Whiteknights Manor

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piwacket
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Whiteknights Manor

Post by piwacket »

Whiteknights Manor
https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/berks ... d-19750997

Including the inevitable lack of proof-reading :roll: Edward I having moved from 1290....
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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I worked in the personnel dept. of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works at Whiteknights Park. Did anyone else on the forum work there? I cannot remember those buildings now but they were not memorable, nor was the job.
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windrush
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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Bam wrote: 07 Feb 2021 14:04 I worked in the personnel dept. of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works at Whiteknights Park. Did anyone else on the forum work there? I cannot remember those buildings now but they were not memorable, nor was the job.
My friends father (Bernard Rigden) worked there somewhere Bam but I couldn't tell you which department he was in? He couldn't tell you either as he is long gone! :whistle1:

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piwacket
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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Bam wrote: 07 Feb 2021 14:04 I worked in the personnel dept. of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works at Whiteknights Park. Did anyone else on the forum work there? I cannot remember those buildings now but they were not memorable, nor was the job.
My next door neighbour in Berkeley Ave - but that was 1950/60s - worked there in the inland revenue. My sister and I were invited to a Christmas party there as children - she was not married, so we were her guests. Don’t remember much about it.
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Bam
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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I had to sign the Official Secrets Act and was not allowed near the filing cabinet that contained my own personnel file but I did manage one day, during a lunch break, when another "officer" had go out to the loo.

All notebooks, pencils and loo paper were stamped with "Property of Her Majesty's Stationery Office" and I wondered if that applied to the bog rolls in Buckingham Palace.
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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Bam wrote: 07 Feb 2021 14:04 I worked in the personnel dept. of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works at Whiteknights Park. Did anyone else on the forum work there? I cannot remember those buildings now but they were not memorable, nor was the job.
As mentioned before OH obviously worked there in Wessex Hall as a chef – that was in the early 80’s to the late 90’s

We used to go to the social club and many party at that time so met a lot of others, but we also knew some as old (local) family friends who worked up there and from all area of work – problem is many I only know by their first names or nicknames

We also got involved with running a CB club that met in the Students Union bar / hall every Sunday evening for a few years
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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piwacket wrote: 07 Feb 2021 13:21 Whiteknights Manor
https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/berks ... d-19750997

Including the inevitable lack of proof-reading :roll: Edward I having moved from 1290....
Interesting article. I think the last owner of this house, the Marquis of Blandford, was probably even better known at the time for his famous garden which drew visitors from all over Europe (and plants from all over the world !)

The reconstruction in the article is presumably taken from this print
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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pwpriory wrote: 08 Feb 2021 09:34 The reconstruction in the article is presumably taken from this print
... that’s what I concluded - I’ve got a copy of that, which I think may have been in the Illustrated London News.
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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OLDMAN wrote: 08 Feb 2021 07:42
Bam wrote: 07 Feb 2021 14:04 I worked in the personnel dept. of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works at Whiteknights Park. Did anyone else on the forum work there? I cannot remember those buildings now but they were not memorable, nor was the job.
As mentioned before OH obviously worked there in Wessex Hall as a chef – that was in the early 80’s to the late 90’s

We used to go to the social club and many party at that time so met a lot of others, but we also knew some as old (local) family friends who worked up there and from all area of work – problem is many I only know by their first names or nicknames
Our family have a lot of history with Whiteknights. My grandparents lived in North Lodge on Whiteknights Rd, I worked with OM's OH at Wessex hall, Grandad belonged to the Bowling Club, and Gran did the teas, Great Uncle worked as Security...
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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Bam wrote: 07 Feb 2021 14:04 I worked in the personnel dept. of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works at Whiteknights Park. Did anyone else on the forum work there? I cannot remember those buildings now but they were not memorable, nor was the job.
Those "temporary" Ministry of Public Buildings and Works are still there, of course (unlike some buildings in WK Park which have been built much more recently and demolished !)

Apparently they were originally built during WW2 as a hospital for the thousands of casualties expected during and after D-Day.

