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 second in a series of four On the Couch events from the Reading Fringe Festival at the White Building on King’s Road today (Thursday 25 July) had an unexpected Inner Distribution Road (IDR) theme. Alongside BBC Radio 3 presenter and fringe guest curator Fiona Talkington, the guests were Julie Simmonds, Jenny Halstead, Zsuzsi Lindsay (replacing Suzanne Stallard of Jelly who was unavailable) and Bobby Lonergan.
Function Hall, Polish Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart Watlington Street
In March we published a piece by Matthew Farrall about ‘The Berkshire Book of Song, Rhyme and Steeple Chime’ by Arthur L Humphreys. Matthew noticed that the author’s address was York Lodge, Reading, and discovered the connection between Humphreys and another, albeit short term and involuntary Reading resident, Oscar Wilde.
By Brenda Sandilands.
The Progress Theatre‘s delightful production of ‘Much Ado’ transports us to an English country house in May 1945, with most of the action taking place on the veranda and gardens. This clever choice allows the cast to make the most of the glorious outdoor setting – the magnificent Reading abbey ruins. It also means that a simple stage and few props are sufficient (a wireless and a patio table with chairs).
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.
The conservation work at Reading Abbey is technically fascinating. One of the more visible aspects, even from the outside, is the soft green capping on top of the walls. This has been introduced as the best way to protect the fabric from the affects of rain.
In the time of Abbot William (1165-1173), Reading Abbey was given permission by Henry II to enclose land that it had in Whitley into a park. By the time of the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539, large swathes of Whitley were owned by the Abbey; Whitley Manor to the west of Basingtoke Road and Whitley Park to the east.
By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands
Our cultural journey began at the elegant Barn in Upper Redlands Road and we admired Joy Frey’s gloriously vibrant handmade original prints and Ursula Waechter’s gorgeous brush-decorated earthenware, so reminiscent of the classic and well-loved Aldermaston pottery. We also enjoyed watching the resident hens scuttling joyously over the velvet green lawn!
‘Curtains Up!’ is the latest publication from Reading Borough Council (RBC) libraries. It tells the history of each of RBC’s music venues: the 1882 Concert Hall, the Hexagon and the newly refurbished South Street Arts Centre.
Glen Dinning’s Blue Collar Street Food is back at the Forbury Gardens from Thursday 19 April to Sunday 22 April with the marvellously titled ‘Cheese Feast’. I caught up with Glen for a carafe of tea at C.U.P to ask him about his modern re-boot of this festival as well as the latest events at the Madstad.