Interesting buildings in Reading

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chris_j_wood
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Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by chris_j_wood »

The whole of Harris Arcade has now been nationally listed as "a well-designed and notably well-preserved example of an early-C20 shopping arcade, in a consistent neo-classical style".

https://readingcaac.org/2021/12/17/harr ... ting-news/

Which made me think it would be good to celebrate all the interesting and quirky buildings in the town. Here is a thread to do it on. Please feel free to add your own suggestions, be they well or little known.
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lizwing
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by lizwing »

Good news sadly too late for many other old buildings in Reading but it’s a start.
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by piwacket »

chris_j_wood wrote: 18 Dec 2021 14:23 Which made me think it would be good to celebrate all the interesting and quirky buildings in the town. Here is a thread to do it on. Please feel free to add your own suggestions, be they well or little known.
… probably need to look up all the time - the ground-floor levels of many have sadly gone to redevelopment…..

but I always admire many of terrace house streets, with the insets of Reading white brick.. unfortunately the lower levels in many cases leave a lot to be desired - eg London Road from Cemetery junction.

Culham House, Castle Hill…. Built around 1820. The left of it was our gallery (this photo is after I sold it… it’s now 3 or 4 flats)
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by mikejee »

chris_j_wood wrote: 18 Dec 2021 14:23 The whole of Harris Arcade has now been nationally listed as "a well-designed and notably well-preserved example of an early-C20 shopping arcade, in a consistent neo-classical style".

https://readingcaac.org/2021/12/17/harr ... ting-news/

Which made me think it would be good to celebrate all the interesting and quirky buildings in the town. Here is a thread to do it on. Please feel free to add your own suggestions, be they well or little known.
Its a shame they did not keep the market area of the Harris arcade, rather than that bar that replaced it
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by MickEdge »

Glad to hear that the arcade has been recognised, but that alone won’t encourage businesses to occupy the empty units. I was looking for what I recall was a cheese shop, but it seems to have gone. Unfortunately, it’s not a short cut to anywhere, however quaint it is.
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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piwacket wrote: 18 Dec 2021 15:41 … probably need to look up all the time - the ground-floor levels of many have sadly gone to redevelopment…..

but I always admire many of terrace houses street, with the insets of Reading white brick.. unfortunately the lower levels in many cases leave a lot to be desired - eg London Road from Cemetery junction.
Agree and I do lookup. The Council do have a policy requiring shop fronts to be in keeping with the surrounding ones, so hopefully it won’t get worse. Just a shame that there’s so little left and that so many are fast food take-aways. in today’s world of shrinking town centre retail, surely we can devise places to sit awhile and consume, rather than wander about the streets with fat and crumbs falling everywhere.
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by lizwing »

I find it quite possible to walk right through town without eating or drinking, I don’t understand why some people need to, I mean how hungry can they be!?
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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lizwing wrote: 18 Dec 2021 17:01 I find it quite possible to walk right through town without eating or drinking, I don’t understand why some people need to, I mean how hungry can they be!?
…. Let alone sitting at an outside table looking up Broad Street :? having paid ‘funny’ money for a coffee - it’s hardly the Champs Elysee or a Mediterranean cafe looking over a beautiful blue sea ….
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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MickEdge wrote: 18 Dec 2021 16:21 Glad to hear that the arcade has been recognised, but that alone won’t encourage businesses to occupy the empty units. I was looking for what I recall was a cheese shop, but it seems to have gone. Unfortunately, it’s not a short cut to anywhere, however quaint it is.
The Grumpy Goat cheese and beer shop relocated to Smelly Alley.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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Ditto on the looking up thing too, I think there were some pics on this forum somewhere, of various building/ex church fronts where they are now shop premises etc. There’s a sculpture of a swan in flight and a figure, that the Younger Voice took a photo of when back in school. Think it was some Chambers in Reading but can’t remember where. Black and white. Had a print made and put up in his bedroom.

On another subject, does anyone know of a decent photo print service, preferably in tower, that does instant printing or can take them from a stick? I had some done in Boots recently, but they had a very yellow cast on them. We’ve got several we want made bigger to about A3 size, but wouldn’t use the same place again. Want to do some black and white as well (responses can go on the general chat thread, I don’t want to disrupt this one)
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by C.A.Versham »

Harris Arcade has the most interesting shops in Reading IMHO. Pleased that it has been listed.

