Royal message to mark centenary celebrations

Over 80 members and supporters of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society gathered in Caffe Isola, Newport, to celebrate exactly a century since the society was formed, in November 1919.

President elect, Matthew Chatfield read out a letter from Buckingham Palace, saying the Queen sent her ‘warm good wishes to all those who will be present as you celebrate this most significant milestone’.

Ellie Beaman created a spectacular cake covered in edible archaeological artefacts and natural history, including a Glanville Fritillary butterfly and the tiny Starlet Sea Anemone which takes its name from the Isle of Wight: Nematostella vectensis.

The cake was cut by the society’s oldest member local naturalist Bill Shepard, 98, along with the youngest member, Natalie Bone, 18, an experienced bird ringer.


President Dr. Paul Bingham gave a speech about the origins of the society, historical anecdotes and extracts from a local paper illustrating life on the Isle of Wight in 1919.

Society secretary Dr.Colin Pope said: “The Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society has been studying and conserving the Island’s wildlife, geology and archaeology for a long time, and we hope to be doing it for at least another hundred years!”