Wed, 13 Mar 2019
NEWBURY has always been a traditional market town.
The market was first established in the Middle Ages when merchants and craftsmen came to live in the area and sell their goods there.
The market continued to thrive for centuries and, as this pictures shows, it was still popular in 1987.
150 years ago - March 11, 1869
On Monday night a great consternation was caused in the town by people running down the street in “hot haste”, crying “Fire! Fire!!” which brought every one to their doors, and the sky being lighted up quite brightly the conclusion was that the calamity was close at hand, but when the parties creating the alarm had arrived at the bottom of the street they perceived that the fire was some distance off, and the news which they communicated on their return greatly eased the minds of the inhabitants, who retaining a vivid recollection of the late calamitous fire on Mr Moore’s premises, dreaded lest they should be called upon to experience another such conflagration.
It subsequently transpired that the fire was that of a barn and straw rick at East Garston, belonging to Mr Head Palmer.
As an instance of the brilliancy of the flames, it may be stated that the alarm given aroused several children at Hungerford, and the flames lighting up their bedrooms they were under the impression that the fire was close at hand and rushed out wildly shrieking with terror.
125 years ago - March 8, 1894
A brave act on the part of a child, with a melancholy ending, was performed about midday on Monday in Gashouse-road, Newbury.
A man named George Green was taking a load of manure to a meadow at Greenham-mills, and was turning into Gashouse-road when the accident happened.
Two little girls, the children of George Sturgess, a carman, were by the side of the road, when the younger one darted into the
roadway and was in imminent danger of being run over.
The sister Rhoda Ann, although only eight years of age, with splendid bravery rushed to her sister’s rescue.
She succeeded in pushing the little one out of danger, but the wheel caught her, knocked her down and passed over her chest.
Green, who was leading his horse on the near side, heard someone call out, and on looking round saw the child lying on her back with the mark of the wheel upon her clothes, and the sister on the ground, but happily uninjured.
Green lifted the girl into an upright position and she was taken into Mrs. Legg’s registry office close by. She was not then dead, and a doctor was sent for.
John Adams, who witnessed the accident from the windows of the “Steamer” said the horse was going slowly, and no blame attached to the carter.
The inquest was held in the “New Market Inn” that same evening, before the Borough Coroner, Dr Watson, JP.
The Coroner said that after hearing the evidence the jury would no doubt agree with him that there was only one verdict that be come to, namely that of accidental death.
The girl had paid for her heroism, in saving her younger sister, with her life, no blame being attached to anyone.
100 years ago - March 6, 1919
An interesting echo from the past was heard last Thursday, through the medium of a lecture on Thatcham Ancient and Modern, delivered by Mr T H Brown.
As the chairman remarked, Mr Brown has established himself as an authority on Thatcham and the neighbourhood.
We were taken back to the time of the Saxon Chronicle and of the Domesday Book, incidents, facts, and personalities of various periods from then till now being brought to light, revealing an important place held by the locality in the life of our land.
A legend relating to the way in which the village got its name was amusing: “That the early settlers, wishing to provide
themselves with shelter from cold and storm, managed to erect four walls of mud and stone, but were then faced with the problem of roofing.
“Fortunately, at that moment, there appeared an ‘early aviator of sinister appearance, with forked tail’ who suggested ‘Thatch ‘em’ hence the name.”
Domesday Book records Thatcham as possessing a church, 12 houses and two mills.
75 years ago - March 9, 1944
The Newbury branch of the National Fire Service have been kept busy lately with quite a number of fires.
On Thursday morning two US Army vehicles collided at Benham Hill, with the result that one caught alight. The lorry was severely damaged but most of its contents were saved.
In the early hours of the same morning, the Brigade went to a field on the Wantage-road, where a 30-ton hay rick belonging to Mr RC Dawson had caught on fire.
The firemen had to take the rick to pieces, and they were engaged on the job for over six hours.
At about 7.20 in the evening, the Brigade were called by an employee of Mr GW Simpson’s printing works, Northbrook-street, Newbury, because of smoke coming from the adjoining premises of Messrs Leonard’s.
50 years ago - March 13, 1969
There was nothing unusual about the retirement presentation to Miss Daisy Coxhead in Plenty and Son Ltd’s factory in Hambridge Road, Newbury, on Friday – except that all her workmates who gathered around her were men.
For Miss Coxhead, who was retiring after 28 years service, was the only woman to be employed in the lathe section of the factory.
She started with Plenty’s during the war on a milling machine, then moved to a grinder, drill and then to a capstan lathe.
“During the war, there were five or six women working in the factory, but the rest left after the war to get married. I stayed on, and have been there ever since.”
What did it feel like to be the only woman in a man’s world?
“Oh you get used to their jokes and they often give you a good laugh,” said Miss Coxhead, who lives at 24 Porchester Road, Newbury.
Colleagues collected £20 and bought her an armchair, clock, a set of knives and a bouquet.
25 years ago - March 10, 1994
Leckhampstead Football Club may be thrown out of the league in which it plays after being told to stop using the village hall as a changing room.
The football club, which started 11 years ago, pays £10 to the Leckhampstead village hall management committee to use the hall for two hours on a Sunday.
However, a recent decision by the committee which threatens to split the villages, means the club will be thrown out of the Newbury Sunday League next season unless it can find somewhere else to change.
League rules state a club must at least have access to running water after a game.
Landlord of The Stag, Mr Peter Howard, who sponsors the club, said “There is a lot of bad feeling about this decision in the village.
“If the club goes, we will have lost part of our Sunday heritage. The club and the followers bring a lot of fun into the village.”
10 years ago - March 5, 2009
Reading politicians have accused West Berkshire Council of “disgraceful neglect” over a planning application for a new bomb factory at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) site in Burghfield.
West Berkshire’s eastern area planning committee was due to meet last night to vote on plans for the new Project Mensa facility, which will build the replacement to Britain’s ageing nuclear weapons, while decommissioning old Trident warheads.
District council officers have recommended that the scheme is approved, despite receiving more than 1,000 objection letters.
The site was severely hit by the 2007 floods and many fear that future flooding at the facility, which will handle radioactive material and high explosives, could cause an environmental catastrophe.