Wed, 19 Dec 2018
A bird's eye view of Newbury from 1988
This is a bird’s eye view of Newbury back in 1988.
Although much of the town centre has remained the same in the past 30 years, the big difference is at the Wharf (top centre).
In 1999 Newbury Library moved from Carnegie Road to its new site at the Wharf.
Constructed on the site of a former wharf basin, building was designed to be as light as possible on unstable ground beneath.
150 years ago - December 17, 1868
The December Fair in Lamborne was held on the 4th inst when a large number of sheep were penned and trade ruled better than at late fairs.
Some capital cart colts were also on show, for which several sales were effected, but other classes of horses met with little attention.
The fair for beasts was almost a dead letter, it having never recovered since the rinderpest prevailed.
125 years ago - December 14, 1893
The inmates of the Hungerford Union were provided with a musical treat, through the kindness of Mr Guardian Phelps, who prevailed upon the Primitive Methodist string band to give an entertainment.
The poor people seemed highly pleased, and were demonstrative in their applause.
A Temperance entertainment was also given in the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Baughurst on Monday evening last by members of the Tadley Band of Hope.
The programme, which consisted of vocal and instrumental music and recitations, was satisfactorily gone through, as was shewn by the hearty applause which greeted the different items.
The chapel was well filled.
100 years ago - December 12, 1918
Newbury appears certain of having some trophy of the great war.
Offers have been made by the Earl of Carnarvon and Mr Fairhurst to obtain German guns.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Berks has informed the mayor that the War Office has also offered a number of captured rifles, machine guns, etc for distribution in the county.
The Lord Lieutenant has replied asking that as many as possible may be sent.
He is applying for a field gun for each large town in the county, and if this is sanctioned one will be allotted to Newbury.
The articles offered include damaged German rifles, carbines, bayonets, light pistols, packs and a limited number of machine guns and trench mortars, but it is probable that those towns allotted a field gun would not be able to have either of the two latter.
The suggestion is made, a rather daring one, that the Victorian Statue should be removed to Victoria Park, and a fitting memorial erected in the Market Place in honour of Newbury men who have served and fallen in the war.
There is plenty of time to think it over. First get the guns.
It is not likely that these trophies will share the fate of the Russian gun which was presented to the town as a relic of the Crimean campaign.
It was allowed to lie at the railway station for a long time because the local authority refused to discharge the railway rates.
In 1868, when Fenianism was a scare in the land, the cannon was confined in the fire station for safety’s sake. There it remained until transported into the Station-road.
In 1887 it was again hauled into the Marsh to fire a salute.
A year or two later the much-travelled gun took up permanent position in the Broadway, where it remains to this day.
50 years ago - December 12, 1968
Employees and former employees of Pass and Co (Newbury) Ltd, of West Street, Newbury, attended a special dinner given by the managing director, Mr G Tanner, at the Tudor Café on Saturday to mark the forthcoming retirement of two directors of the firm. Retiring at the end of the year are Mr Ben Hamblin, the firm’s sales director, and Mr Reg Thurley, the works director.
After the dinner Mr Tanner presented Mr Hamblin with a silver salver and Mr Thurley with a silver cigarette box.
From the staff, Mr Hamblin received a watch, and Mr Thurley an electronic flash camera attachment.
The staff and directors presented Mr Tanner with Doulton figures.
At the dinner, which was attended by about 50 staff, were eight people with a total of 340 years’ service with the firm.
The two retiring directors have served nearly 90 years between them.
Mr Hamblin joined Pass and Co in 1916, having previously training as an engineer.
After about a year he joined the Royal Flying Corps and saw service in France until the armistice when he served for several months in Germany.
He returned to Pass and Co in 1919 as a driver/mechanic and used to drive 30cwt forward drive vehicles with solid tyres.
In 1924 he was appointed sales manager and became one of the best known and best liked representatives in the motor business in this area, said Mr Tanner.
He was particularly well known by the farming community, who bought tractors from him.
In 1960 when the firm was formed into a limited company, Mr Hamblin became sales director.
Mr Thurley joined Pass and Co in 1931 as works foreman, having gained much experience with leading Ford dealers in London.
He had worked on an overhead valve engine for the model T and drove the first model A Ford to be brought to this country.
In 1960 he became works director, having previously been made works manager.
25 years ago - December 16, 1993
The start of building work on Newbury’s by-pass has been delayed until August next year – at the earliest.
The Department for Transport has said the fate of the new road will not now be decided for at least three months, which almost certainly means work could not start until late summer next year at the earliest.
DoT spokesman, Mr Geoffrey Godbert, confirmed that the national trunk road programme was being re-considered.
He said “Newbury by-pass is currently under review. The roads programme will be finalised in March. We cannot say anything before then.”
Newbury District Council’s planning director Mr Alan Jones, said “I think they have got their sense of priorities wrong.
“Newbury by-pass ought to be top of their list. It’s ludicrous that this is being delayed. It will cause all kinds of chaos.”
His colleague, environmental health manager Mr John Parfitt, confirmed that the Department of Transport had told him to stop work on sound-proofing houses next to the proposed route.
He said “We have been told to stand down and we have stopped work on sound insulation because we have been told that the DoT is waiting for confirmation of the timing of the scheme.”
Newbury MP, Mr David Rendel, said he would ask the transport minister for a written statement on when a decision would be made.
“Sadly, the way the government promises things and then does not deliver is making people more cynical,” he said.
“They regard politicians as being hypocritical, unreliable and untrustworthy. It’s very
disappointing for the people of Newbury.”
10 years ago - December 11, 2008
A teenager may make history in January as the youngest person ever to reach the South Pole if his dangerous trek is successful.
Eighteen-year-old Matt Gaskell, and his father Kevin, aged 50, claim they will be the first father-and-son team to attempt the 300km unsupported trek on December 29 and, if successful, Matt will be the youngest person ever to reach the remote pole – albeit unofficially.
The duo from Sydmonton, north Hampshire, will depart from the Patriot Hills base camp on the Antarctic ice shelf just after Christmas and hope to reach the Geographic South Pole by the end of January after a month of dragging 80kg sledges.
Matt and his father will face temperatures as cold as minus-50 degrees centigrade while battling against 50kmh winds without the aid of dogs, snowmobiles or helicopters – leaving Kevin’s wife Penny and 20-year-old daughter Sara back in the UK.
They will be trekking along with five other team members, who have taken up the challenge to raise £40,000 towards cancer research after Kevin lost his younger sister Jayne to leukaemia in 2004.