Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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KeithW
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by KeithW »

Thank you both, we've been intending to move for a few years now. I work at home, and very rarely have to go anywhere, so there was no reason not to really other than inertia. And Covid.

The thing that really sealed it was just how bad Reading had become. I mean, it seemed fine to me, but there were so many people claiming otherwise. ChipbuttyG, Tommy, Melchett, Jamie B and Jamie Knows Best to name but one. Surely they can't all be wrong?

Boxes, boxes everywhere. I would thoroughly recommend DSB removals, though I would not recommend moving; I've not worked so long and hard for years.

The train journey to Penzance is long, but very scenic once you pass Exeter, and the journey to Exeter is very fast.
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piwacket
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by piwacket »

KeithW wrote: 08 Dec 2021 18:02
The thing that really sealed it was just how bad Reading had become. I mean, it seemed fine to me, but there were so many people claiming otherwise. ChipbuttyG, Tommy, Melchett, Jamie B and Jamie Knows Best to name but one. Surely they can't all be wrong?
… hmm, made me think… not just you, and that list… but over the last 20+ years so many of my friends and acquaintances have done the same - and two close neighbours also, people I’ve lived by over that time or more, have upped sticks - Reading’s changed too much … destinations are spread far and wide from Somerset, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Glos, Christchurch, Wales and Canada. I meet them all from time to time - even my friend from teenage years in Toronto, and they all feel it was a good move. NB - no-one went North :)

I admit I’d hoped to do a similar move - West Country, but fate didn’t play it that way - c’est la vie. Having said that, SW France would have been my ideal.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

It’s grim ooop North.....
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by piwacket »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 08 Dec 2021 21:39 It’s grim ooop North.....
:)) for me it would be the weather - the deciding factor in fact!
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

piwacket wrote: 08 Dec 2021 21:54
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 08 Dec 2021 21:39 It’s grim ooop North.....
:)) for me it would be the weather - the deciding factor in fact!
Me too. That would definitely give certain Forumites somethjngto complain about :roflol3:
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windrush
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by windrush »

I realise that it isn't the North but we have no bad weather here, just unsuitable clothing! :-)

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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

windrush wrote: 08 Dec 2021 23:11 I realise that it isn't the North but we have no bad weather here, just unsuitable clothing! :-)

Pete.
D5s hareem pants wouldn’t be much cop in your neck of the woods!
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D5equj5
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by D5equj5 »

Hey ! Get off my pants !
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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D5equj5 wrote: 08 Dec 2021 23:24 Hey ! Get off my pants !
Bet you say that to Mrs D5 allllll the time :roflol3:
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OLDMAN
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by OLDMAN »

KeithW wrote: 08 Dec 2021 18:02 Thank you both, we've been intending to move for a few years now. I work at home, and very rarely have to go anywhere, so there was no reason not to really other than inertia. And Covid.

The thing that really sealed it was just how bad Reading had become. I mean, it seemed fine to me, but there were so many people claiming otherwise. ChipbuttyG, Tommy, Melchett, Jamie B and Jamie Knows Best to name but one. Surely they can't all be wrong?

Boxes, boxes everywhere. I would thoroughly recommend DSB removals, though I would not recommend moving; I've not worked so long and hard for years.

The train journey to Penzance is long, but very scenic once you pass Exeter, and the journey to Exeter is very fast.
All the best in your new adventure Keith - and don’t go joining any Cub Scout groups

Funnily enough I was talking to mate who lives down the road, his parents (who are also old friend of ours form way back and now in their late 70’s) are moving ‘back’ to Reading

Two simple reasons for it – first is they cant get any decent care service down there (they had to recently due to illness) and secondly, all the family live up here so it means they are closer to them / great and grandchildren etc
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 08 Dec 2021 23:23
windrush wrote: 08 Dec 2021 23:11 I realise that it isn't the North but we have no bad weather here, just unsuitable clothing! :-)

Pete.
D5s hareem pants wouldn’t be much cop in your neck of the woods!
I disagree, depending on the size of D5's 'comforting rod' there could well be space for a lamb or two to keep his nether regions snug.

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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Pooneil »

windrush wrote: 09 Dec 2021 11:10
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 08 Dec 2021 23:23
windrush wrote: 08 Dec 2021 23:11 I realise that it isn't the North but we have no bad weather here, just unsuitable clothing! :-)

Pete.
D5s hareem pants wouldn’t be much cop in your neck of the woods!
I disagree, depending on the size of D5's 'comforting rod' there could well be space for a lamb or two to keep his nether regions snug.

