infobox UK place
country = England
map_type= Isle of Wight
population = 26,152 (1991 Census)
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Isle of Wight
postcode_district = PO33
Ryde is a British seaside town, and the most populous town and urban area on the
Isle of Wight, with a population of approximately 30,000. It is situated on the north-east coast.
The town grew in size as a
seaside resortfollowing the joining of the villages of Upper Ryde and Lower Ryde in the 19th century. The influence of this era is still strongly visible in the town's central and sea facing architecture.
As a resort, the town is noted for its expansive sands that occur at low tide, making its pier necessary on the wide beach for a regular passenger service. Ryde Pier is a listed structure which is the fourth longest pier in the
United Kingdom, and also one of the oldest. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6527705.stm BBC - "Pier-ing into the future"] ]
In 1782 numerous bodies of men, women and children from HMS Royal George, which sank suddenly at
Spithead, were washed ashore at Ryde. Many were buried on land that is now occupied by The Esplanade. A memorial to them was erected in June 2004.
Transportation and amenities
hovercraftto Southseaoperates from The Esplanade close to Ryde Esplanade railway stationand the bus station. A catamaranservice run by Wightlinkoperates from Ryde Pierto Portsmouth Harbour which connects with both Island Line trains and mainland trains to London Waterloo. The Island Line train service runs from Ryde Pier Head via Ryde Esplanade to Shanklin, a distance of 8½ miles - Britain's smallest railway franchise. A major bus interchange is situated between Ryde Pier and the Hover Terminal on the Esplanade with frequent departures and arrivals from all the island's main towns and villages, run by Southern Vectis. The main service is route 9 to Newport, running every 10 minutes in the daytime. Other main routes include service 2, 3, 4, and 14. [ [http://www.islandbuses.info/routes.shtml Southern Vectis - Bus routes] ] An open top bus tour called "The Downs Tour" is also run in the summer. [ [http://www.islandbuses.info/downs.html Southern Vectis - Downs Tour] ]
At one time Ryde had two separate piers; the other being the Victoria Pier, no longer in existence. Ryde has its own
inshore rescueservice which mostly has to deal with people becoming stranded on sandbanks as the incoming tide cuts them off from the shore. The pier is also a feature of the 67-mile Isle of Wight Coastal Path, which is marked with blue signs with a white seagull.
Ryde has a small marina located to the east of Ryde Pier. It is tidal and dries out at low water hence it is more suitable for smaller sailing (
bilge keel) and motor cruisers. It has provision for up to 200 boats, either on floating pontoons or leaning against the harbour wall. It has a full time harbourmasterwho posts useful snippets of information on the noticeboard outside the harbour office including weather information, tide times, cruise liner movements and events that occurred on this day in history.
The twin church spires clearly visible from the sea belong to
All Saints'(the taller) and Holy Trinitychurches. All Saints' Church is located in Queens Road on a road junction known as "Five Ways". It was designed by George Gilbert Scottand completed in 1872. The spire is 177 feet tall. Holy Trinity Church is in Dover Street. It was designed by Thomas Hellyer and completed in 1845.
Roman Catholicchurch, St Mary’s, is located in High Street. It was built in 1846 at a cost of £18,000. This was provided by Elizabeth, Countess of Clare. The church was designed by Joseph Hansominventor of the hansom cab.
Sited on The Esplanade is an ice rink and a pavilion, converted to house a nightclub and bowling alley feature on the Esplanade, the former being the home of the Isle of Wight's ice-hockey team, the "
Wightlink Raiders". Many bars, pubs and restaurants can be found on the Esplanade and on the town's main shopping street, Union Street [ [http://mattandcat.co.uk/reviews/index.php/ryde/ Matt and Cat's Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide: restaurants and pubs in Ryde] ] .
The town's main live music venue,
Ryde Theatre, is enjoying a growing reputation and has in recent years presented many popular artists. Despite this the future of the theatre is uncertain. [ [http://www.iwcp.co.uk/News/DRAMA_OVER_THEATRES_HAS_A_HAPPY_ENDING.aspx Isle of Wight Country Press - "Drama over theatres has a happy ending"] ]
The town's local football team was for many years
Ryde Sports F.C., now replaced by Ryde Saints F.C. & Ryde FC SUNDAY.
Speedway is staged in the town. The Isle of Wight Islanders started as members of the Conference League before moving up to the Premier League.
Ryde is noted for its carnivals. There are five throughout the year - an Arts Parade in June; Children's, Main and Illuminated processions at the end of August and a Lantern Parade in December. "The Carnival at Ryde" is the oldest in
England, although its popularity had been decreasing until the millennium.
In 2001 a
Londoncarnival group called Kineticawas brought to the island to teach carnival skills to adults and young people in community workshops. Since Kinetica's input the carnival has been expanding, with its effects felt throughout the island's other carnivals.
Ryde Carnival remains the island's largest carnival, with local crowds and mainland visitors totalling in excess of 50,000 spectators. Performers consist of community groups, schools, multiple samba and brass bands, stilt walkers and family groups, with over 2,000 performers taking part in August 2006.
David Icke- is a Ryde resident.
Sam Browne- the soldier after whom the belt was named, retired and lived the last years of his life in a house called Argosyon East Hill Road, Ryde.
Philip Norman- the writer who attended Ryde Schooland has written about his childhood on the island.
Karl Marxvisited Ryde for health reasons in the summer of 1874.
Michael Sheard- the actor who played Mr Bronson in "Grange Hill" and appeared in " Star Wars", lived in Ryde and died there in 2005.
Raymond Allen- the TV writer who attended Ryde Secondary Modern Schooland wrote the BBCseries Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.
* William Hutt, the colonial administrator, was educated in Ryde.
William Booth- the founder of the Salvation Armyspent the first part of his honeymoonin Ryde.
* Mark King - the
Level 42musician, originally from Ventnor, opened a pub, Joe Daflos, in Union Street, Ryde in the 1980s.
Anthony Minghella- the Hollywooddirector was born in Ryde in 1954. His parents are well-known local residents, and own an ice creamfactory in Wootton (about 2 miles away). At the time of his birth they ran a cafe in Ryde High Street.
Albert Pollard- the historian was born in Ryde on 16 December 1869.
John Lennonand Paul McCartney- the title of the song " Ticket to Ride" was inspired by a trip they took to Ryde in the 1960s [ [http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=76 Song information - "Ticket to ride"] ] supposedly visiting Paul’s cousin who worked in the "Bow Bars" public house in Union Street. Paul also mentions the Isle of Wightin the song " When I'm 64."
M J Trow- the British military historian and detective fiction writer, who used to teach history and politics at Ryde High School.
* [http://www.rydedevelopmenttrust.org/ Ryde Development trust]
* [http://www.islandbreaks.co.uk/ Isle of Wight Tourism]
* [http://www.rshg.org.uk/ Ryde Social Heritage Group]
* [http://www.rydeharbour.co.uk/ Ryde Harbour]
* [http://www.bartiesworld.co.uk/postcards/ryde.htm Pictures of old Ryde]
* [http://www.ryde.shalfleet.net/ Ryde Old Postcards]
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