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 ...

  • The Whiteknights Studio Trail celebration book is being offered at a pre-publication price of £10.50 per copy. This is valid up until publication date of 21st June when it will return to £12.00. Friends’ member and editor of the book Jenny Halstead can hand copies over at the front door (wearing a glove) on SATURDAYS (6/13 /20 June) between 12noon – 4pm – cash only in an envelope please at 85 Christchurch Road, Reading

  • 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 can be purchased through tworiverspress.com . 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

  • The AGM will take place via email and snail mail this year. The Secretary will be in touch with members in June.

    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

  • As at June 2020 we are waiting information from the HOD organisers as to whether any events may proceed

    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

  • THE RUBC HAS HAD TO CANCEL THIS EVENT DUE TO WEATHER & RIVER CONDITIONS
  • University choirs (Campus Voices, Academic Voices, and Chamber Choir, plus the Institute of Education’s Universal Voices children’s choir) will be performing in an advent concert on Thursday 7 December, at Christ Church (Christchurch Road, Reading, RG2 7AJ). The concert is free, but there will be a retiring collection for Nordoff Robbins, a music therapy charity. All welcome.
  • Friends are most welcome to the University Carol Service which is taking place on Monday 4 December at 6pm in the Great Hall featuring the Chamber Choir and readings from University members.
  • The Big Band have their annual Swing Ball taking place on Saturday 25 November. This promises to be a great evening, with fantastic entertainment from the University Big Band and Reading Boys School Big Band, plus a swing dance taster session and performances from the University Swing Dance Society. This event has sold out in the past, so you are advised to book tickets in advance as soon as possible. https://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/music/Events/SwingBall.aspx
  • Professor Farrelly Head of the University’s new School of Architecture has invited us to visit. Further details will be available in August.
  • A guided tour of the area. Further details available in August.
  • Inspired by Reading’s Victorian Turbine, All of a Twist is an exhibition of the science and technology of twisty-turny stuff under, on, above and beside Reading’s rivers. Thermals, tornados, whirlpools, watermills, willow, spirogyra, towrope, wool, DNA and turbines have all affected Reading, its river dwellers, monks, red kites and now us one way or another. Advised by Reading-based scientists, most from the University, local charity RG Spaces is mounting this exhibition at the Turbine House on the River Kennet courtesy Reading Museum. A special viewing for members of Friends of the University & their guests will be held on 6 Sept. Please arrive ...
  • Professor Mike Fulford has invited us to the site of the new temple dig at Silchester. Further details will be available at the beginning of August.
  • The Friends will be represented at this event showing a collection of historic University photos. The Shepherds Hut which The Friends helped fund is being unveiled decorated by the Mewes Knitters alongside many other community activities. Everyone is invited to bring along a picnic, and any family teasures you would like evaluated. See Community Treasures This is an excellent opportunity to get up to date with the changes the Friends are helping make in the Museum garden.
  • The Friends was honoured to be inducted into the University’s College of Benefactors at the degree ceremony in the Great Hall on 6 July 2017. Dr Chris Gayford received the honour from the Chancellor followed by a presentation from the Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell in the Acacias.
  • Our Yearly Meeting will be held at London Road, with a visit to the Museum of English Rural Life followed by tea and our Meeting in Room L022 G03/4. Full details and booking form will be sent round nearer the time.
  • Come and see us or volunteer to help man our stall at the East Reading Festival. We will be continuing our partnership with local charity RG Spaces to show our heritage information about the University’s campuses, alongside activities relating to the University’s museums.
  • The University Events Team would like to welcome members to the third annual Big Band Big Lunch on the historic London Road campus. They write: “Join the fun as we invite the local community to join members of the University over lunch, to listen to music from the University Big Band and take part in a range of family-friendly activities based around this year’s theme of Community and Creativity. This event will have something for everyone, with food and drink available to purchase, or feel free to bring along a picnic and enjoy the festivities!”
  • To celebrate the 90th anniversary of our foundation in 1927 there will be a Heritage Day event at Whiteknights on Sunday 7 May. Guided tours, displays and children’s activities. Children free £5 adults (to include tea and cake) . Everyone is welcome. Please see here for further information and booking details from the beginning of April.
  • This talk will be given at Whiteknights by Professor Paul Hadley and Dr Matt Ordidge and will explain the work of the National Fruit Collection, one of the largest such collections in the world, which is based at Brogdale Farm in Kent and is co-curated by the University of Reading.