Never completed on account of the War

Roadside memorials required permission from the council.

MAIDENHEAD: CRAUFURD RAILWAY ARCH

The Committee have received a report with reference to the widening and improving the Craufurd railway arch on the main road between Maidenhead and Marlow.

An agreement was arrived at between the County Council and the Maidenhead Town Council, in 1914, whereby the Council agreed to pay one half of the then estimated cost.

It appears that the arrangements for a grant from the Road Board were never completed on account of the War. Having regard to the increase in the estimated cost of the work, the Committee cannot recommend the Council to contribute thereto.

The Committee recommend, however, that caution posts be erected at the bridge approaches.

WAR MEMORIALS

Maidenhead.

Application has been received from Maidenhead Town Council for the erection of a War Memorial on the Bath road (High Street), Maidenhead.

The Committee recommend that no objection be raised – provided that certain suggestions as to the surface of the roadway are carried out, and that no expense is thrown on the County Council.

Arborfield Green.

An application has also been received from Mr John Simonds for permission to erect a War Memorial opposite the pond at Arborfield Cross.

The Committee recommend that no objection be raised to the proposition.


Highways and Bridges Committee report to Berkshire County Council, 11 October 1919 (C/CL/C1/1/22)

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The standard of bell ringing had been on the whole well maintained, due in no small measure to the ladies

11 January 1919

The annual general meeting of the branch was held at Wokingham on Sat January 11th, 1919..

At St Paul’s Church [Wokingham] … the secretary reported … that despite the call of more of their members to the Colours, the standard of Ringing had been on the whole well maintained, due in no small measure to the Ladies….

Two Ringing Members, A Hawkes & S Stacey of Arborfield, had laid down their lives, while G Collins & F Emblem were missing… 67 members were on active service.

Minutes of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (for bellringers of the parish churches of Arborfield, Easthampstead, Finchampstead, Hurst, Sandhurst, Sonning, Wargrave, Wokingham All Saints and Wokingham St Paul) (D/EX2436/2)

Home from “the front”

A teacher’s brother was home on leave.

13th September, 1918

Miss Cross was absent today owing to her brother coming home from “the front”.

Arborfield, Newland and Barkham CE Junior School log book (84/SCH/1/2)

Ladies and younger lads keep the bells going, with energy & zeal

Bellringers reflect on the ways the war had changed their profession.

The annual meeting of this branch took place at Wokingham on Sat. Jan. 19th. A short service was held at All Saints’ Church at 4.30 pm with Intercessory Prayers…

The Rural Dean, Canon G F Coleridge, gave an excellent address, & practical, on the words – “Every man according to his ability” (Acts XI.29). He said he had chosen those words, because they brought home what was being done throughout the country regarding the “War”, at that time, & they should appeal with great force & meaning to those present, as Church Bell Ringers. Many of these, amongst other church officers, had been called to active service abroad, some of them from that branch, of whom some had given their lives for their country, & many ladies & younger lads had taken their places, & kept the bells goings, with an energy & zeal which would always be remembered in the Ringing world!…

The National Anthem was heartily sung at the close…

Tow members had been killed in action during the year. – A Edwards & F Collins, while G Collins was still “missing”, as in last year.

Minutes of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers
(for bellringers of the parish churches of Arborfield, Easthampstead, Finchampstead, Hurst, Sandhurst, Sonning, Wargrave, Wokingham All Saints and Wokingham St Paul) (D/EX2436/2)

She received official information that her husband had been killed at “The Front”

Women at home grieved when loved ones were killed.

29th November, 1917.

Mrs. Edwards was absent this morning. She received official information that her husband had been killed at “The Front”. Miss Taylor was also absent through the same reason.

Arborfield, Newland and Barkham CE Junior School log book (84/SCH/1/2, p. 26)

A war wedding

4th September, 1917

The school resumed this morning after the summer holidays. All the staff were present except Mrs. Allright who was absent by managers’ permission. (War wedding).

