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Hungerford Parish Council was formed in 1894, and was replaced by the Town Council in 1974. In 1994 a booklet was written to celebrate 100 years of Local Government in Hungerford. It contains a valuable chronology of significant events in Hungerford. This section of the Virtual Museum is largely derived from that booklet.

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Researching the history of the Council:

One winters evening a small group of people gathered together to start the planning for the Centenary Celebrations of Hungerford Parish and Town Councils. As well as a Tree Planting, Exhibition and Enactment of some of the more notable topics of 100 years of local government the idea of a Centenary booklet was conceived.

Pawing through newspaper archives and various other sources of information is not everybody's cup of tea but thanks must go to Jack Williams for his extensive and enthusiastic research. For those of you who have read Jacks writing you will understand the challenge undertaken by Jean Hutchings who single handed transformed Jack notes into type written sheets. The task of producing the booklet in its finished form fell to Paul Cable.

Thanks are also extended to both Mr Stewart Hofgartner and Mr David Holtby who between them have covered the cost of publication.

It is hoped that those who read this booklet will gain as much enjoyment and knowledge as those who worked so hard to research and compile it.

Photo Gallery:

hsl-13 hungerford council 100 yearsw
hsl-13 hungerford council 100 yearsw

Cover of Hungerford Parish & Town Council, 1894-1994

217-group-council 1979c
217-group-council 1979c

A historic photograph for Hungerford Town Council. Taken in 1979 on the retirement of Charles Williams. Every Mayor since the first in 1974 (apart from Jo Brady, the first Mayor, who died in office) is shown, in addition there are three former Chairmen of the Council who officiated before the creation of the Town Mayors in March 1974.
Left to right: Bill Acworth (Town Councillor), Lord Edmund Fermoy (Mayor 1982/3), John McCubbin (County and Town Councillor), John Hathway (Mayor 1985/6), Hugh Hassall (Mayor 1984/5), Chris Brown (Mayor 1983/4), Mrs Becky Kennedy (Chairman 1970/74), Ernie Whittaker (Mayor 1981/2), Charles Williams (Town Councillor), Vic Lardner (Town Councillor), Jack Williams (Chairman 1965/69, Mayor 1978/81), Bert King (reached his 100 years in September 1987), Rev Charles Gill (Town Councillor), Jean Tubb (Town Councillor), Ron Tarry ( Mayor 1976/78 & 1987/8), Frank Light ( District and Town Councillor), Gerry Watson ( Chairman 1960/1) and Beryl Fowler (Town Clerk).

- Cover of Hungerford Parish & Town Council, 1894-1994.

- A historic photograph for Hungerford Town Council. Taken in 1979 on the retirement of Charles Williams. Every Mayor since the first in 1974 (apart from Jo Brady, the first Mayor, who died in office) is shown, in addition there are three former Chairmen of the Council who officiated before the creation of the Town Mayors in March 1974.
Left to right: Bill Acworth (Town Councillor), Lord Edmund Fermoy (Mayor 1982/3), John McCubbin (County and Town Councillor), John Hathway (Mayor 1985/6), Hugh Hassall (Mayor 1984/5), Chris Brown (Mayor 1983/4), Mrs Becky Kennedy (Chairman 1970/74), Ernie Whittaker (Mayor 1981/2), Charles Williams (Town Councillor), Vic Lardner (Town Councillor), Jack Williams (Chairman 1965/69, Mayor 1978/81), Bert King (reached his 100 years in September 1987), Rev Charles Gill (Town Councillor), Jean Tubb (Town Councillor), Ron Tarry ( Mayor 1976/78 & 1987/8), Frank Light ( District and Town Councillor), Gerry Watson ( Chairman 1960/1) and Beryl Fowler (Town Clerk).

Celebrating 100 years of local govenment:

This short history of the activities of the Hungerford Parish Council 1894 -1974 and the Town Council 1974 - 1994 is written to celebrate 100 years of Local Government in the Town.

The inital public enthusiasm for this form of democracy was quite incredible and in December 1894 so many people were nominated for councillor and so many people wanted to vote that the turnout equalled anything seen at a modern-day general election.

The Hungerford Town Council ran in parallel with the Hungerford Rural District Council for 80 years until 1974 but as with many other smaller authorities the District Council was swallowed up by Newbury District Council.

In 1974 the Parish Council availed themselves of the opportunity to adopt the status of Town Council and elect a Town Mayor to be its first citizen and that worthy office is one of great honour for those people who have occupied the position.

The responsibility and the financing needed has increased enormously in the 100 years, but still your local elected councillors remain very much part of the community. There is a great deal to fascinate and give Job satisfaction to anyone with interest in local affairs and local electors are always welcomed to the monthly meeting of the council.

[Jack Williams]

The History of the Council:

One Hundred Years ago in 1894, when the Blackpool Tower and Tower Bridge in London were opened, parish councils were born.

On December 4th 1894 meetings under the Local Government Act 1894 were held in every parish in the Kingdom and in Hungerford this was especially important, Local government had previously been associated with all the quaint and historic ceremonies of Hocktide. Vestry meetings there had been but these were but the formal assembly of a few officials.

