Cowes, at the northern most tip of the Island is known for its yachting regatta (Cowes Week) held each year during the first week in August. It was formerly a major industrial area and although elements of it remain (mainly for small boats), there is a trend toward tourism and residential development. It is not my intention to provide a detailed historic page about the town, but rather to show a few of my postcards of the town and surrounding area (including Osborne House). I have included an extract from the isle of Wight County Guide from the 1960's showing elements of the then surviving industry.
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Freshwater | Totland | Alum Bay and the Needles | Yarmouth | Shalfleet | Newtown | Calbourne | Carisbrooke Castle | Carisbrooke | Newport | Cowes and Gurnard | Osborne House | Wootton & Fishbourne | Quarr & Binstead | Ryde | Seaview | Bembridge | Brading | Sandown | Shanklin | Godshill | Arreton Valley | Ventnor | St Lawrence and the Undercliff | St Catherine's Lighthouse's | Niton | Blackgang Chine | Blackgang and Chale | Brighstone and Shorwell | Mottistone to Compton
Cowes in 1939 - From the Town Guide
“COME TO COWES”
PERCIVAL L. PULLINGER, J.P., Chairman of Cowes
Urban District Council
A hundred good reasons could be given why the cry of “Come
to Cowes” has been so enthusiastically taken up by holiday-makers of all
degrees in the past few years. Cheap travelling facilities have had much to do
with it. But not unwarrantably I suggest there are reasons nearer home that can
better account for this rising wave of popularity.
Cowes belongs to the sea. Few among us regard a
holiday as complete and perfect unless the sea forms a large part of the new
background for our relaxation and sport. When you stay at Cowes the sea fills
the whole horizon of one’s thoughts. But it is not the empty vista that
confronts you on so many seafronts. It is a vast gleaming canvas across which
move every type of craft, noble and small, liner and skiff, canoe and cruiser,
the long day through. Before your eyes passes the greatest pageant of sea-going
vessels that the world can show you.
The Solent indeed is like an ever-open page of
romance which excites the hearts of parents and children with an equal mixture
of surprise, surmise and pride as they bask on Prince’s Green or bathe in the
calm stillness of Gurnard Bay.
Cowes seafront is an eternal doorstep to maritime
romance. And though the climax to this pageantry is still the Royal Yacht
Squadron Regatta in the first week of August the white sails and sleek, speedy
lines of motor-boats and other small craft give continuous enchantment to the
wooded round of the Medina estuary.
You need not buy a yachting cap and borrow a nautical roll to take part
in summer’s happy days at Cowes. The sea, calm, bright, and smiling offers
many other attractions besides those of sailing and rowing.
Fishermen will find that the sport is by no means merely contemplative if they frequent the piers and stages, or go inland to such places as Alverstone.
With two golf courses in the neighbourhood and the varied sporting proclivities of Northwood Park open to the public, the visitor will find all the amusement, strenuous or relaxing, that he feels disposed to indulge within the limits of Cowes which comprehends East Cowes and Gurnard.
Each year the number of tourists who make Cowes their centre of operations in the island increases. They find just the right sort of accommodation here—inexpensive, with good food and always a good view. Hotel and boarding-house keepers are in the enviable position of not having to exaggerate their proximity to the sea. When you stay at Cowes you share a continuous panorama of the sea with your neighbours.
This might be a good moment to drive home to readers of this booklet the plain fact that Cowes is not an expensive resort for the ordinary fortnight-a-year holiday-maker.
Despite its close association with Royalty, Cowes is still in many ways an unassuming resort. Its claims to public favour have not been sought. They have, as it were, accumulated by the general recognition that here is one of the favoured spots of Nature—favoured by position, favoured by climate, and favoured by Royal patronage.
All roads out of Cowes take you to beauty and unspoiled wayside loveliness. Industries are practically unknown in the island, and those that exist are not of the sort to deface in any way the fair fields, and downs and gardens which cover the island from Cowes to Niton, from Alum Bay on the west to Foreland on the east.
Bring your car over on the ferry from Southampton; make your headquarters at Cowes, and you can put a girdle about the island in the course of a few days.
This is Cowes calling!