The Crab and Lobster
32 Foreland Fields Road, Bembridge, Isle Of Wight, Isle of Wight
On the face of it, this pub name is an inviting one, suggesting a variety of good seafood. However, it has an historic significance. This was also a type of winch. Locals knew it as a ‘crab’. It was because of the way the arms projected. On the coastal path, this pub has spectacular views over the channel from an outside terrace. The pub dates from 1810. Convict ships, on their way to Australia, called at Bembridge. They anchored offshore to load their holds with corn for the lengthy voyage. It was the last sight of England that many convicts ever had. Legend has it that there are frequent sights of ghostly sailing ships sailing past, which gave rise to the resident ghost at this pub. On one occasion, three men made a bid for freedom from one of these convict ships, with tried to swim ashore. However, two were drowned. The third made his way to this pub, where he collapsed and died. His ghost, in prison uniform, appears within the pub. This is on the terraced garden, gazing out to sea. Witnesses report an amazing tale of escaping convicts in Australia, back to England. On arrival there, one group were fixed with the idea that China was across the river north of Sydney. Therefore, twenty male convicts and a pregnant female set off to China. One died of exhaustion, Aborigines speared four. The survivors staggered back into Sydney a week later.