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Exploring Ryde’s History in a Creative New Way

Janet Owen from The Earth Museum explains how the idea for the Mapping Expedition to Ryde came about and what people can expect when they join the trail.


“Ryde has such an amazing, eclectic history and streetscape. It rises up the hill from the Esplanade from humble beginnings of a small fishing village, it was extended and extended again in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

“I have worked in museums and the arts for many years and when I came to live on the Island five years ago, I was very keen to base the Earth Museum here because it is such an incredible place to live.

“I’ve travelled a great deal and I have always been interested in the way places are connected to the world – places, spaces and the environment. I’ve been working in schools looking at global citizenship and working closely with the Island’s seven museums, funded by the DoE and Arts Council.

“This project is the start of a journey and we hope to do more in the coming years.

“With the wonderful support of Ryde HAZ we have been able to bring the history of Ryde to life in a slightly different way by creating a narrative that is an exploration of undiscovered lands.

“We have created a couple of sisters who are explorers from the 1930s and, along with their knowledgeable companions, they guide as we travel through time, geography and space.

“There is another Ryde in Sydney, Australia and we have been discovering the connection between the two places, as well as the Isle of Wight county in Virginia, USA.

“Our QR code trail runs from Union Street into Cross Street and then the High Street. By following the trail you can find out more about the history of Ryde. It has been wonderful working with the shopkeepers – they have been really helpful and happy to get involved.

“The trail is designed for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy and we’ve got some quirky stories to tell. People of my age remember the Sea Devils from Dr Who and their link with Ryde but you may not know Ryde has a connection with the story of the very first tin opener.

“As well as the trail we are running workshops from Mon Oct 25 to Fri Oct 28 at Aspire Ryde’s shop on the High Street so people can share their stories and memories and more workshops will be happening with community groups too.”

To find out more follow The Earth Museum on social media and check out this page