Trophies celebrating the achievements of Woodley Arms sports teams have been rescued from the pub on Waldeck Street which closed in 2012.
by John Dearing.
In my recent post about Katesgrove then (1980) and now, I mentioned the many changes that have taken place over the years, but earlier this year we did have two shops remaining; the newsagents near St Giles’ Church and the convenience store next to the former Cambridge Arms.
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.
Developers have convened a public consultation on the future of the Woodley Arms site on Thursday 15 June at 4pm – 7pm.
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.
Developers who wish to demolish the Woodley Arms and replace it by a block of student flats have appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against Reading Borough Council’s refusal to allow planning permission. This is the second appeal in relation to development on this site.
Anyone who walks up and down Whitley Street will notice the improvement in the appearance of the former Wellington Arms pub building.
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.
Commons, smallholdings, allotments and gardens were the subject of a pop up talk at the Museum of English Rural Life on Monday 21 November.
350 Basingstoke Road
Work is once again underway on the outside of the old Wellington Arms on Whitley Street after a hiatus of several months.