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The Rise and Fall of Biscuit Town. The Huntley and Palmers Story

Developing and Redeveloping Huntley & Palmers Biscuit Factory 1800-2000


So what did Biscuits ever do for Reading?  Come to this presentation to find out. 

We are delighted to welcome Joe Doak, former Associate Professor at Reading University's Dept of Real Estate and Planning. He is Vice Chair & Social Media Manager of Dorchester Civic Society.

Joe will present his doctoral research project on the development and redevelopment of the Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory on the Kings Road.

He will cover two hundred years which saw the factory grow from a single building (a redundant silk mill) to become the largest biscuit-making establishment in the world. Starting in 1800, he will examine the complicated process through which George Palmer (and his brothers) assembled the land around the original factory, developed new factory buildings north and south of the River Kennet and selectively redeveloped them during the twentieth century. The final stage of the process saw the factory close in 1976 and be redeveloped for offices, light industrial units, a retail park and social housing. Of course, parts of this area are now being redeveloped once again, which illustrates the point that the process of development and redevelopment never really ends!

Joe, who is undertaking his PhD on a part-time basis during the early stage of his retirement, will draw attention to several components that help explain the process of development and redevelopment.

Further details may be seen on the Eventbrite booking page.