Local Community News


A group of musicians serenaded visitors at a street party in Ryde on Sunday, organised jointly by a new arts centre and a local residents group.

10 members of The RUG – formerly Ryde Ukulele Group – performed Sweet Georgia Brown, among other songs, for hundreds of people in East Street at the first-ever Monkton Arts Fringe event in association with the Ryde Society.

Monkton Arts, whose opening in July this year featured on Island Echo, is based in the former Island Printers building and run by mother and daughter, Dawn Fidler and Jenna Sabine.

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Sunday’s event included street stalls and an art exhibition.

Stella Davis, chairwoman of the Ryde Society, says:

“This is precisely what regeneration is about. A local community event that brings people together.

“We had a nice time and got to know our neighbours in the town and in this way the town becomes a better, friendlier place to live.”

Members of RuG also play bass, mandolin, flute, banjolele, fiddle, harmonica, guitar, concertina and a variety of percussion. The band have played at Rhythm Tree Festival, Waterloo Station, Quay Arts, Ventnor Fringe and Medina Theatre among other venues.

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The band’s spokeswoman Zoe Barker said:

“Jenna and Dawn behind the Monkton Art Cafe are two of the loveliest ladies you will ever meet. Full of passion for what they do, they are building a creative hub right at the heart of the local community.”

The Arts centre combines a gallery exhibiting local artists’ work, 2 artists’ studios and the lounge coffee house. It is also the base for a photography group and a meeting place for young adults with autism. A wide range of further activities – including a children’s art exhibition – are planned.

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