The 2017 Christmas fete at Christ Church, Reading

Christmas tree at Christ Church Christmas fete 2017

Christ Church, the church whose elegant spire looks down Kendrick Road, had its 2017 Christmas fete on Saturday 9 December.

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Matt Rodda interview: My priorities as Reading East MP

Matt Rodda with fellow Katesgrove councillors Sophia James (L) and Rose Williams (R) at the Katesgrove councillors’ surgery at Pau Brasil on Silver Street

The Whitley Pump met Matt Rodda, still Katesgrove councillor but more preoccupied with Westminster business these days, in the Global Cafe at RISC on London Street. He explained how he was pushing for things in Parliament that local people wanted and his top three priorities were to fight austerity, fight against hard Brexit and provide more affordable housing.

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Latest on Reading’s New Local Plan

Christchurch Conservation Area

The final chance to have your say on the Reading Borough Council (RBC) New Local Plan, which sets the foundations for planning in Reading until 2036, ends on Friday 26 January 2018. The plan will then go to the Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) with all the comments made on this version of the plan.

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Whitley Library: the architecture of hope

Whitley library

Whitley library was built in 1935 in the classical and confident municipal style of the time, and is a stand-alone building in smart red brick, with a lovely scrolled Bath stone cartouche at the top with “LIBRARY” written on it. It stands on Northumberland Avenue next to a roundabout at the heart of south Reading. There is a very similar library building in Palmer Park and the style does seem to project a pride in civic life, education and the burgeoning welfare state with that glorious dawn of the National Health Service just a war away.

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Giant Maps of Reading in New Christ Church Primary school

Cathy and Dot with modern Ordnance Survey Map of Reading

Earlier this year the New Christ Church Primary School entered a competition run by Redcliffe Imaging Ltd, a Bristol-based company who produce wall murals. As part of the entry, the school explained that, with their 150th anniversary coming up, they would really love to have a copy of the 1880 map of Reading which showed the school and its surrounding area.

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Apollo, After Dark and the Central Club: “when the music hits you, you can feel no pain”

Matthew Farrall (left) and David Archibald (right), making a sign for ‘Africa’

I was on a lunchtime walk from work with colleagues recently and among them was Jamaican-born Rastafarian, David Archibald. David’s knowledge of the Afro-Caribbean history of three Katesgrove buildings had us all enthralled. He gave us some real insight into the cultural and socio-political side of life growing up in Reading in the 70s and 80s. With vivid joy, he talked of the great times he had at the Apollo Youth Club, the Caribbean Club and the Central Club; David explained most of his life at the time revolved around social gatherings with music at the heart of everything.

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