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Mayor at film of Battle of Britain

Arthur Luff was Newbury Mayor in 1970

Jackie Markham

Reporter:

Jackie Markham

Mayor at film of Battle of Britain

Our archive photo shows the Mayor and his wife at the ABC cinema

Mayor Arthur Luff is pictured with Mrs Luff inspecting a foyer display at the ABC cinema in Newbury, in October 1970, where they attended a screening of the film “Battle of Britain”. The film, released in 1969, starred Michael Caine and Trevor Howard, and achieved considerable box-office success, telling the story of the summer of 1940, which came to be known as the Battle of Britain.

 75 years ago, during the Second World War, the Luftwaffe began a sustained campaign of bombing from the air over the UK, with the aim of gaining superiority over the RAF. The Battle of Britain, so-called after a speech by Winston Churchill, was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces.  At first mainly coastal towns and shipping areas such as Portsmouth were targeted – later factories and centres of population became targets.  The RAF battled on and the failure of the Luftwaffe to achieve its objective is regarded by some historians as a crucial turning point in the war.

Arthur Luff, pictured here with his first wife Margery, was active in the community.  An ex- St Bart’s Grammar School boy, he served in the war and afterwards ran a grocery business and sub-post office in Newbury’s Broadway from 1947.  As well as Mayor from 1969-70, he served variously as a Councillor, a president of the Chamber of Commerce, and a magistrate.  He had a particular interest in helping the homeless.

His wife Margery died in 1987 and he later remarried. His widow still lives in Newbury.  Arthur Luff died in 1994, aged 79.

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