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M4 opening delayed until 1973 and carnival fun in Hungerford in 1958

Old Memories Revived: A look back at the NWN archives

Sarah Bosley


01635 886655

M4 opening delayed until 1973

Hungerford Carnival procession welcomed thousands of visitors in 1958, with no fewer than six bands in its float procession.
The NWN snapped three brothers – Nigel, Neville and Arnold Andrews – in fancy dress costumes, representing the popular BBC TV jive programme Six-Five Special.

150 years ago - September 24 1868

The fire brigade turned out for practice on Thursday night, but as there had been a copious downpour during the day, the water with which the lower part of Northbrook-street was saturated was not so highly appreciated.

Mr Smith, of Speen, has an apple tree in his garden, which has thrice blossomed this year, and yielded three crops of apples.

125 years ago - September 28 1893

The fire-bells were rung yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon shortly after three o’clock, a fire having been discovered in a warehouse in Northbrook-place, the property of Mr JE Woodger, grocer of Northbrook-street.
The alarm was raised by the errand boy, who ran to the shop and apprised Mr Woodger of the outbreak.
By this time the flames had spread , and the building was well alight. It was impossible to save any of the contents, and with great difficulty the pony was rescued from the adjoining stable.
The oil upon the premises, though only a limited quantity, caused the fire to blaze out fiercely, the flames rising to a considerable height.
A cloud of black smoke also rose from the fire, and created some alarm amongst the townspeople who flocked to the spot in large numbers.
A row of cottages belonging to Mrs. Cherrill, adjoined the burning building, and their destruction appeared imminent.
The inmates were naturally in a state on consternation, and their furniture was hurriedly removed to a place of safety.
With no lack of volunteers, the cottages were speedily emptied of their contents.
Just when the flames seemed to have obtained the mastery, the Volunteer Fire Brigade arrived on the scene, having responded promptly to the call.
They turned out with the steamer, and also the hosecart. The steamer was stationed near the brook at Speenhamland, and lengths of hose were carried up the street and down Northbrook-place.
A second line of hose was attached to the hydrant in Marsh-road, and two strong jets were quickly playing upon the flames from either side.
Immediately the outbreak was observed, the hose was attached to the private hydrant at Newbury brewery, and mounting the roof of one of the buildings, a jet was directed on the fire by Mr C Becker, who was at work at the brewery.
Attacked from three sides, the efforts of the firemen were quickly apparent.
The value of the stock was roughly estimated at over £200. It was understood that the fire was accidentally started by the errand boy.

100 years ago - September 26 1918

Second Lieutenant A V Bradshaw, 2/4th Royal Berks Regt, eldest son of Mr and Mrs J R Bradshaw, formerly of Grantham, now residing at Durban House, Kingsclere, has been awarded the Military Cross.
On August last he succeeded with nine men in establishing himself on the enemy’s side of a stream.
It involved very hard fighting, and an important result was that the enemy could not withdraw with men, though they were urgently needed elsewhere.
The General in command singled out Lieut Bradshaw for special commendation.
He was in charge of the leading platoon, and the bridge across the stream was broken.
He succeeded in getting it re-erected, and at the expense of many casualties, crossed the river and gained the first objective.
Severe machine gun fire prevented much progress, but as his men fell, Lieut Bradshaw took their rifles, when they were serviceable, and used them himself.
The lack of ammunition compelled withdrawal, and this was successfully accomplished, though under circumstances of extreme difficulty.
The reward of the Military Cross is somewhat remarkable, as it took place only twenty-six days after Lieut Bradshaw had received a permanent commission as a recognition of gallantry on the field.
Lieut Bradshaw, who is a brother-in-law of Mrs Beer, of Newbury, was a member of the original Expeditionary Force and
distinguished himself at the commencement of the war in Belgium.
There he was severely frost-bitten, and only returned to the front in May, 1918.

50 years ago - September 26 1968

The M4 motorway is not now expected to be in operation until 1973.
This was disclosed by Mr LA Fisher, Senior Assistant Engineer for Berkshire County Council, at a Hungerford Planning Inquiry on Thursday.
Mr Fisher, asked if he knew when the M4 would be completed, said “We are informed by the Ministry of Transport that they expect construction to be completed by 1973.”
He added that they had expected it to be completed by 1972.

25 years ago - October 7 1993

Award-winning actress Julie Walters visited Newbury to film her latest role – a part in the commercial for a pub chain.
The star of Educating Rita and Mamma Mia! spent the end of last week floating round the pond in Newbury’s Victoria Park in a rowing boat, while a series of cameras set up on scaffolding towers filmed the scene.
The shoot followed earlier filming for two adverts for Beefeater Inns, featuring Miss Walters in pastiche travelogues of Bath and Cambridge.
Beefeater spokesman Mrs Suzie Purcell said “There is part of the commercial that talks about things Cambridge is famous for, like the Boat Race, and we wanted to show Julie Walters rowing.
“But because it’s light-hearted, we wanted to show her rowing in a pond and we could only find the right pond in Newbury.”

10 years ago - September 25 2008

The 11th vehicle recorded by the Newbury Weekly News to have struck the Wharf Street bollards in Newbury was damaged on Thursday.

An L-registration Mercedes ploughed into the notorious automatic rising bollards, which many motorists have claimed are inadequately signposted, and left a trail of oil behind after the driver tried to cut through from The Wharf, Newbury, into the Market Place.

West Berkshire Council has yet to comment on whether it has incurred any costs for repairs to the damaged bollards since they were installed last September. However, the executive member responsible for West Berkshire’s highways, Emma Webster (Con, Birch Copse), said yesterday that the council does seek to claim compensation for the damaged bollards from drivers’ insurance companies, provided that the driver has been identified.

Miss Webster said of the Wharf Street bollards: “In terms of signage, we have complied and gone above and beyond the legislation, and that has been agreed by our insurers.”

Witness Roy Speirs, of ICN Computing in Wharf Street, said that he saw the incident happen at about 10.10am on Thursday, when the lane is off-limits to through-traffic.

The bollards cost £35,000 to install in September last year, and were introduced to allow only taxis, buses and emergency vehicles through Wharf Street between the pedestrianised-zone hours of 10am and 6pm.

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