new
Our aim is to report on just
a few of the great things
you can see and do, eat and
drink, experience and buy
right here on the Isle of
In each issue we will be
bringing you features,
interviews and photos of the
people and places that make
YOUR Island tick.
However this magazine
belongs to you, the reader –
so we would love to hear
what you would like to see
in these pages. Feel free to
drop us a line or an email
with your suggestions,
photos or feature ideas, and
we’ll do our best to get
Meanwhile, we sincerely
hope you enjoy this first
Island Life Magazine
66 Victoria Avenue
Isle of Wight
Tel: 01983 861422
Mobile: 07976 797455
Front Cover: Wolverton Manor
Contributing Photography for
Haddon Lake House -
Buywise, 18 Riverway Ind Estate
Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5UX
Telephone: 01983 525252
9am - 5pm Monday to Saturday
10am - 4pm Sunday
20 Food & Drink
Heaven for coffee lovers.
Organic, the way forward...
Fultons, concept dining comes to Bembridge.
Fine dining at The Ocean.
Busy Bee Christmas spectacular...
Equine law, winter rugs and Brickfields
Halloween fancy dress.
The Island’s own Batman & Batwoman.
Four Seasons, Artigiano, Visual Impact. The
best of Autumn fashion.
Liz Earle’s natural approach.
Mike Miller paints Trafalgar 200.
Thatching, is it a dying craft?
Pittis, Fox Property, Barratt Homes.
58 Staying Over
Prestige accommodation Islandwide.
Mercedes, BMW, Citroen and Skoda
IN YOUR NEXT
ISSUE Jan/Feb 06
ALEX DYKE -
Is he leaving the Island,
and moving to the
United States? We have
MORE JOHN HANNAM
John reveals more
secrets form the stars.
We bring you snapshots
from Island social
Honest reviews of top
BOATING & SAILING
Latest news from Cowes
Interiors - Classifieds -
Eating Out - Boating -
Theatre Reviews - Local
Jack and his alter-ego
just keep “Carrying on”…
The hand of fate was at work when comedian Jack
Douglas stepped off the Isle of Wight ferry in 1996 to
appear in the stage show “Me and My Girl” at the
Shanklin Theatre. Little did he know it then, but his
leading lady in the show, Vivien, was destined to
become his wife – and the bewitching Isle of Wight, his
Stage and screen veteran Jack, whose memorable twitchafflicted
character Alf Ippititmus became a national
institution in the 1970s, fell for both Vivien and the Island,
and promptly sold his 16th century home in Godalming,
Surrey, to cross the Solent for a new life.
Now, he says, he wouldn’t live on the mainland even if it
were “rent free”.
“I’ve never been so happy anywhere,” declares Jack, who
has made Shanklin his home.
“Okay, the Island may be 20 years behind the times – but
so am I! Where else could you still leave your car unlocked,
or walk around the streets without worrying after dark?”
Jack and Vivien, a versatile singer/dancer/actress, loved
working together so much that they now come almost as a
professional “package”, choosing shows in which they can
appear together. In fact, the only reason Jack isn’t doing a
Left: Enjoying the Autum sunshine with Vivien
Above: Time out for a glass of wine.
Top: In character as Alf.
Jack featured in 8 Carry
Carry On Columbus
Carry On Emmanuelle
Carry On England
Carry On Behind
Carry On Dick
Carry On Abroad
Carry On Girls
Carry On Matron
Carry On Star
panto season this year is that the North of England venue that wanted
to book him had no part for Vivien, and so he turned it down.
“Eight weeks away on my own, up in the north and far away from home
– I didn’t fancy that,” he says, “so we’ve decided we’d have a break this
For Jack, 78, it’s something of a novelty to be “resting” from the
business. As part of a theatrical family from Newcastle (his grandfather
was in silent films and his dad was a Northern theatre impresario),
treading the boards is in his blood.
He had in fact cut his teeth as a stage-hand, panto producer and comedy
actor, long before he ever came to public notice with the enduring flatcapped,
bespectacled comedy character of Alf.
The lovable, if somewhat intellectually-challenged Alf was one of those
strokes of genius that came about completely by accident.
Jack had already been stooging for such big-name comedians as Arthur
Askey, Bruce Forsyth and Benny Hill, when he became the straight man
in a double-act with Joe Baker.
However, when Baker managed to get himself locked out of the theatre
just as Jack had gone on stage, the so-called straight-man had to turn
comedian and keep the audience entertained for the slot. He did it by
exaggerating the twitch of the band leader Eric Winston: his flash of
inspiration brought the house down, and a classic comedy character was
As well as appearing with big TV variety show names including Des
O’Connor, Jack’s character also made a big impression in the later
productions of the “Carry On” films.
So big was Alf’s impact, in fact, that even though he appeared in only
the last eight of the 31 Carry-On films, he still receives fan mail from all
over the world, as the popularity of the cult comedy films shows no sign
What amazes Jack is the age profile of some of his fans – from children
right up to grannies.
“I can’t quite believe how popular they still are, but I suspect it’s because
the films are naughty, but not filthy,” he says. “I am always getting
letters from people who say they love the films because all the family
can sit and watch together, with no fear of having to jump up and switch
off – which sadly, I have to do very often with my TV these days”.
So enduring is the popularity of the Carry-On phenomenon that Jack
has been involved in working on the links for a new compilation
DVD, Carry On Christmas, and this autumn he appeared as the star
guest at a Festival of Carry On in Great Yarmouth.
He’s done much more than Alf Ippititimus in a long and hard-working
showbiz career, but Jack doesn’t resent the way his somewhat dopey
alter-ego has dominated his public image.
“Alf to me is a character I love,” he says fondly. “I’ve never done
anything rude with him, or used bad language. He can be a very
naughty boy but he’s never a filthy one, and I think that’s what makes
him so appealing”.
The odd thing is that if Jack were to don one of the many pairs of “Alf”
overalls hanging in his wardrobe, and put on a flat cap, people would be
queuing for autographs. But he rarely gets recognised when he’s out
and about on the Island, as plain Mr Douglas.
This suits him just fine, he says.
It means he and Vivien can enjoy their favourite walks on the south side
of the Island, or a quiet drink at their local, the Crab in Shanklin, in
“It’s the best of both worlds really,” he says.
Back at home, Jack indulges a wide range of interests outside the world
of comedy. He has a passion for jazz, and has amassed a huge collection
of records, some of them quite rare. He also paints, designs his own
clothes and is an expert cook and wine lover. In fact he has had a
number of cookery books published - with the ever-present Alf
Ippititimus being credited for some of the recipes.
He says there’s hardly anything he misses from the mainland – with
the possible exception of theatre-land. But as he says, it’s easy enough
for him and Vivien to get to London if they fancy seeing a show.
On the Island theatre front, Jack finds it sad to see Shanklin Theatre
looking so run-down and neglected.
He was involved there for a while in 1996, but says that unless it’s
restored, he won’t be appearing in any shows there.
“It’s such a shame,” he says. “It wouldn’t cost much to bring Shanklin
Theatre into line, just a bit of love and attention. I am too old nowadays
to get up on the roof and pull the weeds… but a few years ago I most
certainly would have done!”
1 5 y e a r s o n t h e
r o a d w i t h M a r c
“Touring with Marc Bolan was very stressful
When his hectic life as a pop star’s roadie was at its peak, Mick
O’Halloran needed a peaceful refuge where he could come and relax
– and he found it on the Isle of Wight.
Mick, who was senior road manager for Marc Bolan, the larger-thanlife
front man for chart-topping 70s band T-Rex, used to come to the
Island to re-charge his batteries.
“My favourite place was Godshill – to me, it represented sheer
relaxation” he says. “It presented me with the solitude and peace
that I needed from time to time”.
In the end, there was nothing else for it for Mick, and he moved
permanently to the Island in 1971 – the same year that T-Rex played
the Isle of Wight Festival alongside the legendary Jimmy Hendrix
and The Who.
Recalling his years with the troubled singer - who died in a horrific
car crash in 1977, just before his 30th birthday - Mick says: “At one
stage, Marc was the biggest thing on the planet, and we couldn’t go
anywhere without being mobbed by hundreds of fans”.
But he wasn’t the easiest of people to work for. Mick remembers
being called at two in the morning and rushing to Marc in London
only to find that the so-called urgent task he was required for was to
take the downstairs TV up into the bedroom.
“I was not happy!” says Mick, in something of an understatement.
the Isle of Wight was my saving grace”
Above: 1972, Mick arriving at Chicago airport during
Marc’s world tour.
“Yes, there were bad times, and times that really pushed me to the
limit – but the good times far outweighed the bad. He particularly
recalls the overwhelming reception Marc got from the crowd at the
1971 IW Festival – despite the concert as a whole being “a bit of a
shambles, with sloppy organisation”.
The year that Marc was killed also proved a critical year for Mick,
who suffered a brain haemorrhage in Bembridge.
His recovery was slow and only partial, as he still suffers restricted
mobility as a result. Now living in Wroxall, he continues to keep in
touch with the music scene, and likes to re-live the glory days by
going to see T-Rextasy, the Marc Bolan tribute band, when they are
playing in the South.
Mick has also broadened his horizons by doing college courses in
computers and desktop publishing.
It’s certainly a slower-paced life than he had in the Bolan days:
“Things are very different for me now, music has changed, and the
industry has changed… but for the better? I’m not sure. You can
certainly earn more money nowadays. My wage packet with Marc
was only £65 a week when I started. However in those days, that was
a lot of money”.
Asked for his strongest memory of the T-Rex years, Mick replied:
“The first time I met Marc, at his little flat in Bayswater Road, where
I was interviewed for the job. The place where it all began”.
“If an item remains
serviceable why renew it”
He loves old cars, is hopeless at DIY, loathes the idea of wasting
anything – but reckons the Isle of Wight’s County Hall is so ugly it
should be demolished!
Andrew Turner is a million miles away from the cardboard cut-out
version of a Tory MP, as anyone who has seen him batting about
the Island in his beloved, M-registered 1994 red Mini will quickly
We went to meet him and got a glimpse of just what makes the
Island’s Parliamentary representative tick.
Having been brought up by parents who were both teachers, and
then choosing that same career for himself, it was perhaps no
surprise that Andrew Turner’s first steps into politics should have
been prompted by an educational issue. The threat of Grammar
School closures was a subject very close to his heart, and one he
fought tooth and nail against.
As he observes: “The only way to prevent things from happening is
to do something about it, and that’s exactly what I have always
After winning a scholarship to Rugby’s famous School, Andrew went
on to Oxford, where his fellow students included Newport’s current
parish priest Father Bruce Barnes, as well as William Hague, who was
to become a future Tory leader.
At Oxford, Andrew became an active member of the Union and
joined the Conservative Party – unwittingly sowing the seeds of his
own future life in politics.
After Oxford, he followed his parents’ career path, teaching
geography and economics for seven years at comprehensive schools
in Oxfordshire – but all the while, he was becoming more and more
active within the Tory party.
So, it was no great surprise when, in 1984, he quit teaching to join
the full-time staff at Conservative Central Office. Subsequently, he
was appointed to the full-time salaried position of Special Advisor to
the Minister of Health and Social Services. He subsequently ran the
Grant Maintained Schools Foundation, and acted as an education
consultant to clients including the Girls’ Day School Trust, the
American education company Edison, and the London Borough of
It was in 1996 that Andrew first applied to become the Conservative
candidate for the Isle of Wight, when the previous long-standing
Member Barry Field was retiring through ill health.
In 1997 he stood against Peter Brand and fought an exhausting, but
ultimately unsuccessful campaign.
“County Hall is an awful
Undeterred, Andrew spent a further four years in opposition,
showing his commitment to the Island by buying a flat in Cowes
with his partner Carole.
