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Reading Hotels - Cheap Accommodation Deals in ReadingReading HotelsREADING HOTELS - IF you need a hotel room in Reading, the UK - or anywhere in the world - our discount booking service is the answer. Click here for Reading Guide's own link to LateRooms.com®. Availability and prices are updated daily, the prices per room not per person, and there's no booking fee. PLEASE NOTE: If you make future bookings, it would help sustain Reading Guide if you do so from this link.


THERE are four words which sum up the Reading FC season which comes to an end this weekend… thank goodness it’s over! It’s been a confusing, and largely painful, nine months, which started with great expectation and fizzled out in truly miserable fashion. Eventually it was almost a bizarre carbon copy of the previous season. That one started relatively well under Nigel Adkins, went OK for a while under new boss Steve Clarke, and careered downhill towards the end, salvaged slightly by a glory run to the FA Cup semi-final after a brief flirtation with relegation. This season started relatively well under Steve Clarke, went OK for a while under new boss Brian McDermott, and careered downhill towards the end, salvaged slightly by a glory run to the FA Cup quarter-final after a brief flirtation with relegation.

Where it all goes from here is anyone’s guess. There are even hot rumours that the club is for sale again. The seldom-seen Thai owners appear more interested in the proposed development round the stadium than they do in the football. They have pretty much left that side of things to the “old guard”, Sir John Madejski, Nigel Howe, Ian Wood-Smith, and, until last week, Nick Hammond. None of those, however, have a single share in the club, and the surprise departure of director of football Hammond after 20 years suggests all is not well at the Mad Stad - especially as he is apparently not being replaced. Passing his role over to Howe is very strange. Nigel Howe might be a good businessman, good administrator etc etc - but if he has a talent for maintaining a massive database of footballers from all around the world the way Hammond did, then it’s been well hidden. For starters he’s unlikely to have as extensive a contacts book as Hammond - but that said, back in January, Deniss Rakels was brought in without the knowledge of either Hammond or McDermott, by “the owners’ scouts”. Who? The owners’ scouts!

The despondency among Reading fan groups on social media is very plain to see, but the Loyal Royals will still be out in force at Blackburn, having their traditional last-day fun with inflatable toys. What sort of performance they will see is anyone’s guess. Part of the frustration this season has been that so many times Royals have been a “near-miss” team, frequently having the better of games but seldom winning them. It’s been one long, miserable tale of no killer touch in front of goal - except in the Cup games - and individual defensive howlers which have been massively costly. Paul McShane, lead-by-example warrior that he is, can still give away goals with the best of them - the crucial two last week against Preston for example. The first of those also involved his usual centre-back partner, Jake Cooper, who is also adept at spoiling his youthful promise by being caught out of position, or not reading a situation as quickly as you need to at this level, and thus giving away goals.

As for the Reading team at Ewood Park, it’s impossible to guess. There’s a case to give Jonathan Bond another go in goal and let Ali Al-Habsi rest on his Player of the Season laurels. Across that shaky back four there’s not much scope, although with Chris Gunter now fit again it will be interesting to see whether the experiment of playing winger Garath McCleary at right-back continues. Last week Gunter played left-back, but if Wigan loanee Andrew Taylor does not play there this time it obviously means his time at Reading is over. Upfield, Lucas Piazon, Michael Hector and Alex Fernandez have all gone already, and presumably so has Ola John, who didn’t appear last week. Costly thought it is, there’s no point Matej Vydra getting a game, so again, no loanees. One who might appear is Jack Stacey, just returned from a successful loan at Carlisle. Josh Barrett, the 17-year-old who made a second-half cameo appearance last week, might even get a start. Whatever, for once the interest is all in the individual performances, and not the result.

RAIN OR SHINE? COMPREHENSIVE WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE READING AREA (Met Office)
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IN A JAM? READING TRAVEL INFO INCLUDING TRAFFIC CAMS AND BUS DELAY INFO (Borough Council)
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LIVE CAMERAS AND INCIDENT UPDATES ALL ALONG THE 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 HANDY 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? CHECK THE CLOCK 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 FROM PORTSMOUTH (Portsmouth Port)
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OFF TO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS? LATEST ON TOP CATS FROM POOLE AND PORTSMOUTH (Condor Ferries)
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LIFE ON THE OCEAN WAVE - LIVE INFO FOR THOSE CRUISING FROM SOUTHAMPTON (ABP Southampton)
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IF THE SEA TURNS YOUR TUM LET TRAIN TAKE THE STRAIN - FRANCE BY UNDERGROUND (Eurotunnel)
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CLICK YOUR CHOSEN WEBSITE FOR THEIR CONTENT

