Explore the changing face of Northbrook Street in Newbury
Look back at how Newbury’s major thoroughfare has changed over the years.
Recently the centre of hot debate surrounding pedestrianisation – and not for the first time – Northbrook Street has had a long history in Newbury’s town centre.
Discover the changing face of Newbury’s busy high street through the Newbury Weekly News archival photos below.
Northbrook Street is one of three main streets, the others being Cheap Street and Bartholomew Street, formerly known as West Street.
The street has been home to many iconic institutions including the legendary House of Toomer; Camp Hopson; the house of Tudor textiles tycoon ‘Jack of Newbury’ (John Winchcombe); the long-missed Woolworths’ – currently occupied by the soon-to-close Wilko – and the original offices of NWN.
One air raid in 1941 saw rooftops machine-gunned along the street.
One bullet breached a window of the NWN building at 34 Northbrook Street and passed into the linotype room. The staff escaped without any injuries.
A worse attack followed in 1943, but this time did not affect Northbrook Street.
Explosives are alleged to have been laid beneath Newbury Bridge during this period to prevent enemy troops from passing through the town.
Northbrook Street leads down to the Market Place, which has always been an important agricultural centre – still hosting markets every Thursday and Saturday.
On the other end of the street heading into The Broadway is the Clock House, a monument to the area’s vibrant coaching trade and the revolutionary Speenhamland System.