New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

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piwacket
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by piwacket »

Mayfield wrote: 05 Oct 2021 21:14 We do have a paddling pool - not often open when you want it, but it’s there. Apart from that I agree, more could be made of the riverside.
If it’s the one I’m thinking of, it’s usually disgustingly filthy, just as the swimming pool was.
I wonder ‘why’ it’s never been made more of as PC49 says? But it never ever has been. :? The area is a desert lined with commercial premises, on the Richfield Avenue side - and the other side even more so.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by Pooneil »

piwacket wrote: 05 Oct 2021 21:31
Mayfield wrote: 05 Oct 2021 21:14 We do have a paddling pool - not often open when you want it, but it’s there. Apart from that I agree, more could be made of the riverside.
If it’s the one I’m thinking of, it’s usually disgustingly filthy, just as the swimming pool was.
I wonder ‘why’ it’s never been made more of as PC49 says? But it never ever has been. :? The area is a desert lined with commercial premises, on the Richfield Avenue side - and the other side even more so.
I suspect the tendency of the place to flood quite often precludes any substantial development, but yes, a degree of developing the open space would make it more attractive.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

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I have to agree with Pc et al. It’s a substantial piece of,land on the other side of the river. They had a beer festival there one year didn’t they? Richfield Avenue has been ‘industrial’ for as long as I can remember. Never been an attractive part of Reading, despite being right on the Thames. Goring and Strestley are very nice - a cafe just past the bridge, restaurants, a small selection of shops, and nice walks each side - on part is boarded for a short distance.

Pity we don’t have that at Caversham. Just a narrowish gravel (is it still?) towpath really and Caversham bridge area dominated by the hotel.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by Stewart »

Yes PC49I agree. But saying "A disgrace" is a bit strong. yes, there is a car park nearby (which a few years ago was destined to be the site of the Reading Theatre). But the Park is pleasant with tennis courts, a paddling pool, a playground and seats to eat your picnic.

I think most of the parkland was gifted by our past biscuit moguls (although I stand to be corrected). And it would be good to have a bandstand and a tea kiosk, with even perhaps a performance area. A few emails to our local councilors may start the ball rolling? Or dare I say a campaign!
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Arthur Hill was also gifted, now, predictably being made into flats.

Agree. I've always thought it such a shame Reading doesn't make the most of the Thames.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by OLDMAN »

TBH it’s not a council fault but historical

When Reading first developed the river side was all industrial on the town side, some was boat based but other trades where based along there, consequently those places have been handed down as industrial based properties and still there
The section from Caversham bridge out is ‘public’ and has footpaths / seating etc
From past Reading bridge there is the section along Kings Meadow but after that it was an allowable footpath through private laned (now Tesco) and the back of the Gas Works so all private land (and still owned by them)
From Kennet Mouth it comes under WBC
The Caversham side was originally a village and part of Oxford up to 1911 when it was transferred to Berkshire (CC) so part of Reading and eventually RBC when it all changed again in 1974
Up to 1911 it was open land and known for flooding so has only been developed as playing fields (and the car park)
The section by the shops etc is all developed land, then from the bridge on the lower part is The Warren so private – opposite direction along by the Clappers was industrial, then it wasn’t accessible as gravel pits etc, which is now the marina / rowing lakes – and comes under SoX!
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

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Thanks for a very detailed explanation Oldman!
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

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OLDMAN wrote: 06 Oct 2021 10:29 TBH it’s not a council fault but historical….
OK thanks for that…. But! Nevertheless the various Councils, despite perhaps being ‘daggers-drawn’ over the 3rd Bridge have - it seems - made no attempts to create a more pleasant area aside the Thames - particularly around/near the bridges. Pity!
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by ChipbuttyG »

https://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news ... f4ca0846d6

New cocktail bar coming to Reading.

However - "In early to mid-November, Reading will become the second city outside of London to host the brand."

