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Newbury - 10th Anniversary of the fire that destroyed Uncle Henry's pub.


Today, 14th October 2016 is the 10th anniversary of the fire that destroyed Uncle Henry's pub in Marsh Lane. The fire started late on the Saturday night (after the pub had closed) and took firemen several hours to extinguish. A young barmaid was trapped on the upper floor and climbed out of the window clinging to the pub sign (top picture). She was rescued by the firemen (bottom picture) and was brought down the ladder to safety. A very dramatic scene at the time and I am sure will be long remembered.



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News Stories / Newbury - Racecourse Fireworks Display cancelled for 2016
« on: August 17, 2016, 09:35:43 am »
The annual firework display organised by the Newbury Lions and held at Newbury Racecourse has been cancelled for 2016.

The following statement has been reproduced from their website:

Quote
The Lions Club of Newbury will not be holding its popular fireworks event at Newbury Racecourse this year. The event has been held at the racecourse for over 30 years and has been enjoyed by local people and those travelling from further afield. Many thousands of pounds have been raised by Newbury Lions Club at this charity event for the benefit of local people in need.

A spokesperson for the Lions Club said "We very much regret having to take this decision, but we have been unable to agree suitable terms with Newbury Racecourse. Over the years we have had magnificent support from the racecourse and we couldn’t have raised so much money, for aiding some of the most vulnerable people in the Newbury area, without their help. Increased restrictions for health & safety and other concerns are understandable given the property development happening at the racecourse. As a registered charity, we have a duty of care and the Trustees feel unable to use money, given to Newbury Lions to help local people, to pay upfront costs when the success of the event depends so much on the weather. We have been working closely with the racecourse to try to find a workable solution but, regretfully, we have decided not to hold the event this year. We are, however, looking to hold a fireworks event in 2017."

Recognised as the biggest and best Fireworks display in the Newbury area, the event is run entirely by volunteers. Sponsorship from local firms has dwindled in the current economic climate and now covers only a small percentage of the costs of staging the event. Newbury Lions Club hopes to be able to secure a venue and sufficient sponsorship for a re-launch of this popular event in 2017

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News Stories / Newbury - Town Council Update - Meeting the Challenges!
« on: March 05, 2016, 07:43:15 am »
Newbury - Town Council Update - Meeting the Challenges!

“Newbury Town Council is working actively with partners in Newbury to find ways to provide important local services which have been affected by the cuts at District Council level”, according to Councillor David Goff, Leader of the Town Council.

“When West Berkshire District Council consulted on its proposals last November, we did likewise and we asked the people of Newbury for their views on whether or not the Town Council should support services such as CCTV, Public Toilets and the Visitor Information Centre. The responses we received showed us that there was support for the Town Council to meet these challenges and we have provided funding for all of them in our budget for 2016-17.”

Thames Valley Police will provide £36,000 towards maintaining CCTV coverage and the Town Council has earmarked £12,000 towards this project. Newbury BID (Business Improvement District) and West Berkshire Business Watch are also working with us on this and we are very pleased that we will all be able to provide CCTV services in Newbury.

We looked seriously at options to retain the Visitor Information Centre but we could not afford to take it over because of the costs associated with TUPE ( Transfer of Undertakings – Protection of Employment Directive) . However, we are working with the BID to support Visit Newbury, a visitor information website for Newbury and with West Berkshire District Council to explore options for visitor information through the Library, the Museum and/ or the Corn Exchange.

The public toilets at The Wharf are also due to close and the Town Council does not have the funding to continue this service. In any event, these toilets close at 6.00 pm each evening and during the day there are other options around the Town, such as the Library and the Museum, as well as shopping centres, some of the larger stores and some other Town Centre businesses which are open to the public.


Of course we regret the cuts in West Berkshire Council’s budgets, which are impacting on social services but we have retained our budget of £17,500 to support the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and a budget of £10,550 to make grants available for good causes, which will be match funded by findmeagrant.co.uk in collaboration with Greenham Common Trust.”

Councillor Goff said that he would like to take this opportunity to point out that the programme of works that the Council has planned for Victoria Park, including the repairs to the Park, the new water play feature for children and the proposals for a new café in the Park are all funded from earmarked and external funds, such as the settlement received from Costains and grants from outside bodies, so these works are not impacting on the Council tax or precept paid by the people of Newbury.

4
Newbury - Draconian cuts to services proposed by West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council are proposing over 10 million pounds in cuts to services in Newbury and West Berkshire.