Trinity Mirror-owned former Reading evening newspaper, the Post, has now been consigned to publishing history - T.M. decided the way forward is only 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 and once had an enviable circulation larger than the town's population - still thriving and proudly independent, with fifth generation of 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. It has a good website - plus TV from 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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A hyperlocal news operation with focus on positive people-led stories that, publishers say "will 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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THIS was supposed to be an indication of how Royals might fare next season - but hopefully it won’t be! With none of their six loan players included, they showed their old defensive frailty - and their horrible habit of losing games in added time. Preston, a really well-drilled outfit who might be dark horses for promotion next season, always looked dangerous and took the lead early in the second half through veteran Jermaine Beckford. When Royals squared it four minutes from the end with Stephen Quinn’s terrific shot, it looked like at least a point would be saved, but it was not to be, Daniel Johnson popping up ridiculously unmarked in the Reading box in the second minute of added time to hit the winner. It was part two of a nightmare return for skipper Paul McShane, who was lured way out of position on that goal and lost track of Beckford on the first. The only positive for the Royals was a cameo second half performance by 17-year-old Josh Barrett. While he was furious about the team’s seventh late loss of the season, Brian McDermott saw plenty of positivity in young Barrett’s performance. Attendance 15,834 (778 away).

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THE permanent memorial to Reading's only Victoria Cross holder, Trooper Fred Potts, unveiled in the Forbury last year, is already 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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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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Reading's adopted top-flight Rugby Union team, survived two recent relegation scares - but better times are likely to be ahead after new investment.
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Reading's most consistently-successful sports club runs 11 men’s and seven ladies’ teams. Elite squads at the 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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The club performs solidly in the National South West Division One (East) alongside Newbury. 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 successful - including a top Ladies’ XV.
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Founded 1926, now nicknamed The Rams, Redingensians was originally for former pupils of Reading School. Teams in all age groups - 2014/15 champs SW Nat League 3.
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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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The club has a long and proud history with past Olympic stars such as Ann Packer, Bev Callender and Britain's most successful-ever 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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A friendly community rowing club located on one of the best stretches of the upper Thames, with access to 6km of river from 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. Currently consistently at the top end of the NBL Division 1 standings.
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The legendary (and still going strong at 81) Reg Fearman brought Speedway to Reading in 1968. Smallmead closed in 2008 but Racers faithful still have a website.

AND OTHER SENIOR SPORTS CLUBS AND VENUES NEARBY…

The Magpies have an extremely proud, and unique football boast - their York Road ground is the world's oldest football ground used continuously by the same club.
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Basingstoke share Maidenhead's status in Conference South - and they have some lively local derbies. Mascot Stokie is even taller than a certain 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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Although the local area has racing links to dating back to Henry VIII, the first race meeting here was not until 1866. The only figure-of-eight flat course in the country.
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Ice Hockey has been thriving in Bracknell for many years, with Bees playing home games at the John Nike Leisure Centre. Ambitious new team management in place for season 28.
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Basingstoke Bison play in the English Premier Ice Hockey League. Founded in 1988 as the Beavers, the club has sustained the sport in the town successfully since.
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The Hawks are one of the leading clubs in the Thames Valley, among the top 50 in the country - 2014/15 champions of National League 2 South after winning first 14 games.
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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 London and SE National League 3.
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The Blues, a focal point for the West Berkshire rugby community, are always competitive in South West Division One (East) - finishing sixth 2014/15.
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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...
28/12/2012 SPORTS NEWS LINKS: CLICK FOR THE LATEST FROM THE ROYALS, IRISH AND OTHER CLUBS
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 - 06th MAY 2016
Leisure, Museums
A SENSE OF PLACE EXHIBITION

Leisure, Museums
AT HOME WITH ART - TREASURES OF THE FORD COLLECTION

Leisure, Theatre
LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS

Leisure, Exhibitions
LIFE AND LIGHT ART EXHIBITION AND TRAIL

Leisure, Theatre
HENLEY DRAMA FESTIVAL

Leisure, Theatre
THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT

Leisure, Theatre
GOD OF CARNAGE

Leisure, Theatre
UNTOLD STORIES - HYMN AND COCKTAIL STICKS

Sport, Horse Racing
MAY RACENIGHT AT ASCOT

Leisure, Days Out
BURGHFIELD VILLAGE MAY FAYRE
Leisure, Theatre
BEN PORTSMOUTH - THE KING IS BACK

Leisure, Theatre
WHOLE LOTTA LED - 20th ANNIVERSARY TOUR

Leisure, Theatre
PIANIST TIM VALENTINE AT THE MILL, SONNING

Leisure, Dance
OVER 30s, 40s, 50s PARTY NIGHT FOR SINGLES AND COUPLES