Wed, 11 Dec 2019
Newbury hit the headlines back in the 1990s as protesters again descended on the town. The Newbury by-pass is a nine-mile stretch of the A34, but its construction from 1995 to 1998 was hugely controversial.
Environmental protesters declared the ‘Third Battle of Newbury’ in a bid to halt the project, leading to tree-top camps, tunnels being built under the proposed route and mass demonstrations.
Despite the protests, construction went ahead and the road opened in November 1998 at a cost of £104m.
150 years ago - December 2, 1869
An accident occurred at Bagnor on Tuesday, to a lad in the employ of Mr. Beckingham, of Boxford, who was in charge of a horse and wagon containing a load of 40 pigs.
The horse, it appears, was blind, and whilst the boy had turned to attend to the pigs, it walked up the bank, overturning the waggon and throwing the boy upon the ground, where he lay in an insensible state until picked up by some persons near who were attracted by the clamour of the seven and thirty frightened pigs, three having come to an untimely end by the catastrophe.
Dr Watson was sent for who dressed the wound, and the boy was subsequently removed to Speen Cottage Hospital, where, we are glad to state, he is satisfactorily recovering.
125 years ago - November 29, 1894
I think it is deserving of notice that so many sons are carrying on the trades which their fathers were engaged in, and in many cases on the same premises.
It is more the case now than it was in the former generation. It speaks well for the town, as well as for the trade.
There are many cases in which the names of father and son are coupled in the same concern. Twenty such cases may be found.
In some of them father and son are in active participation; while in others the name is kept as an honorary title.
The position may perhaps be accounted for on the score of superior education, and better home training than may have been the case in former days.
The continuance of old names in a town is to be preferred to old families dying out.
There is also the fact that there is a good share of what is called reciprocity; in which tradesmen in a town deal as much as possible with each other.
It was so in the “good old days,” the fathers supported each other, and the sons are following on the same lines.
This is as it should be; it helps the inhabitants to maintain their position and is the just reward of individual effort in self support.
100 years ago - December 4, 1919
Hounds from Sydmonton Common moved to Sandleford and found a good fox in Waterlees.
He went away though the garden of Sandleford Cottage to Newtown, past the Church, up Newtown Gully to Heatherwold Farm and over the Winchester road and railway into Penn Wood, along by Hopping Common to Milford.
The pack ran at a good pace to Sidown Hill, at the top of which there was a strong wind blowing. The pace to this point had been good, but hounds could not carry the line on over the thick carpet of leaves.
Hounds worked on round Beacon Hill, over the railway, up to the foot of Ladel Hill, whereabouts this good fox had to be left for another day.
75 years ago - November 30, 1944
It was a fine sight to see the members of the 3rd Berks (Newbury) Battalion Home Guard formed up in Victoria Park for their final parade prior to the “stand down” on Sunday afternoon.
The march past the Commanding Officer at the saluting base was also impressive, but the picture which will remain in the memory for a long time was when the Battalion marched up Northbrook street in column of sixes.
Viewed from the Water Bridge, the street was filled by a mass of khaki figures stretching to the Broadway, moving to the music of the Band of the Royal Marines (Portsmouth Division), who led the procession.
The band, 50 strong, wore khaki greatcoats over navy blue uniforms, a wide red stripe down their trousers, and white helmets.
Newbury and district might well be proud of its Home Guard.
The Battalion’s strength at the time of “standing down” was just over two thousand, about half of whom paraded on Sunday.
Altogether over six thousand men have passed through the Battalion since its formation.
A good number have faithfully served throughout the four-and-a-half years since Mr Anthony Eden made his memorable appeal for recruits for the original Local Defence Volunteers.
50 years ago - December 4, 1969
“Local boy makes good” is a tag that can really be applied to Mr Robert Leslie James Green, of Sheridan House, Penwood, Burghclere.
In six years he has progressed from being a self-employed carpenter and joiner in Newbury to become chairman and managing director of a large building firm in South Africa.
Jim Green is 35 and was born at Skyllings, Newbury. He went on to Shaw House and Park House schools and at 15 got a job as a carpenter and joiner, later becoming a cabinet-maker with Elliotts of Newbury.
His next job was as a foreman for a local firm before he started on his own business as a carpenter and joiner in 1963.
Soon he was employing four men and work poured in until he had 50 working for him on six sites.
A former Newbury Town and Hungerford footballer, he had a car crash in 1965 in which he badly injured his back.
His health started to deteriorate and he was forced to eventually close his business, so he decided to go to South Africa to look at the prospects there.
He went with Mr Peter Baker, of Newbury, and Mr Jack Greener, of Thatcham Engineering.
There he met Mr LH van der Linde, estate agent and business controller, who asked him to look at houses built by South African labour.
Mr Green said he was not happy with the standard of building, and Mr van der Linde asked him to take over complete building control.
Following difficulties in getting good workmen in South Africa, Mr Green advertised in local papers and engaged 53 men – carpenters, joiners, plumbers, electricians, glaziers and bricklayers – many of whom have already left for South Africa.
25 years ago - December 1, 1994
Our thanks to everybody who has helped raise money for NWN’s Over-80s Christmas Parcel Fund this week, and what a week it’s been!
Falkland Cricket Club’s annual sports quiz raised a total of £240.
Those quizaholics Crusty and Supporters came top on the night, and Daily Telegraph sportswriter Rupert Bates was on hand to hand out the prizes.
The fund’s first-ever secondhand book fair, outside Newbury’s Tesco was a great success raising £720.
Also, the KJB Big Band’s swinging sounds got shoppers in the Kennet Centre, Newbury, into the mood, and raised £112.
The West Berkshire Indoor Bowls Club raised £193 with its fundraising bowling competition.
And Newbury Building Society’s general knowledge quiz held at Newbury College, was won by a team from Gardner Leader.
10 years ago - November 26, 2009
West Berkshire councillors were due to make a decision on plans for a 67-bedroom Travelodge hotel in Newbury town centre last night.
The plan, submitted by TA Fisher and Travelodge Hotels, is to demolish the former Texaco filling station, London Road, which has been leased by a hand car-wash company for the past year, and build a five-storey hotel and shopping
Owners TA Fisher applied in 2007 for residential and commercial permission for the site, which is close to the ongoing Parkway development, but that idea has been shelved in favour of the hotel.
However, concerns have been raised over the limited parking, with 12 car spaces, including one disabled space, planned.
The town council objected to the application on the grounds of overdevelopment, a lack of parking and because the development would be overbearing. The district council’s planning officers have recommended approval.
In their report, officers said that, although there would be some impact from the hotel, it would provide a needed hotel and would help to rejuvenate an unattractive corner site.