History of the Lions Club of Reading

As far back as 1950 the first Lions Club in the United Kingdom was formed - The London (Host) Club. This was through the initiative of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, following her experience of the voluntary work carried out by Canadian Lions for children in London made homeless by the blitz (2nd World War). The Canadian Lions consisted of soldiers temporarily based in London at the time who were very concerned at the post-war conditions that the children of the blitz were living in and decided to help out with food and shelter. The late Queen Mother heard of this work and sent a representative to Canada to find out more about these Lions. The late Queen Mother then encouraged the formation of the very first Lions Club in the UK. In the 60 years since then some 900 Clubs have been formed throughout the British Isles and Ireland with approximately 18,000 members. 

The Lions Club of Reading was formed in 1965 by the Lions Club of Windsor. We have one Charter member who is still a member today. We currently have 33 members, one Honorary member (the Mayor of Reading) and two Affiliate members. We have several members with over 25 years service. Our first lady President took office in 2007. There are other Reading Lions Clubs in Kansas, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, all in the USA.

The Lions Club of Reading has been instrumental in forming the following Lions Clubs: Oxford and Witney Club (1969), Newbury Club (1970), Henley on Thames Club (1971), Pangbourne, Theale and District Club (1972), and Woodley & Earley Club (1980).

We now have charitable status: Registered Charity no: 1126848

Important Club contacts:

Community Service: communityservice@readinglions.org.uk

Fundraising: fundraising@readinglions.org.uk

Club Secretary:   secretary@readinglions.org.uk

Club President:   president@readinglions.org.uk

Marketing & Publicity  marketingandpublicity@readinglions.org.uk


Brief History of Reading, Berkshire

reading churchReading is the county town of Royal Berkshire, situated in the heart of the Thames Valley, with the Rivers Kennet and Thames running through the town. Approximately half way between London and Oxford, Reading is a vibrant university town, with an interesting history and plenty of modern facilities. Henry I founded an Abbey here in 1121 for 100 monks, it was consecrated in 1164 by Thomas a Becket, and became one of the important religious and political centres in England. 

forburyNext to the Abbey ruins is Reading prison, whose famous inmate Oscar Wilde wrote his epic poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" during his internment here. Of architectural interest are its ruined Abbey, three medieval Churches, Georgian buildings in London Street, a gothic Town Hall, splendid old coaching inns, new hi-tech offices and shopping centres.

Oracle Shopping Centre ReadingReading was known for its production of beer from Simonds brewery; biscuits from Huntley & Palmers, and seeds from Suttons. Sadly these industries have closed, or moved away leaving one brewery on the edge of the town. Reading is known today for hi-tech industry and financial services, which are based in and near the town, with employers such as Microsoft, Oracle, Prudential and Foster Wheeler. Reading University is a leader in cybernetics and food science. Over ten thousand students, including many international post-graduate students attend the University.

The Museum of Reading in the Town Hall, tells the story of life in Reading from Anglo Saxon times to the present day.  

The population of the Borough of Reading is approximately 150,000.