Berkshire Bygones: Shiver and shake into a new year

II WAS a chilly start to the New Year in 1987 when temperatures dropped to minus 13 degrees. Leaving many roads being iced up and drivers abandoning their vehicles. Bracknell’s Meteorological Office warned that the worst was yet to come as winter winds would continue to blow in freezing weather from Northern Europe and Russia.

A spokesperson for Berkshire County Council told the News:” The gritting lorries are now spreading salt on the main roads for the second time. We have about 20,000 tonnes of grit and hopefully that should last us through the freeze.” Bracknell’s Royal British Legion Club had a lucky escape 32 years ago, when a 32-ton lorry hurtled down a slope before smashing into the building.

The freezing weather had disabled the juggernaut’s handbrake and club steward, George Wood, watched in horror as he saw the truck head towards the club. He told the News:” The lorry came tearing down the slip road, knocked a taxi rank sign over and smashed into the wall with a terrible noise.” North Ascot youth club moved into new headquarters in 1987 in Fernbank Road after the old site was destroyed by fire in April 1984.

A wide range of activities were on offer, such as pool, table tennis and darts, according to organiser Vic Maskell. told the News: “It is the same size as the old Nissen hut, but we are much more luxurious now! It is certainly a much-needed facility, we are catering to a vast number of youngsters.” Two Bracknell taxi drivers were moving dramatically up-market by launching the area’s first service for VIP customers attending their very special occasions.

Michael Wait and Chris Howe had set up a firm hiring out chauffeur driven Rolls-Royce cars for all kinds of occasions, whilst still maintaining their regular services as taxi drivers. Mr. Wait explained to the News:” No-one offers this sort of thing in Bracknell at the moment, so we thought we would be the first.”

After a life-saving heart transplant operation 33 years ago, 13-year-old Andrew Penn returned to school with the all clear to join his friends on the football pitch and in the gymnasium. In an interview with the Bracknell News, Andrew admitted: “I just want to do everything I couldn’t do before, it feels good to run up the stairs with my classmates, they used to have to wait.” Budding young tennis star Sally Eve, from Crowthorne, was battling to battle her way through to the finals of a national tournament after becoming top seed in Berkshire and second in the region.

After a decade of searching, Anne Head, the Crowthorne-based animal trainer, finally found a replacement for her most famous TV star, “Arthur” the Kattomeat cat.

But when she found the look-a-like pussy it was being looked after in Bedfordshire by an animal shelter, suffering from cat flu and eczema.

Luckily, the new Arthur also liked to eat straight from the canned food with his left paw.

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