Friday, 26 December 2014

Wight Floyd - an Island-Based Tribute to the Music of Pink Floyd

Somebody sent us this sample of sounds played by Wight Floyd, an IOW-based Pink Floyd tribute act who have been playing at the King Lud and other local venues. We've not yet had the opportunity to see them live, but from this promo we reckon they are pretty good.

The line-up of the band (from the Wight Floyd Facebook Page) is: Roy Lindsay - Lead Guitar, Jana Meszarosova - Keyboards, Robert Berry - Drums and Backing Vocals, Zoe Lindsay - Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals, Bryony Davies - Backing Vocals, Martin Birch - Saxophone, Stewart Woodward - Vocals and Guitar. Check out the page for up-to-date information.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from IOW Review

The Isle of Wight Review would like to wish all its users and visitors a Merry Christmas and a joyful and happy New Year.

Mobile Investment Should Benefit Isle of Wight, says MP

Isle of Wight Member of Parliament Andrew Turner has welcomed a £5 billion investment into the UK's mobile phone network by four major providers - O2, EE, Vodaphone and Three - and hopes that some of it may be on its way to the Island.

The project will bring about a significant reduction in the number of blackspots and will commit operators to ensure 90% coverage across the country by 2017. The government announced this week that 4G technology is now available in Newport, and that this is soon to be extended to Bembridge and Cowes. However, large swathes of the Island still receive at best an erratic reception.

Monday, 15 December 2014

New Leaseholder Set to "Restore Gurnard Pines to its Former Glory"

The new leaseholder of Gurnard Pines Holiday Village on the north of the Island has spoken of his plans to restore the complex to its former glory.

Island-based businessman John Perrett, who already runs thriteen Spar convenience shops on the Island, has secured a twenty-year lease on the swimming pool, gym, and other leisure buildings. The lease does not cover the holiday homes, which will be continue to be hired out by a new company.

"All funds paid in respect of ground rents and service charges will be protected. A statement will be sent to all leaseholders in due course with details of how to pay in future," said Terry Prosser, director of the freehold operator. "Any deposits paid for holidays or parties will be honoured by the new company."

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Book Launch in Aid of Isle of Wight-based Charity

An Isle of Wight charity helping children with cystic fibrosis is set to benefit from a book launch on Tuesday.

My Computer Doesn’t Work! and Other Problems was written by London author Marion Hertz and illustrated by Christian Hennessey, of Newport.

The anthology of poetry written from the perspective of a youngster, takes a witty journey through day-to-day problems faced by children.

An auction and raffle will accompany the launch at Waterstones, Newport.

Lots include sailing trips, the chance to play former world amateur snooker champion Luke Simmonds and gym memberships at Medina Leisure Centre.

Some 2,500 copies of the book have been produced and all profits will go to the Island-based national charity Children With Cystic Fibrosis Dream Holidays, also known as CF Dream Holidays.

The charity provides holiday respite care for families with children suffering from severe cystic fibrosis.

Elaine Tozer, of CF Dream Holidays, said: "Marion lives in London. She wanted to write a book for a children’s charity and came to us. I am really delighted. I think it’s a lovely book."

The event starts at 7pm.

Reproduced with acknowledgements to Isle of Wight County Press.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Isle of Wight Walks (Part One) - Niton

A new series of occasional articles by Isle of Wight Review on some walks to be enjoyed around the Island.

The Niton walk outlined below features some magnificent scenery including views across the Channel, however it is only for accomplished walkers. Much of it is beside the cliff-edge and it also includes a steep descent using a path which is damaged in places. On the plus side it passes some splendid pubs. In all it is 4.1 miles (6.6 kilometres) in length.

1. Park up at the car park serving Niton Youth Club, beside the White Lion public house. Turn right out of the car park, then left at the T-junction and continue to the Church. At the lychgate turn right into Pan Lane. Continue along the lane, which becomes Bridleway NT53. At some point along this path you will think you have taken a wrong turning or misread the instructions - everybody does. Have faith, you are going the right way. Eventually you will reach Bridleway NT58 at which you should turn left and proceed until you reach a gate with a cattlegrid.

2. Go through the gate and look for a stile roughly ahead of you on the skyline. Climb the hill and over the stile before continuing towards a second stile beside a triangulation point. If you are in the right place you will probably have passed a lot of cows. After crossing the stile bear left and head towards St. Catherine's Oratory before continuing down the slope towards the sea. Follow the path down the hill, over a stile and around the edge of a field (more cows) to another stile which is at the top of some steps. Walk down the steps until you reach the road and cross into Blackgang View Car Park.

