The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Category: Heritage (page 1 of 2)

A trip along the IDR at the History of Reading Society

Coley Bridge

Coley pedestrian bridge over the IDR

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.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – the Funchal drinking fountain by Max Römer

Fontanario da Imperatriz – 1844

Funchal, on the island of Madeira, has more than enough drinking fountains for a dedicated tourist trail. If we had to pick one that really stands out for twinning, it would have to be this one which is situated up on the hill just north of the casino. There is also a very circuituous and tenuous link back to the Whitley Pump.

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Review of 2019 at the Whitley Pump

The MERL’s new yarn bomb

Thank you to all our readers and regular and occasional contributors for making it a wonderful year on Katesgrove Hill. We hope that you continue to enjoy reading or contributing to the Whitley Pump in 2020.

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The MERL is open today and tomorrow

Christmas at MERL

The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) on Redlands Road is open today, 28 December, from 10am to 5pm after a Christmas break. It is also open tomorrow, 29 December, but then closes again until 9am on 2 January 2020.

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Katesgrove’s link with carols in the trenches in 1914

25 December 1914 Archibald Buchanan-Dunlop (left), Captain M. B. G. Copeman (centre), and Captain W. C. Wilson (right) in the trenches at La Grande Flamengrie. Image courtesy Robin Buchanan-Dunlop

Major Archibald Henry Buchanan-Dunlop of Whitley Rise was pictured in the Berkshire Chronicle of 8 January 1915 beneath the headline “Major who sang carols between the trenches”. A short paragraph beneath reported that he was one of the “moving spirits” in the Christmas truce between British and German troops on the Western Front [ref 1].

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Red Cow public house has a walk on role in surreal planning committee drama

The Red Cow

The Red Cow in 2016

The Red Cow public house at the corner of Southampton Street and Crown Street was mentioned at last week’s Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning applications committee. Julie Williams, RBC acting planning manager, told the committee that during the ongoing refurbishment developers had been asked to rebuild a section of wall. This was because they had laid bricks in stretcher rather than Flemish bond and, as the pub is a listed building, the method used had to be in historically appropriate.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Walton Well drinking fountain

Walton Well drinking fountain

In Jericho, Oxford’s answer to Katesgrove, you will find Walton Well drinking fountain. It is situated at the junction of Walton Well Road with Southmoor Road and Longworth Road and right opposite the site of the former Eagle Ironworks. There had been a well, a spring and a ford at this point until the 1880s, but that had been filled in. Former Oxford Mayor William Ward presented the fountain in 1885.

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Village Pumps by Richard Williams

Richard K Williams book Village Pumps is a concise summary of the history, technology and terminology of water pumps. The book is richly illustrated with diagrams and photographs and will be of interest to every Whitley Pump reader.

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In Grateful Memory, John Dearing’s new booklet about the monuments and inscriptions in St Mary’s Episcopal Chapel

In Grateful Memory

Monuments and Inscriptions in St Mary’s Episcopal Chapel, Reading by John Dearing

John Dearing, the author of In Grateful Memory, has lived in Katesgrove for over 39 years. This recently published and very readable booklet about the monuments and inscriptions in St Mary’s Episcopal Chapel on Castle Street features many Katesgrovians of times gone by.

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‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ project a finalist for conservation award

Reading Abbey turf capping June 2018

Reading Abbey turf capping June 2018

The Reading Abbey Revealed Project is one of 14 regional finalists in the 2020 Civic Trust AABC [Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation] conservation awards. Reading Abbey re-opened on 16 June 2018 after a £3.15 million project funded by the Heritage Lottery and developer contributions received by Reading Borough Council.

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How Katesgrove ironworks contributed to the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology

By Evelyn Williams and Adam Harrington.

2008.99.0163

Limestone figurine of a horse 750- 650 BC, Cypro-archaic I period.
Image courtesy of the Ure Museum (c) University of Reading.

The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology on Reading University’s Whiteknights campus houses many ancient Cypriot artefacts collected by Ellen Barry at the end of the nineteenth century. Ellen Barry was the daughter of William Exall, a partner at the former Katesgrove Lane ironworks Barrett, Exall and Andrewes. Her mother was Frances Mary Andrewes, who was a sister of another partner in the same business, Charles Andrewes.

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The old Whitley Library is now for sale

The old Whitley Library building has now closed

The old Whitley Library building has now closed

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has put the old Whitley Library up for sale on the open market with agents Dunster & Morton, describing it as an ‘attractive listed building with potential for conversion to residential use’. Voluntary organisations can also put in a bid for the property through the third sector process. The deadline for all offers is 5pm on 19 December 2019.

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Hug the Gaol on Sunday 13 October

Oscar Wilde gates on Chestnut Walk

The atmospheric art exhibition inspired by Oscar Wilde‘s haunting Ballad of Reading Gaol at the Riverside Museum at Blake’s Lock recently provides a compelling cultural backdrop to the Hug The Gaol Event on Sunday 13 October at 2pm. The emotive images evoked by the ‘Pit of Shame’ lead us to a feeling of redemption as we surround Reading Gaol in a mass hug to demonstrate our desire to have Reading Gaol at the heart of the community.

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A talk about George Lovejoy from the History of Reading Society

George Lovejoy by Charles L Havell c1850

George Lovejoy, the nineteenth century London Street bookseller, is famous on the virtual pages of the Whitley Pump for his insistence on the proper audit and scrutiny of the Corporation of Reading’s accounts. The History of Reading Society‘s talk this evening, 18 September, at 7.30pm will no doubt fill in some more details of the life of this fascinating Reading figure.

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What’s happening in Katesgrove and Whitley from 9 September

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Planning applications in south Reading for the week ending 7 September

Thomas Homes site at the corner of Silver Street and Crown Street in February 2019

There were 12 new planning applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.

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Matt Rodda MP’s petition to Save Reading Gaol

Matt Rodda at the opening of the ‘In Reading Gaol by Reading Town‘ exhibition at the Riverside Museum at Blake’s Lock

The Whitley Pump asked Reading East MP, Matt Rodda, about his ‘Save Reading Gaol’ petition.

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Two years on, what has changed on the scenic route to the Madejski Stadium?

Sustrans signpost on Waterloo Meadows

Reading were at home to Sheffield Wednesday for their first game of the 2018/19 season. It was a fine day, so we decided to see what had changed since 2017 on the scenic cross-country route from the Whitley Pump to the Madejski Stadium.

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Heritage Open Days events 2019 in and around Katesgrove

Heritage Open Days (HODs) are celebrating their 25th birthday with an extended programme of events over ten days from 13 to 22 September. There are over 40 participating venues and events in Reading this year and you don’t have to go too far from the Whitley Pump for some of them.

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Friends of the IDR respond to the RBC transport consultation

The Black History Mural and the IDR

The Whitley Pump asked Reg Vastern-King, chair of the Friends of the IDR (Inner Distribution Road), what he thought about the Reading Borough Council (RBC) consultation on transport strategy; he was not impressed. “I just don’t understand,” he said “how can you carry out a transport strategy consultation which does not even ask how you feel about the IDR?”

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