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Wonders of the Isle of Wight

The 'Wonders of the Isle of Wight' is a play-on words based on the name of Island Towns or Places.

  • "Lake" where there is no water.
  • The "Needles" you cannot thread.
  • "Ryde" where you walk.
  • "Cowes" you cannot milk.
  • "Freshwater" you cannot drink.
  • "Newport" you cannot bottle.
  • "Winkle street" where there are no Winkles
  • "Newtown" which is very old

The idea for Wonders of the Isle of Wight was started by W. J. Nigh, a Ventnor postcard maker about 100 years ago. The card below, which is the earliest that we could find is postmarked 1908. This postcard shows them as 'The Five Novelties' (the card was part of the publishers 'Novelty series'). This was subsequently changed to 'The Five Wonders' of the Isle of Wight.
The Five Novelties of the Isle of WIght

This card gives the novelties as:

  • Needles without Eyes
  • Saltwater you get from Freshwater
  • Ryde you can and not have to move
  • Mutton you get from Cowes
  • Lake without any water

This was probably the next card produced by Nigh, unfortunately it is undated but produced in the same style, with the 'novelties' changed to 'wonders'. It shows a copyright declaration bottom left.

    The Five wonders of the Isle of Wight


  • Needles you cannot thread
  • Cowes you cannot milk
  • Brook you can walk without getting your feet wet
  • Newport you cannot bottle
  • Freshwater you cannot drink




This card was produced by Welsh of Portsmouth and has a postmark of 1912. This card is unusual in that it includes contradictions rather than 'Wonders'. These are:

Contradictions of the Isle of WIght


  • Shal-Fleet - without a ship
  • New Town - the oldest Town on the Island
  • Vent nor - Which Vents or Opens to the South
  • St. Catherines - Without a shrine

If you look closely you will notice that the names of the places are slightly changed to make the contradiction more realistic!




Other examples of Wonders of the Isle of Wight




wonders of the isle of wight

  • Cowes you cannot milk
  • Freshwater you cannot drink
  • Newport you cannot bottle
  • Needles you cannot thread










Perculiarities of the isle of wight




An 'Ideal' card of around the same time showing the same 'Wonders' but described as 'Peculiarities of the Isle of Wight





visitors to the isle of wight



A variation, 'Visitors to the Isle of Wight are not allowed to Milk Cowes, or Bottle Newport, or Drink Freshwater or thread the Needles (undated card).






Five wonders of the isle of wight



Five Wonders of the Isle of Wight postmarked 1926, Brook has been replaced by Lake, but with a similar sentiment - Lake without water.



six wonders of the isle of wight


A postcard from the fifties, the five wonders have increased to six with the addition of 'Ryde - where you walk'




the wonderful isle of wight



A more recent Nigh card, the six are now eight with the addition of 'Winkle street - where there are no Winkles and Newtown - which is very old (although the latter is sometimes replaced by 'Newchurch 900 years old).



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