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A different view of Northbrook Street and how Newbury Racecourse's new stand split opinion

Old Memories Revived: A look back at the NWN archives

Sarah Bosley


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A different view of Northbrook Street and how Newbury Racecourse's new stand split opinion

Here's a picture of Northbrook Street in the 1920s, looking towards the Clock House.
On the left is the former JJ Davies China Shop, which closed in 1982. It was demolished in the 1990s and is now a McDonald’s.

150 years ago - March 18, 1869

PETTY SESSIONS, March 5th. – (Present – F.L. Coxe, Esq., and G.C. Cherry, Esq.) – Robert Seaton of Upper Lamborne, jockey, was summoned by Mr J. Saxon, for absenting himself from his master’s service on the 22nd January last, without permission. Defendant was committed to 14 days hard labour in default of paying 10s.
compensation and 10s. costs.
Ruth Vockins, of Lamborne Woodlands, was sentenced to 7 days’ hard labour for damaging underwood at Saunders’ Copse, the property of H. Hippisley, Esq., on the 11th of February last. –
William Small and John Perry, of Upper Lamborne, labourers, were charged with maliciously cutting and damaging shrubs and bushes near Maddle-farm, the property of the Earl of Craven. Ordered to pay 10s. each fine and cost, or in default 7 days’ imprisonment with hard labour.

125 years ago - March 15, 1894

On Easter Sunday the latest edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern will be brought into use at the Parish Church. In the absence of anything more stirring the forthcoming cricket season continues to be a leading topic of conversation in the village.
The opening match, fixed for April 28th, is looked forward to with keen interest, more
especially as the match is between the Club and an eleven to be brought into the field by Mr. Albert Bailey.
Club members should lose no opportunity for practice, as rumour says Mr. Bailey knows where to find a few good
cricketers. In this, as in everything else brought forward for the public good, there are to be found persons impossible to please.
Some Thatcham cricketers think the new ground will prove too rough, others that the meadow is too circumscribed, and suggest that it should be measured by a competent man, and a
comparison made with other grounds in the neighbourhood.
Perhaps cricketing readers would communicate the acreage of some of the grounds in the neighbourhood.

100 years ago - March 13, 1919

Mr William Alma Ranshaw, headmaster of the Church of England Boys’ School, has
intimated to the managers his intention to retire at the end of April, his health having been far from satisfactory for some time past.
Mr Ranshaw has a record of forty-one years service as headmaster, being appointed to the post in January, 1878, in succession to Mr Henry Pratt, who had then been in charge for 20 years.
Two headmasters in sixty years is a very good record.

75 years ago - March 16, 1944

The headquarters of the R.S.P.C.A. War Animals Fund, report that they have recently received £30 17s. 3d. from a Rabbit Show in Hungerford.

50 years ago - March 20, 1969

Nine-year-old Stephen Price has always hankered after a real fire engine of his own. So when he saw that Reading Fire Station were advertising two of their old fire engines for sale he wasted no time in posting off his offer. His offer? Not a penny less than 10 shillings! Two days later a reply from the firemen dropped through Stephen’s letter box at Longrove, Upper Bucklebury. It said that the Chief Fire Officer appreciated his offer, but it was not quite as much as they wanted! Nevertheless, as a consolation, the firemen arranged for Stephen and his father, Mr. John Price, to visit Newbury Fire Station. So on Sunday Stephen was shown over the fire engines by Newbury’s Station Officer, Mr. Norman Harratt.
Stephen’s father said: “It’s very nice of them to put all this on for the lad.” There was an even bigger treat in store for Stephen. After Mr. Harratt had shown him all the equipment, carried on Newbury’s engines, Stephen was given a large box with a real firemen’s tunic badge hooked on the side. And how his eyes lit up when Mr. Harrett took from the box – a real fireman’s helmet! “We won’t be able to keep him quiet now” said Mr. Price as his son clambered over the engine proudly wearing his new helmet.

25 years ago - March 17, 1994

It appears people’s opinions are divided about Newbury Racecourse’s £10m Berkshire Stand. One architect thinks it is “a florid overblown confection resembling a mutant cricket pavilion”, while others think it is a stand “built to last, and one which has helped make this company profitable”. The less flattering view of the racecourse’s pride and joy is printed this month in The
Architectural Review, a glossy monthly containing articles on what is ugly and what is pleasing in the world of architecture.

The scathing piece, by deputy editor of the magazine, Miss Catherine Slessor, describes the stand as “a clumpy,
Frankensteinian agglomeration of pitched roofs, folksy dormers and faux Victorian conservatories which appears to have suffered a near fatal attack of Supermarket Vernacular.”

Not surprisingly, the chief executive of Newbury Racecourse, Major General David Pank, dismissed the article as “a piece of architectural, intellectual, snobbery” which “deserves a place in Private Eye’s Pseuds Corner”.

10 years ago - March 9, 2009

Construction work for a new nuclear warhead factory at the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s Burghfield site will begin in the next few months following a landmark planning decision. West Berkshire Council’s eastern area planning committee approved project Mensa with a nine to one majority during a special meeting, despite the protests and submissions from campaigners.

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