John Ackroyd.

To celebrate the opening of The Hidden Heroes Exhibition The Museum of Island History was open free of charge on Thursday 22 March when special collections were brought out for the public to explore.

However, if the free opening was missed there is now the chance, until September, to  explore the stories of over 20 extraordinary people with Island links, who have contributed to the rich history of the Isle of Wight, from inventors and designers to artists and architects.

Visitors will be able to look through a whole host of items including:

  • the steering wheel of Thrust 2 the car that held the land speed record for 14 years, designed by John Ackroyd of Ryde;
  • learn about the history of the can opener and see an early example designed by inventor Henry Knight of Ryde in 1881;
  • find out more about the important role of the Council’s Trading Standards department and view a selection of the weights and measures used on the Isle of Wight from as early as 1765;
  • find out more about one of the very few known pupils of the artist JMW Turner, Lady Isabella Julia Levina Gordon, who lived at Northcourt, Shorwell and was an accomplished artist in the nineteenth century.

“I would certainly urge the public to come along to the museum to find out more about these extraordinary people, who have created, made or been involved in some marvellous projects and inventions,” said Councillor John Hobart, Cabinet member for environment and heritage. The exhibition is on until September and we should be rightly proud and celebrate our Island pioneers who have had a major impact in all areas of life.”