Arborfield, Newland and Barkham CE Junior School log book (84/SCH/1/2, p. 23)

The war has drawn bellringers closer together

Bellringers pondered the war. Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers was an umbrella organisation for bellringers of the parish churches of Arborfield, Easthampstead, Finchampstead, Hurst, Sandhurst, Sonning, Wargrave, Wokingham All Saints and Wokingham St Paul.

The annual meeting of the branch was held at Wokingham on Jan. 6th [1917]. Proceedings commenced with Evensong, address, & Intercessions for those engaged in the war, at St Paul’s Church, at 5.30 pm. Some 40 members attended. The Rev. S M Winter, vicar of Wargrave, gave an excellent address, based upon Judges XIV.14, in the course of which he pointed out how out of peril came forth sweetness, out of death a new life, out of dry bones a busy hive of industry, out of a barren field a fruit which shall be sweet to those that come after. There was no one, at that time, but was thinking of the “War”, which had now reached its 3rd year, & no one could foresee when it might end. Out of it had come a new binding & uniting force for the Empire that had made it stronger than ever before. It had given a new value to time, to money, a shame to idleness, selfishness & waste not understood before, & many a new triumph over disease.

We might apply the same sort of lesson to our church belfries. The bells played their part in peace & war. Now silent, might they again ring many a peal of thanksgiving in God’s good time – for the restoration of peace in equity & justice, a peace that should advance God’s Kingdom throughout the world! All had learnt a noble lesson of self-sacrifice from those members of their belfries, who had endured such terrible sufferings, & those who had laid down their loves for King & Country; each member, he hoped, might learn to do his duty, “as unto God, & not unto man”, in a better & higher way. The war had drawn them all closer together both in the Belfry, & outside of it; and so they gave their answer to the riddle, “out of the eater came forth meat, out of the strong came forth sweetness”….

Mr Winter… trusted that the restrictions upon bell-ringing would soon be removed, & joyous peals be forthcoming by reason of a secured peace. The Rev. H M Wallis congratulated the members upon the numbers attending the service, & hoped that some sweetness might accrue, even from the bitterness of the enemies’ hate….

Since their last annual meeting, the Master of the Guild, Rev. C W O Jenkyn, had won the Military Cross.

Minutes of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (D/EX2436/1)

The War Department should contribute to road repairs

Berkshire County Council’s Highways and Bridges Committee tackled the thorny question of who was to pay for damage to local roads caused by heavy army traffic.

MILITARY TRAFFIC

In connection with the claim against the War Department for damage to main roads by military traffic, the following estimates were, at their request, submitted to the Road Board:

Ascot to Wokingham Road: Resurfacing sides with tarmac in place of granite, £1541
Wokingham to Reading Road: Ditto, £2394
Bath Road, Reading to Hungerford: Ditto, £3544
Bath Road, Hungerford to Wilts county boundary: Strengthening foundations and resurfacing with tarmac, £4578
Total £12,057

After consideration the Board came to the conclusion that it would be reasonable for the War Department to make some contribution to the proposed expenditure, but pointed out that the works, if carried out, would not only provide the Council with better roads than those at present existing, but would also anticipate, for a number of years, works of renewal which, in the ordinary course, would have to be provided for in maintenance account.

The Road Board state that if the Council will undertake to carry out the works … the War Department will make a contribution of £2800 in settlement of the Council’s claim. In addition to this contribution the Board will be prepared – subject to the approval of the Treasury – to make a grant to the Council, out of the Road Improvement Fund, of £4050, and to advance the balance of £5207 by way of loan, free of interest, repayable by five annual instalments.

As the matter was urgent the Road Board were informed on 24 June, 1916, that the Council would be prepared to carry out the works mentioned in the estimates upon the terms offered…

Reading and Eversley road.
Owing to the heavy military traffic, the main road from Reading through Shinfield and Arborfield has suffered considerable damage. The road has been inspected by the Engineering Inspector of the Road Board; and an estimate of the necessary repairs is being prepared with a view to a claim being made on the Military Authorities.

