The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Author: Jane Burnett

California (Katesgrove) Dreaming…

Hidden behind an ornate brick frontage on Milman Road stands a quietly growing giant. This giant is a tree, and not just any tree, but a Californian Redwood. It is the only tree on the street with a preservation order, thanks to efforts by local legends John and Edna Tuggey.

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Reading’s rubbish epidemic

When I was a child, my mother once smacked me for throwing a piece of orange peel out of the car window. Smacking children has long since been banned but littering (and even worse, fly tipping) is now endemic in the UK. Say what you like about Europe, but you’d be hard pushed to find cities and countryside on the other side of the channel that are as rubbish-strewn, unsightly and unloved as their British counterparts.

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Reading Guild of Artists show 2017

What a nice experience to pop over the road from my job at the Royal Berkshire Hospital to the fourth Summer Show of the Reading Guild of Artists (RGA) in the UoR London Road campus. The exhibition features a rich variety of paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and mixed media work from over 50 RGA members, as well as showcasing the final year work of BA Ed Art students from the University of Reading.

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Paradise lost in a corner shop

When I was growing up in Wales, my local corner shop was called Eva’s after the homely purveyor of goods and gossip who lived on the premises with her doddery black mongrel, Paddy.

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Veggie Dining at the Rising Sun

The beat you can enjoy between meals.

The beat you can enjoy between meals.

The Rising Sun Arts Centre resurrected Veggie Dining on 20 November 2016 as part of its 25th anniversary.

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Dusk comes to the University of Reading

The University of Reading’s art department degree show Dusk showcases the diverse talents of its undergraduate and postgraduate students, featuring painting, sculpture, film, performance and installation, mostly along themes that are literally or emotionally dark.

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Forage Club


The first rule of Forage Club is… never eat anything unless you’re 100% sure of what it is!

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Bee ‘n’ bee

Bee hotel

My first bee hotel was open for business two or three years before guests moved in.

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A poem by Victoria Pugh
with illustrations by Jane Burnett.

Jackson's mannequin (Jane Burnett)

So many hat boxes, stacked up, on shelves by the door –
round, black, with a crest on each one; full of flat caps,
trilbies, bowlers, top hats? Or nothing? Like extra-wide
organ pipes, ready to play a tune in brown dog tooth.

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The sound of summer


You know summer is really on its way when you hear the swifts arrive back from Africa; the unmistakable joyous screeching cacophony as big gangs of these crescent-shaped birds perform aerobatic displays over the houses in pursuit of airborne insects.

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