In the news 100, 50 and 25 years ago
100 years ago
January 11, 1913
Mr Joseph Wilson, who had the distinction of being the oldest inhabitant of Rugby, passed peacefully away on Sunday afternoon in his 98th year.
Mr Wilson ended his days as the occupant of one of the Lawrence Sheriffe Almshouses. It was his ambition to attain his 100th birthday, but about six months ago he fell down in the yard adjoining his cottage and fractured his thigh. This unfortunate accident greatly reduced his prospects as it confined him to bed.
He first saw the light in the year of Waterloo, on November 4, 1815 and has therefore lived in six reigns. One of his earliest recollections was seeing the building of the present London Bridge in its initial stages and later he was present on Ascot Racecourse when William IV was there.
As a post-boy at Dunchurch for a number of years, he recalled about forty coaches used to pass through the place at that time on their way to and from Birmingham and most, if not the whole, posted in the village. Dunchurch was then the liveliest little place betwixt Holyhead and London.
50 years ago
January 11, 1963
Three escape in hotel crash: a man and a mother and child narrowly escaped injury on Friday afternoon when the canopy at the front entrance to the Grand Hotel in Albert Street collapsed after being struck by a four-ton furniture van.
The van skidded on the slushy surface at the sharp bend from Regent Place into Albert Street and collided with one of the canopy’s steel supports.
The mother and her child had passed under the canopy only seconds before the wood and metal and several flower boxes crashed to the ground.
A member of the hotel staff who was cleaning brass on the steps of the main door almost underneath the canopy told the Rugby Advertiser soon after the accident: “I had a lucky escape. I saw the lorry come round the bend and then I heard the crash.”
The van, belonging to a Derby haulage firm, was delivering furniture to a nearby trader. It was undamaged. The manager of the shop said that the driver had driven round the corner three times looking for a space to draw in and unload, but he was unable to find enough room because of parked cars.
25 years ago
January 7, 1988
Sainsbury’s plans to build a superstore on the edge of town have been backed by an independent report commissioned by Rugby Borough Council. But it recommends that planners call a halt to any more retail developments, including the proposed Safeways store in Bilton Road.
The report has been welcomed by chief officers and councillors who now agreed that, on retailing grounds, Sainsbury’s cannot be rejected.
As well as giving the multi-million pound superstore its backing, the report, which cost £13,000, undermines claims that Sainsbury’s moving out of town would herald the death of its centre.
The report has been issued in the same week as news that Sainsbury’s have offered to pay for road improvements in the area.
Included in the package is street lighting along part of Ashlawn Road, a pelican crossing in Dunchurch Road and a guarantee that the proposed traffic island at the junction with Bawnmore Road will be finished and landscaped before building work begins.