By Gillie Tunley
Holi, the Hindu festival of colours, commemorates the victory of good, peace and love over evil. It also heralds the bright arrival of spring after a dull winter, and on Saturday 18 March the Hindu Temple in Whitley Street burst with joyful colour as children in richly bejewelled costumes performed music and dance to an enthralled audience.
South Street is starting to look different with work on the bar extension to South Street Arts Centre nearing completion and the demolition of the Zoar Baptist Chapel. Continue reading
15 Bennet Road
The apparently relentless drive to convert the area’s pubs, offices and vacant lots into flats and HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) continued apace this year. Some proposals, including the demolition of the After Dark Club and the Woodley Arms, were rejected, whilst others, such as the new residential care home near the Rising Sun Arts Centre, will proceed. The saving of the South Street Arts Centre was a major success in keeping Katesgrove at the front of Reading’s arts scene.
In October, the Whitley Pump wrote about the impressive memorial to Rev John Cecil Grainger of St Giles, who died in 1857, and was buried in Reading Old Cemetery. His parishioners also erected a tablet in St Giles Church.
The Sun behind Christ Church
There will be a special ‘Space to Remember’ service on All Souls Day, Sunday 6 November, at Christ Church on Christchurch Road.
The Reading in Reading Book Festival 2016 takes place over the weekend of Friday 28 October to Sunday 30 October at the Olympia Ballroom (Shehnai) on London Street, an easy stroll down the hill from the Whitley Pump.
Another of Katesgrove’s notable residents buried in Reading Old Cemetery is John Cecil Grainger who was vicar of St Giles’ Church from 1834 to 1857.
Christchurch in Christchurch Conservation Area
Rising Sun Arts Centre
The RISC edible roof garden, St Giles’ Church, the Rising Sun Arts Centre and Christ Church will be open on the weekend of Saturday 10 September as part of Reading’s annual Heritage Open Days festival.