Katesgrove, the urban village

By John Dearing.

Early in 1980 I wanted to move from Maidenhead to Reading, where houses were cheaper. I contacted an estate agent and one Saturday in May I collected details of four properties, three of which were in Katesgrove. After the usual laborious process of house purchase, I moved to Sherman Road in October 1980. By 2015 more than half my life had been spent at this address.

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Marina, pub and hotel proposed near Waterloo Meadows

Reading Borough Council (RBC) have proposed to enter into a development agreement with H20 Urban and the Canal and River Trust to build a 100 berth marina, hotel and pub on the A33 side of the Kennet opposite Waterloo Meadows, according to the Katesgrove Labour group.

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Bringing a bit of Brazilian sunlight to a Reading February

Pau Brasil upper storey

Low grey clouds scudding above rain washed streets. People hunched against horizontal freezing rain, scuttling to get home before it gets dark by four. The next time you have one of those bus stop moments where you find yourself giving the far side of the road a thousand yard stare whilst a trickle of cold rainwater makes it way down your neck, take some time out to visit Katesgrove’s tropical oasis at 89 Mount Pleasant, the Pau Brasil café.

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The Hop Leaf on Southampton Street

A Hopback Brewery delivery at the Hop Leaf

The Hop Leaf was a beerhouse without a name in 1869 when George Benwell was granted a Beerhouse certificate. This is the first licensing record for the pub which had probably operated since at least the end of the 1850s. In 1830 the Beerhouses Act had allowed easy registration of beerhouses on payment of a fee of 2 guineas (£2.10) by householders who paid rates.  In 1869 beerhouses came under the same regulations as other premises licensed for the sale and consumption of alcohol and there was continued pressure to reduce the explosion in numbers licensed premises caused by the 1830 Act [ref 1].

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