Around Reading Talks Series

This all series ticket covers all three talks in the “Around Reading” talks series, for the discounted price of £12.50 (members £10.00). You may also book each talk individually – see each separate event page. All three talks are on Thursdays at 2pm in The Centre for Heritage and Family History, Reading. They last about an hour with time for questions and discussion afterwards. Tea, coffee and cake after the talk is included in the price.

Thursday 11 January “Tilehurst – a History” with Mike Cooper

Now a residential suburb, was Tilehurst ever a village as such?  Mike Cooper – who’s written Reading Libraries’ booklet on Tilehurst – looks at the history of the place and its community and how change has affected the area from the break-up of Reading Abbey lands, through the industries which took advantage of it’s natural assets down to trolleybuses and council housing.

Thursday 8 February “A History of Woodley” with Ann Smith

Woodley grew from a village to a suburb of Reading in the 20th century. But it is not just another village absorbed by Reading. It’s famous for Miles Aircraft and The Aerodrome, and there is more history than you can see. This talk will show the hidden history of Woodley. Ann Smith researched Woodley history with the local U3A groups, and edited and published a book on the subject. 

Thursday 7 March “A History of Wargrave” with Peter Delaney

The village of Wargrave is on the Berkshire bank of the river Thames between Reading and Henley. The parish includes the hamlets of Crazies Hill and Hare Hatch. Recorded in the Domesday Survey, the talk will look at people, places and events from over 900 years of its history. The story includes kings, queens and bishops, village benefactors, farmers and many others – some well-known, others less so. The impact of forward-thinking villagers, national events, and its growth in the 19th and 20th centuries will be illustrated with photographs from the last 150 years.

Please note that these are face-to-face talks.

Pre-booking is preferred, but you can pay on the door for this series ticket at the first talk, if there are spaces available.  

Scroll down to book.


Thu 11 Jan




The Centre for Heritage & Family History
The Centre for Heritage & Family History
2nd Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3BQ


The Centre - Berkshire FHS


  • Mike Cooper
    Mike Cooper

    Mike has had a lifelong interest in history, especially military and local history. Following a history degree at the University of Reading he worked as a librarian, with both the University and Reading Library. In addition to work on librarianship, he has had three books on the history of Reading published. Mike works for Reading Borough Council, and lives in Tilehurst with his wife and Moggy the Cat.

  • Ann Smith
    Ann Smith

    Ann graduated from Bristol University and worked for 20 years in Reading Central Library where she became interested in local history. She is a committee member of Berkshire Local History Association.

    She has recently edited and published a
    book on The History of Woodley written by members of the local U3A.

  • Peter Delaney
    Peter Delaney

    Although originally from Dorset, Peter came to Berkshire to teach in Wargrave in 1970, and has lived in his present house in the village since 1981. He began researching aspects of village history in 1975, and when the Wargrave Local History Society was formed in 1981, became its first deputy chairman, subsequently serving as chairman, and from 1992 onwards has been the society’s secretary. He wrote on aspects of village history for The Book of Wargrave and The Second Book of
    Wargrave, being editor for the latter, and was joint author for the Illustrated Book of Wargrave.

    Among his other interests, he is a Trustee for the Thames Valley and Great Western Omnibus Trust, where he leads the specialist Berkshire based archive team.