Victory finally came in 2001, when he won the seat with a massive
25,233 votes, and again in 2005 he retained his position with a
landslide victory of 32,717 votes.
Since then, the Island has definitely become home to Andrew and
Carole: “I wouldn’t like to live anywhere else” he declares.
His favourite “away-from-it-all” haunt for walking his two rescue
dogs, Bertie and Sausage, is right up on the Downs at Brighstone –
and when he wants to relax with company of the two-legged kind,
he enjoys winding down at The Bargemans Rest, five minutes walk
from his home in Newport.
Andrew and Carole now live at Seal House, in Newport town centre,
which they share with the resident ghost, a boy who appears from
time to time on the stairs. The house has a colourful history
altogether – and Andrew is just one of a number of MPs who have
lived there. Other previous parliamentarian residents have included
Sir Tristram Dillington, who famously lost the house in a game of
When at home, Andrew loves to watch old movies, which he has
been known to use as a diversion from all forms of DIY, painting,
fixing things, and assembling furniture.
“If I cannot operate it from the box, then I am not interested,” he
admits. Luckily, Carole is the complete opposite, and positively
relishes any kind of DIY challenge – right up to plastering walls!
Andrew prefers to get his buzz from old cars: he has an old, rubberbumpered
MG that he would love to restore one day.
Currently it’s on the mainland but he dreams of
bringing it to the Island and starting work on it.
“I would love to see the old MG restored back to its
glory days,” he says wistfully. In the meantime, he
contents himself with driving a 11 year- old red Mini,
which perfectly illustrates his view that “If it’s
serviceable then why replace it?”
This is certainly a view he holds when it comes to
historic buildings – and he still seethes over the recent
demolition of the old Clarendon Hotel in Shanklin.
“The building had such history,” he says.
“The beams that were used in the now-demolished
building came from the wreck of the Clarendon, which
sank on the 11th October 1837. So great was this
disaster that the building of a lighthouse began in
1837, at St Catherine’s Point, it was completed and first
used on March 25th 1840. Unfortunately 25 people lost their lives.
“And now all this has gone forever!”
There’s one building the MP wouldn’t mind doing away with,
however- and that’s the Island’s County Hall.
“It needs to be pulled down” he says uncompromisingly. “It’s an
ugly building, with hundreds of masts and aerials - goodness knows
what they do, it just looks awful”.
He also despairs over some of the modern housing developments
that are springing up and says: “I wish that developers would put
some character back into the houses they build on the Island. They
seem to forget we are an Island and that we have a rich history and
a reputation to live up to.
“These Wendy houses that are being built everywhere are ruining
the Island. If only a little more care and thought was put into the
initial planning stages, we could build new houses that continue to
fulfil what visitors to the Island expect”.
On the subject of visitors, Andrew reckons that the Island doesn’t
necessarily need to attract any more than it has – but it does need
them to be able to spend more money whilst they are here.
“We also need a new, younger, generation of visitors to the Island,”
he says, “to take advantage of all the sporting facilities we have
“We need to regenerate our towns and coastlines, bringing in better
quality facilities and making use of all the assets the Island has to
The Island has certainly won this Midlands-born boy over, so much
so, that even if he lost his Parliamentary seat, he’s adamant he’d
still remain here.
He loves the pace of life, the natural
beauty of the landscape, and the social
scene – with the County Show being
his favourite calendar event.
“I fight hard for the Isle of Wight in
Westminster and Whitehall” he says,
“and I see it as my job to enable
Ministers and fellow Parliamentarians
to understand what it is like to live
and provide services on an island”.
Looking back on well over thirty years of interviewing famous
people, from Hollywood legends, to an ex-Prime Minister, British
sporting heroes like Bobby Moore and Roger Bannister, singing idols
who have conquered the world and TV legends, including Frankie
Howerd and Benny Hill, I still wonder just how I have done it.
Back in the 60s I was so embarrassed at meeting new people, was
too shy to eat in restaurants and my confidence levels had hit the
deck. Sometimes I sat in a darkened room, on my own, just to get
away from everything.
My first interview was certainly not a hint of what was to come. It
was in 1972 at the Winter Gardens, Ventnor, and the Bachelors, then
one of the most famous singing acts in Britain, sensed just how
naïve an interviewer I was and gave me a rough ride. I cringe at the
thought of it. I still have the tape but would only play it publicly for
a sizeable sum for my current charities. Years later I met up again
with the Irish singing group and was more than ready for them. I
even managed to twist their arm for a free voice-over.
Patience is essential for any interviewer. I once waited five hours for
a five minute interview with Joe Loss and, more recently, took a ten
hour round trip to Cardiff to interview the delightful Nigel Havers.
When I got to the New Theatre, for our in-between shows interview,
I heard the stage door keeper announce that Mr. Haver's taxi was
waiting. He had forgotten our interview and was nipping back to his
hotel. He did take pity on me and I got around ten minutes - and he
got a larger taxi fare than expected.
I was due to meet Jeremy Irons at London's Langham Hotel. I arrived
an hour early, had set up all my equipment in a room donated by the
hotel. I sat in an extremely comfortable chair with my eyes peeled
on the door. Jeremy was coming into the city on his motorbike and
“Patience is essential for any
inter viewer. I once waited five hours
for a five minute inter view with Joe
would see me, as well as going to his dentist. I sat for over three
hours and never saw him enter the hotel. My mobile was flat, so I
was marooned. I went out for a quick breather and, apparently, at
that precise time, Jeremy's office had rung the hotel and I was being
paged. In the end, unaware of this, I went back to Waterloo and got
the train back to Portsmouth. When I arrived home I found that
Jeremy had been delayed and would be able to do it later in the day.
There were at least four messages on my 'phone. In the end I went
back a couple of weeks later and met Jeremy backstage at the
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. I saw him captivate a theatre full of
students at a workshop and was so proud he's an Islander.
When I went to the home of the late Sir Edward Heath in Salisbury
his housekeeper suggested it would be fine to set up my equipment
in the entrance hall. A few minutes later she returned to say Sir
Edward would now like to record it in the library. I set up again and
then had another visit from his housekeeper. Sir Edward had finally
decided to take me into the garden for our thirty minute chat. I had
no extension lead and his garden seemed longer than a football
pitch. They readily supplied a lead. There was no time to worry just
how this shy East Cowes boy was actually sat in the wonderful
garden of a former Prime Minister. I was dying for a cup of tea or
coffee but the offer never came.
I hate being late for interviews. I was due to meet Angela Rippon at
a Holland Park hotel. I was in good time and halfway on the tube
run from Waterloo. Then all passengers were asked to leave the train
and station due to a signal failure. There I was in the middle of
London and not a taxi in sight. I rang the hotel to pass on my
apologies to Angela. In the end I was nearly 30 minutes later. Would
she have waited? Angela, who had not got my message, was
completely relaxed. She added: "Everyone's late in London; it's just
one of those things."
I've been so lucky and have enjoyed visits to the homes of many
famous people and in the cases of Bruce Forsyth, Amanda Redman,
Dame Vera Lynn, the late Sir John Mills and Virginia McKenna they
were quite wonderful and so very hospitable. Michael Winner was a
little different. He kept me waiting for nearly an hour, was very
gruff when we met and complained because I had a double mike
stand for a more relaxed interview. "Why can't you have one mike
like everyone else - and hurry up, I haven't got all day," bellowed
Michael. In the end I set up both mikes and hoped for the best.
When the recording began he was a perfect guest
until he threatened to throw me out unless I
brought the interview to a close, as he had
someone waiting to see him. I just about made it. I
think Michael just plays along with his grumpy
image. I've recently read his book and had a hard
job to put it down.
Lonnie Donegan, one of my lifelong music heroes,
gave me a real rough ride. If I had not gone to
London to pre-record the interview to promote his
forthcoming Island gig, I would have walked out.
We had a nice pot of tea and he was so charming.
That all changed when the interview started. He
disagreed with everything I brought up and
disputed facts that I knew were right. He took hold
of my interview card with a few bullet points and
notes and threw it across the room. I had to stop
and start the interview several times and he was
ruder than anyone I had ever encountered before.
As I left his flat he asked if I could sort out some
hotel accommodation for his Island visit. I never hold grudges and
so I agreed to sort him out a nice hotel, off the beaten track. In
hindsight, I should have booked him in to a real dump, to get my
own back. Actually, I arranged for him to stay at the highly
acclaimed Swainston Manor Hotel. I was so embarrassed to find out
he did not turn up and went to a Shanklin hotel instead. Sadly, he
has since passed away.
I have a never-give-up policy and it took fully 18 years to finally get
an interview with American singing legend Gene Pitney. When he
came to Sandown Pavilion in 1978 I was writing for the now defunct
IW Weekly Post and Gene was not doing any interviews during his
stay. Eighteen years later, through a mutual friend, I suddenly found
myself in Gene's dressing room at the Guildhall, Portsmouth. The
interview was well worth the wait.
I was lucky enough to visit the Manchester studios of Coronation
Street for a special John Hannam Meets radio show. The night
before I went, the Granada press office rang to tell me just who I
was due to interview. It was four of the younger cast members who
had not been in the show very long. I was happy but a little
disappointed that none of the major names would be available. I
had a very good contact in the studio who sensed my
disappointment when he rang, a little later, to see who I would be
interviewing. He assured me, all would be fine on the day.
I left the Island on the 3-30am Cowes to Southampton ferry, walked
to the station, caught the first train to Reading and then a train to
Manchester. It was due in at 10-20am and arrived on the dot. I took
a taxi to the studio and 20 minutes later was walking through the
famous street. As there were no children filming that day they set
me up in their play room and I just waited for the actors to be
brought in. Everything went to plan and the press girls left after my
first four interviews, which they had set up. My contact then told
me: "Sit tight. You never know what might happen."
Within the next hour in came Liz Dawn (Vera), Bill Tarmey (Jack),
Helen Worth (Gail) and Jimmy Harkishin (Dev). That was not the
end of it. I was invited to Leeds, a few months later, to attend the
Liz Dawn Charity Concert for her breast cancer charity and
interviewed another seven from Coronation Street, including Sue
Nicholls (Audrey), Malcolm Hebden (Noris) Vicky Entwhistle (Janice)
and Jenny McAlpine (Fiz.)
My recent visits to London have not been without incidents. I went
to the West End to interview Bernie Nolan, who plays Sheelagh
Murphy in The Bill, on the day after the London bombings. I was sat
in the first carriage of an underground train, with just three others.
One was a guy who kept looking round and grinning at us in a
menacing fashion. Did he know something we didn't? I was glad to
get off at Oxford Circus.
The next trip was on the very day of the failed bombs and the city
was again in turmoil with so many hold-ups and bomb scares. Mike
Batt made the visit well worthwhile.
On another visit, around the same time, I decided to go for three
interviews on the same day, in different parts of London. I began in
Fulham with Liz Fraser and then headed for Harrow to meet Matt
Monro Junior. Whilst walking back to the underground I got caught
in a thunder storm. Then it was announced the floods had delayed
trains and closed two stations and journeys to central London were
severely delayed. I was wet and now worried I would not make
my 5-30pm date with Katie Melua. The fact that the interview
was for a charity programme did little to ease my nerves. I arrived
hot, wet and tired, with just three minutes to spare. Katie told
me to relax for a few minutes and then gave me a super
Some of the major highlights of over thirty years of interviewing
famous people just has to be meeting a few Hollywood legends
and interviewing them in-person and on a one-to-one basis. These
include Charlton Heston, the late Sir John Mills, I was invited to
his Denham Village home and he was a perfect host, and Michael
York. Terry Waite was so charismatic and, by Royal Appointment,
Prince Edward was great fun. I also admit to seeing more of a
former Miss World, in a dressing room mirror, than millions of
viewers saw on television. That was by pure accident - of course.
