History of Reading Society

I am delighted to have been invited to speak at their Annual Meeting at 7.15pm  on April 18th, at the Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading. I will be speaking about ‘The Simonds Family of Reading’ with a focus on the ‘Adventurers and Entrepreneurs’ who helped to set up and lead H&G Simonds Ltd as well as other businesses.  Please ‘contact me’ to let me know you are coming.

Simonds Family Reunion

What A Wonderful Family Reunion!  It seems that a great time was had by all our guests. We have a huge selection of images & videos for you to enjoy and share.  Click HERE for more.

Major new archive added!

We have just loaded a huge new collection of images, generously made available from the H&G Simonds archives by Heineken UK Ltd. There are 250 images of ‘Brewery People’ and many more images of pubs, hotels and even the Coopers in action! There are also some fabulous and unique images of Reading dated about 1899, now on the ‘timeline’. ENJOY!



And thanks for the many and varied contributions through 2017

BBC Radio Berkshire – Simonds & Son Drama – live

We were invited to the exciting Loddon Brewery today by David & Vanessa Hearn, where the BBC conducted interviews and broadcast their dramatisation of the early years of the Simonds story. Listen to the broadcast and see more here:- read more…

Hop Leaf News – Issues now on-line

The Hop Leaf News was published just 13 times quarterly from Winter 1954 – Winter 1961 and following requests from staff for greater coverage than was then provided by the Hop Leaf Gazette. These are now available on-line HERE:   Where they provide a great Social History resource from the period. I have posted all we have – just 5 missing! So please help to find them!

BBC WW1 At Home – Interview

BBC Berkshire produced a series of programs to commemorate WW1  ‘World War One at Home,’ one of which features the recollections of David Simonds. You can listen to him HERE’.

Pub Estate – updated

Following some useful contributions from visitors to the site, I have been able to add more images of old Simonds pubs as well as to identify many of those with missing names or places.  Please keep up the good work and send me any pub images or data you may have!  The updated page is HERE.


Many thanks to all those who have contributed their time, personal archives and enthusiasm to this project.  Without you this site would have nothing like the scope you now find.  I have finally managed to write some acknowledgements and posted them – you can find them in the ‘With thanks to’ tab in the footer.

Hop Leaf Gazettes – Library released!

120 issues of the Brewery in-house magazine, ‘The Hop Leaf Gazette’ have been loaded as flipbooks to ‘bookshelves’ under the ‘Marketing’ tab.  There are many more that I do not have, so I would be very interested to hear from anyone who can help us to ‘fill in the gaps’ so that we can build up a more complete resource here.