The Shady Side of Town book review

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.

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Katesgrove, the urban village

By John Dearing.

Early in 1980 I wanted to move from Maidenhead to Reading, where houses were cheaper. I contacted an estate agent and one Saturday in May I collected details of four properties, three of which were in Katesgrove. After the usual laborious process of house purchase, I moved to Sherman Road in October 1980. By 2015 more than half my life had been spent at this address.

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The Reading accent

"Whadja say mate?"

“Whadja say, mate?”

Anyone growing up in Katesgrove, Whitley & Tilehurst will be aware of the Reading accent, even though the accent has been bred out of most of Reading folk to be replaced by Thames mockney. These three areas retain some of the country burr and poetic rolling vowels of the Reading brogue often used when ordering larrrdy cake !

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