Isle of Wight (also referred to informally as IoW or The Island) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, about 2 miles (3.2 km) off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.
Links To Peel
In 1968, the Isle Of Wight rock festival was opened by Jimmy Savile and compered by John Peel with artists such as Tyrannosaurus Rex, Fairport Convention and many others performing. At the same festival, Peel offered a pair of socks to a a girl whose feet was cold in the hope of getting a shag, but instead she ran off with it. The events were mentioned by Peel on the TV documentaries When Hippies Ruled The World and Sounds Of The Suburbs: Isle Of Wight.
Peel visited the Isle Of Wight for a TV documentary called Sounds Of The Suburbs: Isle Of Wight, broadcast in 1999 where he mentioned past visits to the island for a rock festival and as a holiday with the family. Some musicians from the Isle Of Wight did sessions for Peel's show including Trixie's Big Red Motorbike and the Bees.
The following artists from the Isle Of Wight area recorded Peel sessions:
- 18 July 1967: JP: "If you’re spending a holiday on the Isle Of Wight, then you must go along to the Seagull Ballroom this Saturday, the 22nd, and you will see a live group playing there, the fantastic Action, who had a record Shadows & Reflections on the Feb 40, which was a John Peel climber actually. And a good record, and they’re very nice people, so go and see them. That’s the Seagull Ballroom, Rise Pier, Isle Of Wight, this coming Saturday. And when you do go, tell them that John Peel sent you, because I’d like you to go and see them, because they’re nice."
- 04 September 1979: JP: "For those of you who've missed tonight's football results, Liverpool managed to beat mighty Tranmere Rovers. They got 4-0 actually, it was not too bad I suppose, under the circumstances, but both Arsenal and Palace got seven, so Walters, holidaying in the Isle of Wight, will be jolly pleased about that, as a Palace supporter."