3. Walk across the car park and climb the steps to the Coastal Path, which runs along the clifftop. Turn left when you reach the cliff edge (please!) and follow the path until you see a triangulation point on your left (please note that many walkers are tempted to switch to a lower path running parallel, which is accessed by walking through some vegetation. This is okay, except that when the path finishes walkers then need to rejoin the clifftop path by walking back through some more vegetation, which at this point is considerably more dense and contains some nettles). About 10 yards before a second triangulation point on your right take the path NT36 with steps on your right. These steps are very steep and broken in parts, and need to be negotiated with caution. At the foot of the steps turn left onto the tarmac road. At the first junction turn right and continue down the hill, then left into St. Catherine's Road towards The Buddle Inn.

4. Immediately beyond the beer garden at The Buddle Inn turn left onto Footpath NT30 and upon reaching the tarmac road turn right. When the road joins Barrack Shute continue up the hill for about 150 yards before turning right onto the Coastal Path and at the next footpath junction turn right again and continue along Coastal Path NT29. Almost immediately the footpath forks and walkers should take the left fork up a hill until reaching a junction with Footpath NT27. Turn left onto this footpath (which by now is on an open field and thus partially obscured, but if you miss it there is another running broadly parallel) and head back into Niton, which is straight ahead of you.

This walk will take experienced walkers perhaps some 2 hours, whilst others should plan for 3 hours just to be safe.

Please note the author personally "tests" these walks before sharing them on this site, so please be patient for the next one.

Monday, 1 December 2014

New IOW Review Facebook Page

At the "suggestion" of Facebook our previous People account has been converted to a Page.

This has its advantages and disadvantages, but one of the plus points is that we will now be more visible to the wider community. Meanwhile all our existing Friends have been automatically converted to Likes, giving us a total at the time of going to press of 2,224.

If you haven't done so already please visit our Facebook Page and hit "Like". This way you will automatically receive our posts, updates, news and information on your wall.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Isle of Wight Better Ferry Campaign

Although we have been and will continue to be impartial in our reporting of the ongoing Fixed Link debate, Isle of Wight Review broadly takes the view that a physical link to the mainland should be avoided if at all possible on the grounds that it will threaten the unique character of the Island.

Notwithstanding this fact, we recognise that one of the biggest drivers behind the campaign for a Fixed Link has been the outrageous prices charged by the operators of the ferry services across the Solent. By way of a personal example the author of this article had to "shop around" in May to find a best price of £146 for a return journey involving an ordinary car and two occupants. Please bear in mind that wasn't even peak season!

We are therefore proud to draw readers' attention to a website published by the Isle of Wight Better Ferry Campaign, which is working actively for an improved and fairer services from the Island's two big operators and has produced downloadable posters and flyers with that purpose in mind.

We are sure that many of you will be only too happy to lend this campaign your support.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Great Fixed Link Debate - Where Do You Stand?

The Isle of Wight is currently engaged in one of its most potentially explosive debates for many years over the prospect of a Fixed Link connecting it to the mainland.

The trigger seems to have been the launch by two residents of an online petition, to be followed shortly by a formal survey, calling for a bridge across the Solent or a tunnel. Carl Feeney and Kevin Price are hoping the momentum created by the petition will lead to a referendum on the issue to replace "old fashioned ferries", and claim that £6 million of government funding would be available to support the initiative. The pair also claim to have the support of local MP Andrew Turner for a referendum, although this would appear to be disputed.

Opinion seemed to be divided when Isle of Wight Review sought out the views of local people. Maria Scovell said: "No, we shouldn't have a Fixed Link...makes it easier for thieves etc to come over here and get away".

Karen Webster countered: "The Link would open up so many opportunities for people and would improve the amount of people visiting the Island. I know I would be over visiting family and friends more if there was a Link, I can't afford to at the moment with Wightlink's and Hovertravel's prices".

Bev Allen told us: "If the ferry services weren't so greedy by exploiting the public by changing the costs to suit the seasons and gave a fairer priced service this debate wouldn't be needed, their greed will be their downfall".

Rosemary Grimaldi is completely opposed to the prospect of a Fixed Link. "No way, we have enough traffic now," she insisted. "The Island would lose its charm, it must not be joined to the mainland. If people don't like the boat journey they should live on the mainland".


