"The Ashridge Interchange Movement ('AIM') is a non-party
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History - The Reading Road and Winnersh
Berkshire County Council Minutes:
Wokingham Times Articles, 1968-9, by subject:
Wokingham Times Articles, 1971-5, by subject:
By the 1960s, Winnersh was growing beyond the ribbon development along the Reading Road. The 'Wokingham Times of October 31st 1968 showed that the local railway station had become more than a halt and was now a commuter stop:
‘Winnersh Railway Station to stay open’:
Winnersh Railway Station, which now closes at 8:15 p.m. every day, will remain open in the evenings for a trial period from Monday November 4th, and all electric trains will call at Winnersh. […]
By 1969, the Reading Road had become known as ‘Murder Mile’ with fast through traffic in Winnersh and not one set of traffic lights to moderate the speed, resulting in many fatal accidents. Here are some news articles on the Reading Road from that year:
‘We came to Winnersh to live, not to die on its roads’:
[3,400-name petition handed to MP for a light-controlled crossing.] ‘We cannot tolerate a situation which has cost 47 lives’.
‘Campaigners Carrying On’:
[Photo of unofficial ‘Slow Black Spot’ road sign in Reading Road, Winnersh. The protesters said that the road lacked street lights and traffic lights – but were promised that the traffic lights would be provided soon.]
‘Preview of things to come at Winnersh’:
Photo caption: If the traffic lights at Winnersh crossroads when they are installed have the same effect as the temporary lights put up last week, the result will be long queues for motorists travelling along the road between Reading and Wokingham. This picture was taken at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday morning when temporary traffic lights were erected to allow workmen onto the road.
‘End of honeymoon at Emmbrook School’:
[520 pupils soon, in a building designed to take 320.]
"Then it was the ‘dreadful mile’ ":
Photos of Reading Road [around 1924] and Wokingham Carnival , by Mr. Alexander of Bristol, who lived in the area as a child. He was later an A. A. Patrolman for 17 years. The carnival featured the old Wokingham fire engine drawn by horses loaned by the Army Remount Depot, and the man holding the bridle of one of the horses is Mr. Windsor, a well-known Arborfield man.
‘Murder Mile was "running with blood" ’:
Photos and article: They were calling "time" at the Pheasant last Wednesday when it happened. A little further away, at Hunter’s Lodge, Mr. and Mrs. David Turnbull-Simpson were having a late cup of tea. The horrifying sounds of a car tearing into the back of a stationary lorry brought them all out on to the Reading Road. And, as someone on the spot said, the murder mile stretch of Winnersh again "ran with blood".
Nobody yet knows who was driving the Rover car in which 60-year-old Mr. Reginald Rolf, of Shyshock Lane, Baughurst, died. With him – travelling east towards Wokingham – were his wife, Mrs. Gertrude Rolf, aged 63, and their friends – Mr. John Gunter, of Venning Road, Arborfield, and Mr. Eric Channell, of Sandhurst Lodge, Crowthorne. All three are badly injured. […] It was the second fatal accident on the road this year; the twelfth since 1958, and the fourth serious accident since January.
‘Untidy planning in Winnersh’:
"Married quarters at Aldershot barracks are mansions compared with the new estate in King Street Lane, Winnersh", said chairman of Winnersh Parish Council Major R. C. Fowler, at Tuesday’s meeting. He was replying to Mr. J. N. Sparrow, the council’s Wokingham RDC representative, who asked the council for their views on development in Winnersh.
Mr. Sparrow, headmaster of Bearwood Primary School, said: "I loathe concrete and I would like to keep England as England, but I represent people and I would like to know how you feel".
Major Fowler said the parish council had to look 10 or 15 years ahead to stop Winnersh from over-developing. "We want it to develop but on an agreed plan. Untidy planning of Winnersh is greatly against my wishes and thoughts. It is time we asked the planning authorities if it is possible to have a plan of future development of Winnersh so it would be carried out in a methodical and businesslike manner".
The council used the King Street Lane estate as evidence of untidy planning, and Mr. Sparrow commented that he blushed to think that he agreed to its building. The council voted unanimously to ask Berkshire County Council and Wokingham RDC for a plan of development in Winnersh. "We disagree with any development until we get this plan", said the chairman.
Chairman of Winnersh Parish Council, Major R. C. Fowler, said at the council meeting on Tuesday: "The lights along the Reading Road are on, in spite of our fears that we thought they would not be lit before the dark evenings. After all the trouble over the last 15 years at last we have got the lights".
The council expressed disappointment that there was no ceremony to declare them in use.
‘Thought she had another visitor – through the window!’:
When Mrs. B. Down heard a crash outside her grocery shop in Reading Road, Winnersh, last Thursday evening, she thought she had a repetition of what had happened a few weeks earlier – a car through the front window.
Two cars were involved in a head-on collision outside the shop – a Spitfire driven by Mr. Robert Elliot, of 53 Melrose Gardens, Arborfield, and another car driven by Mr. Lewis Coleman, of 9 Finch Road, Earley. The drivers, and Mrs. Elliot, a passenger in the Spitfire, were taken to Battle Hospital, but released after treatment.
Said Mrs. Down: "It seems queer that two accidents have happened here since the road works have started". She explained that a manhole was being dug opposite the shop. Red warning lights were around it and an arrow indicated the path to take to avoid it – but Mrs. Down claims that the lights were not lit and the street light immediately above was off.
Debris from the crash was scattered all over the forecourt of the shop. "One of the car seats was right up next to the shop window", said Mrs. Down. The crash in September caused about £1,400 worth of damage to the shop. "They might as well draw a line of arrows telling drivers to go into the shop", she said angrily.
The future of a seven-acre site between Mayfields and the line of the M4 at Winnersh, will be determined at a local inquiry in Wokingham on January 29. The inquiry will be into the appeal by the Society of the Divine Saviour against the refusal of Wokingham Rural District Council in refusing planning permission for residential development.
In the grounds for refusal the district council claims the proposal represents an extension of residential development into a "white" area of the Woodley/Earley Town Map, contrary to the provisions of that map. "The development will intrude further into the open land surrounding the settlement of Winnersh, will take up open land and adversely affect the rural amenities of this area", the council contends. "A precedent will be created for the submission of applications of like nature".
Thanks are due to Surrey and Berkshire Media, owners of the 'Wokingham Times', for permission to reproduce these articles. Note that microfilm copies of these newspapers can be viewed at both Wokingham and Bracknell Libraries.
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