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Johnny Morris opens pet show in 1980, while local Boy Scout uncovers hidden Germans 100 years ago

Old Memories Revived: A look back at the NWN archives

Sarah Bosley


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Johnny Morris opens pet show in 1980, while local Boy Scout uncovers hidden Germans 100 years ago

Johnny Morris, with Jane Bartley and 'Sophie'

The annual pet show organised in Newbury by the RSPCA in 1980 was opened by television personality Johnny Morris.
More than 800 people attended the show, which was held at St Bartholomew’s playing fields in Enborne Road.
Johnny Morris was known for his children’s programmes for the BBC on the topic of zoology, most notably Animal Magic and for narrating Tales of the Riverbank, a series of stories about Hammy the hamster, Roderick the rat, GP the guinea pig, and their assorted animal friends along a riverbank.
He died at his home in Hungerford in 1999.

150 years ago - June 25 1868

A firebroke out on Friday at Eastbury, by which two cottages belonging to Mrs Liddiard were destroyed, but the furniture of the tenants was almost all of it saved.
The engine from Lamborne was in attendance and prevented the flames extending to the adjoining property.
The fire was caused, it was supposed, by some children putting wood ashes in a thatch building.

125 years ago - July 6 1893

The following is the report of Her Majesty’s Inspector of the Wesleyan School: “The children are in first rate order and their work reflects great credit on the master.
“The instruction is very satisfactory. The infants are orderly, and have been nicely taught.”

100 years ago - June 27 1918

Leslie Pike, a young lad, a local Boy Scout, acted with commendable promptitude and foresight the other day.
Visiting on business a hayrick in a meadow adjacent to Northfield Road, he discovered three men.
Noticing peculiarities in dress and conversation, his suspicions were aroused, and he informed the police.
The local PS proceeded to the spot, and deemed the situation needed further investigation, took the men into custody.
It is alleged that they were German prisoners straying or attempting to escape.
* * *
Application was made to the Borough Tribunal by Horace Homer Beasley, 43, grade 2, manager of the men’s outfitting department at the Drapery Bazaar.
Mr Alfred Camp, proprietor, joined in the application, and Mr Charles Lucas appeared in support.
There were three female assistants in this branch, and one other male over 60.
If Beasley were taken [called up for National Service] a considerable part of the business would have to be relinquished.
Mr Lucas said it was an extraordinary fact that out of the thirty or forty assistants in the whole establishment employed, only three were males.
The NS representative said this was not a certified occupation, and in a large business such as this, adjustments were more
capable of being carried out.
Hardly any business in the country had prospered so much as drapery, and it did not appear the community would suffer if this man were taken.
Mr Camp said it was a men’s business, and he must have a man to manage it.
Mr Lucas read a cutting from a newspaper in which it was stated that the Commissioner of Police had issued an order that special constables in grades two or three would not be called for service, but in each case must be recommended by the
Commissioner, must have joined before January, 1918, and be required to carry out a specified number of hours duty each week.
Beasley had been a special constable since October, 1917, and been regular in his attendances at drills and duty.
Mr Lucas pointed out that it was considered necessary to appoint 80 special constables for Newbury, and if all liable to service were called up, only 12 would be left.
The NS representative said such an orderly town as Newbury would get along very well without the help of one special.
The case was adjourned for inquiry to be made on the point.

75 years ago - July 8 1943

The 43rd Newbury (Thatcham) Scouts are holding a garden fete at the Grange, Lower Way Lane, Thatcham, on Saturday, July 17th, in aid of Lord Baden Powell’s Memorial Fund and Troop Funds.
There is to be a host of amusements and competitions.

25 years ago - July 1 1993

Hermitage residents were baffled to discover thousands of flight information documents belonging to British Airways strewn along Long Lane last Friday.
Troops from Denison Barracks, Hermitage, were sent out on a litter-picking exercise after a member of the public telephoned the base, complaining that there were hundreds of maps in the road between Newbury and Hermitage.
Six soldiers from the army’s map-making school were despatched to pick up papers lining both sides of Long Lane.
Another batch was found further along the road, in Hermitage.
The troops found that the paper were not maps, but flight information documents.
A spokesman from the School of Military Survey said none belonged to the Ministry of Defence.

10 years ago - June 26 2008

A stylish plaza, complete with hotel, restaurant, flats, offices and seven-storey tower, is set to transform the heart of the
Faraday Road industrial estate.

A £65 million development will also see a traffic-light controlled junction opening onto the A339 from Fleming Road, mid-way between the Robin Hood and Sainsbury’s roundabouts.

A pedestrian crossing will link Victoria Park with the new ‘Faraday Plaza’, designed to replace existing retail units behind Lidl, including the Saab and Skoda dealerships.

New offices, 160 flats and a three-star 109-bedroom hotel would be built on a podium, with car parking hidden from view underneath.

An application for permission has been lodged with West Berkshire Council by entrepreneur Duncan Crook, whose company Renaissance Habitat has been steadily acquiring lots on the site over two years.

Mr Crook said: “We’ve put our money where our mouth is. This hasn’t been a plan without real investment. We have put millions into this, and it is fully speculative.”

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