The death of a mutual friend, Wally Malston, who was Bruce
Forsyth's scriptwriter, led me to the home of the legendary star. I
met Bruce at Wally's Aldershot funeral and, and we decided to do a
programme in memory of him. He had grown up on the Isle of
Wight. I know in my heart that Wally would have been delighted.
His ambition, for me, was to get an interview with Bruce Forsyth.
Basically, I'm still a shy person and I still can't believe who I've been
lucky enough to meet. Is it all a dream or has it really happened? I
have never had a desire to be on the stage but I do believe I act the
role of an interviewer.
There is one question everybody still asks me. Who would I most
like to interview? Sean Connery is my instant reply. I saw him in
Newport, many years ago, and like everyone else at the time, had
never heard of him.
Sir John Mills
The Isle of Wight Gun Club, based at the picturesque
shooting ground at Sainham Farm in Godshill, is
always looking for new members.
Established for over 100 years, the club has built up a
large membership ranging in age from nine year-old
beginners right up to shooting veteran Don, their
oldest member at 87 years old.
Children from the age of nine can join the club and
learn the skill of shooting. Contrary to popular belief,
this is not an expensive hobby, which is why people
from all walks of life can be found taking part. Initially
there is no need to purchase a gun, as one will be
provided by the club, along with cartridges. The same
goes for clothing - just turn up sensibly dressed and
Safety is paramount at the club, which is why there
has never been an accident involving a gun in its 100
year-plus history. Chairman Keith Trigg explains: "All
new members are closely supervised at all times, and
are never left unattended with a loaded
gun. However, the club also ensures it
carries adequate insurance for all
Members start shooting right from their
first lesson, so it's exciting for them and
it keeps them interested in the sport.
Later on, they can apply for their own
licence and purchase their own gun. Guns
cost from £350 upwards.
The cost per lesson is £25 for 50 birds
(clays), this also includes cartridges and
the use of a club gun. Alternatively you
can become a member with a fee of £35
per year. Keith says: "The new members
we currently teach love shooting; they
find it exciting, and all the kids we have
taught have come with a responsible
attitude, and the realisation of how
important it is to be sensible when they
are handling a gun".
For a trial lesson, call Keith Trigg on
07885 493341 or visit
Shoot to thrill!
Above: Fred Salter
Left: Lou Critchley (12)
Bottom: Keith Trigg
Are you harbouring a budding young
Tiger Woods at your house?
You may never know unless your
youngster has the chance to practice his
or her swing on the golf course.
Though it's not the most obvious choice,
golf can in fact be a great hobby for
children of all ages, because it's
challenging and fun as well as extremely
skillful. Peter Hammond from Shanklin
Sandown Golf Course reckons that more
children should try the sport: "Children
from all backgrounds can take part - it's
not an expensive hobby for parents, and in
fact, we find the mums and dads often
become involved and decide to take
Children can start golf as early as the age
of five. Currently Peter coaches approx 25
children with a group lesson once a week
on either a Saturday or Sunday morning.
All the required equipment is included
within the price of the lesson, right up
until the point where children are old
enough to purchase their own equipment.
However, for those youngsters who show a
natural talent for the game early on, it
can be a good idea for the parents to
invest in a set of golf clubs and shoes for
Peter also spends time visiting local
schools introducing children to the game
of golf. "At first, many kids are not that
keen on the idea, but once they have the
chance to pick up a golf club and have a
go, it then becomes a challenge for them,
and most children who decide to give it a
go end up loving the game. I think it's
just a case of introducing them to it in
the first place".
"Even in the early stages, there are
competitions that kids can enter at all
levels. We also have match days that the
kids can come along and watch. It is also
a good way to ensure that your child
learns the skills of mixing with other
youngsters, and golf can become a way of
teaching your child to become part of a
team. Of course it also keeps them pretty
COST GUIDE: Group lessons £2 an hour;
private lessons £28 an hour; set of clubs
around £75; golf bag approx £40; shoes
£25; golfing glove £10. For more
information, call Peter Hammond on 01983
FOOD & DRINK
Concept dining comes
A brand new restaurant idea has been launched in Bembridge by
Ian Whitehead, the previous owner of popular eating out venue
Joe Daflo's in Ryde.
Ian describes his latest brainchild, Fultons Sea Food and Chop House,
as a whole new concept, with its open kitchens and wet fish counter
for diners to make their selection from.
"I think that it's taken the restaurant business to new levels on the
Island" commented Ian.
The interior design of Fultons is stunning, with its bold artwork
commissioned from local artist Charlotte Hodge-Thomas, to the
unusual fresh fish counter which is packed with fresh local produce
delivered every day. Fultons have played it very clever in producing a
core menu with some great classic dishes, including Bembridge crab
cakes, Caesar salad, Grilled 10oz Angus Aberdeen sirloin steak, grilled
corn fed chicken, Fultons seafood platter, and mouth-watering
desserts such as white chocolate and banana cheesecake to mention
just a few. However you will find the biggest selection on the daily
specials board, which will feature seasonal produce and recipes that
reflect the changing seasons.
The head chef Tim Nicholls is already known for keeping customers
happy on the Island: he previously worked at The Baywatch and
Biskra Beach to name just two. Tim's as far removed as you can get
from the stereotyped angry man of the kitchen - he's a happy chef, a
very pleasant guy!
He says the Fultons menu was designed with flexibility in mind:
"There were two main considerations in designing the menu: first it
was important to keep it simple, using only the freshest local
ingredients, and second I needed to create a menu that I could
handle on my own. I will always be looking at ways of improving,
and customer feedback will determine the menu to a great extent".
Front of house we have Matt Reed and Clare Brown, Matt has been
with Ian previously at Joe Daflo's. Matt commented "we simply want
customers to come and enjoy our unique dining experience, as long
as we maintain our high standards and ensure that the food is fresh,
we cannot do more than this"
Fultons is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.
Tel: 01983 875559
Organic, is the way forward
Godshill Organics have just completed
building a new up-market trendy organic
shop. The new shop is fitted out
beautifully and the range of products
available are so extensive it will take you
some time to browse through the isles.
The owner Ruth Illman explained to me
that a lot of the produce on sale is grown
on their own farm, so it is guaranteed to
be fresh and most definitely organic.
There’s are a whole range of organic food
available from fruit and vegetables,
cereals, pasta, pickles, spreads, bread,
cakes, wines, tea’s, coffees etc, they even
have a range of organic baby foods. The
business has been established in its
current form since 1994 and expansion is
always on the cards.
Newport Road, Godshill.
Tel: 01983 840723
Fine Dining at The Ocean
When Frenchman Frederic Sol arrived on the
Island his brief was to create a fine-dining
restaurant that would exceed all expectations,
both in the food and wine departments.
Frederic, whose experience includes managing
a host of Michelin starred restaurants on the
mainland, refuses to settle for anything less
than perfection. Hence, the service, food
presentation, and a varied wine list all add up
to an immaculate combination.
Surpisingly, you will find that the menu is
reasonably priced at around £25 per head, with
typical courses varying from Fillet of Beef with
Foie Gras, Mushroom Duxelle, Pomme Fondante
and Red Wine Jus, to John Dory with Beurre
Blanc, Baby vegetables, and for desserts Hot
Chocolate Fondant, Chocolate Ice Cream,
Nougat Glacee, plus a very large selection of Ice
Creams and Sorbets, and to finish, granary and
FOOD & DRINK
the Leafy Bean, Shanklin offers over 60
different variety's of coffee
If you consider yourself something of a
coffee connoisseur, then perhaps you
should pay a visit to the Leafy Bean in
Shanklin. Here, you're bound to be spoilt
for choice with over 60 different types of
coffee on the menu. Owner Len Hookings
and his wife Audrey have built up a
thriving little business, with Audrey
spending most days baking the delicious
fresh cakes and scones that are served
daily. The Leafy Bean is a small and
friendly establishment, which means you
may wait a little while during rush periods
- but most customers are happy to go with
the flow and soak up the lovely mix of
aromas wafting about the place. You can
also buy any of the freshly ground coffees
by the gram, to try out at home. Typically
100g will cost just over £2.
walnut bread served with an unusual selection of
Everything is prepared fresh on the premises by
the team of English and French chefs, and The
Ocean’s modern cuisine is enhanced perfectly by
its clean and contemporary surroundings.
Parties of up to 40 can be catered for, as well as
private dining functions for up to 20.
At lunchtime, The Ocean offers an appealing
brasserie-style menu, with dishes such as chicken
Caesar salad, Ventnor crab fishcake, and Sirloin
Opening hours are Monday-Sunday 12 mid-day to
2pm for lunch, and 7pm to 9.30pm for dinner.
The Ocean is located at Hambrough Road, Ventnor.
Nowadays, the West Wight is best known as a holiday
destination, family friendly, a place of quiet beaches and
countryside walks, a backwater where people come to relax,
and switch off their minds, rather than to be at the cutting
edge of contemporary culture. A place seemingly still in
thrall to its glorious past.
For here during the two decades between Tennyson moving
into Farringford in 1853 and Julia Margaret Cameron leaving
the more modest dwelling of Dimbola for Ceylon in 1875,
the scattered cottages and seaside villas drew together many
of the leading figures in the arts, philosophy and science.
“I turned my coal-house into my dark room and a glazed fowl house I had given
to my children became my glass house... the society of hens and chickens was
soon changed for that of poets, prophets, painters and lovely maidens, who all in
turn have immortalised this humble little farm erection."
Julia Margaret Cameron
Annals From My Glass House
Darwin, Gladstone, GF Watts, Thackeray, Longfellow,
Christina Rossetti, Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll, Benjamin
Jowett: all walked these quiet green lanes, and down to the
sea. Hester Fuller later wrote that "Freshwater in the time of
Tennyson has been compared to Athens in the time of
Pericles, as being the place to which all the famous men of
the reign of Queen Victoria gravitated".
And it was the pioneer photographer Julia Margaret Cameron
who organised them, fed them, flattered them, and captured
their very essence through the messy and painstaking
method of wet collodion. From the chaotic household at
Dimbola – named after tea estates her family owned
in Ceylon – emerged the fragile and sometimes out
of focus images through which their likenesses gleam
at us still, transformed into something mythic and
And yet in 1990 this wonderful house was saved
from demolition, literally in the teeth of the
bulldozers, and transformed into a photographic
gallery, museum and arts centre, with a fine tearoom
attached. Self financing, and now attracting visitors
from all over the world, Dimbola continues in the
eccentric and friendly style which Julia Cameron
established over a century ago.
Everyone is welcome at Dimbola Lodge, Dimbola
Lodge is open 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday
inclusive and is also open every Bank Holiday
Monday’s and every day during the school holidays.
Admission is £4.00 for adults, children under 16 are
free. Discounts for groups of 10 or more are
For further details please call 01983 754960
Busy Bee garden centre, have extended their
premises in order to house the largest display of
Christmas decorations the Island has ever seen
under one roof. It’s spectactular...
Busy Bee Garden Centre
Opposite Tesco Roundabout, Ryde.
Chris Leslie owner of Busy Bee Garden Centre hit on the idea of
selling Christmas decorations around 13 years ago, as a way of
boosting trade over the winter months, which tended to be
quieter for the garden centre side.
Initially, Chris turned a small corner of his premises into a
Christmas Wonderland, and so successful was this feature that
the display has increased in volume each year.
Now its fame has spread not just across the Island, but onto the
mainland too - in fact, it’s arguably the largest display on the
south-coast, attracting visitors to the Island just to witness this
According to Chris, it takes love to create the displays, along
with a certain imaginitive flair and talent. As he says, a hardnosed
businessman could not achieve what the people at Busy
Bee have done.
