TRAWLING through the Chronicle archive can throw up some interesting old black and white photos, which often give more questions than answers, in this week’s Bygones we are going to take the chance to feature some which were taken in the 1960’s and 70’s.

In those far off days it was standard newspaper practice for the picture caption to be detached after it was laid on the page for printing.

So very little information survived, the only details left on the reverse of the print consisted of the hurried scribbles of a sub editor.

These images may jog some happy memories and readers may recognise themselves or (better still) have an idea of what on earth is going on in some of these photos!

First up are the wonderful ‘Ukrainian Dancers’, who are posing for the Chronicle camera sometime in the 1960’s and they certainly look very happy to do so. Another photo call involves the launch of the Raleigh Automatic Moped R.M.8 which also includes a ‘glamorous model’, widely used by public relations departments in the 1970’s.

It is incredible to believe that in 1968, some railway line crossings still involved drivers opening and shutting gates themselves, with only two rail lines in between the gates, the photo was probably taken somewhere between Reading and Newbury.

The caption doesn’t identify the location, but eagle-eyed readers may notice the amazingly understated warning sign, which advises drivers to ‘stop, look & listen’ before crossing the line.

The gentleman in our next image is patently a dog lover as he is accompanied by an extremely large ‘hound’ whilst clutching a trophy and both seem very pleased to do so.

Beauty pageants were all the rage in 1970, and Karen Lewis was crowned that years ‘Rag Queen’ at Reading University, this ceremony would usually coincide with the ‘Rag Week’ procession through the town centre.

Another ‘UOR’ photo call involved two very learned scholars viewing a bizarre art installation in the shape of a tree trunk, this was probably taken within the grounds of the London Road campus, perhaps during its annual graduation ceremony.

Susan Rose, posing with her horse, seemed to have the largest collection of silver cupsand rosettes in history,once again, it is a shame that the only words eligible on the caption say she was from a farm in Midgham, near Thatcham.

The best smile and hairstyle prize must go to airline stewardess, Patricia Baker, who is sporting the uniform of (now defunct) Pan Am airlines, this probably related to a job announcement of some sort.

The Reading Chronicle archive photographs featured here reflect a bygone age where being ‘PC’ hadn’t yet been invented and health & safety had yet to be taken seriously.