14th February 2019 – 7.30pm

Richard Bennett
“Civic Societies responding to the challenge: a Reading perspective”

This talk will cover the history of Reading Civic Society, its membership, projects, and reflections on Georgian Reading.  Richard will comment on Planning Applications and engaging with developers at an early stage; the Reading University prize, and the Civic Voice Design Awards; Its role as part of the Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee; Updating Conservation Area Appraisals, Contributions to the Local Plan, Article 4 Directions; Using social media and engaging with others who do.

Richard Bennett has been chair of the Reading Civic Society since the mid-1990s, chair of Reading’s Conservation Area Advisory Committee since 2016, and Hon. Sec. of the Watlington House Trust, a Grade II* listed building, Reading’s oldest secular building.  He worked in finance for Whitbread, British Rail and the Ministry of Defence, and in January 2018 was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire

14th March 2019 – 7.30pm

Phil Wood
“The History of Pubs in Newbury”

This talk covers pubs in Newbury past and present, from the earliest records in Tudor times to the introduction of the current licensing system in 2005.  Phil will consider how legislation and social change affected pub numbers as well as telling stories of how people from all walks of life used (or abused) their local.

After a career in electronic engineering Phil retired, delighted to have more time to pursue his hobbies.  Soon one hobby, local history, took over his life and he now gives talks on a variety of topics related to Newbury’s history, the Great War, and family history.  He is responsible for the West Berkshire War Memorials website and has researched over 300 names from the Newbury war memorial. 

Location and other information

Our events are held at St Johns Church, (RG14 7PY) in the Church Room.

The Church Room at St John’s Church faces Newtown Road and is on the north (town centre) side of the Church building. There is limited parking in the Church car park and on-street parking (free in the evenings) is available on Newtown Road. (Please see below for a map)

The events start at 7.30pm. There is a small charge to cover the cost, which includes coffee and biscuits. Members £FREE / Non-Members £2.50.

All are welcome at our events, listed below.