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Site (C) 2010 John Rogers Media Services
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Title


APART from the excellent win at Bristol City, it has not yet been a Happy New Year for Reading FC. The much-anticipated FA Cup-tie at Old Trafford turned out to be a fairly tame surrender to a weakened Manchester United team - although admittedly a team which which would probably win the Championship. The following home game, against well-organised, but unexceptional, QPR on a snowy Thursday night, was just the latest of so many depressing midweek matches at the Mad Stad in recent years. The 1-0 defeat was totally demoralising for the fans, who, as manager Jaap Stam (right) admitted, were pretty much let down by the team’s lacklustre display. The hoped-for bounce-back this weekend will not be easy. Even though Royals have a decent record at Derby, the Rams are also in the dog-house for under-performing in the league recently and Steve McClaren is sure to have them fired up.

So if there’s to be a successful Ram-raid, Royals will have to be at their best - and that means Stam is facing a trickier than usual team selection, particularly in midfield and defence. The front three will probably remain unchanged, with Garath McCleary on the right, Yann Kermorgant through the middle and Roy Beerens wide left. Beerens has been out of touch in the last two games, but with Callum Harriott injured, Stam has few other options. A radical one might be to play Jordan Obita on the left, putting him back in his original position. His transition to full-back has seldom looked a sound one defensively, but since Wayne Bridge departed Royals have not really had a thoroughbred left-back. Tyler Blackett has also played there, but also looks uncomfortable too many times. This week’s signing of Tiago Ilori from Liverpool does nothing to plug that gap, because central defence is his game. Even though he will have had little time to read his team-mates’ play, Ilori might get an immediate debut, especially if skipper Paul McShane remains out after his wrist operation. Chris Gunter at right-back and Liam Moore in the middle will already have their names on the team-sheet, with Joey van den Berg likely to return to his biting-tackler job in midfield - especially as it’s an away game. Danny Williams will probably start there as well, with Liam Kelly likely to complete the picture on the back of his enthusiasm and passing ability.

As for Derby, they have talent aplenty, and after promotion near-misses in the last few seasons they will be desperate to at least make the play-offs this time. McClaren, for one, will not have forgotten the 3-0 home roasting his team took from Reading to rob them of a last-day top six place two seasons ago. Since then the boss has been to Newcastle and back, and Derby fans have mainly forgiven him his desertion to St James Park. Will Hughes in midfield is a stand-out performer, as is Tom Ince, who is too good for this division when he’s in the mood. The Rams have also added veteran striker David Nugent to their squad in the past fortnight, and already have Johnny Russell, Andreas Weimann, Matej Vydra and Darren Bent for a wealth of attacking experience. They hope to have Nugent fit after a knee niggle, and Marcus Olsson will return after injury at left-back. Of the four ex-Royals at Pride Park, Chris Baird will be a starter in midfield, and maybe Alex Pearce at the back and Matej Vydra up front. Nick Blackman is likely to miss out through injury. C’mon URZZZ - let’s see some bouncebackability!


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CLICK YOUR CHOSEN WEBSITE FOR THEIR CONTENT

Trinity Mirror-owned former Reading evening newspaper, the Post, has been consigned to publishing history - TM decided the way forward is via its getreading website.
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The oldest - now only - newspaper in the Reading, started life in the early 1800s as the Berkshire Chronicle - recently sold to the Newsquest group.
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First published in 1885 as the Henley Free Press, the locally-owned Henley Standard has been a front-runner in the electronic era with some consistently lively multi-media output.
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The Newbury Weekly News was first published in 1867 but was among the first locally to embrace the internet with extensive coverage under its Newbury Today brand.
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The Wokingham Times was that area's longest-established newspaper, but is no more. Website, getwokingham, styled like Reading stable-mate getreading is now the only outlet.
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The stable-mate of the Reading Chronicle and the Slough Observer has been serving south-east Berkshire for 50+ years and its website keeps up well with the news from its patch.
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First published in 1869 - once had enviable circulation larger than the town's population. Still thriving and independent, with fifth generation Baylis family, Jason, at helm.
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Founded in 1812, and apart from a brief spell, the Express remained a family independent. It is again, acquired in 2008 by family-owned Baylis Media Ltd of the Maidenhead Advertiser.
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Founded in 1878, the Basingstoke Gazette went through it's first 99 years family-owned. Today, owned by Newsquest - part of the multi-media American-based giant Gannett.
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BBC Radio Berkshire has the benefit of Government funding for its county-wide broadcast and multi-media coverage - website perhaps not the powerhouse it should be.
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After many name and image changes, the south's commercial TV operation has found stability. Flagship programme features Fred Dinenage and Reading's Sangeeta Bhabra.
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Reading's "community" radio station, previously part of Sir John Madejski's empire, has a lively site, with news, and features about its output. Now part of the zany Jack FM brand.
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Reading Borough Council has spruced up its PR and corporate multi-media in recent years and issues frequent media news releases on the key community subjects.
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The University of Reading, in its 111th year, is in the top one percent of uni's worldwide, and its frequent news releases reflect its highly-acclaimed research work.
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Local news operation with focus on positive people-led stories publishers say encourage, inform and inspire. Now also publishing The Wokingham Paper after demise of the Times.
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There are several "Readings" in the USA - best-known is 88,000-population Reading city northwest of Philadelphia - it's local paper is the Eagle, backed up by its dot.com version.
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From another "Reading, USA", 16 miles north of Boston is The Advocate newspaper which feeds an excellent news service into its equally-excellent website, named Wicked Local.
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News aggregator which trawls the www for any story with the word "Reading", so can occasionally throw up book-reading topics - but it's a good source of interesting items.
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RAIN OR SHINE? COMPREHENSIVE WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE READING AREA (Met Office)
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IN A JAM? READING TRAVEL INFO INCLUDES TRAFFIC CAMS (now offline), BUS DELAYS (RB Council)
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LIVE CAMERAS AND INCIDENT UPDATES ALONG M4 CORRIDOR IN BERKSHIRE (BBC Travel)
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GETTING FROM AA TO BB - COMPLETE ROUTE PLANNER WITH TIMINGS AND TURNINGS (AA)
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DRIVING FAR AND WIDE - OUT OF AREA MOTORWAY AND TRAFFIC NEWS (Highways Agency)
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STOPPING ON THE WAY? FOR MOTORWAY AND A-ROAD SERVICE AREAS (M'way Services Online)
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RAIL JOURNEY PLANNER - ALL THE 'FROM AND TO' INFO AND FARES (National Rail)
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LIVE RAIL DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL BOARDS FOR READING AND LOCAL STATIONS (National Rail)
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BUS SERVICES PUTTING THE DING-DING IN READING AND AREA (Reading Buses)
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IF YOU'D RATHER GO ON FOOT, HERE'S A GUIDE TO WALKS IN THE READING AREA (iFootpath)
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FLYING FROM HEATHROW - AIRPORT DIRECTORY AND OTHER KEY INFO (Heathrow Airport Guide)
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WHAT’S THE TIME WHEN WE GET THERE? CLOCK IN FOR ANY MAJOR CITY (Time and Date)
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ROAD TO THE AIRPORT - TIMES AND DETAILS FOR READING RAIL-AIR LINK TO HEATHROW (Railair)
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FLYING FROM GATWICK - PARKING, FLIGHT INFO AND SHOPPING (Gatwick Airport)
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FLYING FROM STANSTED - WORLD'S BEST AIRPORT FOR LOW-COST FLIGHTS (Stansted Airport)
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FLYING FROM LUTON - ALL THE INFO ON THE GROUND AND AIR SIDE (Luton Airport)
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FLYING FROM SOUTHAMPTON - DOWN THE M3 AND UP, UP AND AWAY! (Southampton Airport)
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PLAIN SAILING OR ROUGH SEAS - CROSS-CHANNEL FERRY INFO PORTSMOUTH (Portsmouth Port)
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TO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS? LATEST ON CATS FROM POOLE AND PORTSMOUTH (Condor Ferries)
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LIFE ON THE OCEAN WAVE - LIVE INFO FOR CRUISING FROM SOUTHAMPTON (ABP Southampton)
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SEA TURNS YOUR TUM? LET TRAIN TAKE THE STRAIN - FRANCE BY UNDERGROUND (Eurotunnel)
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CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW READING-GUIDE.CO.UK UPDATES ON

GOOD NEWS WEEK AT THE MAD STAD
ROYALS fans breathed a collective sigh of relief this week with two pieces of news which indicate there really is ambition on the field at the Mad Stad as well as off it. On Tuesday Garath McCleary, the club’s stand-out player this season, signed a contract extension, then 24 hours later came final confirmation that Liverpool’s Portuguese defender Tiago Ilori actually had signed for the club (RFC pic, right) - eight days after media in the Liverpool area announced the “signing”. The fear was that the protracted takeover bid by a Chinese consortium - still not confirmed by the EFL or Premier League - meant there would be no investment in the transfer window, either for contract extensions such as McCleary’s or new signings, including Ilori. But whether from the present owners, or the proposed new ones, the purse strings appear to have been loosened this week, which is good news, because it would indicate the club is now serious about helping Jaap Stam get his surprisingly successful team a place at least in the top six this season.

