This is the most recent part of the website to be developed. In it we are bringing together information about the development of Spencers Wood and neighbouring villages and the impact of events beyond the village on the lives of our communities.
Until the middle of the Nineteenth Century Spencers Wood was one of several, small settlements straddling the main road from Reading to Basingstoke and, beyond that, Portsmouth. In the last half of the Nineteenth Century the village began to grow with the development of its first pub, the Red Lion and the development of a number of new trades. At the turn of the Twentieth Century newly prosperous professionals and trades people had begun to move out from Reading to settle in the village. This was when St.Michael’s Church and the Library, originally the local school, were built. Nevertheless, the village was still largely rural, its economy
based on agriculture and market gardening. It wasn’t until after the Second World War that the village was connected to mains services. Since then the Village has grown with waves of further development in the 1960s and 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and more recent development from 2015 onwards.
Much of the research undertaken by the Group has been to record and document the growth of the Village over time and the loss of fields, farms and market gardens to housing and other development. A number of contributions from members of the Group, most first published in the Loddon Reach magazine, are drawn together on these pages.
The first four pages are now available: The Village in War Time, containing accounts of the impact of the Great War and Second World War on the village including the evacuation of children from London to the village in 1939; Settlement and landscape, documenting changes in the landscape and the rivers and lanes that run through it. Farms and Farming includes a selection of pieces about changes in farming and land use and the final page, Leisure and Recreation contains information about sport and other recreation and leisure pursuits.