Christmas Food and Gift Show



With the festive season nearly upon us, Red Funnel have announced a Christmas Food & Gift Show to be held on the 9th December. Leading on from their highly successful food shows earlier in 2012 Red Funnel are working in conjunction with The Real Island Food Company and Widget Productions to bring Cowes a Christmas event with a difference. In contrast to the previous shows, they will be introducing an extensive selection of local craft stands to compliment the local food exhibitors.

There will be a “Food Theatre” hosted by Isle of Wight radio for visitors to view some of the top local chefs at work, including amongst others our very own Isle of Wight ambassador Robert Thompson. Robert, owner of the Michelin starred restaurant “The Hamrough”, ran a very popular showcase at the previous food shows.

Robert Thompson showcase at Red Funnel Food Show

There will be a range of competitions running on the day, with prizes ranging from Ferry Crossings to Christmas Dinners! There will be something for everyone at the event, where you will be invited to enjoy the Christmas ambience with traditional roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, carol singers and a Christmas Grotto!

Brownrigg crepe stall at Cowes Food Show

This event is FREE to attend, and amongst the confirmed exhibitors so far are The Dairy Deli, IoW Espresso Company, Philips Fine Foods, IW Cheese, Rapanui, Sharon Orchard, Real Island Food Company, The Constant Doodler, Calbourne Classics, Wild Island Dressings, Island Ales, Brownrigg Poultry, IW Bacon Company, Hamiltons, Tomato Stall, The Garlic Farm, Nely Verdier, Chris Adams. With more stalls booking each day.

Tourism Briefings for the Isle of Wight

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) announces five days of ‘Tourism Briefings’ across the Island


Visit Isle of Wight Ltd Team

Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the new Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for the Isle of Wight has today announced that it will run a week-long programme of tourism briefings across the Island, starting on Monday, November 19th at the Quay Arts Centre in Newport.

All tourism businesses are invited to drop-in to one of the five venues throughout the week to meet the Visit Isle of Wight operations team and to discuss plans to attract more visitors over the coming years.

David Thornton, the recently appointed Chief Executive of the newly formed DMO hopes that such events will become a regular feature of VIOW’s work.

“These events allow us an opportunity to hold one-to-one conversations with tourism operators where the flow of information and ideas can run in both directions. We are keen to share our thoughts for future themes and advertising campaigns whilst explaining how our islandbreaks website – – and other selling tools are going to be developed,” he says.

“We are hoping to meet as many tourism providers as possible over the five days. Drop in at any time during the day, tell us your key concerns and hear how we are planning to develop the Island’s tourism economy”.

The VIOW operational team will be joined by representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, who will be able to offer advice on a range of additional tourism services and by Mark Buckett of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), who will be on hand to discuss the “Our Land” initiative designed to help tourism businesses use the landscape to enhance their own appeal.

Tourism providers are invited to drop-in at any time between 10am and 4pm at the following venues, to meet the team and to discuss any tourism issue in a relaxed and informal settingQuay Arts Centrein Newport, on Monday November 19th; Yelf’s Hotelin Ryde, November 20th; Wednesday 21st November Freshwater Bay House Hotelin Freshwater Bay, on November 21st; Brading Roman Villain Brading, on November 22nd; and the Royal Hotel,in Ventnor, on November 23rd.

New Locomotive at Havenstreet

Burgundy arrives at Isle of Wight Steam Railway

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway was a hive of activity and excitement last week as a new locomotive arrived, and one of their existing fleet departed for a new home! The 1877-built London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) E1 class tank locomotive ‘Burgundy’ arrived at Havenstreet, while Ivatt tender locomotive No. 46447 has departed for her new home at the East Somerset Railway.

Travelling by road and ferry to their respective new homes, the locomotives were transported across the Solent aboard Wightlink’s largest Fishbourne-Portsmouth car ferry ‘St Clare’.

Burgundy being driven off the Isle of Wight Ferry

The new locomotive joins O2 class locomotive No. 24 ‘Calbourne’ and Terrier class locomotives No. 8 ‘Freshwater’ and No. 11 ‘Newport’ at the steam railway, meaning the Island’s steam line now has examples of the 3 principal types of locomotive that ran on the Island’s once extensive railway system during the middle decades of the last century. ‘Burgundy’ is the last remaining locomotive of her class and The Isle of Wight Steam Railway has long held an ambition to acquire and run the E1 on the Island.

Four E1 class locomotives used to operate on the Isle of Wight from the early 1930s until 1960, working alongside a large number of 02s and ‘Terriers’. Numbered and named No. 1 ‘Medina’, No. 2 ‘Yarmouth’, No. 3 ‘Ryde’ and No. 4 ‘Wroxall’, none of these survived into preservation. ‘Burgundy’ is not, therefore, a true Island engine but it is the last survivor of its type.

Meanwhile, Ivatt 2-6-0 tender locomotive no. 46447 is of a type which is not ideally suited to the Island as tender locomotives never operated on the Island’s railways. Ivatt 2-6-0s used to work along the Cheddar Valley line and therefore it is very appropriate to have a representative of the class at the East Somerset Railway.

Ivatt 2-6-0 departing the Isle of Wight

In private ownership, for many years ‘Burgundy’ has resided at the East Somerset Railway. Under the arrangements leading to the transfer of these locomotives, The Isle of Wight Steam Railway is acquiring ‘Burgundy’ from the present owner, Richard Bellchambers, and will restore it to operational condition. A generous bequest to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway is funding the purchase and restoration of the locomotive. In accordance with the wishes of the benefactor, it is expected the E1 will run in the guise of No2. ‘Yarmouth’. In turn, the IW Steam Railway is making available to the East Somerset Railway Ivatt locomotive 46447, on the basis that it will be restored to running order at their base at Cranmore near Shepton Mallet, with all major components supplied by the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. The locomotive will then be loaned to the East Somerset Railway for ten years.