Where else could one buy a WW2 helmet, smoking requisites, rare vinyl, a fine hat or a collectable comic from your childhood?
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 18 Dec 2021 18:03 On another subject, does anyone know of a decent photo print service, preferably in tower, that does instant printing or can take them from a stick? I had some done in Boots recently, but they had a very yellow cast on them. We’ve got several we want made bigger to about A3 size, but wouldn’t use the same place again. Want to do some black and white as well (responses can go on the general chat thread, I don’t want to disrupt this one)
If they had a yellow cast on them then (assuming that the original did not) then they were scarcely reasonable and you should have asked for a repeat to get a decent print
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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mikejee wrote: 18 Dec 2021 18:13
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 18 Dec 2021 18:03 On another subject, does anyone know of a decent photo print service, preferably in tower, that does instant printing or can take them from a stick? I had some done in Boots recently, but they had a very yellow cast on them. We’ve got several we want made bigger to about A3 size, but wouldn’t use the same place again. Want to do some black and white as well (responses can go on the general chat thread, I don’t want to disrupt this one)
If they had a yellow cast on them then (assuming that the original did not) then they were scarcely reasonable and you should have asked for a repeat to get a decent print
Yeah I know, but I wanted them there and then and didn’t want to hang about in town. They’re not too bad behind glass. They will do for now, and the recipients can have the originals if they wan.
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by Bam »

VOT. Our local print shop is a Kodak agent and has Kodak machines that you use yourself (the staff are happy to assist). The image appears on a screen where it can be edited and corrected. Maybe there is a Kodak agent in your area?
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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Bam wrote: 18 Dec 2021 18:35 VOT. Our local print shop is a Kodak agent and has Kodak machines that you use yourself (the staff are happy to assist). The image appears on a screen where it can be edited and corrected. Maybe there is a Kodak agent in your area?
Good thought thank you. To Gloggle.......!
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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KeithW wrote: 18 Dec 2021 18:01
MickEdge wrote: 18 Dec 2021 16:21 Glad to hear that the arcade has been recognised, but that alone won’t encourage businesses to occupy the empty units. I was looking for what I recall was a cheese shop, but it seems to have gone. Unfortunately, it’s not a short cut to anywhere, however quaint it is.
The Grumpy Goat cheese and beer shop relocated to Smelly Alley.
Thanks. I thought Smelly Alley was only allowed Mobile phone repair shops, which is why never bother to go that way. Not a great asset to the town, except as a cut through.
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by Souwester »

As some of you will have seen previously, I've taken quite a lot of photos around town over the last 18 months, so I'll post some that might be of interest here. I'll start off with this one: does anyone know the history?
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Post by Souwester »

Walter Parsons Corn Stores on Forbury Road dates from 1890, and is a Grade II listed building.
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Souwester wrote: 19 Dec 2021 00:34 As some of you will have seen previously, I've taken quite a lot of photos around town over the last 18 months, so I'll post some that might be of interest here. I'll start off with this one: does anyone know the history?
Sou’wester - always like your pics. Here’s a little about the 1770 building https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3836069. 1770. Blimey.
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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 19 Dec 2021 07:28Sou’wester - always like your pics. Here’s a little about the 1770 building https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3836069. 1770. Blimey.
Thanks for that link. I didn't think the building looked quite as old as 18th Century!
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Souwester wrote: 19 Dec 2021 08:16
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 19 Dec 2021 07:28Sou’wester - always like your pics. Here’s a little about the 1770 building https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3836069. 1770. Blimey.
Thanks for that link. I didn't think the building looked quite as old as 18th Century!
Indeed. As mentioned before, some friends from the US were blown away by the history of the town - something that living here sometimes makes you take for granted perhaps - they found the age of the Forbury and Minster church difficult to comprehend! In contrast, 1770 was a bit of a busy year for the yanks....
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Post by maggieaitch »

Souwester,I too love your photos. I remember both of those buildings when they were used as said above. The corn stores looked very different on the ground floor when it was in active use. I seem to remember huge "garage ' type doors, which were usually open to reveal the loading area. I think there was a big chute and a lot of other equipment.
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Souwester wrote: 19 Dec 2021 01:06 Walter Parsons Corn Stores on Forbury Road dates from 1890, and is a Grade II listed building.
Great photo, thank you. … and the saddest aspect are the two hideous, modern buildings either side of it!
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by chris_j_wood »

Interesting juxtaposition of posts.
piwacket wrote: 18 Dec 2021 17:09 …. Looking up Broad Street - .... - it’s hardly the Champs Elysee or a Mediterranean cafe looking over a beautiful blue sea ….
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 19 Dec 2021 08:33 Indeed. As mentioned before, some friends from the US were blown away by the history of the town - something that living here sometimes makes you take for granted perhaps - they found the age of the Forbury and Minster church difficult to comprehend!
In the early naughties I was running the UK development labs for an Atlanta based software companies, and one of my tasks was looking after our fairly frequent visitors from the US. As expected, they were usually blown away by the history of the Abbey etc.

But the other thing, perhaps much more surprisingly, that they liked was Broad Street. They couldn't believe how busy and bustling it was, and they loved the lack of cars, the brick paving and street trees. I guess it is what you are used to, and it is very easy to take things for granted.
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chris_j_wood wrote: 19 Dec 2021 14:41
In the early naughties I was…..

But the other thing, perhaps much more surprisingly, that they liked was Broad Street. They couldn't believe how busy and bustling it was, and they loved :? the lack of cars, the brick paving and street trees. I guess it is what you are used to, and it is very easy to take things for granted.
Or maybe noughties :? - depending on what you were doing of course :)

I’ve disliked pedestrianisation from the start :(
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piwacket wrote: 19 Dec 2021 14:51
chris_j_wood wrote: 19 Dec 2021 14:41
In the early naughties I was…..

