The Ventnor and Undercliff Heritage Partnership officially launched the brilliant Time Travel Heritage Trail at the Ventnor Winter Gardens this morning (Tuesday).
This new project, at least three years in the making, is one of the first funded by the East Wight Landscape Partnership to be completed.
Tour the hidden historic hot-spots
The ‘Time Travel’ Heritage Trail will take you on a tour of the hidden historic hot-spots of Ventnor and will be of great interest, not just to visitors to the town, but also its residents.
From the Esplanade and Steephill to Ventnor Downs, the trail can be visited in a leisurely day and will guide visitors through the town, where people are able to discover interesting buildings and structures and learn more about the history of the area.
The trail also takes in the Botanic Garden, the site of the National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest founded by Dr Arthur Hill Hassall, and the Winter Gardens which opened in 1936 and remains a pioneering example of Art Deco architecture.
A new Time Travel Ventnor leaflet and information boards at key locations in the town will help people navigate the nine heritage hotspots.
As well as the information boards and leaflet, there is also a brand new Website.
Ventnor always a hit with journalists
Visit Isle of Wight CEO, David Thornton, spoke at the launch of his love for Ventnor.
Since living on the Island for the last four years, David explained he’s probably spent almost half his weekends in the town, or surrounding Bonchurch or St Lawrence.
He went on to reveal that when Visit Isle of Wight hear from mainland journalists, Ventnor is always the first place they ask to visit.
The new heritage trail is being seen as a great tool to help market Ventnor to potential visitors and the logical next step in providing extra depth to Ventnor’s rich history.
Support from partners
As well as initial funding from the East Wight Landscape Partnership, Red Funnel have picked up mantle and will be covering production costs of further issues of the publication as well as promoting the Trail via their onboard TV screens.
Visit IW, when they can, will also put money into the ongoing running costs of the project.
The Ventnor and Undercliff Heritage Partnership
Richard Downing spoke on behalf of the Ventnor and Undercliff Heritage Partnership, acknowledging the involvement of John Allen, Anne Hutchings, Evelyn Knowles and Mike Freeman.
The idea for the Trail first came about in 2013 when the Isle of Wight council advised there had been an underspend of around £2m and invited community groups and town and parish councils to bid for cash for community enhancement projects.
That money never materialised, but so much work had already been put into the project, those involved formed the Ventnor and Undercliff Heritage Partnership.
An ambitious bid to the heritage Lottery Fund failed – they only fund around 48% of applications – but the Down the Coast project fund came along and saved the day.
Those involved thanked
A number of people were thanked for their involvement including;
- Local councillor Jim Toogood for his help installing the boards;
- Ventnor Heritage Centre who allowed access to their archive and checked accuracy on boards;
- Ventnor Town Council for their support and encouragement;
- The National Trust for funding the £500 wooden frame for the board on top of Downs;
- Red Funnel for re-printing leaflet;
- Peter Fellows from East Wight Landscape Partnership;
- Catherine and Lindsay from Words and Stuff for the design and copywriting;
- Newport sign makers;
- Local architect who provided lots of extra work;
- Ventnor Graphics;
- Winter Gardens for providing the room and refreshments for the launch
- Visit Isle of Wight for their help in promoting the launch event
The boards look great and are already proving to be a hit with residents and visitors. Why not come to Ventnor for the day and follow the trail.
More detail on the Time Travel Ventnor Trail Website.