Author Archives: readinghistory

How did a fear of climate lead to a climate of fear in which demonic witchcraft loomed large? Professor Helen Parish explores the connections between weather, witchcraft, faith, fears, and the human imagination…

In the first blog in this summer series, my colleague Ruth Salter invited us to hang up our umbrellas and celebrate the role played by St Swithin in our summer weather. While Ruth encouraged us to turn our eyes to … Continue reading

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‘Can You See the Real Me’: Bank Holidays and Quadrophenia, by Professor Matthew Worley

August Bank Holiday means it’s time for my annual viewing of Quadrophenia (1979), the film built around The Who’s 1973 LP of the same name. Jimmy, a young mod from London, prepares for a beano in Brighton, travelling to the … Continue reading

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Summer Weather and Winchester’s Patron Saint, by Ruth J. Salter

If you are anything like me you will be thinking that after what felt like a prolonged grey, cold winter it feels like we should’ve turned a corner into summer. I suppose it’s mild at least and that’s almost enough … Continue reading

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For better or worse? The impact of the railways upon Berkshire, by Richard Marks

On the 30th March 1840, Reading would change forever. The Great Western Railway (GWR) had arrived. The original station opened as a temporary terminus on Brunel’s main line to Bristol followed quickly by the completion of the line throughout, a … Continue reading

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“Deference or drudgery? The census, community, and Berkshire servant life”, by Peter Jolly for Local and Community History Month

Undertaking a demographic study of Berkshire domestic service has opened my eyes to how distinctive and varied were communities within the historic county at the turn of the twentieth century. Given the impossibility of analysing all 15,000 county female servants, I … Continue reading

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