“An Island Legacy” raises thousands for hospice

A fascinating glimpse into 200 years of Isle of Wight history, told through original engravings and modern day photographs, is raising thousands of pounds for Earl Mountbatten Hospice. 
Such has been the interest in “An Island Legacy”, by Island history expert Kenneth Hicks, that the beautifully produced book has gained international appeal. Copies have been bought and sent as far afield as Canada, New Zealand, India, Sweden and Isle of Wight County in Virginia, where a number have been ordered for the American state’s libraries and schools. 
Author Kenneth Hicks, who is also President of the Isle of Wight Historical Association, has crafted the publication from his personal collection of hundreds of original engravings by the Brannon family, which he has collected over the last 50 years. “I have also placed 200 of the engravings on loan to the Isle of Wight College, so that students can study them. History is not a subject that is growing in popularity, so I feel it is incumbent on people like myself to encourage interest. History is so important, because there are lessons that are sadly not learned and the same mistakes happen again,” he said.
The engravings cover nearly every major landmark and scene on the Island, contrasted with modern-day photographs, although Ken explained that this was a challenge due to artistic licence sometimes deployed in George Brannon’s work. “George Brannon, and to a lesser extent his two sons, did exaggerate - they brought things into the picture that should have been some distance away and I do point out a few of those things in the book.
“I’ve tried to quietly point out to readers, show them what we had, show them to some extent what we have lost, and show them what we still have. I hope many people will think that what we still have is worth – not preserving - but conserving,” he added.
“I thought I would try and use the knowledge I had, and that I could use the book, in a gentle way, to get over some historical facts, which might be boring in other ways. We can see the changes to the Island and I’ve tried to point out a number of those. The book is exactly as the title says, “An Island Legacy”, a legacy of the Island 200 years ago and how it compares today. I thought that if there were a civilization in 200 years time, some person might choose to bring it up to date then.”
Completely self-funded, with all profits being divided between our hospice and a bursary for an Island student of history at University, there are just 1,000 copies available. The majority have been bought, but there are some remaining, numbered and signed by the author.
Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive, said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed by the quality of this book, which is a real testament to Kenneth’s expertise and historical knowledge. We are so grateful to him for his hard work and I’m delighted that it has been received so well - globally! I would advise anyone who would like a copy to get in touch quickly; I have no doubt the remaining books will go very soon. Finally, I’d like to personally thank Ken for his wonderful support of our hospice.”
Ken Hicks will present a talk about his book at the Red Funnel Isle of Wight Literary Festival at 12:30 to 1:30pm on Friday 13 October 2017
Anyone who would like to purchase a copy of “An Island Legacy”, which costs £45 plus p&p, can call Earl Mountbatten Hospice on (01983) 217300 or email info@mountbatten.org.uk

"They look after you and they're so caring. I'm not frightened of dying."


Chrissie Fenton, patient