The meeting on Tuesday December 4th 1894 had none of the ancient ceremony associated with Hocktide but it so captured the imagination and the wishes of the towns people that of the 601 people eligible to vote over 441 were in the Corn Exchange that winter's night. The overseers, assisted by Town Crier Bushnell, ensured that only people eligible to vote attended, all the seats were filled, there were crowds left standing at the back and they smoked their pipes as they watched the evening unfold. A Chairman, Mr Morse Coulter, was elected and nominations were called for and over 40 papers were handed in, but after lengthy scrutiny these were reduced to 28 acceptable applicants.

As the Parish Council was to consist of only 11 members, and as the initial instruction was to elect by show of hands, the ensuing election was a practical impossibility. Fortunately a poll was called for and quite miraculously just 13 days later on December 17th a full parliamentary style election took place. In the waiting period much canvassing took place and detailed below are firstly the people who were nominated on December 4th and secondly the result of the election which took place on December 17th, this gives detail of the election, the occupation of the candidates and the votes cast. Well known names appear of people who were associated with the Town until recently but sadly, such is the pace of modern life that with the exception of Hawkes, Beard, Gibbs, Phelps and New the other families no longer have an association with Hungerford.

Nominated on December 4th 1894:

J Adnams, Corn Dealer
W G Alexander Coal Merchant
A E Allright Draper
F Bates Wheelwright & c.
H T Beard Coal Merchant
C Bodman Draper
A Buckeridge Veterinary Surgeon
W G P Chisell Draper
G Coombs Miller
J Eloy Working Engineer
T Fruen Undertaker
K Gibbs Bricklayer
A Harrison Platelayer
S Hawkes Photographer
A Higgs Grocer
A Hissey Farmer
A E Hoare Labourer
J W Horne Victualler
T H Killick Grocer
W Lambourn Shoemaker
H P Major Doctor
W Mapson Jeweller
S O New Tailor
J Newhook Schoolmaster
H R Parnell Con Minister
G T Phelps Grocer & Baker
G E Platt Brewer
E R Portall Gentleman

Elected on December 17th 1894:

Harry Major (288), Charles Bodman (243), Alfred Allright (241), George Phelps (196), George Coombs (185), William Mapson (183) John Adnams (174), George Platt (171), William Chisell (169) Thomas Fruen (148), William Alexander (147).

In addition the following were elected to the first Hungerford Rural District Council:

George Phelps (255), William Mapson (202), John Adnams (199), George Platt (183).

It is interesting to note that the Constable of the day, Alfred Buckeridge was unsuccessful in being elected, as were seven other town stalwarts - Samuel Hawkes, Thomas Killick, Henry J. Beard, Edward Portall, James Newhook and Alfred Hoare, Many of these stood in later elections and served the Town with devotion and distinction.

1895 Special Town meeting authorises Parish Council to take over street lighting.

1896 -1901 Elections were now held on an annual basis until 1901, but only 1899 and 1900 were contested with 19 and 20 candidates for the 13 seats available, with names like Beard and Cottrell being elected.

During these early years the Parish Council had no settled meeting place using the Corn Exchange, Magistrates Room, Wesleyan Schoolroom and Union Workhouse and it seems that only from 1904 onwards was the Town Hall used as its regular venue. Starting time for all meetings was 8p.m. Rental agreed at 2/6 per meeting.

1900 Street lighting expenditure had increased to £140 pa. The Croft Hall (Church House) was built on the site of the Old Grammar School. This was a gift of Sir William Pearce of Chilton Lodge.

1901 Great discussion on the proposals for public sewage with an outfall on Hungerford Common, much against the judgement of the Town & Manor Feoffees. Letter from J. Alexander -considered it too expensive. Telegram from Sir William Pearce (Chilton Lodge) opposing scheme but said if persisted with outfall should be on the Common. Discussion HRDC too expensive - outfall on Common, stop contamination of rivers, so 83 in favour none against.

1902 In March of this year W.G. Alexander proposed that Hungerford should apply to the County Council to be transformed into an Urban District (i.e. as Wantage etc.) Proposition unanimously supported but was subsequently defeated at a special meeting held in April 1902 when a great number of people attended and one suspects the interests of Commoners were involved in this change of mind. Vote 9 for 32 against.

1904 Estimates were called for from the Gas Board to consider lighting for the town all the year. This was ejected due to cost and was passed in 1905 by just 1 vote, BUT, no lights 2 days before and after a full moon. Cost £183p.a.

1906 Annual Meeting, 95 attended. Challenge to the Trustees to create a scheme for the best benefit of the Parish of Hungerford and to consider a new scheme for the future management of Common and Fishery for the benefit of all inhabitants, vote 30 for, 61 against. Lighting budget £175.

1907 January: monthly (regular) minute book introduced. State of roads. Smitham Bridge, Church Street - lighting problem. March: Concerning the Atherton Charity and need for a new burial ground.

1908 July: Resolution to BCC stating that new Council School for 350 children would not be big enough. This would not include Wesleyan School pupils from Charnham St. What would happen if Wesleyan School closed with its 180/200 pupils? Street lighting cost £2 per lamp for the winter - this with gas.

October: Many complaints about state of street lights; many not working at all - contact Gas Board.

1909 January: The need for allotments. Now BCC say school will be for 600 pupils. The army to hold manoeuvres in Autumn 1909. Fairview Road impassable in wet weather. Parish Council bill for lighting Town Clock by gas - 9d per night. Waterworks want more land for increasing water supply required by expanding town. Excavations for main sewer in progress, created problems with inadequate lighting.

