During a spring clean here at Bygones headquarters (to make space for the anticipated flood of Valentine’s Day cards), we have uncovered a treasure trove of old black and white photographs, taken of Royal visits in and around Berkshire.

Dating back over six decades, the photos were taken on cumbersome plate cameras, using a negative measuring 5x4 inches and then printed directly on to photographic paper.

As was the norm in newspaper offices at the time, the information on the reverse of the prints is minimal, usually a one-line hand written scrawl.

The oldest image was taken in October 1941, on the occasion of the Queen Mother visiting the Tithe Barn in Wokingham, with staff and a rather bemused dog (far right), wondering what all the fuss was about.

In 1992, the 19th century barn was refused listed building status and had become derelict, since the former prestigious hotel was closed, subsequently falling victim to squatters and vandals.

A parade at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in July 1949, shows Princess Elizabeth inspecting cadets on the parade ground, it is incredible to think that Queen Elizabeth II would perform this duty off and on for the next 70 years.

The next photos are of HRH Princess Margaret, the oldest being her visit to “Sunday Morning Services” at Binfield Church in July 1952, although no other information is written on the reverse of the picture.

The same lack of detail befalls a nice snap of her leaving (down a red carpet) a rather grand building in Wokingham, this was one year later in November 1953, and here at Bygones we think it may be Cantley Park.

The group of smiling young girls waving her off, give us a clue that it may have been something to do with the Girl Guides, as she was to become President of the Association in 1965.

The last two Royal snaps are of the Duke of Edinburgh visiting Bracknell in May 1955, the first shows him passing crowds of residents, smiling as he passes, whilst they wave their Union Flags.

On closer inspection, it is nice to see a ‘walkabout’ photo without any metal barriers, plus a couple of relaxed looking policemen in attendance keeping the crowds back, resplendent in their white gloves.

Our last picture appears to be at the Jealott’s Hill agricultural research laboratories in Warfield, which was opened in 1929 as the offices and library of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).

The research and study of grassland at the site would seem to be the subject of the talk being given to the Duke by a member of staff.

This is in front of some rather odd looking cylindrical shaped vessels with different types of grasses growing out of the top, adjacent to a large greenhouse.