But the other thing, perhaps much more surprisingly, that they liked was Broad Street. They couldn't believe how busy and bustling it was, and they loved :? the lack of cars, the brick paving and street trees. I guess it is what you are used to, and it is very easy to take things for granted.
Or maybe noughties :? - depending on what you were doing of course :)
Snigger

They came from Plano, so had their fill of Malls. They liked Pangbourne/Beale Park area too etc. He was educated here before going back to USA. He’s a South African and his late wife a Californian.
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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Plenty of history in America of course but mainly relating to the Native Americans who the European immigrants sought to exterminate both literally and their culture, so its largely unknown.

That said my friend is a member of the “daughters of the American revolution” which is a sort of waspish group, from what she says it sounds a bit like the Lions / Rotary club.
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THC wrote: 20 Dec 2021 00:06 Plenty of history in America of course but mainly relating to the Native Americans who the European immigrants sought to exterminate both literally and their culture, so its largely unknown.

That said my friend is a member of the “daughters of the American revolution” which is a sort of waspish group, from what she says it sounds a bit like the Lions / Rotary club.
Pretty much, THC. They were well travelled people, Anglophiles, which helped. Was interesting seeing the home town through their eyes. Must have been the same when we went to Texas. He was puzzled why I was so affected by standing on the spot where Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas 🤷🏻‍♀️
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The Bull Inn, Broad Street.
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I ought to get a better picture of this building. Others are available here: https://shopfrontelegy.wordpress.com/20 ... p-reading/

A reply on that site says "Number 8 high street was purchased by Edward Jackson in 1877 and housed his business whilst his original shop at 6 High Street was demolished to make way for Jacksons Corner. In 1902 he remodelled number 8 High Street to include the present frontage and became the Boot and Show branch".
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MickEdge wrote: 18 Dec 2021 21:56
KeithW wrote: 18 Dec 2021 18:01
MickEdge wrote: 18 Dec 2021 16:21 Glad to hear that the arcade has been recognised, but that alone won’t encourage businesses to occupy the empty units. I was looking for what I recall was a cheese shop, but it seems to have gone. Unfortunately, it’s not a short cut to anywhere, however quaint it is.
The Grumpy Goat cheese and beer shop relocated to Smelly Alley.
Thanks. I thought Smelly Alley was only allowed Mobile phone repair shops, which is why never bother to go that way. Not a great asset to the town, except as a cut through.
..I was in the Grumpy Goat buying some cheese yesterday ready for Christmas - I can highly recommend it!
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

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mikejee wrote: 18 Dec 2021 15:59
chris_j_wood wrote: 18 Dec 2021 14:23 The whole of Harris Arcade has now been nationally listed as "a well-designed and notably well-preserved example of an early-C20 shopping arcade, in a consistent neo-classical style".

https://readingcaac.org/2021/12/17/harr ... ting-news/

Which made me think it would be good to celebrate all the interesting and quirky buildings in the town. Here is a thread to do it on. Please feel free to add your own suggestions, be they well or little known.
Its a shame they did not keep the market area of the Harris arcade, rather than that bar that replaced it
Agree - but Traders wasn’t part of the original Harris Arcade and was sold off by the owners of that area
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by OLDMAN »

h3mp wrote: 20 Dec 2021 07:55
MickEdge wrote: 18 Dec 2021 21:56
KeithW wrote: 18 Dec 2021 18:01

The Grumpy Goat cheese and beer shop relocated to Smelly Alley.
Thanks. I thought Smelly Alley was only allowed Mobile phone repair shops, which is why never bother to go that way. Not a great asset to the town, except as a cut through.
..I was in the Grumpy Goat buying some cheese yesterday ready for Christmas - I can highly recommend it!
The girls moved shop as it was on the books that Harris Arcade was closing for re-development,
(plus no ‘passing trade’) maybe this news will stop that – unless it was just a rumour
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by chris_j_wood »

Souwester wrote: 20 Dec 2021 01:34 I ought to get a better picture of this building. Others are available here: https://shopfrontelegy.wordpress.com/20 ... p-reading/

A reply on that site says "Number 8 high street was purchased by Edward Jackson in 1877 and housed his business whilst his original shop at 6 High Street was demolished to make way for Jacksons Corner. In 1902 he remodelled number 8 High Street to include the present frontage and became the Boot and Show branch".
I like that building, now the Oxfam bookshop, as it reminds me of Gaudi and Barcelona - definitely a touch of the Art Nouveau there.

Am I right in thinking that it is the building that used to be 'The High' restaurant and deli?. I don't recall it as being part of Jackson's, although it is next door.
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Re: Interesting buildings in Reading

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

I’ve seen the Gaudi buildings, or rather, apartment block, inBarcelona and I can see what you’re saying. I particularly like the dark green.
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