The Queen Victoria Jubilee Fountain in St Mary’s Butts, Reading is described by Historic England as “a typical Victorian amalgam of forms and conceits”. It was placed there to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.
On 9 November 1895, Alderman Charles James Andrewes was travelling on a Reading Omnibus Company horse bus from the Queens Head public house, via the Whitley Pump, to West Street, when his fellow passengers noticed that he was unwell.
A postcard from Newcastle upon Tyne.
The Grainger Memorial Fountain was originally in Neville Street (the road in front of Newcastle’s central station) but has now been repositioned, tucked away in Waterloo Street.
Always a nice moment when conflicting agendas collide and something good comes of it for everyone. During the ‘questions from the public and councillors’ section of an edgy and rancorous Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on 24 September, councillor Tony Page seemed to suggest that St Laurence’s drinking fountain could flow again.
Having carved its way from Caversham Road to the foot of Southampton Street, in the 1970s Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) stopped abruptly at the ‘ski jump’ where the Oracle roundabout now is. During this hiatus, Reading consulted and debated about whether and how to continue.
Stage 2 of Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) from Castle Hill to Southampton Street was under construction during 1969. After crossing Castle Hill, pedestrians can use a slipway down to Coley.
Construction of Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) started in 1969, but it had been included in development plans since 1957 and no doubt was a twinkle in someone’s eye some time before that. It still bothers Reading’s civic soul when proposals are brought forward to make it one-way or to cover over part of it or turn it into a park.
By Wynne Frankum
Good better best,
never let it rest,
’till your good is better
and your better best.
This was the Victorian rhyme learnt by heart by pupils visiting the Katesgrove schoolroom. It became our mantra when setting up the Victorian schoolroom. Artefacts and lessons used in the schoolroom had to be thoroughly researched and, as far as the budget allowed, historically accurate.
The Whitley Pump is leading a walk around Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days in September. Reading’s post-war history, in which it transformed from a primarily industrial to a retail town, circle the IDR like the IDR circles the town centre.
In March we published a piece by Matthew Farrall about ‘The Berkshire Book of Song, Rhyme and Steeple Chime’ by Arthur L Humphreys. Matthew noticed that the author’s address was York Lodge, Reading, and discovered the connection between Humphreys and another, albeit short term and involuntary Reading resident, Oscar Wilde.
Around 1900, the top of Whitley Street was entirely residential. Conduit Crescent was built in the first half of the nineteenth century and the houses beyond, which curve to meet Highgrove Street, were built about the turn of the twentieth century.