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When the circus came to town

Old Memories Revived: A look back at the NWN archives

Sarah Bosley


01635 886655

When the circus came to town

Motorists in Newbury were fuming last week after roadworks snarled up traffic in town. Flashback 47 years to 1972 and there was a wholly different reason for the traffic jams.
The circus came to town and a parade of elephants marched through.
Crowds followed them – but there were more smiles than scowls from motorists.

150 years ago - February 4, 1869

A memorial numerously signed, has been forwarded to the Directors of the Great Western Company, calling attention to the present insufficient accommodation to passengers at the Hungerford Railway Station.
In the case of Newbury, where an enlargement of the Goods Station is required, a memorial was presented and a reply was very shortly received, intimating that the directors would take steps to provide what was necessary.
There is every reason to believe that the memorial in question will have a similarly favourable consideration.

125 years ago - February 1, 1894

It is curious coincidence that the whole of inns and hotels in the Wilts portion of Hungerford are now carried on by widows, whose husbands, in three cases, have died recently.
A sad case of almost sudden death occurred on Thursday morning last.
A man named Wild, residing in the High Street, had for some days been suffering from influenza, and Thursday was the first day of his getting out.
Whilst walking down the High Street he was suddenly taken much worse, and was assisted home; before medical aid could be in attendance he had passed away.

100 years ago - January 30, 1919

A largely attended meeting of the residents in Hermitage district was held in the Sunday School, on Friday the 24th inst, at 7pm, for the purpose of considering the provision of a fitting memorial in honour of the contribution of the neighbourhood to the sacrifice of lives in the great war.
It was decided to erect, in a prominent position in the village, a monument in the form of a cross, bearing the names and perpetrating the memory of those fallen in the war, and to build a village institute as a means of assisting in the promotion of that new order of things for which the gallant men laid down their lives, and which means so much to those they have left behind and to the generations to come.
A representative committee was formed to arrange the details of the scheme and to proceed with the collection of the necessary funds.

75 years ago - February 3, 1944

Wardens are now making house-to-house calls in Hungerford and district inspecting gasmasks.
All necessary repairs will be carried out free of charge if the respirators are taken to the Report Centre, where air-raid wardens are in attendance nightly.
In view of the recent warnings that gas may be used in the future, everyone should see that their masks are in good
Opportunity is also being taken to revise the household cards.

50 years ago - February 6, 1969

Fifty schoolmasters in the Newbury area are prepared to go on strike or work to rule in support of a pay claim by the National Association of Schoolmasters of which they are members.
They are among schoolmasters at 200 schools throughout the country who have volunteered to join in a work to rule which began on Monday at 15 secondary schools.
Full support for the work to rule among the members was revealed by Mr JP Evans,secretary of Newbury and District Association of Schoolmasters, following a meeting on Friday.
“It is probable that more of these schools will be brought into this action at a later date,” said Mr. Evans.
“The work to rule calls on schoolmasters, while doing their specific jobs conscientiously, to stop ‘papering up the cracks’ in the education service – outsize classes, lack of supply teacher etc.
“At no time will the safety of children be put at risk.
“The aim of this action is, firstly, to support the National Association of Schoolmasters’ realistic pay claim and, secondly to secure the complete reform of the national negotiating machinery called the Burnham Committee, which to date has not allowed schoolmasters to put their claim to the Government.

25 years ago - February 3, 1994

Opinions on the future look of Newbury Market Place are being sought by Newbury District Council.
The council has taken a full-page advertisement in today’s Newbury Weekly News,
explaining proposals for the Market Place, and how readers can have their say on them.
The proposed re-vamp of the Market Place follows the £450,000 refurbishment of Northbrook Street, which attracted much criticism.
The council’s director of development services, Mr Alan Jones, said “We did just as much consultation on Northbrook Street, but in different ways.
“We have learnt some lessons from Northbrook Street. The consultation was mainly confined to Newbury.
“We want to get this out to a wider audience.”
The scheme could incorporate recent calls for a return to the Market Place of Queen Victoria, presently sited in Victoria Park.
Mr Jones said “It depends how economically we can do it and how much space is available.”
The scheme could reduce the size of the taxi rank, so that it takes six or eight vehicles, not 18.
That has already provoked opposition, and a 1,700-signature petition from taxi users.
The chairman of the Newbury Hackney Carriage Association, Mr Charles Paddick, said “It seems a lot of people forget the last time the Corn Exchange was in operation, the taxi rank served a very useful purpose.
“People can come out from a concert, get straight onto a taxi and go home, rather than go wandering around the street looking for a taxi."

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