Hunt for 'Ghost Signs' on buildings

Historic England is asking individuals and history and heritage groups to search for, photograph, and inform them of ghost signs on buildings. These are old signs which advertised businesses which have now gone. Such signs gradually fade, but form an important part of our heritage, and signpost old businesses and trades, as well as individuals who may have run them. More information is available on their website:

WBHF AGM- 26th April 2023

The West Berkshire Heritage Forum AGM will be held on 26th April 2023 at Shaw House. Attendees are invited to arrive from 7pm for refreshments in the cafe with the business of the AGM due to start at 7.20pm. There will be a guided tour of the house after the AGM, and we are also expecting a short talk by a local speaker.

Places are limited to 40, please email the Secretary if you wish to attend. Formal invitations will go out shortly with an agenda and previous minutes.

Local Listing - Panel recommends a further eight submissions

The Local Listing Panel met on 27th October and approved submissions to the Local List for The White Lodge, Shaw cum Donnington, a Victorian gate lodge; Crabtree Community Centre, Faircross, Hermitage, a former WW2 USA hospital building; 6 Northbrook Street, Newbury, a Georgian facade to a modernised building; a Victorian post box in Welford, of a rare and early design; two well houses, at East Ilsley and Burghfield Common, and a further Victiorian Pump at Burghfield Common; and a stile from the Hedges Foundry, situated on a footpath near Marlston.

Local Listing Submissions approved

The Local Listing submissions for The Dell, Bucklebury; St Gabriel's Convent Chapel, Cold Ash; the Baseball Bleachers and Baseball Scoreboard at the John Mello Field, Greenham; and the Georgian Water Pump at Linear Park, Holybrook; have all been approved for inclusion on the Local List.

The Forum welcomes suggestions for Local Listing. Assets should not be nationally Listed, and should have a local historic connection or value to the community.

Blue Plaque for Doris Page

A Blue Plaque has been unveiled for the writer and disability campaigner Doris Page (1925-1991). Doris contracted polio in 1955 and was confined to an iron lung for the rest of her life. With her husband's support, she returned to her home at 39 Essex Street in 1957, and campaigned for the infrastructure to allow disabled people to live a viable home life, as a founder member of the charity "Independence at Home". She also wrote on disability issues under the pen name 'Ann Armstrong' and edited The Responaut magazine from 1963-88. She was awarded an MBE in 1968.

Everyday Heritage Grants - Celebrating Working Class Histories

Historic England has announced its Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories, which will fund community-led and people-focused projects which aim to further the nation's collective understanding of the past. The grants will focus on heritage which links people to overlooked historic places, with a particular interest in recognising and celebrating working class history.