Pete.
Like lambs to the slaughter...?
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Pooneil wrote: 09 Dec 2021 11:20
windrush wrote: 09 Dec 2021 11:10
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 08 Dec 2021 23:23

D5s hareem pants wouldn’t be much cop in your neck of the woods!
I disagree, depending on the size of D5's 'comforting rod' there could well be space for a lamb or two to keep his nether regions snug.

Pete.
Like lambs to the slaughter...?
Cruelty to animals

:offtopic1: But SO worth it :-)
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by D5equj5 »

:roflol3: Lol
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OLDMAN
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by OLDMAN »

But wouldn't D5 feel a little sheepish doing that?
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by THC »

KeithW wrote: 08 Dec 2021 15:40 I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue was from Reading recently - I heard it Monday evening I think. The fact of it being the largest town in the UK was mentioned in Jack Dee's intro.

As for Marazion, thanks for the heads-up. That's just under four miles as the gull flies from where I now live.

Leaving Reading on Monday was a great start. With five hours or more to go, a car ran into us at the Eldon Road/London Road junction. A young woman jumped the red light on London Road as so many do, but this must have been several seconds after the change. She ended up facing the wrong way on the north side.

Fortunately, no-one was hurt, I have a reliable witness and our car was still driveable, probably just the bumper and some surrounding area. The perpetrator was crying, she was so sorry and was pretty shook-up, but the witness took care of her while we headed west. Her granddad called the net day - he wants to sort it out without the insurance being involved, which is fine by me, I don't think it will cost much, but I don't want the car written off, it's not worth much. We plan to get a smaller one now we're here, but not just yet.
Welcome to the South West. Best decision I’ve made in years. Love the weather down here in my part of Devon, I find it brighter and fresher than Reading though that may be living in a village. You can easily spot the grockles as they can’t cope with the roads.

The relaxed pace of life and friendlier people are a real benefit. I always say to people it’s like driving 30mph in a 40 zone, rather than 50 in a 40 which is what it feels like in the south east. I no longer feel that I’m in a rush.

Haven’t been on here in some months and I can see that there is a new, yet familiarly sapping, poster, who revels in putting Reading down. To that individual, please don’t move to Devon if you do decide to leave Reading.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by ChipbuttyG »

THC wrote: 13 Dec 2021 22:40
KeithW wrote: 08 Dec 2021 15:40 I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue was from Reading recently - I heard it Monday evening I think. The fact of it being the largest town in the UK was mentioned in Jack Dee's intro.

As for Marazion, thanks for the heads-up. That's just under four miles as the gull flies from where I now live.

Leaving Reading on Monday was a great start. With five hours or more to go, a car ran into us at the Eldon Road/London Road junction. A young woman jumped the red light on London Road as so many do, but this must have been several seconds after the change. She ended up facing the wrong way on the north side.

Fortunately, no-one was hurt, I have a reliable witness and our car was still driveable, probably just the bumper and some surrounding area. The perpetrator was crying, she was so sorry and was pretty shook-up, but the witness took care of her while we headed west. Her granddad called the net day - he wants to sort it out without the insurance being involved, which is fine by me, I don't think it will cost much, but I don't want the car written off, it's not worth much. We plan to get a smaller one now we're here, but not just yet.
Welcome to the South West. Best decision I’ve made in years. Love the weather down here in my part of Devon, I find it brighter and fresher than Reading though that may be living in a village. You can easily spot the grockles as they can’t cope with the roads.

The relaxed pace of life and friendlier people are a real benefit. I always say to people it’s like driving 30mph in a 40 zone, rather than 50 in a 40 which is what it feels like in the south east. I no longer feel that I’m in a rush.

Haven’t been on here in some months and I can see that there is a new, yet familiarly sapping, poster, who revels in putting Reading down. To that individual, please don’t move to Devon if you do decide to leave Reading.
I don't think anyone revels in putting Reading down. It's sad to see what's happened to the place.

