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Thunderbirds are go!

Lightning caused fires in 1868, while Park Way redevelopment hung in the balance 10 years ago

Thunderbirds are go!

Virgil Tracey – the pilot of Thunderbird 2 – is surrounded by fans at Sainsbury’s SavaCentre in Calcot in 1993. Virgil was in the store for six hours meeting young fans before heading back to Tracey Island.

150 years ago - July 16, 1868

We hear that on Thursday last there was a large fire at Southstoke, and the wind being in that direction several pieces of burnt straw were picked up at Hampstead Norris and its neighbourhood, which is a distance of eight or nine miles.
Yesterday afternoon a fire broke out on George’s-farm, Crookham, destroying the barns, stabling, and a quantity of bark and other things. It is stated to have been caused by lightning.

125 years ago - July 20, 1893

The Royal Wedding [Prince George, Duke of York, and Princess Mary of Teck] was loyally celebrated at Highclere on the 6th. At noon the church bells, under the superintendence of Mr C Knapp, rang out a marriage peal.
At 2 o’clock the children of the day and Sunday Schools adjourned to the cricket ground in Highclere Park, where high revel was kept amidst all kinds of amusements.
Swing boats, cricket and races, were all largely patronised in turn, whilst the East Woodhay band discoursed sweet music, tempting many of the young people to a dance on the green turn.
A bountiful supply of tea and cake was at the proper time duly demolished, the mothers of the children and various friends being also entertained on the occasion.
Before separating, three hearty cheers were given for the Duke and Duchess of York, followed by all singing “God save the Queen.”
Cheers were also added for Lord Carnarvon, the giver of the feast, also for the Rector and Mrs Bowden Smith, and the Misses Andrews.
A most enjoyable afternoon was spent by all.

100 years ago - July 18, 1918

There was a terrific dog-fight in Cheap Street on Sunday evening, which caused much alarm to peaceful people returning from church, and great delight to small boys with militant inclinations.
As a rule, the wise man never intervenes in a dog fight or a domestic squabble.
But a minister rushed in where angels fear to tread.
It was very courageous of him, for his only weapon was an umbrella.
He hitched the crook into the collar of one of the combatants, and dragged it out of the fray.
The dog then bolted with the umbrella, and the minister followed in hot pursuit.
It was a fine sight for the crowd, and the manner in which that minister sprinted should place him in Grade one, should he ever come before the medical tribunal.
He succeeded in retrieving the umbrella, and went homewards proudly conscious of “something attempted, something done, to earn a night’s repose.”

50 years ago - July 18, 1968

Ravenseft, the development company planning to rebuild the Cheap Street – Market Street – Bartholomew Street triangle in Newbury, have received inquiries from people interested in large units of the scheme, Mr EC Tims, a director of the firm told NWN yesterday.
He said the delay in submitting revised plans for the scheme was because “one or two interested people have come along and said they might be interested in taking large units and as their
requirements are something rather larger than the units allowed for in the plan we are looking at it again to see if we can accommodate them”.
Mr Tims was not able to say when revised plans would be submitted to Newbury Borough Council, but stated that the firm were “working to a deadline”.
It is a condition of the firm’s building permit that work should start between September this year and next March.
The next scheduled meeting of the council’s Planning Committee is in September, but at Monday’s committee meeting it was agreed that if the plans are available before then a special meeting could be called.
The Committee are anxious to see the plans at the earliest opportunity so that they have time to consider them without jeopardising Ravenseft’s chances of starting within the time limit.
Ravenseft plan to develop the Bartholomew Street side in the first stage of the scheme.

10 years ago - July 17, 2008

The £150m regeneration of Park Way, Newbury, no longer has a builder after negotiations collapsed between financial backers Standard Life Investments (SLI) and construction firm Costain.

With the economy worsening by the day, it is now unclear whether the project can survive the fresh crisis.

A new tender process is now required to find a firm willing to build 64 shops, 187 homes and an expensive underground car park in the historically marshy town centre.

It will delay work to February 2009 at the earliest, but council bosses are now “unable to say” whether it will go ahead at all.

Council leader Graham Jones (Con, Lambourn) said: “The state of the economy means we cannot predict whether it will, or won’t, go ahead. If SLI thought it was not viable, they would be pulling out. The fact they are pursuing this is a good sign, but clearly it is very disappointing they won’t be proceeding to the original timescale.”

Improvements to the Robin Hood roundabout, paid for by SLI and originally due to start this month, have been put on hold.

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