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Helping the local Earl Mountbatten Hospice 36,000 copies - Friday 5th December 2008

Electric shock for Shanklin hotelier

AN ISLAND hotelier was left stunned after receiving an electricity bill for more than £50,000, the reading being taken from a meter he did not even know existed.

“Then I received calls from Opus Energy, saying they would be cheaper so I decided to save cancelled N Power’s supply myself some money and go with shortly after taking over the them. Opus informed N Power hotel three years ago. they had taken over the supply, The bill that has risen to and I even received a rebate £57,000 is for electricity running cheque for £500. 
 through a meter for the past 18 “As far as I was concerned I Stephen Leach, who owns months that he thought was inhad finished with N Power. But Holliers Hotel in Shanklin cluded in Opus’s initial package about 14 months later I got a Old Village, claims he is the deal, but was still ‘owned’ by N letter from them saying I owed innocent victim of a shamPower. them money. I gave the bill to bolic mix-up between two Mr Leach argued: “How can the previous owner because electricity suppliers. this building be doing that much I thought it must be theirs, Now he has contacted Island electricity in a year? I would be because I was no longer with N MP Andrew Turner for support, lighting up the whole village.”
 Power.” but in the meantime he is having The frustrated proprietor Then came the sting. Mr to start paying off the massive explained to The Gazette the Leach continued: “N Power said bill for fear that his electricity convoluted story behind the that 
Opus Energy had not taken supply could be cut off, forcing crippling demands from the two over the whole energy supply him out of business. suppliers. and I was currently being sup“The whole matter is a comHe said: “I bought the hotel plied by two energy companies. plete nightmare,” said Mr Leach, three years ago, and there were It took them 14 months to realise who discovered he was being accounts we looked through, so they were still supplying me. supplied by both N Power and we knew the electricity bills had Opus Energy, even though he been about £9,000 a year. 
 Continued on page 3 By Jamie White

INSIDE YOUR

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Meal for 4 at Mamma Mia with a bottle of wine

Firemen to the rescue Stephen Leach with his collection of bills

New radio station for Island in 2009

AN EXCITING new radio station is to hit the Island airwaves early in the New Year.

By Peter White

broadcasting on the Island bang into the twenty-first century, and will start broadcasting WightFM will initially on the Internet, feature a host of top available to listen to live radio presenters and from January via www. wightfm.com. DJs already well WightFM will also be known to Islanders including David ‘Doc’ available through Wi-Fi radios, which will be Holmes and news available from various anchorman Justin outlets across the Island, Gladdis. initially from the staThe station will bring tion’s new studio, based

at Spithead Business Centre in Sandown. Former IW Radio chief Andy Shier will also be joining the talented line-up along with ‘Meridian Dave’. Other big names will include former Radio One DJ Paul Burnett, Howard Pearce of Radio Two and Virgin fame, and Mark Wesley, formerly with Radio Luxembourg. The team behind the new station is hoping

it will buck the trend of listeners deserting commercial radio in the face of irritating reverse text auctions, networked shows and money-

generating mobile phone quizzes. Station director Martin Potter commented: “I am so excited that we have managed to pull

together a radio dream team from the Island. It will be like the good old days.” Full story – page 5

Page 9

Pubwatch gets tough

Page 26

Your festive guide

Page 13


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gazette news

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News Round-up

Contact Details tel: (01983) 402599 email: newsdesk@iwgazette.co.uk address: The Isle of Wight Gazette

Three stars for care services

Unit B18 Spithead Business Centre Newport Road Sandown Isle of Wight PO36 9PH

sales: 01983 402599 Laura Webb James Rolfe Anne Bishop Mr Smith (right) with Major General White

Published by: The Isle of Wight Gazette Ltd Editor: Martin Potter Reporters: Jamie White, Peter White, Roz Whistance, Richard Collins, Justin Gladdis, June Elford Sub Editor: Paul Rainford Distribution: Isle of Wight Distribution Ltd. Design: Colin Clarke, Richard Heaven

Supporting the Earl Mountbatten Hospice through your generous donations when you pick up your free copy. * (Front page) Print runs may vary from issue to issue

Issue 10

December 5 2008

MBE honour for John

ISLAND resident John Smith decided there was no place like home when he heard the news that he had been made MBE in this year’s Queen’s
Birthday Honours List.

By Jamie White

munity. He said: “I am really delighted that so many representatives and members of this community could be present. They have given me so much
support Mr Smith, 83, chose to over the years with many receive the award on the different projects.”
 HM Island rather than travel Lord Lieutenant Major General White said: “Mr to Buckingham Palace, Smith has been honso that members of his oured for his outstandcommunity could take part in the celebrations.
 ing contribution to the Newchurch Community So Mr Smith, from and it gives me great Newchurch, was prepleasure to present him sented with the honour by HM Lord Lieutenant with his MBE on behalf Major General White CB of Her Majesty The Queen. Mr Smith wanted CBE JP for his services to the Newchurch Com- to have the award presented in Newchurch amongst the people he cares about most.” Over the last 25 years, Mr Smith has set up many organisations, including the Newchurch Parish Sports and Community Association, which has raised money for a wide range of projects for the benefit of Newchurch and

the surrounding area. The Association was also behind the
Garlic Festival, which has helped raise the much needed funds to buy the pavilion, create playing fields and contribute towards the cost of Newchurch Community Hall. As well as being chairman of the Apse Heath over 60s club, life president of the Newchurch Horticultural Society and co-ordinator of the Alverstone Poetry Club, Mr Smith is also a keen astronomer and was secretary of the Vectis Astronomical Society for 20 years. He was instrumental in the creation of the Isle of Wight Observatory, meaning
his passion for astronomy could be shared with others.
He was also voted one of the Isle of Wight Council’s Unsung Heroes in
2004.
Over 50 friends and guests joined Mr Smith as he received the award at a special ceremony at Newchurch Pavilion.

Island Mortgage Solutions For Buy To Let

01983 533777

admin@islandmortgagesolutions.co.uk

How much raised so far? We are glad to say that the readers of The Gazette have now raised approximately £8022, in total for the local Hospice. Well done and thank you for your support.

Competition winners

The winner of the 36 pint ‘cubey’ of Ventnor Golden bitter competition courtesy of the Broadway Inn held in the last issue was Mr Gerry Underhill, Sandown

Send your news to newsdesk@iwgazette.co.uk or tel. (01983) 402599

THE ISLE of Wight Council’s adult social care services have been awarded a three-out-of-three star rating. The service has been rated ‘excellent’ for leadership and use of resources and has also been judged to have ‘excellent’ prospects for further improvement by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), the Government body which regulates, inspects and reviews all adult social care services in the public, private and voluntary sectors in England. Previously the Island had been rated at two out of three stars with only ‘promising’ prospects for improvement.

Weston saved from closure

PARENTS, pupils and teachers are celebrating in Totland, after it was announced that Weston Primary School is being saved from closure. The school was being lined up for closure, but a decision has now been made to keep the school open and on its current site before moving into a new building on the West Wight Middle School site in the future. John Howe, chairman of governors, said: “This is exactly what we wanted. We had to move anyway because we don’t have disabled access. “I think we got it because we had a good Ofsted and been classed as a very good school. We are very grateful to the officers and councillors for their support.”

Road claims another life

A MOTORCYCLIST died after apparently losing control of his Suzuki motorbike on a notorious stretch of road near Shalfleet Garage. Benjamin White, 26, of Heathfield Road, Freshwater, was travelling along the B3054 from Freshwater towards Newport when the accident occurred. Mr White leaves his wife, Rachael, 24, and two children aged three and one. He was born on the Island, and worked as a depot manager in Newport. In a family statement, Mr White, a former Carisbrooke High School pupil, was described as a much loved, father, husband, son, brother, uncle and brother-in law.

Wondering at Woolies

AROUND 120 workers at the five Island branches of Woolworths are anxiously waiting news on whether they will still be in a job after the Christmas break. The employees are among more than 30,000 Woolworths staff throughout the country who were shocked to hear that the popular High Street store has gone into administration. Earlier this year Woolworths borrowed £385million to keep its 800 stores nationwide in business, but now the administrators are facing the difficult task of trying to discover what can be salvaged from the cash-strapped business. The Woolworths outlets on the Island are at Newport, Sandown, Shanklin, Ryde and Cowes.

Newport water dries up

UP TO 70 Island families spent Wednesday morning (December 3) without water. Homes in Pan Close and the Furrlongs in Newport had their supply cut off accidentally. A spokesperson from Southern Water said a team of engineers were sent to put right the fault. The company apologised for the inconvenience caused.


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Groups rally round to spruce up Sandown SANDOWN got the treatment this week as a range of organisations bandied together to help smarten up the town and try to reduce the fear of crime among its residents.

offering dog owners the chance to have their pets chipped at a discounted rate. Sandown High School was visited by police so that the students could hear about the dangers of drugs and fake guns. A team of young Litter sweeps were also people from the Wessex carried out around the Restorative Justice town by various groups, Service made up of including the Sandown a professional artist Observers. and several volunteers Sandown is also beneremoved graffiti from fiting from the introducfencing in Los Altos tion of the IW Council’s Park and replaced it with Truancy Watch scheme a unique street art design to the town. Many busispelling out the name of nesses in the towns have the park. signed up to the scheme, On the same day a which launched in Ryde team of Isle of Wight and Newport and tries Council dog wardens to single out youngsters were in evidence on who are ‘bunking’ off Sandown High Street, school and take them back to class. In the first year that Truancy Watch was launched, truancy numbers were reduced by over 50 per cent. Less than 10 months after its launch in Ryde in 2007,

Firefighters free trapped teenager

PCSO PCSO Dave Dave Kalcher Kalcher and and education education welfare welfare officer officer Alice Alice James James talk talk to to aa schoolboy schoolboy as as part part of of their their truancy truancy sweep sweep in in Sandown Sandown

truancy numbers in the town were reduced by 66 per cent. The scheme involves the police, education welfare officers, schools and local businesses all working closely together. Shops and businesses in the town agree to refuse to serve children of a school age during term time between 9am and 3pm each school day. An exception is only made if they are accompanied by an adult and have a good reason or a valid

A TEENAGER had to be freed by firefighters after his foot became stuck between a wall and an air conditioning system outside Newport library in AN INVESTIGATION is underthe early hours of way in Newport after an alleged Monday morning. unprovoked assault on a 19-yearParamedics were also called to the scene when old man.

absence slip from their school. There are also posters that are displayed in the shop window, to show that they are part of the scheme. IW Council Cabinet Member for children and young people Alan Wells said: “The early feedback we have had from shops in Sandown is very encouraging. Many have reported a big drop in the number of children coming into their shops during school time.”

Suspect sought after Newport ‘assault’

The suspect, a man wearing a hoodie or a baseball cap, then ran away from the scene towards the cemetery in Fairlee Road. The victim received bruises to the the youth, thought to It happened on Friday, November right side of his face. be 18, trapped his foot 28, between 8.20pm and 8.50pm as Police are appealing for witnesses. around 1.40am. the man made his way along Fairlee Anyone with information, or who saw Firefighters loosened Road towards Victoria Road. what happened, is asked to contact bricks between the wall It is alleged another man grabbed the and the grating to free victim from behind, forced him to the Newport Police station on 0845 045 45 45, or call Crimestoppers in confithe teenager, who was ground and carried out the attack as dence on 0800 555 111. uninjured in the incident. he lay on the floor. Continued from front page

“Also N Power should have told Opus there was still a meter running. There has been no com“I called Opus and asked why they hadn’t taken over the whole munication. “I paid £14,000 to Opus for a supply and they said ‘because I year’s supply. I have spoken to hadn’t told them to’. Surely if a other hoteliers in the area and company come in and say they they say that £14,000 is about will take over the energy supply right to pay. N Power have sent more cheaply then like anyone else I would presume it would be me several bills. They said if I go back to them then they will the whole supply.”
 
