Review of the Year:JulyBy Hugh Fort
January 03, 2013
A Lancaster bomber captain described a moving service after a memorial was unveiled for RAF Bomber Command by the Queen.
Cecil, known as Jack, Hayley piloted bombers on 31 operations over Germany and France during the Second World War.
He joined hundreds of veterans in Green Park for a service to open a £6 million memorial for the 55,573 men who gave their lives in bombing raids during the war. <
Mr Hayley, 91, of Milton Gardens, who is the sole survivor of his crew, said: “There must have been four or five hundred veterans there and I don’t suppose there’s ever been a time we have all been together like that.
“It was a very moving occasion.”
The veteran, who has lived in Wokingham since 1955, met the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall at the service where a Lancaster flypast dropped thousands of poppies on close to 6,000 veterans and families of the deceased.
Huge crowds gathered on the banks of the River Thames to watch the Olympic Torch as it was rowed into the borough.
Olympic great Sir Steve Redgrave rowed the flame one-handed from the River and Rowing Museum in Henley to the Leander Club in Remenham. The five-times gold medal winner was joined in the rowing boat by six young rowers, including The Piggott School head boy James Mills and Luckley-Oakfield pupil Madeline Wynn Jones.
James, 17, said: “It was a very special experience. He was a really lovely chap.
“It’s great that the torch has come here because it’s very important to get lots of people involved in the celebration.”
Sir Steve said: “It was very special, to the thousands that came out and Leander where I did most of my training.”
After years of waiting, Wokingham’s residents and shoppers could look forward to a revamped town centre as regeneration bosses signed vital paperwork.
The £100 million milestone was reached as bosses reassured people they were listening to their views to create a town centre they can be proud of.
The latest designs were revealed at a two-day consultation in Elms Field, where developers gathered further opinions on the scheme.
For a decade plans to regenerate the town have been debated but the signing of the development agreement between Wokingham Borough Council, Wilson Bowden and David Wilson Homes made the scheme a reality.
A burst pipe left hundreds of homes without water as a £2 million project to upgrade Wokingham’s water mains got under way.
Some traders said their worst fears had been realised as South East Water engineers started work on 7.1 kilometres of main roads running through the heart of Wokingham.
John O’Reilly, general manager at the Molly Millar pub in Station Road, described the first day of work as a ‘disaster’.
The unrelated leak, which left a couple of hundred homes with no water or low pressure, was reported in Binfield Road at 1am one morning with supplies restored by 8am.