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The view from Katesgrove Hill

Category: Heritage (page 1 of 3)

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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Social distancing day 5: In the garden

Whitley Pump correspondents enjoying their garden

Whitley Pump correspondents enjoying their garden

On 23 March the Government published stricter guidance on staying at home and away from others that superseded the advice in place at the time of writing on 22 March.

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Social distancing day 2: English Heritage free-to-enter sites

A Roman wall at Silchester

On 23 March the Government published stricter guidance on staying at home and away from others that superseded the advice in place at the time of writing on 19 March.

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Reading’s Biodiversity Action Plan

Kennet in January 2020

Kennet in January 2020

Reading does not currently have a biodiversity action plan (BAP). The 2005-15 plan has expired but the Reading Borough Council (RBC) Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee may approve a new one for public consultation tonight, 16 March. The illustrated document is a fascinating overview of Reading’s natural environment.

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Reading rivals Southend in bid for city status

Southend Pier on a wet day in 2016

The MP for Southend West, Sir David Amess, is determined to see Southend granted city status. He is so determined that he secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the subject before MPs left Parliament for Christmas on 20 December. Reading, like Southend, lost out in 2012 when three new cities were created as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

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Decking over the IDR – a conversation with Reg Vastern-King

Hexagon, Broad St Mall and Fountain House

Hexagon, Broad St Mall and Fountain House

Reg Vastern-King chair and founder of the Friends of the IDR had watched the events unfolding at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning applications committee when the proposal to build four residential towers at Broad St Mall was discussed. I met Reg at his favourite hostelry, the Reindeer on Southampton Street to ask him what he thought about it all.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Liskeard Pipe Well

Liskeard Pipe Well

Liskeard Pipe Well – September 2019

Water from the Pipe Well in Liskeard was once a major contributor to the Cornish town’s water supply; it was declared unfit to drink in 1976. The well’s gates were open during Liskeard Unlocked, the town’s Heritage Open Day in 2019, when there was a costumed interpreter on hand to answer questions and the well was decorated with bunting and garlands.

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Heritage Open Days information evening at the MERL on 4 March

The Reading UK community interest company will host an information evening about Heritage Open Days on Wednesday 4 March at 5pm. The information evening will be at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) on Redlands Road and the open days themselves run from 11 September to 20 September this year.

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Tree cover in Katesgrove

Reading Borough Council Civic Offices

Councillors at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on 17 February opted for a quick meeting. The time was taken up with three questions from a member of the public and three from Councillor Rob White. In the answer to his first question we learnt that Katesgrove is almost at the bottom of Reading’s tree cover league.

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A talk about the Old Redlands Estate

Old Redlands Estate

This month’s History of Reading Society talk on Wednesday 19 February, Redlands Estate or ‘Shakels Fields’, will be about Redlands’ place in the development of Reading. The speaker is Keith Jerrome who lived in Redlands for 40 years.

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A new planning application to demolish the After Dark Club on London Street

After Dark Night Club

KK Property Investments Ltd has submitted a planning application to Reading Borough Council (RBC) to demolish the After Dark Club at 112 London Street and replace it with a block of six flats. This is the third application in recent years to develop the site. The first was rejected in 2016 and the second was withdrawn by the applicant in 2018 before a decision was made.

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A trip along the IDR at the History of Reading Society

Coley Bridge

Coley pedestrian bridge over the IDR

Graham Turner presented a film about the route of the Inner Distribution Road (IDR) before it was built, at the History of Reading Society (HoRS) on 15 January. The venue, the Abbey Baptist Church, was almost full and the audience were entranced as changing scenes of the streets of Reading in the 1960s and 70s appeared before their eyes.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – the Funchal drinking fountain by Max Römer

Fontanario da Imperatriz – 1844

Funchal, on the island of Madeira, has more than enough drinking fountains for a dedicated tourist trail. If we had to pick one that really stands out for twinning, it would have to be this one which is situated up on the hill just north of the casino. There is also a very circuituous and tenuous link back to the Whitley Pump.

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Review of 2019 at the Whitley Pump

The MERL’s new yarn bomb

Thank you to all our readers and regular and occasional contributors for making it a wonderful year on Katesgrove Hill. We hope that you continue to enjoy reading or contributing to the Whitley Pump in 2020.

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The MERL is open today and tomorrow

Christmas at MERL

The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) on Redlands Road is open today, 28 December, from 10am to 5pm after a Christmas break. It is also open tomorrow, 29 December, but then closes again until 9am on 2 January 2020.

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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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Red Cow public house has a walk on role in surreal planning committee drama

The Red Cow

The Red Cow in 2016

The Red Cow public house at the corner of Southampton Street and Crown Street was mentioned at last week’s Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning applications committee. Julie Williams, RBC acting planning manager, told the committee that during the ongoing refurbishment developers had been asked to rebuild a section of wall. This was because they had laid bricks in stretcher rather than Flemish bond and, as the pub is a listed building, the method used had to be in historically appropriate.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Walton Well drinking fountain

Walton Well drinking fountain

In Jericho, Oxford’s answer to Katesgrove, you will find Walton Well drinking fountain. It is situated at the junction of Walton Well Road with Southmoor Road and Longworth Road and right opposite the site of the former Eagle Ironworks. There had been a well, a spring and a ford at this point until the 1880s, but that had been filled in. Former Oxford Mayor William Ward presented the fountain in 1885.

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Village Pumps by Richard Williams

Richard K Williams book Village Pumps is a concise summary of the history, technology and terminology of water pumps. The book is richly illustrated with diagrams and photographs and will be of interest to every Whitley Pump reader.

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In Grateful Memory, John Dearing’s new booklet about the monuments and inscriptions in St Mary’s Episcopal Chapel

In Grateful Memory

Monuments and Inscriptions in St Mary’s Episcopal Chapel, Reading by John Dearing

John Dearing, the author of In Grateful Memory, has lived in Katesgrove for over 39 years. This recently published and very readable booklet about the monuments and inscriptions in St Mary’s Episcopal Chapel on Castle Street features many Katesgrovians of times gone by.

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