 He said: “Opus should have discount me and possibly sort the held their hands up and said problem out. sorry. There is a website that “I called Opus and said I people can check and look at how wanted to go back to N Power, many meters there are and who is and with no hesitation whatsoevsupplying. Opus failed to do this. er they agreed. They couldn’t get

me off the phone quick enough agreeing to cancel straight away. They know that they are clearly in the wrong. As far as I’m concerned both companies are at fault for what has happened. Mr Leach added: “I have been trying to contact the chief executive of N Power. I spoke to him a few days ago but now can’t get hold of him. I am considering legal action but ideally I don’t want to do that. I am hoping N Power and Opus will admit their mistake and it will be sorted out or else my business could be in trouble.”

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Local artist claims Banksy booty on Yaverland beach TO you and me it looks like yet another piece of beach garbage.

But to local artist Tony Trowbridge it has all the hallmarks of mini modern masterpiece. Tony stumbled across the graffiti-covered oil drum while looking for wood on Yaverland beach for his distinctive driftwood art, which has been exhibited at Quay Arts in Newport and elsewhere. “I was amazed when I saw it sitting there and recognised the graffiti work straight away as the work of Banksy, the world famous British street artist whose work fetches up to £290,000 at auction.” He has now put the drum on display in his Gallery, Studio Chaos, in St Johns Road Sandown and has contacted Pest Control, the company that authenticates Banksy work to try and get a certificate of authenticity from them. One of Tony’s most recent projects was the creation of designs for Island magician Aaron Isted’s ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ illusion on Sandown Beach.

Toby’s gardening tips

Toby Beasley, head gardener at Osborne House, keeps you up to date with work on the estate, and passes on his tips on how to keep your greenhouse looking neat and tidy through the winter months. “We have five greenhouses at Osborne; two for the public to walk around in the Walled Garden, and then three more behind the scenes, including two that date back to Victorian times. They are used gener-

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ally for propagation and growing on plants for the gardens and greenhouse displays. “Ideally, greenhouses should be given a good clean once a year, and this is the ideal time. They should be taken back to the bare minimum before cleaning takes place, getting rid of poor quality plants and associated rubbish that has accumulated over the year. “At Osborne we use a pressure washer and plain water to blast the glass, and remove

the glass both inside and out. “Outside cleaning does present a few difficulties, not so much with the walls of the greenhouse, but when it comes to reaching right over the roof. So if you don’t have a pressure washer, then please be careful! “Many people put whitewash over their glass to protect their plants from too much sunlight in the summer. But at this time of year, as much light as possible is needed, so make sure that when cleaning takes place any whitewash is also the dirt and algae. The removed. Between now advantage of plain and March plants in water is that it doesn’t greenhouses need all matter where it goes – it the light they can get, so does not damage any happy cleaning. plants that are still in “Finally, after a few the greenhouse. You hold-ups we now have can use some forms of our 25ft Christmas tree detergent, but then it in place just outside is best to ensure all the the reception area. A plants are covered to tree has been placed avoid any unnecessary there for the past couple damage. of years, and I would “If you don’t have a like to think it will pressure washer, then now become an annual the next best thing to fixture. clean the greenhouse “Hopefully it will is a bucket of warm, provide more festive soapy water and a stiff spirit for visitors to brush. And obviously Osborne in the run-up it is important to clean to Christmas.”


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wightFM: the future of Island radio?

WHEN new radio station wightFM hits the airwaves in January it will herald the start of a new and exciting style of broadcasting for Island listeners.

example. Unless you have special equipment you will not yet be able to listen to wightFM in the car, but it will of course be possible to catch up on the day’s events as soon as you get home. The BBC iPlayer is fast becomGone will be the days of annoying ing the way people watch TV, and Wi-Fi and Internet broadcasting will bring radio listenreverse text auctions, networked shows ing into line with this trend. And it is only and cash-cow mobile phone quizzes that a matter of time before in-car Internet radio are capable of driving listeners away in becomes straightforward too. their hundreds. Because the station is locally run it will not Instead it will be back to the good old be running networked shows, or the reverse days, with the return of controversial but text auctions which have been a real radio ever-popular phone-ins, with the promise it will be ‘better than ever with more edge and turn-off for many Island listeners in the last 18 months. bite’. A host of top names have been lined Martin commented: “It is vitally important up to ensure bright, light but informative that we concentrate on the local element. We broadcasting. want to keep Islanders WightFM will begin in touch whether they broadcasting initially are on the garden Isle or on the Internet and ex-pats living anywhere will be available in the world. After all it to listen to live via is local radio. We have www.wightfm.com, Wi-Fi radio can be seen as the next given the job of head of and also through step up from digital radio. But while programming to one of Wi-Fi radio. The a digital radio can receive dozens the most experienced Wi-Fi radios will of radio channels, Wi-Fi radio can radio names in the UK be available from receive thousands, from all corners of because we feel he has various outlets across the globe. A Wi-Fi internet radio looks strong links with the the Island but will like an ordinary DAB radio but differs Island and has had many initially be available in that it gets its channel information years’ experience of from the station’s new from the Internet via your wireless local and national radio. studio, based at Spitrouter and broadband connection. “I am 100 per cent head Business Centre, A Wi-Fi radio should in theory work confident he will create Newport Road, more or less straight from the box – a new and exciting Sandown (opposite the only thing you have to do is enter station and he is already Morrison’s supermaryour wireless security key code which bursting at the seams ket in Lake). is usually can be found on the base of with brilliant ideas for So what is Internet your wireless internet router. new shows.” radio? It’s the next The biggest benefit of Wi-Fi radio Directors William big thing. Internet is that you have an almost unlimited Smith and Martin radio reaches out to number of radio stations to choose Potter have ensured the the world, so wherfrom. A choice of thousands of stastation is state of the art. ever you are, you tions may sound overwhelming but it William said: “It is vital can listen to your just means more choice – just choose that if you do something favourite station, the ones you really want to listen to. you do it to the best of simply by typing in your ability. We have our web address www. Your Wi-Fi radio can be located anywhere in your home or garden. With ensured that the studio wightfm.com. Once the right equipment you can even tune has all the latest up to on the site you can into Wi-Fi radio in your car. date equipment and we listen live, catch up have created a pleasant with the latest news working from Justin, or listen to a show that was environment for the team. I am broadcast earlier that day or week online or a Radio 4 listener, but I must as a podcast. Station director Martin Potter commented: admit I am quite excited and looking forward to the new “I am so excited that we have managed to phone-in.” pull together a radio dream team from the Because wightFM is being Island. It will be like the good old days. We played out over the Internet plan to bring back the phone-ins and The Doc with guest appearances from Foxie, Me- and Wi-Fi radio it is quite important that the website is ridian Dave and some great mystery guests. “Because we are broadcasting via the Inter- interactive with the listener. net and Wi-Fi radio we’ve complete freedom A lot of time and money has to ensure the phone-in has more edge and is been invested into the website. “The website is vital to bigger and better this time round. Everyone our success,” says Martin. on the Island will be tuning in between 11am “We have spent a lot of time and 3pm. It will be unmissable. looking at various sites and “I am also happy to announce that Andy we feel that ours will provide Shier will be back with a great 80s show. the listener with good quality Andy was a popular Island presenter who sound, a great news and photo has recently taken a job at Wave 105.” Wi-Fi radio is in its infancy but is tipped to section, and the best feature will be the ‘listen again’ be the next big thing that will be a common section, where we will be form of listening in homes within a year. Experts believe it will be next year’s must- storing all the best bits of that day’s shows online for listenhave Christmas present, and wightFM want ers for when they get home. to be ahead of the game. Some of radio’s “The site will start broadbiggest names are already turning their back on the old FM format and choosing Wi-Fi as casting in December with test transmissions and we expect to the future. Tommy Boyd at PlayUK is one go live during the early part of

What is Wi-Fi radio?

Head of news Justin Gladdis is one of wightFM’s first star signings

January 2009. Listeners will have to pick up the Isle of Wight Gazette for the latest news on wightFM.” But how will the station be funded? Says Martin: “The station will be funded by advertising. Currently a 30-second slot on FM radio is around £15, we will be initially charging only £2.50 for a 30-second slot, which is amazing value – the most costeffective radio advertising in the south. Another saving will be production. We are providing a free production service, so we will make advertiser’s ads for free.” But is it value for money? “The answer is ‘yes’ because just about everybody owns a PC or laptop and sales of Wi-Fi radio are very encouraging for 2009. “We also have the marketing power as

William and I own the Isle of Wight Gazette and I own Island Life magazine, so we intend to use these publications to heavily promote wightFM. Because it is broadcast via the Internet there are great opportunities for local companies to advertise,” said Martin. “This is a groundbreaking radio station that will hopefully become the Island’s number one radio station within just a matter of months as we already have the strongest programming team. We hand-picked all our presenters and only offered jobs to those that matched up to our exacting requirements, and they all immediately signed up for this exciting new project.” There are already plans for wightFM to be at next year’s Garlic Festival and Mega Wheels.

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Chamber puts focus on banks’ behaviour THE RELATIONSHIP between Island banks and businesses is being put under the spotlight by the IW Chamber of Commerce.

“There are mixed messages around the country, with some companies complaining that banks are tightening up on credit, or even suddenly withdrawing overdraft facilities without As the pressure from the economic consultation. slowdown grows, particularly on “We need to know if this is happensmall and medium sized enterprises ing on the Isle of Wight so that the (SMEs), the Chamber wants to find out how well, or badly, they feel they Chamber can take up the issue with the banks, at the highest level.” are being treated by banks. Mr Smith is inviting business manThe results of its trawl for inforagers to contact the Chamber by email mation will be reported back to a on chamber@iwchamber.co.uk with meeting of the Chamber’s Economic their recent experiences of treatment Development Board this month. by the banks, whether positive or Kevin Smith, Chamber chief execunegative. The Chamber is particularly tive, said: “Businesses need all the support they can get at the moment, we keen to know if banks are unreasonably denying a business access to want to get a picture of just how supfunds, or changing the terms on which portive the banks are being – bearing funds are made available without in mind the additional funding they justification. have secured from the Government.

IW police issue Christmas warning to drink drivers YOU will be treated like any other criminal if you are caught drink driving this Christmas.

locked up, a minimum year-long driving ban, a large fine and a criminal record. Every year hundreds The message comes of people across the from Island police as country are killed as a the number of roadside breath tests increases for result of being involved in crashes where the the festive season. person behind the wheel Offenders face being

was found to be drunk or under the influence of drugs. Police say that if you are planning to be out drinking alcohol you must be sensible and arrange a lift home or appoint a designated driver.

Christmas trees: a growing business

By Peter White

IT IS generally accepted as being one of the most exciting times in the build-up to Christmas.