“We start putting the display together in October and it is
normally finished in the first week of November. It’s good
because I can keep all my staff on throughout the year, and each
year we help a charity connected with children. This year it’s a
children’s hospice, Naomi House in Winchester. At any time
they might have up to 15 Island children with them. It needs to
be a charity connected with kids, as that is what Christmas is all
about. This year we have more stock than ever - we can decorate
the dinner table, inside, outside … we have really gone wild this
”We have tried to cover everyone’s tastes by sourcing the stock
from around Europe, mainly Germany as the quality of German
goods is far superior to that of goods from the Far East. Children
love coming here because it’s like a dream for them. We have
invested in a real life Father Christmas this year who tells
Christmas stories – it’s a real crowd puller. This year we have
themed the displays, on famous pantomimes like Cinderella”.
”You must come and see the displays, we are open Monday to
Saturday 8.00 to 5.30pm and Sundays 11am to 5pm”.
Tel: 01983 811096
of winter in
Gardens are at their
beautiful best in spring
and summer, blooming
with texture and vibrant
It’s much harder to keep up appearances in the wetter, darker autumn
and winter months. It’s harder, but far from impossible.
Creating colour and interest all-year-round in gardens both small and
large is an achievable project with some careful planning.
The two most difficult times to produce colour are at the end of
August and the period between late December and late January. The
key at these times of year is to plant your flowering shrubs nearer to
your house, which will help to give the impression that the whole of
your garden is still flowering.
There are many plants that are recommended for winter colour. Here
is a selection.
Prunus Autumnalis Rosea is a small winter flowering cherry tree with
small highly scented flowers. An ideal tree for the small garden.
Helleborus Niger, known as the Christmas rose, seems unremarkable,
even boring during the summer months. However, as Christmas arrives
the display of waxy flowers is nothing short of spectacular. When
planting, incorporate some peat into the soil. It grows best in semishade,
in a sheltered spot near to your house.
Many conifers and other evergreens display fine winter tints, while
the bare tracery of deciduous trees and shrubs adds a delicate beauty
not appreciated in other seasons. Consequently, some of the most
valuable garden plants for winter are those with coloured stems and
Perhaps the best-known plants for winter stems are Cornus
(dogwoods), which display a range of colours from bright yellow to
Dogwoods grow well in moist, even wet soil and in open, sunny
positions. They flourish around ponds. Many have good autumnal leaf
tints. They combine well with hellebores and ferns, and classic
companions are spring bulbs such as snowdrops, aconites and
For brilliant red stems the Royal Horticultural Society champions
Cornus alba Sibirica which may exceed 6.5ft tall. A vigorous plant
especially in wet ground, it suckers strongly from the root.
For purplish stems, Cornus alba Kesselringii contrasts with brighter
selections, but the sombre colour should be used sparingly.
Look for gold leaves on Cornus alba Aurea, white-variegated foliage
on Cornus alba Elegantissima and green leaves margined gold on
Cornus alba Spaethii. Also notable is Cornus alba Siberian Pearls,
which produces white fruits.
Cornus sanguinea Midwinter Fire can be a remarkable sight.
Older stems in the centre of the plant are yellowish, becoming orange
and finally coral red at the extremities, together giving the
impression of a glowing flame. In autumn its leaves are buttery
For drama, a ghostly, icy-white thicket of Rubus cockburnianus is hard
to beat, but this plant with its 10ft stems like barbed wire is one you
will have to be careful weeding around.
The plant is highly vigorous and often needs restraining so is
unsuitable for smaller gardens. Yet it is not fussy about soil and
grows in sun or dappled shade. Underplant it with snowdrops and
Bamboos are popular, especially those with colourful stems, and as
they are evergreen their appeal is not limited to winter.
Phyllostachys nigra (black bamboo) is seen in many fashionable plots.
Almost as popular is Paurea with bright green canes.
Colourful pots and containers planted with winter plants and bulbs
are popular for brightening dark winter days and look good scattered
throughout the garden to provide splashes of localised interest. Often
they consist of little more than a few winter pansies or heathers, but
with imagination exciting combinations are possible.
A u t u m n a l
g a rd e n i n g
Now you have enjoyed the seasons of buds, blossom and fruits and
vegetables, it is time for your garden to wind down for its winter
slumber. But that doesn’t mean to say it’s finished being a spectacle
just yet, so long as you have the right plants. Autumn will see
berries at their best and foliage dying off in a blaze of rich oranges,
yellows and reds.
And you’re not quite done with your chores either. Autumn is also
the season for you to start planning ahead for the three seasons of
next year. Put the work in now and you will make the most of next
spring, summer and autumn. The second planting season of the year
allows plants and trees to put roots down ready to make full use of
spring’s growing season. Exceptions to this rule are magnolias and
bare root roses, which are both better planted in early spring.
Now is also the time to plant bulbs, make compost, divide
perennials and prepare growing beds for next spring. The abundance
of vegetable matter from trees and plants provides a supply for the
compost pile and next year’s vegetable garden. Dig a trench in your
vegetable garden, fill it with leaves, add some fertiliser and cover
with topsoil. Carry out this task annually and it will produce quality
soil which is organic in every sense of the word.
Unless you carefully planned your
garden last year to produce a
stunning autumnal display, there
isn’t much that you can do as a
quick fix. However, you can
consider incorporating interesting
plants and trees in your garden
design for next year. Here are
some shrubs and trees that make
the most of autumn’s display.
Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
This hardy, deciduous tree has
attractive and delicate leaves in
either vibrant green or red
throughout the summer, but it is
the autumn foliage that sets acers
apart. Depending on the type you
can expect to see vivid reds,
yellow or orange. Height and
spread: 6m x 6m. Special
requirements: Japanese maples
prefer shelter from the wind and
slightly acidic soils.
Hedgehog rose (Rosa rugosa)
This unusual, hardy rose has
crinkled, glossy green leaves with
large pink/purple open flowers in the spring that go on to produce
lovely tomato-like inedible fruits in the autumn. Height and spread:
2m x 2m max.
Crab apple (Malus ‘John Downie’): Also hardy and deciduous, crab
apples provide multi-seasonal interest, with pretty blossom in the
spring and large red crab apples, suitable for making jam, in the
autumn. These look like Christmas baubles once the branches are
bear in the winter months. Height and spread: 10m x 7m. Special
requirements: Prefers full sun.
Spindle tree (Euonymus europaeus ‘red cascade’)
This bushy, deciduous shrub has oval green leaves that transform
into red in the autumn. The autumn also sees purple/pink fruits
split to reveal orange seeds. Height and spread: 3m x 3m max.
While some cotoneasters are evergreen, the deciduous varieties
provide a show of autumnal reds. With pretty white flowers tinged
with pink in the spring and clusters of vibrant red or orange berries
in the autumn, cotoneasters provide a good deal of seasonal
interest. Height and spread: 30cm to 10m x 2m to 10m.
EQUESTRIAN - Sponsored by Brickfields and Froghill
Comfort and style
for your horse
When mum and daughter Soo Richardson
and Mandy Steen wanted to set up a tack
shop on the Island 25 years ago, they
were almost laughed out of the bank.
“The bank thought it was too much of a
risk to lend £500 to two silly women
who wanted to set up a business in a
caravan,” recalls Mandy.
But the women ended up having the last
laugh - because their now-thriving
business, Froghill Tack at Sandford,
carries a stock of at least £150,000, and is
a favourite haunt for riders from miles
Soo and Mandy, who started out because
there was only one other tack shop on
the whole Island (which was too far away
for their own convenience) refused to be
put off by the bank’s downbeat attitude
and plunged in regardless, selling tack on
a small scale. To their satisfaction, they
soon outgrew the caravan they set up in,
and their business now fills an old
agricultural building on the farm where
Mandy and Soo both have homes on the
site, as does Mandy’s sister Genevieve
Sanders, who undertakes a repair and
cleaning service for horse rugs.
In fact, this family concern has proved
its enterprise by constantly looking for
opportunities to diversify the business –
and then going for it.
Five years ago, for instance, after the
clothing chain C&A closed down, Froghill
Tack saw a niche in the skiwear market,
particularly at the budget end, and began
stocking clothing to take customers
stylishly onto the slopes.
“We used to get people coming in asking
if our riding jackets would be suitable for
skiing as well” says Mandy, “and we
realised this might be another opening
The ski section now attracts a lot of firsttime
skiers who don’t want to blow a
fortune on a sport they are only just
trying out, but want to look fun and
funky for their first foray into the snow.
With the new season’s ranges of
salopettes, jackets and accessories just
arriving at Froghill, this is the time of
year when trading becomes brisk.
It also coincides with the time of year
that riders start to dig out their old horse
rugs and realise that barbed wire, horses’
teeth and English weather have taken
Sometimes, the damage can be put right
by repair expert Genevieve, but Froghill
also has a fantastic stock of new rugs to
Mandy’s tips when choosing a new one
Like anything, if you buy quality, it will
last longer than a cheaper brand. Rugs
have to take heavy punishment from
barbed wire fences, rolling, and most
common of all chewing from the horse -
so it’s sensible to go for the best quality
you can afford. Seamless rugs are a good
bet because there is less to get caught,
such as seams, etc.
Also look out for thermobonded fibre,
which regains its original structure and
thickness if the horse rolls. Last but not
least are the straps: make sure they are
stitched or bonded, as many rugs fail
because of the stitching on the straps
and round the buckles.
Design is not just about looking pretty,
it’s about fitting correctly and keeping
the elements at bay. There are plenty of
designs on the market, but some basic
rules apply. First, look at the neck area,
and make sure the rug does not cut into
the bottom of the horse’s neck and
chest, as this can become very
uncomfortable and make grazing
difficult. Another important area is
around the stomach and legs. Look for
rugs that wrap snugly round the horse’s
shape, giving it extra protection without
getting caught and gathering behind the
elbow. This in turn gives the horse more
freedom of movement.
Types of rug
TURNOUT RUG - Used for the winter
months, this can be a single waterproof
rug, or a Duo System, which is a 300gsm
under blanket and a 100gsm Outer Rug,
ideal for our changeable climate.
STABLE RUG - Used when the horse is
left in the stable during the day or
SWEAT RUG - Used for when the horse
returns from a hack out, keeps the horse
Taking care of your rug
It’s important to take care of your rug to
make it last longer. Always make sure
Sponsored by Brickfields and Froghill - EQUESTRIAN
that you either brush the mud off the
rug or hose the whole thing down. Most
rugs can be either hand washed, or put
on a delicate machine cycle (30C). Also
ensure that you use a really mild soap as
using a strong one can cause skin
irritation to the horse. Also some strong
detergents can remove the
waterproofing, which is the last thing
you want. Once washed, rinse
thoroughly in clean water and leave to
drip dry – never tumble dry. Ensure that
it’s stored in a dry, well-ventilated area
to prevent mould growth, and keep well
away from mice, as they love rugs and
chew them to make their nests.
Rugs will vary in price according to
If you ’re not sure, ask
Rugs are not cheap, so you want to think
carefully before you spend your hard earned
cash. If you are not sure then Mandy Steen will
be more than happy to help you.
Call Mandy on 01983 840205.
quality. They all do the same job but if
you invest that bit more then you can be
sure of a rug that lasts longer. Rambo is
probably regarded as the top rug, with
prices ranging from £204 for a Duo
turnout rug, down to £54.95 for an
Amigo turnout rug. A less expensive
range is the Weatherbeeta. Both these
makes of rugs do the job well, although
the Rambo rugs, in our opinion, have the
EQUESTRIAN - Sponsored by Brickfields and Froghill
Above: Annabel & Theo Payton - 2nd Place
Main Picture: Becky
Young - 6th place
No trick – it
Was a real
It was a real treat to see so many
youngsters making a fantastic effort
with their costumes for the Hallowe’en
fancy dress event at Brickfields this
year. Brickfields holds the event every
year – but don’t worry if you missed
out because coming up soon is the
Christmas fancy dress, which is
scheduled for Thursday 29th
December. Any under-15s can take
part for an entry fee of £4.00. If you
would like to get into the festive
dressing up spirit, then please call
Brickfields on 01983 566801.
