Wed, 09 Oct 2019
The last Hungerford Steam Fair in 1978 was held on Hungerford Common (pictured above).
A series of seven annual Steam Engine Rallies was held on the common between 1970 and 1978.
About 20,000 people attended each show, perhaps the largest crowd ever on the common.
150 years ago - October 7, 1869
James West, of Tadley, a discharged soldier, was brought up at the Board Room, on the 5th inst, before W Fox, Esq, and Major Digweed, charged with stealing two hens and 12 chickens, the property of George Sumpter, of the ‘Romping Cat,’ Tadley, on the 21st of September.
From the evidence it appeared that prisoner was at the ‘Fighting Cocks,’ Tadley, till 11 o’clock, and was seen by Dorcas Cripps, between 11 and 12, with fowls under his arm.
125 years ago - October 4, 1894
Boys will be boys, and I suppose they will continue to be a source of annoyance to people who have fruit trees.
News comes to me from the
vicinity of Newtown, where boys not only take to stealing in the evening, but have done it in broad day light, and break down the trees and do a considerable deal of damage, and trample down whatever is in their way.
Now this is too bad.
Take warning boys, for I hear that the first that is caught will be marched to Newbury.
It is a great pity that parents (when they know) do not thrash them as they deserve.
This would be the best means of putting a stop to petty thieving.
100 years ago - October 2, 1919
Newbury Agricultural Show was revived last week with encouraging success.
This organisation has for six years been in a state of suspended animation.
War checked its progress career at the age of five, just when it was becoming firmly established and doing very useful work.
Fortunately, the energy and enthusiasm of the promoters were only lying dormant, and required but favourable conditions to restore them to activity.
The sixth show suffered little from its long postponement.
It is true that entries were shorter in some classes, but that was none other than to be expected, when the circumstances of the past five years are taken into consideration.
Agriculture has passed through a strenuous period, and farmers have had to pay more regard to food production than successes in the showyard.
Still, the two go very much together, because the better the cultivation and improved quality of stock the greater the benefit to both produce and consumer.
An exhibition which stimulates healthy rivalry in these directions is consequently of great value, and everybody concerned will welcome the success which attended the resumption of the Society’s operation.
Newbury is the centre of a big agricultural district, and such a show ought to be assured of continued success and increasing usefulness.
75 years ago - October 5, 1944
Mrs Mace, matron of the Wheatsheaf Hostel who is leaving the district, gave a farewell party with the landgirls on Saturday at the Old School.
Invitations were given to East Ilsley friends and also personnel of the RAF and the USA Forces, about one hundred being present.
The Rhythm Aces Band was in attendance, and Mr J Connelly was MC.
The room had been prettily decorated with autumn leaves and flowers and Miss Joan Collins had arranged a lively programme.
During an interval, the guests enjoyed refreshments.
Everything had been done to make the evening a success.
Miss Collins thanked Mrs Mace, on behalf of the landgirls, for all that she had done for them.
Mrs Mace responded and called for three cheers for her landgirls.
The Rev A Ogle voiced the thanks of the visitors and at the conclusion of the evening cheers were given to Mr J Connelly.
‘Jock’ has always been willing to assist in local events, and it was genuinely regretted that he has been ‘posted’ after about four years in this district.
50 years ago - October 9, 1969
In future all fishermen caught poaching on Newbury Angling Association waters can expect to have their tackle confiscated by the club and face immediate prosecution.
That was the stern warning given by the club’s secretary, Mr Terry Collins, this week.
“We’ve just about reached the end of our tether,” he said at his home in Valley Road, Newbury.
Mr Collins said that poaching had been going on for years, and the club had not done anything more than give the offenders a telling-off and send them packing.
“But in future we shall confiscate all tackle, turn it over to the police and prosecute,” he said.
“Two months ago one of our members found a whole coachload of London anglers fishing a club match on our waters.
“That was just about the limit.”
Since then the club has made a member an unofficial bailiff and he had been touring the banks at weekends to see that everyone fishing had a permit to show he was a club member.
25 years ago - October 6, 1994
Newbury pub landlady Veronica Alden has been ordered to take down her bountiful hanging baskets because they could be a danger to passers-by.
Berkshire County Council, which two years ago gave Mrs Alden an award for her contribution to improving the environment, has now ordered her to remove the colourful blooms within a month.
However, Mrs Alden, who each year spends around £2,000 to display spectacular hanging baskets outside three pubs in West Berkshire, has already removed them from The Dolphin in Bartholomew Street, Newbury.
When she returned from a recent holiday, she found a letter from the council addressed to the “owner/occupier” of The Dolphin.
Headed ‘Vegetation Overhanging The Highway’, it said “It has come to my attention that vegetation at your address is overhanging the highway and causing obstruction or dangers to its users.”
10 years ago - October 1, 2009
A High Court judge has dashed the last hopes of a residents’ group fighting the district’s new waste hub in Padworth.
The Padworth Against Waste Site (PAWS) group has fought for six years against West Berkshire Council’s plans to build a huge new recycling and waste plant in the small village, claiming it will blight their lives.
Now, to add insult to injury, it must stump up £10,000 in legal costs over its lost battle.
Construction of the facility has already started at the former Padworth railway sidings and, when finished, the plant is expected to produce thousands of extra vehicle journeys on nearby roads as bin lorries dump rubbish there and local people use the tip and recycling facilities.
The plant will include a bin lorry base, a public tip, a giant indoor compost heap, a waste transfer station and a recycling centre.
In a last-ditch attempt to halt the project, residents clubbed together to fight the council in the High Court on a planning technicality, but the judge decided that the council did not have a case to answer.
PAWS served Judicial Review papers upon West Berkshire Council but its waste contractor Veolia, which will run the site, also sent a legal team to the hearing and tried to claim more than £20,000 in costs, which the judge dismissed.
The council also made an application against PAWS residents for £20,000, but the judge reduced the amount to £10,000.
According to Mr Newman, the judge was sympathetic to the residents’ plight and gave the group a fair hearing, but told them that their arguments, while valid, were not strong enough to allow a full judicial review to take place.