A right Reading re-opening!

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Reading Abbey’s much anticipated big day re-opening was well celebrated by visitors yesterday, 16 June. The formal cutting of the crimson and gold ribbons was undertaken by Reading Mayor, councillor Debs Edwards, and HM Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire James Puxley.

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One day to go before Reading Abbey re-opens

Reading Abbey dormitory wall today

The conservation work at Reading Abbey is technically fascinating. One of the more visible aspects, even from the outside, is the soft green capping on top of the walls. This has been introduced as the best way to protect the fabric from the affects of rain.

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Two days to go before Reading Abbey re-opens – Did monks play at Rabson’s Rec?

Rabson’s Recreation Ground

In the time of Abbot William (1165-1173), Reading Abbey was given permission by Henry II to enclose land that it had in Whitley into a park. By the time of the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539, large swathes of Whitley were owned by the Abbey; Whitley Manor to the west of Basingtoke Road and Whitley Park to the east.

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Rattle and Hum – South Reading’s Trolleybuses celebrated

By Simon Wise.

1957 AEC Regent III Bus, Reading Corporation Transport. Photo used by permission of TV&GWOT

They are just maroon and cream coloured ghosts now, their web of wiring long gone; even the posts that supported those wires have been removed from Whitley’s streets, but Reading’s trolleybuses will be recalled in a special event this Sunday 3 June 2018.

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Reading Cultural Awards 2018 finalists featured in the Whitley Pump

The Whitley Pump has featured at least one of the finalists in each of the twelve categories of this year’s Reading Cultural Awards, some on more than one occasion. This shows how much is going on in, or linked with, our little patch of Reading!

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1962 air crash wreckage found at Kennet Meadows

By Adrian Lawson.

Coley Meadows (c) Adrian Lawson

I met the owner of part of Coley meadows many years ago, and he told me a fascinating tale of two aeroplanes colliding there. He described the area where he thought they had crashed, and for many years I kept my eyes open for any sign. When the Fobney Island nature reserve was being dug I had hoped to find some evidence, but there was none. I looked it up and found a news report; the crash happened on 4 November 1962. There was no detail on the actual location, so I asked a few of the more senior residents, but strangely nobody knew much.

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Reading museum opens new Abbey gallery

Reading Museum opened its new abbey gallery to the public on Monday 12 February. The museum’s abbey gallery is the most recently completed part of the Reading Abbey Revealed project, which is jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Reading Borough Council (RBC). Restoration of the abbey gateway will complete in April 2018 and the abbey ruins will re-open to the public on 16 June 2018.

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How many Harrison’s Barns were there?

Plan of the 1643 siege of Reading defences – north is at the bottom of the page. © British Library Board (ADDMS.5415.E.3.)

The heritage antenna on Katesgrove Hill crackled into life when it received a transmission from the Reading Borough Council planning committee webcast in November about possible English Civil War defences underneath a town centre site proposed for redevelopment .

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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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