Hampshire Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing the counties of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in South East England. The force area includes Southampton, the largest city in South East England, the naval city of Portsmouth, it covers the New Forest National Park, sections of the South Downs National Park, large towns such as Basingstoke, Andover and Aldershot, the historic city of Winchester. The constabulary, as it is constituted, dates from 1967, but modern policing in Hampshire can be traced back to 1832. In late 2015, the force moved its strategic headquarters to Eastleigh, into a building shared with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. At the same time, the force moved its Operational Headquarters to Mottisfont Court in Winchester; the Support & Training Headquarters and control room are located in Netley, near Southampton, in buildings of the former Netley Hospital. The first constituted police force formed in Hampshire was the Winchester City Police, founded in 1832.
The Hampshire County Constabulary was established seven years in December 1839 as a result of the passing of the County Police Act that year. The force had a chief constable and two superintendents: one was based in Winchester, the second based on the Isle of Wight; the first separate police force on the island was formed in 1837 when the Newport Borough Police was established. A separate Isle of Wight Constabulary was not formed until 1890 when the island was the granted administrative county status. During the 19th century, Hampshire County Constabulary absorbed various borough forces including Basingstoke Borough Police, Romsey Borough Police, Lymington Borough Police and Andover Borough Police; the Isle of Wight Constabulary absorbed the borough forces of Newport and Ryde. Winchester and Portsmouth continued to have independent police forces. In 1914 the Special Constabulary started to perform regular duties'for the continuous preservation of order during the war'. Prior to this Special Constables were only called up to assist at major riots.
In 1943, as part of the Defence Regulations 1942, Hampshire County Constabulary was amalgamated with the Isle of Wight and Winchester City Police forces to form the Hampshire Joint Police Force. The two city forces, Southampton City Police and Portsmouth City Police, remained independent. Although this arrangement was intended only as a wartime measure, it continued after hostilities ended. In 1948, the merger was made permanent, with Hampshire Joint Police Force being renamed Hampshire Constabulary; the name was changed once again to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary. The Police Act 1964 led to the amalgamation of the city forces into the Hampshire force; this created the present-day Hampshire Constabulary. The last major changes to the police area were in 1974, when the Local Government Act changed a number of local government areas, the responsibility for policing Christchurch was transferred to Dorset Police; the names of forces that have policed the counties of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight since the nineteenth century are illustrated below: In 1965, the force had an establishment of 1,346 and an actual strength of 1,137.
The headquarters moved to their current locations in Eastleigh and Winchester in 2015. The previous facility in Winchester, close to Winchester Prison sat on the site of the first county headquarters, built in 1847. Between 2013 and 2017, a number of police stations were closed and sold, while others had their public facilities closed; the need to reduce costs led to the formation of a Joint Operations Unit with Thames Valley Police which, during the course of 2012, saw the amalgamation of Roads Policing Units, Training and Dog Units of the two forces. The IT departments of the forces merged in early 2011. In April 2015, Hampshire Constabulary announced a "new-look policing model", beginning a major reorganisation. 1840 - 14 Superintendents appointed, each to head a'Division'. 1893 - Chief Constable Peregrine Fellowes, a former Assistant Adjutant General of Australia, in office for less than two years, is fatally injured in Romsey Road, Winchester - outside police headquarters - when, together with other officers, he attempts to stop a runaway horse and trap.
Crushed against a wall he dies several days from his injuries and is buried in the Fellowes family plot at Westhill Cemetery, Winchester. 1914 - In Andover, the imprisonment of a mother and daughter sparks rioting involving crowds of up to two thousand people. Local officers seek the assistance of the fire brigade who are pelted with stones and retreat to their station; the arrival of mounted officers from Basingstoke fails to quell the disturbances and only after three days do extra officers drafted in from other stations bring the disorder to an end. 1915 - Southampton Police appoint two women police - they were not served in uniform. Miss Annette Tate was one of them 1929 - Hampshire Constabulary acquires its first motorised patrol vehicle - a BSA motorcycle combination. 1943 - Winchester City Police and Isle of Wight Constabulary forced to amalgamate with Hampshire as a war time measure. The amalgamation became permanent in 1947. 1944 - Women Inspector appointed: Miss P Yates. 1957 - On 1 April the name of the force changed from Hampshire Constabulary to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary 1967 - Southampton Police and Portsmouth Police amalgamated with the Hampshire County Force 1970 - The Isle of Wight Festival takes place at Afton Down attracting huge crowds, estimates varying from five to six hu
In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; the unit rolled out across England in the 1860s. A civil parish can range in size from a large town with a population of about 75,000 to a single village with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. Eight parishes have city status. A civil parish may be known as and confirmed as a town, neighbourhood or community by resolution of its parish council, a right reserved not conferred on other units of English local government. 35% of the English population live in a civil parish. As of 31 December 2015 there were 10,449 parishes in England; the most populous is Weston super Mare and those with cathedral city status are Chichester, Hereford, Ripon, Salisbury and Wells.
