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Reading FC say 'cheese' in the town centre

Part of the town was sealed off as the first team squad and officials had their annual team picture taken.

Last year the club chose the Forbury Gardens for their photo shoot, but this time around they descended on the Town Hall in Blagrave Street.

 

The architectural centrepiece in the town consists of four buildings built in the 18th and 19th centuries – the oldest building being the Victoria Hall designed by Charles Poulton in 1786. However, a new council chamber and the clock tower was designed by Alfred Waterhouse and it opened in 1876 – five years after the birth of Reading Football Club!

 



Reading Town Hall survived an air raid in 1943, which heavily damaged the southern end of the building, and then escaped the threat of demolition in the 1970s.

 

A Royals link is provided in the finer details of building’s façade; in a stone niche in the Town Hall’s gable, a marble statue of Queen Victoria was commissioned by William Isaac Palmer - a founding partner of Reading’s world famous biscuit company Huntley & Palmers.

 

And, of course, a large statue of Queen Victoria also oversaw the first team photo this afternoon – the statue, sculpted George Blackall Simonds (who was also responsible for the Maiwand Lion which formed the focal point in last season’s official photoshoot), was erected in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. 

 

 

It’s not the first time that blue and white hoops have flocked to the Town Hall – who could forget some of the incredible images of thousands of Royals supporters lining Blagrave Street and flooding the square in celebration of the club's first ever promotion to the Premier League back in 2006.

 



Today, all of the first team stars mixed with the local community on an enjoyable afternoon in the centre of Reading.

 

Supporters took snaps in the background and after the shoot had finished the players posed for selfies with supporters young and old, as the centre of town was brought to a temporary halt by a buzz created by the arrival of Reading Football Club in town. 

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