30 December – Making sense of Reading’s residential property developments

Clarendon House (foreground) and Verto (background)

When we walked around the IDR on 16 September for this year’s Heritage Open Days, the number of new property developments along its route became astoundingly clear. In an anti-clockwise direction we first passed, on the south side of Queen’s Road, New Century Place where both blocks have recently been converted from offices to studio apartments.

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Apollo, After Dark and the Central Club: “when the music hits you, you can feel no pain”

Matthew Farrall (left) and David Archibald (right), making a sign for ‘Africa’

I was on a lunchtime walk from work with colleagues recently and among them was Jamaican-born Rastafarian, David Archibald. David’s knowledge of the Afro-Caribbean history of three Katesgrove buildings had us all enthralled. He gave us some real insight into the cultural and socio-political side of life growing up in Reading in the 70s and 80s. With vivid joy, he talked of the great times he had at the Apollo Youth Club, the Caribbean Club and the Central Club; David explained most of his life at the time revolved around social gatherings with music at the heart of everything.

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