1910 Censure of Parish Clerk, Mr Hawkins, for irregular accounts. The clerk at this time was responsible for collecting local rates. Clerk asked to resign and Thomas Levy appointed to act as collector of rates on a temporary basis. Appointment of Parish Clerk 20 applicants; salary of £80p.a. Wallace King appointed. Mr Levy asked that his pay for collection and audit of the Parish Accounts should be 5% of the total; total being £1646. Hungerford Council School opens.

1911 January: School managers for new school appointed.

1908-1912 Roads and their condition were of great concern to Parish Council.

1912 Again consideration of application for Urban Authority. The visit of King George V to Chilton Lodge. Town decorated from Railway station to Charnham Street.

1913 Street lighting £176.

1915 Street lights still on but proposed that gas not be lit for 4 nights either side of full moon, later in 1915 proposed that lights be extinguished at 10p.m.

1916 February: Parish Council proposed in interest of public safety that all lights be extinguished.

1917 January- Parish Council authorised to distribute seed potatoes for Town at a cost of 15/- a cwt. School Alley path allotments introduced. May: Throughout the First World War the Parish Council very concerned with food production:

May 7th - Spraying Potatoes - very important. July 17th - Parish Council proposed that Trustees of the Town & Manor be asked to plough up part of New Common as PC seeking new allotment sites.

1919 Election, 1st since 1913 April: The question of 40 houses for Hungerford pursued quite vigorously with HRDC. Some resistance as they said "whole district must be considered". Atherton Crescent resulted.

1920 April: Parish Council stated that the site of War Memorial in Bridge St. should have PC representative on the separate Trust created. Clerks salary now £160pa.

1921 Change to electric lighting contemplated

1922 Lighting of New Atherton Crescent discussed. Election: now record of names familiar to the present day appear the reduced number of votes from 1894 should be noted, Votes in brackets J.W. Beard (49), F. Barnard (46), A.G. Bartholomew (38), A.H. Bingham (30) E.S. Gingell (43), F. Jessett (43), B.T. King (37), A.R. Macklin (38), I.G. Mills (34), H. New (45), A.H. Piper (34), 0. Richens (37), L. Wigglesworth (38). Note Bert King Subsequently lived to his centenary and served until 1952 (30 years). Edward Gingell was first elected in 1904 and he continued to serve until 1941 (37 years).

1923 The Parish Council concerned over the state of the town's footpaths particularly Southview to the Common, between the rivers at Eddington, Borden Carriage and path to the Church from Strongrove. Overseers continue to be appointed. Position Proposals for weekly/fortnightly refuse collection considered. Speed limit in Charnham St. proposed. 10 mph limit suggested!!

1925 April: Annual Parish Meeting Expenditure £66.9s.11d. Committees elected: Parochial - Lighting - Finance -Improvements - Allotments. The narrowness of the Canal Bridge was brought to the attention of the Berkshire County Council for urgent consideration to widening!!! "Motor traffic is considered as dangerous" (see 1994) same problem). Footpaths in Bridge St/High St considered inadequate and uneven.

1926 Accounts for year as follows: Income £55.7s. Payments; £56.13s.8d. Balance( 8/8d)!! Incredibly the effect of the General strike on coal production meant that street lighting for the winter was in Jeopardy. Numbering of all houses in Hungerford was urged to assist with postal deliveries. The abandonment of the Canal was discussed!!

1927 The Wantage Road and Bath Road Junctions were considered as dangerous. The Managing Director Wessex Electric Co. asked to attend the Parish Council meeting with a view to converting to this for street lighting. Town to be fully lit by November 15th. Public convenience in Charnham St. proposed (it arrived 50 years later and there is now a proposal to close it).

1928 Major problems associated with collecting allotment rents. Advertisement placed to engage a new Town Clerk; Salary £15p.a. it was £80p.a. in 1910. An election year, 16 candidates for 13 seats.

1929 Concern expressed over roads - Park St., Bridge St. and the poor condition of Canal Bridge. Questions asked over the District Council use of open carts for refuse collection. Meeting held at this time in January, April, June & September, together with the annual meeting in March.

1930 The culmination of a series of meetings over the lighting of the Town Clock. The Trustees at this time considered it the duty of the Parish Council to provide this service. The Gas Co, quote was £7 for the period October 1st to April 1st. The Parish Council was greatly concerned with street lighting and the poor condition of roads throughout the whole period of the '30's. A request was made to meet the demand for more council houses.

1931 Lighting; Price for the year £120.00!! It was agreed that only business on the agenda would be acceptable - this practice still continues. Letters were sent to the Ministry of Labour complaining about the number of men crowding outside the Labour Exchange.

1932 The condition of St. Saviours Cemetery gives cause for concern. Flooding in Bridge St. reported - this was to cause repeated concern in the 30's until hatch adjustment was made. In July a special meeting of the Council was called to consider the poor state of Town & District Postal arrangements. Up until this time the villages of Kintbury, Inkpen, Coombe were serviced from Hungerford. Acrimonious letters were exchanged between the Parish Council and the Postmaster General.

1933 Proposals accepted that the excessive "water rate" charged in the town be referred to the Water Work Co. A 33% increase in charge since 1917 was considered totally unacceptable!!