Choosing a tree and then decorating it – fairy on the top and all – still provides that touch of magic for kids of all ages. And despite a general feeling that it is so much easier to buy an artificial tree, no fewer than 5,000 ‘real’ Christmas trees will be sold on the Island over the next couple of weeks. Staff at Shide Trees, the Island’s major tree outlet, have been busy preparing for the Christmas rush for virtually the whole of the year. There are those, however, who see the Christmas tree tradition as a bad thing, environmentally speaking. Peter Alexander, senior manager at Shide Trees, disagrees: “Although some people may think that chopping a real tree down is detrimental to the environment, if fact it is quite the opposite.” He explained: “Trees are grown in grassland which is a haven for birds and small animals. And for every tree that is cut down and sold, we plant three in its place. Real trees absorb carbon dioxide, and convert it into carbon, for the tree itself, and oxygen for

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Needle work: harvesting the trees at the Knighton plantation

the atmosphere. It is reckoned that every acre of trees gives off enough oxygen each year to meet the needs of 16 people.” Shide Trees has three main growing sites on the Island, including their massive 120-acre complex at Knighton. There is also a 10-acre site at Blackwater, and a further five acres at Shide itself, on the outskirts of Newport. Peter continued: “Planting takes place in stages, with a constant rota system. Trees grow at about a foot a year, so it usually takes eight years to get the type of tree that most people go for. “Over the next month we will sell around 5,000 trees at Shide and another 1,000 through the Thompson’s Garden Centre [between Apse Heath and Arreton]. We supply a lot of the Island’s hotels with trees for their ‘tinsel and turkey’ festivities, and local businesses come back to us year after year.” So what’s the best tree to buy, and how do you ensure everything from the living room carpet to the turkey is not covered in pine needles over the festive period? Peter, who has worked for the company for 26

years, said: “There are about ten different varieties of Christmas tree, ranging from Norway Spruce, Frazer Fir, Nordman Fir, Douglas, and Scots Pine, to Blue Spruce and Serbian Spruce. “With climate change, varieties seem sure to change as well over the next ten years or so. It could become a bit too dry for Norway Spruce, so Serbian Spruce are likely to become more popular. We always have to think ahead.” He continued: “When you buy a tree give it a good shake to get rid of any loose needles. Then cut about an inch off the bottom of the trunk and place the tree in a bucket of water in a shady spot until you are ready to bring it into the house.

“Trees are like cut flowers, and when anyone buys flowers, they always put them in a vase with water, rather than leave them hanging around. It’s the same with Christmas trees. “After Christmas, trees can be recycled and turned into chippings or mulch for footpaths, gardens and bridleways. So the whole life of a tree enhances the environment. “In summer we are busy pruning trees to slow the growth. All Christmas tree seedlings are desperate to grow fast, but we have to slow down the process.” That should ensure a healthy crop of ‘real’ Christmas trees will be ready for decorating on the Island for many years to come.


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Lord of the Rungs’ stairway to heaven By Jamie White

EXTROVERT Island property developer Steve Redhead has unveiled the latest gadget in his palatial home at Whiteley Bank.

Steve, who bought himself the title of ‘Lord Redhead of Shanklin’ on the Internet eight years ago, has had a so-called ‘stairway to heaven’ installed in his property. Gadget-man Steve’s latest addition is a staircase of stainless steel and glass that changes colour as you walk up it. The staircase cost £25,000 and the lighting a further £4,000. The self-styled Lord explained: “The lights are interchangeable. There is a pad to control them, and a choice of seven different colours. You can also slow them down, speed them up, or have them flashing. It’s a bit like a mini disco.” Steve once stunned council workers by turning up at their offices in a gorilla suit after becoming frustrated by a series of planning disputes surrounding his developments. More recently he had a wooden statue of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky – but with his own head on it – carved, and that also forms part of his extraordinary property. Then there’s the indoor water fountain, specially shipped in from Italy, and the outdoor Jacuzzi with a built-in sound system to chill out to. Steve is also having a new state-of-the-art log burner installed, built by an Island firm, which will run the heat for the house to make it more energy efficient. Steve’s house is due to be featured in a national

‘Lord’ Redhead with the latest addition to his house of fun

magazine promoting a Redland’s roofing products, and pictures of the property will also feature on the company’s stand at the Ideal Home exhibition in the new year. So what’s next? He wants to bring in some alpacas – animals he describes as ‘looking like llamas but with a teddy bear face’. He said: “I am building a stable for them, but they probably won’t use it. But in case they do there will be electricity, lighting and washing facilities in there for them! “Some people think I’m mad, but I work hard and like to spend money on a few unusual luxuries.”

Redhead’s Rocky waves from the balcony

Business Link offers free check-up BUSINESSES across the Island are being urged to review their fitness to ride out the economic slowdown by taking advantage of Business Link’s free-of-charge Business Health Check.

The Health Check offers an impartial, objective assessment

needs and circumstances of each business. The Health Checks of business perforcan be carried out over mance, identifying key the phone, in workshops strengths, prioritising or face to face with an areas for improveexperienced Business ment and highlighting Link Adviser. business opportuniBusinesses can also ties. Available for any fill in an interactive company, regardless of size or sector, the Health questionnaire on the Business Link website, Checks are tailored to www.businesslink.gov. focus on the specific

By Richard Collins

uk/healthcheck, which helps to evaluate potential problems they may face and suggest ways in which they can be resolved. Once completed, businesses are urged to make an appointment with a Business Link Adviser for help in reviewing and prioritising the recommended actions to be taken.

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gazette news

Take your partners in Dance for Life

THE BRITISH Red Cross is inviting local schools, dance and youth groups across the Island to take part in Dance for Life, one of the biggest youth dance events in south-east England.

said: “The British Red Cross is committed to exploring what humanitarian values mean in today’s world and through Dance for Life we are able to actively engage children and teenagers in this process.” Since 2006, more than 5,000 young people Dance for Life is have taken part in Dance dedicated to introduc- for Life and raised £64,000 for the Red ing pupils to dance as a way of overcom- Cross. Registration is now open for the 2009 ing cultural, social and physical barriers. event at Ventnor Winter Gardens on May 9. This The event is open to year is set to be the everyone aged 18 and biggest yet with a total under regardless of of 47 events nationwide. their ability. Dancers To enter your school, are invited to create a dance or youth group for performance centred Dance for Life 2009 call on the humanitarian Lesley Insley on 01983 537816 or visit the work of the charity. website www.redcross. Laura Deacon, Dance for Life project manager, org.uk/danceforlife.

MP highlights Warm Front opportunities ISLAND MP Andrew Turner is encouraging local businesses to register an interest in undertaking work for EAGA, the company that administers the Government’s ‘Warm Front’ grant scheme, installing heating and insulation to Island households on qualifying benefits. EAGA has recently announced that it is seeking a number of new contractors for the scheme.

Mr Turner said: “I am very pleased that there is now a registered installer on the Island, because in the past I have received various complaints raised by people who have had systems fitted by mainland contractors. Since June 2000 over 2,200 Island households have received help with heating systems, and nearly 4,000 have received some help with insulation. I do urge any professional contractors who would like to carry out some of this work to register their interest with EAGA.” EAGA will be carrying out a competitive tender process in accordance with EU Procurement Regulations. Contractors will have to supply information on such matters as their health and safety policies, financial stability and membership of CORGI or other relevant industry bodies. In the first instance installers should register their interest by sending their company name and address in an email to installers@eaga.com as soon as possible.

Hospice news Lights of Love across the Island LIGHTS of Love services celebrate the lives of the people who have meant so much to us and yet may no longer be here to enjoy Christmas with us. Here at the Hospice we warmly invite you to attend one of our uplifting services that are taking place right across the Island. Lights of Love services bring together prayers of dedication, hymns, inspirational readings and the lighting of candles to commemorate loved ones and the spirit of giving at Christmas time. The first service took place in Brighstone on the December 3 and the rest of the services are: Dec 5 – Newport (St Thomas Church, 7pm) Dec 5 – Freshwater (St Agnes Church, 7pm) Dec 5 – Seaview (St Peters Church, 7pm) Dec 11 – Wootton (The Cedars, 6.30pm) Dec 11 – Arreton (White Lion, 6pm) Dec 12 – Whippingham (Crematorium, 7pm) Dec 13 – Lake (The Old Manor House, 12 noon) Dec 13 – Yarmouth (in the square, 6pm) Dec 14 – Brading (St Mary’s Church, 5.30pm) Dec 14 – St Helens (The Vine Inn, 6pm) Dec 15 – Rookley (on the green, 6.30pm) Dec 16 – Ventnor (Winter Gardens, 6.30pm) Dec 19 – Cowes (Francki Place, Cross St, 7pm) Dec 22 – Shanklin (The Crab Inn, 6.30pm) Following the Newport, Wootton, Yarmouth, Cowes and Shanklin services there will be an opportunity to join special Christmas Lights Bus Tours to see the area in lights. £5 adult and £2.50 child courtesy of Southern Vectis.

Fun music quiz at Newport Football Club A FUN music quiz will take place at Newport Football Club on Friday December 19 at 7.30pm. Questions will span the music of the last 50 years. Teams of four are invited to attend and entry for each team costs £10. All monies raised will come to the Island’s Hospice. The evening will include mince pies and a raffle. To book your place please call Hospice Fundraising on 528989.

Beardsalls to donate VAT BEARDSALLS, the Island’s largest independent retail stationer, is donating its VAT to the Island’s Hospice. Following the Government’s decision to lower the rate of VAT from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent for one year, Beardsalls has decided to donate this 2.5 per cent saving to the Island’s Hospice. Proprietor Toby Beardsall said: “The principle is the same as the charity boxes which we have championed for many years. In a small shop like mine the saving on lower ticket items gives the consumer little benefit, but the accumulative saving could have a large impact on an organisation that does so much for the Island’s community. With the support of its customers, Beardsalls can make a real difference to the Hospice and it is hoped that other local businesses might follow suit.” The donations will be made quarterly with the first one taking place in February 2009. Beardsalls has branches in Ryde and Shanklin and sells a wide range of office supplies, greetings cards and art materials.

Hospice fundraising: 528989 Send your news to newsdesk@iwgazette.co.uk or tel. (01983) 402599


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Members of Shanklin fire service, who have all helped raise money for charity

Shanklin’s firefighters offer flame of hope IN ONE sense, Romania isn’t that far away. About three hours by plane, in fact. But, as a group of Shanklin firefighters will tell you, it could be another world. Though Romania may have slipped from the headlines since the days of the Ceaucescu regime, there are still thousands living in extremely poor conditions.

Steve Marsh, one of the group of firefighters who has just returned from a mercy mission to aid the underprivileged in Romania, explains: “Going out and seeing the way that people have to live really makes you appreciate what you have. We take any spare clothes that people donate, knitted blankets and other important aid. Seeing what they’ve got puts everything into perspective.” It is the fifth year that the Shanklin-based crew has made the 3,200-mile round trip to try to ensure at least some people in this largely forgotten corner of eastern Europe have a chance of enjoying Christmas. The firefighters supply muchneeded aid, including clothes, blankets and any other items that are donated, to an area where orphans roam the streets and pensioners struggle to survive. “The centre we visit is in Brasov,” says Steve. “The children travel in on a bus from a small village called Stupini to come and get the aid that we bring. “The centre is funded and run by a church and there are two main groups that we support – a group for street kids and a homework club. This has been our main focus recently because people have to have all three levels of education in Romania and an education certificate to get a job.” But the picture isn’t totally bleak. “Things do seem to be getting better. The roads are being improved and the economy is growing. Their international airport is supposed to be finished by 2010 as well, which will really make a big dif-

By Jamie White ference to the country.” According to Neil Cole, a retained Shanklin firefighter who also went on the trip, the authorities don’t exactly make things easy for them. “On our first trip five years ago we were held up for eight hours filling in paperwork. This made us even more determined to get out there and help. I couldn’t just go for one year and hope it gets better. It’s not just all about the children – there are pensioners as well that live in bad conditions. The first mercy mission to Romania from the Island was in the late 1980s, when a group from the IW fire service took four fire engines to an area of great poverty near the Hungarian border. This year six firefighters went with three vans. “We had a van from Wight Hope, an Island-based charity, and two vans from the fire service,” says Neil. “I got a lot of satisfaction when I see how happy everyone is down there when we arrive. It makes it all

worthwhile.” The trips have all been very successful, but this year they were met with a slight stumbling block when they stayed over in Belgium en route. Says Steve: “It’s two and a half days each way, and we spend a couple of days there so it is a seven-day excursion in all. “But this time, while we staying over in Belgium on our way down, we had our vans impounded and taken away during the night. Apparently we were parked in a Jewish sector that has had a lot of terrorist activity recently. One of the locals told us it was a case of the wrong place at the wrong time. “It cost us 220 euros to get them back, and one got damaged by the authorities. They did repair it but it was extra time on our journey.” But it takes more than an overzealous van-clamper to stop the Shanklin firefighters – as the people of Romania will tell you. Anyone wishing to support the charities can contact the team at Shanklin fire station.

