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Surprisingly it all started in Sandown when old Shanklin photographs, donated to Sandown and District Historical Association, formed the basis of a talk, and Christine Warder (nee Howlett) and Brian Kemp (both from Shanklin families), asked what was to become of the photographs.
Chris and Brian gained useful advice from the Sandown Association and Ventnor and District Local History Society. They also gave a talk to Shanklin Rotary Club who proceeded to sponsor initial meetings in Shanklin. The first meeting in the Falcon Cross Hall, on 15 May 2003, was a great success. Nearly one hundred people crowded in for an illustrated talk on Shanklin by former mayor John Flemming. Derek Sprake’s informative and humorous talk on Parish Records in June was also well supported. Heartened by the interest, a steering group was formed and a winter programme planned. On 18 Sept. 2003 a talk on Shanklin Archives by the County Archivist, Richard Smout, preceded the Inaugural General Meeting of the Shanklin and District History Society, now officially up and running!
Since 2003 the Society has run a regular programme of talks, exhibitions from a growing Shanklin archive and guided walks around the town. For many years Chris Warder acted as Secretary and the late Brian Kemp as Chairman. Particular thanks are due to them, to everyone who has given time to serve on the committee, to Arthur Wheeler Estate Agents for their continuing assistance with printing and, not least, to all members (over 100 in 2016) for their support.
Welcome to the Shanklin & District History Society website where members can keep up to date and visitors can find out about S&DHS and the history of Shanklin, Isle of Wight.
Talks and Exhibitions
Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month, apart from January and August, in the Falcon Cross Hall in Shanklin and visitors are always welcome for a small charge. Usually there will be a talk by a specialist speaker on an historic topic related to the Isle of Wight while at our AGM in September our Chairman and Archivist give a slide show from the Society’s archives. A changing selection of archive material, including new acquisitions, is displayed at meetings through the year and at one or two exhibitions in Shanklin where the public can also consult old maps and directories. Details of forthcoming events can be found on the Programme page.
Each year in May our Chairman researches and leads a themed walk around Shanklin as part of the Isle of Wight Walking Festival. In 2016 the walk was titled ‘Tracing Shanklin Hostelries Past and Present’ and the donations from about 60 walkers made a significant contribution to our charity of the year, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
Newsletters and Website
Members receive three newsletters a year with event details and articles on Shanklin history. To keep costs down, copies are delivered in the Shanklin area by members of the committee. This website is regularly updated with details of events and also provides a platform to display archive material which can be found on our Gallery 1 and Gallery 2 pages. We plan to extend the website further so that more of our archive material can be shared with members and the wider world on and beyond the Isle of Wight.
The Society receives requests for information on Shanklin people, buildings and events from home and abroad. We reply to all requests and do our best to help.
Who Does What
The Society is run by a volunteer Chairman and Committee who report to, and are elected by, members at each AGM in September. All Committee members are listed on the Contact Us page.
Shanklin Shelters Update
We think that the three historic Victorian shelters on the Esplanade are an important physical link to Shanklin’s history as a spa town and resort. They are also well used by residents and visitors!
In early 2013 Shanklin & District History Society nominated all three shelters for inclusion on the IW Council’s Local List as important ‘heritage assets’. The nomination is supported by Shanklin Town Council. In August 2014 the Local List Panel recommended to the IW Council that the shelters should be added to the Local List and we had hoped that this will be agreed by the IW Council by the end of 2014. In 2016 we are still waiting for news!
You can join at any of our meetings or by printing off an application form and returning it with a cheque to the Treasurer.
Membership is £6 a year (Sept - Sept) and includes entry to meetings and 3 newsletters.
The Isle of Wight History Centre website has a wide range of detailed information and a list of other history societies on the Island.
For further Shanklin information see www.visitshanklin.co.uk
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