The summer season in Ryde is now in full swing and for the first time since the first pandemic lockdown in March 2020 a full programme of events is now in action. The biggest event in June was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with celebrations all over the town during the four days.

A range of events are planned up until October and this will bring visitors to the town, create jobs, and give a much needed boost to our economy. The revitalised Ryde Marina, the RTC management of Eastern Gardens, the Esplanade banners and the RTC Beach operation are taking shape and the revitalisation of this area is amazing to see.

The Celebrating Ryde event in May, was a success and well attended. It really displayed how Ryde Town Council has evolved and provided a real showcase of the collaboration of Ryde organisations in having a joint vision for the Town.

Highlights since May’s Meeting

A range of events have taken place during the last two months which have really demonstrated the cultural and community activities in the Town. The events listed below, which I attended during May and June really highlighted this diversity.

Appendix 1

Ryde residents are awarded for their life-long work for Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations.

In celebrating the Queen Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, Ryde Town Council (RTC) decided that it was an opportunity to honour those residents that have gone that extra mile in making Ryde the Town it is today.

The broadcaster, Andrew Marr in his book title “Elizabethans” looks at the seismic change British society has undergone since the Queen first ascended the throne in 1952, and profiles an extraordinary array of ‘New Elizabethans’ who have in some way shaped, reflected or driven that change.

RTC celebrated and honoured Ryde’s own “New Elizabethans” who had contributed over that last 7 decades of Queen Elizabeth’s reign by having contributed in many ways to sowing the seeds of ideas and pursing initiatives that have shaped the Ryde we love so much.

RTC had two awards which were the highest awards of achievement the council can give, and these are the Freedom of Ryde and the Ryde Citizen’s Award. Each recipient had been nominated by Ryde/IW residents or Ryde/IW organisations. The final list was approved by RTC’s Honour’s Committee and RTC’s Full Council.

We gave out 7 Freedom of Ryde Awards, and 9 Ryde Citizen Awards to some amazing people. Eddie Minghella, aged 101, who had received the Freedom of Ryde in 2017 attended as well. The awards were presented by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Dr Jonathan Nainby-Luxmore and Deputy Mayor Cllr Jenna Sabine who had designed the award scrolls and trophies. The awards ceremony was held at the Captain’s Table on the Esplanade on 2 June.

The 7 Freedom of Ryde Awards went to Ryde residents including Raymond Allen, the writer. Raymond has brought laughter and joy to millions through his creation of Frank Spencer in the 1970’s iconic BBC TV comedy show “Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em”. He was born and bred in Ryde and has continued to live here even though he has achieved outstanding international success. He is a true son of Ryde and continues to take a great interest in both the people and the events in the town, whether it be carnival, street markets or the changing face of the town centre. He has never forgotten his roots and his enthusiasm is remarkable. One of the main things I discovered was that if you listened to the show, Frank mentions Ryde streets many times. Raymond did base a lot of himself on the character of Frank and it was his own raincoat that inspired the famous one in the show. Frank Spencer is a true son of Ryde and next year will be the 50th anniversary of the first episode which introduced Frank to the world.

Other Ryde Citizens awards went to Desmond Murphy, Carol Jaye, Diana Conyers, Mike Fitt, Peter Woodnutt, and Charles Chapman. They all had contributed to the development of the Town along with Ray. As all were born before 1952 and the average age was 76, the 7 accounted for over 600 years between them.

Ryde Citizen Awards were given to Henry Adams, Derek Sandy, Antony Brook, Judith Day, Heath Monaghan, Katrina Mary Fraser, Lindsey MacFarlene, and Rosie Johnson. At 14, Rosie was the youngest to receive such an honour. Her award was for her campaigning for the welfare of wildlife on the Island and in Ryde as well as establishing the “Young Nature Watch IW” group during the Covid 19 Pandemic with the aim of connecting with other young people on the Island who shared her passion for wildlife.

The evening ended with the Deputy Lieutenant and I escorting the award winners and their families to light the beacon at Ryde Marina for the Queen’s Jubilee, where we were joined by over 1000 local residents. A joyous occasion.