The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

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Goodbye from the Whitley Pump

Whitley Pump - May 2016

Whitley Pump roundabout

Whitley Pump Day, 12 May 2020 is our last day of operation and we will be switching off our virtual printing press today.

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Accounting in the time of Covid-19

The Kennet at County Lock - 23 December 2019

The Kennet at County Lock – 23 December 2019

The statutory deadline for production, audit and sign off of Reading Borough Council (RBC) accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020 has been extended from 31 July to 30 November 2020. This is the result of new  Government regulations for local authority accounts and audit during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Totnes Jubilee Drinking Fountain

Queen Victoria Jubilee Fountain, Totnes

Queen Victoria Jubilee Fountain, Totnes

Totnes Jubliee Drinking Fountain was erected in 1904 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It has been located on The Plains since 1988 but it was originally situated on Station Road on a site donated by the Great Western Railway.

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Reading Transport Strategy 2036 Consultation

Civic Offices

Reading Borough Council (RBC) are consulting on their draft transport strategy that will set Reading’s transport plans until 2036. It includes a local cycling and walking infrastructure plan which could mean more dedicated cycle lanes in south Reading.

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Sunday lunch from Pau Brasil – take six

Bacalhao com natas

Bacalhao com natas

For our sixth takeaway Sunday lunch from Pau Brasil on Mount Pleasant, Reading during social-distancing and the lockdown, we chose, bacalhao com natas served with cassava chips and greens.

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A blot on the Katesgrove landscape

A sea of fly tipping - Woodley Arms car park 2 May 2020

A sea of fly tipping – Woodley Arms car park 2 May 2020

Once upon a time the Woodley Arms on Waldeck Street was a thriving and well loved public house. The brewery, Greene King, sold the pub when it closed eight years ago in 2012. It waited patiently as the years past and the developer submitted a succession of planning applications. It is now a very sorry and sad site with the former car park a sea of discarded furniture, tyres and general household rubbish in black bin bags.

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Spot the stinkpipe – the Lockdown Edition

Stinkpipe

Stinkpipe

This tall and probably once very beautiful stinkpipe is in central Reading on a major bus route. It has avoided our stinkpipe spotters for many years although it is scarcely hidden.

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1 May – on this day in 1823

Horne Sreet and St Giles' Church, Reading W H Timms

Horne Sreet and St Giles’ Church, Reading in 1823. W H Timms courtesy Reading Borough Libraries

We learn from the History of Reading Society’s The Reading Book of Days that on 1 May 1823 William Henry Timms published his Twelve Views of Reading. These included a view south up Southampton Street (Horne Street) and east along London Road.

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Sunday lunch from Pau Brasil – take five

Shredded Beef and Cassava Casserole

For our fifth takeaway Sunday lunch from Pau Brasil on Mount Pleasant, Reading during social-distancing and the lockdown, we chose shredded beef and cassava casserole, served with the white beans, rice and greens. We are thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to eat our way through a range of Brazilian dishes.

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Where in the ward is this?

Blossom

Where in the ward is this?

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Free online archive resources available

Poulton & Sons head office 185 Elgar Road c1900-1909 courtesy Reading Borough Council (Reading Library)

The National Archives at Kew are currently closed and have made some of their digitised records available free of charge until they re-open. Downloadable documents include some historic wills, a selection of military service records including British Army medal cards 1914-1920 and pages from the Domesday Book.

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Blake’s Lock Sewage Pumping Station to get new doors and windows

Engine House and Screen House at Blake's Lock

Engine House and Screen House at Blake’s Lock

Thames Water have submitted an application for listed building consent to replace the doors and windows on the sewage pumping station at Blake’s Lock. Town centre sewage is pumped from here to the sewage treatment works in Whitley.

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Katesgrove loses a crane

View down Mount Pleasant

View down Mount Pleasant

Up here on Katesgrove Hill we have grown used to the tall crane at the corner of Crown Street and Silver Street. Piece by piece it has been dismantled and loaded onto lorries. By late morning on Thursday 23 April it had all but disappeared.

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Sunday lunch from Pau Brasil – take four

Chicken with chorizo and chick peas

Chicken with chorizo and chick peas

For our fourth takeaway Sunday lunch from Pau Brasil on Mount Pleasant, Reading during social-distancing and the lockdown, we chose chicken with chorizo and chick peas in a rich tomato and piri-piri sauce.

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Signs of a start being made on Green Park railway station

Green Park Station

Green Park Station

Whitley Pump reader Andrew Coltman sent us some photographs of the site of Green Park railway station on the line between Reading and Basingstoke. It looks like the land has been cleared ready for building to commence.

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Ghosts of the Meadows

Matt and me

Matt and me

I see very few people over the Kennet meadows. Especially at the moment as they have been under water for so long.

They are still saturated and very muddy and not an attractive proposition for a walk. The marshy nature of the floodplain does attract a lot of birds, and April, as they migrate northwards lots of new birds appear. I spend a lot of time looking, and despite finding over 60 different species this month it takes a lot of time. Often I am out at dawn and get to see the sun rise from a vantage point that gives me a good view over one area or another.

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Get up on stage!

Calling  all local artists who have entertained and sustained us with your thrilling theatrical productions, right here in Reading and beyond – we miss you, the world is a drab place without you… But the fabulous Rabble Theatre Company, led by the inspirational Dani and Toby Davies, have devised an ingenious way of keeping theatre alive, online – and you can join for a free trial!  

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19 April 1164 – The Consecration of Reading Abbey

The hallowing of Reading Abbey

The Hallowing of the Church at Reading Abbey by Thomas Becket in 1164. Oil on canvas by Stephen Reid – 1920 © Reading Museum (Reading Borough Council)

Henry I founded Reading Abbey in 1121 but it was not consecrated until 19 April 1164 during the reign of his grandson Henry II.  The ceremony was carried out by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket and was attended by the King and his noblemen.

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Planning permission submitted for internal repairs to a flat in Albion Terrace

Albion Terrace is a listed Grade II* terrace on London Road, Reading that is also within the Kendrick Conservation Area.  A planning application has been submitted for internal repairs following water damage to one of the flats.

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Lamp post 8747 replaced

New lamp post

New lamp post

Residents venturing out to the end of Milman Road may have noticed that the lamp post next to the bus shelter was looking  a little perilously inclined.

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