New Relics for Reading

RG Spaces supported the building of a Reliquary with a small grant. Local artists created new relics with Reading themes which were shown in a Reliquary in Reading Minster to accompany the Reading Between the Lines production of a new play, Henry II.

The Reliquary transferred to Reading Museum and was exhibited during Spring 2019.

To help keep the memory alive, and as an experiment in showing an exhibition catalogue in a more interactive way, RG Spaces’ iMuse programme has created online versions see using commonly available, and low cost, equipment.


We occasionally attend events to help spread the word about Reading’s cultural and heritage spaces, usually taking our gazebo and/or info tricycle, together with some activity or competition.

2019  events:

Nancy Astor talk/exhibition – Whitenights campus – organised by The Friends of the University of Reading (we provided an Edith Morley suffrage exhibit and equipment)

Big Band Big Lunch – London Road campus – with The Friends of the University of Reading and Ure Museum (we provided an iMuse activity)

Water Fest – Reading Abbey ruins – with Reading Cycle Campaign (we just provided the tricycle in Abbey Gateway livery)

East Reading Festival – Palmer Park – with The Friends of the University of Reading and Junction Arch Heritage & Arts CIC (we provided the whole stand, an exhibition and competition of historic photos of the Junction)

3 Bees Family Fun Day – Reading Old Cemetery – run by Nature Nurture/Econet (we provided a mini ‘cinema’ showing various insects)

In Reading Gaol by Reading Town – the Turbine House – a group of artists (we will provide the info tricycle for publicity)

Heritage Open Days – Cemetery Junction – with Junction Arch Heritage & Arts

BAfM Conference – Town Hall – Friends of Reading Museum


Junction Arch

This project is being run by Junction Arch Heritage & Arts CIC who are investigating taking over the Arch at Cemetery Junction to run as a Heritage and Arts Hub. You can read more at

RG Spaces is helping in a small way in this early stage of the project. For example, our info tricycle now has a Junction Arch ‘livery’ and we shared our stand at East Reading Festival, June 2019, with JAHA, encouraging visitors to look closely at the development of the Junction by studying old photos in our competition.

The sources were:
1 (2016) The Flatman Partnership*
2 (1885) The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading*
3 (1901), 5 (1903),6 (1895), 12 (1910) The Local Illustrations collection, Reading Central Library*
4 (1955), 9 (1940) getreading/Reading Evening Post*
7 (2011) Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. QuentinUK
8 11 (1941) Reading Museum*
10 (1959)
13 (1893) Wikimedia Commons public domain
[*thanks for permission to use]

There were several ways of deciding which photo was taken before which – most notably the development of the tramway. Initially the rails ran only to the drinking fountain/horse trough at the junction of Kings Rd and London Rd. It ran a single story (horse drawn) omnibus [2]. Then the service became double-decker [13]. Then tramlines were laid beyond the junction [3], for example going down Wokingham Road and overhead electric cable to power the trams was put up and the horses disposed of [12].

Other hints as to date include people’s dress, for example the long dress of the woman boarding the tram [so probably before WW1], or the helmet being carried by a man near a car [so probably during WW2]. The development of traffic control at the Junction also helps – especially the police-controlled traffic lights and the roundabout. Initially the anti nuclear-war Aldermaston march went from London to Aldermaston, but organised by CND from 1959 went from Aldermaston to London [10].

In marking the entries we realised that there wasn’t any real hint on the 1895 photo, which was taken facing the Arch and didn’t show any tramlines, as to whether the lines were there up to the horse trough at the time. The condition of the photo also hinted at its being before the one facing west showing some tramlines [2]. We therefore did not mark down entries that had the timing of these reversed, or indeed those that had [6] before [13].

The photo with the Flatman Partnership for sale sign [1] was taken the first time Reading Borough Council put the arch up for sale. A bit before that it was being used by the Police and you can see the Police signs [7].

Vote100 & Heritage Open Days 2018

Saturday and Sunday 8,9 and 15,16 September 2018 12noon-6pm FREE!

Acacias, University of Reading London Rd Campus (enter by Crown Street – free car parking)

We are working with several University-related organisations and the Two Rivers Press, opening up the Acacias on London Road during the national Heritage Open Days in September, with a particular emphasis on Edith Morley, the country’s first female professor who was also noted for her work with refugees and her campaigning for women’s education and suffrage.

The Acacias was a Palmer family residence which they donated to the University College Reading.

*Please note – there are a couple of steps to get into the Acacias. This should be possible with a manual wheelchair (we can give assistance if needed) but may be difficult for a heavy motorised wheelchair. The Dairy Cafe and the Museum of English Rural Life on the same site have step-free access. Accessible toilets available there.*

See our full entry on the Heritage Open Days website

Map of all Reading Heritage Open Day venues

HolyBrook Gallery at Central Library

We are working with Reading Central Library to refurbish their exhibition space and make it better known. It now has new spot lighting and hanging system. The Library offers the space for local artists and others for a rolling programme of exhibitions. We are running a small website which has information on exhibitions and how to book the space.

