Three days to go before Reading Abbey re-opens

Cloister style garden with Elizabeth Frink statue and Abbey and Prison in the distance

Just three days until Reading Abbey re-opens (#abbeymania) and up here on the hill what we most want to know is – ‘If the water supply for the Abbey came from the Whitley Conduit where did it arrive?’

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Woolhampton Drinking Fountain

Woolhampton’s drinking fountain was presented to the village (which is on the A4 halfway between Reading and Newbury) by Miss Charlotte Blyth, a member of the family who owned the Woolhampton estate at the time, to mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. The inscription on the wall inside says “Righteousness Exalteth a Nation. Victoria R.I. Diamond Jubilee 1897”.

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Book Review – Parched City by Emma M Jones

Parched City‘ was an impulse buy from the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) bookshop. The cover featuring the 1859 opening of London’s first public drinking fountain in the wall of St Sepulchre’s Church in the City of London was a magnet for this Whitley Pump correspondent.

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Bills Water Trough – Twinned with the Whitley Pump

Horse trough donated by Annis & George Bills. Broadford, Victoria, Australia.

Horse trough donated by Annis & George Bills. Broadford, Victoria, Australia.

Whitley Pump correspondent and Katesgrove resident Evelyn Williams sends a postcard from Australia that, as postcards do, arrived in Reading after she did.

I had never heard of, or as far as I can remember, seen a Bills Water Trough before I found this one in Broadford, Victoria. The dedication above the trough says ‘Donated by – Annis & George Bills – Australia’, and when I investigated I discovered that there were over 700 of these. Most of the troughs are in Australia, but there is one in Reading.

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Robert Lee Water Trough – Twinned with the Whitley Pump

Robert Lee Water Trough near Queenstown

Robert Lee Water Trough near Queenstown

Whitley Pump correspondent and Katesgrove resident Evelyn Williams reports from New Zealand. 

This water trough was erected near Queenstown in New Zealand 11,800 miles (18,900 km) from Reading. It lies on the Frankton – Ladies Mile Highway (SH6), close to Lake Hayes. The trough was designed for horses to use the upper trough and sheep and dogs to use the lower, not unlike Katesgrove’s own Whitley Pump.

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