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Remember When: Locals go by bike, boat and air while homing pigeon bags a lift

Remember When: Locals go by bike, boat and air while homing pigeon bags a lift

Welcome to Remember When, our weekly delve into the Advertiser archives to see what was making headlines, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years ago this week.

If you recognise your younger self in any of the pictures please get in touch to share your memories by emailing news@baylismedia.co.uk


1969: Four Irish Guards, in different ceremonial uniforms visited North Town school (an annexe for infants from St Luke’s Primary School).

A couple of weeks before, a party of children from the school went to Windsor but were disappointed because the Guards were not there.

Mrs M Kemp, who was in charge of the annexe, rang up the barracks and asked if it could send a couple of soliders to the school.


1979: The spirit of the Silver Jubilee year lived on in Harefield Road (main picture).

The people who lived on the road enjoyed their original Jubilee party two years before and they liked it so much they decided to make it an annual event.

They held their third annual party in Jack Briggs’ garden, with everyone in the road contributing.

Organising took about a month, and the Jubilee bunting was brought out once again.

Police permission was obtained to close off the road during the afternoon for children’s sports.


1979: Stylish flapper-style outfits were on show as Upper Thames Sailing Club in Bourne End put on a vintage regatta.

It was the first time the club had put on such an event.


1984: Nearly 50 Holyport Manor School pupils were able to boast they had seen their school and Maidenhead from the air after a visit to the West London Aero Club in White Waltham.

Pupils aged between eight and 16 took to the sky in groups of three in the club’s Piper Cherokee aircraft, which are normally used for touring and training.

A group of nine experienced pilots took the children up in shifts for about 20 minutes and flew over landmarks like Maidenhead Bridge, Holyport Manor School and Maidenhead Thicket at heights of between 1,000 and 1,500ft.


1989: A group of cyclists representing The Ringers’ pub in Bray were preparing to take part in the ‘biggest bike ride in the world’.

The Flora Bike Ride, in aid of the British Heart Foundation, was due to start in London and finish in Brighton. More than 28,000 people had taken part the year before.

The Ringers team was made up of eight entrants, none of whom owned a bicycle before deciding to take part.


1994: The weather wasn’t kind for the Holyport Fair, with visitors having to brave a constant downpour on the green.

“It’s only the third time it has rained like that in 50 years,” said organiser Paul Messing. “A lot of stiff upper lips were shown all round.”

Despite the downpours, visitors enjoyed a host of activities including Maypole dancing, a dog show, a magic show and a birds of prey display.


1994: A hopelessly lost homing pigeon hatched a clever method of returning to the roost when it was blown off course in its first race.

The bird was supposed to be flying back to Maidenhead from the south coast but, during a long detour in which it was spotted in Shropshire, the puffed-out pigeon eventually fluttered into the Slough depot of Amtrak Express Parcels.

The company just so happened to operate Homing Express, a specialist carrier service for transporting pigeons, and was successfully traced back to owner Ronald Oldfield.

“It certainly flew to the right place,” said Amtrak boss Barry German.

“It must have known about our service. It was obviously a racing pigeon, but a very lost one.”

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