Former resident Ann Hulme seemed to see both sides of the argument, telling us "I had to leave the Island to get my first proper job, not much choice even years ago. I feel the ferries were much better then but were expensive, nothing changed there! Plus everyone has friends and relatives on the North Island, it's hard to visit each other because of time and expense. I never wanted a bridge, I feel it would destroy the uniqueness of the island and make it too easy for the wrong kind of visitors, but maybe I am wrong? These same difficulties prevent me from returning again, it's a hard choice".

Rebecca Keenan is all in favour. She remarked: "Definitely need a bridge.. future generations are screwed. Worst schools in the South, no prospects, poor economy - something needs to be done!", sentiments which were echoed by Steven Staff: "I think the Island would benefit from a Fixed Link. I imagine it would be like the Wales bridge with a toll and security which would be great. The Welsh bridge is £6.20...I'd be on and off the Island constantly then. I think this would be a great decision for the Island to make and would boost a lot of things. It would also put Wightlink and Red Funnel out of business again due to their greed. Yes to a Fixed Link".

Louise was another who felt the prices charged by the ferries was prohibitive: "Cost me £98 to get to my dad in hospital - it was an emergency. We were told they would get us on come what may, there were eleven cars and a handful of trucks, exploitation I'd say. It's cheaper to get a day return from the mainland".

Kerry Constable is concerned about the security risks. "It would be a lot easier for the prisoners to escape," she told us.

Rival petitions for and against the suggestion each run into thousands of signatures. One of the most frequently recurring grumbles is clearly the cost of the Island's ferry and hovercraft services. The Solent is said to be mile for mile the most expensive water crossing in the world. Some opponents of the idea are nevertheless hopeful that the re-emergence of the debate will force some kind of positive action over fares.

The debate looks set to run and run. What are your views? Post your comments on here and let us know.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Christmas and New Year breaks from just £459 for the whole family

Island View Holidays are offering relaxing Christmas holidays in their exquisite home-from-home style cottages at Rookley Country Park on the Isle of Wight.

Choose from a short break holiday (22nd to 26th December) from just £459 for a whole family, or a full week (20th to 27th December) from £499. A family can include up to eight people.

Christmas packages include accommodation, complementary mince pies and mulled wine, three course Christmas lunch (for up to 4 people, £25 per extra person), and "all you can eat" Boxing Day breakfast (for up to 4 people, £5 per extra person).

New Year packages are also available and include a complimentary bottle of bubbly and tickets for the New Year's Eve Party.

For more information 'phone 01983 898916, or e-mail

Reproduced with acknowledgements to The Holiday Zone.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Friends of Quarr

Quarr Abbey is a registered charity, and like many charities, it is indebted to the generosity of the numerous individuals and organisations that regularly contribute to it. We thank everyone who has donated in the past for their kindness

We are always looking for ways in which we can develop and improve Quarr without disturbing its quiet ambience. And, as a visitor or guest of Quarr, you may be interested to know of the various initiatives that are currently under way, and planned for the near future.

Our tea garden has recently been improved, and we encourage you to wander around and enjoy tea and cake in its peaceful solitude. With support from local organisations, we are hoping to re-introduce chickens to the gardens soon, and we are also considering ways to increase our stock of honey producing bees.

Our historic buildings are constantly in need of maintenance, and this year we will be performing significant work on the bell tower and other higher points of the church buildings. To further increase the comfort of our guests, the guesthouse will also be going through some refurbishment, and our bookshop continues to grow.

All of these initiatives require time, money and the dedication of a volunteer workforce.

If you are interested in making a donation to Quarr Abbey, please write to or send your donation to Procurator, Quarr Abbey, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 4ES. Cheques should be made payable to “Quarr Abbey.” You can also donate online here.


Thursday, 23 October 2014

IOW Council Consults on £13.5m Savings Package

Isle of Wight Council is looking to save £13.5m from next year's budget and is looking for input from Island residents on how best this can be achieved.

The local authority has launched an online budget consultation, although paper copies of the survey are also available upon request. Leader of the Council Ian Stephens hopes the exercise will give residents the opportunity to decide which services should be prioritised as the authority struggles to adapt to reduced grant support from central government.

