Thu, 10 May 2018
Newbury gave the men of the Royal Tank Corps an enthusiastic reception when they visited the town in October 1937
Newbury gave the men of the Royal Tank Corps an enthusiastic reception when they visited the town in October 1937.
Crowds flocked to see the vehicles, which were part of the corps’ recruitment campaign.
150 years ago - April 30 1868
Chummies in the streets
MAY Day is tomorrow; but the amusements associated with its return in olden times are now nearly extinct.
The only indication we have of its arrival is the presence of a few “chummies” in the streets, and their novelty is scarcely enough to attract the attention of juveniles.
May 4, 1893 - 125 years ago
Meiers bring house down
THE Meier family gave a second entertainment in the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday to a crowded house.
Several encores were called and Miss Myra Meier (soprano) fairly brought down the house with the “cuckoo” and Master Eugene Meier showed her considerable ability with the violin and reed harp.
100 years ago - May 2 1918
The folly of war
AN officer who has seen his third or fourth year of service in India and Mesopotamia, calculates that the war has already destroyed one out of every eight who were at school with him, and the proportion must be about the same for all our public schools.
He proceeds: “I look down the list of those I knew so well, wondering where and how each died – that small scholar with the untidy hair, the inky fingers, the spectacles, the intense nervousness; that cynical black-haired fellow, with his jokes about the School OTC; that golden haired boy with the light blue eyes and delicate features.
“It seems utterly unnatural, incredible, that all have perished in life’s early morning.
“The first obviously fitted by Nature for the arts of peace; the second instinctively hating the folly of war; and how poignant is one’s image of the third, shattered on some bloody field, a very epitome of this massacre of all that is best in the youth of England.
“Bitter is the grief of their contemporaries, yet more bitter and universal is the sorrow of those who gave them birth, who watched their growth, who lavished upon them a thousand thoughts and cares, who have lived to see their brightest hope savagely reft away.”
75 years ago - April 29 1943
Private is taken prisoner
During the past week, the 50th name of the men on the roll of the Newbury Prisoners of War Relatives Association who were captured in the Far East has been announced as a prisoner of war.
This is Pte R Bratby, RAOC, a Derbyshire man, who, whilst stationed in Newbury, became engaged to Miss Iris Millward, of 18, Park Lanes, Thatcham.
Pte Bratby is interned in the Malayan camps.
50 years ago - May 2 1968
£2½m shopping centre
Ravenseft Properties Ltd, the development company who are to create a new shopping centre for Newbury in the Bartholomew Street-Market Street-Cheap Street triangle, have been allowed to spend £1,200,000 on building works – the amount they asked the Government to agree to when they applied for a building licence in December.
This should enable the firm to complete building the first two stages – all of the triangle except for the northern tip occupied by council offices.
The cost of acquiring the present premises raised the cost of the shopping area to between £2m and £2½m.
Although the firm has received a building licence with surprising speed, they have been refused an office development permit and so must delete offices from their plan.
Said Mr E C Tims, a director of Ravenseft, this week: “Unless you can get a Government department of a large firm dealing with exports to come to the town you don’t stand much chance in the South-East of getting permission to build offices.”
As yet Ravenseft do not own all the properties in the site, but negotiations are taking place.
“We are looking at the question of demolishing existing properties,” said Mr. Tims.
“This is tied in with the Newbury council’s decision to charge half-rates on empty buildings.”
Early demolition is expected of four properties in Bartholomew Street and two in Cheap Street.
The Bartholomew Street side of the site will be developed first.
10 years ago - May 1 2008
Woman bitten by rat
SOVEREIGN Housing has begun to tackle an infestation in which rats attacked a 101-year-old woman in her home.
Frail Ellen Wheeler was watching television when she was bitten on the head.
Neighbour Doreen Bowers said she had tried in vain to get help from the association for four weeks.
But she said Sovereign Housing swung into action after the Newbury Weekly News highlighted the plight of some of its Brimpton tenants last week.
The NWN revealed how Mrs Wheeler was watching television in the lounge of her Brimpton home when she felt something tugging the hair at the back of her head.
She instinctively tried to swat it away, but a rat sank its teeth into her scalp.
Who wouldn’t wanted one of these natty gadgets, advertised in the Newbury Weekly News in 1958?