Club member Tristan Leverett reports:
A rather nice little local landmark for steam enthusiasts within the Thames Valley is a little known and fairly hidden piece of history. Now don’t get too excited, its not some rusty old engine lying in a back garden with free to good home sign on it, but actually a lovely old cast iron sign!
At the bottom Northbrook Street in Newbury is a road called Mansion House Street, on its corner a rather imposing Victorian brick Town Hall building stands complete with cast GR red post box built into its walls, it also hosts an easily ignorable sign designed for the eyes of traction engine drivers passing through the town.
Like the cast iron sign on Henley Bridge heeding a warning to engine drivers to only take one load at a time, people must walk past it everyday and probably never read it. But next time you’re that way why not pay a visit to the sign and take a moment to think what it was like back a 100 years when the busy streets of Newbury weren’t cluttered up with generic chain stores, ugly buses but shops with painted signs and gold leaf frontages, traction engines and steam wagons feeding this old market town, picking up loads from the narrow boats on the Kennet and of course avoiding Mansion House Street and the invariable bobby that would have been there waiting ready with his book and pencil the minute he heard a barking engine on the approach!