Mon, 04 Jun 2018
There's snow on the rooftops of buildings in Newbury in the winter of 1988.
The picture was taken from the old cinema building – previously the ABC and the Forum – looking towards a busy Park Way car park.
The cinema is now the site of the bstFitness gym.
150 years ago - May 28 1868
Letter to the editor
Sir – Whitsuntide is a season of the year specially devoted to holiday making, amongst mechanics and the labouring classes, but it seems never to have occurred to the shop-keepers of the town to make common cause with them in this matter.
In the name of common sense why cannot the tradesmen shut up shop next Tuesday afternoon, when no business will be doing, and everybody will be wanting to go to the Odd Fellows fete?
I for one shall be thirsting to spend the afternoon in some pleasanter spot than behind the counter, and surely I have a right to speak as I am, ONE WHO SELDOM GETS A HOLIDAY.
125 years ago - June 1 1893
A three-fold charge. James Pannell, who failed to appear, was charged with using obscene language at Thatcham, on the 21st, also with allowing three horses to stray between the “Horse and Jockey” Inn, Brimpton and Little Park House.
The defendant was further charged with allowing four horses to stray on the third inst.
The offences were proved by P.C. Tanner and Supt. Bennett stated that the defendant had been summoned on several previous occasions.
The magistrates imposed a fine of £1, including costs, or 10 days imprisonment on the first charge; 9s or five days’ imprisonment on the second: and 12s, or seven days’ imprisonment on the third.
100 years ago - May 30 1918
Tank in town. This is tank day. Everybody will have an opportunity of seeing the latest type of modern warfare.
One of these machines will perambulate the streets this morning between nine-thirty and eleven, being due in the Market-place at the latter hour, and remain there throughout the day as the central point of the campaign for the sale of War Bonds and Certificates.
Newbury is expected to raise a sum sufficient to provide a squadron of aeroplanes, and already a substantial start has been secured by the energetic committee in charge of arrangements.
All are expected to not only do their bit, but their very best, to ensure that Newbury contributes its financial quota to carry the war to a successful conclusion.
The town has supplied the men; now it is called upon to provide the money.
The tank will be fully equipped, but for this occasion its fusillade will be more declamatory than destructive.
The Mayor will be in command, and in conjunction with the member and other representative personages, there will be persuasive appeals to the pockets, purses and cheque-books of local patriots.
There will be no lack of listeners, for the tank is certain to attract a big crowd both of town and country residents.
It is hoped that the speeches from the stop of the Tank will be as successful as its methods in warfare.
Tanks can overcome formidable obstacles.
75 years ago - May 27 1943
New identity cards. In view of criticisms in rural area regarding distribution of new identity cards and ration books, the Divisional Food Officer for the Southern Region issued on Tuesday the following statement.
Expressing himself in full sympathy with the problems of those who live in rural areas, where frequently an inconvenient journey to the main food office is necessary to collect ration books, the Divisional Food Officer said he had instructed food executive officers to arrange to open special distribution points.
Owing to the centralised system which is being adopted at the moment, it is not possible to open these immediately, but food executive officers will announce almost at once where these points are to be opened.
At a later date, information will be given of the time and place of distribution.
In the meantime the Divisional Food Officer hopes that everyone who can make it convenient, will comply with the general police of central distribution will call at the Main Food Office for their ration books, in accordance with the announcement of distribution published from time to time.
50 years ago - May 30 1968
Mystery explosion. A mystery explosion shook a corner of Dene Way, Newbury, late Thursday night.
Residents running from their houses saw a column of smoke rising from the road.
But there was no damage and no one else in sight.
Newbury police found pieces of wire and other materials in a garden opposite the junction of Northern Avenue and Dene Way.
They concluded the explosion was made by a thunderflash.
“It was a terrific bang,” said Mrs Joan Read, of 71 Dene Way.
“I was just on the point of going to sleep and it woke me up.
10 years ago - May 29 2008
Housing for criminals. Hardened criminals sent home early from jail could be moving in next door to you – and you will never be told.
The government is refusing to tell Newbury residents where a new bail hostel will be built in the town, despite the fact it could house criminals sent home early from prison to free up overcrowded cells.
The Ministry of Justice has earmarked Newbury as a site for new bail accommodation for homeless people or anyone unable to safely return home between court hearings.
However, the five-person hostel, whose address the Government refuses to publish, could also house convicted criminals taken from behind bars and let loose early to live in suburbia under the government’s Home Detention Curfew scheme.
Unlike hostels run by the National Probation Service, the accommodation, run by private company Clear Springs, does not offer high security supervision by trained probation officers, and would not house high-risk offenders.
The felons would be given electronic tags, but allowed out and about for 12 hours a day for up to the last four-and-a-half months of their prison sentences.
Newbury MP Richard Benyon said that the shelters were a quick-fix solution to the government’s prison crisis, which has seen national prisoner numbers rise above the official safety limit.
He said: “This is all about the government running out of prison places. There will be a huge outcry. I do not see why the people of Newbury should have to pay for the crisis in our prisons.”