Locals Write about Ryde
In this section we will be running a series of articles about the Ryde area, written by local residents .
Ryde and the Isle of Wight by Barbara Jane Mackie - Scriptwriter and Novelist
When I first read about Ryde and the Isle of Wight, I was living in France, trying out 'the good life', not quite our 'Year in Provence', but something near as damn it. My husband then secured a job lecturing at Southampton Solent University, and flying in from the peace and beauty of the French countryside, I realised I was loathe to live in a city again - we had already been Media professionals in London for many years, and when we worked at the BBC in Birmingham, inner-city residents yet again.
We had spent some happy years in Brighton too, and I was now looking for somewhere that combined the beach and sea-side adventures of Brighton with the unspoilt tranquility of the french countryside. I asked my husband to take me to the 'beach' in Southampton - I needed some air, There were the ferries (no beaches!) and a colourful brochure for the wonderful Isle of Wight. I read about the beaches and towns, looked out across the water and suddenly knew our 'destiny', We would move to the island, an island I knew nothing about!
I had to fly back to France, so I roamed the 'net' and found pictures of Ryde, which took my fancy, with it's massive, clean and sandy beach and parkland at Appley. I 'googled' some more, unable to believe that I had never been aware of such a magical town! There were Georgian houses, the beautiful, historic Pier, the sweep of the wide beach, with a cafe just on the headland - a place we always walk to. I was in heaven and got onto the Ryde estate agents immediately. Hearing that it was lively and colourful, and there was plenty to do for our two young teenagers, I realised it would suit myself and my family down to the ground.
We have now been living extremely happily on the island for three years, based here in Ryde. I am a five minute walk into town - a town with a stunning and unspoilt high street, where you can see the sea twinkling at you between the buildings - and feel so totally at home on this magical island. My children, living in a low crime area, have the freedom to roam, and my husband and I are still exploring new beaches and pathways. We are unbelievably lucky on this island and as an 'overner' (or a 'grockle' - I'm not sure which?!), I am proud and happy to say that I live in Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, a magical place, stuffed full of fascinating characters, unique shops and boutiques, relaxed and sophisticated eateries and the best 'caffee latte' on the island. We writers need coffee - it's what fuels us!
I felt welcomed in by the islanders and have felt very well held in this warm and friendly place. The majority can stay on the mainland, but we're staying here!