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Barbara Hunt, Chair of Ryde Social Heritage Group

Uncovering Ryde’s heritage, for all to share

Bringing Ryde’s heritage to life – Barbara Hunt, Chair of Ryde Social Heritage Group

“We are really excited to be working with Ryde Heritage Action Zone. We have been asked to create an audio heritage trail for the High Street – similar to the audio trail we created for Union Street and the seafront.

“With so much history all around us, it’s important to bring the stories we have uncovered so far to life so everyone can fully appreciate the lives of those who have gone before us.

“We are looking to highlight the stories of 10 buildings and the people who lived and worked there. They will have a plaque on the wall with a photo showing what used to be there in years gone by and a QR code so you can access more history on our website.

“We are so pleased to be involved with the project from the outset and we are looking forward to bringing the history of the High Street to life. When you walk down the High Street, it is important to look up and see the beauty in the buildings.

“Only by appreciating and understanding the past, can we look to the future

“I moved to the Island when I was 13 with my parents and twin sister.

“I married Colin and we moved to Ryde in 1975. We had two sons and we have lived in the same house for 45 years.

“I’ve always had a fascination for history. Nine years ago I joined the Ryde Social Heritage Group and three years ago I became chairman. There is such a good bond between the volunteers and helpers, working behind the scenes.

“Since 2002 the group has been recording information from Ryde Cemetery producing maps and recording inscriptions. We search through archives to find biographical information relating to the people buried there.

“We also research about the people, businesses, development and important events that happened in Ryde.  A growing archive which includes documents, information and artefacts relating to Ryde has been gathered and the team deal with enquiries from all over the world.  We produce books and leaflets, hold exhibitions and give guided walks and presentations to help people understand the rich history and the significance of our town.

“We are based in the Northern Chapel at Ryde Cemetery and it would be good to have a hub in one of the shops in the High Street. People could come in and find out more about the work we do and share their more current memories – it would be history in the making.

“The High Street was once buzzing with life and we are lucky that it still attracts independent shops. It would be good to see more choosing to open there.

“Ryde HAZ gives us a great opportunity to make the High Street more inviting and interesting.”