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Dennis Wood gives a new talk about the history of Whiteknights Park, in April

Dennis Wood’s talk at Christ Church in October about the history of Reading’s Southern Hill was so successful that he will give another history talk, on Wednesday 29 April, about Whiteknights Park.

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A talk about Southern Hill at Christ Church by Dennis Wood

Poster for Southern Hill talk

Local historian and author Dennis Wood will be giving a talk on the history of Southern Hill at 2pm on Wednesday 9 October at Christ Church, Christchurch Road, Reading. Southern Hill is the name by which the area that now lies along Christchurch, Redlands and Upper Redlands Roads was once known.

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Whitley past and present explored with Dennis Wood

By John Howard and Adam Harrington.

Dennis Wood at the Whitley history talk on 29 September. Photo: John Howard

Dennis Wood, the author of Views from the Hill, the Story of Whitley gave a charming and fascinating talk called Whitley Past and Present at Whitley library on 29 September.

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Katesgrove’s link with carols in the trenches in 1914

25 December 1914 Archibald Buchanan-Dunlop (left), Captain M. B. G. Copeman (centre), and Captain W. C. Wilson (right) in the trenches at La Grande Flamengrie. Image courtesy Robin Buchanan-Dunlop

Major Archibald Henry Buchanan-Dunlop of Whitley Rise was pictured in the Berkshire Chronicle of 8 January 1915 beneath the headline “Major who sang carols between the trenches”. A short paragraph beneath reported that he was one of the “moving spirits” in the Christmas truce between British and German troops on the Western Front [ref 1].

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Christ Church Christmas Fayre on Saturday 7 December

Christ Church Reading in the snow

Christ Church Reading in the snow. Photo (c) Dennis Wood

Christ Church is holding a Christmas fayre on Saturday 7 December from 1pm until 4pm. It will be followed by a barbecue and fireworks in the evening.

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The Four Horseshoes public house and its place in Reading’s political history

The Four Horseshoes public house at the corner of Basingstoke Road and Long Barn Lane was an ancient hostelry originally known as the Long Barn. In the 1820s, it was at the centre of a libel case involving tenant James Leach and Reading’s brewing and political elites.

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What’s happening in Katesgrove and Whitley from 7 October


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Gillette Building on Basingstoke Road has been locally listed

By Evelyn Williams & Dennis Wood.

Gillette in February 2017 before work started

The recent planning application for a major reconfiguration of the Gillette building on Basingstoke Road in Whitley elicited positive comments about the factory building from councillors on the Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning committee.

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New tenant sought for the Nob

ei publican partnerships are advertising for new tenants for the Queens Head, locally known as ‘The Nob’, on Christchurch Road in Reading.

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The old Whitley library has been locally listed

The old Whitley Library building has now closed

The old Whitley library on Northumberland Avenue has been added to Reading’s list of locally important buildings and structures. This means that in future it will be subject to more detailed planning controls than an unlisted building.

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Whitley history talk

Dennis Wood, author of Views from the Hill, a history of Whitley, will be giving an illustrated talk at 2pm on Saturday 29 September at Whitley Library.

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Mayor rings in the old school bell at Palmer Academy

Reading Mayor councillor Debs Edwards rang the bell of the George Palmer School after a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Palmer Academy on Monday 18 June. The Northumberland Road academy is the successor to the George Palmer School which opened in 1907.

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The old Whitley library is now closed

Whitley Library – 2 June 2018

Whitley Library closed its doors on Saturday 2 June at 1pm after 80 years of serving the local population. It will re-open in the south Reading community hub on Tuesday 19 June.

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Whitley history talk on Saturday 10 March

Local historian Dennis Wood, author of Views from the Hill: The Story of Whitley, will be giving an illustrated talk at 2pm on Saturday 10 March at Whitley Library on Northumberland Avenue [this event has been cancelled].

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World Book Day 2018

As a celebration of World Book Day 2018, the Whitley Pump looks back at the books we reviewed in the last year.

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The 2017 Christmas fete at Christ Church, Reading

Christmas tree at Christ Church Christmas fete 2017

Christ Church, the church whose elegant spire looks down Kendrick Road, had its 2017 Christmas fete on Saturday 9 December.

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A New Book about Whitley

Views from the Hill – The Story of Whitley by Dennis Wood

The Whitley Pump met local historian Dennis Wood and his wife Pearl to talk about his book Views from the Hill, the Story of Whitley at the Whitley Community Café on Northumberland Avenue.

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