The Reading Civic Society

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About the Society


A member of the Civic Trust South East Regional Federation, Reading Civic Society was formed in 1962 to fight the wave of insensitive redevelopment that all but swept away the Market Place and Town Hall, and drove the IDR through Forbury Gardens. Its members are dedicated to promoting conservation, in its widest sense. Thus it is concerned to ensure not only the protection and refurbishment of the town's historic buildings, but the protection of its waterways, its river valleys, its countryside, as well as its parks and street trees. As important, it is concerned to ensure new development is of quality and sensitivity worthy of the town.

The Work of the Society

The most important work of the society is its vetting of planning applications and its comments on about 100 proposed schemes every year, including all major developments. The Society also campaigns on important issues like road proposals, pedestrianisation schemes, spot listing, tree management and major council developments. It has made extended representations on Structure and Local Plans and appears at public inquiries. It has been prominent in encouraging the restoration of the Town Hall, which indeed it saved from the demolition threatening it in the early 1970s. It was due to its efforts that the Borough Council finally took steps leading to the restoration of the Prospect Park Mansion House.

Society Activities

The Society holds occasional meetings in Abbey Baptist Church and the Town Hall.
The Society supports the national "Heritage Open Days" which take place in early September.
Outings are organised to historic towns, which have included Malvern and Winchester, during which we meet the local Civic Society members. There are guided walks and tours of local places of interest and churches. Social gatherings include an annual New Year Party.
The Annual General Meeting is normally held in the Spring.


The Society is administered by a Committe made up of:-

Other Members


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