Saturday 13th May 2017 Riverside Centre, Newport, Isle of Wight

Saturday 13th May 2017

One Day Conference and Annual General Meeting

Riverside Centre, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2QR

The Theme this year is "Born on the Isle of Wight - and what happened next" - exhibitors and speakers as given below.

More details will be published as we firm up on speakers and exhibitors.

The agenda and motions proposed for the AGM are to be published in the Feb 2017 Journal.

All arrangements are subject to change - please check this web page to confirm the latest information


o Please be aware that the Riverfest event on and around Newport Quay will now take place on the same day as our Conference (between 11 am and 3 pm). Visitors may experience some difficulties in parking, especially in the Sea Street car park, and the Quayside access will be restricted. We expect to be able to park at the Riverside Centre itself which will not be available to the public supporting Riverfest.
However visitors are advised to come, if at all possible, by public transport.


The following groups and organisations have been invited to attend (all subject to final confirmation) :

Cowes Hammerhead Crane Trust

Gurnard and Northwood 1914 - 1918 project

Brading Community Archive Group

Classic Boat Museum (East Cowes)

East Cowes Heritage

The Friends of Northwood Cemetery (Cowes)

Cowes Heritage Group

Longley Publications

Books and supplies for Family Historians

Longley Publications website


The following speakers have been invited :-

Dr Kevin Towner - "The Osbornes of Wootton"

This talk from member Dr Kevin Towner, of Nottingham, focuses on Frank Henry (Harry) Osborne, from Wootton Bridge, who as a yacht's steward, "served tea to the aristocracy", and later moved to south London.

John Dennett - "The Dennetts of Bembridge"

This talk from member John Dennett, of Tasmania, will concentrate on the departure of the Dennetts, from an old Bembridge farming family, in the mid 1800s and the establishment of the Australian line ... with some interesting twists along the way.

Richard Smout - "Early years and childhood on the Isle of Wight"

Richard Smout will look at some of the factors in Island childhood which influenced Islanders to migrate.


The outline Programme is as follows :

10.00IWFHS Members reception
10.00Exhibition opens
10.45First speaker : Dr Kevin Towner
11.45IWFHS AGM (IWFHS Members only)
12.15 - 13.15Lunch break - Exhibition continues
13.30Second speaker - John Dennett
14.30 - 15.00Afternoon break
15.00Third speaker - Richard Smout
16.00Exhibition continues
17.00 * or earlierExhibition closes

Location and directions

The Riverside Centre is situated near the Quayside in Newport.

Public transport :

The Southern Vectis Bus Station in Newport is about 10 minutes' walk from the Riverside Centre. Some services (5 from East Cowes, 9 from Ryde (via Fairlee)) stop opposite the Old Police Station on Fairlee Road, but it can be tricky crossing the road to then proceed down Hillside to the Quay.

Red Funnel ferries operate a foot passenger service to Cowes (Red Jet) and a vehicle ferry service to East Cowes.

Wightlink ferries operate on the Yarmouth - Lymington (vehicles), Portsmouth - Fishbourne (vehicles) and Portsmouth - Ryde (foot passengers) routes.

Hovertravel operate hovercraft services (foot passengers) from Southsea to Ryde.

Admission and tickets

Tickets to attend the Exhibition and Talks will be £8 for Members, and £10 for Non-Members.

IWFHS Members who wish to only attend the AGM will be allowed access to the Exhibition, and the Conference Room, for the purpose of attending the AGM. Please advise us in advance if you wish to attend the AGM as we need to ensure that have a quorum for voting purposes.

Tickets may be obtained in advance from the IWFHS Chairman (postal address in the IWFHS Journal) or on the day. There will be a limit on the number of attendees at the Talks.

Other information

The Riverside Centre is fully accessible to all, with ramps and level access to all areas, and with disabled toilet facilities. The Exhibition area and Conference room are both on the ground floor.

We are planning to have the Riverside Restaurant provide cooked meals, and light refreshments (at a reasonable cost) for ticket holders attending the talks. As at date of writing the menu should be :

Fish, chips and salad at £7.95 per head

Ham, egg and chips at £7.95 per head

Roast of the day at £9.95 per head

Macaroni cheese, chips and salad at £8.25 per head

Sandwiches and snacks will also be available.

Members may if they wish bring their own packed lunch.

The licensed bar will be open.

Should eating at the Riverside or the menu not appeal to you there are a number of alternatives within less than 10 minutes' walking distance, the nearest being the Bargeman's Rest public house on the opposite bank of the River Medina.

Can you help ?

We are asking Members to contribute to the Exhibitions by supplying us with photographs, documents and other information about their relatives and what they did in connection to the theme "Born on the Isle of Wight" - which is so wide, it can encompass almost any subject, especially if connected to emigration and later life.

Any material you can provide will be copied and acknowledged, but please do not send us any original documents or photographs. If you can scan them as .jpg files, and provide them to Geoff Allan or Hazel Pullen (contact links above), we would be most grateful.


January 2017 : The Riverfest Event has now been rescheduled to the same day as our Conference. See the warning below for details.

December 2016 : Confirmed speakers - Dr Kevin Towner from Nottingham, John Dennett from Australia, and Richard Smout.


IWFHS Chairman - Geoff Allan
Conference Organiser - Hazel Pullen
assisted by Sharon Beddard


Southern Vectis
Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries