Having run a business in Reading for over 30 years, we have realised how lucky we are to be based in such a well-positioned and well connected town with a large and diverse business population. Reading has received continual investment in its infrastructure which has been, and continues to be, well received by the business community
Culturally it has the wonderful Abbey ruins that have recently been restored, and now host a number of events held within the Abbey Quarter offering regular Heritage tours, the final resting place of King Henry I being a particular draw.
Reading might not have a 300 year old theatre, but we do have the Hexagon. Reading arts and Venue’s continually lay on an array of live performances throughout the year, and the Hexagon has hosted the World Snooker Championships on numerous occasions. The likes of Robert Plant, Simple Minds, Motorhead and Primal Scream have also all graced the hallowed stage throughout the years.
Location wise we are well placed to get into London and the City, both from the M4 corridor or the rail links, as Reading boasts one of the country’s major transport hubs. The Crossrail link will take you straight to St Pancras and on to the Eurostar; the high-speed railway service connecting London with Amsterdam, Avignon, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Paris and Rotterdam.
The University is the temporary home to 2000 students, with a solid place within the top 50 universities, this year placed at a very commendable 32. Notable alumni include James Cracknell and Jamie Cullum.
Sporting wise we have a great stadium (thanks to Sir John Madejski) and footballing wise we can’t forget our glory years in the Premier league, achieving the previously unthinkable 8th place finish in 2007. Cricket… I don’t think Berkshire is up there in the dizzy heights of county cricket with its neighbours Hampshire, Surrey or Middlesex in the major league, but still boasts many local teams and has a very active participation.
Rugby: Reading is the home of Readingesians and Abbey rugby Club on a local basis, and for professional rugby hosts London Irish.
As for us, we’re in marketing, primarily Direct mail. We are one of two Mailing Houses in the Reading area, with the other being Solo mailing, who are good guys too 🙂
Herald Chase offers efficient letter printing and enclosing, Solo offer pick and pack and the despatch of larger items, but that’s all for another day ……
Some facts you may not know about Reading
- Reading is the biggest town in England, with some 318,000 residents in it’s surrounding urban areas. Just 37 miles west of London and 70 miles east of Bristol as the crow flies, it’s ideally situated on the M4 corridor.
- Reading is the only place Jane Austen went to school, and liked it!. (The novelist did try schools in Oxford and Southampton, but didn’t like them. She did, however, like the Reading Ladies Boarding School, also known as the Abbey School.)
- Reading is where the first song manuscript in Britain was found. (Between 1261 and 1264 a manuscript called “Sumer is Icumen In” was found at Reading Abbey
- Reading is the only jail in Britain to have a poem written about it. (The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde – Poems | poets.org)
- Bryan Adams, the legendary Canadian singer, grew up in Tilehurst. (When his father was stationed in England)
- Reading is where Michael Bond developed his love of trains and stations, which gave him the inspiration to create Paddington Bear
- Reading was the home of Ricky Gervais, who often quips about the differences between Whitley and Caversham Heights. His film Cemetery Junction pays homage to the bustling Reading area on the silver screen
- Jeremy Kyle grew up in Coley, actually opposite to one of my good friends Phil Potter. Thankfully he’s never been re-united with Jeremy on his morning show!
- Since 1971, the town has been the proud home of Reading Festival, attracting 90,000 music fans each day over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Nirvana, Eminem, Metallica, Iron Maiden… Basically at some point, all of the musical gods have blessed Reading with their presence.
Notable residents of Reading past and present include:
- Kate Winslet (Oscar winning actress of Titanic, The Reader and The Life of David Gale fame)
- Sir Kenneth Branagh (Acclaimed Actor, Director, Producer & Screenwriter)
- Charlie Brooker (Critic, author and screenwriter, perhaps best known for Black Mirror)
- David Gill (Former Chief Executive of Manchester United, overseeing their most successful era)
- Sam Mendes CBE (Stage and film director best known for American Beauty)
- Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Of course, she needs no introduction)
- Mike Oldfield (Musician and composer, he gave us the classic album Tubular Bells)
- Chris Tarrant OBE (Who Wants to be a millionaire & Tiswas!)
- George Clooney (Born in Kentucky but now lives in Sonning, so we’re claiming him as one of our own!
Thanks to Get Reading for some of the above facts!
We really are fortunate to be located right in the the heart of this wonderful town, so close to London and Europe further afield via the excellent transport links. Often referred to as the UK’s Silicon Valley due to the booming tech economy in the area, Reading and it’s surrounding area’s is home to a number of major players in the field with the likes of Oracle, Symantec, Microsoft, Cisco and Huwaei all making their homes here. Add to that prestigious list ING Direct, Bang & Olufsen, Ericsson, Sage, Verizon, Xerox, BG Group, Prudential and Pepsico, who all have a significant presence in the town, and it’s easy to see why the local economy is in rude health.
It’s a local business community we’re proud to be a part of and serve, and we’ll continue to do so for many years to come!
Thanks for taking the time to read this piece on Reading. If you need any further info or would like to talk to us about your alumni campaigns, feel free to contact us on 0118 474 888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.