CROWDS lined the pavements in the centre of Pangbourne in January 1967 to watch firefighters tackle a blaze in W.F. Collins, a hardware and paints store,but the fire was quickly under control.

The blaze was discovered by local man George Lovegrove, who was returning home, later he told the Chronicle: “As I passed the shop I noticed that the windows were steamed up-I peered through the door and saw flames in the middle of the building.”

Firefighters acted quickly to dowse the flames,after smashing down the front door to gain entry,the two floors were extensively burnt and the cost of damage was put at £2,000.

Reading Ornithological Club took part in a film for BBC TV news whilst they took part in the first international wildfowl census.

A quarter of a million ducks,geese and swans were counted by a small army of ‘bird counters’, with counts being taken across Berkshire,including the gravel pits of Sonning and Whiteknights lake.

A new film called “The Blue Max” starring George Peppard, hit the screen at Reading’s Odeon cinema 50 years ago and its technical adviser for the WW1 aircraft featured in the movie was Air Commodore Wheeler, from Twyford.

To coincide with this an exhibition of model planes was put on display in the foyer of the cinema and

on hand was Douglas Bianchi,who built some of the fighter planes featured in the film.

Twelve-year-old Raonuill Ogilvie from Peppard entered his first ever competition and got a surprise (as he had forgotten he had entered) when he won a model hovercraft.

The craft, which was called the “Air Rider”,(when built) could reach speeds of up to 60 m.p.h. but he confessed to the Chronicle: “We now have the problem of finding somewhere to use it-a piece of private ground somewhere-an empty field would be ideal.”

Bulmershe School in Woodley played host to a Masked ball in the school hall with 130 parents and governors in aid of the School Association.

Luckily, the Chronicle snapper was on hand to get a nice photo of four masked guests-Daphne Petty, Edith Hughes, Dorothy Lennard and Avril Mason preparing themselves for the festivities.

It was the end of an era at Courage Brewery, when 65-year-old drayman Alfred Hunt retired after 30 years delivering beer to local pubs with the aid of his beloved dray horses.

Courage had decided to retire the dray-horses at the same time as Alfred, as the increase in town centre traffic was making it difficult to negotiate the crowded roads.

Alfred told the Chronicle he intended to visit his old friends in their meadows near Fordingbridge as frequently as possible.