The top three pairs in the Hallowe’en
fancy dress contest were:
1st - Alex & Josie Toogood
2nd - Annabel & Theo Payton
3rd - Henry Moore &
Above: Henry Moore
& Charlotte Beadle -
Above: Alex & Josie
Toogood - 1st Place
Sponsored by Brickfields and Froghill - EQUESTRIAN
First Hunt of the season...
The fifth of November was a date to
remember not just for bonfire-goers – but
also for the Isle of Wight Fox Hounds, who
were holding their first meeting of the
season on that day. The inaugural meet
attracted a strong turnout, proving that
hunting is still an extremely popular sport
on the Island – although, in line with the
new regulations, drag hunting was the order
of the day.
Riders of all ages (from young children to
senior citizens) and from a wide range of
backgrounds gathered for the event -
suggesting that this is a sport that’s highly
unlikely to disappear from the Island, no
matter what legislation is introduced.
The meeting attracted only two protesters,
armed with video camera and GPS (Global
Left: Ellie Trousdale - Right: Johan Christophson.
Left: Phil Legge with Anna Reed winner
of the Isle of Wight Point to Point Cup.
Above: Sharon Begley.
Right: Zoe Trousdale leading Ellie
around followed by Anna Reed.
Middle - Left: A great turnout with 40
riders, and 200 followers.
Middle - Courtney Sanderson.
Middle - Right: Mark Dibbens - This is
the only picture from 12 that we took
where he is not eating!
“I love bats. People need to be aware of
what an important job they do”
With their spooky, horror-film associations, bats have suffered from
a pretty bad press. In fact many people find them seriously spooky.
But not Graham and Donna Street - they absolutely love the furry
little creatures, which is why they set up the Isle of Wight Bat
Hospital in 1997 to care for sick and injured ones.
Since then, their home has been converted into a veritable bat haven
- so much so that the bats have more space in the home than
Graham and Donna do! All the couple's work is done for the love of
bats, since there is no funding available, and all costs have to be
raised by charity events.
They operate a 24-hour rescue service, and collect sick and injured
bats at all times of day or night. Whilst the intention is always to
release the bats back into the wild, there are some that are too
damaged to be returned and these bats stay with Graham and Donna
for the rest of their days. Currently they rescue approx 120 bats a
year, most of which have suffered an encounter with a cat, or are
just the victims of old age. There are an amazing 12 bat species on
the Island, and they all feed purely on insects.
Graham advises anyone who spots a bat in difficulty to call him
straight away and not leave it for two or three days
"Bats roost during the day in a dark place, so if you see one during
the day that is not normal" he points out.
Grahams bats can go through up to £35 worth of (mealworms?) a
week, and help with this food bill is always much appreciated. If
you would like to make a small contribution, or would like to help
in the care of injured bats then please contact them on 01983
406756 or mobile 07771 605952. Also call these numbers if you come
across a sick or injured bat.
It's worth bearing in mind that bats are a protected species, and
anyone who disturbs their habitat can face a fine of up to £5,000 …
for each bat.
Be a lady
for all seasons
If all the fashion writers are agreed on one thing this year,
it’s that it is time for women to re-discover the joys of
dressing like a lady. Declaring an end to the rule of the
sloppy, bohemian look, the style writers are unanimous that
the trend for this season has switched to the opposite
extreme … chic, sophisticated and decidedly feminine.
All of which is very good news for Island women, because
they have the perfect source of style inspiration right on
The Four Seasons fashion outlet at The Old Smithy in
Godshill is an Aladdin’s cave of classy designer labels,
including stylish continental favourites such as Gerry
Webber, Pret a Porter, Bianca, Olsen, Gardeur and Pola.
Owner Rosemary Brooks says she’s lost count of the number
of times tourists have called in at the shop and gone away
saying ruefully: “If only we had a shop like this back home”.
The attraction of the shop – which caters for discerning
women aged around 30 and upwards – is the sheer range of
choice, quality of product, fabulous colours and extensive
range of sizes.
And, because every woman knows that peculiar frustration of
finding a perfect outfit only to despair of ever finding the
right accessories to go with it, Four Seasons also stocks
footwear from Sloppy Joes and Trickers, along with bags and
other finishing-touch jewellery.
Rosemary says the typical Four Seasons customer is a womann
who knows that casual wear can still be smart and elegant – and also
likes to know that she won’t be forever bumping into other women
wearing the same chain store clothes!
“We pride ourselves on being an individual fashion shop” says
Rosemary, who travels to London regularly to select her stock from
the design houses. “In some ways we offer the style and flair you
would find at somewhere like John Lewis. I think that’s why people
are often amazed when they come in for the first time”.
From working women to busy mums or “ladies who lunch”, the Four
Seasons customer is one who puts quality and style above fickle,
“here today, gone tomorrow” trends.
As we are all aware, it can often be false economy to buy cheaper
chain store clothes that quickly look dated or do not wash and wear
well, when for a few pounds more, it’s possible to buy beautifully,
well-cut alternatives in quality fabrics that will give better and
Continental women have known this fashion trick for decades – the
art of mixing and matching classic, good quality pieces to achieve a
totally individual look.
If you have never visited Four Seasons before, why not pop along for
a browse and a “dressing-up” session? You’ll find staff more than
accommodating, and advice is on hand if you’d like it.
The old-fashioned customer service at this shop also means that
even if your size is not available, they will try their best to obtain
the item in your size.
Photo location: Our thanks to The Priory Bay Hotel, St Helens.
Left - Dave:
Shoes - Paul Smith £145
Jeans - Full Circle £75
Shirt - For You £50
Jumper - Penguin £65
Jacket - Gibson £150
Bag - Paul Smith £145
Gloves - Paul Smith £45
Jacket - Gibson £150
Shirt - Holland esq. £75
Jeans - Full Circle £85
Belt - Paul Smith £45
Left - Kay
Jeans - Full Circle £70
Top - Ted Baker £60
Shoes - French
Dress - Liu Jo £100
Suit - Gibson £200
Shirt - Ted Baker £85
Shoes - Paul Smith
Our thanks to The
Priory Bay Hotel,
The Perfect Fashion Mix
Fashion is always a reflection of the time and place that we live, whether it’s the mini
skirt of the swinging sixties or flares from the funky seventies.So it’s no surprise, with
people travelling the world more and our fascination with celebrities, that fashion is
drawing from a wide source of influences.There's not a uniform, there are just great
looks that you can make your own with the way you mix them up.It’s being individual,
it’s finding those great pieces that together make your own look.It’s all in getting the
Menswear - 3/4 Watchbell Lane, Newport - 01983 821908
Ladieswear - 20 St Thomas Square, Newport - 01983 525665
Inject some serious style into your wardrobe
with the season’s new look of streamlined and
effortless glamour from Artigiano.
Artigiano’s hugely popular outlet store in Cowes
offers clothes and accessories from previous seasons at
fantastically reduced prices. If you’re in the mood for a
bargain or two, visit the store at 49 High Street, Cowes, PO31
7RR. Tel: 01983 297 773.
The elegant mood that is sweeping the catwalks, of
super-stylish monochrome, luxurious fabrics and
precision tailoring, evokes a classic 1950s and
early 60s Italian chic. Isle of Wight-based fashion label,
Artigiano - which aptly means artisan in Italian - has been
fashion’s best kept secret for 10 years.
From black and white separates and the reintroduction of
the twin-set cardi to vibrant pucci-like prints and
exquisitely tailored suits, this winter is all about ladylike
elegance and dressing up.
With its graceful, feminine collection, Artigiano is offering
a desirable modern slant on Italian style. Famed for its
beautiful designs made out of delicate fabrics such as silk,
velvet and cashmere, its elegant, easy-to-wear and
affordable creations are fast becoming covetable
A few key pieces and accessories from Artigiano’s
exquisite collection is all you need to look georgeously up
to date and well turned out for the new season and beyond.
For instant evening glamour
choose rich jewel shades and
Above: Plum velvet
evening bag £69
Right: Kingfisher blue taffeta
evening gown £185
Mix cool creams and whites for elegance.
Creamy cashmere-blend sweaters in
a selection of styles, from £39-£99.
Right: Blonde three quarter length
Polar Skin coat £499
For effortless style choose strong
tailored suits for a modern take on a
Above Left: A selection of Venetian
glass jewellery, from £75.
Left: Black Tailored Trouser suit. Jacket
£169 and wide leg trousers £75. White
cotton shirt £59 Black velvet ballet
style pumps £95
Right: Tweed jacket with frayed edges
and rose corsage £189. Tweed fitted
knee length skirt £79. Leather gloves
Catalogue or Click
To find out more about Artigiano’s latest
collection or to order a copy of the latest
(01983) 531 000
quoting reference PR63,
or visit the web site at
Proof it Really Is
a Beautiful Island,
as Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare
Given the Isle of W ight’s own unique beauty, it was perhaps
“natural” that when two close friends decided to move away from
the capital and base their fledgling beauty business on the
Island, that it would go on to thrive and become the UK’s best
kept beauty secret.
Leading broadcaster and beauty expert Liz Earle, and her
business partner Kim Buckland, co-founded their mail-order,
“naturally active” company in 1995 and the pair decided to make
the Island the home of the company almost immediately. This
key decision proved to be a real plus point for the company.
Firstly, the outdoor life on the Island with its accent on health
and well-being seems to match the company’s philosophy of
creating affordable products that give healthy, glowing skin, no
matter what age or skin type you are. The Island’s colours even
inspired the calm pastel tones of the packaging, which seems to
look so at home in just about ever yone’s bathroom. Secondly,
central to Liz and Kim’s idea for a “beauty company with a
difference”, was their insistence that they would always offer
their customers the ver y best value and ser vice. Instinctively,
Celebrates 10 years of Success…
Liz Earle (left) and
Kim Buckland (right)
Kim and Liz knew that this promise would be far
easier to live up to in the comparatively tranquil,
relaxed setting of the Island, than in the hectic, nonstop
rush of London. Say’s Kim “To offer really good
ser vice, you have to have people with both the right
attitude and the time to really listen to customers and
fortunately the Island has proved to be a rich source
of friendly, well-qualified people”.
The company’s simple formula of effective natural
ingredients and easy to use products that suit
ever ybody, has proved to be so popular that it is
growing rapidly ever y year. There are now over 170
people in the team and there are openings for several
more. Despite selling mainly by mail-order, the
company’s own small shop – Union - in Ryde, gets
around 10 thousand visitors a year with many
customers travelling hundreds of miles, from all over
the countr y just to visit them. In fact such is the
interest in the Island from the brand’s customers that
the company decided to write and produce a guide to
the Island that it sends to customers who want to
visit for the first time. Their user-friendly website
(www.lizearle.com) carries up-to-date highlights of
local events, travel details and lists recommended
The website isn’t the only feature of the company to
win awards. In fact, the Liz Earle Naturally Active
Skincare team can point proudly to numerous awards,
for the quality of ser vice it provides, for the
newsletters, and of course for the skincare range
itself. The brand’s most popular product, the famous
Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser is an award
winner in its own right! It has not only been voted
best beauty product in countless magazine awards,
but has also notched up well over three million sales
on its own.
W ith the colder weather fast approaching, the thought
of a Hot Cloth Cleanser sounds like a real treat, not
Naturally active skincare
Daily essentials Autum/Winter kit
just another beauty chore. W ith this in mind, we asked the
Naturally Active Skincare team if they had any advice to help
ease our skin through the next few months.
In winter, moisture tends to disappear from the skin more
quickly, mainly due to the combination of cold, windy, wintr y
weather and super efficient, modern heating systems. Tr y
following these simple tips to keep your skin looking its best.