1934 The following were elected and modern names now emerge: A.G. Bartholomew, F. Barnard, J. H. Dore, E. S. Gingell, F. E. Hunt, B. L. King, J. E. Mills, S.R. Neate, H. New, R.D. Newhook, W.J. Norman, A.T. White, G. Willis. The question of the "Alley Path" leading to the Council School was repeatedly discussed and the cost of repair at £10 was passed around between the Parish Council, Hungerford Rural District Council and the County Council. Concern expressed over electricity charge for lighting; this in view of the 33% reduction in general charges for the service!! In November a special meeting held to discuss road widening at the Bear Hotel - the volume of traffic caused great concern.

1935 The first questions asked on defined parking spaces in the High St.!! Tenders requested for repair of all Parish Footpaths with a note that the many men unemployed be used to carry out the work. A Committee appointed to prepare for the Silver Jubilee of George V.

1936 Roads leading to the newly opened Cinema were discussed with the District Council with disagreement over names to be used. A 2d. rate proposed for Jubilee celebration. Clifford Audsley appointed as Clerk to Parish Council - 5 day, £20p.a. Discussion over the spending of monies allocated for Jubilee fund and the unsatisfactory administration. Recommendation that all street signs be repainted.

1937 Anxiety over the rate to be levied for the Coronation celebration and request that the only body to administer the fund be the Parish Council. Resolution that future Parish Council elections be by parliamentary ballot not show of hands; this was unanimously agreed - but was not adhered to until 1955 due to the intervention of the war. Request for Council houses to be built at Hungerford Newtown. Complaint received from Rev. Denning concerning the enclosure of the Recreation Ground.

1938 Long discussion over preparation of Parish footpath map. Invitation to attend opening of Earley Parish electric lighting with a view to a Hungerford conversion.

1939 The installation of the new Parish Electric Lighting Scheme, one of the most modern in the country and praised by the Minister of Transport as an example for all local Authorities. Considerable discussion over the problems of storm water flooding in the High St. The War brought to an end the introduction of the Town Lighting Scheme.

Six years of war commenced and Hungerford changed so fundamentally it was never the same again. The lights in the streets were extinguished until 1944, the blackouts went up, gun emplacements and tank traps in the High St., pill box all along the length of the canal and as more and more troops were mobilised we became almost a garrison town. Ringed around by aerodromes, Membury, Rudge, Welford, every country estate was taken over and Nissan hutted camps emerged; troops from Commonwealth countries, from Spain and over the last three years increasingly from the U.S.A.; long queues at the cinema; the Corn Exchange became a Doughnut Dugout; Tea Dances were the vogue; the pubs ran out of sverything; evacuee trains were at the weekend; the schools were split into ½ day sessions and every available piece of land was down to crop growing.

1940 The scheduled election was postponed indefinitely and during this year the clerk, Clifford Audsley, left to join the Navy. The old national school became the H.Q. for all civil defence activity and eventually the Church House became the British Restaurant. The problems of movement during the blackout emerged and bollards and trees were painted with white bands.

1941 The complete clearance of old gas lamp standards was agreed and proceeded with. The Council only met three times in 1941.

1942 Mr. E.S, Gingell died and the council expressed its collective sympathy; he first became a member in 1904 and had served continuously since then.

1943Many Public Footpaths were being ploughed up and the council's policy was to inform the landowner but take no action until hostilities finished. January; severe gales were experienced and trees fell across the path and road in Charnham St - Incredibly there was a request for a meeting to consider Relief to China, the matter was left in abeyance.

1944 Proposals were made asking that tank traps and gun emplacements might now be removed. A report on the condition of the town street lighting was called for. Now seven years since last election and three vacancies declared; George Neate, Edward Pratt, Doug Wilmott elected. Consideration of the needs of post war housing discussed. Sites off Prospect Road (Honeyfields), Fairview Road., (into Priory Avenue) were recommended with 60 houses being the initial target. September: the relaxation of the blackout conditions meant that there was a recommendation that Charnham St., Bridge St. and the High St. be lit. It was agreed that a welcome home and War Memorial Committee be formed. Hungerford street lighting switched on again for the winter.

1945 May: it was agreed that street lighting should be available but in accordance with a government directive it would be totally discontinued from May 1st to July 15th. Arrangements for a public thanksgiving service to mark V.E. were made. Clifford Audsley returns from his war service.

1946 Decided to levy a 3d. rate to support the Victory Celebrations in June, in the event these were entirely self-supporting and the need for a rate was not taken up. The first election since 1937 was held and in spite of the resolution to conduct it on parliamentary lines this was completed by show of hands:

E Pratt, Butcher (75), H Bushnell, Registrar (70), S Neate, Auctioneer (62), B King, Farmer (59), H Shepherd, Farmer (53), E Mumford, Printer (49), G Willis, Plumber (49), A Martin, Director of Wooldridge's (46), D Boyd, Doctor (44), R Newhook, Rt'd Schoolmaster (43), E Tye, Bank Manager (42), W Norman, Garage Owner (38), H Denners, Shoe Mender (31).
Not elected: W Huntley, Railway Worker (28), I Morley, Builder (24), E Moore, Rt'd Naval officer (23).

1947 Heavy snow and the subsequent thaw brought problems with flooding in Priory Road.

1948 Joint meetings between District & Parish Councils were proposed. Request made that a member of Parish Council serve on management committee of Croft Nursery School. Priory Avenue housing site named and the closure of Bulpit Lane to allow the necessary building work was ended. It was proposed to relight the Town Clock for the first time since 1939, War Memorial Committee reported to Parish Council and asked for official representatives.

