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Wokingham in the 1960s, 70s & 80s

We have lived in Wokingham since 1967, and over the years I took many pictures in and around the town of things that have either changed or gone completely.

Langborough Road

We first lived in Langborough Road. Most of the houses remain but the shop closed and was turned into offices – since abandoned. The phone box and letter box on the shop forecourt have also gone. The GPO replaced the red phone box with a new style metal & glass version but failed to consult the owner of the land, who insisted it be changed back – but it was just removed.

There were two garages in the corner of the large garden of Saxham Lodge, but they went and the garden was walled in when the house was demolished and replaced with a block of apartments.

Before the early 1970s Murdoch Road didn't have pavements – just a gravel path along the middle of the verge. But the road was metalled, unlike Southlands Drive.
No 1 Murdoch Road was a private house, with several large pollarded poplars in the front (visible in the picture of Murdoch Road). The trees went after it was extended on both ends and turned into a care home.  

Click on any picture to enlarge, and then use the arrows to move between pictures.

Looking W to 65 (garden of original Saxham Lodge on left - note garages - 1969)
Looking west (note telephone box on right - outside shop - 1969)
Looking down (note letter box next to phone box - 1969)
Murdoch Road (note no pavements & pollarded poplars on right - 1969)
Southlands Drive (note unmade road surface - 1969
Langborough Recreation Ground from Fairview Road (note no barriers - 1969)
From Recreation Ground (note Saxham Lodge & 1 Murdoch Road - 1975)
Looking NE across Langborough Recreation Ground (1975)
Luckley Path going through Langborough Recreation Ground (1976)
Looking SE across Langborough Recreation Ground (1977)
Gipsy Lane from Langborough Recreation Ground (1978)

Luckley Path & Ludgrove

Luckley Path leads over the railway towards Ludgrove, with views of Chapel Green farm and Lucas Hospital across the fields.

Sadly the whole area will soon be changed for ever with a new road and hundreds of new houses. You can see pictures taken in all seasons between 2008 & 2020 of what we will lose.

 Click on any picture to enlarge, and then use the arrows to move between pictures.

Chapel Green farm seen from Luckley Path (1970)
Lucas Hospital seen from Luckley Path (1970)
Lucas Hospital seen from Luckley Path (1970)
View SW from Luckley Path (Lucas Hospital on R - 1978)
Walkers on Luckley Path (1976)
Farmer & ploughed field (Ludgrove 1970)
Walkers on Ludgrove Lane (1970)
Trees - Ludgrove (1970)

See also: pictures of this attractive area between 2008 & 2020 

Wokingham town

At the top of Howard Road there used to be a Hawthorn Tree in the middle of the turning area, but now it's just tarmac for parking. There was often a large puddle between there and the Cockpit Path car park. There's a drain now so it floods less often.

The timbered building at the top of the picture of the Market was the old Kings Head. It was saved from total demolition but the left hand part was replaced with plain brick, and although the right hand part is timbered it is completely new – different windows and more closely spaced timbers.

The Peach Street car park is no more, and the demolished building on the corner of Rose Street has been replaced. Note Holes ironmongers on Broad Street, which was one of several in the town.

The two coach train from London shows how much less commuting there was (now all trains are eight or ten coaches). The siding north of the station has also gone.

The picture of London Road near St Crispins is where the Leisure Centre now is, and the area by the lay by cafe has changed completely with the development of housing there.

 Click on any picture to enlarge, and then use the arrows to move between pictures.

Cockpit Path car park seen from Howard Road (1970)
Wokingham Market (note timbered buildings - 1970)
Broad Street (opposite Town Hall - 1970)
View from Peach Street car park (note Town Hall clock - 1970)
Rear of Bush Hotel (note missing sign - 1970)
Broad Street seen from Rose Street - 1970)
Demolition on corner of Rose Street (note building outline - 1970)
Looking towards Wokingham station from footbridge (1969)
St Paul's church from Reading Road across railway (note siding - 1970
Looking E on London Road past St Crispins - 1981)
Verge cutting on London Road opposite Plough Lane - 1981)

Towards Bracknell

For 17 years I cycled every day between Wokingham & Bracknell, and the 1972 picture shows the old road heading over the hill and down towards St Anne's (which was then a nunnery). The main road was diverted to the north of here, and down to the new Coppid Beech roundabout when the motorway was built .

By 1975 the motorway was open, but some ancillary work was still incomplete. At the time we lived on the Beanoak estate and the motorway cut across our regular Sunday walk, both the footpath and Binfield Road.

In 1981 the line of the motorway was extended along what is now Berkshire Way. That cut through Beehive Road, which was a quiet way to go from Binfield to the ICL (now Fujitsu) building on Peacock Lane. The level crossing on Beehive Road was replaced with the most awkward footbridge I have ever pushed a bike over.

Turning right along Peacock Lane takes you past the entrance to Easthampstead Park, which has hardly changed, and then back along Easthampstead Road to Wokingham.

 Click on any picture to enlarge, and then use the arrows to move between pictures.

Wokingham Road Bracknell (before the motorway - now a side road - 1972)
Approaching Coppid Beech roundabout from Wokingham (1975)
Cars on the newly built A329(M) (1975)
Binfield Road embankment leading to A329(M) bridge (1975)
Walkers on recently opened Binfield Road bridge over A329(M) (1975)
Earthworks extending A329(M) - now Berkshire Way (1981)
Beehive Road (now cut off by Berkshire Way (1970)
Beehive Road level crossing (note ICL building now Fujitsu - 1970)
Train approaching Beehive Road level crossing (1970)
Entrance to Easthampstead Park (1970)
Easthampstead Road approaching Wokingham (1975)
Easthampstead Road farm (1975)

If these pictures bring back memories, feel free to get in touch . If you think I've remembered anything wrongly, or you would like me to add a link to some other old Wokingham pictures, then please let me know. 

All material Copyright © John Harrison 1968 – 2020

  You may also be interested in:  Building the A329(M)  The countryside south of Wokingham – before being built on     Pictures of Elms Field – before and after building 

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