Much needed aid arrives in Romania

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Island firms taking chances on asbestos FEARS have been expressed that a hardhitting advertising campaign highlighting the dangers of working near asbestos are not being heeded by some Island companies.

By Richard Collins

welfare. “We know that in some places asbestos is present, but no big fuss is made about it, particularly if it is a small job. If it is a bigger one, then there is stricter Asbestos is commonly control. But overall, I known as the ‘hidden still think people’s lives killer’, with 20 tradesare being needlessly put men nationwide dying at risk.” every week from asbesIsland companies tos-related diseases. can obtain a compreMany buildings on the hensive breakdown Island still have asbestos of the dangers of in them, particularly working with asbestos those built just after the in a Health and Safety Second World War. But Executive booklet. It concerns have been ex- points out: “If you are pressed that despite all an electrician, plumber, the dangers some Island heating and ventilacompanies are continution engineer, joiner, ing to put workers at plasterer or work in any serious risk. similar trade, you are One employee, who likely to come across asked not to be named, this hidden killer in your said: “We have all heard work – asbestos dust the adverts on local could kill you! radio, but the message “A lot of building doesn’t seem to be still contain asbestos getting through at all. material, any built or A lot of employers just refurbished before the want you to get into a year 2000 is likely to building, and get the contain asbestos and it work done quickly, is often in places where and don’t seem to be you cannot see it easily.” bothered about people’s The booklet also urges

workers not to start work on a project that may contain asbestos if they have not been trained to work safely with it, or if the asbestos materials are sprayed coatings, board or insulation and lagging on pipes and boilers. Asbestos can be found in a variety of places, including ceiling tiles, water tanks, inside fire doors, wall coatings, and external downpipes and roof sheets.

The booklet also highlights the best way to be prepared when working with asbestos. But it warns: “Avoid working with asbestos if possible. If you are unsure whether it is present, don’t start work. Your boss or the customer should tell you if asbestos is present.” The HSE booklet on the dangers of working with asbestos can be obtained by calling 0845 345 0055.

Consultant urges free flu jab take-up

AS WINTER begins to tighten its grip, an Island-based consultant is advising all those entitled to a free flu vaccination to contact their GPs and make an appointment. Dr Paul Bingham, of the NHS public health department in Newport, said: ‘We have had a number of quiet flu years but even so, nationally a significant number of those in the vulnerable groups have been hospitalised and some have died. Those in the groups vulnerable to flu and entitled to free vaccination should act now.”

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The seasonal flu vaccination is free of charge if to those aged 65 or over, or to those of any age who have: • a serious heart problem such as heart failure • a serious asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) • a long-term kidney or liver disease • diabetes • a weakened immune system as a result of an illness such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) or AIDS or due to treatment, such as chemotherapy.

The flu vaccine does not contain live virus and so cannot cause flu, advises Dr Bingham, though the jab can cause mild side effects, as can any vaccine, such as a sore arm, slight temperature and aching muscles. In the context of the serious complications of flu, vaccination side effects are considered acceptable by most people. Nearly 27,000 flu vaccines were given by Island GPs last year. For information about flu and the flu jab, contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or on the website www. nhsdirect.nhs.uk.


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Loo with a view: the Yaverland eco-toilet’s interior mirrors the contemporary styling outside

Eco-loos flushed with success TWO new eco-toilets, one in Brading and the other in Yaverland, have been given a deluxe four-star rating in the National Loo of the Year Awards.

A number of factors were taken into consideration for the rating, including accessibility, cleanliness and range of facilities available for users. The toilets were built

van, deputy mayor of Brading, said: “We are after consultation with very grateful to the IW Council and the council for building respective town councils these toilets. The vanas part of an ongoing dalism was a horrible project to increase the thing to happen, but I standard of public toilets am glad that it’s sorted across the Island. now and people can start Both toilets were com- using them.” pleted earlier this year The toilets feature but were subject to van- many energy-saving dalism and their official features and artwork openings put on hold. produced by the local Marianne Sullicommunity. The Brading toilets incorporate skylights and make use of natural air circulation to keep the toilets fresh without using powered ventilation systems. By Jamie White

There are flush-control mechanisms to reduce water use while, outside, community planting helps landscape the surrounding area. Cllr David Whittaker cut the ribbon with Mrs Sullivan. He said: “It shows how clever designs can make a big difference in saving energy.” A new eco-toilet built in Wootton was not judged this year while another is being built at the Cascade, Ventnor and should be open for the start of the summer season.

Ventnor TV station seeks jingle writer THE people behind VentnorTV, an online TV station to be launched in January, are looking for Island composers who can turn their hand to a jingle. VentnorTV describes itself as a ‘good news channel’ featuring all the positive things about living, working

or visiting the Island in general and Ventnor in particular. Would-be jingle writers are asked to email their efforts (in Windows Media format) to ventnornewsextra@ yahoo.com or send them by post to Louis Lawrence, 38 Albert St, Ventnor PO38 1EZ.

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gazette news Island Mortgage Solutions For Buildings & Contents

01983 533777 admin@islandmortgagesolutions.co.uk

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Arthur, king of the collectors A meal for 4 at Mamma Mia

Italian restaurant Mamma Mia has teamed up with The Gazette to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a meal for 4 people and a complimentary bottle of wine. The Shanklin based restaurant offers a variety of authentic Italian style cuisine, all freshly cooked to order.

To enter the competition, answer the question below. Fill in your details and send your entry to: Mamma Mia Competition, Unit b18 Spithead Business Centre, Newport Road, Sandown, PO36 9PH. Question: Which Swedish pop group recorded a number one hit in 1975 with the song Mamma Mia? The prize to a maximum value of £100 will be awarded to the first correct entry opened after Monday 15th December 2008. Terms and conditions apply. Employees and their immediate families of Mamma Mia and The Gazette are not allowed to enter. The Gazette’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered in to.

Question: Which Swedish pop group recorded a number one hit in 1975 with the song Mamma Mia? Answer: Name: Address:

Tel no: The prize to a maximum value of £100 will be awarded to the first correct entry opened after Monday December 15, 2008. Terms & conditions apply. Employees and their immediate families of Mamma Mia and The Gazette are not allowed to enter. The editor’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

ARTHUR Reeder says all men are a bit like magpies; they can’t help collecting things. “It’s a collecting gene,” he maintains. He should know: he has probably the largest private collection of postboxes and postal equipment in the UK – at the last count there were nearly 200 postboxes at the Isle of Wight Postal Museum at Binfield Corner.

By June Elford

Arthur’s personal favourite from his own collection is an iron Penfold box, which is named after its designer. “It’s iconic, the epitome of all postboxes,” he says. Originally interested in taking photographs of old street furniture such as benches and lamps, he started collecting when his daughter gave him a book on old postboxes as a Christmas present. But it was tracing a rare wooden It’s probably inevitable that ‘bracket’ box while he was on Arthur developed a thing for holiday in North Wales in 1994 all things postal – his mother that really kick-started Arthur’s was born in a post office and passion for postboxes. Only a his father had always collected painted outline remained on the stamps. “I was one of five children,” Arthur says, “and suffered wall at Rhyl station where the from the ‘middle child syndrome’ box had been for over 100 years but I was the doer of the family.” but Arthur found it in a skip, He once chased an armed robber rescued the box and took it home out of a building society but says to be restored. Call in at the Postal Museum that’s another story. (there’s no admission charge) and Arthur belongs to the Letter Arthur will tell his wife, Kim, Box Study Group (www.lbsg. to put the kettle on. They had org) that has the most authoritaknown each other as teenagers at tive records of British postbox school in Northolt and met again sites and styles. Some postbox after 30 years when Arthur wisely collectors call themselves Trollopsarians after Anthony Trollope showed her his collection of postboxes before he proposed. And who was a surveyor’s clerk for her engagement present? You’ve the Post Office in the 1850s and probably guessed – it was a blue invented the pillar box. (Lady pillar box! postbox spotters prefer not to be When Arthur and Kim decided called Trollopes.) to move to the Isle of Wight in There are about ten main types 2002 their immediate problem of postbox: they come in pillar, was to find a removal firm. “But wall and post-mounted forms and elephants walk on and off!” of the 116,000 boxes dotted up pointed out the man who had and down the country, only 200 date from the ten-month reign of worked with Billy Smart’s circus the king who sacrificed his throne when Arthur hired him to move for the love of an American divor- 20 tons’ worth of postboxes in two HGVs from Harrow to the cée, and one of them happens to be in Melville Street in Sandown. Island. Their house at 408 Fairlee

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Road, Newport, came with a large piece of land with space for Arthur and Kim to build a hall to house their private collection. “But then people started arriving,” Arthur explains, “and one of the hazards is dogs peeing on the boxes.” “There’s so much on the Island for visitors to see and a lot of under-used potential,” he adds, saying he would like to see more unusual, quirky places full of curiosities as part of the Island’s tourist attractions. “It’s an unseen Island, a secret Island, a hidden Island and we need an umbrella group to help and actively encourage smaller interests”. Postman Pat stands guard at the entrance of the museum and inside you will find stamp machines, postman’s bicycles, postman’s trolleys, sorting frames, signs for telephone and post offices, boxes from Russia, France and Poland and one from Eire with Gaelic writing. There’s a trench art pillar box made from an old World War I shell case and an unique one, six feet tall and weighing the best part of a ton, from the Trafford Park locomotive shed where mail used to be delivered. But there’s just one thing that has always eluded Arthur, despite his best efforts: a hand-stitched mail bag made by a prisoner. Not that he minds: “It’s like a treasure hunt looking for things,” he says. Long may the treasure hunt continue. Contact the Postal Museum on 825193 or visit the website: www. postalmuseum.co.uk.


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gazette festive guide

Welcome to The Gazette’s complete Christmas guide! Over the next eleven pages we will hopefully provide you with loads of great ideas for where to go and what to see over the festive period. Whether it’s a yuletide gig from the selection below, a trip on a Santa special at the steam railway in Havenstreet, a venue for your Christmas party or all the fun of the Shanklin Christmas carnival, you’ll find something here to get you in the Christmas mood. Enjoy!

ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE

Christmas events around the Island • Shanklin Christmas Festival, on December 6, will feature a ‘Follow the Star’ parade with local children. This starts at Shanklin Railway Station and will proceed along Regent Street for the opening of the Christmas Festival. There are rides for the children, craft and charity stalls, food and goodies of all descriptions. There will also be a snow show at the Crab Inn, and Holliers Hotel will have entertainment on throughout the day.

and tickets are available at Medina Theatre Box Office on 01983 822821. • The Ventnor Lantern procession is taking place on Thursday Continued on page 14

• Medina High Community Choir is holding an evening of mince pies, mulled wine and music on Tuesday December 16. There will be contemporary Christmas songs and traditional classics. The event starts at 7.30pm

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Continued from p13

carols at the park with the United Singers of December 18, starting Ventnor. If you still have at Ventnor Youth Centre. a lantern from last year, The procession leaves at there is the opportunity 5.45pm and goes around to spruce it up at one of the town, finishing with the lantern workshops

Panto magic at Ventnor

TICKETS are now on sale at Ventnor Winter Gardens for the Ventnor Theatre Group’s ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ pantomime. This is a new, magical pantomime written in a traditional style, but with a refreshingly different story line. So get ready to boo, hiss and cheer the pantomime heroes and villains. The story unfolds as The Queen plans to throw a grand Festive Ball for all the villagers on Christmas Day. To mark the occasion, a giant advent calendar has been built with 12 doors, with one opened each day leading up to Christmas Day. Christmas cannot begin until all the doors are open, but a villainous wicked wizard is determined to

stop the festivities and scatters the keys all over the world. Will the final key be retrieved on Christmas Eve in time to save Christmas? With dazzling costumes, fabulous songs, choreography and live music, this fun packed show promises to be a perfect Christmas treat for all the family. The show runs: Thursday 11th, Friday 12th, Saturday 13th December at 7.30pm and a matinee performance on Sunday 14th December at 2.30pm. Tickets are £6.50 for adults and £5.50 for children, and are available from the box office on 01983 857581. The box office is open 12 – 2pm daily and from 6.30pm on show nights.

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at the Youth Centre on Saturday and Sunday (December 6 and 7) between 10am and 1pm, and at the Baptist Church in Pier Street on Saturday December

13 from 11am-3pm. Anyone wishing to take part can call Alison on 07976 009414.

be taking place until Sunday (December 7) at the Shanklin Methodist Church in Regent Street, Shanklin.

• The annual Christmas tree exhibition will • There are Christmas


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markets being held at Yarmouth Town Hall on the Wednesdays of December 10 and 17 from 10am to 3pm.

• Bembridge Brownies are holding a fundraising event at Bembridge Methodist Church on Saturday (December 6), with stalls, food and a visit from Father Christmas. It all starts at 10am.

• Cowes Concert Band is holding a Christmasthemed concert on Monday December 8 at 8pm. Festive Brass will include carols and other festive tunes and is being held at East Cowes Methodist Church, Adelaide Grove, East Cowes.

• Chessell Pottery Barns Café is open for the big Christmas pottery decorating weekend. It is open 10am to 5pm each day up until and including Sunday (December 7). There will be the opportunity to create and buy personalised Christmas gifts. • The Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival runs until Sunday December 7 at Brighstone Parish Church, Brighstone Methodist Church, Mottistone Parish Church and Wilberforce Hall, with over a hundred decorated trees at the four venues and a range of supporting events. Starts 10am.

• Christmas carols, mince pies and a glass of hot punch come to Vernon Square Gardens in Melville Street, Ryde on Saturday December 6, from 5pm. • Ventnor Business Association’s Christmas Shopping Fun Day will be brightening up the town on December 13.

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Wine & Dine

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Wine & Dine

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Wine & Dine

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Looking good Feeling good... Advert

Little bit of heaven

LET’S have no more talk of the credit crunch, interest rates and government unrest because Christmas is just around the corner and we need to have something to look forward to as next year is going to be far happier especially when you visit Heaven for your haircare.

When visiting the Salon why not go for the total look by visiting also the qualified Creative Master Nail Technician who will beautify your hands with either a manicure or nail enhancements or even nail art which is particularly popular in the festive season. Heaven’s valued clients visit not only for the What better way to raise the spirits than to treat haircare that is expertly available but also the yourself or better still get someone to treat you to friendly and cheerful atmosphere always presenta new hair style or colour. If you like your present ed by the qualified stylists whilst undertaking their colour then consider having Hi-Lites or Lo-Lites magical work while you relax with a complemenadded for that very special look. If added colour is tary drink. a bit extreme for you then why not indulge yourIf you wish to visit Heaven you will find the self in just a shampoo, cut, blowdry and finish to Salon in Sandown High Street next to the Library make you feel on top of the world. The cost is low where parking outside is free. Alternatively call the effect is high – just try it ! 402036 for appointments.

See the rest of our Christmas feature for gift ideas, festive entertainment and the best of where to eat & drink

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Looking good Feeling good...

Botox for Christmas? Changing face of gifts By Roz Whistance

WHAT can you buy the woman with the permanent frown on her face?

Designer clothing, platinum jewellery, diamonds or exquisite perfume? Yes please, all of the above. But however delighted she is, she might not look it. And what more and more people really, really want for Christmas is the gift that changes all that. A bit of Botox. Not that this is the sort of gift with which to surprise your loved one. “I thought you were looking a bit tatty at the edges, so booked you in for some Botox” is a line likely to make the mildest of Christmas days somewhat frosty. At the same time, for the woman who is ready to take the plunge it would be a generous gift indeed. Treatment, per area, costs £195, and in the first year is usually repeated three times. “Women come to me almost apologising for being vain – then say there’s always some cheery chappie telling them to ‘cheer up love, it might never happen!’” says Dr Maire Rhatigan of the Orchard Clinic in Newport. “If you’ve got a deep frown line, but are feeling perfectly OK, there’s a limit to how many times you can put up with that.” She says that often her clients report, happily, that nobody seems to have noticed any change – but the negative comments about their expressions have stopped. However, an informal survey of mothers at a school gate showed that for most, a Botox injection was a treatment too far: “No way”… “absolutely not”… “I’d have my boobs done but not Botox” were frequent reactions to the question: “Would you consider having Botox?”

Photograph ©National Geographic

Dr Maire Rhatigan of the Orchard Clinic, Newport

For most it was fear of something going wrong that made the idea inconceivable. “I saw that programme about Lesley Ash,” said one woman, referring to the actress’s infamous “trout pout” after a beauty treatment that went wrong. Another had been to Las Vegas where the women “looked like porcelain dolls, afraid to smile”. But age milestones gave others pause for thought. One woman, 39, said she was saving up for Botox because she “didn’t like the lady looking at me from the mirror” and another, just 30, said she’d “do anything to stay looking younger for longer”. It’s the “doing anything” attitude which

is partly to blame for Botox’s bad press. Going to Botox parties or to practitioners who set up for a “one night only” session in hotels means it is difficult to check their medical background, or indeed to have a follow-up consultation as you can with a proper medical clinic. Practitioners don’t have to be registered with the Healthcare Commission but if they are you’ve got some comeback if anything does go wrong. The process involves having a tiny quantity of the toxin botulinum injected into the muscle of the given area. The toxin stops the muscle contracting, which means it becomes inactive and the area

becomes plumper and lines are smoothed out. Dr Rhatigan points out that after the first year of Botox treatment the memory of the muscle is not so active, and so the furrow or crow’s feet take longer to return. Treatments can therefore be less frequent, so more affordable. There are, of course, alternatives to the needle. Rebecca Debenham of the Cosmetic Clinic in Ryde says Beautytox – which is an oxygen facial – or a microderm abrasion facial both reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The latter costs £70 or £200 for a course: “It’s a lovely experience having it done,” she says, “which makes it a very acceptable gift – though of course it doesn’t claim the semi-permanence that Botox does.” She stresses that products to fight the ageing of skin, such as broad spectrum suncream which has UVA and UVB protection, are an excellent and welcome gift. “Take advice from a good skin therapist,” she warns. “And don’t believe all the adverts on the telly.” But a Botox user – who understandably preferred to remain anonymous for the purposes of this article – should perhaps have the final word. “People never ask what I’ve had done,” she says. “But they do say I’m looking really well.”

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Your consumer rights this Christmas AS THE Christmas shopping season begins in earnest, the Isle of Wight Council’s Trading Standards Service has drawn inspiration from a certain Christmas carol and come up with twelve tips to help people become more aware of their consumer rights and help stop people from falling foul of less than reputable traders.

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The so-called ‘Twelve (Trading Standards) Days of Christmas’ are listed as follows: • Twelve dodgy dealers: Avoid counterfeit goods – Christmas is the time when you will see a lot of counterfeit goods for sale, often from street traders. The goods will often be of poor quality and in some instances dangerous, warns the council. • Eleven stocking fillers: You have no rights if the gift is un-

wanted. You are relying on the trader’s goodwill and should check their returns policy before you buy any items to be given as gifts. Some stores give gift receipts. • Ten online shoppers: Make sure you check the expected delivery dates. Distance selling regulations mean online sellers have 30 days to supply your goods from the day after you place your order, unless you have paid extra for next day delivery. Make sure

you order in good time for your gifts to arrive. • Nine faulty presents: Always examine presents as soon as you can and take any defective goods back immediately. The sooner you take them back the more rights you have. • Eight shops a-shutting: At Christmas time empty shops are often occupied by traders offering cheap goods. especially toys. They are often be of poor quality and the trader may no


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longer be there in the New Year. If the goods are faulty then you may have difficulty finding the trader. Make sure toys are suitable for the age of the child and meet all relevant safety standards and look for the CE mark. • Seven cards a-swiping: If you can, pay for goods over £100 on a credit card. You may have extra protection if things go wrong. • Six festive bargains: Don’t be too hasty to grab a bargain. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. • Five doorbell rings: Beware of doorstep sellers. A lot of household burglaries happen over the Christmas period and doorstep cold-calling is often the way burglars gain entry into your house. • Four vouchers dated: Check the expiry dates if you are buying gift vouchers as a

present. Many will have an expiry date and may be useless if not used in time. • Three guarantees: You are not obliged to buy a guarantee or warranty. Many give no more protection than you already have by law. Check the smallprint to see what you are covered for. • Two remember: Alcohol (18), cigarettes (18), fireworks (18), solvents (18), knives (18), spray paints (16), DVDs and computer games (the age stated on the packaging) are all agerestricted goods. This means you have to be a certain age to buy them. It is also an offence to buy products for underage recipients. • One receipt: You should keep your receipts, as without this you have no proof of purchase, and returning goods may be very difficult.

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gazette news

Balloon release

ISLANDERS Sharon Joy and Kelly Metcalf have organised a balloon release in Newport in memory of Baby P, whose recent tragic death shocked the whole country.

The balloon release, which is intended to raise awareness of the widespread problem of child abuse, will take place on Saturday December 13 at Church Litten in Newport. Several hundred balloons are to be released and all proceeds from the event will go to the NSPCC. Anyone wishing to participate or make a donation can call Sharon on 07843 383115.

Walking success

THE IW Council is looking into the possibility of making the recent successful walking weekend a permanent fixture in the calendar of events.

The walking weekend was held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the IW Walking Festival, and included 47 guided walks enjoyed by around 2,000 walkers, around half of them travelling over from the mainland.

Gas break

FRUSTRATED owners of shops and businesses in Shanklin High Street have been given respite over the Christmas period after being subjected to months of pipe-laying work by Southern Gas.

Many traders in the area have complained that their businesses have been seriously affected by the absence of passing trade, at a time when the credit crunch continues to bite. The work has now been suspended and will not re-commence until the New Year. It will then take several more months to complete.

Charity boost

A COFFEE morning held at the Dinosaur Isle in Sandown raised nearly £500 for the chosen charities of IW council chairman, Arthur Taylor, who is raising money for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice and Haylands farm, Ryde.

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david holmes

reports

Let’s hear it for the High Street ONLY men buy pork pies from garages, but if we have more time we stop at a Little Chef.

A few weeks ago I drove to Norwich and was famished by the time I turned for home. A Little Chef stop seemed like a good idea. It wasn’t. Despite the lack of customers, the service I got in the Thetford branch of this long-standing chain of eateries was dire; the all-day fry-up barely edible.