1949 Regulation of Car Parking in Market Place by white lines was proposed. The repair of stocks at Leverton was urgently required. Col.. E.J.S.Ward agreed to carry this out. Request that the Trustees of the Town & Manor remove the rubbish dump in the S.E. corner of the Croft. Proposal that street lighting in Charnham St. be brought up to Ministry of Transport standard. Request that Parish Council assume control of War Memorial Recreation Ground.

1950 The Parish Council agreed formally that they would assume total control of the War Memorial Recreation Ground. A managemeni committee was appointed to be 2/3rds councillors and 1/3rd ground users. All questions of finance to be Parish Council responsibility. Original invites to: Football & Cricket Clubs, British Legion, A.T.C., Rangers, Scouts and W.I. A windfall donation of £179 was received as a result of the War Time Pie Fund - it was used to provide public seats. Whole-hearted acceptance of the Access to the Countryside Act and its ensuing issue of a Public Rights of Way Map; all councillors were allocated footpaths to walk.

1951 The problems of storm water in open gutters in the High St. referred to the Hungerford Rural District Council and Berkshire County Council. The Parish Council agreed to join the Berkshire Association of Parish Councils. Cyril Bates appointed as assistant clerk with special responsibilities to the War Memorial Ground. Charles Williams elected to fill a vacancy on the Parish Council in May. Bert Wyatt elected to fill a vacancy on the Parish Council in August.

War Memorial Recreation Ground: The official lease endorsed by the Charity Commissioners was signed for a period of 99 years. The investment of residual cash (including grants from the Ministry of Education) £3433 was invested on behalf of the W.M.R.G. Dog Lane officially renamed Church Way. Complaints made about inadequate train service. Problems associated with the old Hungerford Grammar School and John Wooldridge bequest were discussed.

1952 The first lease to the Cricket Club for occupation of their ground was agreed. Mr B.J. King resigns (elected 1922) and Mr Ted Levy appointed to fill the vacancy. The very poor condition of the Canal was discussed. The sad condition of the main footpath to St. Lawrence's was the subject of concern, but in spite of a number of estimates no action was taken. Special meetings were called to discuss the proposed move of Hungerford Rural District Council from the High St. to The Priory, the District Council asked to give cost of such a move; they declined and the Parish Council asked the Minister of Local Government for a public inquirv.

1953 Clifford Audsley resigns as clerk, Cyril Bates appointed at a salary of £70p. a. A rate of 4d was agreed to cover the Coronation Celebrations but again it financially proved to be self-supporting. A house to house collection proposed for East Coast Flood Relief. The public inquiry into the District Council move to The Priory took place in July and in spite of the combined efforts of Parish Council, Trustees of the Town & Manor and Hungerford Chamber of Commerce, the move was approved. The cost of legal representation by London council at the inquiry was £15.15s.0d.!! Cycle Speedway was established on the W.M.R.G.

1954 The Enclosure Award used to name the new Sheltered Housing Scheme off Priory Ave., "Breech Square". Problem with pavements in Church St. due to the volume of James & Co. lorries. Public Library to be introduced into the High St. (room behind Carpenter's empty shop). The District Council to be asked to provide priority housing for Hungerford school teachers; the request was refused. Agreed to place 6 litter bins in the High St. Cost of supply from N. S. Nicol - £18.15s.0d. George Wills, Bert Shepherd and Jimmie Mumford resign from the council after long periods of absence from meetings.

1955 District Council agree to lighting the public convenience in Church St. Clifford Audsley, Mrs Tommy Huntley (the first lady to be elected to the P.C.), and Jack Abbott appointed to fill vacancies on council. Proposals to close the K & A Canal were before Parliament. Pavement obstructions were noted in Charnham St.(Kennet Motor Works), Park St.(Oakes Bros), Church St.(James & Co.), due to excess vehicles parking. Concern was expressed over the standard of education in Hungerford and failure to obtain Grammar School places. The subsequent letters with the Director of Education resulted in a stormy Parish Meeting but left the councillors dissatisfied with the outcome. The election in 1955 saw a new council emerging, only Stephen Neate surviving from the pre-war period. Those elected were; Jack Abbott, Clifford Audsley, Jack Brindley, Humphrey Fairfax-Harvey, Mrs Tommy Huntley, Ted Levy, Danny MacMahon, Albert Martin, Stephen Neate, Gerry Watson, Charles Williams, Jack Williams, Bert Wyatt. Letters from the Vicar indicated the difficulty of St. Saviour's Cemeterv maintenance and asked that the council consider the levelling of St. Lawrence's Churchyard.

1956 The rateable value of the whole parish was assessed as £33,305 an upwards revision on previous value of 69%. The product of a Id rate was £134. Precept for 1956/7 = £370. Peter Wyatt elected to the council to fill a casual vacancy. During this year Parish Council minutes were typed for the first time.

1957 The passing of the Parish Councils (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill very much widened the scope of Town responsibility. The use of the Library had dramatically increased; 1953 - 4273 books, 1956 - 29333 books. Provisional Rights of Way Map deposited with Parish Council. Total expenditure for the year £420. The completion of the covering of rain water gutter in the High St. was welcomed. Request for information on the proposed new Secondary School were made; BCC suggested 1960. The very bad state of the K & A Canal again discussed. It was reported that there was not a resident District Nurse in Hungerford.

1958 Cyril Bates resignation - leaving to live in Windsor. John Luthwaite appointed at a salary of £75p.a. Proposals were received from the Carnival Committee requesting that a Swimming Pool be financed and built. A resolution committing the Council to running the pool in the future was only won by 1 vote!

