Whitley Pump Day today, 12 May

Whitley Pump Plaque

You could very easily walk past this plaque for the unveiling of the replica of the Whitley Pump without noticing it.

The unveiling of the pump by Councillor Trish Thomas took place on 12 May 1999 and there might be a little celebration up here on Katesgrove Hill for Whitley Pump day.

Also present at the ceremony were children from Christ Church Church of England Primary School (now New Christchurch CE Primary School) and Harold Hill the Reading Post historian.

At the time Trish Thomas was deputy Reading Borough Council Deputy Transport Committee Chairman.

The Reading Chronicle report said that the replica pump :

…was deemed perfect as a centrepiece to round off two years of environmental improvements in Whitley Street [ref 1].

The Reading Post reported Councillor Thomas’s comments :

‘The work has responded to local people’s requests to upgrade the environment in this area. I am sure everyone will agree that now the work is nearly finished it makes the area much safer, greener and less congested’ [ref 2].

The original Whitley Pump was erected on Whitley Street in the early 1860s by Mr John Jackson Blandy after the King’s Head Pond on the same spot was filled in. It was removed about a hundred years later when the roundabout at the top of Whitley Street was built.

Office party at the Whitley Pump

Office party at the Whitley Pump


Acknowledgements and references

I am grateful to David Cliffe and Terry Allsop for their assistance in producing this article.

  1. Reading Chronicle 14 May 1999
  2. Reading Post ‘Whitley Supplement’ 25 May 1999
  3. Daphne Barnes-Phillips, The Top of Whitley Revisited
  4. The history of the Whitley Pump
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