And it wasn’t just me! The punters on the table closest had their bill and were complaining in that very quiet British way that one or two items they had ordered had never materialized at all. The manager, predictably a spotty teen, apologised and very generously offered to knock the missing goodies off the tab. How kind. Like me, I bet they silently vowed never to return. The Little Chef chain has a troubled history. A year ago they even tried slimming him down. That obviously didn’t work so now they have a new idea. Heston Blumenthal, the bald TV chef who appears more interested in science than grub, is to give the menu a make-over. His signature dishes include bacon and egg ice-cream and snail porridge. No jokes please about the speed of service. Heston’s real passion is ‘molecular gastronomy.’ His new menu will at least be interesting, but do weary punters want a restaurant or just a pit stop? The choice for those on the move seems to be as follows: roadside caravans (does anyone know where they use the bathroom or wash their hands?), the Little Chef (see above), motorway services (ok if you like being legally mugged in broad daylight) or a McDonald’s (billions and billions served but they leave you wondering why). The small cafés and tea shops that still thrive on every High Street get by-passed. It begs the question: are we now only interested in big chains even when the big name brand we choose to patronise isn’t very good, or is it just the free and easy parking that attracts us? Thankfully on the Island we still have a good-ish choice of small eateries. Our best are as good as any, but let’s be frank: many of our pubs and cafés got away with murder as Britain enjoyed 15 years of boom.

Surly service, endless waiting, dry meat, wilting salads, duff chips, filthy windows and tables, we’ve all been there. Now things are tougher these establishments face a stark choice: get better or die. You may think I was inspired to ramble on about all this because we’ve lost two big names. Woolworths and MFI went bust in the last couple of weeks. Two giants of the High Street we all know if not necessarily love. I once stole a few sweets from Woolies Ealing branch pick ’n’ mix and I bought my first kitchen at MFI. (There was a sale on.) I am happy to now pay for the few sweets I pinched, plus interest since 1970 if it would help keep the staff employed. No dear reader, I’m on this subject because my own little High Street is threatened. The last greengrocer in the West Wight could soon close and if they go, how long before our fishmonger and wonderful butcher follow? Despite the vacant premises, Freshwater still has some great shops fighting against all the odds. Wouldn’t it be a very sad day if we no longer had the choice to use them? My carbon footprint is surely better for buying fresh Island-grown vegetables that didn’t arrive by lorry and ferry. I’m convinced there is no finer lamb than Dunsbury or poultry than Rowridge Farms. I do like big stores and appreciate the time I save getting most things at once. I may even visit a Little Chef soon, just to see if Heston has at last put something desirable on the menu, but I like my local High Street. And I really would miss it if all the little shops were closed.

If you agree or disagree with David Holmes then write to: dholmes@iwgazette.co.uk


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gazette news

the gazette

your letters Please keep this area an open space

I RECENTLY saw a wonderful hay making picture in one of your editions, and recognised the tops of the houses and the field as it is just below my bungalow. Sadly, the Council,

who own the fields, want to build houses and industrial units in this area. The plans are to join the industrial estate on Nicholson Road to the new Pennyfeather village. So there is the

bleak prospect of no more lovely fields for the children and dogs to run around on. We desperately need these green spaces to Ryde is becoming so built-up. Our local coun-

cillor, David Knowles, is trying to keep this are as an open space. Let’s hope he is successful. Rosemary Beeney, Great Preston Road, Ryde

We are always on look-out for new Friends ALL those who have visited St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, in recent weeks will have noticed that there is much activity in the foyer, while a major refurbishment takes place. Before Christmas The Friends of St Mary’s will have a modern, purpose-designed new-look shop, and improved café with new patient friendly furniture. This is a monumental step forward for the Friends, who were founded in l959 as the Guild of Past Patients! The shop will not only be larger, but will have specifically designed displays for patients, staff and visitors alike. At present our services, all manned by volunteers (who themselves will have a new-look), have a turnover of £250,000 annually, donating over £100,000 this year for several items of essential equipment for the hospital and community. This exciting new development coincides with our busy Christmas trading period, therefore we need to increase our amazing band of volunteers. With a friendly smile, they serve in the cafés and shops and take our motorised trolley round the wards in the afternoon chatting to patients, and supplying all those little requisites which make a stay in hospital more comfortable. They are also manning the Raffle Stall in the Foyer with brilliant prizes. Since 2000, the Friends

What a great night

I WOULD like to thank you for the wonderful time we had at the Royal Hotel, Ventnor, as winners of the competition in your newspaper for the six-course meal for two and overnight accommodation. The whole package was really nice, and it was a wonderful prize to win. H Spear, Gurnard Pines

Free water butt for garden volunteers THERE is now a major incentive for the Island’s would-be gardeners to take part in an innovative ‘free allotment’ scheme.

do some gardening but do not have a garden have contributed over £500,000 of equipment and with those who have a refurbishment to St Mary’s and the community. garden but are unable to Without those loyal volunteers none of this would work on it. have been possible. The trust says many Do join The Friends if you can spare just an hour Islanders can no longer or two of your time between Monday to Friday. You Southern Water is oflook after their gardens fering free water butts to will receive a warm welcome, so do come along because of ill health or anyone taking part in the and be part of this new development. You’ll take old age and are looking Footprint Trust’s Adoptgreat pleasure and satisfaction, in the fact that you for volunteers who could will be helping to supplement the wonderful service A-Garden scheme, give them a hand. which seeks to match up already provided by our Primary Care Trust. There is currently Just pop in to see Lorraine, or call her on 534609. those who would like to a waiting list of 250 Joy Wroath, The Friends of St Mary’s, Newport

This is a timetable for disaster

I AM WRITING in reference to the article ‘The cost of joyriding’ which appeared in your newspaper.

The bus cuts have occurred to villages and outlying districts. People are paying with isolation and hardship. It’s two months since the cuts to the timetables for bus users of the Folly (150 homes), north Wootton and Havenstreet. They have such a completely inadequate bus once a day. Residents can get out in a morning to the doctor or to go shopping, but then cannot get back for hours

Terry Williams (left), who has adopted a garden in Lake, receives his free water butt from Don Roe, who runs the Adopt-A-Garden scheme

and are stuck in the outside in the cold. This hardship is completely unacceptable.
I ask for the three buses a day to be re-installed. An adequate bus service is a lifeline to the elderly so we can remain independent in our own homes and prevent the council’s demographic time bomb and not need community care. I hear that there are more cuts to come because of the ‘freebies’. From April 2009 service 4, which goes through Binstead Park Road, Hillrise Avenue and Haylands will no longer run

between the two villages, leaving us with nothing. This is a well used service, and is
standing room only on many occasions. Schoolchildren also use it and people for work. 
The council urgently need to get the money from somewhere. I am
appealing to people to get in contact with Council leader David Pugh and Island MP Andrew Turner with letters and a petition.


people for Isle of Wight Council allotments. Seventy households are signed up for the scheme with 90 people interested in taking part. The Footprint Trust has matched up 15 pairs so far. For more information, contact the Footprint Trust 822282 or visit www.footprint-trust. co.uk

Break-in at M&S A NUMBER of laptops and portable music players have been stolen from Marks & Spencer in Newport.

Police say an alarm was activated at the store at 11.15pm on Sunday November 30. Glass windows were smashed and a number of doors were damaged

during the break-in. Anyone with information or who may have seen a number of people acting suspiciously in the area between 11pm and 11.40pm on Sunday night is asked to contact Newport CID on 0845 045 45 45, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Mrs Bishop, Windmill Close, Ryde

Well done, keep up the ‘good’ work

I THOUGHT it was time I wrote to you to congratulate you on publishing the Island’s new newspaper, The Gazette. There is always some scepticism when a new paper hits the streets, but I have found the first few editions most enjoyable, and interesting reading. It is good to browse through stories that do not involve court cases or Council meetings.

I particularly enjoyed the recent features on Colin Boswell’s garlic trip to Turkey and how Osborne House are trying to restore their gardens to the days when Prince Albert walked through them. It is refreshing to read a few ‘good news’ stories for a change. Mr P Buckley, Newport

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New Ryde Pubwatch boss to clamp down on rowdies A SCHEME has been launched to try to make Ryde a safer and friendlier town to drink and socialise in.

Brian Fisher-Lathwell (left) with Ryde police constable Mick Baxter

don’t clean up our pubs now when the recession is over we will be having a soft centre. We want no one coming through to clean up this town, the doors to drink or eat, and make an example because it affects restauThe clean-up campaign of anyone who insults rants as well. is the brainchild of members of staff in pubs “If Pubwatch is seen Brian Fisher-Lathwell, or causes a fight. If that to be working in Ryde, licensee of the Crown happens we want the then hopefully other Hotel in Ryde, who has ban to be severe. areas will follow our just been elected the “I want to see Ryde lead, and this new apchairman of the town’s more family orientated, proach will spread right Pubwatch. especially on Friday and Although Pubwatch is Saturday nights. I would across the Island.” Mark Bell, Hampshire an independent organilike to think families can Constabulary’s Lisation it works closely come into the censing Inspecwith the local police town to drink tor on the community, and Brian and eat and Island, said: believes too much leni- not be “Police ency has been shown in worried fully the past to people who that fights support have caused trouble in are going the aims pubs, restaurants and on to break and objecthe streets. out around tives of the His proposed clampthem. The Pubwatch down, which is being last thing they scheme, which fully supported by Ryde want is to be out are to achieve a safer police, comes followenjoying themselves, social drinking enviing a report that Union and then suddenly it all ronment in all licensed Street, a popular loca‘kicks off’ alongside premises throughout the tion for weekend revel- them.” Island. lers, has been named He continued: “We “The Island benefits as the fifth worst road have problems with from eight watches with in the whole of Hampboth males and females, some 148 members, who shire for drink-related and I have heard some meet regularly to discuss problems. people say they don’t issues relating to social Brian said: “I don’t want certain individuals responsibility in relation think Pubwatch in Ryde barred because they are to alcohol, the safety of has been working that spending a lot of money regular customers, and well. I think it has been in their pubs and we are quite soft – we have had in a recession. But if we visitors to members’ By Peter White

premises on the island. “The schemes are supported in each case by a local police officer, but all decisions to ban troublemakers are made by the members themselves. The police do not have any voting rights at meetings, nor are recommendations made by officers. The police are referred to only for factual information, which is then only disclosed when relevant to the issue under discussion. “Pubwatch is therefore a scheme run ‘by licensees for licensees’, supported by the police. “On the Island, this network has been further enhanced by the creation of a Pubwatch website, which can be viewed at www.iow-pubwatch. co.uk. This is not a police website, nor is it maintained by the police. It has a public page, and ‘members only’ pages, which contain images of banned persons. This site has proved extremely valuable to members as a means of identifying troublemakers throughout the various watches across the Island.”

Fire alert in Shanklin A CHIMNEY fire was dealt with by firefighters from Shanklin, Sandown and Newport at the Village Inn pub in Shanklin Old Village.

The blaze was discovered after a local resident noticed a lot of smoke coming out of the chimney, and raised the alarm. A small blaze was extinguished and was mostly confined to the chimney space. A small fire was discovered on the second floor of the building, behind plasterboard and was quickly put out. It is thought than a bird’s nest had blocked up the chimney space. The fire was a high priority for the fire service as the building and other surrounding buildings have thatched roofs. However, even though there was some smoke damage to the rooms upstairs the pub was able to re-open for business within a few hours. Meanwhile, firefighters were also called out to Binstead to deal

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Fireman attending the Village Inn fire

with builders’ rubbish which had caught light. The blaze was discovered near properties in Birch Gardens near the Fleming Arms pub at around 10pm and took

nearly three hours to extinguish. A crew from Ryde fire station made the area safe before returning to their base. A witness who lived

nearby said that at one stage the flames reached 30ft high and nearby homes were filled with smoke, but there was no permanent damage reported.


