The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

ReadingBiker
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

Post by ReadingBiker »

I wasn't arguing against the flats more that a bit of forward thinking be used and the currently or about to be available space around the civic centre/court etc be utilised for support services for the growing town centre population - it is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity to have that large an area inside the IDR become available for development and the fact it is publically owned gives more options
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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ReadingBiker wrote: 23 Feb 2017 10:54 Didnt want to start a new thread so put it here - 500 flats weldale street, 137 old sainsbury's and now an application for another 43 on Greyfriars Rd, that is close to 700 flats , that is going to need extra infrastructure like Dr's, Dentists & schools - I think some of the old civic centre site could be best used to provide this in the close locality on land already publically owned built using the s106/infrastructure levy. Obviously it means the council can't make the same money form the property sale - but does anyone who knows more than me think that these support requirements can be met in another way ?
I wouldn't hold your breath about getting extra facilities! Our smallish town is to have an extra 400+ proposed houses built (some on land previously declared as unstable!) but no plans to expand the packed school or the two already over subscribed Doctors and Dentists. In fact existing plans for a new health centre have been vetoed and the land put by for it is now going to be for even more houses. Cram them in and hang the consequences!

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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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zag wrote: 23 Feb 2017 11:06developers can't build on Greenfield land in the UK.
I'm afraid that's absolute nonsense - Charles Church have permission and are in the midst of building 200 house on a greenfield site in Bramley, just a few miles south of Reading.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Pooneil wrote: 23 Feb 2017 14:24
zag wrote: 23 Feb 2017 11:06developers can't build on Greenfield land in the UK.
I'm afraid that's absolute nonsense - Charles Church have permission and are in the midst of building 200 house on a greenfield site in Bramley, just a few miles south of Reading.
They build anywhere they can nowadays! Around half of our proposed 400+ homes will be on greenfield sites, the remainder will be in a disused quarry when the acids dumped in the ground have neutralised.

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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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ReadingBiker wrote: 23 Feb 2017 10:54 Didnt want to start a new thread so put it here - 500 flats weldale street, 137 old sainsbury's and now an application for another 43 on Greyfriars Rd, that is close to 700 flats , that is going to need extra infrastructure like Dr's, Dentists & schools - I think some of the old civic centre site could be best used to provide this in the close locality on land already publically owned built using the s106/infrastructure levy. Obviously it means the council can't make the same money form the property sale - but does anyone who knows more than me think that these support requirements can be met in another way ?
Good idea regarding the old civic centre site. Although there are indications the site will be used to build more flats, I see no reason why the lower levels, of any skyscraper, couldn't still be used for community facilities (such as a cultural hub, performance/arts centre, GP/health centre, post office, central library, college/small school).

It is common in some other countries to build complexes in such a manner, with residential towers located above thus maximising the land space and providing the new/existing residents with convenient facilities for all.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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In France many of the high rise buildings have underground car parking, maximising the use of the space.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

Post by zag »

