ReadingYou’re welcome to it



Here it is, summed up in one picture...




Yes, it’s Reading Borough Council. This is a council

of extraordinary ineptitude and failure; one that takes

the word ‘risible’ to new levels. Most councils are

poor, but Reading’s is incredibly poor. The Councillors

are a joke that would benefit a Russian village. Indeed

the Village Idiots’ annual bash can’t hold a candle to a

Reading Council meeting. But the minions who work

for the Council (in office) are just as poor and inept.

It’s like they found each other. So welcome to Reading...



Where is Reading? Reading is around 40 miles west (left) of London, at the bottom edge of the Chiltern hills.

How big is Reading? It’s around 5 miles by 5 miles.

How many people there? Around 160,000 including illegal immigrants.

Does it have a university? Yes.

Is it expensive to live in? To buy a property, yes.

Is there lots to do there? No, not really.

Do tourists go to Reading? No, only by mistake.

Can you see the sea? Yes, if you go up about a thousand feet and look south.

What’s the best thing to come out of Reading? Any main road.


Sell it to me.

Reading sits by the River Thames and has (fairly) easy access to the M4 and to London. It’s also only 42 miles from the sea. It is surrounded by beautiful Berkshire countryside and has high employment. There is a mix of housing and a good bus service. In 2019 Reading will be linked to the Crossrail route, allowing non-changing travel to London and Canary Wharf, (though few people realise that it will actually take longer to get to these destinations than it currently does!). Reading has a good mix of shops and retail outlets, and even some specialist retailers. The weather, with Reading being inland and in the south, is generally good. There is a good mix of schools - state and private.


Why wouldn’t I want to live in Reading?

The Council. Reading is busy, with traffic that is often on the verge of standstill. The local Council don’t seem to care about the town and can treat its inhabitants with contempt. The town is ‘multicultural’ and can seem like a foreign place. Reading has a lot of speed humps on its roads, and many potholes. Advertising hoardings are many, with very few flowers and shrubbery. The solitary hospital struggles to cope with the town, let alone those sucked in from around, and its car park is the size of a cinema’s car park. There is no adequate car parking around the town (unlike similar towns) and charging is exhorbitant. Reading only has to have the M4 closed to bring it to a standstill, and all hell breaks loose.


Soooo Reading.

Why living in Reading is sometimes like an episode of The Outer is a small list of bizarre Reading:

Reading has the Hexagon Theatre...that isn’t hexagonal.

Don’t believe us? Click

Reading has a road junction where drivers get in the right-hand lane to turn left, and the left-hand lane to turn right.

Where? Chatham Street/ Bedford Road.

There was a perfectly-fine bus stop in a lay-by...until Reading Borough Council moved it 50 yards to a blind right-hand bend - causing a number of accidents since.

Where? Norcot Road, by Romany Lane.

Reading has a road that allows ‘Buses Only’ to enter...but it isn’t on a bus route.

Where? North end of Beresford Road.

Reading will ‘benefit’ from the Crossrail route when it opens in 2019...the only thing is that journey times will be LONGER, not shorter! Yes, we know!

Don’t believe us? Click


Reading, the town.

Reading isn’t a particularly nice town, although it isn’t unpleasant either. Little is done by the local council to improve it. Trading shops in Oxford Road are allowed to have their large commercial bins out on the pavement, which makes the road an unpleasant site. The local council has also managed to blight the town with its insistent wheelie-bin policy in inappropriate streets. Advertising hoardings are also large in number across the town, and there are very few measures taken to promote trees and flowers (as in many other large towns). There is also little or nothing done to promote the fact that the River Thames runs right through the town. Reading has no river regatta. The council’s chief promotion is its bus service - which is good. But this is often at the expense of other road users! The traffic signal system is poor, and results in congestion in some places. Reading’s people are well aware that just one incident (like a road being closed off by the police because someone has tripped up) can cause chaos in the town within minutes.


Access to the M4 is fairly easy, though morning peak time can obviously be a trial. Roads to and from the M4 are littered with traffic signals, and this slows down travel time. With its proximity to Heathrow, London, and the A34, Reading is a good ‘central’ place to be. It is surrounded by attractive countryside, and has some impressive shopping. Please also see the ‘Travel’ bit below.


When Reading was smaller in the 1960s, it had no less than three hospitals. Now that it is twice the size, it has one - the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and parking at the site is seen by Reading people as some kind of cruel joke. If you are lucky enough to get a space (fortune indeed) then you will pay handsomely for it. The hospital is a rambling mess of buildings and add-ons, of differing levels too. Accident & Emergency certainly isn’t pleasant, with its squeaky metal chairs and unwelcoming area. The wait in A&E can be horrendous, even when the room is virtually empty - which is rare. If the receptionist makes eye-contact with you then consider yourself truly honoured. Try to avoid Friday and Saturday nights at A&E, as this is when the stupid young of Reading have it booked up after sniffing the town-centre bar you might understand the receptionist’s attitude.


Reading is blessed with very many companies, making employment high. Its population ensures that services, such as plumbing, building and electrical, etc. are much in demand. There is a diverse social make-up, from traditional ‘working class’ estates to high-value homes, and everything in between. These help make Reading a very average/typical-type town.


Educational establishments in Reading are very good. There are some excellent schools; state, public, and private, and a Technical College and highly-regarded university. There are plenty of opportunities for further education and private courses.


Reading is seen as a multicultural town. Indeed, one school has 27 different languages spoken. Non-English-born make up one in five of the population in the west of the town. This rises to one in four to the east of the town. Out of 326 local authorities, Reading is ranked 125th ‘most deprived’. A fifth of the town’s children are eligible for free school meals. The average family income is £2,527 per month. On balance, Reading can be an ideal place to live for a family, with its schools, entertainment, shopping, and its surrounding countryside. Its ill-thought-out traffic and road system really let it down, and some parts of the town are very unattractive. Like many towns, the centre can be a bit wild-west late on Friday and Saturday nights, and is probably best avoided by everyone but the young.


Crime in Reading is around average for a large town. The highest rates of crime are in the Oracle shopping Mall area, Broad Street Mall area, and the area around Friar Street and Queen Victoria Street - which bears out the earlier point about the wild-west. A murder is thankfully still a rare event in Reading.


Reading was a town of smells in the past, both with biscuits and the unmistakable smell of Courage’s beer brewing - that covered a wide area, and was very pleasant. This was first in the town centre (Courage occupied a site just to the south of St. Mary’s Butts), then next to the M4 at Junction 11. Unfortunately, brewing ended some time ago. This mixed with the odour of sewage at the treatment plant near Smallmead. Reading installed a huge fan (still subsidised today) to try and blow away what became known as ‘The Whitley Whiff’...But unfortunately this didn’t work! So it’s used every now and again for generating a little bit of electricity...when it isn’t being paid to just sit there. In 2011, the Daily Mail dubbed it the UK’s most useless wind turbine. Local residents use it for pointing out to tourists where Whitley is on the skyline.


