CAVERSHAM Road Fire Station were being given some extra time when answering their emergency calls in 1975, with the installation of a set of stop lights outside their headquarters.

The flashing red and amber lights system would be triggered as soon as the fire engines were ready to leave, with a yellow box junction ‘keep clear’ area painted on the road.

The new system was going to be the first of its kind in the UK and was given the green light after increased problems with traffic congestion.

Deputy Fire Chief, Tom Ingram, told the Chronicle: “There was a ‘Keep Clear’ sign painted on the road outside the station, but it was not effective at peak traffic times.”

A new office and shopping scheme, which had previously been garage showroom and wasteland, was officially opened 45 years ago opposite Reading railway station.

The site now contained Foster Wheeler’s new 16-storey office tower, a shopping centre and a car park, all costing £6.5 million to construct.

Most of the new project was finished six months ahead of schedule, including Friars Walk, which meant two retailers, Caters and C & A, were able to open before Christmas.

When a strange package arrived on the doorstep of Lions Club President, Ted Carter, he was suspicious enough to put it to one side in his garden shed, before plucking up enough courage to open it.

But to his surprise it turned out to be a cuddly handmade Womble toy, which had been made by a prisoner in Dartmoor prison, who had heard about the charity work the club had been doing.

A copy of the Chronicle had found its way to the maximum-security jail in Devon, the inmate decided to send the Womble to raise funds for the club’s “Wish-a-Week’ scheme.