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Postcards from Berkshire

Postcards from Berkshire

A collection of postcards from the Royal County of Berkshire

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1
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Newbury Bridge, 1878
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Newbury Bridge, 1878
This bridge carries the road (Northbrook Street, south end) over the river Kennet. Little has changed to this day with the area making a peaceful retreat to enjoy a stroll.  
 
2
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street, 1890
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street, 1890
A view of Northbrook Street. Taken in 1890 and looking north towards The Broadway and the Clock Tower. 
 
3
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street, c.1890s
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street, c.1890s
Northbrook Street in the 1890s. Looking south towards Newbury Bridge and the Market Place beyond. 
 
4
Newbury, Berkshire, England: The Greyhound Inn, London Road c.1900
Newbury, Berkshire, England: The Greyhound Inn, London Road c.1900
This remarkable photograph is of the area known today as the Robin Hood Roundabout. It is completely unrecognisable from the quiet scene we see here. The Greyhound Inn (on the left), was situated on the corner of Shaw Crescent and London Road. Next door was a shop and then the Robin Hood beerhouse.

In the distance (along London Road past the horse) is the old silk factory at Woodspeen East, opposite the present day entrance to Faraday Road and the industrial estate.

The whole area was demolished in 1966/7 to make way for the huge Robin Hood roundabout which has taken many forms from it's orginal design to what we see today! The old Robin Hood beerhouse - which was demolished, took over Myrtle House, which was a private residence located slightly to the east of the original beerhouse. 
 
5
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Wells Bakery, Oxford Street, Speenhamland c1900
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Wells Bakery, Oxford Street, Speenhamland c1900
Travelling up from the Clock Tower to the top of Oxford Street we are now in Speenhamland Village. Here, the road splits. To the left is the main road west through Speen Village and on to Hungerford, Bath and Bristol. To the right is the main road to Wantage, Oxford and the north.

In the centre of this rare colour photograph, is Wells Bakery which was originally the Toll House at which travellers paid their road tolls. The building remained empty for a number of years after the bakery closed around 1950, before being demolished. Many children thought it was haunted!

To the left of the bakery, the large house is called "The Chestnuts". It is still there today, although it has since been refurbished and converted to offices. 
 
6
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Oxford Street, c1900
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Oxford Street, c1900
This view of Oxford Street is taken from near the Clock Tower. The white building just visible at the top (beyond the horse and carriage), is the Toll House at the junction of the Bath Road and the Oxford Road. 
 
7
Newbury, Berkshire, England: The Broadway and London Road, c1905
Newbury, Berkshire, England: The Broadway and London Road, c1905
At the northern end of Northbrook Street is a 3 way road junction known as The Broadway. In this view, we are looking down London Road.

The cast iron Clock Tower was built in the Broadway to celebrate Queen Victoria 
 
8
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street, 1910
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street, 1910
Another view of Northbrook Street. This time taken in 1910 and looking north towards the Broadway and the Clock Tower on, what appears to be, quite a quiet day. 
 
9
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Shaw Village, c1911
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Shaw Village, c1911
Nowadays firmly part of Newbury, at the time this photograph was taken, Shaw was very much a village in it's own right.

With the post office on the right, we are looking north towards the bridge over the River Lambourn (which joins the river Kennet near Ham Mill on the London Road). The cottages adjoining the shop were demolished in 1971 but the white Shaw Bridge House remains unchanged.

The original bridge was rebuilt between the wars and the mill and miller's house have been developed into flats. 
 
10
Newbury, Berkshire, England: The National School, c1915
Newbury, Berkshire, England: The National School, c1915
Also known as The Council School, it might also have been called the National School, which was opened in 1909 and stood parallel to the railway where St Nicolas primary school has a ball court now.

The school caught the third bomb dropped in the pattern over Newbury which destroyed the church and the almshouses in February 1943. Fortunately the school was almost empty as lessons had finished so casualties were light.

Three children and two adults were killed in the bombing. They are all commemorated on a memorial in Shaw Cemetery along with the three persons from 46 and 48 Newtown Road and the seven pensioners from the almshouses.

The school was later demolished. 
 
11
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street c.1915
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street c.1915
This view of Northbrook Street, circa 1915, is taken looking north toward the Broadway and the Clock Tower. Once again, on the right the imposing Jack Hotel can clearly be seen with a taxi parked outside. 
 
12
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street c.1915
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street c.1915
This photograph of Northbrook Street was taken looking south towards the bridge and the Market Place beyond. Right opposite the entrance to the Jack Hotel, a steam-roller is undertaking repairs and maintenance to the street, a scene rarely seen nowadays! 
 
13
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Cheap Street c.1916
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Cheap Street c.1916
This busy scene is looking south along Cheap Street with people and different modes of transport all adding to the life of the photograph.
Many of the buildings on the left are still recognisable today but all of the buildings on the right were demolished in the 1970s to make way for the first phase of the Kennet Shopping Centre 
 
14
Newbury, Berkshire, England: The Jack Hotel, Northbrook Street.
Newbury, Berkshire, England: The Jack Hotel, Northbrook Street.
The following is an extract from the hotel's brochure and is probably dated around 1915.

