Events

The Friends will be following the University’s policy to inform decisions on what actions to take in the light of the Coronovirus – COVID19 – outbreak. As at 13 March 2020 all Friends’ events up to the end of April are cancelled. Members with bookings will be informed. This page will be updated with information on other events as it becomes available. Update: 26 March 2020 – the University has cancelled all events scheduled for May and June and is reviewing the position on July and August events.

  • The Friends have devised walking trails around the University campuses. These may be available to local groups. Please contact thefriends (usual at sign) reading.ac.uk for further information. Our Whiteknights Heritage Leaflets are available at:

    University Heritage 3 – Whiteknights Park 1798-1819
    University Heritage 4 – Whiteknights Park 1849-1947
    University Heritage 5 – Whiteknights Park 1947-1967

  • POSTPONED

    A guided walking tour, starting at 2.00 pm from the Earley Gate lodges, of Earley Gate and The Wilderness offered exclusively for Friends. The tour covers the history of the wartime TOBs (Temporary Office Buildings), the Cold War ‘citadel’ (Region 6 War Room), ‘The Woods’ (Marquis of Blandford era) and the site of ‘The Wilderness’, one of the six Victorian houses built in the Park.Please dress for the conditions – solid footwear and rain wear (if necessary). The tour may include some walking on uneven surfaces. Disabled access might be restricted; it is therefore not recommended for wheelchair users. Parking ...

  • This event has been postponed until further notice

    Friends are invited to join members of the University and the local community at this fifth annual Big Band Big Lunch Event on the London Road campus. You can take lunch, listen to music from the University Big Band and take part in a range of activities, including a guided tour of the London Road campus.

    Food and drink will be available to purchase, or feel free to bring along a picnic and enjoy the festivities! No need to book. Just turn up on the day from 12 noon. Parking available.

    Food and drink ...

  • THE TRAIL HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO JUNE 2021.

    A book entitled The Art and History of Whiteknights celebrating the founding of the Trail 20 years ago will be published in June 2020. The Friends have not only given a grant towards the cost of publication but also, through some of its volunteers, provided chapters on the Southern Hill area round Christchurch Road, and about Whiteknights Park derived from their work on its history that has resulted in a series of published Friend’ Heritage Trail Guides.

  • This event has been cancelled.

    The Friends will once again be taking part in this local festival on Palmer Park. If any members would like to help man the Friends stall please get in touch (thefriends@reading.ac.uk).

  • THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. THE UNIVERSITY’S SILCHESTER FIELD DIG WILL NOT TAKE PLACE THIS YEAR.

    Professor Michael Fulford has invited Friends to return to Silchester again, for what may be his last season there, to be shown the results of further excavations of the Roman Baths. Details and a booking form will be sent out later this year

  • Our Annual General Meeting will start with a visit to the Library at 2.30 pm to be shown the changes made as a result of the recent renovation programme. Tea will be available in in the Meadow Suite from 3.45 pm followed by the Annual General Meeting at 4.30 pm, at which the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Van de Noort, will talk to us about University’s activities and plans

  • 8. Heritage Open Days 19-20 September 2020
    The Friends will be collaborating with other local organisations in these National Trust-coordinated Heritage Open Days, the theme of which is Hidden Nature. Details will be sent out later in the year.

  • Martin Kaufman will follow up his visit to Limehouse, Shadwell and Wapping last year with a proposed guided tour of the Royal Docks, the Thames Barrier and Tilbury Docks. Details will be sent to members nearer the time with an itinerary, timings and cost.

Some Past Events

  • Palmer Building Room 109 at 4.15 pm. Mark Fellowes, Professor of Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning and Resource, will give an illustrated talk about Urban Wildlife. Tea, with sandwiches and cakes, will be available from 3.00 pm in the Meadow Suite, Park House, and the talk will be held in Lecture Room 109 in the Palmer Building at 4.15 pm. Please use form sent to members to say if you will be coming to the talk, and whether you would like tea.
  • THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE THAMES BEING IN FLOOD Friends were invited to view the race while taking tea and cake at the Canoe Club beside the Thames.
  • Details of a talk by Professor Peter Dorwood about ‘Climate Services for Developing Countries: the work of the University’s Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture’ on the afternoon of Wednesday 6 November 2019 will have been sent to members. Please book. Photo from University of Reading website
  • Professor Amy Smith of the Ure Museum in the Classics Department has kindly suggested that members may like to come to the launch of Annie’s Box (plus tea and cake) on Wednesday 9 October at 4pm. Annie’s box was funded by one of our grants this year. Through a combination of postcards, 3D printed objects and a ‘smart box’ visitors can learn more about Dr Annie Ure by listening to audio recordings. The box is designed to be taken out to schools as well as for use within the Museum. If you would like to come along on Wednesday 9th, ...
  • A coach trip on Saturday 5 October to the Docklands Museum to see the Secret Rivers Exhibition, and then to sights in Limehouse, Shadwell, Wapping and St Katherine’s Dock. A4 photo montage Dockland v1.0 20191010 Members were sent a booking form in August. There will be a fair amount of brisk walking involved.
  • We continued our series of Heritage Days with our guided tours around the historic London Road campus. Open to all, booking was essential but the tours were free.Further information on the Heritage Open Days website We funded some 3D printing of objects from the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology. During the Heritage Open Days they visited the Museum of English Rural Life. Here they are in the Shepherds Hut, inspecting the DNA molecule and some heritage info about the campuses, all of which we helped to fund. Click to see highlights of their visit.
  • Exhibition remains open until 15 September inc. Friends member Jenny Halstead and Linda Saul invited Friends to attend for a talk and a viewing of an exhibition by 20 artists in the Turbine House, Blakes Lock (beside Bel and the Dragon).
  • The Museum will host a handling session/talks from 2-4pm More information on the display which is on until 10 Septermber at https://research.reading.ac.uk/curiosi/collcurcat/
  • Professor Michael Fulford has invited Friends to return to Silchester to be shown round further excavations of the Roman Baths. Please book.
  • The Annual General Meeting will start with a talk by Professor Shirley Reynolds and Dr Faith Orchard of the Charlie Waller Institute about the Institute and its work relating to mental health in young people. It will be held in Room G09, Allen Building, at 2.30 pm, with tea in the Meadow Suite from 4.00 pm followed by the Annual General Meeting at 5.00 pm. Full details and a booking form will be sent round nearer the time.
  • Once again we had a stall at this popular local event in Palmer Park, showing photos from the University Special Collections on the development of the London Road campus.
  • Following the success of our 2017 Heritage Day, the Friends have developed a series of guided tours of the Whiteknights and London Road campuses. The first of these was organised for the Berkshire Family History Society,
  • This year we had two stalls. One showing the history of the campus and the other in conjunction with the Ure Museum, Classics dept and a local charity with hands on activities of animal-related museum objects together with 3D prints of Palmyra which The Friends had funded.
  • Dr Jaqui Turner of the History Department, who recently advised the Suffrage exhibition in Parliament, will speak on early female MPs alongside a recreation of her Nancy Astor exhibit informed by the University’s extensive Astor archive. Venue Palmer Building. Please book for the accompanying tea which starts at 3pm.
  • watch the afternoon Head of the River Races on Saturday 9 March from the Canoe Club, The Warren, Caversham, Reading RG4 7TF, and to take tea there afterwards (parking along The Warren). Could those wishing to come please let Brenda Morris know by Friday 1 March (Brenda@morrisandfamily.co.uk)? Members are asked to arrive at the Club about 2 pm with the first race starting at 2.30 pm.