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The 1907 Ryde Map

A famous British composer and singer, Michael Maybrick, lived in Ryde at this time and became mayor of the town five times. His brother, James Maybrick, was one of the suspects in the infamous Jack the Ripper case in London, and was himself murdered. James’ children came to live with Michael Maybrick and his wife at Ryde during this time. The identity of Jack the Ripper remains unknown to this day and there are over 100 suspects.

Michael Maybrick

(If you are in a group, perhaps take turns to read each story out loud in character!)

I had been travelling for quite a while and my bags were starting to get heavy. So I stopped by a small local cafe to grab some breakfast and maybe a drink too. I found a table in the corner that looked quite secluded and decided that would be the perfect place to sit and work through my files.

I came to the Island to investigate a diary that was said to belong to Michael Maybrick. I was given a snippet of the diary back at the office, so I took it out of my bag to get a proper look at it. I didn’t quite know my way around the Island, but I had a brief idea of where to go. That’s why I stopped by this cafe – I have been here before and know exactly where it is.

‘Hiya! What can I get for you today?’ said a lady who I can only assume was a waitress. She held a little notebook and a pen in her hands, waiting to take my order. ‘One croissant and a coffee please’, I replied. I didn’t know what to order so I gave the first thing that came to mind. ‘Coming right up’ she said as she walked off behind the counter.

I was still reading through the evidence when there was a loud bang at the door. I quickly turned around to see two very oddly dressed girls enter through the door. The one on the left had light brown trousers on, with a black belt and a black top. Her shoes were black sandals, and her hair was pinned back. However, the girl on the right looked completely the opposite. She had a long ankle length dress which was dark red, with white dots on it. Her shoes were white pumps. Her hair was down and curled at the ends. They seemed like they had come from the 1930s, but surely it’s not possible for them to have travelled in time?!

They strided right through the door, and made their way over to my table. They both sat down on the seats in front of me. ‘I’m Edie’ said the one on the left. ‘And I’m Penny’ said the one on the right. ‘And we’re here to help’, they both said at the same time. It’s like they had practised it before, handing me a map of Ryde, but it said it was from 1907. It doesn’t seem like much help if it is from 1907! ‘Sorry it’s old, we just got back from that time period’, Penny said as she handed me the old map…

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