As the Island welcomes in the New Year, we take a look back through the Island Echo archives and review the past 12 months in pictures.
Do you remember these news stories? Simply click on a photo below to view full size.
The New Year got off to a sad start with the deaths of two people following a collision on The Downs. January saw a month of road traffic collisions, including an incident when a car ploughed into a former holiday chalet in Sandown.
January was a month of adverse weather which included a landslide at Lake Cliff Gardens. A year on and the path remains closed.
Other incidents included a road traffic collision in Binstead; a waste lorry collision in Cowes and a series of incidents in East Cowes including the discovery of a body, an electrician stuck in the roof space of a property and a fire at GKN.
Almost a year ago now but it remains fresh in many Islander’s minds – the arrival of the Army at Seaclose Park. Undoubtedly one of the largest stories of the year, the British Army were drafted in to help with the evacuation of homeowners from Undercliff Drive following a landslide.
Others stories this month included a cooker fire in Brading, the collapse of Ryde Harbour’s sea wall, the search for a swimmer off Sandown Pier and the armed arrest of a man in Blackgang.
The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service were kept busy during March with multiple incidents including a car fire at Sandown Train Station, a horse rescue in Ashey, a false alarm at East Cowes Marine and a property fire at The Fleming Arms in Binstead.
The biggest story of the month was the devastating fire at Puckaster Lodge in Niton, the biggest fire of 2014. The homes of many were lost when a fire ripped through flats in a converted country home.
Other stories including a sink hole appearing in Wood Street, Ryde; investigations into a sexual assault in Carisbrooke; the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance landing on Ryde seafront and the arrival of the Earl and Countess of Wessex on a Royal tour of the Island.
Things didn’t quieten down in April with the Island’s emergency services remaining busy. HM Coastguard teams from The Needles and Ventnor were called to assist a paraglider who had crashed at Freshwater. Meanwhile at the start of April, Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team conducted a search for a missing woman in thick fog in Ryde.
Other incidents included a property fire in St Helens – the first of two for the property in 2014 – alongside a missing person search in Shanklin; a horse rescue operation in Alverstone; a flat fire in East Cowes and the detainment of a suicidal man at Ryde Harbour.
A petition against parking charges at Appley Car Park was also handed over to the Isle of Wight Council.
The petition against parking charges heated up in May, with a dog walk showing the amount of pet owners who would be hit by unwanted parking charges. Unfortunately, the charges are due to go ahead however have not yet been implemented.
The Island’s emergency services faced another challenging month with two fires in Ventnor, one of which resulting in multiple persons being rescued for the roof of a block of flats. The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service were also called to a house fire on The Fairway, Sandown and returned to the property in St Helens after lightning struck the building, causing a devastating fire.
Other stories included the arrival of Transformer ‘Bumblebee’ on the Isle of Wight; the rape of a young woman at Newport Quay; a serious collision between a car and tractor in Northwood, plus collisions at Binstead and Lushington Hill.
All eyes turned to Ryde Academy in June when ‘superhead’ Dr Rory Fox enforced strict uniform policies resulting in the suspension of students and parents having to purchase new clothing just weeks before the end of the school year. The story hit the national headlines. A year on, Dr Rory Fox is set to leave the school.
Other stories included an arson attack on a wooden shelter in East Cowes; the life-saving rescue of a boy who drowned off Appley Beach in Ryde; the launch of the Island’s first drive-in movie event; a missing person search stretching across the Isle of Wight and the success of Aqua Adrenaline in Sandown.
A Biffa Lorry was involved in a serious collision in Havenstreet.
The county town of the Isle of Wight was brought to a standstill in hot temperatures following a serious road traffic collision on the dual carriageway in which a pedestrian was hit. Traffic was backed up for miles resulting in Police distributing bottles of water to stranded motorists. The incident prompted the Roads Death Investigation Team to arrive at the scene from the mainland, although thankfully the injured person survived.
Other stories in July included the rescue of two children in East Cowes; the armed arrest of a man in Brading; shocking damage to Ryde Inshore Rescue’s lifeboats; the sad deaths of two people at Culver Cliff; a man talked down from the roof of a building in Ryde; a vicious assault on a male in Oakfield; a series of immigration raids across the Island and a boat colliding with Ryde Pier.
With the Highways PFI well underway, Wight Building Materials launched a brand new asphalt plant at Blackwater that is set to supply the Island for the next 25 years or more. The plant was opened by the Island’s MP, Andrew Turner.
Other stories in the summer month of August included road traffic collisions at East Cowes, Ashey and Sandown; the closure of a Ryde street due to a void; hoax calls to East Cowes for the Fire Service resulting in an arrest and the pumping out of a boat house in Bembridge.
Travel disruption was brought to the East side of the Island when a George Jenkins Transport lorry became struck under Morton Bridge. The incident resulted in a one-way system on Marshcombe Shute being lifted and a near-miss for one motorist whose car was inches away from a piece of fallen concrete.
Recovery teams spent several hours freeing the vehicle, which caused disruption to Island Line trains. Part of the bridge structure was damaged when the lorry and trailer lifted the railway line.
In Ryde, firefighters tackled one of the biggest fires in 2014 at a terraced property on Monkton Street. Several pumping appliances and two aerial appliances worked for several hours to extinguish the blaze that damaged several properties.
A freak isolated electrical storm struck Ryde, resulting in the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service responding to multiple incidents in the town. Several pumps were mobilised to both residential and commercial properties after lightning struck roof tops. Thankfully, no persons were injured.
Other stories in September included the death of a man in Niton after his car plunged off a cliff edge; a field fire in Cranmore that was successfully contained; a protest against pedestrian charges on the floating bridge and the opening of Tesco Express in Lake. A one way system began on Marshcombe Shute, Brading.
A third large fire struck in October when the derelict Royal Cliff Hotel was destroyed by fire. Fire crews tackled the blaze in Sandown, but when daylight arrived the extent of the damage was clear – the building was beyond saving and remains a twisted and charred wreck ahead of demolition.
Meanwhile Coastguard teams were called to assist a pair of exhausted sailors in Seaview, Sainsbury’s opened a brand new store in Union Street, Ryde and Police investigated a stabbing in Cowes.
Other stories included a series of road traffic collisions and the death of a motorist following a medical episode.
Another incident involving a lorry resulted in travel disruption, when a Steve Porter Transport lorry overturned outside Osborne House in East Cowes. No one was injured in the incident, but the main road to the Red Funnel ferry remain closed overnight to allow for the safe recovery of the overturned vehicle and the contents of the trailer – building materials.
Police officers were involved in a rare pursuit in November, which came to an end in Cowes, and firefighters tackled a wood heap fire at Briddlesford Road.
Other stories included the launch of the Fire Service’s ‘100 here 100 there’ charity challenge; a house fire in Albany Road, Newport and a car rolling onto its side near Tesco in Ryde.
It was a sad Christmas for an elderly couple from Wroxall when their bungalow caught fire on Christmas Eve. Firefighters tackled the blaze on St John’s Road throughout the evening, bringing the fire under control and preventing a total loss of property.
Earlier in the month fire crews responded to a boiler explosion on Pan Meadows; a trailer carrying cabbages overturned in Rookley and Warwick Street, Ryde was cordoned off following a late night assault.