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Remember When: End of the road for lengthman as machines took over

Welcome to Remember When, our weekly delve into the Advertiser archives to see what was making headlines 25, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years ago this week. You can also take a look into the past by visiting our online archives at 

1970: The Mayor took part in the Advertiser Cup after formally opening Maidenhead Rifle Club’s new Braywick Range.

Cllr Harry Griffin, an army veteran, made shooting his sport of choice for the cup – a friendly annual contest involving the Mayor and the chairman of the parks committee.

1975: Ernest Roberts put away his brush, shovel and hook as he retired as lengthman at Waltham St Lawrence – leaving only two others remaining in Berkshire.

A lengthman kept footways tidy, cutting back overhanging grass, removing litter, brushing up leaves and unblocking drains.

The role declined as many of the jobs became mechanised. Retiring Ernest was not a fan of the machines.

1975: Maidens with elaborate headdresses and a town crier were in Maidenhead High Street to promote Littlewick Green’s Medieval Fayre and Ox Roast. The event featured jousting, archery and the singing of madrigals.

1985: Children and parents were celebrating as the school bus service between Hurley and Bisham was granted an 11th hour stay of execution (main picture).

The service, which took Hurley youngsters to Bisham Primary School, was due to be axed but parents were told on the day before the start of the new term that it would be temporarily reinstated.

1995: Swimmer Jeanette Esling was the hero of the Great Britain squad following her golden efforts at the European Disabled Championships.

The Maidenhead resident scooped six medals and led the team to European victory in France.

Now known as Jeanette Chippington, she went on to earn three gold medals in swimming and paracanoeing at the Paralympic Games.

1995: Former chart topper Howard Jones officially opened Bray village’s annual fete.

The singer, known for 80s hits including New Song and What is Love?, kicked proceedings off as more than 1,000 visitors made the most of the attractions on offer.

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