Does anyone want to tell Brad Young Reading isn't a city.....
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

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piwacket wrote: 06 Oct 2021 11:06
OLDMAN wrote: 06 Oct 2021 10:29 TBH it’s not a council fault but historical….
OK thanks for that…. But! Nevertheless the various Councils, despite perhaps being ‘daggers-drawn’ over the 3rd Bridge have - it seems - made no attempts to create a more pleasant area aside the Thames - particularly around/near the bridges. Pity!
Well not sure what people, want or where BUT

The only parts of the river running through Reading as such hasn’t much along it were it could be developed much beyond what’s already there
From Kennet Mouth it’s all private land with PRoW until the stretch past the old cricket ground / Kings Meadow which has a pathway / seating etc – and a car park for that
From the Lido and all along the rest of that side is private land / housing / offices etc all along under Reading Bridge and up to Caversham Bridge - at least these days you can walk / cycle along there without a problem, back in the 60’s / 70’s early 80’s it was all backs of industrial buildings and although a PRoW it was difficult to negotiate as no proper pathway
After Caversham Bridge its again private land (the hotel) until Thameside Promenade
Other side going the same way – up to the lock / clappers is under SoX, and where the marina etc is and they did absolutely nothing along the river side etc - after that it becomes a walkway past playing fields / parkland with seating etc, which goes past Hills Meadow carpark, and as pointed out a flood problem area so can’t build much on it
Then its Christchurch Meadow which has seating / play areas and other stuff – after that its a footpath past private properties up to Caversham Bridge, the all private from there

Other problem is anything open to the public has a view across the rive of - house / offices etc so sadly not that inviting

As for the other councils – forget it, they aren’t interested in developing anything that would benefit residents of Reading, just look at the stretch of river from Kennet Mouth to Sonning, apart form the Waterside Centre along there it has nothing else – and they only built that as it’s in the path of what was the original proposed A3290/M extension / possible third bridge at one time..........................
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by Pooneil »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 06 Oct 2021 11:09 https://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news ... f4ca0846d6

New cocktail bar coming to Reading.

However - "In early to mid-November, Reading will become the second city outside of London to host the brand."

Does anyone want to tell Brad Young Reading isn't a city.....
To be honest he's only quoting the company quote. What's more amusing/irritating is the lack of subs - "sipping on the perfect dry Martin" indeed!
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

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OLDMAN wrote: 06 Oct 2021 13:15
piwacket wrote: 06 Oct 2021 11:06
OLDMAN wrote: 06 Oct 2021 10:29 TBH it’s not a council fault but historical….
OK thanks for that…. But! Nevertheless the various Councils, despite perhaps being ‘daggers-drawn’ over the 3rd Bridge have - it seems - made no attempts to create a more pleasant area aside the Thames - particularly around/near the bridges. Pity!
Well not sure what people, want or where BUT

The only parts of the river running through Reading as such hasn’t much along it were it could be developed much beyond what’s already there
From Kennet Mouth it’s all private land with PRoW until the stretch past the old cricket ground / Kings Meadow which has a pathway / seating etc – and a car park for that
From the Lido and all along the rest of that side is private land / housing / offices etc all along under Reading Bridge and up to Caversham Bridge - at least these days you can walk / cycle along there without a problem, back in the 60’s / 70’s early 80’s it was all backs of industrial buildings and although a PRoW it was difficult to negotiate as no proper pathway
After Caversham Bridge its again private land (the hotel) until Thameside Promenade
Other side going the same way – up to the lock / clappers is under SoX, and where the marina etc is and they did absolutely nothing along the river side etc - after that it becomes a walkway past playing fields / parkland with seating etc, which goes past Hills Meadow carpark, and as pointed out a flood problem area so can’t build much on it
Then its Christchurch Meadow which has seating / play areas and other stuff – after that its a footpath past private properties up to Caversham Bridge, the all private from there

Other problem is anything open to the public has a view across the rive of - house / offices etc so sadly not that inviting

