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.
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.
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.
The Whitley Pump asked Reading East MP, Matt Rodda, about his ‘Save Reading Gaol’ petition.
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.
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.
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?”
62- 68 Silver Street dig on 6 August
Thames Valley Archaeological Services (TVAS) have completed their excavations at 62-68 Silver Street. They uncovered another section of the mediaeval tile kiln previously excavated at the adjacent site of 40 Silver Street. The area is expected to be covered over on Friday 9 August.
The Whitley Pump is giving two ‘Discovering Katesgrove‘ tours at Reading Museum as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days. Both tours will take place on Saturday 21 September.
David Sanchez of Thames Valley Archaeological Services
Archaeological excavations are underway at 62-68 Silver Street in Katesgrove, next door to where mediaeval tileries were discovered earlier this year. David Sanchez of Thames Valley Archaeological Services told the Whitley Pump that there were new discoveries on this site. They had found evidence of metalworking and four layers of occupation: modern, Victorian, seventeenth century and mediaeval.
Brown Signs – 12 June 2019
Demolition of the ‘Brown Signs’ building, formerly Fairway Press, on Silver Street has now been completed. By the afternoon of 12 June the only remaining trace was the very large orange demolition digger on site.
Woodley Arms – January 2018
Woodley Arms – February 2019
Woodley Arms car park – February 2019
The government planning inspector who examined Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) new local plan has advised that clarification is needed on the policy on student accommodation developments. The local plan will guide Reading’s planning policy until 2036, and this is the first time that Reading will have had a planning policy on development for student housing.
Reading Hindu Temple
The stunning centrepiece at the entrance to the new Story of Reading gallery at Reading Museum contains an object from each of Reading’s 16 wards. For Katesgrove, it is a small brass lamp used during prayers at Reading Hindu Temple at the top of Whitley Street.
Deputy mayor Councillor David Stevens cutting the ribbon to open the gallery.
The completely remodelled ground floor gallery of Reading Museum has been officially launched. Following a brief introduction from museum manager, Matthew Williams, the deputy mayor, councillor David Stevens, cut the red ribbon with a sharp pair of Reading museum scissors and declared the gallery open.
Mayor Deborah Edwards
Reading mayor, Councillor Debs Edwards, opens the South Reading Community Hub on 26 June 2018
The Mayor unveiling the old school bell at the Palmer Academy
Victorian strollers with the Mayor at New Christ Church School 150th anniversary celebrations
The Mayor in conversation at the launch of Reading in Bloom
Southcote councillor Deborah Edwards attended a considerable number of events in south Reading during her mayoral year. This is a pictorial record of just a few of them that the Whitley Pump was able to cover.
Image courtesy of BAFA.
Reading celebrates the Windrush generation’s contribution to the town with four events, starting with a sports day at South Reading Leisure Centre on Windrush day, 22 June.
St Augustine’s conduit house
The conduit house which supplied water to St Augustine’s Abbey should have been the first stop on the Whitley Pump tour of Canterbury, but there were so many other attractions and we almost didn’t find it.
By Evelyn Williams & Dennis Wood.
Gillette in February 2017 before work started
The recent planning application for a major reconfiguration of the Gillette building on Basingstoke Road in Whitley elicited positive comments about the factory building from councillors on the Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning committee.
62-68 Silver Street demolition in progress
62-68 Silver Street
The disused ochre industrial building at 62-68 Silver Street, now being demolished, has been a landmark for many years while it fell into dilapidation, although it never quite reached the iconic status of fancy – V Norris – draper on Southampton Street.