• The Friends have devised walking trails around the University campuses. These may be available to local groups. Please contact thefriends (usual at sign) for further information.

    The Whiteknights trail covers the gate lodges before moving on to describe the background to the Temporary Office Buildings, the Citadel and more recent development of the Earley Gate area by the University (Agriculture, Psychology etc), and ending at the site ...

  • An informal series of get-togethers 3pm-430pm first Sunday of each month starting Sunday 3 September 2023 to find out how one of the Friends’ grants worked out. Join us over a cup of tea from the Museum of English Rural Life cafe. Non-members welcome to come along and find out something about the Friends. No need to book but to stay in touch please email: thefriends usual at sign

  • Peter Must, Member of The Friends and Chairman of the Wokingham Society, will give a talk about the Heelas family, who established a draper’s store in Wokingham at the end of the eighteenth century and then a large department store in Reading in the nineteenth. Tea/coffee and cakes will be available from 3.00 pm in the Meadow Suite, Park House, and will be followed by the talk at 4.15 pm. Booking information will be sent out nearer the time.

  • The Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday 11 October preceded by a guided tour of the Library at 3.00 pm. Tea will be provided in the Meadow Suite from 4.00 pm and the Annual General Meeting will be held there at 5.15pm, with an opening address from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Parveen Yaqoob. Booking details will be circulated in due course

  • In place of the visit which could not take place last year Martin Kaufman is offering a combined mini Royal Docks tour- with half the amount of walking and half the number of times getting on and off the coach – followed by a trip to Tilbury to see the container Docks and Tilbury Fort, a double visit which Martin says would be “a fitting end to our Docklands tour.” Details have been sent to members.

  • An informal get together over a cup of tea from the MERL cafe to chat about the booklet The Friends’ funded with Ian Akhurst, previous Director of Sport at the University.

    Just come along between 3pm-4.30pm on Sunday afternoon and look for us in the Museum of English Rural Life cafe. Parking is available. Non-members welcome. No need to book but letting us know you may be coming by emailing helps with the organisation.

  • We are again taking part in the National Trust’s Heritage Open Days with a tour of Foxhill House and through the meadows to Whiteknights lake.

    Please see: for details. Booking essential.

  • Visit to Downe village and Down House with Professor Peter Worsley, Wednesday 6 September 2023

    Following his talk at last year’s Annual General Meeting about Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle, Professor Peter Worsley, Friend of the University and Professor Emeritus of Quaternary Geology, has kindly offered to lead a coach trip on Wednesday 6 September 2023 from Whiteknights to Charles Darwin’s home at Down House, now an English Heritage property, in Kent. After visiting the house it will be a short guided walk to nearby Downe village, from where the coach will return members to Whiteknights. Details have ...

  • With the Ure Museum 2016

    The Friends will be taking part in the East Reading Festival, Palmer Park, 12noon – 6pm alongside a small display from the Cole Museum of Zoology with hands-on exhibits.

  • The Whiteknights Studio Trail will be open from 11am to 6pm on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 of June. Venues include the University’s Museum of English Rural Life. The Studio Trail map can be obtained in May at

    The book celebrating the Trail’s > 20 years which a Friends’ grant helped to publish can be bought from

  • Members running Ure Museums object handling activity

    This Festival, hosted by the University and the Students’ Union, will take place between 10.30 am and 3.30 pm on land behind the Students Union. The Festival, based on the theme of Agriculture and Food, is designed to give the people of Reading a free, local day out and to bring some vibrancy to the heart of Whiteknights Campus. The day will be action-packed with live performances, workshops, competitions and much more. The Friends of the University will provide a stall or two at the event. No booking required.

  • In association with Reading’s Economy and Destination Agency (REDA), and at the request of the University’s Events Team, Mr Chris Rayner and colleagues among The Friends have volunteered to lead guided walks round Whiteknghts on Saturday 13 May at 11 am and 2 pm, and round London Road on Sunday 14 May at 11 am. There will also be a nature walk by someone else on Saturday 13 May at 4 pm. The complete programme of walks, and the arrangements for booking to join a walk can be found at: or obtained from REDA, The Library ...

  • Talk on Wednesday 5 April 2023 about The Origin and Development of Halls of Residence at the University by Mr Ian Burn and Dr John Grainger in the Meadow Suite at 4.15 pm.

    Mr Burn and Dr Grainger have recently issued a brochure describing and illustrating the History of Halls of Residence at the University and their talk will expand on the information in the brochure.

    Tea/coffee with cakes, will be available from 3.00 pm in the Meadow Suite, Park House, and will be followed by the talk at 4.15 pm.

    Please see the enclosed letter for further details and use the enclosed ...

  • ‘An Ephemeral Encounter’ at the Department of Typography, Tuesday 28 March 2023

    The Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at Earley Gate RG6 6BZ, invites twenty Friends to visit on Tuesday 28 March 2023 to look at and discuss examples of Reading ephemera, with an opportunity to print from a block made by a Reading printer.

    The exhibition illustrates everyday life in Reading and work on this collection has been partly funded by a grant from The Friends.

    Arrival is 2.15 pm for a 2.30 pm start. Tea will be provided.

    Places are limited to 20 and will be allocated on a ‘first-come, first-served’ ...

  • The University Boat Club invites The Friends of the University to join them from 2 to 4 pm to watch the afternoon division of the RU Head of the River, and enjoy tea and cake provided by the student rowers.

    The event is hosted at Reading Canoe Club, The Warren, Reading RG4 7TH (parking available), which has fantastic views of the final stages of the Head of the River, and provides the comfort of being in the warm and dry.

    There is no need to book; just turn up to cheer on the crews and enjoy the afternoon speaking to some current ...