As for the other councils – forget it, they aren’t interested in developing anything that would benefit residents of Reading, just look at the stretch of river from Kennet Mouth to Sonning, apart form the Waterside Centre along there it has nothing else – and they only built that as it’s in the path of what was the original proposed A3290/M extension / possible third bridge at one time..........................
One more example of why Reading will never be a coherent conurbation while it is governed by 4 councils and not one.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by C.A.Versham »

At one time there was a miniature golf course and, long ago, a miniature train to enhance the thameside amenities for those out for a stroll. Are there no entrepreneurs willing to do something similar? What about a sculpture park or a bandstand with deckchairs for hire?
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by chris_j_wood »

PC49 wrote: 05 Oct 2021 20:48 ... Reading is on the River Thames. Everywhere on the river you go every village or town that fronts the river has tried to make the most of this beautiful natural wonder. What has Reading done. NOTHIING. Absolutely nothing to enhance this natural feature. ...
Absolutely agree, PC. Always thought the same myself. There isn't even a decent pub on the river.

Mind you I'm told that there was once a brothel on De Montfort Island. Not suggesting that re-opens though.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by MickEdge »

Oldman gives a perfectly cogent explanation of why the Thames side in Reading is what it is. We may think of Reading on Thames, when actually it’s on Kennet. The Thames parks are some way from the centre.

Apart from between the bridges on the town side, I think the riverside areas are pretty nice. Unspoilt wide green spaces, where locals go and sit, play and picnic, and that also host popular events. This summer I saw many groups and individuals enjoying Christchurch Meadows. The foot bridge looks good and has certainly improved access. View Island by the weir is a small yet lovely nature reserve. Caversham Court is a little gem, although difficult to access. There are always people in and walking along the Promenade (Rivermead) and through Kings Meadow (they can’t all be going to Tesco’s) and it surprised me how well the new Lido fits in. So somebody must like these places.

I wouldn’t say no to a discrete cafe in Christchurch Meadows, and there’s an opportunity to put something good on the Vastern Road electricity sub station land, but homes will probably win out to leisure facilities.

I tend to agree that more could have been made of the Promenade area. A hotel that doesn’t seems interested in it’s river frontage, maybe because it faces north. The Toby Carvery and Premier Inn don’t add much, neither does the boat house, although it does at least have a good reason to be there. But beyond them it’s a pleasant riverside green space. Let’s not muck up what is valuable public land with a lot of catering tat.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by ChipbuttyG »

There was once a little cafe/kiosk attached to the boat house, but it obviously didn't do very well.

There was also the bar (I forget the name) opposite the Crown on the bridge that had a great view of the Thames, we would pop in there for a drink or two but it was always dead. It's now a restaurant.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by OLDMAN »

chris_j_wood wrote: 06 Oct 2021 15:03
PC49 wrote: 05 Oct 2021 20:48 ... Reading is on the River Thames. Everywhere on the river you go every village or town that fronts the river has tried to make the most of this beautiful natural wonder. What has Reading done. NOTHIING. Absolutely nothing to enhance this natural feature. ...
Absolutely agree, PC. Always thought the same myself. There isn't even a decent pub on the river.

Mind you I'm told that there was once a brothel on De Montfort Island. Not suggesting that re-opens though.
Well there used to be a pub on the Thames at one time, The Dreadnought at Dreadnought reach (near the Waterside Centre) – mainly as they used hold Reading Regattas down the stretch, (and I think still have some at times) its still there but belongs to RU Sailing Club these days – I had a drink in it once!

And again historically the reason for no pubs on the Thames but some along the Kennett
The Kennet and Avon was a well-used canal, and barges used to come down and either unloaded to larger ones, or carried on to London, and many used to come from the industrial riverside area as mentioned above to ply trade to London or in reverse from there
Not many came / went on along the Thames going West
The last ‘Thames side’ pub in Reading was the Roebuck along the Oxford Rd which also had a ferry across the river due to the Thames Path finishing that side just there, but that closed / went due to lack of business

If you travel the rest of the TP towards Pangbourne etc I don’t think there are any riverside pubs, likewise the other direction, nothing until well into Sonning

So unless a ‘new’ pub is built (where?) we won’t get one
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by bert »

MickEdge wrote: 06 Oct 2021 16:07 Oldman gives a perfectly cogent explanation of why the Thames side in Reading is what it is. We may think of Reading on Thames, when actually it’s on Kennet. The Thames parks are some way from the centre.

