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Reading in 2003

The town still provides glimpses of the Council’s previous incarnations. There are the Abbey Ruins of its long departed landlord; High Bridge restored in 1787 by a Corporation keen to see trade flourish; the expression of Victorian civic pride through the Town Hall and a legacy of public undertakings from schools to the IDR. The Gildhall is now buried underneath the Oracle, with the modern shopping centre now maintaining a link to the merchant traders who started the town.

Guildhall 1935

The Gildhall or Yield Hall shortly before its demolition circa 1935 (D/EX1722/14/3)

 

The old Borough lost its status and its independence in 1974, when like all boroughs it was abolished and replaced by a district council, sharing its responsibilities with a County Council. But the new Council was permitted to retain the arms, the title and the history of its predecessor.

Since 1998 it has been restored to its position as the sole local authority running the town, responsible for the provision of schools, social services, housing, roads and transport policy and a range of cultural services.

Oracle 2000
The Oracle Centre 2001 (reproduced by permission of The Oracle)
 

 

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