A major report on the future of Reading, by its own Chamber of Commerce, was highlighted in the Chronicle in 1963, as part of their own Diamond Jubilee anniversary.

The chamber, formed in 1903, felt that they were in a good position to judge how local shopping habits had changed and give their views as to forthcoming trends in the retail trade.

One of the reports major findings was that larger stores, with more modern displays and layout, were the way forward and that some small retailers were not catching up with modern times.

Many of the bridges over the Thames were causing concern as to their structural integrity 54 years ago, Sonning Bridge had recently imposed a weight restriction, the foundations of Henley Bridge had ‘shifted’ and Marlow Bridge had closed altogether.

To add to this misery for drivers, Conway’s Bridge, a narrow humped-back structure on the main Wargrave to Henley Road, was shut for a week for emergency repairs.

Severe frosty weather had undermined the chalk foundations and caused the road above to sink dramatically, posing a danger to motorists.

Passengers on a Thames Valley double-decker bus narrowly escaped serious injury after being involved in a collision with two cars whilst on its way to Marlow.

Mrs. J. Newell who was travelling with her tow children told the Chronicle:” Suddenly there was a tremendous crash and all the lights went out, I felt myself flying through the air and finished up on my back with seat cushions on top of me.”

She continued:” We were taken to hospital and I am covered in cuts and bruises, but the children weren’t even scratched.”

A Reading family with two young children also had a narrow escape when their car overturned in Berkeley Avenue, Reading.

After colliding with two other cars, their vehicle overturned and ended up on its roof, the occupants were taken to Battle Hospital, but were not detained.

Newbury District Council had the bright idea to install a giant 1,200-watt lamp to illuminate Thatcham Broadway in 1963.

The modern ‘globe-shaped’ lamp had a diameter of nearly 5 foot and a tough plastic covering as a protection against hooliganism.

The Reading Chronicle gave a positive diagnosis to the performance of “Doctor in the House” at the Kenton Theatre in Henley, 54 years ago.

Reporting on the first night, the reviewer pulled out all the stops with health service puns:” It was pretty mature medicine, but then some of the more established potions still work wonders and sustain an ailing theatre, when it looks like it needs a shot in the arm.”