Keep a bowl of water near the radiator in your bedroom.
This will boost the humidity in your room and help prevent
your skin from dr ying out overnight.
Daily exfoliation is the key to brighter looking skin in winter
months. The simplest and quickest way to exfoliate is to
cleanse daily with a cotton muslin cloth – save time, cleanse
and exfoliate ever y day in one easy step. Exfoliation also
promotes better absorption of the nourishing protective oils
in any moisturizer you use into the upper epidermal layers of
W inter ’s flat grey light often makes our skin look duller
than it really is - especially in the delicate area under the
eyes. Use a nourishing eye cream to plump up and nourish
this noticeable and sensitive area. It’s a good idea to choose
an eye cream with light reflective particles that will disguise
Our skin is made up of mainly water so it’s important to
remember to still drink enough during the winter months.
Even though we may not feel as thirsty as in the hot summer,
our skin will still dr y out if we don’t take in enough water.
A healthy diet goes a long way to improving skin health
and condition. To provide internal protection from the
elements, take a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral
supplement. Ideally choose one that contains Zinc, Vitamin E
and B-Complex and look to boost your intake of essential
fatty acids from fish Oils or GLA (from either evening
primrose or borage).
Home of natural skincare, 22 Union Street, Ryde. Tel: 01983 813913
Ultimate luxury hamper £135
Best selling, 3 million sold,
Clense & Polish Hot Cloth
The people at Brickfields have recently revived the ancient craft of
traditional cider making, using a method that dates back 150 years.
They previously produced the cider from 1980-1998, and have just
started brewing again this year. The strong cider is produced using
traditional machinery that’s driven by horse power – Prince the
handsome shire horse to be precise.
In days gone by, the machine would have been towed from farm to
farm, since most farmers did not have a pulping machine of their
The apples used in the process do not come from the Island, as the
soil here is not right for producing good cider fruit. Instead, they are
shipped in by the ton from Herefordshire – because it takes a hefty
six hundredweight of apples to produce each 100 gallons of cider.
Cider dates back centuries and was used in earlier days as a form of
currency. At one time, cider was more popular than water, since the
latter was often either polluted or simply not available. An old trick
that used to be employed years ago was to place a piece of pork
belly into the barrel, to give the cider more flavour and a bit more of
The way the cider is produced at Brickfields is exactly how it would
have been done all those years ago. At its absolute best, the cider
produced is sharp and makes a perfect accompaniment to bread and
cheese, as well as being good as a punch base. However even if a
barrel gets air into it, all is not lost, as the cider then turns to cider
vinegar, which is good for all kinds of ailments in humans and
Once the apples have been pressed,
the cider is then put into the
barrels and left to ferment for
about three months, at which point
it can be consumed. Whilst cider
can actually be kept in the barrel
for up to 10 years, this does not
improve the quality, and it is really
better to drink it within 12 months.
If you fancy some original cider
with a real horse’s kick then
contact Brickfields on 01983 566801
Le ft: here you can
see Les Legge
pressed cider from
the pulper to the
wooden casks for
The barrels have to
process, so they are
topped up with water
to remove any air.
Below : The cheese
block - made from
horse hair - comes
pressure, so the
apple juice trickles
into the wooden
Far Left T op : Les
Legge with some
Far Left Bottom:
Prince the Shire hard
Battle Royal for
Mike’s limited editions!
Isle of Wight-based marine artist Mike Miller tackled one of his
most ambitious projects to date when he set about capturing the
awesome spectacle of the Fleet Review at the 2005 Trafalgar
celebrations in Portsmouth Harbour this summer.
Mike’s resulting 5 ft x 2ft canvas, which took a mind-boggling
total of 480 hours to paint, features over 50 ships, set against the
magnificent new landmark Spinnaker Tower. The original is due
to be auctioned at Bonham’s in London and is expected to fetch
a price of between £25,000 and £30,000.
However, before the original went off to London, Mike
commissioned a limited edition run of just 100 from print
specialist Anthony Goddard, and these signed and numbered
copies are now selling fast to collectors.
In fact, such is the interest in the subject of the painting that
Mike has since been asked for a night-time scene of the Trafalgar
event, featuring the magnificent firework display.
Mike, who came to the Island at the age of 10, studied art in
London before training as a boat builder in Cowes – a trade that
took him all over the world, including the West Indies, where he
built a boatyard in Antigua. This background – added to his skill
as a sailor - has been vital in his subsequent career as a marine
artist. As he says: “It’s the reason I get it right”.
He returned to his artistic roots when he opened the Marine
Gallery in Cowes in 1979, and it was there that he began
attracting many long-term commissioning clients, including
members of the royalty.
In 1987 he moved to Lymington where he met and married
actress Jennifer Cresswell, the long-standing hostess of the TV
game show Sale of the Century.
They returned to the Island in 1994 with their then six year-old
daughter, when Mike opened his second gallery, Seaview Fine
Two years ago, he gave up the gallery to concentrate on his
painting, which he now does at his home-based studio in
He continues to work for high-profile clients, including British
and overseas Royals including HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, King
Juan Carlos of Spain and King Constantine of Greece.
The limited edition print is available in three formats all on
canvas: rolled up in a tube, on a stretcher, or framed. Prices start
form £500. For more information or to order, contact Mike on
Ageless world of a
Glorious golden thatch is arguably the most attractive roofing material
going. It's almost certainly the oldest type of roofing still in regular
use in this country, and to homesick ex-patriots and Anglophiles the
world over, the snug look of a cosy collection of thatched homes
gathered round the village church still presents a vivid image of rural
But thatch is far more than this. It is the archetypal roofing material. In
Britain, archaeologists have found evidence of buildings with straw roof
coverings dating back to 500 BC, and today there are known to be at
least 30,000 thatched buildings in England alone, some 24,000 of which
are listed. Far from being a dying craft, thatch is thriving.
Master Thatcher Steven Greenen has been thatching Island roofs for over
28 years, starting at the age of 14 by helping his uncle, a well-known
Island thatcher who has since retired. Steve loves his work, and even
after all these years, he still loves to stand back when he has finished a
job and admire the wonderful look of a thatched roof. Demand for his
craftsman service is so strong that he has to book jobs up to a year in
Steve explains that a thatched roof has the same substructure as a
normal roof, but that instead of laying roof tiles, reed or straw is used.
In previous times, more straw would have been used, but most roofs now
are re-laid with reed as it is stronger and lasts longer (anything up to 40
years whereas straw lasts 20 years). Reed also keeps the wildlife out
because it is much harder than straw.
If you are thinking of purchasing a thatched property you can always
call Steve to advise on the condition of the roof. However, as a quick
guide, the signs of a failing thatched roof are: gulleys forming in the
straw or reed, spires poking through, or maybe just a generally untidy
look. The roof itself can be either repaired or re-laid, and as a guide, the
average cost of re-laying a roof is around £7.00 per square foot. So an
average roof of 1600 sq ft would cost in the region of £12,000, and take
anywhere between 4-6 weeks to complete. One part of the roof that
would require replacing about every 10 years is the ridge, which takes
the brunt of the weather in the winter months.
When a roof is re-thatched, only the first two or perhaps three layers are
removed. Each layer is about 3-4 inches thick, so you can see some
buildings where the thatch is up to a hefty 3-4ft thick. It may look very
heavy but in fact, thatch is much lighter than standard roof tiles.
Apart from their chocolate box looks, thatched roofs provide good
insulation in the winter and keep the building cool in the summer, and
because the insurance market has become so competitive it is now no
longer a problem to insure, although it will always be slightly more
expensive than a conventional roof.
Telephone Steve Greenen on: 01983 822571
Mobile: 07971 789792
What can I do to
sell my house?
We’ve all heard tales of friends who put their property on the market one day
and had the SOLD sign up the next – but with the market now slowing down to
a more realistic pace, it may take a little more time, effort and attention to
detail to clinch that sale.
So how do you make sure YOUR home is at the top
of a buyer’s “want to see” list?
1. Choose the right
This is the first vital decision you’ll need
to make. Take a look at what’s on the
books of several local agents and choose
one that seems to focus on properties of a
similar type to yours. There’s little use in
instructing an agent who normally markets
trendy apartments or country estates, if
yours is a traditional 3-bed semi!
Also, remember that you need to have a
rapport with your chosen estate agent, so
choose one you can communicate easily
with, and who, you feel, is on your
wavelength. After all, the agent will
effectively become your business partner
during the selling process, and if
communication is poor, then working
conditions are hardly going to be easy. Ask
yourself if you believe in your agent’s
ability to sell your property.
2. Get the price right
Once you have decided upon your agent,
the next step is setting an asking price for
your home. The usual advice is to
approach three local agents for a valuation
and take an average. Bear in mind,
though, that valuing property is not an
exact science, which is why agents’
valuations may show a 10% or in some
cases, even 20% difference. The
temptation is always to go for the higher
valuation, but remember that agents
sometimes value on the high side in order
to get an instruction. Often, these are
the agents who may call you after a
couple of weeks of marketing, to suggest a
price reduction. Bear in mind that buyers
are currently spoilt for choice as there is
much more property on the market, so
valuing realistically is more likely to get
them through your door. One way of
getting a realistic valuation is to contact
a local qualified surveyor. This will cost
you, but will give their valuation based
upon past history, and his or her inside
knowledge of similar properties that have
sold in the area. Or, do some DIY detective
work and find out what similar properties
in your area have sold for (rather than
been marketed at). Often, though, simply
averaging out the three valuations from
the local estate agents will give you the
best selling price. By now, you should
have the right agent, selling at the right
3. Listen to the experts!
Once you are this far down the line, it is
important that you listen to your estate
agent - after all you have now effectively
employed them to do a job. Your estate
agent spends all day every day looking at
other people’s houses, and they get to know
what will attract or put off a buyer – so ask
if there are any improvements you can make
to pep up the appeal of your home. There
may be something glaringly obvious that you
don’t see because you live with it, but which
an agent will pick up instantly.
The agent will be aware of the average
buyers’ favourite colours and design features,
and can often come up with easy and
inexpensive ideas you can carry out to
present your living space in the best possible
light. Remember, you’re going to be paying
for your agency service - so make good use
of it! If you co-operate and work with your
agency, you’ll find that they are more willing
to work harder to sell your property, because
they can see that you are putting in the
Everyone knows that when new owners move
in, out go the carpets, the colours schemes –
sometimes even the bathroom or kitchen. So
why re-decorate, you may ask? Well, houses
are no different from anything else we buy,
and the more co-ordinated, clean and
presentable they are, the more they appeal
to the eye. Would you buy a new car with
dents and scratches and a filthy interior?
No! So why would you expect someone to
buy your property if it’s looking unloved,
unkempt and rough around the edges? Scary
as it sounds, it may be advisable to consider
re-decorating the key rooms to freshen them
up. You can do this on a strict budget by
opting for a simple re-paint job in light,
uplifting neutral shades, and adding in some
contemporary accessories such as cushions,
lamps, a rug, some potted plants and vases –
which of course you will take away with you
5. Keep it simple
Often, showing your home at its best will
mean you need to de-clutter and
depersonalise. A would-be buyer needs to be
able to imagine their own possessions in
your home, and if it’s over-stuffed with
yours, that becomes difficult. To de-clutter,
contact your local removal company and
organise a storage crate, then go through
your property and remove anything that isn’t
used from day to day. This will instantly
make the property look larger and more airy.
Secondly de-personalise, which may also
mean a re-paint job in more neutral tones if
you have individualistic purple or orange
colour schemes. It may also be a good idea
to have the carpets cleaned, and don't forget
to clean the bathrooms and toilets, and to
keep the windows sparkling. The cost of the
paint and carpet cleaning will be around
£400-500, but this may well make a
difference to the price you can sell for. Don't
forget, we are now in a buyers’ market, which
makes it more important than ever that your
property stands out from the rest.
