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Leaky pool given £1.5m refit in 1994

Old Memories Revived: A look back at the NWN archives

Sarah Bosley


01635 886655

Leaky pool given £1.5m refit in 1994

Northcroft Leisure Centre’s indoor swimming pool had a £1.5m refit in 1994. It had previously had a leak which was losing 1,900 gallons of water a day in 1992.

June 10, 1869

A carter boy in the employ of Mr. Beard, was last week knocked down by the team which was startled by the railway whistle. The boy was bruised but no bones were broken, which was due mainly to the great presence of mind shown by the carter.

June 7, 1894

The dedication festival (the 31st) of St. Mark’s Church has just been held. The services on Sunday consisted of Holy Communication at 8am, matins at 10, followed by a choral celebration at 11; at 2.15 a children’s service, when the prizes were distributed to the scholars of the Sunday School; and at 6.30 choral evensong and procession, the sermon being preached by the Rev. J.B. Burn rector of Wasing and Rural Dean.

June 4, 1919

The dates of the Peace Celebrations are now provisionally fixed for August 3rd, 4th and 5th. The Sunday is to be devoted to services of thanksgiving.

The August Bank Holiday will be the fifth anniversary of the declaration of war, an event which rendered the Conservative Fete of 1914 a memorable gathering. By a coincidence, the Conservative Club have arranged a fete for August 4th, and far from interfering with the arrangements already in full progress, the suggestion is made that it may be appropriately fitted into the local programme, which has not yet been considered.

Doubtless, the Conservative Club would be willing to put aside any political propagandism, as they did in 1914, and make the function purely patriotic. Everybody could celebrate to their heart’s content, and at their own expense. It would relieve the municipal authorities of a large responsibility.

June 1, 1944

Lady Baden-Powell, the Chief Guide, attended a rally of about 700 Girl Guides, Rangers and Brownies, on the Wessex Sports Ground, Newbury, in the course of a Whitsuntide tour in Berkshire.

She started the day at Windsor and Wokingham, visited a Divisional Rally at Palmer Park, Reading, in the afternoon, came onto Newbury, and then went to Englefield House where a week-end county camp was being held.

On Friday she was at Maidenhead, and on Sunday, attended rallies at Wantage and Abingdon.

The Guides assembled at Newbury gave her a great welcome, and throwing aside all formality except for the inspection and march past the Chief Guide squatted on the grass amongst them at a “camp fire”, sang songs and joked with them.

Lady Baden-Powell does not make speeches, she just talks, and she chatted about her travels, and told them about her “standards” which had accompanied her on world tours. 

June 12, 1969

Newbury is seen as the possible centre for local government in the district  in a minority report written by a lone dissenting voice in the Commission, Mr. Derek Senior.

In his 275-page report published as part of the three volume Commission report Mr. Senior proposes the setting-up of 35 regional authorities for services requiring overall planning and co-ordination and 148 district authorities responsible for functions involving personal contact with the public.

In addition, the councils would be complemented by common councils at “grass roots” level, representing existing parishes and towns, and by five appointed provincial councils.

His proposals for the local area are that Reading should be the centre of a region with three district councils based on

Reading, High Wycombe and Slough.

But, says Mr. Senior, the Reading district could be later divided with Newbury at the centre of a new district.

His plan shows the Newbury areas within what he calls the London Metropolitan region.

“The only justification for including it in the Reading district is that its population is inadequate to sustain a full range of personal services and Reading is unquestionably the centre to which its residents look, for what they cannot find in Newbury,” he states.

“It is, on the other hand, highly probable that its population will go on rapidly increasing, and the inclusion of an Oxford-Southampton strategic route in the recently published ‘Roads for the Future’, crossing the M4 close to Newbury, has persuaded me that it would not be premature to create a separate district unit for this area.

“It is to be noted that the latest version of the Ministry of Health’s Hospital Plan contemplates the building of a district general hospital here when the population has sufficiently increased.

“It is also to be noted that the Marlborough area, which now looks to Salisbury rather than to distant Reading, or to much closer Swindon, would almost certainly be pulled into the service area of a marginally up-graded Newbury.”

Mr. Senior concluded his passage on the Newbury area “the downs which enclose this valley exert a unifying influence out of all proportion to their height”.

June 9, 1994

The question of a new hospital for Newbury will hang tantalisingly in the balance for the next 10 days. A £5 million gap in funds for the £12.5 million hospital could be plugged by building 65 houses at Wash Water.

However, the development is unpopular around Enborne, and Newbury’s Liberal Democrat MP and district councillor, Mr Rendel, has said environmental damage is an unacceptable price to pay for the hospital.

Many of his party colleagues on Newbury District Council are less certain and may vote to allow the Wash Water development when they meet a week on Monday. The Wash Water land was bequeathed by the late Miss Rosemary Rooke towards hospital services in Newbury.

Proceeds from its sale would go to the West Berkshire Priority Care Trust, to build a modern hospital at Turnpike.

The rest of the funds would come from demolishing Sandleford and Newbury District Hospitals for housing (around £2 million) and a government loan (around £5 million).

The chief executive of the care trust, Mr Gareth Cruddace, told a meeting in the Corn Exchange on Tuesday that the government would never fund the full £12 million.

The trust’s principal paymaster, the Berkshire Health Authority, would not pay for the £900,000 running costs on the loan.

Mr Cruddace said there was no way the hospital could go ahead without the Wash Water development. Without permission for homes, Miss Rooke’s land is worth only around £74,000.

Councillors were due to decide on the Wash Water houses at a development meeting on Tuesday night. Mr Cruddace addressed the meeting, but was reluctant to answer financial questions in public.

As the meeting wore on, councillors became increasingly fractious and agreed to adjourn until June 20. Mr Cruddace will then answer their questions in secret before a decision is made.

June 4, 2009

West Berkshire Council has said it would refuse to support any proposals for a congestion charge in Reading.

Councillor Alan Law (Con, Basildon) said at West Berkshire Council’s executive meeting that the council would not back any current or future plans for congestion charging in or around Reading.

He said: “Two other neighbouring authorities [to Reading] have the position that they have no objection to a congestion charge, as long as it remains within the Reading administrative area. Others such as Bracknell are taking a position similar to ourselves in West Berkshire, that we cannot sign up to anything that involves congestion charging.”

Last year Reading Borough Council was granted an initial £3.5m in Government funding from the Transport Innovation Fund to investigate ways of reducing congestion on the roads and to put the necessary changes in place. The council has now submitted another bid to the fund for £275m to improve its transport infrastructure, but will only get the cash if neighbouring authorities jump on board.

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