The signing of Ilori, however, looks at first sight to be a gamble. The Liverpool end suggests the fee was what would be a club record £3.75million. Whispers from the Reading end suggest it was nearer £2million with a few success-related add-ons. Either way, it’s an astonishing amount of money for a player who has yet to prove himself anywhere at senior level. Ilori joined Liverpool from Sporting Lisbon for a reputed £4million in September 2013 - although Liverpool are now claiming to have made a small profit on the player. He was one of 31 Anfield signings by former Royals boss Brendan Rodgers. Ilori was actually born in London, with a Nigerian father and Portuguese mother, but he grew up in Albufeira, Portugal. After playing locally at junior level he joined the youth ranks of Sporting Lisbon in 2006 and made his debut for the first team in November 2011. In the following two years he played mainly for Sporting B before Liverpool took the gamble on his potential.

Ilori has played for Portugal’s age group teams at every level, from U18 to U23 but has never broken through at any club. Liverpool loaned him out to Granada in 2014, then to Bordeaux, and last season to Aston Villa, although he didn’t make a first team appearance for them. This season he has been playing for Liverpool Under-23s, but a move to Reading will be seen as make-or-break for his career. Certainly the Royals have been weak in the centre of defence this season. Skipper Paul McShane is a terrific battler, but occasionally shows his age in a foot race. Liam Moore is solid, if unspectacular, and Tyler Blackett has yet to convince the fans that he was worth bringing in from Manchester United in the summer - although he has been playing more, and often uncomfortably, at left-back. Young Jake Cooper has never really fulfilled his terrific early promise, and Joey van den Berg is happier in midfield. It all adds up to a very definite need for an addition of class and athleticism at the back. Whether Tiago Ilori is the answer remains to be seen, but Jaap Stam speaks very highly of him as a player who can fit Reading’s new system. He will certainly be in the squad, if not the starting eleven, at Derby on Saturday.

CLICK CHOSEN CLUB LOGO TO LINK TO THEIR LATEST INFO

Keep up to date with all things Royal - info about the club, the team, tickets, souvenirs and more, including interviews and subscription video.
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Unofficial Reading FC website with plenty of well-written comment, positive and negative - but always constructive. Named after the old "Home End" at Elm Park.
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More than 200 former Reading players and managers are in the Association - the website has interesting info about great names of Royals' and Biscuitmen's past.
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Royals fan Chris Lee has supported the club 40-plus years since Biscuitmen days. He’s compiled a huge and fascinating collection of must-see online memorabilia.
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Reading's adopted Rugby Union team, survived two recent relegation scares but finally went down at the end of last season. Now on the up again.
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Reading's most consistently-successful sports club - 11 men’s and seven ladies’ teams. Elite squads at top of the domestic game and many international stars.
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Reading Cricket Club operates in tandem with the adjacent Reading Hockey Club, providing a two-pronged elite sports operation at the extensive Sonning Lane site.
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Performing solidly in the National South West Division One (East). Founded in 1898 as Berkshire Wanderers, they still field a Wanderers XV.
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Originally for youngsters from non-rugby-playing schools, Abbey went senior in 1956, acquired a 22-acre site at Emmer Green and are now very successful.
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Founded 1926, now nicknamed The Rams. Originally for former pupils of Reading School. Teams in all age groups - currently National League 2 South.
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Has promoted cycling in Berkshire since 1974. With over 200 members, it is dedicated to giving cyclists the opportunity to race, ride and enjoy two-wheel life.
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Club has a proud history with past Olympic stars such as Ann Packer, Bev Callender and Britain's most successful female sprinter, Kathy Smallwood.
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Provides after school clubs, school holiday courses, birthday parties and much, much more for boys and girls from the age of 5-14, in and around Reading.
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Friendly community rowing club located on one of best stretches of upper Thames, with access to 6km of river, Caversham Bridge to Mapledurham.
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Founded as recently as 1997, Rockets had spectacular lift-off and now run age-group, ladies and seniors teams. Consistently at top end of NBL Division 1.
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Legendary (and still going strong at 83) Reg Fearman brought Speedway to Reading in 1968. Smallmead closed in 2008 but Racers faithful still have website.

