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Published on January 23rd, 2018 | by Niall Norbury

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Goodbye, for now

A few months after first launching Alt Reading, I realised I knew almost nothing about the town. I didn’t know that Henry I might be buried underneath Reading Abbey and barely knew the sheer range of events and activities happening on any given week in the town. Even today I am constantly discovering new bands, events, shops and facts that I never knew about Reading.

Alt Reading has been an incredible journey for me, a journey which for the foreseeable future has come to its end. In recent months, the website has been very quiet and our top 5 things to do feature has become more infrequent — I have decided to step back, not only so that I am able to work on other ideas and projects, but also so that others can continue to celebrate the best and truly unique things about Reading.

The website first launched on 27 January 2014 and in the first day we had more than 600 visitors. Four years later and over one million people have visited Alt Reading and hopefully discovered something new about the town.

I started Alt Reading with the aim of putting a spotlight on Reading’s independent businesses, arts, music, culture and history. As Editor I have had the privilege to so many positive things to come out of Reading over the past few years whether it is seeing a couple turn their passion for food into a bakery, watching a crowd astounded by the sight of a giant walking down Broad Street or seeing thousands of people come together to save a vital arts centre. There are still so many more stories to tell and I can’t wait to see what stories will emerge in the future.

Some people say that Reading feels soulless or lacks character: that is lacks the charms of a small town and doesn’t compare to large cities like Oxford or London. For me, what I love most about Reading is how it combines the best of both worlds: it has the sense of community and closeness you will find in a town, but the energy and culture of a city.

You don’t need Alt Reading to find out what the top things to do in Reading this weekend are — just step outside and you will be surprised by what you will discover.

If you would like to help continue Alt Reading then get in touch.


About the Author

is the Editor and Creator of Alt Reading. He works in the voluntary sector supporting charities and community groups in Reading.



  • Richard Bennett

    Niall . Whilst I do not dip in often I think you have done a great job getting this going and making it successful. You aided us with the Trooper Potts VC. It is difficult to keep the pace going and so I am sure you are right in seeking someone else with ideas to carry it to the next stage. Taking it over is not me – retiring seems to result in being busier that work… without the cash and it needs someone young and connected! Good luck in finding someone to take it on.

  • All hail Paul King

    With Niall & Alt Reading out of the way, it leaves Paul King & This is Reading at the top of the Reading media baron food chain. Finally taking his rightful place on the iron throne.
    All hail Paul King!

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