Blowing our own trumpet


The Whitley Pump comes to the end of its second calendar year today. The Whitley Pump, on the other hand, has been with us since the 1860s in one form or another. So, how have we been doing over the past two years? Would the real Whitley Pump approve?

One of the purposes of this Whitley Pump blog was to raise the profile of south Reading, especially Katesgrove, west Redlands and Whitley, since much attention is directed at central Reading, what with its Abbey Quarter regeneration, swanky shopping centres and fancy restaurants.

There’s a lot going on in south Reading. The Whitley Community Development Association is making a name for itself trying to spend its million pounds. Local churches and schools hold summer and Christmas fetes; we have a quality amateur theatre, two of the best venues in town (one of national standing and the other wonderfully eccentric), many schools including two historic primary schools, at least three allotments, five conservation areas, and the splendidly unexpected Pau Brasil café and Tutu’s Ethiopian Table. And that doesn’t even touch on the semi-rural parts of Katesgrove by the Kennet, the magnificent Whiteknights Park and Harris Gardens at the University, or the sense that Whitley, although within Reading, often feels quite independent of it.

We’ve also commissioned a set of Katesgrove T-shirts and shopping bags. These are on sale from

According to the statistics provided by WordPress, the Whitley Pump has had over 38 thousand viewers and over 80 thousand views since it started in August 2015. Of these, over 28 thousand viewers looked at our website 55 thousand times in 2017. Including our Facebook and Twitter pages, we estimate that the number of visitors we get is more than doubling each year.

The most popular story we have ever published was RG2 Whitley Radio is on its way! in April 2017. Gillie T’s reviews of Progress Theatre productions and Matthew Farrall’s idiosyncratic pieces on Whitley and Reading life also score highly, as do Evelyn Williams’ local history articles. We have also had entertaining and informative contributions from John Dearing, Paul Williams, Jane Burnett and John Howard.

The articles we’re most proud of are our specials, which are often unique and personal views into Reading and its people.

All contributors to and moderators of the Whitley Pump are residents of Katesgrove, Redlands, Whitley or Church wards in Reading. If you are interested in writing for us about things that affect the people of south Reading, contact us at .

We are interested in finding people who would like to keep a track on events and issues in their road, which may involve monitoring local news websites and attending council meetings as well as just being a listening neighbour. We won’t publish gossip about anyone, and we help edit contributions, so don’t be too worried if you’re nervous about writing English.

Also contact us if you have an idea for a one-off article on local history, sport, people, events or pretty much anything about Katesgrove, Redlands, Whitley or Church wards. One-offs can be fun to create and to read, and there is no pressure to produce any follow-ups!

There aren’t enough of us to cover everything going on south Reading; all we can offer is a platform for local people to find out about their neighbourhood. We can’t offer any money, but on the upside, we don’t badger contributors over deadlines either!

  1. Follow the Whitley Pump!
  2. The history of the Whitley Pump
  3. Katesgrove bags now available
  4. Katesgrove T-shirts now on sale