The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

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John Dearing’s Poetry Corner: Kennet Mouth Revisited

Horseshoe Bridge at Kennet Mouth

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Bin collections start at 6 am for the forseeable future

Rubbish truck (Huma Jehan)

Rubbish truck

Reading Borough Council (RBC) are starting their bin collections at 6am each day until further notice. Up here on Katesgrove Hill that will start from tomorrow with our grey bin.

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John Dearing’s Poetry Corner: Lines to a Cygnet

Swan and Cygnets

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Planning and building control applications in south Reading for the week ending 3 April

Woodley Arms car park 30 March 2020

Proposed site of archaeological investigation work in the Woodley Arms car park

There were seven new planning and building control applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.
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John Dearing’s Poetry Corner: Ecological Observations…

County Lock

County Lock – once a centre of industry on the Kennet

John admits to a perverse pleasure from composing very long titles for very short poems, as here.

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Legislation allowing virtual council meetings comes in to force on 4 April

Platon_Cave_Sanraedam_1604

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave by Jan Saenredam 1604

The legislation that will allow Reading Borough Council (RBC), to hold virtual meetings during the coronavirus epidemic comes in to force today, 4 April. Meetings can now be held by video or telephone conference. The regulations will remain in force until 7 May 2021.

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John Dearing’s Poetry Corner: Ophelia

Ophelia 1851-2 by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829-1896

Ophelia (1851-2) by Sir John Everett Millais. Photo © Tate.

Today we have two poems about Ophelia in Reading.

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John Dearing’s Poetry Corner: Indian summer by the Kennet

Fobney Lock

Fobney Lock

John Dearing has kindly assembled for us a selection of poems, mostly very short, mainly inspired, if that is the right word, by the familiar scenes in and around Katesgrove and the River Kennet.

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Matt Rodda MP interview during the pandemic

Matt Rodda at the Turbine House

Matt Rodda at the opening of the ‘In Reading Gaol by Reading Town’ exhibition at the Riverside Museum at Blake’s Lock

The Whitley Pump interviewed Matt Rodda in a socially-distanced telephone call on Friday 27 March. Parliament had closed for an early recess the previous Wednesday and we wanted to ask him about the adjustments that he had to make to the normal pattern of an MPs life.

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Sunday lunch from Pau Brasil – take two

Chicken with white beans

Chicken with white beans, rice, greens, vegetables and manioc flour

Our first ever take-away Sunday lunch from Pau Brasil on Mount Pleasant, Reading, was so good that we decided to do it again. This time we tried a different option of chicken breast with white beans, greens and rice. The beans are the stars of this meal and must definitely contain a secret ingredient that makes them so delicious.

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Waterfest cancelled because of Coronavirus

Waterfest 2019

Many spring and summer events are being cancelled or postponed in Reading to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Reading Borough Council have published a list of some spring and summer events, such as Waterfest in June, which have been affected.

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Sterling Square on Silver Street

Thomas Homes on Silver Street 26 March 2020

Thomas Homes on Silver Street on 26 March 2020

Sterling Square, on the corner of Silver Street and Crown Street in Katesgrove, has been steadily going up over the past three years. We have observed the progress on the beautifully tidy Thomas Homes site.

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Rabble Theatre offers free online courses from 1 April

Rabble Theatre, formerly Reading Between the Lines or RBL, have devised an ingenious way of keeping theatre alive during the current coronavirus epidemic. They are offering free online drama and public speaking classes every Wednesday starting on 1 April.

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Fidget and Bob on Kennet Island: not just on the way to the Madejski

Fidget & Bob at Kennet Island

Fidget & Bob behind the Kennet Island water feature

Unlike some of our fellow Whitley Pump contributors, we have been a bit slow to visit Fidget & Bob at Kennet Plaza. It is on one of several possible routes to or from the Madejksi Stadium and we have usually rushed past in the blur of getting to the game on time. It was time to drop by; we need our local businesses more than ever in these times of social distancing and lockdown.

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Where in the ward is this?

Where in the ward?

Where in the ward is this?

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A history of the Woodley Arms

Woodley Arms - February 2019

Woodley Arms – February 2019

The Woodley Arms on Waldeck Street closed in 2012 and now looks sad, abandoned and derelict as it awaits demolition. The public house was built as part of the redevelopment of Spring Gardens in the 1970s and was the pub’s third incarnation.

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Planning and building control applications in south Reading for the week ending 28 March

Whitley Pump 1923

Whitley Pump 1923 – in the background Christchurch Conservation Area

There were 21 new planning and building control applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.

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Council suspends green waste collection

Rubbish truck (Huma Jehan)

Rubbish truck (Huma Jehan)

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has suspended its green waste collections. RBC say that coronavirus-related staff shortages mean they need to concentrate resources on collecting recycled (burgundy bin) and non-recycled (black bin) household waste.

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A world tour of Whiteknights Park

The Friendship Bridge at Whiteknights Park, Reading. Oh, and a swan on a nest.

Reading University’s main campus is at Whiteknights Park, 1.3 square kilometers of woodland, lakes, fields and parkland 2.5 km from Reading town centre. The park has a colourful history as the grounds of the aristocratic Whiteknights House. It still contains many reminders of this romantic past, including an abandoned ice house, a grotto and scattering of exotic plants.

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Katesgrove parks are open but play areas are closed

Aveley Walk play area

Aveley Walk play area

On 23 March, the Government announced additional measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The steps included the closure of communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms. Katesgrove’s play areas are now closed.

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