Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Good points WR. I only referred to large town as the OP was talking about Reading at the time. Smaller places can, as you say, have the same if not disportionately worse problems, exassibated by rural locations, probably not such good public transport and all that kind of thing.

So true Mayfield. It’s not until you experience adverse conditions on a personal level, that you realise quite what a strain on public services etc, large urban populations can generate. It’s all very well to be I’m all right Jack, until,your not alright.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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piwacket wrote: 07 Sep 2018 19:41
MickEdge wrote: 07 Sep 2018 18:02 If you can get 1,000 flats on the site, could you build a multi-storey hospital instead, probably not. However, it wouldn’t need a car park, or involve awkward journeys for patients and visitors to get there.
Umm... Mick are you suggesting a hospital be built on the RBH site, or the Royal Mail site?
Why wouldn’t either of them need a Car Park? All the staff alone, let alone some very sick patients can’t all walk or go by bus.
I was speculating about moving the RBH to the Royal Mail site. They could turn the car park behind Fridays into a multi-storey and there are others not too far away, for the walking wounded. Probably loads of reason why it might not be feasible, but a modern hospital that central seems to have lot going for it, for staff and patients.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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But what about people who need to go to the hospital by car and can’t walk from the nearest carpark? Elderly patients who have been taken by someone in a car and need to be escorted into the building not just dropped off.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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MickEdge wrote: 07 Sep 2018 23:22 I was speculating about moving the RBH to the Royal Mail site. They could turn the car park behind Fridays into a multi-storey and there are others not too far away, for the walking wounded. Probably loads of reason why it might not be feasible, but a modern hospital that central seems to have lot going for it, for staff and patients.
By comparison with many places, I think the RBH is pretty centrally placed... the huge drawback is because it’s now basically in a very populated residential area. I don’t think the Royal Mail site would be any improvement on that score, even if a multi-storey car park was added .... and where’s those other car parks “not too far away”? Although I don’t doubt RBC would be rubbing their hands at the amount of money gleaned from straying into Bus Lanes from people in a hurry to be there!

As with just about everything in Reading, traffic volume is the killer of time.... may well be the problem in other towns too ... as there’s now this tendency to stick hospitals “way out there”, so everybody has to travel to it in the best way they can.

Reading is a long thin town from East to West ... and RBH is at the East end, so those from the West have a rotten journey- probably the same from the North with the river in-between, the South not quite so bad ... so for a badly needed new hospital, a fairer location should be found .....
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by dave m »

The Royal Mail site is tiny compared to the RBH.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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Like any scheme, RM site could be made to,work, if the will was there. But the main drawbacks are time and money. Time to run consultations, draw plans, alter road layout (you’ll probably want to keep at least some ambos on site and you’d need fast access and egress for A and E/transplant/transfer cases), inning contractors and to actually build the thing. Money needs to be found - would you go fully publically funded, part funded or some version of private commercial investment.

Factor in running up the site as a new major NHS hospital, commissioning the equipment and moving staff and patients, plus running down the ‘old’ RBH site, finding an investor or repurposing that area as well, and you could easily be looking at 10 years or more, even if it could be done.

It’s easy to see that the ROI on a few hundred flats (can’t see it being 1000) is faster and more profitable.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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Of course my idea of a new hospital isn’t going to happen, and yes it’s largely the funding problem. So we build more homes, not just because we need them, but because of the developers’ profit. So when the RBH, which seems to score well compared to others, is starting to creak at the seams, a consultation starts about replacing it and as been said, maybe ten years later it’s built. Enough cycnism for a Saturday morning.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by MickEdge »

piwacket wrote: 08 Sep 2018 00:03 Reading is a long thin town from East to West ...
I see it more as a three leaf clover of a town. A rather ragged one, I admit. So a common plant and not the four leaf lucky one. Perhaps that should be RBC’s strategy, “Make Reading lucky, make it a four leaf town”.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by dave m »

I am not sure everybody is on the same page here.
Do people actually know the size of the old sorting office?
You wouldn't get a maternity block on there, it's not the entire vastern road site

It's the large roof between TGI Fridays and the track - not mothercare-aldi etc
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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Good point dave m, we were just speculating is all.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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MickEdge wrote: 07 Sep 2018 14:04
dave m wrote: 07 Sep 2018 10:31 Rob Wilson didn't do his research - or assumed that they would lease? Dunno
But his idea was news to the Royal Berks .