1959 The question of levelling St. Lawrence's Churchyard was again discussed. It was decided to apply for a faculty for this purpose. Stephen Neate retires (elected in 1934). Mr Frank Horwood elected to fill the vacancy. Chilton Electric factory opens in Church Way and additional street lighting is necessary in Church Way

1960 A sum of £200 was contributed for upkeep of St. Saviour's Cemetery. A second lady, Diana Barr-Hamilton, elected to the Council. Reported that £6000 had been collected for the swimming pool. Recommendation that all night street lighting be used over Xmas. The Great Fire at James' Mill in Church St. brought the town to a stand still.

1961 It was proposed that Parish Council would now receive lists of planning applications and be able to make observations. Jean Tubb and Sylvia Evans became the 3rd and 4th ladies to serve on the council.

1962 The first annual dinner of the Parish Council proposed. The fouling of footpaths was reported as a problem! Letter complaining that mobile Fish and Chip vans in the High St. were causing annoyance. Application to the Ministry of Education for grant to the swimming pool brought the project much closer. Trustees of the pool were appointed; Col E.J.S. Ward, Philip Spackman, Humphrey Hope and Jack Williams. Proposed that the site of the old James Mill in Church St. be used as a Car Park.

1963 The S.E.B. service centre in the High St. closes. Mrs Becky Kennedy elected to the council. The proposed conversion of Manor House in the High St. to a filling station caused great dismay, Lease for the swimming pool signed and proposals that a house was required for the attendant were considered. Proposed that all staff be withdrawn from Hungerford Railway Station. Finance sub-committee formed due to the complexities of W.M.R.G. and swimming pool. Members- Frank Horwood, Jack Williams and Clifford Audsley.

1964 Cost of 1963 Parish Election £71.! Estimates for year: £600 for Council; £950 for WMRG to include swimming pool. Complaints about long delays in the Post Office. The saga of the possible levelling of St. Lawrence's Churchyard drags on and on. Plans for a swimming pool attendants house were seen. The branch library in the High St. was under notice to close and the site of the mill in Church St. was suggested as an alternative. Chilton Way now developed and street lighting introduced. J.T. Gibbs were the lowest tender for building the swimming pool house at £2980 and were asked to build. The attendant paid at rate of 4/- per hour. Loss of Cricket pavilion by fire was reported.

1965 Questions asked concerning the proposed visit of Chairman & Surveyor of the District Council to Sweden. Jack Williams appointed Chairman of the Parish Council. Reported that allotments were vacant in the parish.

1966 Major Harvey retires. The first request for the reopening of the footpath (No.54) from the pump station to Eddington via the Broads, the part of the River Kennet set aside for swimming prior to the opening of the new pool in 1963, Protests were made about the reduction of bus services which were throughout the year.

1967 The condition of the Croft gave cause for concern and due to lack of funds the Trustees of the Town & Manor suggested that the Parish Council signs lease for 21 years.

1968The long Bridge behind the Church had been completely renewed by the County Council following years of difficult repairs. The Council was criticised over provision of finance for the Football Club car park. A petition was received from 40 people asking that footpath 54 be reopened.

1969 Clerk's salary was increased to £220p.a. Mrs Becky Kennedy became the first lady to chair the Parish Council. The lease of the Croft to the Parish Council was agreed for 21 years.At long last the levelling of St. Lawrence's Churchyard was agreed. FP54 would now be included on the next draft definitive map - but objections from the Trustees of the Town & Manor could be anticipated. The early proposals for a Town Plan to be prepared by the County Council were discussed. The very poor state of the wall around the Bridge Street War Memorial was noted. Labours first representatives appointed to Parish Council: Frank Light and Joe Brady.

1970 Repairs to the Bridge Street War Memorial were proposed but it was felt that total ownership of the Memorial should be with the Parish Council. Lancaster Square and Close emerge as a new housing development. Parish Council attempt to acquire the vacant Wooldridge site by compulsory purchase - this was rejected by the H.R.D.C. The problems of flood-lit tennis courts and the youth club at John O'Gaunt School were brought to the council's attention.

1971 It was agreed that major publicity should be given to the Parish Meeting. 41 people attended. Local government reorganisation discussed - proposals would mean that HRDC would disappear. Norway Maples were ordered for the Croft. The fine Elm tree in the Churchyard had finally been a victim of Dutch Elm disease and was to be felled. This was carried out by public effort and people were invited to attend and gather firewood. Paul Francis approached the Parish Council to offer help with Footpath signing.

1972 David Lance appointed as clerk to W.M.R.G. The number of councillors for the election increased to 15. Those elected were: Gerry Watson, Charles Williams, Jack Williams, Jean Tubb, Becky Kennedy, Frank Light, Brice Moore, Joe Brady, Ernie Whittaker, Bill Acworth, Hugh Hassall, Joan MacCready, Ron Tarry, Alan Crook and Clifford Audsley. There was a special Parish Meeting called to discuss heating the swimming pool. Possible cost estimated at £2700p.a. It was agreed that this should be incorporated in the parish estimates.

1973 Alice Crame appointed as clerk to W.M.R.G. Jack Williams presented estimates: PC expenses £5427 (includes £2700 for heating swimming pool). W.M.R.G. £15O3.For the first time £25 voted as chairman's expenses. John Luthwaite, Parish Clerk, dies after only a short illness.

