Your experiences

What was it like for you?

Perhaps you've been inspired by what you've read and heard. Maybe your experience of coming to settle in Reading has been similar or very different.

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Your experiences

I am British-Canadian, having been born in Manchester in 1973, but growing up in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada, between 1974 and 1986. I returned to Britain to complete my secondary education and attend university, living in Houghton Regis, Preston and Manchester before moving to Reading in 1997 to undertake a doctorate. My intention, on coming to Reading, was to complete my PhD before embarking upon a career as an academic historian, in Reading or elsewhere. However, I have been unable to find employment in that area, so in 2002 I took retail work, joining Waterstone's Booksellers and making a home in Reading with my Italian partner, Barbara, whom I met through the university. Since settling in Reading, I have developed an interest in local affairs and local history, most recently writing entries on Reading socialists, Phoebe Cusden and Lorenzo Quelch for the 'Dictionary of Labour Biography' (scheduled to be published in 2007). I enjoy activism in local historical and cultural organisations, being a member of the Reading Civic Society, a Friend of Reading Museum, and hoping to join the Reading Local History Trust in February 2007. For a town of its size, Reading lacks a diversity of cultural amenities and while I would like to see more pride taken in the town by local people, I find that working through its local cultural agencies is personally fulfulling and perhaps a way to bring more interest in the town's past, present and future to the people who live and work here, or who simply pass through.

Dr John S. Partington, 27 January 2007

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