AFTER the devastating great storm of 1987, Windsor’s soldiers and special police officers added valuable back-up, during a massive clean-up operation across East Berkshire.

Five teams of Lifeguards from Combermere Barracks provided support by lifting and cutting up trees in the worst hit parts, and special police backed the regulars, some working 11-hour days.

Some officers helped divert traffic around fallen trees and Chief Inspector Fred Timms from Windsor told the Observer: “We were very grateful for the assistance we received from both organisations.”

Slough’s longest serving policeman, Malcolm Dent, retired after 40 years working in the force and his workmates and former colleagues gathered at the Slough Police Club to throw him a surprise party.

When Mr. Dent arrived, he realised he had been “set up” and later he told the Observer: “I was overwhelmed, I did not anticipate anything like this and I feel really honoured to see all my old friends and colleagues.”

The vicar of St. Andrew’s Church, Cippenham hit out at the state of a ‘disastrous’ council road servicing scheme, which had turned the area into a ‘dusty desert’.

A number of streets had suffered difficulties as a result of resurfacing, with loose chippings and dust being left in the gutters and pavements.

Rev. Michael Westney told the Observer: “I wonder why they have done this and left the road in such a state, it makes me feel rather cross.”

Two Farnham Common joggers, Rhonda Smith Patricia Weidner, helped swell the coffers of the Slough and Windsor Breast Screening charity in 1987 by running a 10k in Hyde Park, London.

Rhonda, who was a committee member at the charity, admitted to the Observer: “We were both a bit nervous at the start, but there was a great atmosphere and we were swept along by the occasion.”

A Slough model steam engine manufacturer had its Christmas stock snatched by burglars 33 years ago, for the second year in a row.

More than £8,000 worth of unique replica model steam cars and engines were stolen, the loss of 254 models was another blow to Momad Engineering, just as the stock was due to be shipped to Japan.

Managing director, David Evans told the Observer: “This is going to make things very difficult for us because the festive season is our busiest time of the year.”

Windsor hosted the first ever meeting of The Letter Box Study Group in the Gardeners Hall, St. Leonards Road, to display their privately-owned GPO post boxes, some dating back to the 1880s.

The gathering provided the members with a chance to show off their own collections and compare notes on the subject, event organiser Arthur Hunt, was hoping new members would write to the group to share in their passion.