Welcome

Enjoy this little nook of Reading’s heritage with a changing programme celebrating the Turbine House and its environs. Free exhibitions of original art, furniture, science & history and family friendly activities.

Riverside Museum

Saturday 1 April to Saturday 30 September

The Riverside Museum consists of the Screen House and the Turbine House which formed part of the Victorian pumping station built in the mid1800s. They are important remnants of Reading’s industrial past. The Screen House displays objects connecting Reading with its rivers and a gypsy caravan made nearby. The Turbine House spans part of the extensive weir in the River Kennet and is available for local artists and organisations to mount temporary exhibitions during the summer months.

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Children’s trail

Saturday 1 April to Saturday 30 September

Pick up a booklet and explore the history of this quirky site following our Blake’s Lock trail.

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Creative Xpressions – Balance

Saturday 8 April to Monday 17 April

Paul Dane of Gongspace during the exhibition. Watch this little video to get a taste of this innovative use of the great Reading space that is the Turbine House. Remember to switch sound on!


And here’s Lorna in the Turbine-House-as-studio creating a work based on the turbine itself.

Textile, acrylic, glass, watercolour, “light painting”, mixed media, ink drawing and even more. Diversity is the key, not only with the media used by each artist but also within the interpretation of the theme of “Balance”. Artists: Lorna Webber – Merete Hawkins – Nicky Phipard-Shears – Karen Hazel – Mak Leonardi – Chris Broadhurst – Yvonne D’Souza

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Here! Here!

Thursday 4 May to Saturday 13 May

An exhibition of work by ten artists from the Reading area, exploring themes of the here and now in the context of Reading’s industrial history. Don’t miss this double opportunity to see exciting new work by artists from West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios, plus a wonderful historic venue in Reading. The Turbine House is inspiring to artists and visitors because of its situation on the River Kennet, with water rushing past and beneath, and excellent light and views through its many windows. As a former Victorian pumping station, its interior still has interesting relics of its earlier industrial life.

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Against the Grain

Wednesday 17 May to Friday 26 May

The exhibition will be a photographic one telling the story of Against the Grain from inception to current day and how the trainees are being taught traditional skills. It will feature some beautiful spoons and other pieces of furniture which one of our trainees, George, has worked on with one of our volunteers who is a graduate from Rycotewood Furniture College in Oxford. This part of the exhibition will be called ‘From board to spoon’, the two will be working on some new pieces on 19th May between 11 – 2pm where they will be able to talk about their work. The trainees have also worked with a woodturner and coracle maker called Alistair Phillips who will also have some items on display too, his part of the exhibition will be called ‘From tree to table’ and will feature some beautiful wooden bowls and hopefully a coracle he has made.

Against the Grain is a recently formed Reading-based charity that trains people in upcycling furniture. It gives young people a unique opportunity to contribute to a successful business, learn new skills and improve their employability.

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Photo of wooden spoons (c)Elliot Hamer

Make Eton Mess

Monday 29 May to Wednesday 31 MayClick for more info

Park by the River

Monday 29 May to Sunday 11 June

An exhibition of handmade artist prints using a variety of techniques inspired by sketching and photographic sessions around the Turbine House on the River Kennet. It will include an ‘I-spy’ activity for children during half term and opportunities for visitors to talk to practising printmakers. All work in the exhibition will be for sale.

Macmillan Thames Canoe Challenge

Saturday 3 JuneClick for more info

Water Fest – Exhibition & Jazz

Saturday 10 June

Look out for extra interesting things to do on site during Reading’s Water Fest – an exhibition of historic photos and jazz.

The Engine Room

Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July

Art exhibition from The Engine Room

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Floating Rivers of Reading

Sunday 2 July

Reading is built on water, water we can see and water we can’t. Over the weekend, festival artists will start drawing the hidden waterways on the ground through the town connecting them.

Join us for a free walk as part of an immersive art experience, following the traces of the river across the town. Each participant carrying a balloon, stopping in locations to be photographed marking the flow of the Thames. En route, Berzerk young performers will be exploring the stories of ‘The Wind In The Willows’

Sunday 2 July, 2.30 – 4.15pm Meet at Gas Works Road Bridge, stopping at various points en route, finally stopping on Broad Street

More info and booking

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Open Air Art Challenge Across the Bridge

Sunday 2 July

Courtesy of Bel and the Dragon Restaurant, the Gas Works Road bridge will be the venue for this year’s Challenge, part of Jelly’s annual Open for Art Festival.

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Brighter Berkshire

Saturday 5 August to Sunday 13 August

Art, photography and great mental wellness.

DING by STASH

Thursday 24 August to Monday 28 August

‘DING’ is the first exhibition to be presented by STASH, a Reading-based art collective, which is bringing together local artists to exhibit a wide range of work in established and new spaces. Everyone is welcome to join us at the Turbine House for the private view on
Thursday 24 August, 7pm – 9pm.

Thursday 24 August – Monday 28 August. 10am – 6pm

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All of a Twist

Saturday 2 September to Friday 15 September

Inspired by its Victorian Turbine House, an exhibition exploring the science and technology of twisty-turny stuff in, on, above and beside Reading’s rivers. Thermals, eddies, tornadoes, waterwheels, millstones, spirogyra, DNA, twisting plants, spinning and turbines have all affected Reading, its river dwellers, monks and red-kites one way or another.

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Jelly Tots All of a Twist

Thursday 7 September to Friday 8 September

Join Jelly Tots for a morning of crafts at the Turbine House 10am to 12pm to celebrate Reading’s unique and unusual spaces for Heritage Open Days. Using the exhibits on display in the ‘All of a Twist’ exhibition we will be using words such as ‘spirals’, ‘twists’ and ‘thermals’ as inspiration to make colourful ‘Wind Spinners’. This is a free event supported by RG Spaces for Heritage Open Days. It would help with arrangements if you booked through Jelly on their Eventbrite site. Thanks.

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Around the World in 80 Washing Lines

Saturday 16 September to Saturday 30 September

A social art project pegging us together, around the world, irrespective of who, what or where we are.

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Bel & the Dragon

Sunday 1 January to Sunday 31 December

Part of the Blake’s Lock Pumping Station site is occupied by Bel & the Dragon Restaurant. The building still has some of the heavy lifting gear from when it was used to maintain vehicles. It also has a fun collection of cartoons of famous Reading personalities. The Majestic Bel is moored alongside and there are additional moorings for temporary visitors who arrive by river. The restaurant offers day long refreshments, from a simple cup of coffee to full dining.

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The TurboCharged Project

Saturday 1 April to Saturday 30 September

The TurboCharged Project aims to help this little nook of local heritage become better known by supporting organisations which would like to run exhibitions and activities there.

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