Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Video clip shows Newbury in the 1950s

Recently uncovered footage taken in the town centre more than half a century ago

Sarah Bosley


01635 886655

It looks very different, but somehow still the same.

Recently uncovered cine footage shows cars streaming up and down Northbrook Street in the 1950s.

The video belongs to Lambourn resident Mick Dowdeswell and his sister Liz Beard and is a little bit of family history, as well as being a great window onto the past for the rest of us.

Mr Dowdeswell's parents owned a cine camera, which needed mending in the 1950s, so they dropped it off at EC Paine's in Bartholomew Street.

Once fixed, a technician in the shop took it into town to make sure everything was in perfect working order again - and this little clip is the result.

Many years later a number of the family's films were put onto DVDs and along with this footage, were clips of family holidays and horse racing; Mr Dowdeswell's father was former champion jockey, Jack Dowdeswell.

The DVD was recently given to Mr Dowdeswell's relative, Jim Bradshaw, who cut the clip and posted it on the Facebook page Memories of Newbury and West Berkshire.

Mr Dowdeswell Snr, who died at the age of 94 in 2011, rode his first winner, Bob, at Newbury Racecourse when he was 15. Following a stint in the army, he resumed his racing career in 1946, becoming champion jockey for the season.

He continued to race until about 1956 and was schooling horses with jockey John Francome past the age of 70. Until his death he was the country's oldest living champion jockey.

Our thanks to Mr Dowdeswell and Mr Bradshaw for permission to share this clip.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000

Article comments

  • From Luddite Lodge

    15/10/2020 - 17:53

    Why was a clip of the 1950s used with 1920s music ?