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Flooding in Ecchinswell more than 100 years ago shows the power of nature

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Old Memories Revived: A look back at the NWN archives

Flooding in South Yorkshire this autumn reminded people of the destructive power of nature.
And while not on the same scale, this picture of Ecchinswell in 1903 shows that floods have been causing disruption throughout history.
There were no 4x4s to bring aid to stricken people in those days, just a horse and cart to battle though the water.

150 years ago - November 25, 1869

Last Friday, a young man, named John Goatley, of Stockcross, was at a skittle-alley at Bagnor, when a wrangle between himself and a keeper, named Hawkins, was begun over some money staked on the game. In the course of the dispute Goatley’s leg was broken.

125 years ago - November 22, 1894

The great flood of November 1894, will not readily pass out of remembrance, least of all from the memory of those whose homes have been invaded and the furniture spoilt by the surging waters.
It might have been hoped that, warned by the experience of some years ago, engineering skill would have found means to render the town of Newbury secure against a recurring deluge; but the forces of nature seem to mock any precautions, and when once the balance of the elements is disturbed, which in ordinary times confines the springs and streams within recognised limits, the pitiless downpour and the swelling flood set at naught man’s boasted science, and the torrent of water rushes in with resistless force.
The inconvenience and damage caused in our own town have been small in proportion to what has been experienced elsewhere, and the floods on the west of Newbury, threatening as they appeared for a day or two, yielded in short space to the energetic measures adopted for their removal.

100 years ago - November 20, 1919

Newbury is now conveniently linked up with the villages eastward to Reading, and southward to Kingsclere.
The motor bus service affords facilities to townspeople for getting out into the country, and for rural residents to come into town for shopping or amusement.
The vehicles are spacious and convenient and run smoothly.
This is not exactly the season for picnicking excursions, but when the spring and summer come round once more, very pleasant trips can be arranged to spots hitherto difficult of access, except to motorists and cyclists. The Reading bus brings Bucklebury Common within easy reach, and the Kingsclere bus traverses Greenham and Crookham Commons.
There is every prospect of these services being liberally patronised on the Wednesday half-holidays when the fine weather invites the early closers to get away into the open.

75 years ago - November 23, 1944

Three boys, aged 11, 12 and 13, pleaded guilty to the theft of a US Army torch and two cycle lamps.
In their statements to the police, the boys admitted visiting three cinemas with a view to taking any cycle lamps they found on bicycles parked outside the cinemas.
Only at one cinema did they find any lamps; these two they took, one of which was sold to an American soldier for 1s 5d.
The two older boys were placed on probation for 12 months under the supervision of the Probation Officer, Mr EF Lapworth.
The case of the youngest boy was adjourned for 14 days, as the magistrates had not quite decided what to do with him.

50 years ago - November 27, 1969

An 18,000 increase in the population of the Newbury-Thatcham area by 1981 is considered “broadly reasonable” by Thatcham Parish Council.
Members agreed on this at their meeting on Monday, presided over by Mr W Stephenson, but were emphatic that certain
safeguards and conditionary clauses should be added to ensure the increase developed in a satisfactory way.
They agreed in a policy statement that it seemed logical to carry out some of the development between Newbury and Thatcham, subject to a satisfactory feasibility study having been completed.
However, they feel the densities represented by the figures so far given will be excessive and there may have to be adjustments in the proposed numbers and sites.
They expected adequate community facilities – including recreation, education, health, trunk and other roads – to be provided concurrently with housing development.
Mr D Wootton said that, based on current population figures, over 1,200 children could be expected at Kennet School by 1973-74.

25 years ago - November 24, 1994

Drivers could be banned from using vulnerable West Berkshire byways unless they stop damaging them by driving on them in bad weather.
A Berkshire County Council committee decided last week to ask the government for permission to erect signs threatening a ban at the worst-affected areas.
These include Old Street, to the north of Hermitage, byway 23 at Stanford Dingley and byway 49 at Chieveley.
The decision is the latest move in the council’s initiative to stop four-wheel drive and other vehicles churning up the lanes, making them impassable.
Some £75,000 has already been spent on emergency repairs to three lanes year, with byway 81 at Bucklebury and Fence Lane, Hermitage, scheduled for work before the end of May 1995.

10 years ago - November 19, 2019

Newbury’s largest-ever housing application – for up to 1,500 homes at Newbury Racecourse – has been recommended for approval by West Berkshire Council planners.
The outline proposal is set to go before committee next Wednesday, when district councillors will make a decision in principle on the £300m development.
One of the major issues relates to the scheme’s impact on local roads and nearby residents have expressed concern that roads could not cope with such a large-scale development with some claiming the traffic would be “100 times worse” than the gridlock they currently experience.

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