On 1 April 2014, Queen's Park became the first civil parish in Greater London. Before 2008 their creation was not permitted within a London borough. Wales was divided into civil parishes until 1974, when they were replaced by communities, which are similar to English parishes in the way they operate. Civil parishes in Scotland were abolished for local government purposes by the Local Government Act 1929, the Scottish equivalent of English civil parishes are community council areas, which were established by the Local Government Act 1973; the Parish system in Europe was established between the 8th and 12th centuries and in England was old by the time of the Conquest. These areas were based on the territory of one or more manors, areas which in some cases derived their bounds from Roman or Iron Age estates. Parish boundaries were conservative, changing little, after 1180'froze' so that boundaries could no longer be changed at all, despite changes to manorial landholdings - though there were some examples of sub-division.
The consistency of these boundaries, up until the 19th century is useful to historians, is of cultural significance in terms of shaping local identities, a factor reinforced by the adoption of parish boundaries unchanged, by successor local government units. There was huge variation in size between parishes, for instance Writtle in Essex was 13,568 acres while neighbouring Shellow Bowells was just 469 acres, Chignall Smealy 476 acres; until the break with Rome, parishes managed ecclesiastical matters, while the manor was the principal unit of local administration and justice. The church replaced the manor court as the rural administrative centre, levied a local tax on produce known as a tithe. In the medieval period, responsibilities such as relief of the poor passed from the Lord of the Manor to the parish's rector, who in practice would delegate tasks among his vestry or the monasteries. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the power to levy a rate to fund relief of the poor was conferred on the parish authorities by the Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601.
Both before and after this optional social change, local charities are well-documented. The parish authorities were consisted of all the ratepayers of the parish; as the number of ratepayers of some parishes grew, it became difficult to convene meetings as an open vestry. In some built up, areas the select vestry took over responsibility from the entire body of ratepayers; this innovation allowed governance by a self-perpetuating elite. The administration of the parish system relied on the monopoly of the established English Church, which for a few years after Henry VIII alternated between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, before settling on the latter on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558. By the 18th century, religious membership was becoming more fractured in some places, due for instance to the progress of Methodism; the legitimacy of the parish vestry came into question and the perceived inefficiency and corruption inherent in the system became a source for concern in some places.
For this reason, during the early 19th century the parish progressively lost its powers to ad hoc boards and other organisations, for example the loss of responsibility for poor relief through the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Sanitary districts covered England in Ireland three years later; the replacement boards were each entitled to levy their own rate in the parish. The church rate ceased to be levied in many parishes and became voluntary from 1868; the ancient parishes diverged into two distinct, nearly overlapping, systems of parishes during the 19th century. The Poor Law Amendment Act 1866 declared all areas that levied a separate rate: C of E ecclesiastical parishes, extra-parochial areas and their analogue, chapelries, to be "civil parishes". To have collected rates this means these beforehand had their own vestries, boards or equivalent bodies; the Church of England parishes, which cover more than 99% of England, became termed "ecclesiastical parishes" and the boundaries of these soon diverged from those of the Ancient Parishes in order to reflect modern circumstances.
After 1921 each ecclesiastical parish has been the responsibility of the parochial church councils. In the late 19th century, most of the ancient irregularities inheri
Quarr Abbey is a monastery between the villages of Binstead and Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight in southern England. The name is pronounced as "Kwor", it belongs to the Catholic Order of St Benedict. The Grade I listed listed monastic buildings and church, completed in 1912, are considered some of the most important twentieth-century religious structures in the United Kingdom, they were constructed from Belgian brick in a style combining French and Moorish architectural elements. In the vicinity are a few remains of the original twelfth-century abbey. A community of fewer than a dozen monks maintains the monastery's regular life and the attached farm; as of 2013, the community provides two-month internships for young men. St. Mary's Abbey at Quarr was part of the Cistercian Order and was founded in 1132 by Baldwin de Redvers, 1st Earl of Devon, fourth Lord of the Isle of Wight; the founder was buried in the Abbey in 1155, his remains, along with those of a royal princess, Cecily of York, second daughter of King Edward IV of England and godmother of Henry VIII, still lie on the site of the mediaeval monastery, as do other important personages.
