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Events Programme 2010

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Industrial & Economic History Group or The Commercial Influences on Past, Present and Future Development of the Thames Valley !

First, we are pleased you are interested in this area and we hope that we as a group will be able to make a real contribution to the Riverside Project.
Second, we think the group title might be amended to something along the following lines: “The Commercial Influences on Past, Present and Future Development of the Thames Valley.” Perhaps rather long, so all suggestions very welcome!
Third, the areas of interest of our group that listed at the meeting were: Boat building Leisure & Recreation Transport – People and Goods Industrial influence on Riverside Development and vice versa Mills and their present uses Photography
We are sure there many other possibilities


Reading U3A Members's Meeting talk 10th February 2011 at 2.15 pm
by Jane Sellwood
All Thames Valley Network Members welcome
Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading, RG1 3BE
There is no parking at tthe church


Talk by Jane Sellwood
to Reading U3A Science & Technology Group
Tuesday 22nd March 2011 2.15 pm
All Thames Valley Network Members welcome
Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading, RG1 3BE
There is no parking at tthe church

 Sunday 27th March 2011

Due to circumstances completely beyond my control the Naval College has informed me that although they had previously booked a conducted tour for us in 3rd April they have now organised a much higher revenue producing event for them on that date and it would not be possible to accommodate us. I have therefore agreed a new date of 27th March.

 08.30  Pick up in Wokingham  near a ‘free car park’ in Rose Street Wokingham with a possible one in Crowthorne on the way. The Council offices car park is open to the public (free) on Sundays as well as Saturdays. The entrance to the car park is on the Reading Road (A329), between Broad St traffic lights and the Station Road mini roundabout.

Investigating others but Loddon Bridge Park and Ride is closed on a Sunday.

 10.00 Arrive Thames Barrier

          The Barrier itself can be seen from the riverbank. (It is neither possible to set foot on it nor in the control room)

           There is a café on the bank with good views of the Barrier beneath which is a museum containing a working model of a barrier gate and considerable explanation about the river etc. There is also a video presentation lasting about 20 minutes on the history of the construction of the Barrier. Entrance to the museum (payable on the day) £3

11.30    Leave the Barrier for Greenwich.

12.00 Arrive Greenwich

 Have lunch in the area. There is a whole range of places from a superior restaurant The King William in the Old RN College to various pubs.

 14.00 Start organised tour of the Old RN College conducted by an expert guide

           This includes the Painted Hall and the Chapel that are free anyway but as well as much history about the place includes places that are not normally open to the public. Having visited the Old RN College on many occasions it is well worth the fee of £6 (payable in advance)

 16.00 Depart for home.

 If you do not wish to visit the Old RN College then there is plenty more to see in Greenwich including the Observatory (which includes Harrison’s clocks), the Royal Maritime Museum both of which are free, the Fan Museum. The restored Cutty Sark will not be open until early 2011.

The problem is time. Really one wants at least two days to do all the attractions in the area justice.

More information on the Old RN College is available on their website.

 Travel by Coach.

This depends on the number going but an indicative price is about 35 - £19/ per head or about 50 - £14/head which includes a gratuity for the driver.


If you are interested please e-mail with the following information (

1 Name

2. Number in the party

3. Where you would like to join coach (Locations still being investigated)

4. Do you want to join the conducted tour of the Old RN College?

5.. Would you like to make your own travel arrangements on the day or join the coach party?

 Once I get an idea of numbers etc I will make more detailed plans

 Revision 2  19.01.11

Thames Traditional Boat day 13th June 2911 at

Beale Park,
Lower Basildon,  
Near Pangbourne. Flyer Application Form
You are invited to join us for our traditional boating day at Beale Park, set around a 7 acre lake connected to the river, just a mile or so upstream from Pangbourne at Lower Basildon.

Reading U3A

Thursday June 30th. Explore Reading Museums
This Study Day is organised by Reading U3A
Flyer and Application Form.
U3A Reading
Explore Reading Day
Monday July 11th. 

This Activities Day is organised by Reading U3A
Flyer and Application Form
The aim is to explore
Reading, looking for traces of its past and discovering its present features.

Cotswold Water Park Visit - Postponed for reassessment for a variation to be organised in spring 2011 for a visit to the Cotswold Water Park (developed for leisure, wildlife and other uses from a large number of gravel pits) might be a good initial step (see for more information) . We have been in contact with Jill Bewley (Education, Events and Publicity Officer of the Cotswold Water Park Society ) . We envisage the visit as starting with a session that will include an introductory talk by Jill or one of her colleagues followed by questions and discussion, and then our visiting some key areas of the Park relevant to our area of interest – this might include talking with people who have made financial investments in facilities, etc. Other groups (e.g. Natural History, Art, Photography) involved in the Riverside Project might also join us and after the introductory talk leave to do their own thing.
The Cotswold Water Park Society is a charity and so they have to make a charge for their time, but she said this would be small – we need to discuss this further and make clear the publicity they will get! It could also be an opportunity for our group to get together, discuss our part in the Riverside Project, and arrange further activities.
Finally, if anybody has other ideas for our group about other subjects to study, relevant visits that might be arranged, etc, please share these with the group. Sue and I are already committed for May and the first three weeks of June, but after that we are fairly free, so please put your thinking caps on so that we can move ahead!
Sue & Keith Thrower