lizwing wrote: 23 Feb 2017 20:25 In France many of the high rise buildings have underground car parking, maximising the use of the space.
I still don't understand why anyone would want/need a car in the town center. The less parking spaces the better in my opinion. That kind of policy will keep the traffic manageable with all these new developments springing up in central areas.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Because even if you live in a town centre you might need to get out of the town, not always by public transport. Friends from out of town might want to visit you, better if they can park underneath than on the road.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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lizwing wrote: 24 Feb 2017 12:16 Because even if you live in a town centre you might need to get out of the town, not always by public transport. Friends from out of town might want to visit you, better if they can park underneath than on the road.
Exactly. There are regular journeys that I do by car that would not be possible by public transport, or would take much longer. I can drive to Nettlebed in 20 minutes (which I do at least once a week), by public transport it takes nearly four times as long (assuming that the buses are on time). A regular journey which takes me just under an hour would take three hours by public transport. Even for things in Reading which I could do by bus, I need the car if I am taking equipment for meetings, tea things, paperwork, and sometimes an extra passenger. Later today I will be going to pick up a piece of furniture which I bought on eBay - could go on the bus, I suppose, but don't think I would be very popular!
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Maybe if every new high rise had 1 car pool car per 20 flats and a light electric van per 100 with 10 years free membership included with each flat, that might wean people off their personal cars - but we are just not there yet. You only have to look at the number of people on social media asking where they can park a car near Reading TC as they have a flat but no parking. Transport links to London, wokingham/Bracknell, Newbury & Basingstoke are ok but otherwise are poor and a lot of the employment opportunities are in smaller estates or rural locations v.poorly serviced by public transport.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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lizwing wrote: 24 Feb 2017 12:16Friends from out of town might want to visit you, better if they can park underneath than on the road.
Hard to justify building a car parking space that get used a dozen times a year for a few hours each time.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Avis wrote: 24 Feb 2017 12:27
lizwing wrote: 24 Feb 2017 12:16 Because even if you live in a town centre you might need to get out of the town, not always by public transport. Friends from out of town might want to visit you, better if they can park underneath than on the road.
Exactly. There are regular journeys that I do by car that would not be possible by public transport, or would take much longer. I can drive to Nettlebed in 20 minutes (which I do at least once a week), by public transport it takes nearly four times as long (assuming that the buses are on time). A regular journey which takes me just under an hour would take three hours by public transport. Even for things in Reading which I could do by bus, I need the car if I am taking equipment for meetings, tea things, paperwork, and sometimes an extra passenger. Later today I will be going to pick up a piece of furniture which I bought on eBay - could go on the bus, I suppose, but don't think I would be very popular!
Whilst your particular circumstances re: Nettlebed probably make owning a car seem reasonable, I imagine there must be numerous people choosing to live in the town centre for local working or commuting to London reasons who have less frequent need of a car. In those cases simply using a taxi or very occasionally hiring a car may be the way forward for them - and may well work out considerably cheaper. I know it's far from the same, but plenty of people live in London without owning cars - I managed it for 11 years without any problem. If you're going to want to indulge in "city centre living" (note city with small "c") the you're going to have to appreciate that such a thing doesn't automatically grant you the right to car parking. "city centre living" is about dense urbanisation with everything being situated relatively close by so you can walk or use public transport - if you really have to have a car, then maybe "city centre living" isn't for you. (I mean "you" in the general sense, rather than you, Avis!)
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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So why can't they build blocks of flats with car parking underground?
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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lizwing wrote: 24 Feb 2017 16:39 So why can't they build blocks of flats with car parking underground?
They can - it just adds to the cost, usually quite substantially. The developers won't be in favour of spending more money and thus likely reducing their profit. The council won't be in favour of introducing way more cars to the town centre. And given the s.106 regulations, the council might find it necesssary to come to some sort of s.106 agreement with the developer for the developer to fund additional road capacity to offset the effect of introducing all these extra cars to the town centre. Now the developer isn't going to be in favour of paying out even more money which cuts into their property, and the council's probably not going to be that keen either, as (i) there's no guarantee introducing extra capacity will work, (ii) it won't necessarily be easy trying to introduce that capacity, and (iii) years of roadworks and delays on the IDR probably result whilst its installed. An outcome likely to be so unpopular that they might even lose control of the council.

Providing the capacity isn't the problem; if somebody had the cash and the means they could build 10,000 underground parking spaces under the centre of town - but unless there's a way of dealing with all the extra traffic that introduces, it's worse than useless as it just guarantees the town will be logjammed with all the extra traffic created.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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You're quite right, you see that's why I'm not a town planner
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Interestingly, I eavesdropped on a conversation between property developers at one of these exhibitions - they were talking about another central site. It was clear that the developer wanted to provide more car parking, presumably because having a dedicated space pushes up the sale price sufficiently to justify building underground parking etc (in that particular market at least), but it was a case of how much they'd get away with (presumably without triggering the kind of offsetting activity described by Pooneil)
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Basically building underground carparking is sticking additional storeys on the building (albeit hidden from view), which means the required foundations increase - a 14 storey tower block with a 4 storey underground car park is basically an 18 storey building, so entails you sinking the larger foundations entailed for an 18 storey building. Plus, since you're digging out 4 storeys underground, plus whatever you need to dig out for the foundations, that's an extra 4 storey's worth of earth and rock that you have got to pay to dispose of, plus the cost of the extra time and equipment to dig all that extra soil/rock out.That cost obviously increases each storey you go down, so you can see why developers might be happy to do a single storey underground carpark, maybe two storeys, but after that the costs rise steeply, especially if they also start getting hit with s106 costs as well. Compared to that, obviously providing a limited number of car parking spaces at ground level (if they can find the land for it) is way cheaper...
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Loads of people convert their garages to living space which kind of indicates the value of parking in comparison to accommodation. For the reasons abouve, why spend x grand on some parking construction when the same cost can be made more profitable?

Plus planning normally try to limit parking

However car ownership is less attractive to a larger section of the public than before
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

Post by Mayfield »

Perhaps developers should be encouraged to invest in those schemes where you book a car and pay for it by the hour, when you need it, but the cars are specific to the development rather than just ordinary car rentals.
Maybe 1 car per 10 or 20 apartments ?
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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dave m wrote: 25 Feb 2017 14:30 Loads of people convert their garages to living space which kind of indicates the value of parking in comparison to accommodation. For the reasons abouve, why spend x grand on some parking construction when the same cost can be made more profitable?