Arreton Manor was part of the abbey from the 12th century until 1525. The name Quarr comes from ` quarry'; the original title of the monastery was the Abbey of our Lady of the Quarry. Stone from the quarry was used in the Middle Ages for both ecclesiastical and military buildings, for example for parts of the Tower of London; this site became a productive property. Because of this, it was the tradition for the abbot to be appointed lord of the island; the prevalence of piracy in the area led to the granting in 1340 of special permission to fortify the area against attack. A stone wall, sea gate and portcullis were constructed; the ruins of these defences are still visible. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536, the land was acquired by a Southampton merchant, George Mills who demolished most of the abbey, its stone was used for fortifications at the nearby towns of Yarmouth. One of the three abbey bells is preserved in the belfry of the nearby Anglican parish church built by the monks of Quarr Abbey for their lay dependants.
Salvaged stone was used to build Quarr Abbey House. A nineteenth-century French law banned religious orders except by special dispensation, though its application varied with changes of government; as a precaution, Abbot Paul Delatte of the Benedictine Solesmes Abbey had sent a monk to England to look for a house to shelter the community. A crisis came in 1880, when congregations were ordered to apply for authorisation within three months. Although this was at first brutally enforced against men's communities, protests resulted in gradual abandonment of the measures. Congregations were reconstituted. On 1 July 1901, tolerance towards religious communities came to an end with the passing of a new law; the founder of Solesmes, Prosper Guéranger, had thought of England as a possible place of refuge should the community have to go into exile. Moreover, since 1896, at the invitation of the former Empress Eugénie, the Solesmes Benedictines had taken over as a priory the former Premonstratensian house of Farnborough Abbey, which sheltered the tomb of Napoleon III.
At the end of July, attention was drawn to a suitable'large house on the Isle of Wight which seems to meet the requirements of the monks', Appuldurcombe House near Wroxall on the Isle of Wight. The house was viewed and accepted, a lease contract was signed on 19 August 1901. A former monastic site, the construction of the house had been begun in 1701 by Sir Robert Worsley on the site of a Tudor manor house and completed much by Sir Richard Worsley who, from 1787 established there what was to become a well-known art collection. On the death of Sir Richard in 1805, the estate passed to his niece, married to the Second Baron and first Earl of Yarborough; the family connection with the house ended in 1855, when the estate was sold off by her son, the Second Earl of Yarborough. The monks wasted no time in beginning their transfer from Solesmes to the Isle of Wight and, on Saturday 21 September 1901 the entire community of Solesmes reached Appuldurcombe; the first monks arrived at Quarr Abbey House from Appuldurcombe on 25 June 1907 to prepare the grounds and the beginnings of a kitchen garden.
They put up fencing around the property, established a chicken farm and planted an orchard. One of the monks, Dom Paul Bellot, aged 31, was an architect, he designed and draughted plans for the new abbey and extending Quarr Abbey House, some distance from the ruins of the medieval monastery. 300 workers from the Isle of Wight, accustomed to building only dwelling-houses, raised a building whose design and workmanship is admired by all who visit the Abbey. The building of the refectory and three sides of the cloister began in 1907 and was completed inside one year; the rest of the monks came from Appuldurcombe and, in April 1911, work began on the Abbey church, completed and consecrated on 12 October 1912. It was built with tall pointed towers of glowing Flemish brick, adding a touch of Byzantium to the skyline; the monastic buildings are considered some of the most important twentieth-century religious structures in the United Kingdom. In 1922, after World War I, the community of Solesmes returned to France.
