Welcome to my blog. I am using it to keep you updated on my work as a councillor for Battle ward, Chair of the Art & Heritage forum, the issues affecting Battle residents and on issues affecting the residents of Reading. There may also be the occasional random post about things I am interested in and hope you find interesting too.
I have just watched Inside Out on BBC 1 (it will be on iPlayer) which featured the closing of Jacksons and I couldn't help but get a lump in my throat.
I have some very old memories of Jacksons. I used to go there with my mother and late maternal grandmother when I was a little girl. We'd go to the haberdashery department and I'd spend my time, while they were browing, pushing the cotton reels in on their sprung stand and marvelling at the different colours of tapestry wool and stranded embroidery cotton.
I loved the wool department too. It just seems so safe and comforting to be surrounded by the rustling packets of wool.
When I was at school you couldn't take a Jacksons bag with you as you'd be teased. In the early 90's Jacksons Corner was somewhere people said the streetworkers were. I guess they moved after Broad Street was pedestrianised and there was no through traffic. Or maybe they weren't there at all? I was too young to know anything more than the rumours.
Even though I passed Jackons when popping into town from work, I
rarely bought anything as an adult as they just didn't sell things I
needed. I can knit, crochet and sew but I just don't have the time. My children don't need specialist school uniform. The fashion just wasn't for me. I think the last thing I bought was something from the haberdashery department.
I went to view the auction lots on Friday and seeing the haberdashery department empty was so sad. The step didn't even ring a bell (or was it a buzzer) anymore to let the sales assistants that we were down there.
I watched the auction on my laptop and bought a table. I wanted a memory of Jacksons (and also needed a table as we don't have one). It would seem that lots of Reading's residents wanted to keep a little bit of Jacksons too.
Reading Borough Council are putting together another bid for Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) money. Having strong resident participation can only boost the bid. If you care about the heitage of Reading, please read on and complete the consultation questionnaire. I have! :
"Abbey Quarter Project Consultation
The Council is putting together proposals for the conservation and
promotion of Reading’s historic Abbey Quarter. The aim is to highlight
the Quarter’s many heritage gems of both local and national importance
to create a unique heritage destination for residents and visitors.
You can help us by taking a few minutes to complete our short online
survey. This will inform our grant application to the Heritage Lottery
Fund (HLF) that will be submitted in February 2014.
The Abbey Quarter is an opportunity to reverse the previously
piecemeal approach to the conservation and interpretation of historic
monuments within the former precinct of Reading Abbey. Working with
English Heritage we have already completed comprehensive condition
surveys and investigations of the Abbey Ruins and Abbey Gate (both grade
I listed buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments). These surveys have
established a detailed schedule of repairs and a cost plan that will be
included in our lottery funding bid.
Our new application to HLF will focus on the Abbey Ruins and Abbey
Gate, site-wide interpretation, pedestrian signage, and a programme of
events and activities. The HLF will assess our application against
outcomes for heritage, people and communities. The project will
encourage a wide range of people to visit and engage with the Abbey’s
heritage through consultation, activities and evaluation.
Feedback from this consultation will be used to help support our
application for Heritage Lottery Funding at the end of February. The
results to this consultation will also be made available by the end of
The deadline for this consultation is Friday 31st January 2014 - 12noon."