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Messages - BrianB

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Old Photographs of Newbury / Re: The Forum Cinema - Park Way Newbury
« on: April 07, 2014, 07:32:16 pm »
My research indicated that it opened in 1939. I intended to go to the library to trawl through the 1939 copies of the Newbury Weekly News. It would appear there is a good possibility that it would be the edition covering 6th November 1939. I would imagine that the person who typed up the original story for the book hit the "0" instead of the "9".

Apparently it was built by an outside company (not a local builder). The construction did provide a lot of jobs for local labour. There must be one or two retired Newbury tradesmen who remember the original construction company.

My memory is not as good as it was, but I seem to remember that various plans were put forward in the late nineties for a multiplex cinema on this site. Unfortunately the idea was quashed or should I say not encouraged by the then fledgling West Berkshire Council who I believe own the head lease on the site.

Whatever happened to the kettle for the staff in the shops and offices in Newbury town centre?

Every morning between eight and nine you can see people hurrying to work clutching their precious cups of expensive designer coffees purchased from the multitude of coffee shops that have sprung up in recent years.

A jar of Nescafé, a bag of sugar and a carton of milk (along with the kettle) always used to suffice.

Most horrendous journey to Kingsclere yesterday evening (Friday). Went via Ecchinswell because of the overnight closure and it was just like being in a Formula One race (not that I have ever been in one). Some of the most inconsiderate drivers on the road on that route last night.

4 X 4 drivers who just won't slow down and will quite happily force you off the road.

Most vehicles were doing at least 60mph even on dangerous bends.

Nobody was dipping their lights and most had their fog lights on.

It must be an absolute nightmare for the residents of Ecchinswell.

Old Photographs of Newbury / Re: Clock House Newbury - Date unknown
« on: March 22, 2014, 07:38:25 am »
Is that the La Riviera Restaurant at the left hand side?

Memories of superb meals there in the 70's and 80's.

Also the days when Lloyds Bank had 3 branches in the town. The one shown in the Broadway, the main branch in Bridge Street and another in Bartholomew Street next to the entrance to the Phoenix Brewery.

Got something to say? / Rogue telephone calls from India
« on: March 19, 2014, 02:17:51 pm »
So many rogue telephone calls purporting to come from Microsoft and now they are pretending to be British Telecom saying there is a problem with my Broadband service and they need remote access to fix it.

There are many pensioners being conned by these calls and paying large sums of money for these rogues to sort out non existent problems.

Got something to say? / U turns on mini roundabouts in Newbury Town Centre.
« on: February 20, 2014, 03:32:46 pm »
The number of people attempting to make U turns on mini roundabouts in Newbury is on the increase.

On Monday a woman driver dropped kids off outside the bike shop in Bartholomew Street. She then attempted a U turn on the mini roundabout at the junction with Craven Road. She caused complete chaos because she just launched into a manoeuvre that other drivers were not expecting. There could have been a serious accident if the other drivers had not reacted as quickly as they did. She managed the manoeuvre with a 3 point turn and going onto the kerb.

Personally I would not dream of attempting a U turn at this junction. However, many drivers do.

Checking with a friendly policeman, it is not illegal to do a U turn on a mini roundabout as long as you can accomplish it in one manoeuvre which most vehicles can't at this junction. The technicality comes if you have to reverse i.e. make a three point turn. It is illegal to reverse on a roundabout and you can be booked for it.

Apparently most policemen turn a blind eye because they can't be  bothered with the paperwork.

The Newbury Bus station has occupied many sites in Newbury in my lifetime.

My earliest recollection was in the fifties and sixties  when it occupied the area in front of the granary as shown in the pictures above. The bus companies used offices located in the Granary building itself.

As part of the first phase of the Kennet Shopping centre it moved to the corner of Market Street and Bartholomew Street - Where the Kennet Centre multi-storey car park is today (Will post pictures of this).

When Sainsbury's was extended it moved back to the Wharf but this time it was adjacent to the canal by the Stone Building.

It then moved to its current location after Newbury's original multi-storey car park was demolished

Perhaps someone can remind us of the dates that these events took place.

Got something to say? / Re: Lambourn Valley flooding
« on: February 13, 2014, 01:55:33 pm »
To get to Lambourn from the M4 use the B4000 via Lambourn Woodlands.

How fortuitous that the B4000 was created in the late sixties. It was created as a "haul" road for the construction of the M4 Motorway. In other words it was the route used to haul construction materials. The work was carried out by Berkshire County council and straightened out several nasty bends and made the road much wider from the narrow country lane which it used to be. It also created a bypass for Shefford Woodlands.

Just out of interest the road is wider on it's section between Stockcross and the A338, than it is on its section between the A338 and Baydon. Designed and constructed by two different Highways departments at Berkshire County Council.

As you drive along the B4000 see if you can decide which department  did the better job.

Got something to say? / Re: How did they film this?
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:29:19 am »
Further research on Google answers my question...

Got something to say? / How did they film this?
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:17:15 am »
Watch this little clip on the BBC website!

Bit of expert flying to get under the bridge at the railway station.

Presumably the BBC are using drones.

Sorry! This is not a local topic.

Old Photographs of Newbury / Re: Newbury before the Kennet Shopping Centre
« on: February 09, 2014, 06:51:29 am »
One building that sticks out like a sore thumb in the "then" photo is that huge white building to the left of St Nicholas church.

This is the old Regal cinema. Which was demolished and replaced by the Pearl Tower. The tower part of which was also demolished in the late nineties I believe. The remains of the Pearl building currently house Iceland, a sports shop, Natures Corner and a unit previously occupied by Fabricland.

I remember queuing all Saturday afternoon back in the sixties to see Cliff Richard in Summer Holiday at the Regal. In those days they let you in as soon as somebody left. This meant that you started watching half way through the film and then had to stay in to see the beginning.

Got something to say? / Re: Chaos on police roundabout
« on: February 04, 2014, 09:49:49 am »
The main problem on the police roundabout is caused by traffic trying to get into town. There are now three sets of lights (Market Place, Cheap Street outside Downers, Market Street outside Ghassans) That are causing traffic to build up and queue back onto the police station roundabout, blocking northbound traffic.

Got something to say? / Re: Chaos on police roundabout
« on: February 04, 2014, 09:42:43 am »
On Sunday (2nd Feb), they were replacing road sensors at the junction of the A4 and Hambridge Road. East bound traffic on Hambridge Road was stretching back to the London Apprentice (That must be nearly a mile)

There are major problems developing with potholes, cracked road surfaces and traffic lights.

  • The surface of Bear Lane is cracking up. Soon the whole length between the telephone exchange and Cheap Street will need resurfacing. Thinking about this road we are probably looking at the tarmac that was laid in 1964 when the Ring Road was constructed - 50 years service isn't bad.
  • There is a major pothole outside Jaipur in Bartholomew Street. It has been reported several times and filled once already.

  • There are major potholes marked with paint approaching Hambridge lane roundabout from Thatcham.

  • Traffic lights are causing problems due to incorrect phasing. The Market Place lights seem to have a mind of their own. There also must be 20 to 30 lamps out on the traffic light pillars around town.

  • West Berks fail miserably to ensure that the utility companies are properly reinstating their excavations. (This is the cause of the problem outside the Jaipur (see above)

Got something to say? / Re: Mortgage Advice
« on: January 13, 2014, 12:23:52 pm »
Ian White

Private and Commercial Financial Services

01488 657 255

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