Like every large town, Reading has had, and continues to have, its fair share of characters. Many years back there was a lady who lived to the west of the town who was known as Jilted Joan. She wore white cream on her face and walked about Tilehurst in a long coat. Naturally, many urban legends described the reasons for her demeanour, but few knew her personally. She frightened some of the local children. Reading also has ‘Reading Elvis’, an amiable character that can be seen walking around Reading with an Elvis Presley album in his hand. He is much-loved. Then there’s Tony Page.



Please note that AboutReading has no formal links with Reading Borough Council (why would we want that?). Contacting Reading Borough Council isn’t easy, as they bizarrely have decided not to have a ‘Contact Us’ link on their main website! This is rather typical of the Council itself - never wanting to actually make things really easy for the people they serve. It’s (0118) 937 3787. The number isn’t even on their website’s ‘About’ page without further clicking! For out-of-hours emergency, try telephone (0118) 937 3737. Their useless website is here.

If you phone (make it before 4.00 p.m. as many of the staff go home) you’ll get a very pleasant young man called Wayne. He will politely explain that the person you want to talk to isn’t there at the moment. He will take all your details and say that someone will phone you. They won’t (no reflection on him). We’ve had this from Planning, Highways, and Traffic signal departments. We’re still waiting for a call back (phoned and emailed) about a junction in Reading from two years ago now! If you are lucky enough to have the direct number, you’ll likely get an answering service telling you the person isn’t available to take your call, and to leave a message. No point in doing that. Their email is FIVE DAY response (if you get one at all)!


We should point out that not all Council employees are unhelpful, brusque, and unresponsive. But many of them seem to be. Like many Councils (all Councils?), Reading’s forgets that it’s there to serve its people, not lord it over them.





Forbury Gardens close to Abbey Gateway

Reading Station behind Burger King

The Oracle close to the straight bridge over the Kennet Canal

Southampton Street top of

Cemetery Junction opposite the church

Palmer Park right-hand side of main building

Reading Bridge actually by the childrens’ splasher pool in Christchurch Meadows

Richfield Avenue Thames Side Promenade, to the left of the Crown Plaza Hotel

St. Martin’s Precinct between Waitrose and Iceland

Caversham Court Gardens The Tea Kiosk

Shepherds Hill Reading Road

Earley Earley Railway Station

Plus, of course, many large shops and pubs, or the street - if you’re French.




WHAT’S TO DO?...What can you do here?..more than most of the residents realise!



Caversham Bowling Club (Tel. 0118 946 1861)

Reading Bowling Club (Tel. 0118 987 3698)

Rivermead Indoor Bowls Club (Tel. 0118 950 0803)

Suttons Bowls Club (Tel. 0118 975 0192)

Tilehurst Bowling Club (Tel. 0118 941 9970)

Whiteknights Indoor Bowling (Tel. 0118 986 0759)


Reading Climbing Centre, Britten Road, Reading. RG2 0AU (Tel. 0118 975 6298)

Crazy Golf...No...this ain’t no seaside resort, it ain’t no country club either (All I wanna do, is have some fun...)


Calcot Golf Club (Tel. 0118 942 7124)

Caversham Heath Golf Club (Tel. 0118 947 8600)

Reading Golf Club (Tel. 0118 947 2909)

Horse Riding...Yes...

Burley Lodge Equestrian Centre, Shinfield (Tel. 0118 9886 936)

Cloud Stables, Arborfield (Tel. 976 1522)

Ice Skating...No, but there is a frozen rink that is temporary around Xmas in the Forbury


Teamsport Indoor Karting, Cradock Road, Reading. RG2 0EE (Tel. 0844 9980 000)

Kids Activity...Yes...

Jungle Mania, Woodley (Tel. 0118 969 2635)

Mad Hatters Pottery Cafe, School Road, Tilehurst (Tel. 0118 327 2022)

Mad House Play & Party World, Green Park (Tel. 0118 975 5455)


In central town by the old Town Hall (Tel. 0118 937 3400)

Museum of Berkshire Aviation, Woodley (Tel. 944 8089) Boys love it! Sexist? We don’t care, so get over yourself.

Museum of English Rural Life, Reading University (Tel. 0118 378 8660)

Museum of Zoology, Reading University (Tel. 0118 378 5393)

The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, Reading University (Tel. 0118 378 6990)


Skiplex Endless Indoor Ski, Woodley (Tel. 0118 977790)

Swimming...Yes, but it isn’t particularly pleasant...

Central Pool, Battle Street (Tel. 0118 901 5070)

Ten-pin got torn down to make way for IKEA. Completely different load of balls.


Hexagon, central Reading (Tel. 0118 960 6060)

Treasure Trail...Yes, if you really haven’t anything else to do with the kids...

(Tel. 01872 263692)


There are more things to do, but they involve travelling out of Reading. Those companies are welcome to use the right-hand site of this website to advertise their facilities for free.
 not to


LIVE READING TRAFFIC CAMERAS...courtesy of Reading Borough Council

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We originally put that up as a joke - to show how poor Reading Borough Council’s camera system is. Then they went and provided the actuality. Yes, really. Here is a screenshot from March 6th...the cameras have been ‘down’ for months!...




wp8ff62707_0f.jpg Reading’s Roads...ooh, er!

See the travel cameras

Reading has gained a well-deserved reputation for its road and traffic system - or rather lack of one. Support for its bus service is made generally at the expense of other road users. This is a pity, as this lack of traffic management often sees Reading very congested. Needless bus lanes can infect traffic signal junctions. It’s infuriating to be sat in a car, and see a virtually empty bus (and taxis!) sailing down their own empty corridor. Ironically, a bus lane itself can be the cause of the problem, or at the very least, a large contributing factor. Poor signal management and design also allows traffic to build, and Reading has seen its fair share of roundabout-removal in favour of traffic signals. The owners of this website are still waiting to be told where a single road-traffic system in Reading has been devised to ease traffic, rather than add to it. One could be forgiven for thinking that the local Council has a weird fixation with making traffic worse. On May 18th, 2015, Reading Bridge (to and from Caversham) was closed for essential repairs. The Reading traffic CCTV cameras (broadcast live to the internet) number only 20 cameras - of which 10 were out of action on that morning, and of the three which showed Caversham traffic, two were out, and the third was pointing in the wrong direction! This graphically shows the level of intelligence that is applied to Reading’s traffic and travel from Reading Borough Council. Then it got worse. In May of 2016, a serious accident closed the M4 and created a major traffic problem in Reading. ALL of Reading’s traffic cameras were out of action...for four weeks!


Road signs in Reading can be extremely confusing, and just plain wrong. For decades now, ‘M4’ signs have been sending traffic needlessly through congested points, when it would be better to send the traffic exactly the other way. It is far better to trust your often-errant satellite navigation device rather than Reading’s road planners/managers! For many years, in Rose Kiln Lane, there was a road sign sending Basingstoke-bound traffic into a trading estate.  And for longer than anyone can remember, there is (still) a road sign in Caversham’s George Street sending Crematorium traffic down a one-way residential street that would lead back out to where you have just come from. A large road sign in Portman Road advises traffic to turn left for ‘Reading FC’. Although this is arguably technically correct, the sign is actually pointing toward Reading FC’s old ground...which they left way back in 1998. There would be no reason at all for anyone visiting Reading FC’s Madjeski Stadium to be in Portman Road - no matter from which direction they had come from!