A small community of monks was left at Quarr which, from being a priory of Solesmes, became in
Wootton Creek is a tidal estuary that flows into the Solent on the north coast of the Isle of Wight. The estuary has been known in the past as "Fishbourne Creek", "Wootton River" and "Wootton Haven". At the mouth of the estuary is the Wightlink car ferry terminal for connections to Portsmouth. On the west bank of the creek is the village of Wootton, whilst on the east bank is the village of Fishbourne; the estuary is bridged by the main Ryde to Newport road. The estuary is not navigable south of the bridge, tide controls means that water is retained south of the bridge most of the time, in the old mill pond. To the south of the bridge, on the east side of the mill pond, is a Forestry Commission woodland called "Firestone Copse", about 30 acres in size. Since 1993 Wootton Creek and the adjacent Ryde Sands have been designated as SSSIs due to their wide range of intertidal sand flats. "Natural England citation sheet". Information on estuaries from the Isle of Wight Council View Nautical Charts of Wootton Creek and Approaches
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is free to everyone, regardless of immigration or visitor status; the NHS commissions most emergency medical services through the 14 NHS organisations with ambulance responsibility across the UK. As with other emergency services, the public access emergency medical services through one of the valid emergency telephone numbers. In addition to ambulance services provided by NHS organisations, there are some private and volunteer emergency medical services arrangements in place in the UK, the use of private or volunteer ambulances at public events or large private sites, as part of community provision of services such as community first responders. Air ambulance services in the UK are not part of the NHS and are funded through charitable donations.
Paramedics are seconded from a local NHS ambulance service, with the exception of Great North Air Ambulance Service who employ their own paramedics. Doctors are provided by their home hospital and spend no more than 40% of their time with an air ambulance service. Public ambulance services across the UK are required by law to respond to four types of requests for care, which are: Emergency calls Doctor's urgent admission requests High dependency and urgent inter-hospital transfers Major incidentsAmbulance trusts and services may undertake non-urgent patient transport services on a commercial arrangement with their local hospital trusts or health boards, or in some cases on directly funded government contracts, although these contracts are fulfilled by private and voluntary providers; the National Health Service Act 1946 gave county and borough councils a statutory responsibility to provide an emergency ambulance service, although they could contract a voluntary ambulance service to provide this, with many contracting the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance or another local provider.
The last St John Division, to be so contracted is reputed to have been at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire, where the two-bay ambulance garage can still be seen at the branch headquarters. The Regional Ambulance Officers’ Committee reported in 1979 that “There was considerable local variation in the quality of the service provided in relation to vehicles and equipment. Most Services were administered by Local Authorities through their Medical Officer of Health and his Ambulance Officer, a few were under the aegis of the Fire Service, whilst others relied upon agency methods for the provision of part or all of their services.” The 142 existing ambulance services were transferred by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 from local authority to central government control in 1974, consolidated into 53 services under regional or area health authorities. This led to the formation of predominantly county based ambulance services, which merged up and changed responsibilities until 2006, when there were 31 NHS ambulance trusts in England.
The June 2005 report "Taking healthcare to the Patient", authored by Peter Bradley, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service, for the Department of Health led to the merging of the 31 trusts into 13 organisations in England, plus one organisation each in Wales and Northern Ireland. Following further changes as part of the NHS foundation trust pathway, this has further reduced to 10 ambulance service trusts in England, plus the Isle of Wight which has its own provision. Following the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, commissioning of the ambulance services in each area passed from central government control into the hands of regional clinical commissioning groups; the commissioners in each region are responsible for contracting with a suitable organisation to provide ambulance services within their geographical territory. The primary provider for each area is held by a public NHS body, of which there are 11 in England, 1 each in the other three countries. In England there are now ten NHS ambulance trusts, as well as an ambulance service on the Isle of Wight, run directly by Isle of Wight NHS Trust, with boundaries following those of the former regional government offices.
The ten trusts are: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust London Ambulance Service NHS Trust North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS TrustThe English ambulance trusts are represented by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, with the Scottish and Northern Irish providers all associate members. On the 14 November 2018 West Midlands Ambulance Service became the UK's first university-ambulance trust; the service was operated before reorganisation in 1974 by the St Andrews’ Ambulance Association under contract to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Scottish Ambulance Service is a Special Health Board that provides ambulance services throughout whole of Scotland, on behalf of the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government.
