Flying the Flag for the Armed Forces

The Isle of Wight Lord-Lieutenant, Susie Sheldon joined the Isle of Wight Council’s chairman, Councillor George Cameron, High Sheriff, Caroline Peel, and the council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Ian Ward to the annual flag raising ceremony on Monday, 22 June to mark the start of national Armed Forces Week. Raising the flag were council officers, Steve Brockbank and Darren Steed, both service veterans.

Social distancing measures enforced by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic meant the traditionally held ceremony in St Thomas’ Square, Newport, could not take place this year. Instead, the Isle of Wight Council hosted an intimate ceremony in the grounds of County Hall.

Four Island Groups win The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

This year, four groups of Island volunteers have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service; this is the highest award that a voluntary group can receive in the UK, and is the equivalent of an individual being awarded an MBE.

Our winners are:

Isle of Wight Music Dance and Drama Festival – The Music Dance and Drama Festival has just celebrated its 91th year, with 3700 entries in over 400 classes, operating in six venues in three towns.

Isle of Wight Multiple Sclerosis – Isle of Wight Multiple Sclerosis was set up over 40 years ago, moving to its current premises in Shanklin in 2009; the group is highly successful in supporting, both emotionally and financially, those suffering from MS together with their families.

Royal Isle of Wight County Show – The County Show has also been around for a very long time, dating back to 1874, celebrating its 120th show in 2019; the volunteers were recognised for their great work in revitalising the show over the last 7 years, thus contributing to the growth of the Island rural economy.

Vectis Radio – Vectis Radio was established 10 years ago and was recognised for its support of local charities and for their excellent 4Ps training programme for young people with learning difficulties, which enables them to present, promote, produce and make podcasts.

VE Day 75th Anniversary, May 8th 2020

VE Day 75th Anniversary, May 8th 2020

We will all have been watching the many programmes on TV celebrating VE Day. At the end of 6 years of uncertainty, hardship, loss and horror, the people of the UK could finally look forward to better times. They took to the streets and partied all over the UK and my mother who had served as an ambulance driver on the Isle of Wight during the Battle of Britain, was one of those partying outside Buckingham Palace. She always spoke to me of the huge emotion of the day.

We have all been looking forward to re-living those celebrations from 1945 but sadly, the many planned celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day will not be able to take place because of Covid 19. However many people will be celebrating and decorating their house to mark the day and evoke that wartime spirit. In current circumstances it is good to remember how the UK recovered from 6 years of national emergency.

VE Day was a moment of huge relief in 1945 but it was not the final end to the war and many of our troops were still overseas. The war in Japan was to continue for many months and many families were still separated. There were further losses to be suffered. Of interest is the paper showing where our local Hampshire regiment was still serving on May 8th 1945. Colonel Tony Aylmer of Bembridge tells very simply the story of his experience while serving as a young soldier in Europe at Cuxhaven on May 8th 1945.

I urge those of you who remember those days in the 30’s and 40’s to tell your stories so we can all raise a glass to the generation who lived through them and then celebrated, 75 years ago. We have lived through a prolonged period of peace as a result of their indomitable spirit. On May 8th let us raise a glass in thanks.

Declaration of the new High Sheriff


On Monday 6th April at 11am the new High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight, Mrs Caroline Peel, made her Declaration to the Lord Lieutenant, the Resident Judge and the Chairman of the IOW Board of Magistrates via a Video Conferencing facility.  She will serve as High Sheriff for one year.

At the same time April Newton made her Declaration as the newly appointed Under-Sheriff.

Charity Concert by The Band of the Hampshire Constabulary

On Sunday 15th March 2020, the Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Susie Sheldon attended a charity concert by The Band of the Hampshire Constabulary at All Saints’ Church, in Ryde.

Mrs Sheldon was met by Scouts and Explorers who will benefit from the proceeds of the concert, to help them attend an international Scout jamboree in Essex in August 2020.

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Girlguiding IW World Thinking Day

On Sunday 23rd February 2020, the Lord-Lieutenant attended the Girl-guiding IW World Thinking Day, an annual celebration of the birthdays of the first World Chief Guide Lady Olave Baden-Powell (born 22/02/1889) and her husband Lord Robert Baden-Powell (born 22/02/1857).

On World Thinking Day Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers speak
out about issues which affect them and their local community, fundraise
for causes they care about and learn about other countries.

Anglo-Saxon Treasures return to the Isle of Wight after 150 years

On Friday 14th February 2020, the Lord-Lieutenant attended the opening of new exhibition – “Anglo-Saxon Treasures of the Isle of Wight”.

The 1,500 year old Anglo-Saxon treasures discovered on the Isle of Wight by Victorians and conserved by the British Museum, have returned to the Island at Carisbrooke Castle Museum.