Meeting dates 2023

Meetings are held at The Barn, Goosecroft, Purley on Thames RG8 8DR

Friday 20th January, 7:30 pm.  Mike Cooper: Tilehurst in the Second World War

Friday 17th February, 7:30 pm.  Richard Marks: The History of Sutton Seeds of Reading

Friday 17th March, 7:30 pm.  AGM followed by John Chapman: Getting to Know You: how Purley people communicated with the rest of the world

Friday 21st April, 7:30 pm.  Catherine Sampson: The River Estate in Images

May.  Summer Outing TBC, advance booking will be required.

Friday 16th June, 7:00 pm.  Rain or Shine Theatre Company:  The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare.  Tickets will be available to purchase from David Downs, details to be announced nearer to the event.  Proceeds will go to local good causes.

June and July.  Outing/Social TBC, advance booking will be required.


Christmas Party in the Barn 2022

The Project Purley Christmas Party will be held on Friday 16th December at 7:30 pm in the Barn.  

There will be a hot supper and a Christmas Quiz.  A professional caterer will supply a choice of three different main courses – two curries and one non-curry, and you can pre-order your preference.  There will be a small charge to cover the cost of the catering.  Before, during and after the food there will be a table quiz, which this year will have a distinctive Purley theme.

Pre-booking is required.

Rain or Shine: Sherlock Holmes and the Music Hall Mystery

Rain or Shine will be back in in the Barn in Purley on Friday 2nd December!

Sherlock Holmes and the Music Hall Mystery

When Sherlock Holmes and his trusty assistant Doctor Watson are asked for help by a music hall performer in distress, the pair spring into action to foil a deeply dastardly plot of national importance that rocks London to the core!

Following on from their previous Sherlock Holmes mysteries – The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Case of Jekyll and Hyde, Rain or Shine Theatre invites you to enjoy an evening of adventure, mishaps, tomfoolery, and lashings of comedy!

Tickets are £12 adult and £8 child (under 15), available from David Downs at a Project Purley meeting or 0118 942 4167, or from the Rain or Shine website or from their box office ticket line on 03306 600541 (card payments).





Purley on Thames tour and tea 1st July 2022

St Mary’s Church, Purley on Thames – tour of the church, churchyard and hinterland
Friday 1st July – 2pm
open to members and their guests
The tour will take about an hour and a half and will include a visit to the Marina next to the church. It will be split into two parts – inside the Church and the churchyard/Marina area.
After the tour we will enjoy a cream tea in the church hall.


Afternoon Tea and Fashion Show

Friday 3rd June 10am – 12 noon


Delicate sandwiches and delicious cakes, amidst a parade of fashions from the seventy years of the Queen’s reign, courtesy of Project Purley – Purley on Thames’ local history society

3 – 5pm (doors open 2.30pm)
The Barn, Goosecroft, off Beech Road, Purley, RG8 8BW (disabled access and toilets, Inductive Looped hearing system)
Tickets £12 (includes afternoon tea) from Marjorie on 0118 941 8856
Pre-booking required

An afternoon of delicious nibbles, relaxing conversation and laughter, and glamourous and distinctive fashion. The Queen’s reign has seen an enormous array of fashion trends from the nipped-in waists of the early 50s, through the mini-skirts of the 60s, and flares and shoulder pads of the 70s and 80s. We celebrate them all and their designers and enjoy a nostalgic look back at the changing trends. Early booking recommended as there is limited seating.

Purley during the Queen’s Reign Exhibition

Thursday 2nd June 10am – 5pm
Friday 3rd June 10am to 12 noon


An exhibition showing how Purley on Thames and the life of its inhabitants has changed during the last seventy years, organised by Project Purley and supported by individuals and organisations including Purley on Thames Women’s Institute, Purley Sustainability Group, Home Farm, Purley on Thames Cricket Club and Purley                                                                        Horticultural Society.

The Barn, Goosecroft, off Beech Road, Purley, RG8 8BW (disabled access and toilets)
Special parking arrangements in place off Goosecroft Lane on the Thursday
No booking required – just turn up

Step back in time to 1952 and discover the changes that Purley and its inhabitants, young and old, have undergone since then – in words, images and objects.

View from New Hill to the Church, 1960s

See how changes in technology, transport and inventions have shaped the lives of the community and how the large scale sale of land has changed the shape of the village.  Discover the changes to our farms, the church, schools, shops, businesses and social and sporting organisations.  Find out how the environment has changed over the last seventy years and how life within both home and garden has altered substantially.
Refreshments are available all day Thursday – so when you’ve spent some time in the exhibition – why not relax afterwards with a cup of tea and slice of cake or a cream tea.

Meeting dates 2022

Meetings back in the Barn

Friday 21st January, 7:30 pm.  Ann Smith: A Virtual Walk round Historic Shops in Reading

Friday 18th February, 7:30 pm.  Catherine Sampson: A Stroll through Berkshire’s Churchyards

Friday 25th February, 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm (ticketed).  Rain or Shine Theatre Company: Around the World in 80 days

Friday 18th March, 7:30 pm.  AGM followed by a talk from David Downs: Who Killed Arthur Oliver

Friday 22nd April, 7:30 pm.  Rob Wallace: The Thames Before Time

Thursday and Friday 2nd & 3rd June.  Exhibition of Purley on Thames during the Queen’s Reign, at the Barn

Friday 3rd June, timing TBC (ticketed).  Afternoon Tea and Vintage Fashion Show

Saturday 16th July, 7:30 pm (ticketed).  Rain or Shine Theatre Company: The Recruiting Officer

Friday 16th September, 7:30 pm.  Catherine Sampson: Royal Weddings

Friday 21st October, 7:30 pm.  Katie Amos: The History of Yeomanry House

Friday 18th November, 7:30 pm.  Jo Alexander-Jones: More than Biscuits, Beer and Bulbs: Reading’s other industries

Friday 2nd December, 7:00 pm (ticketed).  Rain or Shine Theatre Company: Sherlock Holmes and the Music Hall Mystery

Friday 16th December, 7:30 pm.  Christmas Party in the Barn.  Hot buffet and Christmas Quiz  🎄

Rain or Shine February 2022: Around the World in 80 Days

The Rain or Shine performance has been postponed from December to February, due to continuing restrictions in numbers in the Barn.

25th February 2022:  Around the World in 80 Days

There will be two performances: a matinee at 14:30 and an evening performance at 19:00.

Tickets are available direct from the  Rain or Shine website, or their box office line 0330 660 0541.

It’s 1872

The Nightingale has struck again!  The famous art thief has stolen three paintings from museums around London and is now attempting to flee the country for the safety of foreign soil.

At the same time, Phileas Fogg and his new valet Passepartout are attempting to go Around the World in 80 Days in order to win a bet of £20,000.

But is that just a cover story to hide the dastardly escape of The Nightingale?  That’s what Scotland Yard’s finest detective, Chief Inspector Fix, believes and he will stop at nothing to capture our heroes.

Join Rain or Shine Theatre Company for a knock-about adventure full of mishaps, tomfoolery, British stiff upper lip, curious camels and lashings of comedy!

Suitable for audiences from age 6 to 106

Extra meeting (on Zoom) July 17th 2020: Rob Wallace, Chalk Caverns and Commandos

There will be an extra meeting on Friday July 17th, as very few of us are going anywhere at the moment.

The meeting will be on Zoom again.  The Zoom session will open at 2:30 pm, and the meeting will start at 3:00 pm.  Please let Catherine know ( if you want to join the meeting, and she will send out an email with the link to those who have registered an interest.

Rob Wallace will give a talk on Chalk Caverns and Commandos – Reading underground.