Due to the remote nature of many areas of Scotland compared to the other Home Nations, the Scottish Ambulance Service has Britain's only publi
Wightlink is a ferry company operating routes between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in southern England. The core routes are car ferries between Lymington and Yarmouth and between Portsmouth and Fishbourne. A fast passenger-only catamaran operates between Portsmouth Harbour and Ryde Pier Head, taking 22 minutes, directly links with the Island Line rail line. In recent years the firm has been owned by the Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund sold to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Partners in 2015, but as of 2019 is owned by Basalt Infrastructure Partners. Wightlink's main competitors are Red Funnel, who run passenger catamarans between Southampton – Cowes and vehicle ferries between Southampton – East Cowes, Hovertravel who operate passenger hovercraft between Southsea and Ryde. Wightlink and its forerunners have provided ferry services to and from the Isle of Wight for more than 160 years. In the early 19th century, ferries ran to the island from Portsmouth. Steam ferries operated a circular route around Lymington, Cowes and Portsmouth.
When the rail companies became involved they concentrated on two direct routes, Lymington – Yarmouth and Portsmouth – Ryde. Ownership of the ferries passed from the British Railways Board to Sealink UK Limited. In 1984 Sealink UK Limited was denationalised and the operating name became Sealink British Ferries, subsequently bought by the Bermuda based Sea Containers Ltd; when Stena Line bought Sealink in 1990, the Isle of Wight ferries remained with Sea Containers, as Wightlink. In June 1995 Wightlink was the subject of a management buy-in. In 2005 it was bought by the Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund for an estimated £240,000,000. In 2004, Wightlink renewed its sponsorship of the Wightlink Raiders ice hockey team. In 2005, a Wightlink car ferry featured in the film Fragile, starring Calista Flockhart; the ferry is shown briefly in a wide-angle shot. Closer shots used Red Funnel's Red Osprey. In October 2006 Wightlink announced its intention to build two new ferries for the Yarmouth to Lymington route.
These ships are bigger than their predecessors, with extra vehicle space, but only accommodate 360 passengers compared to 500 on the older vessels. Wightlink announced that a third new ferry would enter service in spring 2009. A dispute with some Lymington residents threatened the viability of the route. In November 2008, the service was reduced so only two ships were required, allowing for the delay in the introduction of the new vessels. Sea trials were not complete by November 2008 and introduction became pressing with the expiry of safety certificates on the previous fleet. Wightlink proposed interim arrangements enabling them restricted use of the new ferries until the trials could be completed in full. In March 2008 Wightlink revealed that an order had been placed with FBMA Marine to construct two new passenger catamarans for the Portsmouth to Ryde service, to replace the three craft employed, they entered service in 2009. From May 2008 Wightlink introduced a fuel surcharge on all crossings, linked to the price of Brent Crude oil.
However, in November 2008 the surcharge dropped to zero following the sharp reduction in crude prices during the credit crunch and as of November 2009 was still at zero. Wightlink planned to spend £17.5 million on improving its Portsmouth to Fishbourne route. This involved remodelling the terminal facilities at both Portsmouth; the flagship St Clare was to have its upper car deck adjusted so vehicles access it directly from on-shore ramps. Two of the older ferries were to be stretched in length by 12 metres, with upper car decks similar to St Clare's being added, replacing movable mezzanine decks. Of the remaining two ferries, St Catherine has been sold and St Helen was used for freight until she too was sold; as part of this investment project the reservations and ticketing system was replaced by CarRes from Carus. On 16 February 2015, Wightlink was sold by the Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Partners for an undisclosed sum. On 15 May 2015, Wightlink announced a revised investment of £45 million to include the purchase a new ferry, upgrading St Clare and modifications to the terminals at both ends to facilitate double-deck loading.
In July 2016, Balfour Beatty exited BBIP, which became Basalt Infrastructure Partners, who as of April 2019 remain owners of the company. In August 2017, Wightlink announced that its new vehicle ferry Victoria of Wight for the Portsmouth to Fishbourne service would enter service in late July or early August 2018; the new ship entered service on 26 August. The introduction of the Wight class ferries was a much discussed affair, with some Lymington residents claiming that the increased size of the ferries posed a risk, both in environmental terms and to users of pleasure craft on the Lymington river; the following ferries have operated on routes run by Wightlink or previous companies that have been absorbed by Wightlink. Every year, Wightlink carries: 4.8 million passengers over 1.2 million cars 200,000 coaches and freight vehicles annual revenue of £51 million Official website Wightlink companies grouped at OpenCorporates
Cowes is an English seaport town and civil parish on the Isle of Wight. Cowes is located on the west bank of the estuary of the River Medina, facing the smaller town of East Cowes on the east bank; the two towns are linked by a chain ferry. The population was 9,663 in the 2001 census; the population at the 2011 census was 10,405. Charles Godfrey Leland's 19th century verses describe the towns poetically as "The two great Cowes that in loud thunder roar/This on the eastern, that the western shore". Cowes has been seen as a home for international yacht racing since the founding of the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1815, it gives its name to the world's oldest regular regatta, Cowes Week, which occurs annually in the first week of August. Powerboat races are held. Much of the town's architecture is still influenced by the style of ornate building that Prince Albert popularised; the name Westcowe was attested in 1413 as the name of one of two sandbanks, on each side of the River Medina estuary, so-called after a supposed likeness to cows.