Apart from between the bridges on the town side, I think the riverside areas are pretty nice. Unspoilt wide green spaces, where locals go and sit, play and picnic, and that also host popular events. This summer I saw many groups and individuals enjoying Christchurch Meadows. The foot bridge looks good and has certainly improved access. View Island by the weir is a small yet lovely nature reserve. Caversham Court is a little gem, although difficult to access. There are always people in and walking along the Promenade (Rivermead) and through Kings Meadow (they can’t all be going to Tesco’s) and it surprised me how well the new Lido fits in. So somebody must like these places.

I wouldn’t say no to a discrete cafe in Christchurch Meadows, and there’s an opportunity to put something good on the Vastern Road electricity sub station land, but homes will probably win out to leisure facilities.

I tend to agree that more could have been made of the Promenade area. A hotel that doesn’t seems interested in it’s river frontage, maybe because it faces north. The Toby Carvery and Premier Inn don’t add much, neither does the boat house, although it does at least have a good reason to be there. But beyond them it’s a pleasant riverside green space. Let’s not muck up what is valuable public land with a lot of catering tat.
Yes, I agree with you. I often run along the Thames and I think it's perfectly nice as it is - green space that is enjoyed by many people. It's one of my favourite parts of Reading. I was a bit skeptical about whether Christchurch Bridge was needed, but it seems to be used a lot. I like that Christchurch Meadows is used for things like the beer festival and Readipop festival - I prefer that to more development, especially when the Oracle fits the bill for a social setting by water pretty well.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by Souwester »

It seems that a lot of towns fail to recognise the wonderful assets they have. For example, I worked in Taunton 1990-2000 and they dismally failed to do anything with the River Tone riverside. To the north of the town bridge they had a towpath going past the back of the Somerset County Cricket Club ground which had long overgrown grasses along the water's edge, and they allowed a Safeway (as was) to be built on the oppposite bank. To the south of the bridge there was old housing on one side of the river and on the other side some fairly dismal 'gardens' to the side of the old Debenhams.

Having said that, as far as Reading is concerned I think the river-/canal-sides are rather pleasant. Over the last 18 months, during lockdown, when we weren't allowed to travel, the Kennet/K&A and Thames towpaths provided many very enjoyable walks. The only issues were that the section from Kennetmouth to King's Meadow is prone to getting flooded or being very muddy. Also, it would be good if improvements were made to the section from Caversham Bridge past the Crowne Plaza, which is overgrown and very dark at night.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

I remember you posting your photos, Sou’wester. Really very good and highlighted some of the best parts of the local area, so we do have nice places. Be good if we had some more and like others have said, a sympathetic development of some of the riverside places would go a long way towards that.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by piwacket »

More restaurants!
https://www.getreading.co.uk/whats-on/f ... e-22044229

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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by ChipbuttyG »

I recall Reading council turned down permission to turn a retail unit on Portman Road into an indoor gymnastics/parkour centre. Because they wanted to retain it “for the kinds of employment floorspace our economy needs”.

Fast food outlets = no problem.

https://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news ... g-roundup/
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

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ChipbuttyG wrote: 05 Nov 2021 09:04 I recall Reading council turned down permission to turn a retail unit on Portman Road into an indoor gymnastics/parkour centre. Because they wanted to retain it “for the kinds of employment floorspace our economy needs”.

Fast food outlets = no problem.
Sorry, I'm not understanding you there. The article you quote describes the unit in question variously as a 'warehouse' and am 'industrial building' not a retail unit. The sites referenced in Pi's post are clearly already retail, and in one case, already a restaurant. Your example is on an industrial estate; Pi's are in existing retail areas. Obviously quite different cases.