Fortunately, it wasn't needed
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Bam
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

Post by Bam »

I remember the buildings were long and single storey, so I guess like in the photo. Thanks Flatback.
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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flatback wrote: 08 Feb 2021 17:24 Those "temporary" Ministry of Public Buildings and Works are still there, of course (unlike some buildings in WK Park which have been built much more recently and demolished !)
Nice photograph. You have part of the nuclear bunker in the bottom left. And my office is in the dark brown building top right, if I ever get to go back to it.

The set of 'temporary' buildings in this picture is called TOB1 (Temporary Office Building 1) and these days it houses the fine art department to the right as seen on this picture, and all sorts of odds and sods towards the left. There is also TOB2, which used to be much bigger until the knocked half of it down to build the building my office is in. What is left of TOB2 is behind that building, and houses the department of typography and more odds and sods.

The modernish building just edging into the left of the picture is Agriculture. And the next building to the right of that houses meteorology, psychology and applied statistics.
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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Ollycat wrote: 08 Feb 2021 15:51
OLDMAN wrote: 08 Feb 2021 07:42
Bam wrote: 07 Feb 2021 14:04 I worked in the personnel dept. of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works at Whiteknights Park. Did anyone else on the forum work there? I cannot remember those buildings now but they were not memorable, nor was the job.
As mentioned before OH obviously worked there in Wessex Hall as a chef – that was in the early 80’s to the late 90’s

We used to go to the social club and many party at that time so met a lot of others, but we also knew some as old (local) family friends who worked up there and from all area of work – problem is many I only know by their first names or nicknames
Our family have a lot of history with Whiteknights. My grandparents lived in North Lodge on Whiteknights Rd, I worked with OM's OH at Wessex hall, Grandad belonged to the Bowling Club, and Gran did the teas, Great Uncle worked as Security...
Intriguing and a PM sent

One set of friends lived in Whiteknghts Lodge in Green Rd - The Duxbury’s, Gordon was a Wessex Hall porter at the time so you may remember him
Sadly his wife passed when I knew them – then his youngest son (Ian) and later his eldest (Robert, who had married another old friend and still in touch with her family ‘through FB’) also passed
Not sure what happened to Gordon as he moved away on retirement, also lost touch with their daughter as she moved away before all that
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

Post by OLDMAN »

flatback wrote: 08 Feb 2021 17:24
Bam wrote: 07 Feb 2021 14:04 I worked in the personnel dept. of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works at Whiteknights Park. Did anyone else on the forum work there? I cannot remember those buildings now but they were not memorable, nor was the job.
Those "temporary" Ministry of Public Buildings and Works are still there, of course (unlike some buildings in WK Park which have been built much more recently and demolished !)

Apparently they were originally built during WW2 as a hospital for the thousands of casualties expected during and after D-Day.

Fortunately, it wasn't needed
If I am looking at that the right way round, the social club was at the far end to the right

Another friend used to work in one of the buildings almost centre of the image – his name was Chris ? – I knew him as ‘Red Rider’ from the old CB radio days, he never had a car just a motorbike – this was back in the mid 80’s
He worked as a workshop / lab technician – I went in with him one time to pick up some equipment that we were borrowing
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

Post by chris_j_wood »

OLDMAN wrote: 10 Feb 2021 10:00 If I am looking at that the right way round, the social club was at the far end to the right
When I starting working by the Earley Gate in 2005 (was that really 16 years ago, it feels like yesterday), the social-club was in TOB2, in the furthest section away from the gate. To be honest, I'm not sure if it is still there or not; not seem much sign of it recently. And it may of course have been in other places before then.

TOB2 was the temporary building that used to be on the right as you came in through the gate. The first half of it was demolished a few years ago and replaced by the Reading Enterprise Centre (REC), but the back half, including the section that holds/used to hold the social club is still there behind it. You cannot see any of TOB2 in the photo above; the remaining sections are hiding behind the REC, which is the dark coloured building partly in shot above half-way up the right hand side.