The name was subsequently transferred to fortifications built during the reign of Henry VIII on the east and west banks of the river to dispel a French invasion, referred to as cowforts or cowes. They subsequently gave their names to the towns of Cowes and East Cowes, replacing the earlier name of Shamblord; the town's name has been subject to dispute in the past, sometimes being called Cowes, West Cowes. For example, a milestone from the 17th century exists, calling the town Cowes, but up until the late 19th Century the Urban District Council bore the name West Cowes. In 1895 West Cowes Urban District Council applied for permission to change the name of the town to Cowes and this was granted on 21 August 1895. Whilst the name Cowes has become well established on infrastructure related to the town, the name West Cowes remained on Admiralty charts, used by sailors, until 2015, when it was corrected following a letter from a Cowes resident. Red Funnel, the Southampton-based ferry company that provides routes from Southampton to both Cowes and East Cowes, has continued to use the name West Cowes for the town in information and publicity and as the name for the town's terminal.
In earlier centuries the two settlements were much smaller and known as East and West Shamblord or Shamelhorde, the East being the more significant settlement. The Isle of Wight was a target of attempted French invasions, there were notable incursions. Henrician Castles were built in both settlements in the sixteenth century; the west fort in Cowes still survives to this day, albeit without the original Tudor towers, as Cowes Castle. The fort built in East Cowes is believed to have been similar but was abandoned c. 1546 and since destroyed. The seaport at Cowes, Isle of Wight was the first stop on English soil before crossing the Atlantic Ocean with many ships loaded with Germans and Swiss passengers leaving from Rotterdam going to the New World destination of the port City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; these Germans and Swiss passengers where going to become British subjects in Colonial America, the English Captain's made a written record of the stop in Cowes, England. It is believed that the building of an 80-ton, 60-man vessel called Rat o' Wight on the banks of the river Medina in 1589 for the use of Queen Elizabeth I sowed the seed for Cowes to grow into a world-renowned centre of boat-building.
However, seafaring for recreation and sport remained the exception rather than the rule until much later. It was not until the reign of keen sailor George IV that the stage was set for the heyday of Cowes as'The Yachting Capital of the World.' In 1826 the Royal Yacht Squadron organised a three-day regatta for the first time and the next year the king signified his approval of the event by presenting a cup to mark the occasion. This became known as Cowes Regatta and it soon grew into a four-day event that always ended with a fireworks display; the opium clippers Nina and Wild Dayrell were built in Cowes. In Cowes the 18th-century house of Westbourne was home to a collector of customs whose son, born there in 1795, lived to become Dr Thomas Arnold, headmaster of Rugby School. Northwood House was the home of the Ward family, it was donated under trust to the town in the grounds becoming Northwood Park. William George Ward was a close friend of the poet Tennyson and in whose memory the poet wrote six lines.
Cowes and East Cowes became a single urban district in 1933. During an air raid of World War II on 4/5 May 1942, the local defences had been fortuitously augmented by the Polish destroyer Błyskawica, which put up such a determined defence that, in 2002, the crew's courage was honoured by a local commemoration lasting several days to mark the 60th anniversary of the event. In 2004 an area of Cowes was named Francki Place in honour of the ship's commander; the Friends of the ORP Błyskawica Society is active in Cowes. There is a Błyskawica Memorial. Industry in both Cowes and East Cowes has always centred on the building and design of marine craft and materials associated with boat-making, including the early flying boats, sail-making, it is the place. Major present-day employers include BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies, which occupies the site of the old Somerton Aerodrome at Newport Road, Cowes; the population of the town increases during Cowes Week, the busiest time of the year for local businesses.
The town was reported to be doing well despite the economic downturn. Cowes has a Non-League football club Cowes Sports F. C. wh