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.
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.
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.
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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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 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?”