MILITARY REQUISITIONS

A further requisition has been received from the Military Authorities for the improvement of a private road at Ascot for military purposes at a cost of £92, and the works re being carried out by the committee in accordance with the general authority given to them by the Council. The estimate has been forwarded to the Finance Committee.

Payments to Sub-surveyors.
As these military requisitions throw a considerable amount of extra work on the Sub-surveyors, the committee have asked the Finance Committee to consider whether a proportion of the 10 per cent allowance to the County Council by the Road Board for administrative expenses should be paid to the Sub-surveyors….

WORKMEN’S WAGES

In consequence of the higher wages which are now being paid to workmen generally throughout the county, the committee have considered it advisable to recommend that an advance of wages be made to lengthmen and men employed with the tarring and roller gangs, for the period of the war….

C A Ferard, Chairman
8 July, 1916

BCC Highways and Bridges Committee report (C/CL/C1/1/19)

No vacancies for conscientious objectors

With the introduction of conscription came the thorny question of what to do with conscientious objectors. Some of them were willing to do some kind of national service as long as it did not involve fighting – but it wasn’t easy to find roles. Berkshire County Council gave a frosty reply to the suggestion that they should employ conscientious objectors.

Finance Committee report, 2 May 1916

MILITARY REQUISITIONS

The Highways and Bridges Committee report that, at the request of the War Department, the Road Board are making arrangements for the construction and improvement of roads required for military purposes, and are asking Local Authorities to co-operate in carrying out such works, irrespective of whether the roads in question are public or private roads…

Up to the date of this report three requisitions have been received for works to be done to the following roads:
Ascot, estimated at £94.0.0
Reading, estimated at £11.12.9
Arborfield, estimated at £1294.3.11

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS

The Government “Committee on Work of National Imprtance” has enquired, through the County Councils’ Association, whether the Council would be willing to employ men, having a conscientious objection to military work, on work of national importance in the County such as sanitary or asylum service.

It is recommended that the County Councils’ Association be informed that the Council have no vacancies for conscientious objectors…

NAVAL AND MILITARY WAR PENSIONS

The Committee have framed a Scheme for the constitution of a Local Committee for the county under the Naval and Military War Pensions etc Act, 1915, and have submitted the same to the Statutory Committee for approval.

Report of BCC Finance Committee, 2 May 1916 (C/CL/C1/1/19)

No men have offered themselves as readily as the bellringers

The annual meeting of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (for bellringers of the parish churches of Arborfield, Easthampstead, Finchampstead, Hurst, Sandhurst, Sonning, Wargrave, Wokingham All Saints and Wokingham St Paul) paid tribute to bellringers’ contributions to the war effort.

This meeting of the Sonning Deanery Branch was held on Sat Jan 13th. A service of Intercession was held at All Saints’ Church at 5.30 pm. There was a good attendance of men, considering the absence of many men on active service in the war; there were also present several Lady Ringers, who had joined since the war began. The Rector read out a list of those members (37 in number) who had joined HM Forces, including 2 who had given their lives for their country – A M Priest (Hurst) and C Rideout (St Paul’s, Wokingham); G Collins (Sandhurst) reported “missing”.

The Rev. P H Ditchfield gave an earnest & appropriate address. Usually, he said, they met in the atmosphere of gladness & rejoicing at their Festival, but a something, like a muffled peal, seemed to go through their belfries, owing to the war. No body of men had offered themselves so readily & willingly for the sake of their King & Country as had the Church Bellringers. That was but to be expected of men who had been accustomed to place their God, their duty, before ease & pleasure, the cause of right before the cause of wrong. Some of their brothers had made the supreme sacrifice, had given the highest pledge of their love for dear ones & for home. Wonderful it was how again and again the home prayers had helped & sustained them through the dangers & hardships they had been called upon to endure. Let them pray for their brothers who once stood beside them in the belfry tower. The sound of the bells brought courage & hope & confidence to many a troubled spirit. God grant that long before another year dawned they might call their teams together to ring the triumphant peal of victory!…

The Chairman… said he felt sure that the sympathy of members would go to the Bishop of Buckingham (a Vice-President of the Guild) who had just lost a 3rd son in the war.

