Activities for Members

 

Visits

Each year we aim to undertake visits to a selected location in London or a town of historic interest where we usually link up with the local Civic Society. We have previously been to Bath, Malvern, Southampton, Poole and Winchester to name a few. Our London visits have been led by a Blue Badge Guide and have included Docklands, Spitalfields, Southwark and the Kings Cross and St Pancras area.  Events in Reading have included  visits to; see the work underway at Thames Lido (Kings Meadow), the new offices of Haslams Estate Agents, the new School of Architecture at Reading University and to hear from the Head of the School. in 2023 we were invited by the Lord of the Manor of Bucklebury House for a guided tour of his wonderful garden and treated to lunch.

In 2024 we have planned:

  • May and June – 2024 ‘Look Draw Build@Reading’ design project for Primary schools in the town
  • 11 and 13 May – two walks in the REDA Walks Festival; one around Katesgrove and one around Victoria Park
  • 8 June – we will be at Reading’s Waterfest
  • 10 June – a guided tour of Donnington Hospital (an Almshouse of the Hartley Trust) hosted by Willie Hartley Russell. The Almshouses have been in his family since 1632. The visit will include a light lunch in the boardroom of the hospital, and a donation of £20 per head is sought which will go to Mr Hartley Russell’s chosen charity the ‘Newbury Soup Kitchen’
  • 22 August – Visit to the Ornamental Gardens at Waltham Place. This will include a light lunch with the cost of the guided tour and lunch being £20
  • 6-15 September – we will be taking place in the Heritage Open Days with the exact events yet to be announced

We have already held:

  • 11 April – Visit to the Station Hill development, hosted by Lincoln Property, to see the latest buildings under construction and understand the ethos of the developers and what value the development is bringing to the town

in 2023 activities included:

  • A tour of three churches in the Basingstoke area
  • ‘Look Draw Build@Reading’ design project for Primary schools in the town

In 2022 activities included;

  • a guided tour of 24 Southcote Road, an 1850s building which has been undergoing sympathetic restoration for the last 2 years,
  • Visit to Bremont Watches in Henley,
  • a book launch at Haslams Estate Agents of “The Gentlemen Danes of Reading” by RCS member John Nixon,
  • For HODs talks about Georgian Reading by member John Missenden and about Buckler Cars (following the installation of a blue Plaque)
  • A visit to the Mayor’s Parlour to meet the Mayor Cllr Rachel Eden to hear about the Mayoralty in Reading and see some of the images of past Mayors and some of the silver collection.
  • The launch of Look Draw Build@Reading Station project for Primary Schools in Haslams Estate Agents.

Local activities in general

There have been local guided walks with a theme, such as statues and monuments; and an annual churches tour.  These have unfortunately been rather blown by COVID.

For Heritage Open Days for the last 4 years we have organised a walk of interesting parts of town with  Reading Civic Society Committee Member  Terry Dixon;   Terry’s Reading Walkabouts. In 2022 this covered the Christchurch and Redlands Conservation areas. In 2023 this will cover areas of Caversham.

We hold a lunch party at a local restaurant, now in the Autumn.

Members receive regular updates by email (copied to those not on email) about related events along with an occasional formal newsletter.  Newsletters, which show past events, may be seen on the Membership page.

Our AGM is usually held in the Garden Hall at Watlington House in Spring

We invite a speaker to talk on a topic of interest to the Society. In the past, subjects have included old film footage of the town, and an illustrated talk on Stratfield Saye, home of the Dukes of Wellington, “On Track, Reading’s Railways, Past, Present and Future”, in 2017 The Battle of Maiwand.

The talk for the AGM held in 2024 was by Alastair Dick-Cleland of the Landmark Trust.

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