Reading has some bizarre traffic signal junctions that hold up traffic unnecessarily, such as the junction of Henley Road and All Hallows Road. There is absolutely no sense to these junction signals at all. There is also a very curious position at Chatham Street where it meets Bedford Road. Due to a lack of white paint markings, traffic wishing to turn left (to go up to the Oxford Road junction) get in the RIGHT-HAND lane at the roundabout - and queue. Oddly, locals wishing to get to the Central Swimming Pool know to travel down the LEFT-HAND lane to turn RIGHT! This has been pointed out to the local Council many times, but they remain unconcerned that tourist drivers are completely caught out by this. All it takes to solve it is some white paint and a ‘Get In Lane’ sign. But that’s never bothered Reading Borough Council.


Turning left from King’s Road into Duke Street commits you to a little bit of horror. First of all, you cannot turn back, then you are led into a curious one-way system has been created once you cross Duke Street Bridge. Only buses, taxis and cycles are allowed to travel up the hill (London Street). All other traffic has to turn left, then go on a little tour of the Queen’s Road area (and what is very often a huge traffic jam) just to come back on yourself! It adds about a mile to your journey and results in more traffic fumes, of course. If this system were to help the congestion at Mill Lane traffic signals, then it might be understandable. But it isn’t, it’s to help buses...again. So it’s best to never find yourself in Duke Street at all, unless you are looking for Queen’s Road car park.


There are also bus lanes - where no buses travel (Beresford Road), and Reading has its own suicide lane - named ‘Castle Hill’. This road has a middle lane that morning traffic can use - town-ward. However, after the morning peak period, it reverts to a lane for traffic coming out of the town centre. This can catch the unwary tourist motorist, who is advised to check his car clock. There is also a bus stop, which was moved from its perfectly safe position in a lay-by (Norcot Road) a blind right-hand bend. Local residents have reported numerous accidents since. Road planners can also suddenly decide to change priority on a road, so it is broken up by allowing traffic to flow across it (Russell Street). There are often severe hold-ups in Mill Lane (by the Oracle car park) because the traffic signals are ‘wrong’. The Council doesn’t care, because no buses use it! Reading Borough Council only EVER care about the bus service. All other road users are treated with utter contempt - so we (other road users) hold the Council in equal contempt.


One of Reading Borough Council’s favourite tricks is to install a refuge island in the middle of the road immediately adjacent to a bus stop. When the bus stops, all other road traffic cannot get past. Now, this ‘looks’ ostensibly like an attempt to help pedestrians safely cross the road after getting off a bus. Not so. Some people have even thought it was just the Council again acting out of crass stupidity. This time, not so. In fact, it is a quite deliberate policy of holding up traffic in order to allow the bus to move away from the bus stop unhindered by other road traffic - not like that’s ever made any difference, as buses will just pull out in front of you anyway! Of course, it also has the effect of causing a traffic jam...until Chardonnay, all her little ones, and the pushchair, have all got on for their free bus ride. The authors of this website have witnessed huge tailbacks behind buses because other road traffic cannot get past...but Reading Borough Council just don’t care. All that matters to them is that their bus can get out into the traffic without losing any place. What they’ve never been able to grasp is that this can have a domino effect on traffic - back to the next bus!


All this is part and parcel of living in, and travelling through, Reading. Just one set of roadwork signals can bring the town to a grinding halt, as can any significant event on the M4.


Car parking in Reading is largely inadequate. Not enough spaces exist for dropping down and picking up - and neither for ‘20-minute shopping’. The car parks themselves are generally good, but far from cheap! Six hours in a Reading town centre car park can see you pay more than £15. Odd, when you can pay a quarter of that at a seaside town centre. Such pricing doesn’t encourage town centre shopping. Park & Ride schemes are conspicuous by their absence in Reading. This is being mildly addressed, but far from enough is being done. This often results in residents creating their own park’n’ride scheme - by parking their car in a residential street or edge-of-town retail park, and using the bus service into town.


Some of Reading’s traffic problems are caused by the town’s age. But Reading seems confused on whether it wants to have a business-based, shopping-based, or residential-based town centre. Reading’s planners have tried to accommodate all three, and this mix is difficult to achieve successfully in a town which has just two bridges crossing the Thames, and 15 sets of traffic signals infecting a road straight out to the M4!




Bus service

The bus service in Reading is very good, and reasonably-frequent buses on principle routes aid the ‘car-less’. There are also bus services out of the town to other nearby towns. The full timetable for Reading’s bus service is complex and large, so a link is provided HERE.



There are many cycle lanes throughout the town. Some of these allow excellent travel times to and from the town centre. Unfortunately, these lanes are MUCH under-used. Indeed, they can often be empty - while cyclists are to be seen a metre away on a busy road! There appears to be no real reason for this other than the mentality of many cyclists. Cycling for pleasure isn’t really advised in Reading. It’s traffic system and some narrow streets are not conducive to safe cycling. However, there are routes around the town, and locations like Dinton Pastures, where cycling can be a pleasure.



There is plenty of info on this site about Reading’s roads. It’s not a good town for a driver - thanks in very large part to Reading Borough Council.



Reading is a very central place, and has seen great benefit from being so. The original Great Western route went straight through Reading, and was pivotal to the town’s early success and growth. London is less than half an hour away, although the service was called ‘Britain’s Worst Train Service’ by a national newspaper in 2011. This criticism was due to overcrowding. Indeed, in 2010, a Department of Transport report detailed the 10 most-crowded commuter trains...and nine of them went through Reading! A huge improvement programme and electrification to the rail network through the town costing almost £1 billion has been taking place for many months, and will allow faster through-times. Reading’s station has also seen a great improvement scheme with new platforms and improved accessibility. Though it has to be said that half the problem is actually getting to the Station in the first place.



Although Reading is a heavily-populated town, it isn’t spread out, like many towns, so its residential areas are little more than two miles from the centre. Traffic can make commuter walking rather unpleasant, though there are many side-streets that can be used (where commuting traffic cannot go) that can help. A tow-path alongside the Thames is popular during commuting hours too. Recreational walking can be made along traditional pathways like the Ridgeway - about ten miles out of the town at Streatley. This is an excellent summertime walk, and highly recommended, as is riverside walking along both the Thames and the Kennet. Reading is blessed with some beautiful surrounding countryside that is accessible and pleasurable - especially if that walk ends up at one of the good pubs dotted around the town. Few Reading residents seem to get out of the town into Berkshire’s fields and footpaths, yet it’s a costless pursuit that can be fantastically rewarding on a warm summer’s day.