These are the proposed cuts:

Removal of access officer post – £48,000

Cessation of Arts and Leisure Development Service – £54,000

Increase in car parking charges in Newbury, Thatcham, Theale and Pangbourne

Closure of the cash office in the council offices – £44,000

Funding scrapped for CCTV service (40 in total) – £224,930

Closure of Chestnut Walk Care Home in Hungerford – £94,000

Closure of four children’s centres in south Newbury, south Thatcham (Lower Way), East Downlands and Calcot – £300,000

Reduction in funding to Citizen’s Advice Bureau – £15,000

Funding scrapped for Greener Sub-Partnership – £20,000

Reduction in funding to the Eat 4 Health course – £7,000

Funding scrapped for Empowering West Berkshire – £50,000

Reduction in Family Resource Centre services – £100,000

Scrapping funding for Feel Good Fortnight – £10,000

Reduction in funding for highways maintenance – £522,000

Reduction in home-to-school transport services – £387,100

Removing funding for Housing Related Outreach Support Service – £184,000

Scrapping funding for the Jubilee Centre in Kintbury – £9,000

Reallocation of funding for Learning Independence for Travel – £114,000

Reduction of the mobile library service and the merger of Burghfield Common library and Mortimer library – £90,000

Reduction in funding for the Mental Health Supported Living Scheme – £100,000

Removal of the Oral Health Promotion Service – £24,000

Scrapping of funding for the Pang and Kennet project – £14,000

Reduction in funding for the Primary Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service – £40,000

Reduction in funding for free school holiday activities, free swimming lessons and transport – £16,000

Reallocation of funding for the Pre-School Counselling Service – £83,500

Transfer/closure of the public toilets at The Wharf and Pembroke Road in Newbury – £70,000

Reduction in the rural highways grass cutting service – £10,000

Removal of funding for school crossing patrols – £21,000

Reduction in funding for short breaks for disabled children – £345,000

Reduction in funding for the Smoking Cessation Service – £32,000

Removal of funding for Step by Step Support Lodgings – £100,000

Reduction in funding for Thames Valley Positive Support – £7,000

Reduction in funding for The Edge – £42,900

Reduction in funding for traffic management and road safety – £60,000

Transfer/closure of the Visitor Information Centre in Newbury – £62,000

Reduction in street cleaning – £100,000

Removal of funding for part of the Youth Offending Team’s work – £24,183

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Newbury - Smiths Crescent and Shaw Road before the Robin Hood Roundabout.

© George André Brown

Early 1960's Photograph taken from the top of St Joseph's Church Tower.




DISCLAIMER – All of the materials and data offered on this site are for informational and educational purposes only. All images and other media are assumed to be in the public domain. In the event that there is a problem or error with copyrighted material, the break of the copyright is unintentional and non commercial and the material will be removed immediately upon request.

6
Newbury Town Council - A Public Consultation - Possible increase in the Precept

Newbury Town Council is consulting the people of Newbury to see if they wish to pay for services which West Berkshire Council are proposing to close from next April. The District Council has proposed cuts to a range of services next year as it seeks to find £11 million pounds worth of savings.

There are 3 key concerns directly impacting Newbury which the Town Council is considering:
  • CCTV in Newbury
  • The public toilets at the Wharf and Pembroke Road
  • The Visitor Information Centre in the Town Hall

West Berkshire Council is proposing to discontinue each of these services with effect from April 2016 and the Town Council is considering all options which might save them.

Councillor Dave Goff, Leader of Newbury Town Council, has requested the Council to consult households in Newbury to get their views on how they value these services as the Town Council considers whether or not to take them on.  The consultation sets out the issues involved as well as the cost which would be levied on each household in Newbury, should the Town Council decide to take over these services. For instance, West Berkshire Council estimate that they will save £35,000 per annum by closing the public toilets at the Wharf and should the Town Council decide to take this over it would cost each household in Newbury 5.5 pence per week, or £2.84 per annum. 

Councillor Dave Goff said “We welcome the views of all households in Newbury who pay our annual precept as this will make us better informed when we prepare the Town Council budget for 2016-17 and beyond. These are tough decisions for the Town Council and it is important that we know how the people of Newbury feel about these services”

The consultation is now live on the Council’s website, and full details can be found at http://www.newbury.gov.uk/ntc-wbc-consultation.php. Paper copies are also available to complete at the Town Hall, Market Place.

The consultation will close on Sunday 4 December.

