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50 years ago - Anger as rent rates look set to rise by more than 100%

Old Memories Revived: A look back at the NWN archives

Sarah Bosley


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50 years ago - Anger as rent rates look set to rise by more than 100%

Newbury in 2003

This aerial shot of Newbury was taken 16 years ago in 2003. The main change is on the left centre of the picture where a car park stands next to Victoria Park. That space is now filled by the shops and flats comprising Parkway.

150 years ago - March 25, 1869

As a boy named Hyde, employed at the Colthrop Paper Mills, was about leaving his work on Tuesday, he tripped up and fell against the cutting machine.
Both his hands unfortunately came into contact with the knives and his fingers were seriously injured.
He was conveyed to Royal Berkshire Hospital at Reading, where his case received prompt attention, and he is progressing favourably.

125 years ago - March 22, 1894

Mr John Portar had the distinction of paying the highest price for a horse at the Duke of Beaufort’s sale on Wednesday, this being 2,800 guineas for Son of a Gun.

It is satisfactory to learn that Mr Prior is recovering after a long and severe illness, and is now able to sit up.
It is also satisfactory to learn that Lord Bolton has liberally made an abatement of 25 per cent, on the half-year’s rent to his tenants in this neighbourhood.

100 years ago - March 20, 1919

Disacharged and demobilised sailors and soldiers cannot complain of the lack of people willing to look after their welfare.
The Pensions Committee are ready at all times to help them to secure their rights.
There is also the National Federation, the Comrades of the Great War, and the Association.
The Federation and the Comrades are actively in operation in Newbury, and although they both assert there is no rivalry – there certainly is no co-operation.
It appears to the onlooker to be a pity that these two bodies should be working on independent lines.
Far better if there could be a combination of forces – unity is strength and greater good could be done by presenting a solid front.
The need may arise, in spite of the general desire to do everything to help the men who have served and suffered for their country.
There should be no question of politics, or creed, or social standing.
Cannot somebody bring the leaders together in friendly conference and bring about a fusion? Newbury might set a good
example in this direction. 

75 years ago - March 23, 1944

News has been received of three Guardsmen brothers meeting in Italy, Bert, Percy and Don Coburn. They are all well-known
footballers in Newbury.
All are well and look forward to the Newbury Weekly News, which they receive from time to time.

News has been received by Mr and Mrs A Fuller of 42 St George’s-avenue, that their son Pte Reginald Fuller is suffering from shell-shock. He is serving with the Royal Berkshire Regiment in Italy.

50 years ago - March 27, 1969

A proposed increase in the rents of houses belonging to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority brought sharp reaction from Newbury and South Berks Constituency Labour Party.
Members attending the constituency party annual meeting on Saturday passed a resolution calling on the Prime Minister, the Minister of Technology and the Minister of Housing and Local Government to intervene.
The proposal will effect 1,200 houses – 150 of them in Newbury and about 400 in Tadley – and will increase rents by 100 and 200 per cent.
Strong criticism of the proposal came from Mr Tim Sims, prospective parliamentary Labour candidate for Newbury.
“One of the extraordinary anomalies in this monstrous proposal, is that while UKAEA employees’ pay is in the hands of the Treasury, their homes are in the hands of the Authority, who as such are endeavouring to become as private landlords,” said Mr Sims.
“This whole affair is most perturbing,” he continued. “As well as causing considerable worry to existing tenants, it raises many moral and practical issues.
“While much is being done by the residents’ association and local councillors, I am doing all I can to express my views to those concerned.”
The proposed increase will affect all tenants in the UKAEA houses occupied by employees at Harwell and Aldermaston, but under the present ruling, it will take a year before any substantial increase in the rents can be made – and that is after a “fair rent” has been fixed under the 1965 Rent Act.
A spokesman for the London office of the UKAEA explained “At the moment tenants have been informed of a District Valuer’s assessment of a suitable rent increase.
“It is up to the rent office to fix a final figure, taking in the character and locality of each house.
“After that, we cannot raise the rent by more than 10s a week for a year under the present Prices and Incomes Board riling.
“So the earliest possible date any tenant will have to pay a full increase will be September next year.”

25 years ago - March 24, 1994

Former West Berkshire Vauxhall dealer Newbury Instant Motors has been sold to Abingdon based Motorworld for more than £400,000.
However, despite the sale to Motorworld, a large group with several dealerships in Oxfordshire, including Vauxhall, the proceeds may not be sufficient to settle all the Newbury company’s debts.
Motorworld is owned by the Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Co-operative Society.
Newbury Instant Motors lost the Vauxhall franchise last December and the car sales site remains closed and padlocked.
The firm closed down, and later re-opened a repair workshop at the garage in Faraday Road, Newbury.
Senior partner, Brian Barnes, has refused to comment on the firm’s demise, but his solicitor, John Sommerville, of Pitman and Bazett in London Road, Newbury, admitted that a buyer had been found.
“An increased offer has been received from the Motorworld and the partners are going to accept the offer,” he said.
The offer was substantially in excess of £400,000” but he would not say how much.
He was unable to confirm that the sale proceeds would be enough to pay Newbury Instant Motors’ creditors, one of who secured a judgement against the firm at Newbury County Court on Monday morning.
Mr Somerville refused to comment on the court case, heard in chambers by His Honour District Judge Caitlin.
Court officials were unable to give details of the case, and the plaintiff, a Mr Higgs, refused to discuss it.
Mr Somerville said “We will be writing to all the partnership’s creditors.”
Motorworld general manager, Mr Peter James, confirmed his company would be taking over.
“We will be coming to Newbury as soon as everything is sorted out,” he said. “Our aim will be to keep Vauxhall customers satisfied.”

10 years ago - March 19, 2009

Lights along West Berkshire’s section of the M4 could be next in line to be switched off as part of an energy-saving plan.
The Highways Agency announced last Thursday that motorway lighting at two sites in the South West will be switched off between midnight and 5am to reduce carbon emissions and light pollution.
It has not ruled out the possibility that similar plans could soon be extended to a section in West Berkshire.
Highways Agency spokesman James Wright said that the agency was looking to select sections of roads that have low overnight traffic flow and good safety records.
“We are only looking at motor-ways at the moment and on selected sections of the roads between junctions,” he said.
“We are consulting with every-one who has an interest in this, including the police, emergency services and breakdown companies.
“Timing devices at the roadside would control the lights, but the Highways Agency’s regional control centre for the South West could override the mechanism if necessary.”
In February, West Berkshire Council started switching off street lamps on a trial basis between midnight and 5.30am on the A4 in Beenham.
This is being monitored by the council’s highways department to see if it could be introduced elsewhere in the district.

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