Minutes of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (D/EX2436/1)

Splendid work for wounded soldiers

The women and girls of Reading St John continued to be active in supporting soldiers and sailors.

GIRLS’ CLUB COMPETITIONS…

The result of the Competitions is all the more gratifying as S. John’s Girls have been doing work in other directions all the winter; at Christmas time they sent out 20 hampers to some of our poorest neighbours, and 70 toys either made or mended. They have also made and sent to members of our Army and Navy, 3 nightshirts, 7 waist-coats, 12 pairs of long sailors’ stockings, 36 helmets, 17 pairs of socks, 16 scarves, 57 pairs of mittens. Mrs. Stuart Rickman or Arborfield Grange kindly provided all the wool for articles sent to the Navy, and another friend the wool for those sent to the Army. As many of the girls are continuing this work during the summer, there will soon be a further list of articles to the credit of the club.

CARE AND COMFORTS COMMITTEE.

Our Working Party for providing comforts for the wounded soldiers is doing splendid work. We are now in direct touch with the Military Hospital, and can be assured that we are working on the articles most needed at the moment., as Miss Homan has been appointed a member of the Sub-Committee which deals with this branch of the work. The following is the list of further subscriptions towards our fund for the purchase of materials.

Amount already acknowledged, £6. 0s. 6d; Anonymous, £1; St John’s Day Schools, 10/-; Miss Bell, 10/-; Mrs Dimbleby, 5/-; Mr John Eighteen, £2 2s 0d; Miss Hewitt, 2/6; Miss Green, 10/-; Mrs and Miss Cray, 3/-; Mrs Dauncey, 10/-; Mrs Arnold, 10/-; Miss B. Venner, 2/6; Nurse Bath, 2/6; The Misses Turquand, 10/-; Mrs Meaden, 10/-; Mrs Harrison Jones, 10/-; Miss Harrison Jones, 10/-; Mrs Beare, 5/-; Anonymous, 10/-; Mr Herbert Kingham, £1 1s 0d. Total £16 4s 0d. The £3 acknowledged last month as from Messrs Sutton should have read the Misses Sutton.

The following is the list of articles sent to the Red Cross Depot from our Working Party up to date:

hot water bottle bags, 38; locker cloths, 78; brush bags, 78; many-tailed bandages, 26; oddment bags, 21; anaesthetic pads, 34; pairs slippers, 45; pairs socks, 10; coloured pillow covers, 29; feather pillows, 3; nightshirts, 3; operating coat, 1; face cloths, 25; old linen. Total, 391.

EASTER CARDS

Replies have … been received from the following at the front: S. Pottinger, Albert Stevens, H. W. Fisher, G. King.

Reading St John parish magazine, June 1915 (D/P172/28A/23)

Hurst ladies take up bellringing

One area of local life to be affected by the war was the sound if church bells. The Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (for bellringers of the parish churches of Arborfield, Easthampstead, Finchampstead, Hurst, Sandhurst, Sonning, Wargrave, Wokingham All Saints and Wokingham St Paul) noted changes – including the use of women – at their annual meeting at St Paul’s Church, Wokingham, on 2 January 1915.

The Hon. Sec…. stated that 24 ringers in the branch had joined the colours. Of these, 9 were from Hurst; meanwhile a band of 8 ladies had started in the parish to fill up the gap, & were making good progress, under the tuition of the late, & present, foremen. These ladies met with a warm welcome from the ringers, & were formally & duly elected at this meeting as members of the Guild….

The Chairman… expressed a hope that Peal ringing should be kept in abeyance during the war, but ringing practice, & for Sunday services, be continued as usual.

Minutes of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (D/EX2436/1)