The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Category: Rivers (page 1 of 2)

Reading MP Matt Rodda talks about Amazon deforestation

Matt Rodda at the Turbine House

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

Matt Rodda (Labour MP for Reading East) took part in a parliamentary debate this week to consider a public petition called Demand the EU & UN sanction Brazil to halt increased deforestation of the Amazon.

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Waterloo Meadows clean-up over the weekend of 12 October

The Katesgrove Community Association and the Friends of Waterloo Meadows will join together on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October to clean litter from Waterloo Meadows.

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Sustrans wants your opinion about removing the motorcycle barriers on the Kennet path

Peter Langridge (Sustrans community liaison officer) and Peter Challis (Sustrans network development manager)

From L to R: Stuart Langridge (Sustrans community liaison officer) and Peter Challis (Sustrans network development manager)

The sustainable transport charity Sustrans wants to improve the Kennet cycle and foot path between Reading town centre and Fobney Lock. Improvements could include the removal of motorcycle barriers as well as resurfacing and tidying up the path.

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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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‘A Walk for Stanley’ by Peter Driver

The weir at Fobney Island

In July 2018, the multi-disciplinary artist Peter Driver set out on a three day pilgrimage from the Stanley Spencer Gallery in the village of Cookham to the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere. A Walk for Stanley is a travel diary that captures the journey in photos, sketches, woodcuts, sonnets and prose.

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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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Reading MP Matt Rodda says “Cycling should be for the many, not just the brave.”

Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading East and shadow minister for transport (buses), took part in the Active Travel debate in Parliament on 9 July. The Whitley Pump called “house!” at the end of his speech, having completed at least one line in any direction as well as all four corners of our political buzzword bingo card, with a bonus prize for the mention of Reading.

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Wild about south Reading!

You can celebrate Reading’s nature, as well as the people and groups who contribute to it, at a series of events across town starting in late July.

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‘The Art of Trees’ at the Turbine House

The Turbine house at Blake’s Lock, part of Reading museum and next door to Bel and the Dragon, is worth a visit on its own; it’s a lovely spot and I could easily gaze out the windows at the waters of the Kennet flowing over the Borough weir.

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Winter flocks on Coley meadows

A murmuration of starlings at Gretna. Photo: Walter Baxter via Wikimedia Commons

Flocks of birds are a phenomenon that have always intrigued me. Watching how different birds go about it has fascinated me all my life. There are those obscure little flocks of twittering tits that flit about the hedgerows in winter, and there are those massive and spectacular starling murmurations that fill the dusk skies with choreographed magic.

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Interview with Tony Page, deputy leader of Reading Borough Council (part two)

Our interview with Tony Page continues with reflections on Reading, its waterways and the Abbey.

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18 December – Death of William Blandy (1817)

The Kennet by Temple Place

We are grateful to the the ‘Reading Book of Days’ for informing us about the death of Alderman William Blandy on this day, 17 December, in 1817.

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Volunteers needed for litter pick at Waterloo Meadows on Saturday 13 October

Volunteers are needed to help the Friends of Waterloo Meadows clean up the meadows on Saturday 13 October.

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Walking stages 3 and 4 of the IDR

The ski jump at the end of the IDR in 1984. The Hook and Tackle is the on the left, painted white.

Having carved its way from Caversham Road to the foot of Southampton Street, in the 1970s Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) stopped abruptly at the ‘ski jump’ where the Oracle roundabout now is. During this hiatus, Reading consulted and debated about whether and how to continue.

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Walking stage 2 of the IDR

Willow Street today

Stage 2 of Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) from Castle Hill to Southampton Street was under construction during 1969. After crossing Castle Hill, pedestrians can use a slipway down to Coley.

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Introduction to “a walk around Reading’s IDR”

The IDR as it was intended to be built at the time that Stage I was under construction.

The Whitley Pump is leading a walk around Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days in September. Reading’s post-war history, in which it transformed from a primarily industrial to a retail town, circle the IDR like the IDR circles the town centre.

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Reading Riverside is taking shape fast


Here at the Whitley Pump, we have been keeping an eye on the development of the old Lok n’Store site, just over the Kennet in Minster ward.

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A right Reading re-opening!

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Reading Abbey’s much anticipated big day re-opening was well celebrated by visitors yesterday, 16 June. The formal cutting of the crimson and gold ribbons was undertaken by Reading Mayor, councillor Debs Edwards, and HM Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire James Puxley.

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Whitethroats and I

Whitethroat. Photo: Nikola Middlemast

If you see me at this time of year, I am usually not walking very fast – I am scanning the fields and bushes on my regular walks looking for the common whitethroat. From spring and through the summer there are quite a few of them scattered around Reading, skulking in bushes or patches of bramble, and singing their curious scratchy little song.

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Reading’s New Local Plan moves forward to last stages

You can now read everything you ever wanted to know about Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) new local plan on a dedicated web page. Once adopted, it will be the main planning document for Reading until 2036.

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