Category Archives: News

BAS Events Cancelled

Berkshire Archaeological Society Events – March to September 2020

BAS Council members have been following and discussing the developing Covid-19 situation regarding forthcoming events.  Over the past few days there has been a flurry of emails and phone conversations between BAS Council members, lecture season speakers and visit leaders as we have tried to determine which forthcoming events to cancel and which to proceed with.  The final decisions were due to have been taken at the end of a working group meeting scheduled to be held in my flat this morning.  However, with the announcement made by the Prime Minister yesterday evening that all social gatherings and unnecessary travel are to cease with immediate effect we have been completely overtaken by events.  

We have, therefore, now cancelled all BAS events until September but Study Group, Council and Working Group meetings during this time will proceed on Skype.

For clarity:

BAS Council Meeting21st March On Skype
BAS Lecture21st March Cancelled
BAS Day School28th March Cancelled
BAS Study Group1st April On Skype
Avebury Visit3rd April Cancelled
BAS Lecture18th April Cancelled
Blount’s Court Excavations27th April – 7th MayCancelled
BAS Council Meeting20th June On Skype
East Reading Festival21st JuneCancelled
Silchester Visit28th JuneCancelled
Shaw House Summer Fair19th JulyCancelled

Members attending meetings on Skype will be advised of meeting joining instructions beforehand. Please note that dates of such may change from those given above. 

Neighbouring organisations have also cancelled events:

March to Reading Gaol, Saturday 21st March – cancelled

Archaeology in Marlow, Thursday 26th March – cancelled

Rest assured that during this time Council members will be working on events to be held in late 2020 and in 2021.  

We hope to see you all safe and well in September. 

from Julie Worsfold, BAS Lectures and Day School Organiser & Chair Communications Working Group 17/3/20

Image (think of it as geofizz!): This scanning electron microscope image shows COVID-19 virus (yellow), also known as 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV-2, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (pink) cultured in the lab. Image credit: NIAID-RML / CC BY 2.0.


Reading Borough Council has submitted a bid to the Ministry of Justice to purchase the goal.

BAS Council have agreed to support the campaign and have written to the relevant authorities

Theatre & Arts Reading (TAR) chairman, Melvin Benn issued this statement:

We are pleased the council has passed this resolution.

However,  our position has not changed – TAR will not bid against the council. What we have done is pass on our bid brochure to the council which may help  its bid. This is full of information about how we would have turned the site into an arts hub, complete with a pop-up theatre, other performance space, museums, a hotel, digital hub, creative hub and more.

We have also included our list of supporters – from  community members to businesses, organisations to official bodies – which TAR has built up over many years campaigning for a new arts hub in Reading, as well as official statements of support from the Arts Council and the University of Reading.

We hope the council is successful in its bid to the MoJ – and we will continue to help in any way we can.

Matt Rodda MP is calling for Reading Gaol to be saved and turned into an arts hub and museum – to commemorate Oscar Wilde and other important historic events. The Prison is a very important part of Reading’s history. It is believed to also contain the burial place of King Henry I , who established Reading Abbey and it also has a number of other historic links.

The Gaol is under threat of being turned into luxury flats after the Ministry of Justice announced it would sell the site to the highest bidder. Matt said “I am working with a wide range of other local people and organisations and I hope that together we can press for a change of Government policy”.

A recent issue of British Archaeology contains a long article detailing the latest archaeological research into Reading Abbey. It also includes articles bemoaning the Ministry of Justice refusal to publish recent MOLA investigations and a call for a properly resourced public research project.

Meanwhile you can sign the petition here