As for your first two sentences, I totally agree.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Dec 2021 09:33 I don't think anyone revels in putting Reading down. It's sad to see what's happened to the place.
Well, you fooled me about what you revel in, and are those crocodile tears of sadness.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by ChipbuttyG »

MickEdge wrote: 14 Dec 2021 10:41
ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Dec 2021 09:33 I don't think anyone revels in putting Reading down. It's sad to see what's happened to the place.
Well, you fooled me about what you revel in, and are those crocodile tears of sadness.
Is it better to sweep Reading's demise under the carpet or face up to the fact it's got worse, much worse?
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by maggieaitch »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Dec 2021 10:46
MickEdge wrote: 14 Dec 2021 10:41
ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Dec 2021 09:33 I don't think anyone revels in putting Reading down. It's sad to see what's happened to the place.
Well, you fooled me about what you revel in, and are those crocodile tears of sadness.
Is it better to sweep Reading's demise under the carpet or face up to the fact it's got worse, much worse?
Perhaps you should add IMHO
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by chris_j_wood »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Dec 2021 10:46 Is it better to sweep Reading's demise under the carpet or face up to the fact it's got worse, much worse?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by ChipbuttyG »

maggieaitch wrote: 14 Dec 2021 12:24
ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Dec 2021 10:46
MickEdge wrote: 14 Dec 2021 10:41
Well, you fooled me about what you revel in, and are those crocodile tears of sadness.
Is it better to sweep Reading's demise under the carpet or face up to the fact it's got worse, much worse?
Perhaps you should add IMHO
Very true. But I'm not alone in knowing it's got worse.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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THC wrote: 13 Dec 2021 22:40 Welcome to the South West. Best decision I’ve made in years…..
Hi - good to ‘see’ you and good that you’re pleased with your move - as for the pace of life, Oh yes, always find the same when visiting the West Country… or the Cotswold region. So much more pleasant generally - but having said that, I did enjoy the ‘pace’ here when in business- then again I wouldn’t want to be in business in Reading or any other large town these days - especially over the last 18 months! Heartbreaking for some.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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piwacket wrote: 14 Dec 2021 15:04
THC wrote: 13 Dec 2021 22:40 Welcome to the South West. Best decision I’ve made in years…..
Hi - good to ‘see’ you and good that you’re pleased with your move - as for the pace of life, O’Groats yes, always find the same when visiting the West Country… or the Cotswold region. So much more pleasant generally - but having said that, I did enjoy the ‘pace’ here when in business- then again I wouldn’t want to be in business in Reading or any other large town these days - especially over the last 18 months! Heartbreaking for some.
Agree, Pi. We were discussing just the other day, what could be a ‘pandemic proof, business? Concluded that an online presence and delivery service were a given. Then what? Food? Goods? Services? With food, unless it was specialist/niche, then the big players such as supermarkets will eat you every time. Goods? Amazon just about undercuts everyone. services? Maybe, but what? Concierge isnt needed for travel 🙄, IT is generally covered by a quick Gloggle for the answer. I’d say skilled trades - carpenters, builders, electricians, plumbers, heating engineers - something that you can’t or must not do yourself. That’s then dependent on entry to homes and premises being allowed.....

I feel sorry for the sandwich and coffee shop chaps and ladies - the independents, not the chains - especially those in town centres and near travel hubs. The footfall must be dire now for them. Every wfh Directive sees them loose trade. A lot of them have been built up over the years too.

The West Country is lovely to visit. We found a lot of it was rammed this year, which whilst good for the traders, means places like coastal paths and hiking trails, get far more wear and subsequent erosion than they should. What with that and the mad crowds, must be a double edged sword for the locals.

Speaking to several people that we’d hired accommodation from, they were pretty cut off from goods and services during the lockdowns. So whilst it is picturesque and relaxing to live there, it is remote in parts and getting older in places such as the West, and the Dales etc, might not be ideal during such times as the last couple of years.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 14 Dec 2021 15:33 Agree, Pi. We were discussing just the other day, what could be a ‘pandemic proof, business? …
We’d certainly have suffered in the Gallery, if not ‘gone to the wall’! Opened in 1983, and a lot of hard work in making it a success, not just me but my loyal staff - I doubt we’d have survived - I’d have been thunderous, not to say almost murderous :)) as said, the pace was hectic most days, particularly with corporate trade. Good times - which were badly affected by recessions, but the pandemic is something else! As I said heartbreaking. Businesses flung on the heap of collateral damage. :banghead:

With regard to ‘life’ in the West Country when older - again something serious to consider - the ease of getting to a doctor, dentist or hospital, sometimes as an emergency. The realities vs the beautiful village life, all very pretty on a warm summers day…..
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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We’re lucky in having a very good medical centre in the village and two first class hospitals within a couple of miles. We don’t live in a “chocolate box” village although the ‘old’ village where we are is lovely with several useful shops. There’s also a very good bus service, every twenty minutes to Cheltenham or Gloucester. It’s one of the reasons we chose it because of the infrastructure. We considered other places but you have to think of things like that especially as you get older. We’ve never regretted our decision in fact I wish we’d done it sooner.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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Suppose you can't really compare a large town like Reading to any of these remote areas. It's like comparing apples and pears.

