Wed, 06 Mar 2019
The first thing you notice about old photographs of the town is the lack of traffic.
These days, most roads in towns and villages across West Berkshire are clogged up with cars and lorries.
But go back 46 years to 1973 and, as you can see, there’s hardly any traffic on London Road.
No wonder they called them the good old days!
150 years ago - March 4, 1869
An accident happened one day last week to Charles Tucker in the employ of Mr Joseph Alexander of Hungerford, who was engaged in unloading some planks at the wharf when, two of them slipping, the unfortunate man’s leg was crushed, and the bone broken above the ankle.
The broken limb was set by Dr Major, the medical attendant of the Hungerford Provident Society of which Tucker is a member, and the unfortunate man is progressing satisfactorily.
125 years ago - March 1, 1894
There was a short supply of sheep at East Ilsley sheep market to-day, not more than 3,000 being penned; with few dealers from a distance.
Trade was very dull, but still a clearance was made at rather more money that at the last market.
Teggs made from 30s to 48, and a good lot of couples made 60s.
There were very few cattle on offer, but they are making slightly higher prices and no doubt if we were to get a forward spring, trade would improve.
n Whitway Bench (Before W Holding Esq, Col V Williams and E Fox Esq) – William Keep, of Ball Hill Farm, East Woodhay, was charged with riding without reins on the highway at East Woodhay, on January 20.
PC Harvey proved the case, and defendant was fined 1s, costs 4s.
100 years ago - February 27, 1919
Two golden weddings within a week are worthy of note.
The celebrants are Mr and Mrs H J Midwinter, of Waltair, Queens Road, and Mr and Mrs Edward Salway, of Nascot, St Johns Road.
There is a family association of the two events, as Mr Midwinter married Mr Salway’s sister, and the weddings took place within a week of each other in 1869.
Both are deacons of the Congregational Church and actively identified with the Sunday School and management of church affairs.
Felicitations have been offered by the various departments.
Mr Midwinter is the senior member of the Borough Bench, and has been congratulated by his magisterial colleagues.
Mr Salway was for many years chief cashier at the Capital and Counties Bank, and although now retired, is rendering assistance to Newbury institutions, his financial experience being much valued.
Townspeople generally will join in wishing both Mr and Mrs Midwinter and Mr and Mrs Salway many further years of domestic happiness and public usefulness.
75 years ago - March 2, 1944
For Prisoners of War, The Royal Navy and HM Forces serving Overseas (Excluding Prisoners of War in Japanese hands) – special Duty Free and postage free service of Tobacco and Cigarettes of popular brands, which cost the sender only about a quarter of the ordinary price.
Examples: 200 Players 5/6; 500 Players 13/6.
From H Herring: Newsagent and Tobacconist, 60 Bartholomew Street, Newbury
50 years ago - March 6, 1969
Although domestic ratepayers would not be paying more in rates than in the current year because of the increased Government grant, it should not be forgotten that commercial concerns were faced with an increase of 5d, which would add to their overheads, said Ald JM Freeman, chairman of the Finance Committee when he delivered the budget speech at Newbury Town Council’s meeting on Monday.
His committee recommendation that the rate be 14s in the £ was approved without dissent.
The rate is made up of 9s 5d for the county council services (a rise of 3½d) and 4s 7d for the borough’s expenses (up 1½d).
Because of grants, mixed hereditaments will be charged at the rate of 13s 5d and domestic ratepayers will pay 12s 9d.
Ald Freeman said that central government was very much in command of the purse strings when it came to loan sanctions and general aid to local authorities.
Government policy was that a 3 per cent growth in services plus an allowance for increased costs bringing the total to 6 per cent or 7 per cent would be generally acceptable and the council had managed to keep their increase to about this level.
There were schemes for improvement to the Corn Exchange kitchen, car park surfacing, a mobile library and conversion to all-night lighting of street lamps. All had been deleted.
One item which did survive the axe, however was the paper sack refuse collection system.
A start on phasing this in would be made this year with one-third of the town changing over to it during the second half of the financial year.
Net expenditure, he said, was rising from £264,000 in the current year to £277,000 in the coming year.
Although the product of a penny rate had gone up by £140 the increased rate of 1½d would still have a deficiency of £9,465 to be met from balances at the end of the year.
25 years ago - March 3, 1994
Traders' fears that a loss of parking space could damage business have delayed plans for a facelift for Newbury’s Market Place.
Councillors have asked for more details of the various proposals for the square, before taking any firm decisions on its future.
The decision follows complaints by councillors from Newbury wards about the loss of town centre car parking, and fears that the new-look Market Place could ruin nearby businesses.
Former mayor, Mr George Baker (Lib Dem, St John’s) summed up the irritation of members at Tuesday’s meeting of Newbury District Council’s Market Place Enhancement Panel.
He said “The impression I get is that on the whole this is premature, and if that is the case it should be deferred.”
The council is proposing to refurbish the Market Place in a similar manner to the work in Northbrook Street last year.
Proposed changes for the Market Place include more space for pedestrians, outdoor cafes, fewer car parking spaces, a smaller taxi rank and the return of the Queen Victoria statue from Victoria Park.
The plans have attracted criticism from taxi drivers, angry at losing town centre ranks, and traders, who say short-stay car parking is important for their businesses.
The manager of Daniels department store, Mr Simon Dickson, said he did not want to see too many traffic restrictions.
“Nobody is quite sure what the final thing is going to be, but what does concern us is the parking.
“People park to pick up goods and it might put them off coming,” he said.
Taxi drivers also fear a loss of trade and have organised a petition against losing their rank, signed by 1,700 people.
They contrast their petition with the council’s own questionnaire on the square’s future which drew only 422 replies.
10 years ago - February 26, 2009
Vodafone has axed 170 jobs at its Newbury headquarters.
Staff were told on Tuesday that jobs were being cut across all levels of the company and in every team, as the telecoms giant announced 500 redundancies across the UK.
Vodafone UK’s human resources director Matthew Brearley said that the recession had deepened planned staffing cuts, and that he could not rule out future job losses.
“The recession has made more difficult what is already a tough, competitive market,” he said.
“No-one knows how deep this recession is going to be, and we don’t know what will happen to customer behaviour. We are not immune to that.”
The majority of the Vodafone staff in Newbury being made redundant have already been told.
Others will face an anxious six weeks of consultations before finding out whether they are victims of the cutback.
Mr Brearley said that anyone made redundant would receive “significantly above” statutory severance pay, he added.
Vodafone was “absolutely committed” to remaining in Newbury, where 3,500 staff work, he said.
Other teams from around the country would continue to move into the HQ to maintain it at capacity, he said.
Newbury MP Richard Benyon said: “This is a huge blow to the 170 people who have lost their jobs, and it has a wider impact in terms of families and the spending power they have in the wider community.”
He said everyone must work together to help people made redundant back into work.
Meanwhile, small companies were also suffering in Newbury, and profitable firms were unable to get the credit which could prevent them shedding staff, or going into liquidation, he said.
Good old Glitto comes to the rescue in the advert above from March 1943