6. House Dressers
If you do not have the time, or feel that
decorating and re-styling are not your strong
points, then you might consider calling on
the expert services of a house dresser. These
professionals will view your property as a
buyer would, and then discuss with you the
possible ways that your house could be
improved with a budget of around £1,000.
This investment could in some cases achieve
an additional £5,000 on the price of your
property, and in a toughening market may
well be the best way of making your home
supplied by Pittis
Estate Agents and
Watergate Road £360,000
Lounge, Dining Room, Study/3rd Reception, 4
Bedrooms, Single Garage.
Newport Office: 01983 528888
2 Receptions, 4 Bedrooms, En-Suite, Utility
Room, Garage, Gardens.
Freshwater Office: 01983 756222
Shide O.I.R.O £349,950
Lounge, Dining Room, 3/4 Bedrooms, Attic
Room, Double Garage.
Newport Office: 01983 528888
Wootton Bridge £495,000
Modernised sympathetically by present owners approximately 2 1/2 years ago, viewing is
essential to appreciate the quality of this home - one of the many delightful features of this
property is the rear garden laid to lawn surrounded by a variety of mature trees, bushes,
and shrubs, plus swimming pool. Other benefits include a fitted kitchen, plus separate
utility room, en-suite shower.
Ryde Office: 01983 564646
Whitwell, Newport Road £365,000
A period property set in a semi-rural location on the outskirts of Whitwell. Benefits include 4
bedrooms ( 3 En-suite), 3 Receptions, detached garage and gardens. Open countryside
views can be enjoyed from various positions within the elevated grounds.
Shanklin Office: 01983 868777
Offices in: Newport - Bembridge - Shanklin - Sandown - Cowes - Ryde - Freshwater
Fishbourne, Guide £575,000 to £625,000
Built during the late 1970's and surrounded by mature trees, bushes, and shrubs, the
garden is certainly a feature not to be missed overlooking its own natural pond with
mallards. The property also benefits from a 24' x 17' lounge/dining room, plus 2 further
reception rooms, kitchen with Aga, and 3 bathrooms. Chain free.
Ryde Office: 01983 564646
A unique home offering uninterrupted and outstanding views over the busy solent.
Includes a large kitchen /breakfast room separate dining room conservatory , 3 large
bedrooms, 4th bedroom/study an interesting garden room ideal for entertaining and a wrap
around balcony/terrace from where the yachting can be viewed and enjoyed..
Cowes Office: 01983 292345
3 Bedrooms, 22’ Living Room, Dining Room,
Secondary Accommodation which is a 1 Bed
Bungalow. Ryde Office: 01983 564646
Lounge, Dining Room, 4 Bedrooms,
Study/Bedroom 5, Utility Room, Palm House.
Ryde Office: 01983 564646
Lounge with Balcony, 4 Bedrooms, En-Suite
Shower Room, Modern Build.
Newport Office: 01983 528888
D o y o u v a l u e y o u r h o m e ? W e d o F R E E o f c h a r g e
Offices: Newport - Ryde - Cowes - Freshwater
Newport Office - 01983 524000
A well maintained proper ty in a
Sitting room/bedroom 4
Gui de Price £4 10, 000
Ryde Office - 01983 811811
Location, location, location
3 acres and country views.
Set in 3 acres of land
Detached 4 bedroom bungalow
Stable block for 2 horses
Guide Pri ce £49 5,00 0
Ryde Offic e - 01983 811811
Ryde Office - 01983 811811
Cowes Office - 01983 292929
A lovely detached home in a
quiet rural location.
Alverstone Garden Village
Guide Pri ce £ 35 8,00 0
Newport Office - 01983 524000
A beautifully presented family
home in a quiet rural setting.
Open Plan living and dining room
Sun lounge - pool room
En-Suite and family bathroom
Parking and gardens
Gui de Price £4 25, 000
Newport Offic e - 01983 524000
Freshwater Office - 01983 759618
B a r r a t t f i x e s i t
f o r f i r s t t i m e
b u y e r s
The exciting new Marlborough Road development in popular Ryde
has a selection of stylish brand new homes that offer superb
value for money in one of the UK's most expensive regions.
Many first time buyers have been pushed out of the market, resulting
in the island's younger residents either putting off buying a home of
their own or heading across the water to the main land to find more
However the one and two bedroom homes at Barratt Homes,
Southampton's latest Isle of Wight venture come with the promise of
incredible offers that could be the answer to first time buyers'
Mark Cutler is one buyer that has already benefited from such an
"After being knocked back by other house builders I was on the
verge of giving up," said 27 year-old Mark Cutler. "They told me I
couldn't afford any of their properties," he added.
Barratt's Parent Support scheme helps first time buyers get on to the
first rung of the ladder. Mark had been looking for over 12 months at
new build and older properties but nothing was within his budget.
The scheme works by using the equity held in the parent's home as a
guarantee against the new property.
"My parents needed no convincing, they wanted to see me investing
in my future rather than wasting money on rent. That's what they
said anyway, maybe they were just keen to get rid of me," he jokes.
Barratt have also provided me with kitchen appliances and carpets
throughout," says Mark. "I'm now in a position I thought I would
never get to, living in my own brand new home, with comfortable
Mark is joined by many other young people that thought owning
their first home was a distant dream but proven wrong thanks to
If a first time buyer does want to go it alone then Barratt Homes
have other deals that can also help.
Hamble Le Rice in Hampshire, like much of the Isle of Wight, is a
highly popular sailing spot and has seen house prices rocket in
recent years. Kate Silvers, 26, has always wanted to live there, but
being such a desirable area, first time buyers like Kate can find
buying a property extremely difficult.
Kate found a stunning new apartment which she could afford thanks
to Barratt Home's fantastic 'First Time Buyers' package which included
payment of stamp duty, legal fees, survey fees, removal costs as well
as a 5% deposit paid. Barratt Homes also have a panel of solicitors
for you to choose from and free mortgage advice from one of a
number of independent advisors.
"I never thought I would be able to afford a home like this. The First
Time Buyers package from Barratt Homes is so good that a couple of
my friends are now looking to buy an apartment with Barratt!"
Barratt Homes have a number of different purchase packages aimed
at making the buying process as easy and manageable as possible for
any house hunter and tailored to meet a variety of different needs.
"It makes business sense for us to support the next
generation of home owners, after all they are also our future
customers," said Andrew Wainwright, sales director for
Barratt Home, Southampton.
"But as a father I also know how keen I am for my children
to get onto the property ladder and realise how increasingly
difficult it is for young people to do so. Obviously as a
business we have to make profitable decisions but it is great
when something like our first time buyer deals not only
make business sense but also genuinely help people,"
To find out more about the properties and deals available at
Marlborough Road visit www.barratthomes.co.uk or call the
sales office on 01983 618769.
Far left: A typical lounge from one of Barratt Homes' one or two
Above: Mark Cutler is really pleased with his first home thanks to the
support he got from Barratt Homes
Below: Kate Silvers (far left) with her mum and three friends at the
Isle of Wight Airshow; when she bought her home in Hamble she
entered a free prize draw for tickets and helicopter flight at this
year's Isle of Wight Airshow.
Haddon Lake House
Whatever happened to the St. Lawrence
‘Tropical Bird Par k’ attraction, after it closed its
doors for the last time almost 10 years ago?
The site of this for mer Victorian garden,
complete with third of an acre lake, walled
garden and woodland walks has recently
undergone a dramatic restoration and
transfor mation to become Haddon Lake House,
the home of, Phillippa and Stephen Lamber t
The inspiration for this unique ‘self-build’ house
came from architect Michael Rainey who
followed Phillippa’s brief to design a Japanese
influenced ‘boathouse’ that decks out over the
lake to the west, over looks the walled garden to
the east, and appears to float effor tlessly on
the water. The interior, filled with light and the
reflections of the water, has a cohesive palette
of natural materials and glass surfaces. These
glorious materials tie the whole structure to its
environment, producing a cool, contemporar y
building that blends seamlessly with its
The newly restored gardens are open by
arrangement and without charge for schools and
other interested groups. Those wishing to visit
should call Phillippa on 01983 855151.
Photographs by Jessica Dobbs
a prestige new
Stephenson Developments begins
its first project on the Isle of Wight with a
development of 6 luxury apartments and
one penthouse nestling along the most
picturesque Turf Walk in Totland, with
unspoilt countryside offering very
accessible fabulous walks and mainland
ferry. This is an opportunity to purchase
that should not be overlooked by any
discerning buyer seeking something quite
Nearby Freshwater Bay boasts one of the
Island's finest beaches enveloped by the
beautiful Tennyson Down. Local facilities
include two golf courses, one with
breathtaking views. For those with
enthusiasm for fitness there is a choice of
local health clubs, gymnasiums and spa.
The county town of Newport is just twenty
five minutes drive away with its own wealth
of history and shops. For the yachting
fraternity both Yarmouth and ferry linked
Lymington offer excellent clubs with
facilities for both individuals and families.
Wilmington Heights has much more to offer than the obvious high specification
and fabulous location.
For further details please call Sarah Wratten, Fox Property on 01983 759618
“Kingsview”in Ventnor, is the latest
project by Vectis Developments offering
buyers the chance to live in luxury. In
total there are 18 apartments consisting
of 2 penthouses, 3-three bedroom
apartments, 10-two-bedroom apartments
and 3-one bedroom apartments each
having their own outside living areas or
balconies. In addition each apartment
benefits from its own allocated and
secure parking area. A passenger lift
serves all floors. The town of Ventnor is
situated on the Islands southern coast
where it enjoys an almost sub-tropical
climate. Surrounding Kingsview are
stunning geological features together
with superb coastal and sea views.
Anyone looking for modern living within a
high-tech development, with an Art Deco
theme, should make a visit to Kingsview.
Due to the demand, which has led to
successful sales, there are only two
apartments remaining. The first is a
three-bedroom apartment situated on the
first floor. One of the main features is
the 180-degree semi-circular window
overlooking the bay with stunning sea
views. In addition there is a balcony
with lighting, power point and again with
views over the bay. The master bedroom
benefits from an en-suite bathroom and
there is a door that leads out onto the
The last apartment is a luxurious
penthouse that enjoys stunning views of
St Boniface Down and Ventnor Bay. The
accommodation includes a fitted kitchen
offering a range of fitted units together
with an integrated dishwasher, stainless
Top: View of Ventnor Bay from
A bove: Huge panoramic window with
views onto Ventnor bay.
Right: Modern bathroom.
Contact Pittis on 01983 868777
steel oven and grill with touch hob,
extractor, microwave and ‘Smeg’
fridge/freezer. There is also a separate
utility with a fitted washer/dryer. The
‘outside living area’ spans to three sides and
again offers outside lights and power point.
Truly a stunning apartment with stunning
views to match.
Luxury hotels and restaurants
that cater to your every whim.
Starting in 2006, we will be expanding this section and turning the
spotlight on the very best of the Island’s accommodation,
restaurants, and leisure attractions. This feature, aimed both at
local residents and visitors to the Island, will be packed with ideas
and suggestions for things to do, places to visit, and eating places to
savour during the winter months and school holidays. As residents,
it’s easy to forget just how spoilt for choice we are on our lovely
Island, so we will offering you timely reminders of what’s out there.
Meanwhile, if you have any feature suggestions or tourism news for
the next issue (Jan/Feb 06), please contact the editor on
0870 112 60 70 or 07976 797455.
- Modern rooms
- Fine dining
- Private dining
- Widescreen TV’s
- Valet parking
- All rooms en-suite
THE HAMBROUGH HOTEL
The Pond Cafe
Bonchurch Village Road, Bonchurch
Rating Applied For
Hambrough Road, Ventnor
Tel: 01983 856333
The Hambrough is a brand new Hotel
with views of the bay and within easy
walking distance of Ventnor’s many
attractions. A warm & friendly Hotel
with comfortable bar/lounge, sun
lounge and an enviable reputation.