There is a dedicated site at Smallmead (RG2 0RP)

Warning - you must have a resident’s permit to prove that you are ‘local’ to either dispose of waste, or for recycling. This is a poorly-designed site, unfriendly and unwelcoming. There are height restrictions which mean a phone call should always be made prior to visiting, as the staff are not accommodating, and bizarrely, there are times of the day when your car may not be allowed in! We turned up there in a car that was two inches too tall for the barrier. Despite requests, some complete dickhead in the office wouldn’t allow it to be lifted to let us through, and forced us to return in the afternoon...what a nice person!


The facility is under cover, although it is obviously smelly with dust in the air. There are ‘bays’ for particular types of waste (which they refer to as recycling materials), and there are special places for items such as car batteries, tyres, etc. There can be traffic problems at certain times, so you would be best advised to pick your time - except you can’t, because your car may not fit under their barrier - in which case you will need to visit the ‘commercial’ section between 2.00 and 4.00 p.m. - but you must show proof that you are a local resident, so take along your permit and a utility bill and another form of identity. You CANNOT dump other people’s waste! So ensure that anything you are dumping is your own. A member of staff who will only speak to you in grunts may well inspect what you are dumping, and you are required to sort your waste into different materials and carry it to the allotted bays. Take care crossing the passing traffic.


The facility is not designed to accept sheet glass as recyclable(!), so that would be a ‘household’ item. There is a separate entrance for vehicles considered to be ‘over height’, so be wary when approaching what you think is the entrance. Go just past this entrance and use the next one. If over height, then your vehicle will be inspected before it is allowed to proceed up a VERY ill-conceived rampway which crosses traffic coming in - and chances are that you are in a vehicle where sight to your left is restricted (like a Transit-type van). The person/s who designed this doesn’t seem to be at all smart.


All in all, it can be a really annoying facility, and generally staffed by people who simply couldn’t care less about you even if they tried really, really hard - even though they are there to serve you. On one occasion when we were there, someone was complaining that the site had evidently “been designed by a chimp”. Alright, that was us. We’ve also seen (almost) fisty-cuffs there. You are kindly asked not to verbally abuse the staff...but you can get a sense of why this is an issue that needs highlighting. No one at work should suffer abuse, but the design of the place makes visitors annoyed, and as we said, the staff just aren’t the least bit accommodating. Obviously, they have to put up with people who take advantage of the facilities and act in an irresponsible and unsociable way, with either illegal or even dangerous waste. We recently heard of one particular moron who thought it would be good to tip his load of asbestos there. But the facility has a duty to be accommodating to the people who just want to legally use the site. We have experienced this facility many times - and these comments are based on our experiences there. It’s a REAL negative to any experience of the town of Reading, and remains something that Reading Borough Council does nothing to correct. By its very nature, it’s obviously dirty and smelly, but it isn’t a pleasure to use at all.



A few facts about our home town in Berkshire:

Did you know that Reading is the only town in Britain that is twinned with itself?

Reading is so-named, because in ancient times, not a single resident of the town could read (or write).

Reading is famous for its ‘Three Bs’: Boring, Bland, and Blighted.

Michael Ball once visited (he says he got off at the wrong station).

Oscar Wilde famously wrote about the town. In 1899 he penned ‘Oh What A Shithole’. After the title came in for heavy criticism, Wilde changed it to ‘Ode To A Shithole’ shortly before his death from biting too hard on a pillow.

Singer, Kate Bush lives near the town, and can often be seen flying her kite above Burghfield Sailing Club, dressed only in a black leotard.

In 1972, Russian military chiefs were set the task of how to bring a typical British town to collapse leading up to war. In 1973 Tony Page became a councillor.

Reading was the first town in Britain to use women bus drivers. Here is a picture of Edith Norris carrying out a 21-point turn on Duke Street Bridge in 1941:


Our thanks to Antony Page for the photo. He can be seen between the two men, in a skirt and white ankle socks


Ridgeway School was the first school in Britain to attempt to split the atom without using nuclear physics:


Due to Ridgeway’s robust Apartheid policy, the black pupil (partly shown) is not allowed to take part in the photo.


Ashmead School in Northumberland Avenue, now re-named after a friend of Cilla Black [deceased], became the first comprehensive school in Britain to go ‘fully multicultural’ by having no culture at all. It was once said that one Headmaster regularly invited pupils to sleep-overs at his home. We couldn’t possibly say.


Copyright: Mr A Page


Ashmead School later became famous for having the UK’s highest number of truants.

On June 6th, 1972, not a single pupil attended.


Actress, Eliza Bennett, comes from Reading, and was voted the prettiest actress that plumbers would most like to sleep with in a private poll conducted by a Reading plumber. Ms Bennett attended Leighton Park School, and is currently in hiding.





About our town...

wp91e2ffde.png ...for people who haven’t grown up

Reading has a football team, and at least three badminton players who play once a week.






See which Ward you live in...



.........THIS SECTION IS CURRENTLY BEING CONSTRUCTED..........It will be completed soon..........




How is the Council made up?

Reading Borough Council comprises of 46 Councillors. They are:

Labour 31

Conservative 10

Green Party 3

Liberal Democrat 2


Whom should you send a brown envelope to?

The leader of the Council is Jo Lovelock

The deputy leader is Tony Page

Tony Page is Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning, and Transport (Yes, we know, right?)

Richard Davies is Lead Councillor for Housing

Paul Gittings is Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport, and Consumer Services

Tony Jones is Lead Councillor for Education

Graeme Hoskin is Lead Councillor for Health

Jan Gavin is Lead Councillor for Children’s Services and Families

Rachel Eden is Lead Councillor for Adult Social Care

Liz Terry is Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods

Chris Maskell Chairs the Committee on Planning

Paul Woodward Chairs the Committee on Licensing

Eileen McElligott Chairs the Committee on Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Education

Kelly Edwards Chairs the Committee on Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure

David Absolom Chairs the Committee on Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport





Reading West

Alok Sharma voted to REMAIN in the EU



Reading East

Rob Wilson voted to REMAIN in the EU




Just remember that when it comes time to vote.






Seen a big mess in the town? (we don’t mean Oxford Road, that’s normal)...


Then report it HERE But you do have to open an ‘account’!

No, they couldn’t make it really easy, could they?





CAR PARKS Do you have enough money? Well, do ya, punk?


Listed by proximity to town centre. Prices shown are as of June 23rd 2016. Information provided by car park owners - so if it doesn’t say something, then they didn’t provide it. Use the links provided to ensure accuracy of information, because they change details and raise prices, sometimes by as much as 15%.


Civic Centre B Evenings & weekends only RG1 7AE. NCP - 170 spaces. Enter via Castle Street, at mini roundabout half-way, next to Rising Sun pub. Headroom 1.83 metres - underground & surface parking. Pay & display. Disabled bays available (6). Payment by card, cash and phone.