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Painting returns to its rightful Osborne spot A PAINTING bought by Queen Victoria for £200 in 1841 and which hung in her dressing room at Osborne House until her death in 1901 is about to return to the very same room.

La Siesta, by the German artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter, who later became her favourite portrait artist, has been bought at auction by English Heritage for Osborne House, with support from The Art Fund, an independent art charity. La Siesta is a painting of three Italian girls relaxing in the sun and was bought at Sotheby’s from the collection of the late Sir David Scott for £73,250. The Art Fund, which is entirely funded by donations and its 80,000 members, gave £44,886 towards the acquisition. The Island Friends of Royal Osborne also contributed to the purchase. Just 22 when she ordered La Siesta from Winterhalter from his Paris studio, Queen Victoria received the painting on 22 December 1841, and wrote in her journal: “To-day I got from Paris a beautiful picture by Winterhalter which I had ordered. It is quite small, representing a ‘Siesta’, three lovely Italian girls, with one of them asleep.” David Barrie, director of The Art Fund, said: “This exquisite painting by one of the foremost portrait painters of the mid-nineteenth century was chosen by Queen Victoria herself when she was just 22. She would have seen it in her dressing room every day on waking and retiring when at Osborne House. Now, after more than 100 years, The Art Fund has helped bring the painting back home to

©Sotheby’s

La Siesta painting returns to Osborne House Osborne House, where it will be re-hung in the exact position in which it was placed for almost the entirety of Queen Victoria’s reign.” Michael Hunter, curator at Osborne House, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to return this magnificent painting to Queen Victoria’s dressing room at Osborne House after such a long time. Queen Victoria bought the work during the second year of her marriage to Prince Albert and she would have enjoyed looking at the painting every day during regular visits to her seaside retreat on the Island.” There are currently nine portraits by Winterhalter at Osborne

House, but none of the artist’s “fancy pictures” as Queen Victoria called them, now remain in the house. These were removed to other royal residences after Queen Victoria’s death. Some, as in the case of La Siesta, were given to members of the Queen’s family by King Edward VII. The painting was acquired at Christie’s in 1972 by the late Sir David Scott for £1,260. English Heritage plans to restore the interiors at Osborne House to their appearance around the time of Queen Victoria’s death, which includes returning ‘lost’ works of art to the house. The homecoming of La Siesta forms an important part of this project.

Taking the plunge! THE HARDY souls of Appley Manor Hotel in Ryde are already preparing themselves to take their annual Boxing Day Dip. And as they plunge into the chilly waters of The Solent they know it is all for a good cause. Organiser Charles Asher of Appley Manor, said: “Last year we

did it in aid of Cancer Research and managed to raise a grand total of £2,500. We collected a lot of money on the day and it was great fun for everyone involved, including spectators. “This year we will be back in the water again, but this time the money will go to the Macmillan Cancer Support.

Hopefully there will be between 40 and 50 staff, friends and family taking part. “We won’t be bothered about the weather – we will be in there, come rain or shine, sleet or snow!” Anyone wishing to take part or donate, can call Charles Asher on 564777.

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gazette news

Students getting to grips with turbines STUDENTS from Cowes High School have been getting to grips with the thorny issue of wind turbines on the Island as part of National Enterprise Week.

The school’s Young Chamber group, which is affiliated to the Island’s Chamber of Commerce, invited two representatives from THWART, the organisation opposing the introduction of wind turbines to rural areas of the Island, to give their side of the eco argument. John Gallimore and Chris Bentley explained that THWART had been set up initially to oppose the wind turbines planned for Wellow but as an organisation they are now also keen to look at alternative renewable sources of energy. Tom Collinson, a Year 13 Young Chamber member, provided an

Emma Jackson, chairperson of Cowes Young insight into how the new Chamber, said: “Before learning centre at Cowes I heard the arguments aims to be energy saving from THWART I would have been happy to see and also use renewable wind turbines in any energy sources as a location on the Island. learning resource. By Richard Collins

But with the information provided about the turbines’ efficiency, I now feel we need to also investigate other renewable energy sources so we get the right balance.”

John Gallimore, chairman of THWART, works on his presentation flanked by Chris Bentley and some of the Cowes High Young Chamber students

Carisbrooke’s class of 2008 celebrates achievements

wedding To see your wedding in The Gazette call 01983 402599

Redrup & Burden A HONEYMOON in Turkey followed the wedding of Simon Young and Anne Hayward. The bridegroom, is an electrician, and is the son of Alan Young and Jean Langdown. The bride is the daughter of Christopher and Rosemary Hayward, and is a care worker. The couple met on a night out at the former nightclub Ikon, now Oceana, in Southampton. The bride’s attendants were her friends Sandy Cox and Katrina Dinnage, and the groom’s sister, Katie Langdown. Best man for the day was Richard Dinnage. The couple were married at Bitterne Baptist Church in Southampton, with the reception held at the home of Hampshire Cricket, The Rose Bowl. The wedding was covered at short notice by Island photographers Darren Wray and Daniel Renshaw, who make up Elace images

A GROUP of former Year 11 students at Carisbrooke High School reunited to celebrate their year group gaining more high-level GCSE passes than any other to date.

Most of these students have now either begun careers or embarked on further education courses, but it was a chance to catch up with fellow students they had not seen since the summer and, for some, to receive awards for their efforts. Five students gained two awards each: Gemma Powell (Languages/Highest Female Achiever); Oliver Denton (Geography/Food Technology); Michael Parsons (ICT/Highest Female Achiever); Florence Wendon (PE/Graphics); and Adam Keen (Physics/Highest Female Achiever).

Police praise East Cowes spirit following car attacks POLICE officers have issued a vote of thanks to residents of St David’s Road in East Cowes for their response to a recent suspected case of criminal damage.

By Richard Collins

reaction of residents in St David’s Road demonstrates the strength of the community spirit in this area of the town.” Police are continuing to investigate what A number of people came out of their homes happened to the cars on the night of the evening to help clean three parked cars that had had of Monday October 13 between 8pm and 9pm. paint poured over them Anyone with informain an apparent act of tion is asked to contact vandalism. Acting sergeant Andy Cowes Police Station on 0845 045 45 45, or call McDonald of the East Cowes Safer Neighbour- Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. hoods Team said: “The

Double award winner Florence Wendon

Woman in collision AN ELDERLY Island woman had to be treated by paramedics after being found unconscious in her car.

Her Honda Civic had hit a metal bike railing and a post at the top of Newport High Street, near the Castle Inn, just after 11am on Tuesday morning. It is understood she felt unwell at the wheel and tried to pull over.

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Friday DECEMBER 5 2008   

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gazette news Island Mortgage Solutions For Remortgages

01983 533777

admin@islandmortgagesolutions.co.uk

Views sought on Cowes Learning Centre plan MEMBERS of the public and the business community are being invited to two consultation evenings on the project to build the new Cowes Learning Centre, otherwise known as the Cowes One School Pathfinder.

A public meeting will be held at Northwood House between 6-8pm on Thursday December 11. Anyone can attend and give their views on the project and find out more details. Members of the business community are invited to a meeting at Northwood House on Monday December 8 between 10am-12 noon. Once built, the Cowes Learning Centre will offer learning and recreational facilities for its students using modern tech-

nologies and learning practices. It will also host a range of community education and social functions. As part of the consultation process, focus groups involving students from middle and primary schools in the Cowes and surrounding areas will also be held. Parents of school pupils in the Cowes area will also be invited to a consultation evening by their children’s schools. It is envisaged that the learning centre will be a vibrant hub not only for the students and staff, but also for the Island community, providing extended services and facilities. It would be open 48 weeks of the year and will be a centre where young people can learn with their parents. It will also be

a place where businesses can develop their staff and work with partners, providing learning opportunities for young people, and where the community can access services. Community facilities could include a business innovation/enterprise centre, conference facilities, family learning provision, homework and breakfast clubs, family support, a community café, health advice, the co-location of agencies supporting children and young people, a crèche, community meeting rooms and provision for voluntary organisations. There would also be an extensive playfield space and Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), available both to the school and community.

Lottery boost for AONB draft plan available to view cosmetics firm AN ISLAND business start-up has managed to circumvent the credit crisis by winning an interestfree loan of £1,500 from the Isle of Wight Lottery.

S and G Cosmetics, which was formed a year ago, specializes in selling cosmetics through party plans at a discount. The loan means the company can expand its range, and joint owners Sam and Glen Dines are already hoping to take on an extra member of

staff in the near future. Mr Dines said: “It only took eight weeks from start to finish to secure the loan, and it has been a great boost for us. We are a very small business, but this will help us move to the next level, and we are really hopeful about the future.” The Isle of Wight Lottery is a division of the Island’s Chamber of Commerce that operates on a non-profit basis. Since its launch in 2001, the Lottery has issued loans to more than 50 companies.

THE ORGANISATION that controls the Island’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has opened up its draft five-year management plan to public viewing and comment. The AONB covers about half the Island, and effectively restricts certain types of development and land use as part of its remit to protect the landscape. One section of the draft plan deals with renewable energy and appears to rule out the Limerstone Down wind farm proposed by Cornwall Light and Power. It states: “In some parts of the AONB or its surroundings, the character of the countryside may mean that small-scale wind energy schemes (one to three turbines ranging up to

500kW, in the region of 60m height to blade tip and with clusters no less than 10km apart) could be accommodated, where they do not compromise the objectives of the designation and respect the local countryside character.” The Cornwall Light and Power project is seeking planning permission for three 125m-high turbines. Other sections of the plan reveal the AONB’s vision for the future and its priorities over the next five years. The consultation period ends on January 14 2009. The plan can be downloaded from the AONB website, www.wightaonb. org.uk, or is available by post from the AONB unit office (telephone 823855).

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gazette news Photo by Jamie Beeden

Charity gig rocks at Winter Gardens CHILDREN IN NEED: it’s a simple concept that, since its humble beginnings many years ago, has brought both celebrities and the viewing public out onto the streets every year to perform amazing acts to raise awareness of and cash for the cause.

This gig was definitely one of those amazing acts, not least because it was organised by local high school student and Kosmik Debris drummer Robert Berry. The concept was simple: get nine local bands to come together and play about six songs each, with all profits going to Children in Need. Highlights included Insepia’s rather disturbing cover of Britney Spear’s ‘Baby Hit Me One More Time’ and Proximity Effect’s passionate performance. Every band was amusing to watch (well, as much as a DJ set can be visually amusing) and it is clear that for many of them that their musical journeys have only just begun and that they were still trying to develop their place on the stage. I met up with Proximity Effect before their set. What’s it like, I asked frontman Ollie Godfrey, having so many bands in such a confined area on the local music scene?

“On the mainland, you get bands helping bands. Here, being such a small Island, it’s more of a popularity contest. Mind you, get a lot of Island bands in and you’re guaranteed a good audience.” And any word about future recordings? “It’ll be about six to eight months,” says

guitarist Aaron Weeks. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” This event was definitely worth doing. With an attendance of more than 100 people and just over £500 raised for charity, I think this could be the start of something big – if anyone feels like organising it again next year, that is. BASEMENT Jaxx, the critically acclaimed

Basement Jaxx booked in for festival Friday

UK dance act comprising Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, is the first name to have been confirmed for the 2009 Isle of Wight Festival.

