Six Wonders or six blunders, the new meaning of place names on the Isle of Wight

·1-min read
The old Six Wonders of the Isle of Wight, as displayed on this vintage tea towel by Nighs of Shanklin.
The old Six Wonders of the Isle of Wight, as displayed on this vintage tea towel by Nighs of Shanklin.

MY DAUGHTER and grandson have just returned home to the mainland after spending a “touristy” week with us oldies.

In a souvenir shop in Sandown, my nostalgic mind was cast (far) back to my own childhood visits to the wonderful Isle of Wight.

Despite some more recent attempts to add to the Six Wonders of Wight, the originals still appear on souvenir tea-towels: Needles you cannot thread; Ryde where you walk; Newport you cannot bottle; Freshwater you cannot drink; Cowes you cannot milk; Lake where there is no water.

Looking at the vast stock of tea-towels in this shop, my wandering brain considered whether a more contemporary approach might lead to more sales.

For instance, “Blunders” in place of “Wonders”; perhaps “Blighty” in place of “Wight” for a more universal message... I was on a roll -

Needles, so mind where you sit in our parks and on our beaches; Ryde, where you have to walk in the road to avoid parked cars, bikes and e-scooters on the footways; Newport, replaced by weed as some young people’s preferred choice of intoxication; Freshwater, available in single-use plastic bottles; Cowes, whose pastures are now lost forever to the development of housing estates; Lake, left bone-dry from global warming and a hosepipe ban.

Of course, these are just the cynical views of a man in the twilight of his life... but if there are any tea-towel manufacturers reading this, perhaps I should be claiming the copyright!

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