30 mins - £1.00

1 hour - £2.00

1-2 hours - £4.00

2-3 hours - £6.00

3-4 hours - £8.00

4-24 hours - £10.00



Broad Street Mall 24 hour RG1 7QE. NCP - 720 spaces. Park Mark. Enter via Castle Street as in car park above, or via Chatham Street roundabout (take exit for ‘Civic Centre’ beside Travelodge building. Keep in left hand lane). Headroom 1.83 metres - multi-storey. Barrier operated. Disabled bays available (18). Payment by card and cash.

30 mins - £1.00

1 hour - £2.00

1-2 hours - £4.00

2-3 hours - £6.00

3-4 hours - £8.00

4-24 hours - £10.00



Oracle Riverside - from Mill Lane/Southampton Street roundabout 24 hour RG1 2AG. 1679 spaces - Park Mark. Cycle lockers. Motorbike spaces. Enter via roundabout at the bottom of Southampton Street and off the Inner Distribution Road slip road. Get in left hand lane. Headroom 2.1 metres - multi-storey. Barrier operated. Disabled bays available. Payment by card and cash.

1 hour - £1.50

2 hours - £3.50

3 hours - £5.50

4 hours - £7.00

5 hours - £9.00

6 hours - £10.00

7 hours - £13.00

8 hours - £15.00

Over 8 hours - £20.00

Entry after 6.00 p.m. - 6.00 a.m. up to 1 hour £1.50

Entry after 6.00 p.m. - 6.00 a.m. over 1 hour £3.50



Oracle Holy Brook - from Bridge Street Opens 7.00 a.m and closes 30 minutes after shops shut. RG1 2LR. 623 spaces - Park Mark. Mother & baby spaces available on level 2. Electric car recharging point (one) on level 1. Enter from Bridge Street - one-way street, heading south. Get in right hand lane. Headroom 2.1 metres - multi-storey. Barrier operated. Disabled bays available (on level 1 only). Payment by card and cash

1 hour - £1.50

2 hours - £3.50

3 hours - £5.50

4 hours - £7.00

5 hours - £9.00

6 hours - £10.00

7 hours - £13.00

8 hours - £15.00

Over 8 hours - £20.00

Entry after 6.00 p.m. - 6.00 a.m. up to 1 hour £1.50

Entry after 6.00 p.m. - 6.00 a.m. over 1 hour £3.50



Garrard Street 24 hour RG1 1NR. NCP - 918 spaces. Enter via Greyfriars Road. Headroom 1.98 metres - multi-storey. Barrier operated. Disabled bays available (6). Electric car charging points. Payment by card and cash. Apart from the Station car park, this car park is the most expensive to do up to four hours shopping. They will relieve you of £10.00. Cheaper to shop on the internet, eh?

1 hour - £3.50

1-2 hours - £7.00

2-4 hours - £10.00

4-6 hours - £15.00

6-12 hours - £20.00

12-24 hours - £22.00

1 week pass - £45.00



Chatham Place 24 hour. RG1 7JF. Q-Park. 590 spaces. Park Mark. Enter via Eaton Place. Enter Eaton Place via westward lane of Chatham Street (off Inner Distribution Road) or from Oxford Road. Headroom 2.1 metres - multi-storey. Barrier operated. Disabled bays available (30). Payment by card and cash.

Up to - £1.50

Up to 2 hours - £3.20

Up to 3 hours - £4.80

Up to 4 hours - £6.40

Up to 5 hours - £8.00

Up to 8 hours - £13.00

Up to 24 hours - £15.00



Queens Road 24 hour. RG1 4AR. NCP - 700 spaces. Enter via Queens Road - either direction. Headroom 2 metres - multi-storey. Barrier operated. Disabled bays available (8). Payment by card and cash.

30 mins - £1.00

1 hour - £2.00

1-2 hours - £4.00

2-3 hours - £6.00

3-4 hours - £8.00

4-5 hours - £10.00

5-6 hours - £12.00

6-7 hours - £14.00

7-24 hours - £16.00



Reading Station 24 hour Long-stay. RG1 8BT. APCOA. Tel. 0118 957 9649 - 0845 0774 224. 927 spaces. Enter via Vastern Road/Reading Bridge roundabout. If going eastward on Vastern Road, take ‘4 o’clock’ exit of roundabout. If coming over Reading Bridge, take ‘1 o’clock’ exit. If coming from under rail bridge, take immediate left turn after bridge. You’ll be met with FOUR lanes to go through to the car park itself. There are THREE different parts to the car park here: Pass holders, normal parking, and drop-off. Headroom 1.96 metres - multi-storey. Disabled bays available (14). Payment by card and cash.

Up to 1 hour - £4.50

Up to 2 hours - £7.50

Up to 4 hours - £11.00

Up to 9 hours - £18.00

Up to 12 hours - £20.50

Up to 24 hours - £24.00


Up to 2 hours - £4.50

Up to 6 hours - £7.50

Up to 24 hours - £12.00



Reading Station 24 hour short-stay Multistorey and Underground. This is a mess. The website says to enter via Trooper Potts Road - BUT, make sure you actually go down that road and not the road before it - which is buses only.  They say the postcode is RG1 8BT, but we say it’s RG1 1LZ. APCOA. Tel. 0118 957 9649 - 0845 0774 224. Headroom 1.96 metres - underground. Disabled bays available (4) in the underground part and (2) in the multistorey. Payment by card and cash. Enter via Trooper Potts Road (off Vastern Road). Travelling westward on Vastern Road, be careful to take the second left-hand turning (Trooper Potts Road) at a set of traffic signals. This information may be incorrect, so we say that it’s best if you use the link and read it for yourself - depending on which car park you require.

Up to 20 minutes - FREE

Up to 1 hour - £4.00

Up to 2 hours - £7.20

Up to 3 hours - £13.50



Cattle Market 24 hour. RG1 7HL. NCP - 90 spaces - surface car park. Enter via Great Knollys Street. Disabled bays available (4). Pay & display. Payment by card, cash and phone.

2 hours - £2.50

2-12 hours - £6.50

Saturday, 1 hour - 50p



Kings Meadow 24 hour. RG1 8BW. NCP - 95 spaces. Enter via Napier Road. Close to Reading Bridge. Surface car park. Pay & display. Headroom 2 metres. Disabled bays available (1). Payment by card, cash and phone

2 hours - £2.50

2-12 hours - £7.50

Weekend 2 hours - £2.50

Weekend 4 hours - £4.50

Weekend 12 hours - £7.50

Different time-charges on bank holidays!



Hills Meadow 06.00 - 21.30. RG4 8DH. NCP - 298 spaces. Enter via George Street, Caversham - close to Reading Bridge. Surface car park. Pay & display. Headroom 2 metres. Disabled bays available (2). Payment by card, cash and phone.

2 hours - £2.50

2-12 hours £6.50

Weekend 2 hours - £2.50

Weekend 4 hours - £4.50

Weekend 12 hours - £6.50

Different time-charges on bank holidays!





