Northcourt Avenue Residents’ Association (NARA) chair Simone Illger told Reading Borough Council (RBC) that the Christchurch Green in Reading was being “devastated” by unsympathetic development, at the planning applications committee on 15 January. RBC nonetheless approved the change of use of the ground floor 60 Christchurch Road from a dry cleaners into a restaurant, saying that their own local plan didn’t allow them to choose otherwise.
People living near the University of Reading (UoR) think that the university and its students are causing parking problems, damaging local communities by demanding more houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), littering and causing late-night disturbances. The Northcourt Avenue Residents’ Association (NARA) have released the analysis of a consultation they ran this year to see what residents really thought about living next to the University.
The happy gathering of the annual Reading Town Meal took place on Saturday 28 September in the Forbury Gardens. Reading folk enjoyed a free meal created from produce mainly grown in Reading’s allotments and community gardens. The food was cooked and served by catering students at Reading College.
I’ve occupied my present home in Northcourt Avenue, Reading for 30 years, but I’ve lived in the Whitley area my whole life. In that time, I’ve witnessed a lot of change as Reading has grown and the number of people living and working in the town has followed suit. Traffic and parking issues appear to be an inevitable part of this growth.
A fabulously riotous evening was held at the the warmly welcoming Namaste Kitchen (formerly the Hook and Tackle pub) on Saturday 18 May to remember our much missed and totally brilliant friend and colleague, Matthew Farrall.
Reading mayor Councillor Deborah Edwards attended the launch of the 40th year of Reading in Bloom (RIB) at the Hilton Hotel, Kennet Island on 8 May. The gathering included local community gardening groups such as the Katesgrove community allotment and it was addressed by Marc Allridge, chair of RIB.
The Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) at the foot of London Street houses the Global Café and the World Shop. The Global Café does not usually open on Mondays and so on the evening of Sunday 23 December it will open for the last time in 2018 and will not re-open until Wednesday 2 January.
Councillor Sarah-Jane Hacker handing the keys to Palmer Park Lodge to Tutu Melaku. Photo (c) Reading Borough Council.
Tutu’s Ethopian Table, the restaurant in the Global Café at RISC on London Street, will open a new branch at the Palmer Park lodge in the new year. The restaurant’s proprietor Tutu Melaku said that her existing restaurant at the Global Café will remain open.
Clay’s Hyderabadi Kitchen at 45 London Street is a recent and welcome addition to Katesgrove’s eclectic selection of restaurants. In a small and cosy dining room, it offers a delicious array of fragrant, exotic and mouth-watering dishes, typical of the cuisine of Hyderabad.
Glen Dinning’s Blue Collar Street Food is back at the Forbury Gardens from Thursday 19 April to Sunday 22 April with the marvellously titled ‘Cheese Feast’. I caught up with Glen for a carafe of tea at C.U.P to ask him about his modern re-boot of this festival as well as the latest events at the Madstad.
I spent a year unemployed in Reading in 85-86 and it made me feel pretty low. It is incredible how quickly your self-confidence ebbs away when you are in that situation. On Giro day I used to treat myself to a meal out at this friendly café at the Butter Market called Munchees; I would have usually have either the burger or fish-n-chips and a milky coffee. A waitress would take your order and you paid at the counter afterwards. Back then, there was a big bloke with a moustache running the place who always made you feel as you were on to a bargain by knocking 10% off the bill and you would be offered a free lollipop on leaving.
I wanted to try this new Reading Burger made with local ingredients at the smart looking Honest Burgers on the corner of the Butter Market and to check that it’s worthy of the name. After an edgy game of dominos in the Monks, me and four workmates on a payday binge thought we would indulge.
Shuet and Breege at Fidget and Bob’s on Kennet Island
Within the old Whitley borders, and built on the sewage plant that had been the origin of the Whitley whiff before new facilities were built on the other side of the A33, Kennet Island isn’t everyone’s cup of tea as a place to live or visit. Some people point to its isolation from the town, the zombie-film-like soulless streets and architectural sameness as the downside. On the upside, it’s clean and safe with some nice foliage, there is a hospital for a minor op and it’s close to the football and Kennet Meadows; you can even walk or cycle by the canal from central Reading. While most Islanders are hunkered down in their living machines, two resident pioneers are working hard at building a smart and tasty new business, situated slap bang-in the middle of the estate’s rather wonderful and a bit mad waterfall-bedecked piazza. Breege Brennan and Shuet Han Tsui are the friendly, busy folk behind the memorably named Fidget & Bob and generously agreed to talk to me about it.