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“Reading Nats” members in the 1880s

The Reading and District Natural History Society has been in existence since 1881, when it was formed by a group of like-minded enthusiast to promote the study of the natural history of the Reading area.

The photograph (above) is one of the first photographs taken of the society’s members meeting on a field trip to Pamber Forest in 1880, shortly before the society’s formation. The gentleman in the bowler hat (fourth from the left) is Joseph Stevens, first honorary curator of Reading Museum and first President of the new society.

In the early years the society met in the gallery rooms of the Reading museum. But when this was closed for refurbishment in the 1990s the society moved first to the town library, and then to the halls of the Baptist Chapel next door. The society then moved from the town centre to escape the congestion and parking problems and relocated to the village hall in Pangbourne for its meetings (click here for a map).

Many thanks to Reading Museum for allowing us to use the photograph, and for their support over the many years of the society’s existence.

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