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 info@bell-tower.org.uk 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 www.re3.org.uk.

New outdoor activity centre planned at Rivermead

Plans to cut short a 17 year lease with a golf driving range in Reading will make way for clay pigeon shooting, high ropes and archery.

Leaderboard Golf signed the lease with Reading Borough Council early this year (2016) but this has now been ended due to “financial pressures”.

The council decided the arrangement did not represent the best return for the site close to Rivermead Leisure Complex in Richfield Avenue, and will now open an outdoor activity centre alongside a new “demountable” pool.

The centre, which will also include a natural learning zone with den and fire building, adventurous play and an outdoor classroom, will be open to the public throughout the year as well as being available to school groups during term time.

It is anticipated the centre will be open by autumn 2017.

This article originally appeared in Getreading.

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