The Hambrough prides its self on
Experience our sensational fine dining menu in the
fantastic restaurant overlooking the pond in Bonchurch.
Victoria Ave, Shanklin
Tel: 01983 862329 Fax: 01983 866666
- 7 Bedrooms all en-suite - Direct dial telephone
- Colour TV and DVD/CD - Sunbed
- Luxury whirlpool spa - Children not allowed
- Health & beauty salon - Non smoking
Foxhills is a well situated Hotel within easy walking distance of Shanklin's
many attractions. A warm & friendly Hotel with comfortable bar/lounge, sun
lounge and an enviable reputation. Melt away your tensions and clear your
mind in the luxury whirlpool spa and indulge yourself with a choice of health
and beauty treatments and our fast tan sunbed.
ETC - 3 Star
“The Country House
Hotel by the sea”
Two AA Rosettes for
country house hotel
in a 70-acre seaside
THE PRIORY BAY HOTEL
Eddington Road, St. Helens
Tel: 01983 613146 Fax: 01983 616539
Open 7 days a week
10am - late
awarded Five Red
Diamonds by the AA
Foxhills provides a perfect year-round short break destination, whether for a
special occasion, a tranquility break, bed and breakfast or business trip.
The attention to detail has earned Foxhills a five diamond gold award from
the English Tourism Council and Five Red Diamonds by the AA - all of which
is thoroughly endorsed by the many delightful messages in their visitors'
book. Foxhills sits beside a wide leafy avenue amidst beautiful gardens
backed by dappled woodland. Imaginatively decorated with excellent
facilities Foxhills offers the highest standards - Foxhills is just a 5 minute
taxi journey from Shanklin station at the terminus of the Island rail line,
with easy connections to Portsmouth, London and the North.
The double and twin rooms are en-suite and all bedrooms have been
beautifully refurbished. They offer direct dial telephone with separate
computer point, colour television, hairdryer, tea/coffee facilities and mini
bar on request. For that special occasion, the Osborne suite offers a four
poster bed, and those little extra touches that add luxury to its Victorian
elegance. All rooms are provided with DVD and CD players. Foxhills hold a
large library of up-to-date DVDs for guests to use.
Luxuriate in the whirlpool spa which is also available for private sessions by
guests. Melt away your tensions, and clear your mind. To complement the
facilities within Foxhills, arrangements have been made for guests to use a
neighbouring swimming pool, sauna and gym (at a small additional cost).
Walks, cycle routes and car tours, have all been researched for you, and route
maps are supplied free of charge. Picnic lunches are also available for those
days out. Riding, flying lessons, plane and helicopter pleasure flights, golf,
and intensive driving courses can be arranged.
Foxhills is fully licensed and can offer a wide range of cocktails, wines,
beers, spirits and soft drinks. Foxhills offer a variety of inclusive packages
including Tranquility, Health and Beauty and New Year Specials. They would
be delighted to send you a mini brochure giving further details on request.
Tel: 01983 862329
brings touch of
class to Ventnor
What’s happening to Ventnor?
Lately Ventnor seems to be
attracting new business, and the
developers are moving in building
prestige flats and retail outlets. So
not to miss out, the owner of the
popular Pond Cafe in Bonchurch
decided to invest in what I would
personally call a 4 star hotel. The
Hambrough is located just up from
the Esplanade and has beautiful
sea views. Frederic Sol re-furbished
the building to an incredibly high
The hotel its self has a very
upmarket feel about it from the
moment you walk in, clean,
modern and you see straight away
it’s very well run. It’s not a large
hotel, in fact there are only 7
rooms, however the quality and
finish of the rooms are very rarely
seen elsewhere. Rooms 1 and 2 are
straight out of a high class
magazine, wide screen flat panel
televisions, Illy coffee machines,
very expensive en-suites, and the
furniture is solid and well made.
Rooms 1 and 2 benefit from a
balcony which looks out to Ventnor
The hotel boasts a Brasserie and a
fine dining restaurant, which is
open to the general public. The
quality of the food is not an issue
if the The Pond Cafe is anything to
go by. However the ambiance of the
restaurant is completely different
from The Pond Cafe. The French
manager Frederic Sol is very
committed to ensuring that the
whole experience is unforgettable
for both guests and visitors. A
typical 3 course meal will cost no
more than £22.50 a head. The wine
list is also very extensive and
includes many fine wines that
cannot be purchased from your
local dealer. Well worth a visit.
Telephone: 01983 856333
The long awaited new M Class from
Mercedes-Benz made its debut on the
15th of September at the Islands
Mercedes retailer Esplanade in Newport.
The new M class, which will replace the very successful out going
model, will be available in various engines and trim levels. From
SE and sport with even the standard model boasting a very high
level of specification. Prices start from £36,710 for the ML350
which includes 7G-Tronic 7 speed automatic gearbox, gearshift
buttons (DIRECT SELECT) with speedtronic cruse control, alloy
wheels 7 spoke 7.5J*17", electronic four wheel traction control
along with the usual safety features you would expect
on a Mercedes, ASR, ESP, and all the airbags you would
There are three engines available from launch, the new 320Cdi
diesel developing 224bhp with a 0-62mph in just 8.6 sec's, along
with the 350 V6 272bhp and 500 V8 306bhp petrol engines.
While the robust engines take care of deliciously sweet power
delivery and you settle into the ergonomically styled seats, you
will be able to look forward to a gentile ride on even the most
bone-jarring routes. Yet more convenience and comfort comes in
the form of the
with the direct
well as the
added peace of mind,
there's the Pre-Safe system
standard on all models.
The new automatic gearbox, which is referred to
as 7G-Tronic, is a 7 speed automatic
transmission. Gears are selected directly
without any perceptible interruption in tractive
power. Should you wish to brake sharply or
accelerate briskly, the gearbox simply skips a
few gears and gives a silky smooth change and
further fuel savings all add up to produce a
winning combination. If however you are
harbouring sporty ambitions, you can manually
down shift using the standard DIRECT-SELECT
buttons on the steering wheel.
Well how would you sum up this new M class,
its got the build quality that you have come to
expect from a Mercedes, the driving dynamics
are superb and ergonomically you would find it
hard to beat, so over all the new M class is in a
class of its own
For information contact:
Isle of Wight
01983 52 32 32
The 1-Series represents BMW's attempt to
bring premium brand prestige to an even
larger audience. The littlest BMW competes
against VW's Golf, Audi's A3 and high-spec
Focus and Astra models from Ford and
In a sector dominated by front-drivers, the 1-
Series is unique in offering rear-wheel drive
powered by a longitudinally mounted engine in
the front. And it was BMW's aim to make this
the most sporting hatchback in the class, to
which end the 1-Series completed an
astonishing 30,000 miles of testing around the
demanding Nurburgring road race circuit in
The 1-Series is available with 1.6- and 2.0-litre
petrol engines, and a 2.0-litre diesel in 150bhp
or 122 bhp form, the latter badged 318d, and
last but not least the 3.0lt M-Sport, petrol.
Standard equipment includes a six-speed
transmission on all but the entry-level 116i,
run-flat tyres, six airbags, a CD player and an
This is a genuinely entertaining car to drive.
Combine perfect 50/50 weight distribution with
rear-wheel drive and a long wheelbase with
short overhangs and you get a marvellous
formula for poise and balance on the road.
They are fantastically good to drive, have
distinctive looks, a prestige badge and a 5 star
NCAP rating for safety.
Prices start from £15,995 for a 116i.
Tel: 01983 522555
BMW cuts a dash in town or
country, while offering superb
The Fabia is the smart, money-savvy but utterly credible choice in
this class. And speaking of class, like the Polo, the Fabia tends to be
bought by people of all ages, in all professions - it cuts across the
usual snob boundaries to have a near-universal appeal. It's not as
sporty-looking as the Ibiza, but then it doesn't come with its Spanish
twin's boy racer connotations.
The Skoda Fabia shares its basic platform (chassis, floorpan and essential
underpinnings) with both the Volkswagen Polo and the Seat Ibiza, and
most of its engines are common to those ranges too. It's the most familyoriented
of the three, however, coming in roomy five-door hatchback,
conservative four-door saloon or load-lugging compact estate form (the
Polo and Ibiza only come as three- and five-door hatches). Model for
model, it's also the cheapest, though to treat it purely as a cut-price
Volkswagen rather undermines its appeal in its own right.
The extensive engine line-up comprises 1.2 6-valve (54bhp), 1.2 12v
(64bhp), 1.4 16v (75bhp or 100bhp), and 2.0-litre (115bhp) petrol units,
plus the 1.9 SDI (64bhp), 1.4 TDI PD (75bhp), 1.9 TDI (100bhp) and 1.9
TDI vRS (130bhp) diesels. There's also plenty of variation in
specifications, from entry-level models nearer the Skodas of old in terms
of creature comforts right up to fully-loaded, well decked-out top-end
All Fabias have a cable-free drive-by-wire
throttle, which was disconcerting and
dead-feeling to many drivers at first, but
this has now been improved. It has
relatively low repair, service and parts
costs. It also feels well screwed-together,
with a nicely-finished cabin upholstered
in decent fabrics and pleasant plastics - it
certainly isn't cheap and nasty.
Ray Winter from F.H Winter said “Skodas
have come a long way over the last few
years, and the build quality is now second
to none, and value for money is still the
driving force behind the Skoda mark”.
Entry level price for the Skoda Fabia is
Contact: F.H Winter & Son
Ryde, Isle of Wight.
Tel: 01983 882455
Above: Fabia vRS, it’s quicker than a Mini Cooper S, and
that’s official as the BBC1 motoring series Top Gear proved
fair and square.
Below: Exceptional value for money the 1.2 Fabia Classic,
only £6,995 and includes free air conditioning. Great for
around town, low insurance costs and a combined fuel
figure of 47.1mpg.
L O O K I N G F O R Y O U R Y O U N G S T E R ’ S F I R S T C A R ?
C1 is the answer
This, the littlest in the Citroen range and sister model to
the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 107, rounds off Citroen's trio
(four if you count the C3 Pluriel) of town cars. It satisfies
the ever-increasing demand for city-dwelling models that
don't break the bank and can transport four adult friends
around without suffocating any one of them. Three- and
five-door models are available, which makes the C1 a worthy
rival to the Kia Picanto and Fiat Panda.
The C1 is mechanically identical to the Aygo and 107,
sharing chassis, engines, and even interior fittings.
Individual character on the Citroen comes in the form of a
bolder grille than the Toyota and slightly smarter headlights
than the 107. It's arguably the best-looking of the three.
The C1's tail lights are also unique.
The little Citroen's engaging, uncomplicated driving
dynamics recommend it for the Island driving scene, while
its low price and straightforward cabin layout will appeal to
first-time buyers and OAPs, Citroen's target buying groups.
The C1's trump card is its lower starting price (the basic
three-door model undercuts the entry-level Aygo).
Two specification levels are available, Vibe and Rhythm, the
latter adding electric windows. Kit includes an MP3compatible
CD player (important for the with-it crowd), two
airbags, central locking, and ABS with brakeforce
distribution and stability control. Air-con is a £500 option
on Rhythm versions, and an extra pair of airbags is standard
Shaun Dove from Central Garage, Newport commented that
“for first time drivers this is the ideal car to start with,
because it’s inexpensive to buy and it’s only group one
insurance, also a major advantage is that you have the
optionof 3 or 5 doors, and we have some very good deals on
the C1 currently running. Entry level price £6,495.
Contact Shaun Dove at Central Garage, Newport
on 01983 526541
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Stockists of Eternit Weather Boarding
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(Down the hill from the quarry)
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