A Little Slice of Island Life Gone By

A Little Slice of Island Life Gone By

Late one night, after a few glasses of vino collapso, Mr B tucked up and zzzing away in bed, I decided to partake in one of my guilty pleasures and browse through the fabulous British Pathe archive of historic film clips.

That night I struck pure gold when I came across the absolute stonker of all stonkers and then some more stonkerness, vintage dream heavenliness, dribble, drool, skip with joy ……. watch out for the ladies Sunday best fashions and the lads in fetching knitted swimsuits!


This piece of film from 1933 commemorates the last time the Brook lifeboat was launched using just cart horses and men. ‘When the picturesque gave way to the practical’, as the caption has it.

I grew up just along the cliffs at Brighstone Coastguard Cottages with the stories of valiant lifeboat men and tragic ship wrecks.The Pathe clip brought the whole thing to life for me. With my addiction to all things IOW vintage, I can’t imagine how I hadn’t come across this classic before but it’s now one of my most treasured finds – a little gem of times gone by.

Brook itself really hasn’t changed that much although I don’t think it ever again saw so many people on the beach. The lifeboat station and slipway are still there and I can almost hear the men and horses straining to get the boat launched, however rough the sea.

If this has sparked an interest why not head on over to the Ship Wreck Centre at Arreton and learn about the history of the Island’s lifeboats and the men that risked their lives to save others.