Plus planning normally try to limit parking

However car ownership is less attractive to a larger section of the public than before
In my experience most people who do that have parking, it's the value of having it undercover that's in doubt...of course your experience may be different.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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As previous posters mention, underground parking is expensive to dig out and would no doubt attract a much larger section 106 payment. There may also be issues with the flooding potential of digging down given that the site is very close to flood zone 2 (Great Knollys Street nearby is within the floodplain).

As for amenities - I expect the section 106 money will cover much of this. One thing that won't need to be added is primary school provision - Civitas Academy in Great Knollys Street and the now infamously overcrowded 'bigger and better' E P Collier are both much undersubscribed. At least for those of us living near E P Collier the provision of more town centre accommodation may alleviate the traffic problems caused by the large number of pupils arriving from miles away that we have at present. Unless, of course, E P Collier continues to accept pupils from as far away as Tilehurst and new pupils from the town centre are shipped off to fill the excess capacity in Whitley. I wouldn't be surprised...
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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How can EP Collier be both over crowded and undersubscribed?
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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But won't that just shift the problem...those children travelling to EP Collier have to go to school somewhere?
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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lizwing wrote: 25 Feb 2017 18:48 How can EP Collier be both over crowded and undersubscribed?
EP Collier has recently had its capacity effectively more than doubled, but the site was barely large enough for the original number of pupils (the expansion is from 210 to 480+ pupils, and isn't even complete yet). It's undersubscribed largely because its catchment area doesn't have that many families (it serves the town centre which is mostly flats) so now many pupils are being sent there less than willingly from out of catchment. Basically they've expanded the wrong school. A school not being popular doesn't mean it won't be filled up with reluctant pupils from far and wide.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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I think the point is that if they fill ep collier with children from local new flats where will the areas having to ship children to ep collier then send their children in future if additional facilities are not built elsewhere
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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If a large number of families move into the central area the council's decision to expand EP Collier may be shown to have had some validity. However, realistically I expect most of the flats in new developments will be occupied by people without primary school age children, so I remain to be convinced that EP Collier and the Civitas Academy will ever end up being particularly popular - unless, of course, one of them gets an Outstanding rating, in which case parents will no doubt start fighting over pokey little flats to get their little ones a place!

Therefore the most likely outcome is that the status quo will prevail, with people in some areas having to send their kids across town to school. I believe there's also excess capacity in Whitley now.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Stargazer wrote: 06 Mar 2017 16:35I believe there's also excess capacity in Whitley now.
Certainly Geoffrey Field Infants and Juniors have been expanded in the last couple of years. I note from this Reading Chronicle article of about 18 months ago that "So far 1,552 extra primary school places have been created and the entire scheme is due for completion by autumn 2016. "
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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If you want to know the real story take a look at this:
http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/5299/Pr ... s_2016.pdf

E P Collier is one of the few schools that doesn't have a waiting list, and 34 out of its 60 pupils in the 2016 entry come from out of catchment. You can understand now why I don't believe expansion from 30 to 60 places was justified. E P Collier even has 9 'diverts' - I believe that means pupils that were sent there despite the parents not including it as a preference at all.

Civitas Academy in Great Knollys Street has 60 pupils, a massive 44 of whom were diverts. I guess you will now understand why I believe our area has a huge excess of primary school capacity, which only serves to make town centre traffic worse. Why did the council do this and not provide more places where they were actually needed?
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Stargazer wrote: 07 Mar 2017 11:23 If you want to know the real story take a look at this:
http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/5299/Pr ... s_2016.pdf

E P Collier is one of the few schools that doesn't have a waiting list, and 34 out of its 60 pupils in the 2016 entry come from out of catchment. You can understand now why I don't believe expansion from 30 to 60 places was justified. E P Collier even has 9 'diverts' - I believe that means pupils that were sent there despite the parents not including it as a preference at all.

Civitas Academy in Great Knollys Street has 60 pupils, a massive 44 of whom were diverts. I guess you will now understand why I believe our area has a huge excess of primary school capacity, which only serves to make town centre traffic worse. Why did the council do this and not provide more places where they were actually needed?
So that they could maintain their assault on Mapledurham Playing Fields - if they'd expanded where there was need (Caversham) then they would have lost the opportunity to get a toe hold in to developing the playing fields beyond the free school which they're obsessed with ensuring gets built there. I know there's a topic and area for the subject and lots of moderators in here don't want it mentioned, but the two issues are inextricably linked.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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I can only conclude from the evidence I've seen that the reasons for the huge over-provision of primary school places near the town centre must be political, unless the council seriously believes that there will be a massive increase in the number of young families in the area with new developments. Whether this happens remains to be seen.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Not wanting to burst bubbles but having spent the last 7+ weeks in a high rise town centre apartment - with dedicated parking I can safely say this

I witnessed that apparently parking is wanted / required in these TC places............
And families are using them..........

