It is said the Folly originated around 1783 as an old 60ft smugglers barge which was moored at the side of the river and was used to sell liquor to passing sailors! In 1792 the barge was apparently washed up on the beach here after it broke from it’s moorings. Captain Thomas Burnett who owned several trading craft and had the rights to several oyster beds on the river, decided to build an inn over the remains of the vessel as a half way house along the Medina where barges would wait at Folly reach between tides and the bargemen could partake in refreshment at the remote inn which did a roaring trade from it's 'captive' customers!
On land nearby, Saunders Roe developed its engineering works which were put to good use during the Second World War.
Development of the Saunders Way estate (posh name, Hawthorn Meadows : off Beatrice Avenue East Cowes) ...
When this money ran out, a deal was struck to include the Folly etc. in the Wootton Bridge "Heron Line" Community bus service started in 2011 and later modified to include Whippingham
The Isle of Wight Council has simply cancelled the last three years of a seven year contract with Southern Vectis. Or so it seems.
More on this tomorrow. Meanwhile the blue bus on service 25 (above) has an intriguing history. It started its life with Oxford Citybus, later to join the GoAhead "family" ...