Liam Challenger Katesgrove Labour Party local election candidate 2019
Liam Challenger is standing as a Labour Party candidate in the local election on Thursday 2 May. There are four candidates in Katesgrove, and the winner will become a local councillor at Reading Borough Council. We asked each candidate the same eight questions to learn more about them.
Natalie Greenstreet, Katesgrove Conservative Party local election candidate 2019
Natalie Greenstreet is standing as a Conservative Party candidate in the local election on Thursday 2 May. There are four candidates in Katesgrove, and the winner will become a local councillor at Reading Borough Council. We asked each candidate the same eight questions to learn more about them.
Peter Kinsley, Katesgrove Liberal Democrat local election candidate 2019
Peter Kinsley is standing as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the local election on Thursday 2 May. There are four candidates in Katesgrove, and the winner will become a local councillor at Reading Borough Council. We asked each candidate the same eight questions to learn more about them.
Louise Keane, Katesgrove Green Party local election candidate 2019. Photo: Louise Keane.
Louise Keane is standing as a Green Party candidate in the local election on Thursday 2 May. There are four candidates in Katesgrove, and the winner will become a local councillor at Reading Borough Council. We asked each candidate the same eight questions to learn more about them.
HATYM and Uncle Peanut at the After Dark club. Photo by permission (c) Musical Bear Records.
Pete Brookes of Uncle Peanut fame curated a Big Untidy evening of music at the Rising Sun Arts Centre on 14 September. Despite the untidy name of the evening, Pete pulled off a blinder; all the acts worked together and it made perfect sense.
Good better best, never let it rest, ’till your good is better and your better best.
This was the Victorian rhyme learnt by heart by pupils visiting the Katesgrove schoolroom. It became our mantra when setting up the Victorian schoolroom. Artefacts and lessons used in the schoolroom had to be thoroughly researched and, as far as the budget allowed, historically accurate.
Italian students at the English language summer school at Bradfield College. Photo : Pierluigi Lippolis
This year, the Whitley Pump’s very own theatre reviewer Gillie Tunley helped teach English to Italian students at Bradfield College, an impressively beautiful independent school near Theale. The students spent a day in Reading and shared their views on the town.
. The Victorian Schoolroom at Reading Museum was originally housed at Katesgrove School and as it prepares to move again into a new home at the Abbey Gateway, the Whitley Pump looks back to when it was first established.
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.
I caught up with “Reading’s best new band” Harroland at their third ever gig, at Readipop in Milford Road in March, and they kindly granted me a very public interview in the car park. It was a freezing cold night, but I was ably assisted with questions by Whitley and Katesgrove aristocracy, music gurus Trevor Absolom and Michael Wyatt, as well as a very pleasant passer-by. When they become big and global in the years to come, you can boast about seeing Harroland early on at Reading venues.
I spent a year unemployed in Reading in 85-86 and it made me feel pretty low. It is incredible how quickly your self-confidence ebbs away when you are in that situation. On Giro day I used to treat myself to a meal out at this friendly café at the Butter Market called Munchees; I would have usually have either the burger or fish-n-chips and a milky coffee. A waitress would take your order and you paid at the counter afterwards. Back then, there was a big bloke with a moustache running the place who always made you feel as you were on to a bargain by knocking 10% off the bill and you would be offered a free lollipop on leaving.
The Berkshire book of song, rhyme and steeple chime was published in 1935 and is a unique record of country song, children’s games, epitaphs, droll church inscriptions, poems, doggerel, social history and some scurrilous local gossip. These pieces were lovingly collected over twenty years or so by the publisher and author Arthur L Humphreys.
Whitley Amateur Boxing Club is right at the heart of Whitley, both in location and spirit. In just three years, a lot of hard work from locals has seen this small hall in Callington Road transformed into a hub of community boxing and exercise activity that is well equipped and staffed. The place is packed to the rafters with talented fighters, hopefuls and enthusiasts, six days of the week.
Last year I got a text from a mate who lives in the flats opposite the John Madejski Academy (JMA). He said that there was some sort of uprising going on and the gates of the JMA had been flung open to unleash an alien entourage, who were now parading through Whitley looking like an escaped troupe of space-age circus performers or an absurdist dream made flesh with dancing, klaxons and odd machinery.
Henry Philbrick, elder brother of Charles and George Philbrick of the tannery on Katesgrove Lane, went out to Australia to seek his fortune in 1857. After a period in the goldfields of Victoria he turned to the family trade and set up a tannery at Broadford in 1865.
Redbrick poet Nigel Pounds is one of many talented poets, musicians, writers, dreamers, drinkers and schemers who live in Katesgrove. His new work My response to is available on Amazon at a very reasonable 99p (not a pound) and contains 22 honest poems that really are his cri de coeur. On reading these poems, I am reminded of this lament from Allen Ginsberg: “poets are damned… but see with the eyes of angels.”
Shuet and Breege at Fidget and Bob’s on Kennet Island
Within the old Whitley borders, and built on the sewage plant that had been the origin of the Whitley whiff before new facilities were built on the other side of the A33, Kennet Island isn’t everyone’s cup of tea as a place to live or visit. Some people point to its isolation from the town, the zombie-film-like soulless streets and architectural sameness as the downside. On the upside, it’s clean and safe with some nice foliage, there is a hospital for a minor op and it’s close to the football and Kennet Meadows; you can even walk or cycle by the canal from central Reading. While most Islanders are hunkered down in their living machines, two resident pioneers are working hard at building a smart and tasty new business, situated slap bang-in the middle of the estate’s rather wonderful and a bit mad waterfall-bedecked piazza. Breege Brennan and Shuet Han Tsui are the friendly, busy folk behind the memorably named Fidget & Bob and generously agreed to talk to me about it.