All of a Twist

We are co-ordinating an exhibition (2-15 September) at the Turbine House to overlap with national Heritage Open Days and the new Reading-on-Thames Festival. Inspired by the turbines themselves and advised by around a dozen Reading-based scientists, the exhibition will take a light-hearted look at twisty-turny stuff in, on, above and beside Reading’s rivers. The exhibits’ areas range from twisting for strength (wool, rope…), twisting in nature from DNA, spirogyra, willow and natural twists, the river flow itself, Reading as Tornado Alley, red kites soaring, rowing & paddling and of course the river as a source of power from the Abbey watermill to turbines past, present and future.

Abbey on Wheels

This project is being run by Reading Museum as part of the Abbey Revealed restoration project. We helped with our info tricycle going along to events with our tile-painting activity, encouraging visitors to create tiles inspired by those from the Abbey and to handle real artefacts from 900 years ago. We passed the activity on to the Museum who run it as ‘Medieval Tile Painting’ – encouraging people to look closely at Abbey artefacts while providing an absorbing activity.

Turbo Charged kicks off

Creative Xpressions’ group of artists exhibition 10am-6pm daily 8th to 17th April at the Turbine House. A fascinating mix of styles and medium – glass, light, textile, drawing and paint. Here’s Lorna using this flexible space as a studio with a work inspired by the turbine itself.

Happy Christmas

The tricycle is back in Jackson’s all lit up for #LightUpRDG thanks to MiketheBee of RLab and the Reading Bicycle Kitchen. Click the picture to have a go at Tricycle Crush. Three in a row to hear Santa on his way.


Can’t see your tile? Or left your tile behind with us? Whoops! Contact us to let us know.

Reading and its Rivers visitors’ book

A visitor tweeted:

…my first visit today. A hidden gem in a hidden corner – will be back!

809 people visited our Reading and its Rivers exhibition in the Turbine House and the Family Trail around Blake’s Lock during Heritage Open Days September 2016. Here are the quotes from the visitors’ book.

Visited on a lovely sunny day – most interesting and enjoyable
Very interesting exhibition
Well laid out. Friendly volunteers. Great views of heron too.
Very good
Great venue. Superb exhibition.
It’s the variety of response that appeals most good work
Amazing so much history
Lovely range of talent.Beautiful location.
Really interesting visit
Nice to see it again
A surprise in an ordinary day thank you
History revisited
Very inspiring range of fab work in marvelous location
Another triumph for Reading
Love it. Familiar scenes and magical interpretations. Always love the work of Carol Stephens Jenny and Rukshi thank you.
Enjoyed the exhibition very much
Lovely to look and learn more about our town
Lovely exhibition in a beautiful venue
Great selection in fabulous venue
Fab venue for some great artwork
Brilliant result from the artists and hanging committee -chapeau
Great to see the building being used and such interesting works. Really enjoyable
Lovely show why only 3/4 days long
Fab great exhibition
Can’t wait to see more – what a find!
So much variety thank you
Perfect venue for this exhibition. Lovely work
Very impressed
Wonderful images set in amazing place
Interesting exhibition and venue thank you
Really enjoyed finding out about a very historic part of Reading
Fabulous thank you
Lovely thank you (the heron and the kingfisher were an added bonus)
Great Reading show in a brilliant exhibition space
creative stuff by many names that we recognise thank you
What a find. I’ll be back thank you
beautiful and inspiring lovely exhibition in great venue thank you
Really interesting range of art
Many thanks everyone X
So great to see this wondrous space full of art work celebrating the area and representing so many artists in Reading
Lovely artistic work. Good trail to keep the kids occupied
Interesting and scenic view of the lock
Incredible building. Very interesting themed art collection. Wish I could afford!


The Things Network Reading

RG Spaces is joining in this ambitious project to create a community led infrastructure covering the whole of Reading. Artists, entrepreneurs, students, hobbyists and everyone will be able to try out innovative Internet of Things projects. TTN Reading has loaned us a GPS tracking box which you can see on the back of the information tricycle. We are looking into adding further sensors to monitor environmental information as a fun and lowcost way of demonstrating the use of this new addition to Reading’s virtual space.

Tricycle in Jacksons!

Our Information Tricycle is in the window of this iconic Reading building thanks to Reading Bicycle Kitchen. Here it’s emblazoned with Reading Fringe Festival (20-24 July 2016) info.

Meadow madness

Lots of fun at Forbury Gardens start of Children’s Festival. Here’s the BFG who has just caught our new Lion.

