December 18 - 1924 All Blacks get four days leave
After beating Hampshire in Portsmouth 22 – 0 and with just two games still to play in England the players were given a four day break. Read Masters spent the time with relatives in the Isle of Wight and recorded his impressions.
From “With the All Blacks in Great Britain, France, Canada and Australia 1924-25” by Read Masters. Pub. 1928 by Christchurch Press Co. Ltd p.105.
“FOUR DAYS’ LEAVE.
There being a break of 10 days before our next match, we were granted leave for four days—the first since our arrival in England. Some of the boys remained in London, some took advantage of the opportunity to see Scotland, whilst others visited friends and relatives in different parts of England. I spent my leave with relatives at the Isle of Wight. The Island is extremely pretty; its rolling downs, wooded dells and high cliffs overhanging pretty sandy beaches, present a very picturesque sight. I visited the ancient Carisbrooke Castle, the residence of the Royal Governor of the Isle of Wight, H.R.H. Princess Beatrice. It was to this Castle that King Charles I. fled on November 12th, 1647, hoping that the Governor would protect him from his enemies; instead of which he was kept a prisoner for ten months, during which time he made three attempts to escape. A donkey is still used for drawing water from the well inside the Castle grounds. The donkey is placed inside a huge wooden box-wheel, and as he walks the wheel revolves drawing a bucket of water to the surface.”