A series of public forums will also be held at the following venues (start time 6.30pm):

Wednesday, Nov 12 – Newport – Riverside Centre, The Quay
Thursday, Nov 13 – Ryde – George Street Centre, George St
Monday, Nov 17 – Freshwater – All Saints' School, School Green Rd
Tuesday, Nov – Cowes – UKSA, Arctic Rd
Monday, Nov 24 – Ventnor – St Francis School, Newport Rd
Wednesday, Dec 3 – Sandown – Main Hall, Broadway Centre
Thursday, Dec 11 – East Cowes Town Hall, York Ave
Monday, Dec 15 – Shanklin – Shanklin Theatre, Prospect Rd

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ready Teddy Go for the Big Challenge

By Jon Moreno

THE Earl Mountbatten Hospice’s Challenge 1000 initiative is set to benefit from a Shanklin woman’s fundraising enterprise, transforming neglected teddies into care bears.

Over the past 30 years, Jane Page has become a well-known fundraising figure, having raised well over £10,000 for the hospice, Macmillan, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and other local causes.

She also helped to co-ordinate a big fundraising minibus appeal for Sandown High School.


The grandmother of four, of Collingwood Road, collects and recycles teddies — mending them, washing them, hanging them out to dry and then selling them at fairs and festivals on the Island throughout the year.

The 64 year old also knits scarves and makes hats and ribbons for the teddies.

The retired Isle of Wight receptionist, who developed a passion for teddy bears as a collector before she began selling them, said: "When I first heard about Challenge 1000, I thought raising £100 should be easy enough."

Jane’s next teddy sale will be at St Saviour’s Church, Shanklin, on Saturday, November 22.

Anyone wishing to donate their old bears can send them to Jane at 34 Collingwood Road, Shanklin, or phone her on 862081.

Reproduced with acknowledgements to Isle of Wight County Press

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Sandringham Hotel, Sandown

The Sandringham Hotel along the seafront, overlooking Sandown Bay, provides a seamless fusion of a traditional seaside hotel with all the modern facilities that holidaymakers have come to expect.

A large, spacious lounge abuts an ample ballroom where entertainment is provided on four evenings each week.

The Sandringham offers a full English breakfast and dinner menu with efficient sit-down table service in a large and uncrowded dining area overlooking Culver Cliff.

Bedrooms are en-suite and include colour television and tea and coffee making facilities. There is an option for adjoining rooms or for a superior sea-facing room with a balcony. The hotel also has a small number of self-catering apartments for hire.


Elsewhere in the hotel the swimming pool is clean and well used but seldom overcrowded, even during peak season. Around the pool area there is also a jacuzzi and a small sauna. A full-size snooker table, pool table and gaming machines are available for customers, and a small selection of board games can be borrowed upon request - useful for helping to keep the kids entertained whilst enjoying a nice relaxing drink from the bar.

Rooms are good value, especially when taking into account the fact that a free ferry is provided for mainland visitors who book beyond a certain number of nights (always check this at the time of booking). Parking can be a bit of an issue as spaces outside the building are few and using certain of them often results in you being "blocked in", with hotel staff having to rectify the problem. For those who don't mind a short walk the hotel has the use of a larger car park a couple of streets away which customers can use. There is a small charge for this.

All in all the Sandringham ranks amongst the better coastal hotels as the fact that it boasts many returning customers bears out. Our advice - give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Spooktacular Half-Term Breaks at Whitecliff Bay

Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park in Bembridge, Isle of Wight are organising "spooktacular" family fun activities and themed entertainment for Hallowe'en.

Activities during the half-term break include pumpkin carving, face painting, gruesome food making, Laser Zombie Tag, crafts and ghost stories.

Plus there is, as always, lots to do elsewhere on the Island - including the Isle of Wight's first Festival of Light at Robin Hill and the Autumn Walking Weekend.

Dogs are allowed on the holiday park in selected accommodation and on the touring field. For more on Whitecliff Bay's programme for October please click here.

Reproduced with ackowledgements to The Holiday Zone

Minghella to Remain on the Island

Popular ice cream manufacturer Minghella has announced that it will be relocating to another premises, but that it will remain on the Island.

Currently based in Wootton, news of the company's plans coincided with the announcement of the retirement of its founder Eddie Minghella at the tender age of 93. According to Mr. Minghella's daughter Gioia, Eddie had originally intended to work on to the age of 100 but in the light of the sad death of his wife had decided to take early retirement.

The Wootton site is to be placed on the market and the company hopes to find a suitable new home on the Island by 2015.