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Newbury becomes the perfect picnic spot for day-trippers in 1973

Thatcham man's quick thinking saves girl from choking 25 years ago

Sarah Bosley


01635 886655

Newbury becomes the perfect picnic spot for day-trippers in 1973

Just the perfect place for a picnic. Members of the Derby and Joan Club from Birches Head, Stoke-on-Trent decided to take a break from a trip back to the Midlands by stopping off in Newbury in 1973.
They spent a bit of time beside the Kennet at The Wharf before resuming their coach journey.

150 years ago - August 6, 1868

Mark Parsons, of Newbury, was charged with having caught five perch in water over which Earl Craven has the right of fishery.
Defendant admitted that he went beyond the First Bridge in Hungerford and caught a few coarse fish, but his object was to catch birds.
The witness Stanford who proved the charge, said he saw no birds in the water (a laugh).
The Chairman (to defendant) Did you catch any perch? – Yes. Mr. Matthews: Then you caught the perch if not the birds (laughter)?
Defendant said he was a good hand at fishing, but never used a wire.
The Chairman told defendant he must not fish in preserved waters, and fined him 1/6, with 8/6 costs.
Defendant thanked the magistrates and paid the money.

100 years ago - August 8, 1918

Lieut (A/Capt) Frank Doveton Bazett, ex-mayor of Newbury, has been awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during recent operations.
Under heavy machine-gun barrage, he was constantly in the line reorganising the troops, who had become considerably mixed up with other units.
He set a magnificent example to all around him, and more than once affected an orderly withdrawal.
Second Lieut A A Barrett, of the Royal Berks Regt, formerly bank clerk at Newbury, has received the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during long operations as acting adjutant of the battalion.
Throughout he displayed high courage, initiative and a complete grasp of the situations, and was of the greatest value to the CO.
On one occasion he took command of a company in a counter-attack, which reached its objective, and organised a new line under heavy fire, showing a total disregard for danger.
Lieut G H Watts, MGC, son of Mr and Mrs G J Watts, of Donnington, has been awarded the Military Cross.
Finding a gap in a line to which he had been sent, he placed his guns in temporary position and went forward about a mile, when he observed the enemy advancing in large numbers.
On attempting to get back, he found he was surrounded, but by sheer dash he fought his way back to his guns and held on to his position until he had only six men left.
He did not withdraw until the enemy were within 50 yards, and his last round had been fired.
This enabled three batteries of field artillery to be got safely away.
Lance-Corpl O G Townsend, of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, has been awarded the Military Medal for conduct during a raid in Flanders in March, 1918.
When surrounded by Germans in “No Mans Land”, he, with his officer and a few comrades, succeeded in overcoming the enemy in close quarters, and bringing in prisoners.
He received a card from his General during the first week in April, complimenting him for conduct on the field, and has since been awarded the above honour.

50 years ago - August 8, 1968

Coloureed, a beer tent and a band rendering German drinking songs, waltzes and polkas transformed Victoria Park into a Beer Garden on Thursday night when Newburians turned out in force to meet and mingle with their twin town guests from Braunfels.
To make the atmosphere even more authentic, there were German voices in the crowd, German beer in the refreshment tent and a group of Braunfels youths and maidens dressed in the national costumes of Hesse giving displays of German folk dances.
Washed out by rain on Wednesday, the organisers were fearful when Thursday dawned overcast but by the evening the weather had cleared and a watery sun even blessed the occasion.
The Braunfels folk song and dance groups entertained Newbury to some lively folk dancing and singing and towards the end of the evening persuaded local revellers to join in.
One of the last dances was a Braunfels version of the Conga which finished with a flavour of Oranges and Lemons.
More than 2,500 glasses of beer were drunk, including six casks of Braunfels beer holding about 50 litres in each cask, which was given by the visitors and much appreciated by the townspeople.
Providing music was a band drawn from some of the best silver bands in the area and handpicked for the occasion by their leader, Mr H Redfearn.

25 years ago - August 12, 1993

A Thatcham man who won a bravery award for saving a toddler’s life on the M4 two years ago, this week saved another child.
Thirty-three-year-old driver Mr Peter Congerton, of Bourne Road, saved the girl’s life as he was driving out of the main gate of AWE Aldermaston on Tuesday morning, where he was working for contractors Wastechem.
He said “A man was hysterical in the middle of the road. He jumped into the road and grabbed the van.”
The man’s daughter had swallowed something while out on a family picnic and was unable to breathe. It later turned out to be a large-size ‘gobstopper’-type sweet.
Mr Congerton continued “I just grabbed her, and applied pressure to the bottom of her rib cage and she spat it out. But she still wasn’t breathing. I gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and brought her round but she still wasn’t properly conscious.”
The girl was later taken to hospital. Mr Congerton said he had heard from her father that she would be all right.
Two years ago, Mr Congerton, a father of six himself, scooped up a two-year-old girl who was standing in the middle lane of the M4.
She had wandered into the traffic after her father’s car broke down.
He was later awarded a bronze medal by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Mr Congerton said he had only ever learned the basics of first aid. “It was more from having kids of my own,” he said. “I only learned about that about three days beforehand.”
Modestly, he added that the second life-saving incident was “one of those things”.

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