the Gladstone club

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Gladstone Club Gladstone clubI’ve always admired the wrought ironwork on the porch of the London road side of the Gladstone club. It’s a grade II listed building.  The listing mentions that in 1887 the house was the home of the recently founded Reading High School.

It’s easy to notice the Gladstone club, without actually noticing it. It’s a substantial building in a significant location facing out onto both  Reading’s London Road and Kings Road. The club is next door to the Abbot Cook pub on the Cemetery junction on the southern edge of Newtown. Newtown is where the Huntley and Palmer factory employees lived.

Once it was a grand building. It’s namesake William Gladstone was a record breaking 4 times (Liberal) Prime Minister of Britain. The link with Huntley and Palmers is more than the proximity of the club to Newtown. The Huntley and Palmer website says:

In 1878 George Palmer became a Member of Parliament for the Liberal party. He was nicknamed the ‘silent member’, although he did make a few contributions to debates. In his maiden speech he supported a bill to grant women the right to vote “

The Acacias (London Rd)George Palmer lived on London Road in “The Acacias” about 500 yards west of the Gladstone club. An easy walk.

Sadly, the Gladstone building now stands empty with a for sale sign on it.  Until 2010 it was a delightful Indian restaurant and wine bar called the “Sardar Palace”.  Now it looks forgotten, overlooked. Grass is moving into the gaps in the forecourt paving.




the Gladstone club
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3 bits of lovely banter on “the Gladstone club”

  1. Tim writes:

    Oh, I remember that place from when I lived (briefly) in Blenheim Road in the late eighties. In fact I think I was dragged in there for a drink once. Was it a Polish club at one time? And we did go to the Sardar once. How sad that it’s gone derelict.
    As a relatively new comer to Reading (25ish years), I am very much enjoying your historical adventures – keep ’em coming! I know several people who would agree, if I could persuade them to explore blogland.



    wendy writes

    Tim, many thanks for the encouragement! I’ll keep snooping around local history…



  2. Kay G. writes:

    I read about Gladstone. Wish we had someone like that in the USA right now.



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