Whitley Pump had three Reading Fringe events in our calendar on Friday 27 July: morning ‘One the Couch’, afternoon ‘Climate Symposium’ and evening ‘The Government Inspector’.
Katesgrove’s VIP grit bin on Alpine Street has decided that the weather is so good that there is no need to head for the Costa del Depot this year.
9 Whitley Park Lane
The residents of Northcourt Avenue will be celebrating the much-loved lime trees that line their road in a street party on Sunday 3 June. The road will be closed to traffic between Ennerdale Road and Stansfield Close from 3.30pm util 6pm.
Reading Abbeymania can take you wherever you want to go and Reading Museum are determined to investigate and communicate all facets of this local treasure trove as widely as possible. As a contribution to achieving this, volunteer researchers are sought to help produce materials for a new learning programme to be delivered by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassadors attached to Winchester Science Centre.
Midnight is a black cat who prowls Boults Walk.
Reading Borough Council (RBC) neighbourhood initiatives manager Chris Bloomfield and RBC neighbourhood initiatives officer Janet Ives have taken on the role of Katesgrove Community Association (KCA) chair, after the existing chair, Abby Knowles, and treasurer, Dan Knowles, stepped down.
by Adrian Lawson.
If you see me at this time of year, I am usually not walking very fast – I am scanning the fields and bushes on my regular walks looking for the common whitethroat. From spring and through the summer there are quite a few of them scattered around Reading, skulking in bushes or patches of bramble, and singing their curious scratchy little song.
The first of this year’s public open days at the amazing rooftop garden above the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) was on Saturday 7 April. There may be people in the RISC café on London Street totally unaware of the 200 square metres of Eden above their heads, and that many of the herbs and flowers from the garden are used in the café. They are missing out on something quite remarkable.
In the autumn of 1973 David Turner was told by a friend that there was a derelict detached house on the Basingstoke Road that had been empty for a few years and was up for sale.
By 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.
When you hear a very loud, varied, flutey birdsong from your roof or TV aerial at sunset or sunrise in these early months of the year, then you will be most likely listening to a male blackbird. The juvenile first-year males sing in January and February and the older ones follow from around March. Quite why these sentinels of the natural world have such a boring name in English is hard to understand; there are plenty of other black-plumed avians. They are lovingly called merle in French and merl in the old Scottish dialect.
By Adrian Lawson.
Sadly, there are few good places on Katesgrove hill to enjoy the westward view. The steep west-facing scarp of Katesgrove hill is the edge of a river valley, and at the bottom flows the river Kennet. The river carved the valley into Reading before it became a canal, and used to run riot over a vast area of low lying land between Southcote and Whitley. The valley south and west of Katesgrove is a couple of miles wide, suddenly narrowing as it passes through two hills, Katesgrove and Coley. From the top of Katesgrove hill the view over the valley should be cherished, especially when the valley is full of floodwater and the sun sets beyond.
‘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.
If you are out on the local roadway or on the pavements grey and you are looking for an interesting walk or a peaceful place to visit, then just over the old Whitley borders across the M4 there is a beautiful church that is almost a thousand years old.