Beat the Street with the Tricycle

A family using the Beat the Street box outside Bowery District

Earn bonus points with Beat the Street if you find the tricycle with the beat box. Here’s the first family that did it – at The Bowery District during the Are You Listening Festival.

GPS around Reading

We are experimenting with The Things Network Reading on putting the information tricycle onto the ‘Internet of Things’. You may see us with a plastic box on the back of the tricycle – this is testing out sending the tricycle’s position to the network, and from that to our map. Click the map to get the most recent info.

Tricycle & Sumer is icumen in

The tricycle as music stand and rain cover at the Exercise Book, Palmer Park, 30th January 2016. A snippet of the work by Professor Martin Harry, Oxford University, some of it based on the first ‘pop’ (i.e. not ecclesiastical) written work – composed by the monks of Reading Abbey – a great Reading space! – around 1250. 100 runners did a 5K around the Park to tracks from the work – downloaded to their smartphones and played by a live wind band in the stadium. Wind was a bit of a problem – hence the human health and safety device anchored to the tricycle’s umbrella. Remember, you heard this use of a tricycle here first. Should we aim for 101 uses of a tricycle?

Hear a snippet of the piece – trumpet soloist with an echoing trumpet in the stands. Don’t forget to turn your sound on!

Information Tricycle

Inspired by Warricks of Caversham Road Tea Tricycle, now in Reading Museum, we’ll be bringing our ‘Information Tricycle’ to events and public spaces throughout 2016 in support of Reading’s Year of Culture. This will display information about what’s on in a fun, friendly and flexible way as the year progresses.

The tricycle can be used as a ‘traditional’ delivery box, or extended to form a showcase for event information.

Tricycle outside St Barts Theatre

Tricycle and Mayor

More info

RG Spaces @ The Turbine House 8-11 September 2016

As part of Reading’s Year of Culture 2016 and to coincide with National Heritage Open Days we are mounting a specially selected art exhibition ‘Reading and its Rivers’ together with special Reading-based books by Two Rivers Press, special deals at Bel and the Dragon and a special family trail. Step out over the river Kennet in the Turbine House and explore this little nook of Reading heritage along with great art and great coffee.

Reading’s very own Tea Tricycle

Inspired by Warricks of Caversham Road Tea Tricycle, now in Reading Museum, we’ll be bringing our ‘Information Tricycle’ to events and public spaces throughout 2016 in support of Reading’s Year of Culture. This will display information about what’s on in a fun, friendly and flexible way as the year progresses. Contact the tricycle if you’d like it to be at your event. It’s free! 

Mobile information point

This project runs from January-December 2016.

We’re running a mobile information point around town supporting Reading’s Year of Culture 2016 as well as helping to spread the word about all local events. The tricycle, plus a person, is available to come to events or public spaces, free of charge. It is designed to resemble a traditional delivery tricycle, but will also fold out to create a larger display space when parked.

Tricycle card
Tricycle A6 card

Tricycle and Mayor

For more information, you can contact us by email to info the usual at sign rgspaces dot org dot uk

Reading in top 16% of UK Heritage Index

The RSA (Royal Society for the Arts, Manufacture and Commerce) has published a heritage index map. The index and interactive maps are a resource to help people better understand their local heritage. They are part of a broader RSA project on Heritage, Place and Identity that aims to use heritage in order to achieve a place’s social and economic aspirations.

We in Reading should be chuffed that our ‘much maligned town’ is actually in the top 16% overall AND in the top 2% for Museums, Archives and Artefacts and in the top 8% for the Historic Built Environment.

You can see more at:

Highest ever Splat Medusa score

Our tent at the Festival was buzzing with visitors – and one scored a straight 100 on Splat Medusa, a record. We also had dozens of Ure Museum mugs painted, lots of interest in the East Reading Connections stand, the London Road Heritage Trail, Ladybird Book and Artist in the Harris Garden mini-apps. Thanks to the Festival organisers for a good day. You can play from the comfort of your own iPad (or even PC) if you’d like some practice.

Play Splat Medusa at East Reading Festival

Perseus & Medsa

Visit iMuse in the RG spaces tent at East Reading Festival Sunday 14 June Palmer Park to play Splat Medusa on our iPads. Fun for all (warning – children are normally faster than adults!). Highest scores of the day win prizes. All entries put into a draw for extra prizes too. Art work by Addington School, Woodley, as part of the Ure Discovery project, 2012-13.

iMuse & iOpener move to RG spaces

The iMuse and iOpener programmes run by the charity Access-Ability Communications Technology (AACT) are moving to RG spaces in Summer 2015. iMuse works with museums and galleries locally to seek lowcost ways of using mobile phones and tablets to make visits more fun and accessible for everyone. iOpener is experimenting with making online trails and encouraging people to make their own around Reading.