by John Dearing
Among the inscriptions and memorials in St Mary’s, Castle Street is a memorial to Corporal William Henry Cross of the 58th company of the Imperial Yeomanry, killed at the battle of Bethlehem on 7 July 1900 during the conflict variously called the Second Boer War or South African War.
Margaret Simons, Richard Bennett, chair of Reading Civic Society, and Matt Rodda
Katesgrove has been firmly placed on the Reading tourist trail following walks arranged by Reading Civic Society over the weekend. Organised around the two town centre conservation areas, the walks were to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the first conservation area.
Here is a solstice stinkpipe for Reading’s longest day in 2017.
Gasometer No.16 (Lynda South). Cyanotype pencil and ink
My inner strength (Belinda Fitzwilliam). Acrylic
What a nice experience to pop over the road from my job at the Royal Berkshire Hospital to the fourth Summer Show of the Reading Guild of Artists (RGA) in the UoR London Road campus. The exhibition features a rich variety of paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and mixed media work from over 50 RGA members, as well as showcasing the final year work of BA Ed Art students from the University of Reading.
Reading University’s newly opened school of architecture will be throwing its doors open to the public from Tuesday 20 June until Sunday 25 June for its inaugural end of year show.
Caucasian Spice Box beef rib and potatoes
Caucasian Spice Box starter
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.
The Whitley Pump received photos this week of the brief moment when work on the gym at 43 Whitley Street revealed the sign for Whitby’s Camera Shop, a previous occupant of the building.
By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.
Paul Gallantry and Peter Cook in ‘Betrayal’ at the Progress Theatre
Emma Sterry and Peter Cook in ‘Betrayal’ at the Progress Theatre
The Progress Theatre’s latest production is Harold Pinter’s 1978 classic, Betrayal, which is famously based on Pinter’s real-life affair with BBC television presenter Joan Bakewell. In this play, he uses clever reverse chronology to explore the complex theme of betrayal.
This stinkpipe is in northern Katesgrove.
After the Whitley Pump reported the LED street lighting project we noticed there was a campaign by the Bell Tower Community Association to save cast iron street lamps in their area that are threatened with replacement.
Reading Civic Society will commemorate the 50th anniversary of conservation areas this year by organising guided conservation area walks, including some on London Street and Southampton Street in Katesgrove.
Indian Bean Tree at Reading Minster
The Shady Side of Town (© Two Rivers Press)
On a fresh Mayday morning, I went along to the first part of an organised walk at that eleven acre wedge of melancholy calm and beauty known as Reading Old Cemetery. An eager crowd of around a hundred souls had gathered to learn more of Reading’s trees and celebrate the publishing of a remarkable book on the subject.
Reading Abbey ruins
Reading Museum are looking for community research volunteers to research and compile information about different areas of Reading at the time of Reading Abbey.
(c) Ma Bessie and her Pig Foot band
Ashmead School magazine at the Whitley Community Museum
Gift. Image courtesy of Beautiful Creatures
View of Reading from Coley School (Ray Atkins). Image courtesy of (c) Reading Borough Council (Reading Museum)
His Dark Materials (c) Progress Theatre
Ankle tambourine (Rumpo Kidz)
Nominations for this year’s Reading Cultural Awards include many events reviewed by the Whitley Pump, as well as several venues in Katesgrove, Redlands or Whitley. Winners will be announced on 29 June at a ceremony at the Olympia Ballroom on London Street, Katesgrove.
By Gillie Tunley.
Paula Montie as Agatha Christie
Dorothy Gibert as the Spinster, Liz Carroll as Margaret Rutherford and Paula Montie as Agatha Christie
The author Philip Meeks has had a lifelong obsession with Agatha Christie and was inspired by the idea of turning Agatha Christie sleuth to uncover Margaret Rutherford’s dark secret. His sensitive and witty script is laced with intrigue and delightful humour.
Our lunchtime walking for softies group took a detour to the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). We went to have a good look at the Caxton ‘leaf’ that was all around the media last week.
A team of eight, including members of the Progress Theatre, will take part in a skydive on 11 June to raise money to resurface the theatre’s car park.
Stare II (Hannah Jones)
Immortality (Mei Ting)
Fragment V (Tom Cartmill)
Jackson’s mannequin (Jane Burnett)
Files not found (Joe O’Donnell)
Henry I (Robert Fitzmaurice)
Art lovers on Katesgrove Hill can leave their cars at home if they want to binge on culture this summer. The local highlight is the Whiteknights studio trail on 10-11 June. Reading University is also hosting several exhibitions over the next few months including the Reading Guild of Artists show on 15-25 June.
12 May is the anniversary of the erection of the replica of the Whitley Pump on the roundabout at the top of Whitley Street eighteen years ago.
Click any entry to find more about an event. The What’s On
page shows events over the coming months.