Forbury Band Reading Concert Season


Sunday, June 1st sees the launch of the free summer concert programme, taking place at the popular town centre gardens, with The Small Strings starting proceedings at 3pm.

Every Sunday from June until mid-September, a whole host of bands will give a musical treat to visitors, making the most of the summer in relaxing and picturesque surroundings.

The final event of the season will take place on Sunday, September 14th, when the Goring and Streatley Concert Band play – a community band of around 45 woodwind, brass and percussion players – perform some family favourites.

Other highlights of the summer programme include performances by Beatroots samba drumming group on June 22nd, Reading Spring Gardens Band on June 29th and The Reading Community Gospel Choir on August 17th. Concert bands from the Borough and surrounding areas, in addition to the Reading Central Band of the Salvation Army and the Watership Bass, Group Sax and Saxophony groups, make up a varied season with something for everyone.

All of the concerts take place in Forbury Gardens from 3pm – 4.30pm and are completely free of charge.

May 19, 2014 |

Reading Ball Court Now Up and Running


The revamp of the ball park forms part of a wider project on Hexham Road, funded through the Council’s Decent Neighbourhood Fund and its Parks Department. The £70,000 project also saw the revamp of the local play park last year, with new attractions including a basket swing and two new pieces of climbing equipment.

The Decent Neighbourhood Fund was set up by the council’s Housing Service in 2009 and is aimed at improving local neighbourhood estate areas and improving the quality of life of people living there. The money comes from rental income received from tenants and the housing team works closely with local residents to find out what they want to improve their areas. Previous initiatives include landscaping, painting, lighting and new parking bays.

Capital investment from the Parks Department is from contributions to local leisure facilities made from local development. The Parks Team has also been responsible for design and project management.

May 16, 2014 |

Reading Veterans to Receive Awards on Armed Forces Day


Reading men and women who have served their country can register for their HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge.

Twenty five veterans will be selected from those who apply to receive the badge at Reading’s Armed Forces Day on Saturday 28th June, 4pm in Forbury Gardens.

The remaining applicants will receive their Veterans Badge in the post, but are invited to enjoy the free events taking place during Armed Forces Day. A packed programme includes live music, information and fundraising stands, and displays and demonstrations. Youngsters can have a go at balloon modelling or driving remote control tanks, and there will be free face painting.

Men and women who served in HM Armed Forces are entitled to a Veterans Badge. The Badge can also be issued posthumously to Widows and Widowers receiving either the War Widows or Widowers pension from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency or the Survivors Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Veterans Badge application forms are available from the Civic Centre, Reading libraries, arts venues and leisure centres and should be returned no later than Friday 30th May.

More information on Armed Forces Day can be found on, Facebook and Twitter, or by calling 0118 937 2771.

May 8, 2014 |

Reading Children’s Festival 2014


Running from 10th May to 1st June, this year’s Children’s Festival promises a lively three weeks of fun and games for everyone at venues across Reading.

The festival kicks off with Meadow Madness, Saturday 10 May, 11am – 4pm at Christchurch Meadows. Attractions include sport and music workshops, song and dance performances and arts and crafts sessions.

This year’s theme is ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ and there will be plenty of sweet treats including a silver ticket prize hunt, and entertainment from our ‘Willie Wonka’ style magician and Giant Candy Canes.

African drumming sessions, football skills coaching, land zorb balls and a mobile zoo add to the ‘scrumdiddleyumptious’ fun.

The festival boasts a wide range of special workshops and activities run by Reading Libraries and the Museum of Reading. Storytimes based around book character favourites will keep the under-fives entertained at Whitley Library, and older children can make spaceship mobiles, paper birds and festival masks at library craft sessions across the town.

Sport lovers can take part in the European Cycle Challenge throughout next month, try canoeing at the Reading Canoe Club, or enjoy a whole day of free activities at the Children’s Festival Sports Challenge Day – part of the London 2012 Olympic legacy – at the Rivermead Leisure Complex on 31st May.

The Sports Challenge Day will feature appearances from 3 members of the 2012 Team GB. Katie Clark – from the GB Synchronised Swimming Squad – will be running taster sessions in the pool at 10am and 10.30am. Women’s Eight Rowing team member Natasha Townsend (née Page) and Sophie Hosking – who won gold in the lightweight double sculls – will be signing autographs between 12noon – 1pm. Every participant who takes part in four challenges on the day will receive a Children’s Festival medal.

For the full Children’s Festival programme and for more information, go to

April 30, 2014 |

Reading Taxi Driver Fined and Disqualified for 6 Months


A driver has been fined and recieved a 6 month driving ban after illegally plying for hire at last year’s Reading Festival.

Shahid Farid, 37, of Brent Gardens, was found to be using a taxi roof sign and an unlicensed vehicle for private hire work during a check by Reading Borough Council Enforcement Officers on 26th August 2013.

At Reading Magistrate’s Courts on 25th April, Mr Farid was found guilty of plying for hire and fined £150.00, and of using an unlicensed vehicle for private hire, for which he was also fined £150.00. He was also ordered to pay costs to the Council of £500 and was disqualified from driving for 6 months because the vehicle insurance policy did not cover plying for hire.

April 30, 2014 |