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The view from Katesgrove Hill

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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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A Saturday afternoon trip to Fleet on the number seven bus

The number 7 ‘Tiger’ service from Reading to Fleet in Hampshire is a relatively new addition to Reading Buses’ services. Highlights of the trip include travelling in the bus lane across the middle of the roundabout at Junction 11 of the M4, bouncing through Mary Mitford’s village of Three Mile Cross and, when you get to Fleet, there is an ironmongers and an ice cream parlour!

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A Katesgrove tour of the Story of Reading Gallery at Reading Museum

Reading Hindu Temple

The stunning centrepiece at the entrance to the new Story of Reading gallery at Reading Museum contains an object from each of Reading’s 16 wards. For Katesgrove, it is a small brass lamp used during prayers at Reading Hindu Temple at the top of Whitley Street.

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Cheese feast at the Forbury

Glen Dinning’s Blue Collar Street Food is back at the Forbury Gardens from Thursday 19 April to Sunday 22 April with the marvellously titled ‘Cheese Feast’. I caught up with Glen for a carafe of tea at C.U.P to ask him about his modern re-boot of this festival as well as the latest events at the Madstad.

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The Berkshire book of song, rhyme and steeple chime

The Berkshire book of song, rhyme and steeple chime was published in 1935 and is a unique record of country song, children’s games, epitaphs, droll church inscriptions, poems, doggerel, social history and some scurrilous local gossip. These pieces were lovingly collected over twenty years or so by the publisher and author Arthur L Humphreys.

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A Whitley Gate toll ticket from 1867

(L to R) Matthew Farrall and David Cliffe (holding the ticket)

Whitley Pump contributor Matthew Farrall was idly looking at a wall in his mum’s house recently and noticed a framed local newspaper article featuring a ticket dated 17 July 1867 for Whitley toll gate.

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The church of the shining fields

If you are out on the local roadway or on the pavements grey and you are looking for an interesting walk or a peaceful place to visit, then just over the old Whitley borders across the M4 there is a beautiful church that is almost a thousand years old.

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Whose land is it anyway?

From Labourers' Friend Magazine 1834-5

Commons, smallholdings, allotments and gardens were the subject of a pop up talk at the Museum of English Rural Life on Monday 21 November.

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Sumer is Icumen In – could you hear it up on Katesgrove Hill?

A view of the Reading Abbey Ruins from the Forbury Gardens

A view of Reading Abbey ruins from Forbury Gardens

The Whitley Pump takes an interest in the current developments at Reading Abbey which should lead to its re-opening to visitors in 2018. When it was first built, the abbey would have been visible from the top of Whitley and Katesgrove Hill.

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Four Horseshoes Pub

Demolition in Progress - 17 October 2015

The former Four Horseshoes Pub is being demolished and will be replaced by 2 blocks of student accommodation, comprising 34 rooms.

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Planning application 161107 : 39 London Road

39 London Road

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Approaching Reading from the South

A view of Reading from Whitley Street

Almost two centuries ago, Mary Russell Mitford, a one time resident of Reading, wrote this description of the approach to the fictional town of Belford Regis. The name of the town and its landmarks may have changed, but the approach to Reading and the view from Whitley Street is still recognisable today.

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