The end of Papa Gee’s? Budget hotel planned for Caversham Road

Plans to convert the Rainbows Lodge in Caversham Road into a super-budget easyHotel have been submitted to Reading Borough Council. The hotel would have 53 rooms, some of them windowless, and the existing Papa Gee’s restaurant would be converted into rooms.

Booking can only be made online, rooms are just big enough to accommodate a bed, housekeeping services are extra and there are no tea and coffee making facilities in rooms.

Full details and the opportunity to comment on the proposal can be found on the council’s website at

Since publication of this article Papa Gee’s restaurant has moved to Prospect Street, Caversham.

Take a look at our area’s history

As with many older areas of town, the Bell Tower area has plenty of history. We’ve been doing some delving into our area’s heritage and have found out plenty.

Do you remember St Paul’s Church, which stood where New Hope is today?

You may have read about the proposed ‘Foundry Quarter’ development for the Wickes and Iceland site in Weldale Street, but our area’s where many of the foundries were around the turn of the century, producing parts for the railways and items such as our old cast iron lamp posts.

Caversham Road has a rich industrial history – Warricks, for example, made ‘stop me and buy one’ tricycles, and Bucklers made sports cars.

And then there’s E P Collier School (originally Swansea Road Board School) – did you know that its architect also designed several pubs and hotels, and the Cox & Wyman works?

We’re always keen to hear from anyone who remembers the area from years ago – perhaps you have some old photos or stories that you’d like to share? Please contact us at if you are interested.

Here are the three presentations given at our recent ‘History in our backyard’ event – we hope to have more local history features soon:

New development for Wickes and Iceland sites

Plans for a £120m redevelopment of the Wickes and Iceland sites in Reading town centre will be unveiled this week.

An exhibition at Greyfriars Church on Thursday 9 February will be a first look at the planned transformation of run-down units on Weldale Street into The Foundry Quarter.

The Wickes site is at the centre of the proposed development of 429 homes and shops, public space and walkways by Crossmark Developments on behalf of Ropemaker Properties.

Everyone is invited to view the plans at the church in Friar Street on Thursday 9 February, between 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

This article originally appeared in Getreading.

Fly tipped fridge reported to the council

The fly tipped fridge outside the former Cox & Wyman printing works in Addison Road has been reported to the council.

Have you ever wondered how to report street problems such as fly tipping to the council? The easiest way if you have an Android or Apple smartphone is to use the Lovecleanreading app — search for it in your app store.

How to dispose of your old Christmas tree

Do you have a traditional Christmas tree that will need to be thrown out in January?

Reading Borough Council is providing drop-off points in car parks around the town for disposal of Christmas trees, starting on Monday 2 January.  Old trees will be recycled into wood chips for projects around Reading.

The nearest drop-off point to our area will be at the Rivermead car park – look for the drop-off point near the recycling bins. Trees can also be taken to the main recycling centre at Smallmead – don’t forget to take your orange permit.

Further information on recycling in Reading can be found at

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