1974 The Parish meeting in March proposed that following the local government reorganisation during the year that the chairman of the Parish Council should in future become the Town Mayor. This singular honour fell to Joe Brady who was chairman at the time of the changeover. The Mayor's Badge was gifted by Col. E.J.S. Ward (formerly the chairman HRDC badge). Alice Crame was acting clerk at this time and due to John Luthwaite's death the completion of a minutes book record for 1974 is incomplete. The Hungerford Town Plan was launched.

1975 Beryl Fowler appointed as Clerk to the Parish Council. Estimates £9042. Clerk's salary to £700p.a. The council agreed to publicise the Parish Meeting even more and a record number of 151 people attended. February: a special meeting was convened to discuss the handing over of the swimming pool to the newly formed Newbury District Council, agreed that it be placed before the Parish Meeting. It was agreed at that meeting, 141 for, 9 against, to pass control to NDC. The demolition of Bartholomew/ Barnard site adjacent to the Corn Exchange caused dismay - it stood empty for a long time before redevelopment. During the high summer the death of Hungerford's first Mayor, Joseph Brady, is recorded. Ron Tarry became the second Mayor of Hungerford. Public Meeting in October to discuss Town Plan.

1976 New members elected: Chris Brown, Edmund Fermoy, Charles Gill, John Hathway, Vic Lardner, John McCubbin. Proposals emerge for the Town Council to assume ownership of St. Saviour's Cemetery. Estimates difficult to prepare as Town Council uncertain if NDC to take over swimming pool. The Town would need £10,000 to support the pool for the year, (approx a 2d. rate). Hungerford Landscape Group emerged as a result of Town Plan. April: NDC agreed to take over the pool.

1977 The Queen's Silver Jubilee was celebrated in good style and sufficient money was raised to create a small charity for the benefit of adventurous young people. It was finally agreed (after a long period of negotiation) that the Town Council should take over the St. Saviour's Cemetery. Even so Deed of Gift not signed until 1978. Difficult discussions on the provisions for open air markets to be re-established - proposals that a market might be started on Barty's site next to Corn Exchange, or alternatively that a market be opened on the Football Club ground. Proposals to take over the now disused cycle speedway track for skate boarding.

1978 The craze for skate boards spread to the towns two schools and both head teachers felt the need to draw up a code of practice. Jack Williams became the third Mayor of Hungerford. The idea of a Town Twinning was proposed and the first Mayor's Carol Service took place. The intrusion of the motor car into the Croft continued to cause problems and more posts were required around the perimeter for the protection of the grass. The Copper Beech outside St. Lawrence's Church is reported to be dying and is to be felled. Proposals for the closure of Hungerford Hospital were received. The uncertainty of the Ambulance Station in Hungerford also caused concern.

1979 The new Sports Hall at J.O.G. School was to become a Community venture. The annual Parish Meeting was well attended and each responsible councillor gave a report on their committees activity. Criticism that Hungerford did not receive a "fair share" of recreational grants from NDC - but also noted that a request that the swimming pool be covered drew attention to the heavy subsidy for that project. The need for Christmas Lights was discussed and a suggestion that High St. traders might help with costs. The election in this year saw the retirement of two long-serving councillors, Gerry Watson (elected 1950) and Charles Williams

1980 Town Crier Competition held in the Croft; Hungerford in the early stages of Twinning with Ligueil (Indre et Loire) and the Mayor Michel Guignaudeau was one of the judges. NDC Inter Village Sports launched. Twinning charters were signed between Ligueil and Hungerford in France in December of this year. Christmas Lights introduced - a gift from the Round Table, cost £800, Vic Lardner organises first scheme. Town Flag purchased jointly by Town Council and Town & Manor. Jack Williams continues as Mayor. Plane Tree planted outside Parish Church. Petition for open-air market submitted to Town Council.

1981 February 14th: Twinning charter signed on Town Hall steps in Hungerford. Jack Williams Mayor, Robert James Constable; estimated 1000 people attended. Hungerford Walks booklet introduced. May: Ernie Whittaker becomes Mayor. New Mayor insists that meeting place be to Corn Exchange and not the Town Hall. 1982 Michel Guignaudeau takes part in naming Ligueil Close in snow storm. Ernie Whittaker as Mayor visits Ligueil. Town Council estimates £15,156. May: Lord Fermoy becomes Mayor. Landscape work completed at St. Saviours. After long negotiations the request for a post Office on Priory Estate rejected.

1983 Ivy Wells and Reg Marshall elected to council; Jim Butler retires. Chris Brown elected Mayor. Controversy over the award of the street cleaning contract? Ladies well represented: Mrs Elaine Rumble, Mrs Mary Talbot, Mrs Ivy Wells.

1984 Closure of Hospital proposed. Problems with the Town Band and attempts to find a home. Bicentenary Mail Coach calls at Bear Hotel with great ceremony. Problems over the imminent disappearance of Hungerford's industry. Hugh Hassall elected Mayor. Town Council investigates possibility of purchase of Mission Hall. The 2 hour limit in the High St. not being controlled. Unfortunate death of Lord Fermoy noted. Frank Light's resignation accepted with regret.

1985 With the disappearance of most of Hungerford's industry the activity of the Trade Industry & Employment is recorded and applauded. The brochure, video and finally the exhibition receive great approval and ultimately enables Charnham Park to be created. John Hathway becomes Mayor.