From the centre of the town, outward. Only cafes providing a Reading telephone number are listed, this is because those visiting sometimes require to phone and check that a cafe caters for particular diets. If you cannot provide a READING phone number then we cannot list your cafe. ‘Coffee shops’, merely selling beverages, and not eats, are not listed.



45 West Street, Reading. RG1 1TZ. 0118 958 1941. Nearest parking: Chatham Place


Creams Reading

14-16 Oxford Road, Reading. RG1 7LA. 0118 956 1649. Nearest parking: Broad Street Mall


ShakeAway Reading

4 Union Street, Reading. RG1 1EU. 0118 958 3858. Nearest parking: Garrard Street


Quantum Web Cafe

7 Union Street, Reading. RG1 1EU. 0118 957 2937. Nearest parking: Garrard Street



8 Merchants Place, Reading. RG1 1DT. 0118 956 1482. Nearest parking: Garrard Street



Broad Street Mall, Reading. RG1 7QE. 0118 957 3807. Nearest parking: Broad Street Mall


Cattle Market Cafe

Great Knollys Street, Reading. RG1 7HN. 0118 959 9674. Nearest parking: Chatham Place


Caffe Nero

148 Friar Street, Reading. RG1 2AG. 0118 958 2319. Nearest parking: Garrard Street


The Kooky Cafe

35 St. Mary’s Butts, Reading. RG1 2LS. 0118 327 9416. Nearest parking: Civic Centre B



2-3 Butter Market, Reading. RG1 2DP. 0118 957 3708. Nearest parking: Queens Road


Costa Coffee

4 Market Place, Reading. RG1 2DP. 0118 950 8318. Nearest parking: Queens Road


Picnic Foods

5 Market Place, Reading. RG1 2DP. 0118 958 9292. Nearest parking: Queens Road


Cafe Rouge

Unit R16, The Oracle, Reading. RG1 2AG. 0118 957 5223. Nearest parking: Oracle


Caffe Nero

In House of Fraser, The Oracle, Reading. RG1 2AS. 0118 950 5309. Nearest parking: Oracle


Global Cafe

35-39 London Street, Reading. RG1 4PS. 0118 958 3555. Nearest parking: Oracle


Richfields Cafe

211 Caversham Road, Reading. RG1 8BB. 0118 939 1144. Parking: Close to Caversham Bridge


The Gorge Cafe

227 Richfield Avenue, Reading. RG1 8BB. 0118 950 3446. Parking: Close to Caversham Bridge


Whittington’s Tea Barge (Moored on the north side of Caversham Bridge)

RG4 8DH. 07986 733638. Parking: Hills Meadow Car Park, George Street





What’s listed?

A 3-mile radius from Reading town centre is used. Only hotels actually calling themselves a ‘hotel’ have been included. ‘Serviced Apartments’ have not been included.

Our advice:

Choosing a hotel is fraught with difficulty, and sticking to the big named ones is usually best. However, Reading does have some really good small hotels. We strongly advise reading online reviews before booking. Hotels with a C mean they are pretty much central to the town.



Abbey House Hotel, 118 Connaught Road, Reading. RG30 2UF.

Tel. 0118 959 0549


The Bath Hotel, 54 Bath Road, Reading. RG1 6PG.

Tel. 0118 957 2019


Beech House Hotel, 60 Bath Road, Reading.

Tel. 0118 959 1901


Belle Vue House Hotel, 2 Tilehurst Road, Reading. RG1 7TN.

Tel. 0118 959 4445


Berkshire Warren Dene Hotel, 1017 Oxford Road, Reading.

Tel 0118 942 2556


Calcot Hotel, 98 Bath Road, Calcot, Reading. RG31 7QN.

Tel. 0118 907 5990


Crescent Hotel, 35 Coley Avenue, Reading. RG1 6LL.

Tel. 0118 950 7980


Crowne Plaza, Richfield Avenue, Reading. RG1 8BD.

Tel. 0118 925 9988


Elmhurst Hotel, 51 Church Road, Earley, Reading. RG6 1EY.

Tel. 0118 372 5648


C The Forbury Hotel, 26 The Forbury, Reading.

Tel. 0118 952 7770


C The Great Expectations, 33 London Street, Reading.

Tel 0118 950 3925


Hillingdon Prince Hotel, 39 Christchurch Road, Reading. RG2 7AN.

Tel. 0118 931 1311


Hilton Reading, Drake Way, Reading. RG2 0GQ.

Tel. 0118 916 9000


Holiday Inn Hotel, 500 Basingstoke Road, Reading. RG2 0SL.

Tel. 0118 931 1958


C Ibis Hotel, 25a Friar Street, Reading.

Tel. 0118 953 3500


The Lawn Hotel, 74 Bath Road, Reading. RG30 2BE.

Tel. 0118 959 0342


C Malmaison Reading, 18-20 Station Road, Reading.

Tel. 0844 693 0660


C Mercure George Hotel, 10-12 Kings Street, Reading. RG1 2HE.

Tel. 0118 957 3445


Millenium Madjeski Hotel, Adjacent to Junction 11, M4, Reading. RG2 0FL.

Tel. 0118 925 3500


C Novotel Reading Centre, 25b Friar Street, Reading. RG1 1DP.

Tel. 0118 952 2600


Parkside International Hotel, 72 Bath Road, Reading. RG30 2BE.

Tel. 0118 959 0564


C Penta Hotel, Oxford Road, Reading. RG1 7RH.

Tel. 0118 958 6222


Pincents Manor Hotel, Pincents Lane, Calcot, Reading. RG31 4UQ.

Tel. 0118 932 3511


C Premier Inn Reading Central, Letcombe Street, Reading.

Tel. 0871 527 8924


C Quality Hotel, 4-8 Duke Street, Reading. RG1 4RY.

Tel. 0118 958 3455


Rainbows Lodge Hotel, 132-138 Caversham Road, Reading. RG1 8AY.

Tel. 0118 958 8140


Reading Lake Hotel, Pingewood, Reading. RG30 3UN.

Tel. 0118 950 0885


Thameside Hotel, 144-150 Caversham Road, Reading. RG1 8AZ.

Tel. 0118 959 0135


C Travelodge Reading Central Hotel, 60 Oxford Road, Reading. RG1 7LT.

Tel. 0871 984 6211


Travelodge Oxford Road Hotel, 648-654 Oxford Road, Reading. RG30 1EH.

Tel. 0871 984 6357


Tower House Hotel, 70-78 Wokingham Road, Reading. RG6 1JL

Tel. 0118 926 5202





Seemingly often caked in mud, the Reading Festival first began in 1971. It is held annually at the Richfield Avenue site to the west of the town centre - use postcode RG1 8EQ. August bank holiday weekend isn’t a good time to visit Reading other than going to the Festival. Traffic is worse than usual (obviously) and cafes and shops anywhere near the Festival site, in the town centre, and supermarkets (like Tesco in Portman Road) have a large population of Festival-goers.


Reading Festival 2017:

The Line-Up will appear here shortly.





