AN important year was ahead for Bracknell in 1973 as the town centre’s major development work was taking shape on all fronts.

The new roads, shops, housing, industry and services were no longer just muddy building sites but were beginning to look like the structures that had been planned.

Bentalls Department store and the multi-storey car park opposite, were due to open in April, followed by the 13-storey ‘concrete monster’, Winchester House, built on the old market site.

A large bronze mural was due to dominate the new shops and offices in Charles Square, with bandstand and landscape features set to be ready by the summer.

Just under 1,000 new houses and flats were also in the pipeline, with Harmans Water getting the lion’s share of the new homes.

Allan Hanson from the Bracknell Development Corporation, told the News: “With this amount of development in Bracknell, 1973 should be a year of considerable activity especially in the town centre.”

Four new kennels at the Binfield Dog Rescue Home were open for business 47 years ago, all thanks to the society’s League of Friends group.

The kennels, run by Norah Peek and Christine Smith, used the £200 raised to construct the new dog homes, enabling them to house over 700 rescued dogs at any one time.

Most of the dogs, rescued or found by the public in the Binfield and Bracknell area, usually only stayed for a month, as they would either be claimed by owners or found new homes.

A three-foot-high portrait of the Prince of Wales was installed in the foyer of the Officers’ Mess at the RAF Staff College, Bracknell in 1973.

The painting, commissioned from the wartime artist William Dring, was also completed to mark the college’s 50th anniversary.

The prince was pictured wearing his pilots brevet and over his shoulder was a painting of HMS Norfolk, the guided missile destroyer on which he had been serving.

The Chairman of the Easthampstead Rural District Council, Charles Wright, opened an exhibition of cartoons, all created by famous artists, under the title “The World we are Making.”

The exhibits were gathered together at the time of the United Nations Congress in Stockholm and was insured for over £1,000.

Introducing the exhibits Mr Wright told the News:” It may warn people to take care of what is happening in the world.”

Engineers were busy repairing a notorious rail bridge in Broad Lane, which had been damaged by a lorry just before Christmas.

A spokesperson for British Rail told the News: “This is one of our famous bridges which is continuously being clouted by lorries, this recent damage is in the arch structure and has to be repaired.”