7
NEWBURY TOWN COUNCIL UNVEILS ITS FIRST BLUE PLAQUE FOR A NEWBURY HISTORIC SITE

Newbury Town Council is proud to announce the erection and unveiling of the first of its planned programme of blue plaques to mark sites of interest for Newbury history.  The site is that of Herborough House, the Newbury home of Walter Money, the founder of modern historical studies of Newbury.  The closest building to the demolished house is Hogan Music at Winchcombe House, 123-126 Bartholomew Street, who have kindly agreed to the erection of the plaque outside their premises.
 
The text of the plaque reads: “Near this spot stood Herborough House, the home from circa 1880-1896 of Walter Money FSA (1836-1926) the founder of modern Newbury historical studies.  Author of The First and Second Battles of Newbury and the Siege of Donnington Castle (1881), The History of the ancient Town and Borough of Newbury (1887), A Popular History of Newbury (1905), plus studies of the history of St Nicolas Church and of the local histories of many towns and villages in West Berkshire.  Hon. Sec. of the Newbury District Field Club from 1879 to 1893.”
 
The plaque will be unveiled by the Mayor of Newbury, Cllr Howard Bairstow, at 11am on Monday 23 November 2015. 
 
The colour blue, which is traditional for this type of plaque, was chosen to be the same colour as the blue of the Town Council’s logo.  The Newbury Society contributed £100 towards the cost. 

8
Got something to say? / Re: The old Carlton Cinema
« on: November 03, 2015, 11:13:45 am »
Information on this cinema is rather scarce. However the Newbury Timeline provided by the Newbury Society indicates that it was opened in 1911.

Records on other websites indicate that it burnt down on the Thursday before Easter 1951. (22nd March 1951)

9
Traffic signals at three key junctions in Newbury will be upgraded by West Berkshire Council in the coming weeks.

The new signal controllers will help improve the flow of traffic through Newbury by giving the highways team more flexibility to alter the lights according to local traffic flows. The more flexible and reliable system will mean that:
  • Highways officers will have the flexibility to change how the junction operates according to local traffic needs.
  • All three junctions will be able to communicate with each other to synchronise their lights with each other to become more efficient and get traffic through the junctions quicker
  • Highways officers can take manual control of the lights to help manage traffic flows in the event of collisions, roadworks or big local events.
While the traffic controllers are upgraded the lights will have to be turned off. During the work, entry to the junctions will be controlled by a combination of temporary lights and give way signs.

Replacement of the controllers is a lengthy, technical piece of work which will take several days to complete. The largest junction, the Robin Hood roundabout, will be completed during half-term as traffic is generally quieter than term-time.

The planned works at each junction will take several days and will begin on:
  • Wednesday October 23 - A4 Western Avenue and A339 junction (by the A339 flyover)
  • Monday October 26 - Robin Hood roundabout - junction of the A4, A339, London Road, B4009 Shaw Road
  • Friday November 6 - the A4,Faraday Road and Newport Road junction
Speaking about the planned works, Garth Simpson, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Highways said: "Upgrading each junction is a lengthy, technical piece of work which requires replacing a cabinet on the side of the road, reconnecting several hundred wires and testing the new systems. It will take several days to complete the work and unfortunately it can't be done without turning the lights off.

"We're keen to complete this work before Boundary Road closes again in January so that we're in the best possible position to manage the traffic during the bridge replacement. We've timed the works so that the busiest junction, Robin Hood, is completed over half-term when the roads are quieter than usual. We won't need any lane closures or diversions and will manage the junctions with temporary lights and give way signs.

"We've done all we can to minimise disruption to motorists but we'd ask for patience if journeys do take a few minutes longer. Once we've completed the upgrade we'll have a more reliable, flexible traffic control system which will improve how we can manage traffic in Newbury and hopefully improve journeys in the town."

10
News Stories / Newbury - Progress made with Parkway affordable housing
« on: October 16, 2015, 05:24:55 pm »
Newbury - Progress is being made with the affordable housing at Parkway.

Progress continues to be made with the Parkway affordable housing as Standard Life Investments and West Berkshire Council agree the way forward on a number of outstanding matters.

Last month contracts were exchanged between Standard Life Investments and One Housing Group. Since then work has continued and is now nearing completion which will allow the transfer of the freehold from West Berkshire Council to Standard Life Investments and trigger the agreement for the Council to receive its share of income from the car park.

All the parties involved in the discussions are committed to concluding the matter as soon as possible. The Council has also agreed that given recent progress and agreement on how to move forward it will now sign off the leases of those who have already exchanged contracts to purchase a property at Parkway

Commenting on the agreement Cllr Gordon Lundie, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said: "There have been significant frustrations with the delay in the delivery of the affordable housing in recent months. It is important that we now work with our partners Standard Life Investments to ensure that everyone benefits from the huge success of the Parkway Development."