All the temporary building sections you can see in the photo are part of TOB1, which is the temporary building on the left as you come through the gates. That is still largely intact, although the first section (off the picture to the right has at some stage been modified or replaced to provide studios for the fine art department.
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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Bam wrote: 07 Feb 2021 14:04 I worked in the personnel dept. of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works at Whiteknights Park. Did anyone else on the forum work there? I cannot remember those buildings now but they were not memorable, nor was the job.
Think I’ve said before, my grandad was clerk of the works there for many years. Way before your time Bam. I was probably 15/16 when he died.
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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I think OM is thinking of Chris Humphries?
Used to have a Guzzi and an Indian.

There used to be be a whole lot or TOBs to the top of the photo. Now all demolished and ran down (as did TOB1) to the woods or near enough. The Enterprise centre appeared just after the folly that was "whiteknights chapel" magically disappeared
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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I only got a job at the Min of pb&w for the money £12pw, a great increase on working for Martin & Pole at £4.

I have no idea why they employed me at Whiteknights, as they were 50% over staffed with half the office spending all day reading newspapers and magazines, while they awaited their fat government pensions.

My job was dealing with sick pay and travelling expenses. It was the most mind numbing job I have ever done and I gave in my notice after a few months, fearing that I might join the many sick staff, who were mostly signed off with "mental debility".
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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dave m wrote: 13 Feb 2021 23:12

There used to be be a whole lot or TOBs to the top of the photo. Now all demolished and ran down (as did TOB1) to the woods or near enough. The Enterprise centre appeared just after the folly that was "whiteknights chapel" magically disappeared
Not quite all the TOB 2s have gone. Hidden in the distance are a couple, one of which was (and may still be) a nursery (most famous occupant a toddler Lucy Worsely)

Whiteknights chapel was one of the Marquis of Blandford's "follies". Contemporary picture here and one of the last photos before its "accidental" disappearance
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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Mum and I went for a walk round campus yesterday; she said that there were bunkers underneath those TOB2s, that they used to receive intelligence from Bletchley for processing. She was going to have a think about where the entrance was.

The social club and bowling green are still to the far right.
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

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dave m wrote: 13 Feb 2021 23:12 I think OM is thinking of Chris Humphries?
Used to have a Guzzi and an Indian.

There used to be be a whole lot or TOBs to the top of the photo. Now all demolished and ran down (as did TOB1) to the woods or near enough. The Enterprise centre appeared just after the folly that was "whiteknights chapel" magically disappeared
That surname doesn’t ring a bell, and cannot think what bike he had then - defo wasn’t an Indian though as that I would have remembered
He was average height / slim / long fair hair / beard / and softy spoken
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

Post by chris_j_wood »

dave m wrote: 13 Feb 2021 23:12 The Enterprise centre appeared just after the folly that was "whiteknights chapel" magically disappeared
No magic involved. I watched the grounds staff demolish it. (Push it over would be a better description).
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Re: Whiteknights Manor

Post by Terry70 »

My mother worked at the Whiteknights Park government buildings from around 1961 to 1967. She was with the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service. As far as I can recall they had at least one or more of those prefabricated buildings which was used as the Berkshire County Regional Clothing Office/warehousing. The WRVS function was to collect and grade good clothing for export for overseas relief operations. I say ‘good clothing’ because the grading was very strict and no sub-standard clothes were accepted. The rejects went into skips at the back of the buildings (but even then, the rejected fabrics were sent up north to be stripped down and made into ‘shoddy’ for oily dirty engineering/cleaning work). The massive amounts of clothing were graded according to climate of the receiving country, men’s, women’s and children’s. It all had to be manifested age appropriate for urgent distribution and packed into huge crates for freighting/shipment. One of the last consignments I can personally recall her team undertaking was the massive consignment to Yugoslavia when the disastrous Earthquake of 1963 flattened the city of Skopje leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless and 1100 dead and 3000 injured. Sadly, I have none of my mother’s photographs of the teams at work as I left UK in 1970.
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