Museum of Reading exhibition of sporting heritageBy Sally Bryant
May 11, 2012
An energetic fun day is being held on Saturday to launch a tribute to Reading’s sporting past.
Bikes, Balls and Biscuitmen is going to be on display at the museum in Blagrave Street until Sunday, October 28, against the backdrop of London 2012.
Saturday’s fun will start with a vintage cycle ride from the town hall square at 11am. There will then be something for everyone until 3pm to make sure the display gets off the blocks in true sporting style.
Madejski Performance Centre and the Kingfisher Table Tennis Club will be in the town hall, serving up demonstrations and encouraging people to join in.
There will be sports-related art and craft activities for all the family, including making a banner to celebrate Reading’s promotion to the Premier League. And Reading mascot Kingsley Royal will be there to make sure the day is a roaring success.
Visitors will discover the town has set a steady record of triumphs over the years.
In the spotlight will be Reading’s part in the London Olympic torch relay in 1948, Anne Packer surging to Olympic gold in 1964, cheering on the Royals at Madejski Stadium and a squad of medals and trophies.
The exhibition celebrates the achievements of local sporting lives through stories, objects and photographs. It covers all kinds of sports – swimming, running, cycling, motorsports, martial arts, snooker, hockey and of course football, rugby and cricket.
And even sports aficionados may learn a thing or two, like the first triathlon took place in Reading or there was a cycle race on the IDR before it opened.
Highlights on display include a 1948 Olympic torch and one of the last go-karts made by Barlotti in the town.
Bikes, Balls and Biscuitmen will be running side by side with a display on rural sports at the Museum of English Rural Life, now in the development stage.