Under terms of the land gift , the site cannot be sold or used for anything but medical care
Can’t a compulsory purchase order be made to overcome a covenant? I know it tends to be for transport developments or by utility companies, but I am sure if all parties agree it can be removed.
It may have been left via a trust rather than a covenant - at which point I seem to remember that you can only override the trust if the original purpose for which it was left no longer applies, or something to that effect. So until we've cured all diseases and prevented all accidents, I think it's pretty difficult to argue that we no longer need sites for the provision of medical care and treatment. :-)
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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Pooneil wrote: 08 Sep 2018 14:24 It may have been left via a trust rather than a covenant - at which point I seem to remember that you can only override the trust if the original purpose for which it was left no longer applies, or something to that effect. So until we've cured all diseases and prevented all accidents, I think it's pretty difficult to argue that we no longer need sites for the provision of medical care and treatment. :-)
Hmm not so sure that a Trust can't be over-ruled - I think there's been some incidences round here where if it suits the Council's ends they get round that ....
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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piwacket wrote: 08 Sep 2018 14:51
Pooneil wrote: 08 Sep 2018 14:24 It may have been left via a trust rather than a covenant - at which point I seem to remember that you can only override the trust if the original purpose for which it was left no longer applies, or something to that effect. So until we've cured all diseases and prevented all accidents, I think it's pretty difficult to argue that we no longer need sites for the provision of medical care and treatment. :-)
Hmm not so sure that a Trust can't be over-ruled - I think there's been some incidences round here where if it suits the Council's ends they get round that ....
The trustees can make the case that it is necessary or desireable to sell ff some trust land for other purposes to enable the trust to continue administering the rest of the land for the purpose it was intended. They would have trouble doing that if they were trying to sell off all or most of the site for purposes other than those for which it was intended.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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piwacket wrote: 08 Sep 2018 14:51 Hmm not so sure that a Trust can't be over-ruled - I think there's been some incidences round here where if it suits the Council's ends they get round that ....
I can’t imagine what you’re referring to :whistle1: . But I thought if they provide an equivalent service elsewhere, it was ok. I’m pretty sure trusts or covenants wouldn’t have stood in the way of building the new HS2 rail link to Birmingham.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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True but if you have current possession of a site for "free" and propose to move, the trust saying that the site must be returned to the donor's estate, at current market value, you'd be nuts. Like selling the car to buy a caravan.

I got the story from a former member of the planning committee who referred to the whole RBC/nhs/ dept of health study that was done 20 some years ago .

CPO rules are such that you must pay the market value.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by MickEdge »

You are probably right that the footprint is too small for a large hospital, dave m, but the flats might have 20 odd floors. Although I’m not sure how I’d feel recovering from an operation several hundred feet in the air. Might need extra oxygen. Perhaps if you could buy the retail park units (The Range to Mothercare), an ugly collection, and redevelop the whole area, then maybe.

My main gripe is that I think these developments are done piecemeal, with little overall strategy for what the town will look like in 20 years. Still the council do seem to be trying to overcome this with their consultation on the central area around the Hexagon.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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MickEdge wrote: 08 Sep 2018 15:17
I can’t imagine what you’re referring to :whistle1: . But I thought if they provide an equivalent service elsewhere, it was ok. I’m pretty sure trusts or covenants wouldn’t have stood in the way of building the new HS2 rail link to Birmingham.
Yes, well the residents here know of no other facilities that were put in place to replace what was lost when WDC granted permission for a small executive development on trust land nearby ... and there’s another a short distance away that seemed to go the same way.....

... as for Covenants, there’s a Covenant in our Deeds, as have many nearby neighbours with properties built at the same time, which apparently means nothing when it comes to riding roughshod over it in the Planning Dept ....
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by Mayfield »

If you split maternity and possibly broadly 'women's services' from RBH you may gain central space and more space for treatment that is possible to see ahead (?) though maybe next to a railway station may not be ideal 😉
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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I’m not sure maternity would be a good choice. Unless they are high dependency/risk pregnancies and/or special care babies, most women don’t spend more than 3 perhaps 4 days as inpatients. Fairly quick turnaround, if you want to put it that way, so proximity to railway station isn’t as relevant perhaps.

That said, why should any theoretical move or splitting of services be ‘womens’? What made you nominate those?

Services tend to be interdependent - hips and knees need physio, as does A and E, what about ultrasound, X-ray, theatres, outpatients etc? What would you do in an emergency, where the mothers, child's or both lives were in danger - transfer them to the RBH or have an HDU/SCBU on site?

You’d also need kitchens, sterile services, porters, Estates, laundry and a myriad of support and clinical services for almost any ‘service’ you might consider splitting off, hence large central services in NHS hospitals.

