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.
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.
From L to R: deputy leader of the council, Tony Page; Reading Mayor, councillor Paul Woodward and Reading Buses CEO, Robert Williams
On Friday 6 December 2019, Reading Buses celebrated 100 years since the first motorbus was brought into service on the route from St Andrew’s Church, Caversham Heights to the Plough Inn, Tilehurst. The Thames Valley and Great Western Omnibus Trust will be running five historic Reading buses on routes through the town tomorrow, Sunday 8 December.
My Whitley garden was burgled in September, leaving me with very little equipment with which to record wildlife. Fortunately, I still have one working camera which I move about the garden each week and, of course, I have my trusted Fuji camera permanently strapped to me!
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.
The Four Horseshoes public house at the corner of Basingstoke Road and Long Barn Lane was an ancient hostelry originally known as the Long Barn. In the 1820s, it was at the centre of a libel case involving tenant James Leach and Reading’s brewing and political elites.
Adem playing the Turkish guitar at Kobanî House (the Red Lion Pub), Southampton Street
The former Red Lion pub on Southampton Street has gained a new lease of life as a social and political space. The new occupiers have re-named the building ‘Kobanî House’ after the city in Rojava province in northern Syria, and they hosted their first open-mic night on 7 November, featuring music from Kurdistan.
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.
Temperatures reached a balmy 29ºC for a few days in September, although the average temperature was 19ºC. The weather dramatically changed on 22 September; it became very wet and remained wet but mild right through October.