Lots of talk on here about Devon, which itself is indeed a lovely place to visit. You could probably draw a more fair and accurate comparison between Reading, and say, Plymouth in Devon.

Plymouth is a city about the same size as Reading, but its city centre has seen extreme decline despite the construction of a shopping centre (anchored by a large Primark store) in 2006. Parts, if not the majority, of the city centre looks and feels derelict. I believe their new shopping centre won a national award for being the ugliest building in the country, in the first year it was built.

The problem is, that places like Plymouth receive little private investment being so remote. The exception to this being the university and associated student flats which now dominate the city centre. Many companies don't want to locate there, and understandably so due to the location away from most modern connections (like a well-connected international airport, motorway, etc). As a result, parts of the city centre have been neglected for years, if not decades.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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Good post Ash. Plymouth is indeed run down in parts - it’s a bit harsh to compare Reading to it tho! Plymouth suffers from the distance from London, which is something Reading will never do due to our location if nothing else. Employers and industries want cheap(ish) and accessible premises, good transport links and a population that has a good spread employment age people. That to my mind rules out a fair few southern more aesthetically pleasing areas, as the transport and premises are not that easy and the population tends to be older maybe?

I know relatives of ours struggled to get their kids jobs, a jobs for the man and when they did eventually work, they became self employed in an industry that relied on the tourist trade not their own fields in Cornwall.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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piwacket wrote: 14 Dec 2021 16:29 ..........................................With regard to ‘life’ in the West Country when older - again something serious to consider - the ease of getting to a doctor, dentist or hospital, sometimes as an emergency. The realities vs the beautiful village life, all very pretty on a warm summers day…..
Which is mainly why our friends are moving back to Reading, especially as she was very ill / bedridden recently (thankfully not covid) and had the same problems that Windrush has with carers not being available

I once asked the question on one of their visit back here, about life ‘down there’ - the answer was beautiful in the summer (but a bugger if working - he was a SE carpenter) sh*t in the winter and definitely needed a car where they live as no alternatives!
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 14 Dec 2021 18:19 Good post Ash. Plymouth is indeed run down in parts - it’s a bit harsh to compare Reading to it tho! Plymouth suffers from the distance from London, which is something Reading will never do due to our location if nothing else. Employers and industries want cheap(ish) and accessible premises, good transport links and a population that has a good spread employment age people. That to my mind rules out a fair few southern more aesthetically pleasing areas, as the transport and premises are not that easy and the population tends to be older maybe?

I know relatives of ours struggled to get their kids jobs, a jobs for the man and when they did eventually work, they became self employed in an industry that relied on the tourist trade not their own fields in Cornwall.
We found the same when visiting Portsmouth at the end of 2019 (a long weekend) for a so called extravaganza Xmas market
The market was Cr*p, yes with a capital C, the city centre was a dump with many shops shut down, most of the shopping centre was shut down and was dire to walk around
So bad we gave up after 40mins and went in a pub, then got a taxi back to the hotel
So much for being a ‘city’ – it doesn’t mean anything!
The next day we went down to Southsea – another dump, okay it was December but it just looked terrible, and no ‘festive cheer’ - we walked along the front which was bleak, and ended up at Gunwharf Keyes which seems to be the only thing keeping Portsmouth going – and that wasn’t brilliant as so manic with mental Xmas shoppers – I’d rate the Oracle better and I don’t go mad about that place – so after some lunch we gave up and retired back to the hotel again

If that’s what becoming a city brings then forget it
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by MickEdge »

So, maybe Reading isn’t bad at all compared to other urban areas. It lacks the seaside and the historical attractions of Plymouth and Portsmouth, which is why it’s so important to preserve the gaol and ensure what’s done with it adds to the Abbey and Forbury areas. The latter two are fair weather attractions, whereas I hope the gaol area can become an everyday place to enjoy.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

MickEdge wrote: 15 Dec 2021 08:50 So, maybe Reading isn’t bad at all compared to other urban areas.
Snipped

And I think that’s what we need to keep in mind, that it IS an urban area. It’s not an AONB - although we are surrounded by beautiful countryside a stones throw away. It’s not as far as I know, and SSSI - although we have the Abbey and a thousand plus year old church and roman settlements etc. Its not a chuffing City, despite some people’s vainity aspirations. It’s a great mix of old and new - history and technology side by side.

