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The view from Katesgrove Hill

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Debate on the Central Club and Black History Mural

Katesgrove councillor Sophia James spoke in the ‘Save Reading Central Club Mural/ Do Not Sell The Central Club (A Community Asset) to Commercial Developers’ debate at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) council meeting on Tuesday 17 October.

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Prologue to the Black History Mural and Central Club debate

The sequence of events on the agenda for the meeting of Reading Borough Council (RBC) on 17 October was altered to allow questions from members of the public before the presentation of the petition and eagerly awaited debate on the Black History Mural and Central Club.

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Black History Mural petition – history repeats itself on 17 October

At the end of September a petition was presented to Reading Borough Council (RBC) asking for the council to reconsider Aspire CIC’s rejected bid. However this was not the first petition that the has council received about the Black History mural, it had a predecessor in 2006.

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Katesgrove councillor Sophia James talks about the future of the Central Club and the Black History Mural

The Black History Mural was ‘livicated‘ in 1990 and concern has been expressed about its future following Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) decision in July to put the Central Club building on the open market for bids.

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Former Central Club sold subject to planning permission

The former Central Club on London Street

The FOR SALE signboard at the former Central Club (Reading Central Youth Provision) on London Street says that the building has been sold subject to planning permission.

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Friends of the IDR respond to the RBC transport consultation

The Black History Mural and the IDR

The Whitley Pump asked Reg Vastern-King, chair of the Friends of the IDR (Inner Distribution Road), what he thought about the Reading Borough Council (RBC) consultation on transport strategy; he was not impressed. “I just don’t understand,” he said “how can you carry out a transport strategy consultation which does not even ask how you feel about the IDR?”

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Windrush Day comes to south Reading on 22 June

Image courtesy of BAFA.

Reading celebrates the Windrush generation’s contribution to the town with four events, starting with a sports day at South Reading Leisure Centre on Windrush day, 22 June.

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Sage Reading half marathon on Sunday 17 March

Black History Mural on race day 2018

Last year, the Reading half marathon was called off at short notice because of treacherous, icy conditions on the roads. The weather remains unpredictable this year; Reading may have had some of its best summer weather in February!

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Council tax and RBC budget approved for next year

Civic Offices

The Reading Borough Council (RBC) full council meeting considered weighty financial matters on Tuesday 26 February, which included agreeing to next year’s council tax charges.

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Do Thames Valley Police disproportionately stop-and-search ethnic minorities?

Photo (c) Reading Borough Council

Katesgrove councillor Sophia James took the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Anthony Stansfeld to task over disproportionate police stop-and-search at Reading Borough Council’s policy meeting on 29 October.

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Walking stages 3 and 4 of the IDR

The ski jump at the end of the IDR in 1984. The Hook and Tackle is the on the left, painted white.

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.

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‘Coalition of the disaffected’ takes shape on London Street

Aspire and CAG meeting at RISC (drawing: Huma Jehan)

Reading’s Caribbean Associations Group (CAG) and Aspire CIC have decided on political action in the aftermath of Reading Borough Council’s controversial sale of the Central Club to property developers Red Line Land.

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Sale of the Central Club

The ‘Black History’ mural

Reading Borough Council (RBC) have agreed to sell the Central Club on London Street in Katesgrove to Red Line. They will develop the site and take over responsibility for the maintenance of the mural. Councillors were at pains to point out at RBC policy committee on 16 July, that the process of finding a new use for the club since it closed in 2006 has been protracted.

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Three protests at council policy committee meeting

Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on the evening Monday 16 July saw three very different public protests played out in front of councillors and RBC officers.

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Central Club on London Street up for sale

Haslams are marketing the Central Club on Katesgrove’s London Street and details of the sale are available on a dedicated web page.

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Friends of the IDR

Oracle roundabout under the IDR

The Friends of the Inner Distribution Road (FIDR) will meet for their inaugural meeting today at the Little Crown public house on Southampton Street.

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Community groups encouraged to express interest in Central Club mural

The ‘Black History’ mural

Reading Borough Council is advertising for expressions of interest from community groups to bid for the north wall and mural of the former Central Club on London Street.

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‘Black History’ mural becomes an asset of community value

Reading Borough Council (RBC) have listed the ‘Black History’ mural on Mill Lane as an asset of community value after it was nominated by the Aspire community interest company (CIC) as part of their campaign to acquire the Central Club.

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Apollo, After Dark and the Central Club: “when the music hits you, you can feel no pain”

Matthew Farrall (left) and David Archibald (right), making a sign for ‘Africa’

I was on a lunchtime walk from work with colleagues recently and among them was Jamaican-born Rastafarian, David Archibald. David’s knowledge of the Afro-Caribbean history of three Katesgrove buildings had us all enthralled. He gave us some real insight into the cultural and socio-political side of life growing up in Reading in the 70s and 80s. With vivid joy, he talked of the great times he had at the Apollo Youth Club, the Caribbean Club and the Central Club; David explained most of his life at the time revolved around social gatherings with music at the heart of everything.

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Reading 2050: the Emperor has no clothes

The Emperor has no clothes

A Vision for Reading 2050 has been published. What is it all about beyond the garish bright pink cover and the migraine inducing rainbow coloured graphics?

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