The Loddon Brewery create the sort of beer that makes time slow down. When you walk into a pub and see their distinctive dragonfly livery, you can’t help feel that all is well with the world and you are about to drink something memorable.
When Oscar Wilde visited the Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory in 1892, he simply wrote ‘poet’ as his profession in the visitors’ book. It is this affirmation that I think poets first crave; simply to be called a poet. Nigel Pounds is a poet bubbling with enthusiasm about his new work tentatively titled ‘my response to’. His 2015 fat volume called Spark was a vivid, angry, albeit romantic look at the injustices of love and life. Nigel says his new work is even better.
People do collect all manner of odd things and it’s a great rare bonus when these collectibles have some significance for all. I have over 200 matchbox covers of old pubs from Reading and other places, mostly within Berkshire.
For the past four years or so, Edible Reading has been the fearless Keyser Söze of Reading’s food scene; the anonymous blogger and local food chronicler of our times. I not only managed to track ER down to the great Katesgrove boozer The Turks (Head) for an 80s-Smash-Hits-style interview, but I also managed to eat an incredible, table creaking five course Georgian meal from former in-residence food sensation Caucasian Spice Box just before they left the pub for pastures new.
On a fresh Mayday morning, I went along to the first part of an organised walk at that eleven acre wedge of melancholy calm and beauty known as Reading Old Cemetery. An eager crowd of around a hundred souls had gathered to learn more of Reading’s trees and celebrate the publishing of a remarkable book on the subject.
The Whitley Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) agreed that it should focus on youth provision and engagement at its meeting on Thursday 27 April.
A tingle went up my spine as Whitley community museum curator Trisha Bennett held up an Ashmead School blazer and tie. The last time I saw this garish, green and gold garb up close was in 1984, when I burnt my tie on a wire fence on Northumberland Avenue the day I left school for good.
There is a mysterious mound of earth just off the beaten paths of the Whiteknights campus that when viewed all way around has the look, air and feel of a Hobbit barrow in the Shires. There is a brick entrance and a lonely shadowy gate that looks like a good habitat for bats and small birds but no other hints of its origin or use.
Anyone growing up in Katesgrove, Whitley & Tilehurst will be aware of the Reading accent, even though the accent has been bred out of most of Reading folk to be replaced by Thames mockney. These three areas retain some of the country burr and poetic rolling vowels of the Reading brogue often used when ordering larrrdy cake !
Most people love the red kites that have been wheeling, swooping, mewing and whistling over our town increasingly over the past few years.