Graham Turner presented a film about the route of the Inner Distribution Road (IDR) before it was built, at the History of Reading Society (HoRS) on 15 January. The venue, the Abbey Baptist Church, was almost full and the audience were entranced as changing scenes of the streets of Reading in the 1960s and 70s appeared before their eyes.
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.
Clarendon House (foreground) and Verto (background)
When we walked around the IDR on 16 September for this year’s Heritage Open Days, the number of new property developments along its route became astoundingly clear. In an anti-clockwise direction we first passed, on the south side of Queen’s Road, New Century Place where both blocks have recently been converted from offices to studio apartments.
Southampton Street today opposite the Huntley Boorne & Stephens Southampton Street entrance
For local historians with a penchant for photographs and films, David Cliffe’s Picture Palace to Penny Plunge may turn out to be the book of the year. Following up on the filming of A Bridge too Far on Hill Street in 1976 led to the discovery of ‘The Firefighters’.
Matthew Farrall (left) and David Archibald (right), making a sign for ‘Africa’
I was on a lunchtime walk from work with colleagues recently and among them was Jamaican-born Rastafarian, David Archibald. David’s knowledge of the Afro-Caribbean history of three Katesgrove buildings had us all enthralled. He gave us some real insight into the cultural and socio-political side of life growing up in Reading in the 70s and 80s. With vivid joy, he talked of the great times he had at the Apollo Youth Club, the Caribbean Club and the Central Club; David explained most of his life at the time revolved around social gatherings with music at the heart of everything.