Reading Festival History:

The Reading Festival originates from the National Jazz Festival, which was conceived by Harold Pendleton (founder of the Marquee Club in London) and was first held at Richmond Athletic Ground in 1961. This festival, in turn, took inspiration from events held in America. Throughout its first decade the festival changed names and moved around sites several times, being held at Windsor Racecourse, Kempton Park and Plumpton, before reaching its permanent home at Reading in 1971. The Festival has always been staged over three days with the exception of 1970 when it expanded to four days from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 August.



The line-up settled into a pattern of progressive rock, blues and hard rock during the early and mid 1970s, then became the first music festival to embrace punk rock and new wave in the late 1970s, when The Jam, Sham 69, The Stranglers and Penetration were among the headline acts. The festival attempted to provide both traditional rock acts and new punk and new wave bands in the late 1970s and early 1980s, occasionally leading to clashes between the two sets of fans, though the festival gradually became known for focusing on heavy metal and rock acts.



During this decade, the festival followed a similar format to that established in the late 1970s, with large crowds flocking to see the era's leading rock and heavy metal acts perform on the last two days, with a more varied line-up including punk and new wave bands on the opening day.


Council ban

In 1984 and 1985, the Conservative Party-led local council effectively banned the festival by reclaiming the festival site for 'development' and refusing to grant licences for any alternative sites in the Reading area. In 1984, many acts were already booked to appear, tickets were on sale with Marillion (2nd on the bill on Saturday night the previous year) due to be one of this year's headliners. The promoters tried in vain to salvage what they could but a proposed move to Lilford Hall in Northamptonshire failed (the proposed bill was published in Soundcheck free music paper issue 12 as: Friday 24 August – Hawkwind, Boomtown Rats, Snowy White, The Playn Jayn, Dumpy's Rusty Nuts, Wildfire, Chelsea Eloy, Tracy Lamb, New Torpedoes (sic); Saturday 25th – Jethro Tull, Hanoi Rocks, Steve Hackett, Club Karlsson, Nazareth, Twelfth Night, Thor, Silent Running, New Model Army, IQ, The Roaring Boys, She; Sunday 26th – Marillion, Grand Slam, The Bluebells, Helix, Clannad, The Opposition, The Enid, Young Blood, Scorched Earth, Terraplane). The resulting gap in the British festival calendar kick-started the rise of the minor CND benefit event at Glastonbury from obscure beginnings as a "hippie" festival in the 1970s.


After Labour regained control of the council in 1986, permission was given for fields adjacent to the original festival site to be used, with a line-up put together at just three months' notice. The following year saw a record attendance at what was considered by some to be the last of the "classic" rock years of the festival, with headlining acts such as The Mission, Alice Cooper and Status Quo.


Late 80s slump

1988 saw a disastrous attempt to take the festival in a mainstream commercial pop direction, dominated by the likes of Starship, Squeeze, Hothouse Flowers, Bonnie Tyler and Meat Loaf (the latter was "bottled" off stage), and the ensuing recriminations eventually saw the ousting of original festival promoter Harold Pendleton by the Mean Fiddler Music Group organisation.


Pendleton initially tried to continue at a new site near Newbury using the name "Redding Festival" but this failed to take off. Meanwhile, the official Reading Festival, now under Mean Fiddler guidance, continued at the Thames-side site in Reading, pursuing an almost completely Goth and indie music policy that alienated much of the traditional fan base and saw attendances continue to fall.


Attendances fell further from 1989 to 1991 until the future of the festival looked to be in doubt. However, things began to improve from 1992 onward when new organisers moved in to replace the moribund Mean Fiddler group who broadened the Festival's musical policy and were rewarded with an increase in attendances.



In 1991, Nirvana played the first of their two appearances at Reading, midway down the bill. This is also the year the first britpop bands such as Suede and Blur started to show themselves on the festival circuit.


Kurt Cobain's wheelchair

Nirvana played what was to become their last UK concert, and one of their most famous.[citation needed] Their 1992 live performance was later released as a live album/DVD Live at Reading in November 2009. The band's frontman, Kurt Cobain took to the stage in a wheelchair pushed by music journalist Everett True, parodying speculations about his mental health. He was also wearing a medical gown. He then went on to join the rest of the band, playing an assortment of old and new material.


Festival expansion

Over the next few years the festival continued to grow as the popularity of outdoor festivals increased. Britpop and indie began to dominate along with traditional rock and metal acts. Notably, rap acts such as Ice Cube began to appear regularly on the main stage to mixed receptions. Public Enemy headlined the second day of the 1992 Festival. Beastie Boys were about halfway down the bill for day three.


In 1996, the remnants of The Stone Roses played their disastrous final gig at the festival.


In 1998, it absorbed the failed Phoenix Festival. This resulted in a now infamous on-stage spat between Beastie Boys and The Prodigy over the song "Smack My Bitch Up".[10]


In 1999, the festival gained a second leg at Temple Newsam in Leeds, where the V Festival had been held in 1997 and 1998, when it was clear that the Reading site had become too small to deal with the increasing demand.[20] The first year saw all bands play the Leeds site the following day to the day they played Reading, with the Reading leg running from Friday to Sunday and the Leeds leg running from Saturday to Monday. However in 2001 the current system where the line-up of Reading play Leeds the following day, with the bands from Leeds' opening day playing the final day in Reading, was introduced (with the exceptions of 2009 and 2010 when the bands playing Leeds would play Reading the following day, and the bands on the opening day of Reading would close Leeds).



After a successful first year in Leeds, a continued resurgence in the popularity of outdoor music festivals led to the Reading festival selling out more and more quickly every year. The Leeds leg, however, was plagued by riots and violence which led to problems in retaining its licence. The worst of these was in 2002, after which Mean Fiddler moved the festival to Bramham Park, near Bramham north-east of Leeds in 2003. Since then, security at both sites has increased and problems have been reduced. (Although the Bramham Park site presents more challenges to the stage builders, it is far better suited to the needs of festival goers). The early 2000s saw a varied but predominantly rock line-up, though as the decade has progressed the Main Stage and Radio 1 Stage line-up has featured mostly Indie artists. Despite being predominantly a rock festival certain hip-hop artists have played over the years, particularly when hip-hop was very popular in the early 2000s, including Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, Beastie Boys, Eminem, Xzibit, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Dizzee Riscal and The Streets. In 2005, the main stages at both Reading and Leeds were made larger, featuring unique cantilevered video screens.


Fringe Festival at Reading

In 2005, the Festival spawned the Reading Fringe Festival in the town. Much like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this sees venues in the town hosting fringe acts hoping to draw crowds and industry figures from the larger festival. The Reading Fringe has run annually since then.


Source: Wikipedia



Locals ask our Shirl about stuff...


Ask Shirl

You can ask Shirley any questions you like about Reading (or anything) - she is a font of knowledge.

She’s our own Katie Hopkins, though not as lovable (we actually really do like Katie Hopkins, as you might guess).