David Stewart, Fund Manager, Standard Life Investments, said: "We are delighted that the Council has now resumed signing leases for the sale of some of the private homes at Parkway. For these Newbury residents it will be a welcome end to the unnecessarily protracted delay that, as we have consistently said, has been beyond Standard Life Investments' control."

11
News Stories / Newbury Town Council congratulates Her Majesty the Queen
« on: September 08, 2015, 03:27:10 pm »
NEWBURY TOWN COUNCIL CONGRATULATES HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN ON HER BECOMING THE LONGEST SERVING BRITISH MONARCH

The Mayor of Newbury, Cllr Howard Bairstow, indicated his delight at sending greetings to Her Majesty The Queen congratulating her on becoming the longest serving British Monarch.  Cllr Bairstow said, “The Queen provides the continuity and grace to our society, long may she continue to reign”.

The Newbury Town Council Civic Pride, Arts & Leisure Chairman, Cllr Kuldip Singh Kang, concurred by adding, “With so many changes in our society since the start of her reign, Her Majesty provides the continuity we need from her and yet she still manages to keep up with the times”.

The Town Hall will fly the Union Flag on Wednesday 9 September to celebrate, honour and recognise this huge achievement.

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Events / Newbury - The Falkland Memorial - A New Interpretation Panel
« on: September 06, 2015, 10:27:16 am »
Newbury - The Falkland Memorial - A New Interpretation Panel


1ST BATTLE OF NEWBURY COMMEMORATION:
NEW INTERPRETATION PANEL AT FALKLAND MEMORIAL


A major landmark commemorating the 1st Battle of Newbury in 1643 – the Falkland Memorial is to receive a detailed interpretation board on Sunday 20th September 2015. That is the 372nd anniversary of the battle, which was a pivotal engagement of the English Civil War with casualties above 3000.

A moving, unveiling ceremony will be carried out by Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust, which owns the monument. Also at the event will be the present Lord Falkland, whose ancestor Lucias Cary, Viscount Falkland, after whom the memorial is named, was killed in the battle.

The unveiling ceremony will commence at 2pm on Sunday 20th September. It will be followed by a guided walk around the battlefield led by local resident Dave Stubbs. The tour will visit the spot where Lord Falkland fell and will last around two hours, though stopping frequently at points of interest. It will not cover a big distance and all are welcome.

The Sealed Knot, who recreate the uniforms and weaponry of the civil war period, will be mounting an honour guard and showing displays of 17th century military drill.

The Falkland Memorial is one of Berkshire’s most prominent roadside landmarks, but as much of the inscription is in Greek and Latin, the majority of its information and fascinating history is lost to passers by. The monument is held in great affection by the local community. Now, the National Trust, The Battlefield Trust and Newbury Town Council have joined in a concerted effort to give easier access to its story and to broaden our understanding of this key battle of the English Civil War

The Falkland Memorial – A BACKGROUND.

There must be many people who walk, drive or cycle past the Falkland Memorial every day and wonder in passing what it is all about? There are also others who have tried to discover more about what is one of the most dramatic roadside landmarks in southern England, but the lack of readily accessible information deters all but the most determined.

Even Wash Common’s one time community policeman, Dave Stubbs, intrigued by the number of people who approached him for information (well it did make a change from bus times or road directions!) resorted to keeping a copy of the inscriptions and translations in the back of his pocket book to assist curious residents and passers by, including those from far afield, such as a family from Holland who had come to Wash Common looking for ‘the warren’; the nearby starting point of the rabbit’s journey in Richard Adams book ‘Watership Down’.

The idea of a memorial to the several thousand who were killed in the First Battle of Newbury, fought across the high ground of Wash Common to the south of Newbury on 20th September 1643, had laid dormant for over 200 years. However, in 1875, members of Newbury District Field Club, led by Newbury’s pre-eminent historian Walter Money, decided to redress this omission. Their original concept was for a small church or memorial chapel somewhere on the battlefield but this was not supported by the church authorities and the decision was taken to erect a ‘column or obelisk or other suitable record ’ on the spot where Lord Falkland fell.

