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Home > Berkshire > Reading > The Dreadnought

The Dreadnought

Picture source: Sue McArdle

The Dreadnought was situated on the bank of the River Thames. This pub is now in residential use.
My father, Cecil Cole was the publican of this pub in 1937 . As a small child I lived in the pub for a few years.
John Cole (May 2014)
I was at Reading University from 1951 to 1954 and was an active member of the Reading University Sailing Club.(RUSC) which operated from a boathouse next door to the pub. The pub was still open then but closed in 1952. It was abandoned and became vandalised but was bought by Reading university in 1954 and a river studies laboratory was erected in the garden behind the pub. After the purchase the University appointed caretakers who lived upstairs. where there was also an office for the professor. The ground floor became the RUSC clubhouse and was much improved over the years. It was the clubhouse for RUSC until some time in the 1990s .
I have been writing an account of the RUSC’s “Dreadnought Days” but am still in want of information regarding the time when RUSC finally left the Dreadnought. I think this was about 1996 when they moved to Burghfield Sailing club but no one in the University or the RUSC has any knowledge going back 30 years. It has variously been reported as bring a private house, a potential tea-room or the headquarters of the Reading University Boat Club, untrue but probably confusing rowing with sailing. I have recently been told it is still owned by the University but becoming derelict
Laurence Jones (July 2018)
I was president of the reading canoe club when reading announced that they were demolishing the 2 sheds upstream due to asbestos and the woodworm gave up holding hands. The university went into partnership with Thames Valley park and the canoe club are now based out of there. I lived above the bar for 2 glorious years post graduation whilst being 'caretaker' of the building. It was the focal point of my uni life. However once the new building downstream was open its days were numbered and it was mothballed, due to costs. There had been a fair amount of 'settling' due to the rail line. The upstairs rooms all slope away from the stair case. Most doors have sections cut off the base and added to the top.
Paul Beswetherick (October 2019)

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Name Dates Comments
Joanna Dickinson 1972 - 1986 I was very lucky to live here at The Dreadnought for 14years with my family. Great times and memories at this fantastic house/pub. Fabulous Summer outdoor barbeques for Reading University Students with the superb Hog Roast which, in those days, was a real treat!! Beautiful plums, rhubarb, gooseberries and strawberries all within an arms reach in the garden.
Gillian Otton Clark 1942 Born in this wonderful place .Enjoyed a magical childhood there .Enjoyed the plums in the lovely garden with my brother Peter. The Regatta was a special time huge tents went up and Mum and Dad were very busy in the pub.I left when I was 11 and moved into a Newsagents in Great knollys Street.Electricity flushing toilet,different world.My heart is still by the river and always will be .Happy ,happy days .