We have our areas of deprivation, like any urban place, and we have our areas of wealth too. Good schools both public and private and a university that leads on robotics. Yes we have places that aren’t the safest at times, and people that need more help. To my memory, we’ve never had any inter-racial tensions to speak of that some Cities have suffered, and we have many nationalities living and working in the town, in what seems to be relative harmony.

You can go on making comparisons between Reading with all sorts of far fetched scenarios - we’re definitely down market compared to Buckingham Palace, but definitely better than a slum. In the end, you make your choice to either love it or leave it 🤷🏻‍♀️
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by THC »

I can’t speak for Plymouth as I’ve not been there before but I understand it was bombed rather badly in the war and then unsympathetically rebuilt in the brutalist style. Where I live in a village just outside Exeter has good road connections, hourly buses into town and I can be in the centre of Exeter within 10-15 minutes. Think of it is as the equivalent say of living in Sonning.

My doctors is in the next village and very good. Must admit NHS dentists are an issue down here. I still go to the University one in Northcourt Avenue but may move to a nearer one in Taunton or Wellington.

I’m not yet at an age to need carers anytime soon, but I feel there’s a world of difference between being in a small village up on Dartmoor and in a small market town eg Honiton / Crediton. Note neither of these are in the main tourist areas.

My observation from 9 months in a village (never lived in one before) is that I’d probably like to stay in one. I always intended to rent for a whole year before deciding though.

A lot of the tourist areas are remote - especially anything in North Devon. Employment would be harder up there, transport links away from the A30 are minimal. It takes a long time to get there from the south of the county.

My observations from the job market generally is there is a greater proportion of public sector employment - largely due to fewer corporate style jobs as pointed out above.

The Reading area has lots due to Heathrow being up the road. That doesn’t bother me as what I do is industry-agnostic, every company with employees will have a need for me. Down here the gap between public and private sector pay is also a lot less.

As for the traffic and weather - again living somewhere the tourists largely pass by traffic is only a problem on the motorway Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and I prefer the weather here so far, though admit it’s been a mild winter and I have barely put the storage heaters on - mains gas is quite rare outside the towns it seems. As they say, your mileage may vary.
Pooneil
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Pooneil »

OLDMAN wrote: 15 Dec 2021 08:02
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 14 Dec 2021 18:19 Good post Ash. Plymouth is indeed run down in parts - it’s a bit harsh to compare Reading to it tho! Plymouth suffers from the distance from London, which is something Reading will never do due to our location if nothing else. Employers and industries want cheap(ish) and accessible premises, good transport links and a population that has a good spread employment age people. That to my mind rules out a fair few southern more aesthetically pleasing areas, as the transport and premises are not that easy and the population tends to be older maybe?

I know relatives of ours struggled to get their kids jobs, a jobs for the man and when they did eventually work, they became self employed in an industry that relied on the tourist trade not their own fields in Cornwall.
We found the same when visiting Portsmouth at the end of 2019 (a long weekend) for a so called extravaganza Xmas market
The market was Cr*p, yes with a capital C, the city centre was a dump with many shops shut down, most of the shopping centre was shut down and was dire to walk around
So bad we gave up after 40mins and went in a pub, then got a taxi back to the hotel
So much for being a ‘city’ – it doesn’t mean anything!
The next day we went down to Southsea – another dump, okay it was December but it just looked terrible, and no ‘festive cheer’ - we walked along the front which was bleak, and ended up at Gunwharf Keyes which seems to be the only thing keeping Portsmouth going – and that wasn’t brilliant as so manic with mental Xmas shoppers – I’d rate the Oracle better and I don’t go mad about that place – so after some lunch we gave up and retired back to the hotel again

If that’s what becoming a city brings then forget it
Unlikely that it has much to do with city status - both Pompey and Plymouth have been cities for 90+ years. I suspect that at least some of their challenges relate to being port cities (and to an extent naval dockyards, which did indeed attract significant wartime bombing).
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ChipbuttyG
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Portsmouth has Gunwharf Quays which is very nice next to the naval dockyard.

It also has the lovely Port Solent. We visited just before lockdown and it was decent enough. Seemed to be plenty going on. At Port Solent we caught a car show/gathering of all sorts of wild and wacky cars as well as some exotica. Talking to one of the chaps he says they do it once a month IIRC.

Hell, even Aldershot when I visited had a decent car show/gathering by the high street. OK - Aldershot isn't great but it's currently having a makeover.

There just seems to be more going on in these other places. All we get down Broad St. Is some charity chuggers, religious nuts most of the time.
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