1986 The newly established market in the High St. under considerable fire from objectors. Town Band reconstructed and back in operation. Large annual meeting supported the Wednesday market, 118 for, none against. New Primary School refused. 10/12 building applications each month. Bottle Bank scheme proposed, Renewed sewage scheme to commence. Revised Christmas Lighting Scheme introduced by Street Lighting Chairman Ivy Wells. £4000 raised.

1987 Estimates reveal that £45,000 now required to run the Town. Landscaping scheme for Bridge Street War Memorial costs £12,750. Government loan to be taken up to support the idea. Loughborough Recreational Survey carried out indicating need for covered swimming pool. Reg Marshall forced to resign due to ill health. Election brought the following council: Bill Acworth, June Blakeway, Susan Burnell, Anita Campbell, Carol Cartwright, Hugh Ellins, John Hathway, Hugh Hassall, John North, Roy Oliver, David Small, Ron Tarry, Ivy Wells, Jack Williams, Bobby Winser. For the first time 5 (one third) of council were ladies. John McCubbin retires after a distinguished period as Town and County Councillor. Ron Tarry elected as Mayor. August 24th: special Town Council meeting called in order to cope with the Tragedy which occurred in our Town on Wednesday 19th, 1987. Gerald Ward appointed as Town Council Trustee for the Hungerford Tragedy Appeal Fund. Town Council donate £5000 to fund, which eventually exceeds £1 million. Magistrates Room becomes focal point of all appeal activity with John Newton and Maurice Bond bearing an almost full-time responsibility. Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd visit the Town. Archbishop of Canterbury officiates at a huge open-air memorial service in October. Mayor of Ligueil attends a Town Council meeting.

1988 Ligueil's Mayor, Michel Guignaudeau plants a commemorative tree in Ligueil Close. Ivy Wells elected as Mayor. Overhead power lines in the Craft buried underground by co-operation of S.E. Board Newbury Community Programme. A further Recreational Survey carried out by NDC again emphasising the need for indoor swimming pool. Station Road Car Park scheme discussed in detail. Proposal to close Hungerford's Crown Post Office. Mayor's column introduced in weekly advertiser.

1989 After years or acrimonious discussion, the pay and display scheme for car parking in the High St. was introduced. Ivy Wells continues as Mayor for a 2nd year. Planning application received to demolish Hospital and Chapel and to construct new doctor's surgery. T.C. in favour of retaining and reinstating chapel and support retention of main building for residential use. Bottle banks and dog fouling signs introduced and Station Road Car Park opened. Change in T.C. administration, i.e. reduction in number of Committees. Agreed, in principle, to introduce roundabout at Junction of A4 and A338. Newbury District Draft Local Plan initiated. Loyal address prepared by Jack Williams on the occasion of Her Majesty the Queen's visit to Devizes to open the K & A Canal.

1990 Jack Williams elected as Mayor. Charnham Business Park commenced. It is hoped that this will compensate for the demise of industry elsewhere in the town. Introduction of Pay & Display in the High St. Considerable storm damage in the town, particularly in St. Saviour's Cemetery. Post Office closed -Martin's Retail will accommodate all services. Community Care came to fruition. NDC offered the Triangle Field to the T.C. on a long lease - for recreational purposes only. Revival of Open Market on Football Club ground. Storm Emergency arrangements set up with 2 Town Councillors holding the emergency telephone number. September: 10th Anniversary of Twinning with Ligueil celebrated in Hungerford. 10th Anniversary Twinning celebrated in Ligueil in May. Founder member Jacques Cannaton now Deputy Mayor of Ligueil.

1991 Two-day Berkshire Structure plan exhibition to be held in the Corn Exchange. John North elected as Mayor. Decision to site Tragedy Memorial at Bulpit Lane.

1992 High St. Enhancement Scheme first muted. Tragedy Memorial Service held. Paul Cable elected as Mayor. Hanging Basket Scheme introduced. Primary School building and reinstatement completed. Railway Bridge refurbished and repainted in the old Great Western colours. Feasibility study with regard to new Swimming Pool - to be sited on John O'Gaunt School - to be undertaken. A total of 27 Bosnian refugees arrived at Hungerford Hospital where they will stay for approximately 6 months. Gypsy Sites Policy formulated which hopefully will prevent a hippie invasion of Hungerford Common.

1993 First meeting held to discuss Local Government Reform - review of Local Government Commission. John Hathway elected as Mayor. Hungerford Station refurbished.

1994 Citizen's Advice Bureau office opened for a trial period. March: Deaths of Ivy and Tony Wells. Discussions still progressing re fate of Hungerford Hospital site. Mansil Morgan elected as Mayor. As part of the Centenary Celebrations, a very successful Parish Walk was undertaken by many enthusiastic walkers. The Recreation, Amenities and War Memorial Committee was formed by amalgamating the WMRG Committee and R & A Committees. Friends of Hungerford Surgery formed who, together with the T.C., will press for retention of the Day Centre, Ambulance Station and the health elements at present provided in the town. Introduction of 'Stop Shops' in the town, i.e. Newbury District Council presence, for a 6 month trial period to commence November. Great Town Exhibition in Corn Exchange 17th & 18th December to celebrate Centenary. The December Town Council meeting with Town Councillors in attire of 100 years ago featured on local television.

See also:

- List of Chairmen of Hungerford Parish Council

- List of Mayors of Hungerford Town Council

- List of Clerks to Parish and Town Council