We where in City Tower, the big one at Chatham Place, and had an allocated space - could have had 2 or 3 if we'd had more cars

The car park itself covered both this one and next door Chatham Square and had about 150 spaces

And that's for about 200 apartments - many of the apartments are on (and aimed at) short term let, or foreign business visitors many of whom I guess haven't bothered with cars

However

The whole time I was there it was nearly full, with many of the cars coming / going each day
There were about 10 that only moved about twice per week, and 2 I never saw get moved once!
And 4 motorbikes

And there where families in many of the larger apartments - we could see kids in quite a few we overlooked, met many in the lifts and the apartment above us had 2 as could hear them

The place opposite - not sure of the name - had a fairly full car park that I could see into when the door opened, and the one further round was the same as that had mesh style doors you could see into


You can't beat an eye witness in this sort of argument............
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

Post by zag »

OLDMAN wrote: 07 Mar 2017 12:20 Not wanting to burst bubbles but having spent the last 7+ weeks in a high rise town centre apartment - with dedicated parking I can safely say this

I witnessed that apparently parking is wanted / required in these TC places............
And families are using them..........

We where in City Tower, the big one at Chatham Place, and had an allocated space - could have had 2 or 3 if we'd had more cars

The car park itself covered both this one and next door Chatham Square and had about 150 spaces

And that's for about 200 apartments - many of the apartments are on (and aimed at) short term let, or foreign business visitors many of whom I guess haven't bothered with cars

However

The whole time I was there it was nearly full, with many of the cars coming / going each day
There were about 10 that only moved about twice per week, and 2 I never saw get moved once!
And 4 motorbikes

And there where families in many of the larger apartments - we could see kids in quite a few we overlooked, met many in the lifts and the apartment above us had 2 as could hear them

The place opposite - not sure of the name - had a fairly full car park that I could see into when the door opened, and the one further round was the same as that had mesh style doors you could see into


You can't beat an eye witness in this sort of argument............
:goodposting:

I have a similar experience but lived in one of the blocks without any parking. There were people who used to drop off and pick up but no regular cars really.

Just goes to show if you don't build parking, people simply adapt. Which is pretty much my argument all along about not building these parking spaces in the town center.

I've lived in the suburbs for a few years now and still find it bizarre seeing 2 or 3 car households. I still cycle, walk or use the train everywhere out of sheer habit. I always find it funny why people ask me how come I have so much disposable income as well. hmm....
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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Agree that there are families in Chatham Place - indeed some friends of ours live there and they walk with their daughter to E P Collier every day (EPC was their second choice after Oxford Road Primary, and to be fair their daughter seems happy there and they are are very satisfied with her progress). They don't have a car. But the actual statistics on primary school entry suggest that there aren't enough families in the area to justify the current provision of places - and whether the new developments such as the Foundry Quarter attract a significant number of families remains to be seen.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

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peterson wrote: 11 Feb 2017 00:05 I popped into the exhibition. Not a great deal more to report - write-up here:
http://readingonthames.com/2017/02/10/f ... eldale-st/

The name is just about connecting into Reading's manufacturing past. I guess it's more imaginative than just "Weldale Street"!
I've been doing a bit of research into local history on an unconnected project (you may have seen my separate thread about the old cast iron street lights) - and it seems the northern end of Caversham Road beyond the railway has a decent claim to the Foundry Quarter name. There were at least two foundries there at the turn of the 20th century - Samuel Griffith, who made parts for the railways, and H C Goodman, who were where the Peter Brett building is by Caversham Bridge and I think were still there as recently as the 1980s. Both made cast iron lighting columns, some of which still survive - we have plenty of them remaining in our streets off Caversham Road and hope they can be preserved.
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Re: The Foundry Quarter (Weldale Street)

Post by OLDMAN »

:goodposting:

But I will now have to do this.............. :banghead:

I remember H C Goodman - they where known as a steel stockist but if called by their full name...........H. C. Goodman Limited of Caversham Bridge Foundry, Reading

Where I worked we bought steel from them, and I used to buy cheap offcuts of plate for welding cars

Damn I am annoyed I had forgotten about that

I seem to remember they packed up in the late 70's as we had to get metal from elsewhere from then on

Samuel Griffith's rings a bell thinking about it more from some history I've seen, but I thought they had been listed as in Vastern Rd - maybe they moved or where I on the corner of that and Caversham Rd?
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