"THE JACK HOTEL, established in the year 1500, derives its name from the immortal clothier, "..the most considerable clothier England ever beheld - John Winchcombe", otherwise Smallwoode, who flourished in Newbury at that time. He is known to fame as having shorn a sheep, woven its wool into cloth and made it into a coat all within the space of twelve hours.

Precisely why the hotel was named after him is not known, probably in accordance with the ancient custom of naming such houses after notable persons, perhaps with a lively anticipation of favours to come. As the picture shows, there is little about the hotel of today to indicate its ancient origin, and for first-class comfort it can hold it's own with the most recently built establishments. Electric light and similar refinements are indications of its up-to-dateness in every department, while the service and cuisine are all that could be desired. The fact that it is listed by the Royal Automobile Club amongst their appointed hotels, and appointed by the Automobile Association, denotes that a feature is made of catering for motorists, and there is accommodation for cars on the premises. It is situated in the main street of the town - Northbrook Street."

The cost of a double room in those days? Just 10/6d. (a little over 50 pence in today's money).  
 
15
Newbury, Berkshire, England: St Bartholomew's School
Newbury, Berkshire, England: St Bartholomew's School
Originally, Newbury Grammar School and now 'St Barts', the origin and date of this photograph is unknown.

St. Bartholomew's School was founded in 1466 and is proud of its ancient tradition. It is now an 11-18 Comprehensive School of 1,650 students with a Sixth Form of 400 serving Newbury, a wide area of West Berkshire and the Hampshire/Wiltshire borders.

From September 2002, the school was designated a Business and Enterprise College, by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.  
 
16
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Bartholomew Street, c1950
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Bartholomew Street, c1950
Looking north along St Bartholomew Street, we can see parked on the left, an electric van belonging to Newbury Model Bakeries of 22, Bart Street. The clock tower in the background belongs to the town hall.

Almost everything on the right was demolished to make way for the Kennet Shopping Centre in the 1970's 
 
17
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street, 1960
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Northbrook Street, 1960
This huge load being transported along Northbrook Street in 1960 must have been quite an attraction to the local shoppers! Newbury's largest store, Camp Hopson can be seen alongside Timothy Whites and Boots the Chemists 
 
18
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Market Street, c.1970
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Market Street, c.1970
This photograph of Market Street was taken looking west towards Bartholomew Street from the Cheap Street end. On the left, is Highfield Avenue, beyond which (next to the Vauxhall car), the hoardings surround the building site for the original multi-story car park on, what used to be, the old cattle market. On the right hand side of the road are the Windsor & Neate Auction rooms. The row of cottages are boarded up and ready for demolition for, what was to become, the original Market Street Newbury Bus Station (now, the current multi-story car park and part of the Kennet Shopping Centre). The small sign attached to the auction rooms points to, "Friends Meeting Rooms", which was behind the old cattle market. 
 
19
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Market Street, c1970
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Market Street, c1970
This photograph of Market Street, is taken looking east towards Cheap Street from the Bartholomew Street end. The entrance on the left, was the entrance to Nias of Newbury. After a period of being part of the old Newbury bus station, it now sits under the current multi-story car park. 
 
20
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Market Street, c.1980
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Market Street, c.1980
This photograph was probably taken from the top deck of the multi-story car park and is a view of the bus station looking west towards Bartholomew Street. 
 
21
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Newbury Bus Station, Market Street, c.1980
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Newbury Bus Station, Market Street, c.1980
This photograph, probably taken from the multi-story car park, is of the bus station. Shortly after, the multi-story car park was demolished to make way for the bus station which was moved to it's present location on the other side of Market Street. The 'old' bus station was redeveloped as part of the Kennet Shopping Centre complex. 
 
22
Kintbury, Berkshire, England: Kennet and Avon Canal, c.1910
Kintbury, Berkshire, England: Kennet and Avon Canal, c.1910
 
 
23
Thatcham, Berkshire, England: The Broadway, c.1900
Thatcham, Berkshire, England: The Broadway, c.1900
 
 
24
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Wells Bakery, Oxford Street, Speenhamland c.1900
Newbury, Berkshire, England: Wells Bakery, Oxford Street, Speenhamland c.1900
 
 
25
Reading, Berkshire, England: Forbury Gardens, c.1950
Reading, Berkshire, England: Forbury Gardens, c.1950
 
 
26
Reading, Berkshire, England: Friar Street, c.1945
Reading, Berkshire, England: Friar Street, c.1945
 
 
27
Reading, Berkshire, England: Huntley & Palmers Factory, 1910
Reading, Berkshire, England: Huntley & Palmers Factory, 1910
 
 
28
Reading, Berkshire, England: Huntley and Palmers Factory, 1900
Reading, Berkshire, England: Huntley and Palmers Factory, 1900
 
 
29
Reading, Berkshire, England: Reading Bridge (date unknown)
Reading, Berkshire, England: Reading Bridge (date unknown)
 
 
30
Reading, Berkshire, England: Southampton Street, 1880
Reading, Berkshire, England: Southampton Street, 1880
 
 
31
Sonning, Berkshire, England: Sonning Bridge (River Thames) & St Andrew's Church, 1799
Sonning, Berkshire, England: Sonning Bridge (River Thames) & St Andrew's Church, 1799
 
 
32
Wargrave, Berkshire, England: The Church
Wargrave, Berkshire, England: The Church
 
 

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