Once you start to think of all the allied health professionals, clinical and all the other things you’d need for any separate service, it makes any split look a lot less viable.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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The large Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield has a smallish floor plan but has 21 storeys with speed lifts to make up for it! Virtually zero parking for staff or patients, some of the staff park elsewhere in the city (usually on side streets) and then get a taxi for the rest of the journey. My point is that you really do need a good ground area if you are building a hospital from scratch, and it will never have enough parking no matter how large it is. :?

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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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For comparison I knocked up the follwing to juxtapse the RBH site (vaguely shaded in pink) with the old RM site (coloured blue). I guess that I'm at the mercy of Google maps, but from the scale bars attached, they would seem to be about the same scale. By my estimation, even if you took the whole of the Vastern Road site including Mothercare, Aldi, Majestic ine and The Range, as well as the Royal Mail site, it still would be less than half the size of RBH.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 08 Sep 2018 17:24 I’m not sure maternity would be a good choice. Unless they are high dependency/risk pregnancies and/or special care babies, most women don’t spend more than 3 perhaps 4 days as inpatients. Fairly quick turnaround, if you want to put it that way, so proximity to railway station isn’t as relevant perhaps.

That said, why should any theoretical move or splitting of services be ‘womens’? What made you nominate those?

Services tend to be interdependent - hips and knees need physio, as does A and E, what about ultrasound, X-ray, theatres, outpatients etc? What would you do in an emergency, where the mothers, child's or both lives were in danger - transfer them to the RBH or have an HDU/SCBU on site?

You’d also need kitchens, sterile services, porters, Estates, laundry and a myriad of support and clinical services for almost any ‘service’ you might consider splitting off, hence large central services in NHS hospitals.

Once you start to think of all the allied health professionals, clinical and all the other things you’d need for any separate service, it makes any split look a lot less viable.
We had separate maternity units for years and I think in some places I think they still do.....that's what made me think of it...🙂
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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I know where you’re coming from Mayfield and yes there were stand alone units some years ago. Townlands here was a (very popular and well regarded) maternity unit (usually for post natal rest and recuperation IIRC) at one stage and I was born in Dellwood, which was a dedicated maternity hospital back in the day when a fortnight of ‘laying in’ care was given to ladies, to establish routines with their babies.

Whilst childbirth is a natural process and not an illness, the stork doesn’t always have a smooth flight or safe landing. Ladies do still need to visit various departments for pre and post natal care, e.g. take bloods, plus all of the gynae and associated services for usual, multiple or high risk births, screening and treatments of other ‘female’ conditions, which IMHO cannot be accommodated in a single site, due to the co-dependencies on other departments, as I mentioned before, and it is safer for the lady to be in a general hospital.

If you did have a women’s care centre, to include maternity and treatment of female conditions, there would be a lot of too-img and fro-ing with patients, samples and nursing/allied healthcare/surgeons etc.

It’s not just women’s services I would find it difficult to dedicate a unit to, it could feasibly apply to men’s services too - for the same reasons - or the majority of any other group of patients really, as they are all better served centrally in a large hospital, IMHO.

As a matter of interest, does anyone know of an NHS unit in the U.K. that caters solely for women’s medicine?
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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 09 Sep 2018 15:35As a matter of interest, does anyone know of an NHS unit in the U.K. that caters solely for women’s medicine?
There would appear to be two, according to the overview of Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust: "Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust is a specialist Trust that specialises in the health of women, babies and their families in a safe, friendly and caring environment. As one of only two such specialist Trusts in the UK - and the largest Women’s Hospital of its kind in Europe – we are dedicated to your care and well-being."

I'm guessing that the other one is Birmingham Women's Hospital
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 09 Sep 2018 15:35
Whilst childbirth is a natural process and not an illness, the stork doesn’t always have a smooth flight or safe landing. Ladies do still need to visit various departments for pre and post natal care, e.g. take bloods, plus all of the gynae and associated services for usual, multiple or high risk births, screening and treatments of other ‘female’ conditions, which IMHO cannot be accommodated in a single site, due to the co-dependencies on other departments, as I mentioned before, and it is safer for the lady to be in a general hospital.
How things have changed - none of that when I had my son in the late 1960s. A couple of visits to the GP - told who the Midwife would be - never met her until the day - and a home birth - with a nearly 11lb son at the end of some 36 hrs ..... never again! :))
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by ReadingBiker »

You would be mad to relocate any NHS service to the Vastern road site that requires speed of access (as in ambulances regularly need to access it), that would include Maternity services - you do not want to have to transfer someone needing an emergency cesarean or having a haemorrhage etc, also I doubt you could put a helipad in that site near the railway and tall buildings. If you are going to spend £m's on new hospital buildings start form asking clinicians what they want / need and find a matching site - not with a site and try and shoehorn in the services
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by lizwing »