I suspect you have let your irrational dislike of Reading council cloud your judgement on what, looked at more dispassionately, seem to be quite reasonable decisions.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by ChipbuttyG »

chris_j_wood wrote: 05 Nov 2021 14:13
ChipbuttyG wrote: 05 Nov 2021 09:04 I recall Reading council turned down permission to turn a retail unit on Portman Road into an indoor gymnastics/parkour centre. Because they wanted to retain it “for the kinds of employment floorspace our economy needs”.

Fast food outlets = no problem.
Sorry, I'm not understanding you there. The article you quote describes the unit in question variously as a 'warehouse' and am 'industrial building' not a retail unit. The sites referenced in Pi's post are clearly already retail, and in one case, already a restaurant. Your example is on an industrial estate; Pi's are in existing retail areas. Obviously quite different cases.

I suspect you have let your irrational dislike of Reading council cloud your judgement on what, looked at more dispassionately, seem to be quite reasonable decisions.
Plenty of retail units on that industrial estate if you know it Chris. Door Store. Selco etc.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by Pooneil »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 05 Nov 2021 15:30
chris_j_wood wrote: 05 Nov 2021 14:13
ChipbuttyG wrote: 05 Nov 2021 09:04 I recall Reading council turned down permission to turn a retail unit on Portman Road into an indoor gymnastics/parkour centre. Because they wanted to retain it “for the kinds of employment floorspace our economy needs”.

Fast food outlets = no problem.
Sorry, I'm not understanding you there. The article you quote describes the unit in question variously as a 'warehouse' and am 'industrial building' not a retail unit. The sites referenced in Pi's post are clearly already retail, and in one case, already a restaurant. Your example is on an industrial estate; Pi's are in existing retail areas. Obviously quite different cases.

I suspect you have let your irrational dislike of Reading council cloud your judgement on what, looked at more dispassionately, seem to be quite reasonable decisions.
Plenty of retail units on that industrial estate if you know it Chris. Door Store. Selco etc.
That's as maybe, but there's probably a strategy about the mix of industrial and retail on the park which this may have breached. Plus it's not also general retail - Selco describe themselves as "Exclusively for Trade & Business only". If it became a more retail-biased distribution, this would probably lead to increased traffic in and around the estate, plus a greater demand for parking on the estate (I note that one of the resons for refusal was the inadequate provision of parking. - "They also said the amount of car parking spaces proposed would be “some way short” of the council’s standards and what would be required to meet the number of people accessing the site. ")

And this certainly wasn't a retail unit, much as you may have contended otherwise.
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Re: New Shops Coming To The Town Centre

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Pooneil wrote: 05 Nov 2021 18:55
ChipbuttyG wrote: 05 Nov 2021 15:30
chris_j_wood wrote: 05 Nov 2021 14:13

Sorry, I'm not understanding you there. The article you quote describes the unit in question variously as a 'warehouse' and am 'industrial building' not a retail unit. The sites referenced in Pi's post are clearly already retail, and in one case, already a restaurant. Your example is on an industrial estate; Pi's are in existing retail areas. Obviously quite different cases.

I suspect you have let your irrational dislike of Reading council cloud your judgement on what, looked at more dispassionately, seem to be quite reasonable decisions.
Plenty of retail units on that industrial estate if you know it Chris. Door Store. Selco etc.
That's as maybe, but there's probably a strategy about the mix of industrial and retail on the park which this may have breached. Plus it's not also general retail - Selco describe themselves as "Exclusively for Trade & Business only". If it became a more retail-biased distribution, this would probably lead to increased traffic in and around the estate, plus a greater demand for parking on the estate (I note that one of the resons for refusal was the inadequate provision of parking. - "They also said the amount of car parking spaces proposed would be “some way short” of the council’s standards and what would be required to meet the number of people accessing the site. ")

And this certainly wasn't a retail unit, much as you may have contended otherwise.

But a church (The Globe) is fine, even though there are hardly any parking spaces on that site at all........
Also Reading buses refusal to run a bus service that way.......
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