AND OTHER SENIOR SPORTS CLUBS AND VENUES NEARBY…

The Magpies are flying high and have a unique football boast - their York Road ground is the world's oldest football ground used by the same club.
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An ambitious, progressive club but last season 'Stoke couldn't avoid relegation to Evo-Stik Southern Prem. Mascot Stokie walks even taller than Kingsley Royal!
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Few sporting venues match the history or rich heritage of Ascot. Queen Anne, staying at Windsor Castle in 1711 who first saw the potential for a racecourse.
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Newbury Racecourse is more than 100 years old, combining heritage with a modern sports/events venue. Constructed in 1904/05 - at a cost of £57,240!
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The local area has racing links to dating back to Henry VIII, but the first race meeting here was not until 1866. The country's only figure-of-eight flat course.
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Founded in 1988 as the Beavers, the club has sustained the sport in the town since. The Bison play in English Premier Ice Hockey League - 2015/16 champs.
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One of the leading clubs in the Thames Valley, Hawks are among the country's top 50 - 2014/15 champs of National League 2 South but now back in that division.
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Bracknell RFC has an illustrious pedigree, founded in 1955 by Welsh and Cornish men new to the New Town area. Now in National League 3 South West.
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The Blues, a focal point for the West Berkshire rugby community, are always competitive, and often siccessful in South West Division One (East).
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THE permanent memorial to Reading's only Victoria Cross holder, Trooper Fred Potts, unveiled in the Forbury last year, is proving a popular addition to the town’s architecture. Fred, who died in 1943 and until recent years, was virtually unknown in the town due - mainly to his own modesty. However, the people who did know of Fred’s heroics during the Great War believed the time was long overdue to recognise his bravery with a suitable memorial in a town centre location. The Trooper Potts Memorial Trust was set up to raise the necessary funds and, backed by BBC Radio Berkshire, former Reading Mayor Cllr Fred Pugh, former MP Martin Salter, Reading College, Haslams Estate Agents and Reading-born TV personality Chris Tarrant, they achieved their aim - the bronze statue, created by Liverpool sculptor Tom Murphy, was unveiled. As well as commemorating Fred Potts, it also recognises the sacrifices of the many men of the Berkshire Yeomanry who gave their lives, both in the battle for Scimitar Hill at Gallipoli, Turkey, and throughout World War One. Fred’s medal relates to an incident in August 1915, in which he saved the life of fellow-Reading soldier Arthur Andrews after both were injured by machine-gun fire as the Yeomanry charged on Scimitar Hill. For three days, during which they had virtually no food or drink, Fred ignored his own wounds to drag Arthur to safety, using a shovel as a makeshift stretcher. The amazing FULL STORY.


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News from The Reading Guide
29/12/2012 BREAKING NEWS: LINKS TO THE TOP LOCAL SOURCES - AND READING USA
WITH traditional newspapers under increasing pressure from "new media", both of the local newspapers, the Post and the Chronicle have made dramatic changes in recent years. The end of 2014 brought the "last Post" - after nearly 50 years, the old Evening Post adjusted to a twice-weekly, Wednesday and Friday offering, and now is only a website. more...
12/01/2010 YOUR CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH TV PROGRAMMES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - THE FULL SET

Reader Poll
2016 is likely to be the year plans are fully approved for a huge development around the Madejski Stadium. Is that a good idea?
Poll started 18/03/2016. Vote to see the results.
      YES - It's a really imaginative scheme which will add to matchday experience.
      NO - Let's just stick to football and forget all the peripheral stuff!

What's On - 21st JAN 2017
Leisure, Museums
COMMUNITY DISPLAY - BARBADOS 50th ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE

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ART EXHIBITION - WE GIVE YOU COLOUR

Leisure, Days Out
THE SNOWDROP WALK AT CLIVEDEN

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RUTH RENDELL - A JUDGEMENT IN STONE

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THE PIED PIPER - THE SINODUN PLAYERS WALLINGFORD PANTOMIME

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NO NAUGHTY BITS

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PETER JAMES - DEAD SIMPLE

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ANNIE

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STEPHEN K AMOS - WORLD FAMOUS

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SHINFIELD PLAYERS - HUMPTY DUMPTY

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PIANIST TIM VALENTINE AT THE MILL, SONNING

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WALLINGFORD LOCAL PRODUCERS' SATURDAY MARKET

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THAMES VALLEY FARMERS MARKET (READING)

Sport, Rugby Union
LONDON IRISH v OSPREYS - BRITISH AND IRISH CUP

Leisure, Days Out
SPLASH, BUBBLES AND BALLOONS SHOW AT THE LOOKOUT DISCOVERY CENTRE

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WOODLEY SATURDAY MARKET

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HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES IN WINDSOR GREAT PARK

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THE NEIL DIAMOND STORY

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ALDWORTH VILLAGE MARKET

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BAYEUX TAPESTRY TOUR AT READING MUSEUM

Leisure, Museums
READING MUSEUM GALLERY TOUR

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CLUB VELOCITY/BANDORAMA PRESENTS PINK DIAMOND REVUE


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