Shirl, Reading Borough Council have adopted a positive policy to make Reading a much greener, carbon-free place, and to promote birds, bees and insects. I think this is great, and will make the town more beautiful and carbon-free. I do think you are too dismissive of what RBC is trying to achieve. In these times of climate change, we have to look at how we can help nature in Reading, and move toward a carbon-free town, and I think RBC’s attempts are to be applauded. We’ve never had so much greenery in our town, and it’s quite clear that the carbon-free policy is working, as I’ve never seen so many bees and butterflys. I wholeheartedly support this 100% and it just gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside when I see all the insects making the most of this great idea toward being carbon-free.

Mr R White, Earley

Shirl replies:

Mr White, you’re a complete knobhead. The Council have simply got a grass-cutting contract that stipulates the verges are only cut so many times a year - to save money - that’s why the grass is so long. Knobhead.




Hey there Shirl, I really need help, and this letter will have to be anonymous. The other morning I left for work from my home in Southcote. I had only got to the Bath Road and my car’s engine cut out. I walked back home (only been gone 15 minutes at most) and found my husband in bed with our dog! I won’t go into details. It was all very embarrassing, and we aren’t even talking to each other anymore (my husband, I mean, not the dog). I wrote my husband a letter and left it for him on the kitchen table yesterday. Clearly he needs help. Our marriage was pretty good, I thought, and I do want to save it, but obviously there is something very wrong. He acts as if everything is normal (the dog, I mean). My husband has been under a lot of stress lately, but I really didn’t expect anything like this. Any advice you can give me is really welcome.

Mrs Angela Selby, 143 Circuit Lane, Southcote

Shirl replies:

An engine cutting out is a serious issue. It could be water getting into the fuel line, and you should check your fuel filter as well. Get it booked into a garage and get it serviced.




Shirl, where in Reading can I get a veggie burger? You evidently eat meat ones, you fat cow.

Stan the man, Reading

Shirl replies:

Burger King do veggie burgers, they are at Reading Station, and there’s a place to park your pink bike nearby.




Hello Shirl. I heard that the old Civic Centre had to be demolished because it was built on the site of an old cemetery, and that ghosts used to haunt the building. Apparently it got so bad that many of the staff were off sick with anxiety and depression. What do you think, have you heard anything like that?

Mrs Curtain, Coley

Shirl replies:

Yes, it is true that it was built on top of an old cemetery, and I too have heard the rumours about ghosts in the building before it was demolished. However, the bit about the staff is wrong. They are just whinging twats who are off sick if they weep at a sad film. There’s an M.E. Clinic in Tunbridge Wells that has a contract with Reading Borough Council. Twats.

If you are a Reading Borough Council staff member who has been affected by Shirl’s reply, please text ‘Muppet’ to 857737




Do we hate Reading? No, of course not, otherwise we wouldn’t live here, but there are many things wrong with it that we’d like to be put right. Fat chance, with our Council! Some of the things would cost money, but the money IS there, the Council just waste it on crap. So all we can do is moan and whinge about it here on this website. Our irreverence is our little bit of fun (and justified), while our cynicism and frustration is born out of the fact that Reading could be so much better....with little effort. If you have taken ‘offence’ at anything here, then the problem is all yours. Get a grip. Please do not send Shirl marriage proposals. She is, in fact, already happily married. Now follows the inevitable disclaimer...


Disclaimer: If you spot a photograph to which you own the copyright, please contact us and we will remove it or acknowledge you as the copyright owner. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure that the guide information provided on this site is accurate, no guarantees for the currency or accuracy of information are made. Information, products and services (or to third party information, products and services), is provided ‘as is’. It is provided without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security and accuracy. We do not accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or your computer system which may occur after using a link provided on this website. We do not warrant that the functions or any links contained in the material in this site will be uninterrupted or error free. Also, we do not warrant that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes it available is free of viruses or represent the full functionality, accuracy, and reliability of the materials. In no event will the owners of this website be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of, data or links arising out of or in connection with the use of this website. These Terms and Conditions shall be covered by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. Any dispute arising under these Terms and Conditions shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales. The entire website is copyright under English law, and would be defended. The re-use of any part, photograph or text is strictly forbidden without written permission. Be advised that certain steps have been taken to ensure provable copy. These would be used in court to prove that copying had taken place. Damages would be sought, as would the full costs of legal action incurred by us. AboutReading Publishing (the publishers of this website) is a non-profit concern formed to make the AboutReading guide via the internet. © 2016

Reading is continually under construction. It’s a rather large town, attracting many shoppers, but no tourists. The town sucks in many younger people from surrounding towns and villages - especially for its modest nightlife.


The only real major annual event is the Reading Festival. This always brings a large influx of young people for three days in August. All the major roads are rather congested for the day before the Festival and on the first day. The shops obviously love it, the residents, not so - they get no money out of it.


Reading is rather famous for its roads and traffic congestion - or infamous! Unfortunately, the traffic system isn’t great, and long hold-ups can often be experienced. A combination of old roads, poor transport management, and abysmal road design can very often see Reading grind to a standstill. The locals are rather used to it. is the most honest and truthful guide to the town of Reading in Berkshire. We say it like it is, and you can either like it or not, we don’t care. We’ve lived here all our lives and know the town inside out. We know it better than any councillor as we’ve been brought up on its council housing estates - yes, really. So if you want to read a sugar-coated appraisal of the town, then go and read one of the totally useless ‘Guide To Reading’ websites there are on the net. They make it look like a different town! Oh, and we think they’re crap as well. Our guide is all on one page...

So let’s talk                                                      We’re brand new, but we will grow


This right-hand side of our website is up for hire. And it is completely...


Get in touch with us...

You’ll get a square box to fit in this right-hand side section. BUT if you decide to pay for it, the higher up the page your ad will be!

Clever, eh?

Email us if you want, but don’t bother with abuse or complaints, because as soon as we get a sniff of it from your first words, we won’t waste our time by reading down any further, so you’re simply wasting your time, no one else’s, schmuck. But if you think you’ve spotted a mistake then let us know.


What’s here? We have...


Stuff about Reading

More stuff about Reading


What’s to do



Even more stuff about Reading

Who’s your Councillor

Who’s your MP

Car parks



The Festival

Ask Shirl


...and more to come. Lots will be added.





You can advertise for nothing!

But you can also pay!

The more you pay, the higher

up the site goes your ad!


Click this box


J D Wetherspoon pubs in Reading

The Hope Tap - RG1 1EP

The Monks’ Retreat - RG1 1HE

The Back Of Beyond - RG1 3BY

The Baron Cadogan - RG4 8JG


Reading has two newspaper websites. And while we would like to enthuse about them, alas you could have a bath while their webpage loads, so we don’t really advise it. As if living in Reading isn’t frustrating enough, if you want to know anything about what’s gone on, the news is out of date by the time the webpage loads! Both newspapers (their websites) tend to be a day late with the news and travel anyway, so as to make a visit to their site worthless, really. But here you are if you want the experience of the World Wide Wait:

We advise you click on the link, then go and make yourself a coffee while the page loads.