VoT, I was born in Dellwood too and my mother was in for the two weeks ‘laying in’. I had both mine in the Berks and then went to Dellwood for a week before going home. They taught us to bath and change the baby, helped us with feeding and,best of all, they took them to the nursery for the night, brought us a cup of cocoa and left us to have an undisturbed night’s sleep 😊 We weren’t just turned out after a couple of hours like they are now. I remember how cross the sister was to find my father sitting on the edge of my bed ‘Please get off that bed, think of the germs !’
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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That’s it exactly Liz! I was probably one of the last babies born there. I have a letter, written from my grandmother to my mother, whilst she was in Dellwood. Considering that my grandmother lived around Blundells Road area, there were no phones nor visits except for the father’s, back then. I’ve got a photo of me shortly after I was brought home, taken by my father. It’s of me in a wicker shopping basket, so I was pretty small.

The junior Voices we’re both launched (in one case, almost literally!) at RBH. Stayed in a couple three days with first, out in less than six hours with the second.

Maternity case isn’t the only thing that has changed vastly in recent memory. At one time, hip replacements, for example, were major ops with the patient being in for 10/14 days and real slow recovery. Now, it’s out of bed the next day, physio immediately and discharged within 3 days.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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My sister was born in Dellwood 1926, I was born there in 1933. My sister and I both had our first borns there, in my case 1959. My next 2 were home births and the fourth in Battle hospital when it still housed the maternity unit, in 1968. The regulations in Dellwood were very draconian in 1959 but the staff were so kind and gave a lot of reassurance to first time mums. Visiting was 1hour in the evening and 2 hours Sat and Sunday but husbands only. I longed to see my mum. There was a disastrous fire at Dellwood ( I think about mid 50's ) when a lot of babies died.I sometimes see a man who was one of the babies rescued. He was told he was saved because his cot was nearest to the door and was therefore one of the few lucky ones saved.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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maggieaitch wrote: 09 Sep 2018 21:23There was a disastrous fire at Dellwood ( I think about mid 50's ) when a lot of babies died.I sometimes see a man who was one of the babies rescued. He was told he was saved because his cot was nearest to the door and was therefore one of the few lucky ones saved.
What a tragic story - found the report of the death of the nurse who was seriously injured getting all the babies out only for most of them to die. She got the George Cross for her actions, which sounds pretty richly deserved.
Also found a report from the time, which relates the sadness of it.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by Mayfield »

>>As a matter of interest, does anyone know of an NHS unit in the U.K. that caters solely for women’s medicine?<<<

There are two, one in Birmingham and one in Liverpool.

Edit, sorry, just seen Poos reply...

My daughter used quite a few of the facilities earlier this year when she was pregnant and as she said they were 'on it' at every step and supportive throughout.....in fact I thought they'd improved since I had her and her brother there...
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by maggieaitch »

Thank you for the reference Pooneil. Obviously the baby mentioned as being saved is the man I know.I think there is a memorial to all the babies in Caversham cemetery and I seem to remember an anniversary memorial service at the cemetery a few years ago.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by cmcardle75 »

If there's going to be a new hospital, it should be somewhere sensible. I.e. M4 J11. This gives quick access across Berkshire and frequent P+R buses.
There would also be room for ample parking. The current RBH location in a residential area is hopeless. For those needing to come by car there is limited parking and traffic problems. For those coming outside of Reading, it is not convenient. Even within the urban area, it is off-centre, so the bus access is poor for many directions.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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maggieaitch wrote: 10 Sep 2018 08:13 Thank you for the reference Pooneil. Obviously the baby mentioned as being saved is the man I know.I think there is a memorial to all the babies in Caversham cemetery and I seem to remember an anniversary memorial service at the cemetery a few years ago.
You're quite right, according to this BBC news report from 2004, the council erected a commemorative headstone in 1995, and had a 50th anniversary service in 2004.

I was interested to read in the nurse's Telegraph obituary that "A subsequent inquiry found that the fire had been started by heat from a defective flue in the boilerhouse beneath the nursery's wooden floor. Forensic evidence at the inquest suggested that a slow, charring process had been under way for several months. Because the deal floorboards were covered by linoleum, the smoke was particularly dense and toxic. "
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by maggieaitch »

The newspaper report brought back other memories for me too. I knew Dr Kempton, the consultant mentioned, from my time working at RBH. He was a wonderful doctor and exceptionally nice man who later died tragically in a sailing accident. I believe his boat capsized somewhere in the Med. and he drowned.
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