It is not clear from the Field Club records when or from where the choice to focus on Falkland had come, and indeed the decision has been controversial ever since as there is still strong feeling locally that the original intention had been to commemorate the battle itself and all who had died fighting in support of their cause in the civil war. The war was a consuming struggle which had split the whole country; its families, towns and communities. The probable explanation lies somewhere in the politics of Victorian Berkshire – by then of course a ‘Royal’ county with Victoria on the throne at Windsor. The great and the good who were being invited
to subscribe to a fund to pay for the monument were somewhat wary of supporting a memorial to what was in effect a defeat for the monarchy. Hence the Royalist bias of the monument’s wording.

However, the 1st Battle of Newbury is now recognised as a turning point of the civil war, where the parliamentarian cause achieved credibility and its supporters realised for the first time that their monarch, King 
Charles 1st, could be defeated.

So it was always the intention to place the memorial in a highly prominent position – on land donated by Walter Money and with the obelisk being designed by his brother John. On Monday September 9th 1878 the streets of Newbury witnessed an “imposing and truly representative procession” which accompanied the Earl of Carnarvon to the unveiling – followed by a lunch for some 700 people in the Corn Exchange.

And so the memorial stood – out in the open ground south of Newbury, grazed by the flocks of sheep travelling to Newbury market while their drovers quenched their thirsts in ‘The Gun’ pub nearby – until 1896 – when the Field Club, realising that property ownership and memorial maintenance were not really part of the club’s remit, resolved to hand ownership for the future care and preservation of the memorial to the ‘National Trust Society for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty’.

The town of Newbury expanded out into the surrounding countryside and so the memorial now stands at a busy crossroads in a growing residential suburb. The Battlefield Trust have long nurtured plans to provide interpretation / information boards about the sites of historic battlefields in Britain and following the successful erection of the first Newbury board at Battle Road, the Falkland Memorial was the next obvious site for attention.

The wording of the new board is intended to not only give more immediate information on the memorial but to meet the desire of local people to see a more balanced context of the fighting that took place on our local fields and to remember ALL who fought here in 1643. They were combatants in a battle which became a pivotal part of the journey towards the parliamentary democracy we enjoy today. It was an occasion when Newbury stood at the cross roads of history and we should always remember the part its fields played in such a major event.


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Newbury - 70th Anniversary Commemorations of VJ Day - Saturday 15 August 2015


Whilst the war in Europe ended in early May 1945, it continued in the Far East.  The Japanese finally surrendered on 14 August 1945 following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Soviet declaration of war and invasion of Manchuria. The next day, Wednesday 15 August 1945 was celebrated as VJ (Victory over Japan) Day.

Newbury will be holding a brief service at the War Memorial, Bartholomew Street, to mark 70th Anniversary of VJ Day commencing at 10.45 am including a silence at 11 am.

Mayor of Newbury, Councillor Howard Bairstow, said, “It is hoped that many sections of our community will attend this service at the War Memorial to mark the 70th anniversary of the very end of the Second World War.” 

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Newbury - Classic Car Show raises money for blood cancer charity


On Sunday 9th August the West Berkshire Classic Vehicle Club held their Classic Vehicle Show at Newbury College, in aid of the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Fund. This was the second year the College grounds had been the setting for this day out for enthusiasts and families alike.

With over 850 classic vehicles exhibiting on the College fields, and with over 3,500 visitors, the day was a great success.

Richard Huntley, the event co-ordinator, from the Vehicle Club said: “It’s been another great partnership with Newbury College, and the most successful show ever. We look forward to future years.”

Alistair Napier, Motor Vehicle Lecturer said, “The Newbury College motor vehicle workshop was open during the event and we demonstrated our rolling road and four wheel alignments. It was a pleasure to support a very worthy charity.”

For information about the hundreds of full and part-time courses and apprenticeships on offer at Newbury College, go along to their Open Enrolment Day at the Monks Lane campus on Saturday 5 September, 10am - 1pm. For other College queries visit www.newbury-college.ac.uk or call 01635 845000.

For further information on the Classic Vehicle Club visit www.classicvehicles.org.uk.

DISCLAIMER – All of the materials and data offered on this site are for informational and educational purposes only. All images and other media are assumed to be in the public domain. In the event that there is a problem or error with copyrighted material, the break of the copyright is unintentional and non commercial and the material will be removed immediately upon request.

15
Newbury - Do you remember when Park Way looked like this?


This view has now been replaced by the Parkway shopping centre. There is now a very large underground car park on 2 levels.

Charles Hoile Solicitors have relocated and their offices were demolished.




DISCLAIMER – All of the materials and data offered on this site are for informational and educational purposes only. All images and other media are assumed to be in the public domain. In the event that there is a problem or error with copyrighted material, the break of the copyright is unintentional and non commercial and the material will be removed immediately upon request.

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