We have a monthly meeting, on the 4th Monday of the month. These meetings are held at the Arreton Community Hall, Main Road, Arreton, 7.30 for 8.00 p.m. The usual format of the evening is that we listen to a speaker on some relevant topic, view videos, or have some form of quiz, as well as having a general 'noggin and natter'. Visitors to the Island are welcome to come along.
24 members were present, at the Arreton Community Centre to hear another of Mike Earp’s range of talks about the Island. This time it was about 'Movements in Architecture on the Island from 1840 to 1937'. It was a fascinating talk that covered three periods that had a great influence on building design. He started off by looking at the 'Art and Crafts' movement from 1840 to 1910. He showed a number of photographs of buildings on the Island that reflected this period, of so many different styles. Included were the TB Hospital, at Ventnor, and Cragie Lodge, at St. Lawrence. Other influences were the Chalet style, from Italy, and the Colonial style.
The next period, from 1880 to 1920 was the 'Art Nouveau' style. There was not much of this on the Island as Queen Victoria liked the Gothic style.
From 1918 to 1937, it was the 'Art Deco' style that came to the fore and this really caught on.
There are so many buildings here that reflect this period but many have deteriorated due to the fact that concrete was the main building material and, over the years has been prone to cracking. At the time, the Island was well known for the cement that it produced and it was put to good use. Many buildings were rounded and had bent glass. Metal window frames were also in vogue. Examples he discussed included the IOW Pearl building, Ventnor Winter Gardens, the York Hotel at Ryde and Sandown Pier.
At the end of his talk, Mike showed us three items of furniture that he saved from being scrapped - an 1845 ‘Art and Crafts Table’, a 1907 Art nouveaux Spanish leather chair and a 1931 Art Deco Dutch style chair. He challenged us to guess what they were worth. The most valuable was the Art Deco chair, valued at £1000 to £2000, and this he rescued from a skip!