The duo will be Friday night’s penultimate act at the Festival, which runs from 12-14 June at Seaclose Park in Newport. Basement Jaxx have produced four albums to date and their hits include ‘Rendez-Vu’, which reached no 4 in 1999, ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ and ‘Oh My Gosh’. In addition to their own work, the duo have become in-demand remixers. Their work in this area includes ‘4 My People’ by Missy Elliott, ‘Like I Love You’ by Justin Timberlake and ‘She Wants to Move’ by N.E.R.D.

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Aaron Weeks, guitarist for Proximity Effect

Turkeyfest takes flight IT’S been kept very quiet. Sure, the name has been whispered in dark corners and beneath flickering streetlights, but little has been known for certain. Until now.

The details of Turkeyfest have now been uploaded to social networking site Facebook. So far, acts confirmed include local Electro-Indie band the Operators (last show of the year) as

well as covers band Switch. Ventnor’s second-biggest export (after beer), The Bees, will be providing their own mix of tunes for the evening, as well as other Island DJs. And the venue? Cowes Yacht Haven, on the last Friday before Christmas. There are still more bands and DJs to be announced playing on various stages, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.

Send your news to newsdesk@iwgazette.co.uk or tel. (01983) 402599


Friday DECEMBER 5 2008   

the gazette

31

gazette sport

Ryde and Cowes triumph at schools dressage event

TWENTY-SIX teams took part in more than 100 tests at the Island interschools dressage competition held at Brickfields. All the schools were able to field a team of four riders, so Ryde school did exceptionally well to win the middle schools section as they only had a team of three. The team comprised

Lauren Jones riding Firefox III, Connie Nicholau riding Princess Tiara and Mary Harding riding Saracen. There was also a special award for the highest mark of the competition, which was won by Katie Gates riding Mr Curly Wurly for Ventnor. The high schools section saw Vicky Dwight riding Tick

Tock Tiger, Aimee Light riding Tottie, Natasha Coventry riding Shamlord Chardonay and Ella Greenslade riding Travis to win for Cowes, with the award for the highest-placed rider going to Sarah Birchenough from Ryde (A) riding Toby. The event was sponsored by Hovertravel.

The triumphant Ryde trio

Katie Gates riding Mr Curly Wurly

Newport make it a hat-trick

DEREK Ohren’s Newport are enjoying life on the road.

The Port made it three away wins on the bounce in the Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division on Saturday, with a 3-1 at Alresford Town.

Tom McInnes scored twice with the other coming from Charlie Smeeton. It was a weekend to forget though for Brading Town as they were walloped 6-1 at Hayling United. Cowes Sports travelled

to Fareham Town but were told on arrival the game had been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Yelfs Hotel in Ryde was the venue for the dinner, where the club was founded in 1877. The dinner celebrated another successful season for the club. West, in the victorious Britain eight at the Sydney 2000 Games, alongside Island oarsman Lewis Attrill, West congratulated the club on its success, proposing the toast, before helping the rowing captain Graham Reeve present the awards. Anne Richardson, the club’s Henley Stewards Charitable Trust coach, received the Coaches Cup; Elena Gaskin the Coxswains Cup; Francis Moore the First Year Oarsman Cup; Sophie Draper Oars lady of the year and Ian Hayden Oarsman of the year. The Committee Cup went to James Eklund and the Captain’s Cup to Allan Evans who also received a special award for the longest gap between winning a Novice race and a Junior race – over thirty years! The traditional Club spoons to celebrate a rower’s first win in club colours were awarded to Francis

WEST Wight Sports Centre is holding a youth sports night on Saturday December 6 from 5.308pm. The event is open to young-

sters in school year 7 and above. There will be trampolining, swimming, tug o’ war, Danish long ball, basketball, football and

table tennis. There is also a quiz with a cash prize. Entry is only £2. For more information call the sports centre on 01983 752168.

Badminton school opens

Gold medallist in Ryde OLYMPIC gold medal winning oarsman Kieran West was guest speaker when Ryde Rowing Club returned to their roots to hold their annual presentation dinner.

Go west for kids’ sports

Moore, Callum Lowe and Tim Wiggins.
Earlier club captain Pete Hewision, proposing the toast to the guests, thanked those that had supported the club during the year including Kerry Jackson commercial manager of Wightlink Ferries, the club’s main sponsors. The formal part of the proceedings ended with a short audio visual presentation celebrating the club’s success in 2008. Gold medal hero Kieran West

A JUNIOR badminton academy has been officially launched by the Isle of 
Wight Badminton Association with the support of the Isle of Wight Council Sports Unit and Badminton England.

The Isle of Wight Junior Badminton Academy has some of the Island’s top coaches onboard and invites the best players from the Island’s 
local junior clubs and competitions to attend its training sessions 
held at Cowes High School. The academy caters for young people playing at an under 11s level through to under 17s. An Island Junior County Team selected
from members of the newly formed Academy is due to play their first match in East Sussex on November 30. Funding from the IW Council’s talented and gifted scheme is being used to nurture and

develop talented young athletes with the
capability of going on to represent the Island at a junior County level and possibly the Island Games when hosted here in 2011. Lee Matthews, community development officer for the IW Council Sport Unit said: “This is an excellent opportunity for local 
talented junior

players to receive top quality coaching from the Island’s badminton coaches. I am sure that a number of these young
people will develop and thrive through this excellent coaching programme. We are delighted to the support this initiative and the
volunteers who invest their own time to benefit Island sport.” Cllr George Brown,

IW Council cabinet member for economy, leisure, planning and property said: “I am pleased to see the Council’s Sport Unit working successfully in partnership with
local clubs to provide excellent opportunities for the Island’s youth
to get involved in sport at a high level, and I wish them the best of luck for their first away match.”

Members of the Isle of Wight Junior Badminton Academy pictured 
at the launch of the scheme

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sport 32

the gazette  

Friday DECEMBER 5 2008

Send your sports news to newsdesk@iwgazette.co.uk

the gazette

Local boys in thick of FA cup action FOUR footballers born and raised on the Island are set to be involved in the glamour of the FA Cup over the next few weeks.

home to Premier League Fulham, even though it means he would be cup-tied and not able to play from Blyth keeper Mark Bell late for Stoke in the same competition in the second round tie. this season. But the Island pair will be just Hayter, born in Newport, joined But for two of the players, Lee as concerned about keeping Doncaster Rovers after making Bradbury and Shaun Cooper, Bournemouth in the Football more than 400 appearances for it could prove a really nailLeague as progressing in the cup. Bournemouth, scoring 107 goals. biting time. They were in the The Cherries began the campaign Bournemouth side held to a draw with a 17-point penalty for failing The striker, 29, has not been such a prolific scorer since arriving at by non-League minnows Blyth to follow the Football League’s Doncaster. But he will be hoping Spartans in the second round tie insolvency rules. he gets the chance to make his at Dean Court. So despite three wins and eight mark in the FA Cup, even though Now they face a daunting draws from their 18 League it proved a disappointing draw near 800-mile round trip to games, they are still only on zero for his club. the north east for the replay, points, and at the time of writing Rovers are away to Cheltenham knowing victory will bring huge are second bottom in the table to Town, after Town beat Morecamrewards and a bumper payday Luton, who Bournemouth drew be in their second round replay. for the Cherries. If they reach with 3-3 on Tuesday (December Island supporters of Souththe third round they are at home 2). ampton and Pompey can both to Premier League Blackburn Other Islanders likely to be Richard Scoble (right) with the Marsden Trophy and Fox Cup, look forward to seeing their Rovers, managed by former involved in the third round are sides at home, with Saints fans alongside the Island’s leading golfer, Mark Bell Manchester United and England Lewis Buxton and James Hayter. relishing the prospect of mighty midfielder Paul Ince. Buxton also began his profesManchester United to St Mary’s. Cooper, 25, was at Portsmouth sional career at Fratton Park Although unlikely to pull off a as a youth player, and has also before moving to Stoke nearly victory, it will provide a welcome had spells at Leyton Orient and four years ago. The central capacity crowd for cash-strapped Kidderminster, before joining defender, who turns 25 later Saints. Bournemouth three years ago. this month, went out on loan to Pompey begin their defence of Veteran striker Bradbury began Sheffield Wednesday in October, the trophy they won at Wembley his career with Cowes Sports, and and has been a regular for the last May by taking on Championhas played for no fewer than 11 Championship side. Now he will ship side Bristol City at home. reach the final and face SHANKLIN and By Peter White different League clubs, including be hoping Stoke boss Tony Pulis the Island’s leading The third round ties take place on Sandown Golf Club Pompey. He was denied a winner allows him to play for Wednescember events to come, golfer, Mark Bell, who the weekend of January 3-4. member Richard for Bournemouth by a super save day in the third round game at Richard has 49 points plays off an incredible -2 Scoble is looking to and Alex has 47, and the handicap. And the extra end the year in style current leader admitted: shots proved crucial in after already picking “I think it is going to go Richard’s victory. up two of the club’s right to the wire because Even though Mark major trophies. Alex is a very good and shot three under for the Now the 11-handiconfident player.”. But first they are opening nine holes, he SHANKLIN Football capper is just a couple Richard won the found himself four down Club is being backed seeking long-term asMarsden Memorial after Richard hit six pars by the town council in surances of a long lease of rounds away from claiming the Order Trophy earlier in the in order to strengthen and a birdie. Eventually its efforts to take over of Merit title, based year and followed that their claims for grants. he went on to win the its facilities at the on results in Monthly up with success in the The IW Council has trophy 4 and 3. County Ground. Medal and Stapleford prestigious Reginald provisionally agreed to And he will be back Shanklin want more competitions throughout Fox Cup, for players grant a 99-year agreenext year to defend the control of the site followthe year. who have won either a ment, with the area title having already won ing constant problems But he faces fierce Monthly Medal or Stapl- a Monthly Medal with being made available to with vandalism and dog the general public when competition from fellow eford the previous year. an impressive score of fouling. They are hoping member Alex Messing. He battled his way not being used by the four-under earlier in the to improve facilities to With just the two Dethrough four rounds to football club. season. comply with FA rules. By Peter White

Scoble has sights set on hat-trick

Shanklin FC in ground takeover discussions

Danny scores second victory for Ventnor

ISLAND boxer Danny Harper scored his second victory for Ventnor Boxing Club at a recent bout in Eastleigh. Danny, 23, was in total control throughout the fight against Matt Stone from Eastleigh. The referee stopped the contest in the third round, giving Danny his fifth career victory. Connor Black, a fellow member at Ventnor, also travelled up to Eastleigh, looking to compete in his first skills bout. Unfortunately there was nobody who matched up to the 12-year-old, so his debut had to be postponed.

Islanders looking to name new team THE MANAGEMENT of Wightlink Islanders speedway team is expected to reveal details of its brand new line-up very soon.

Dave Pavitt, the 2009 season co-promoter, said: “We’re talking to several riders at the moment and have agreed a deal with the first of the seven who will wear our colours in 2009 and we’ll name him next week once all the formalities are completed.”

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By Richard Collins The Islanders also hope to be able to reveal the name of a second rider likely to be seen riding for the side at the club’s annual Christmas dinner, which takes place on December 9. Though there have been doubts expressed in some quarters about the viability of the new National League, Mr Pavitt remains upbeat: “I’ve got to say the

indications are that the National League is beginning to shape up well and we fully intend to put together and very competitive and exciting team. “Clubs have until January to confirm whether or not they’ll be entering sides into the league but it’s looking really promising in terms of the likely numbers of clubs that will do so. We’re all going to have to show a little bit of patience but I think the wait will prove worth it.”


IW Gazette 10