Saturday, 7 September 2013

in Reading Gaol by Reading town

picture: BBC

well, you probably know the rest. Oscar the beautiful genius was there. The gaol, a young offenders' institution since 1992, is to be closed, one of four in the UK to cease to be used as part of the prison system. What will happen to it is another matter. It is a nineteenth-century building in the centre of the town, unlike most prisons, close to the railway station and next to parkland which houses the ruins of Reading Abbey. You can see part of the ruins in the picture. Also pictured is part of an outdoor art installation, which was erected between the prison wall and the River Kennet in 2000. The Oscar Wilde Society and many others were enthusiastic about it, but Reading council was not. It tried to pull out of the project, but too late. The then leader of the council, David Sutton, publicly sneered at Oscar Wilde enthusiasists at the opening, at which I was present. The council turned its back on what is probably the greatest piece of international heritage Reading has. How should it be remembered, preserved, commemorated, now?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

By mummifying Martin Salter.

He looks like a reicarnation of Oscar Wilde, minus the hat and cloaks etc ( although who is to say how Mr S dresses when in the privacy of his personal closet?).

I think that Oscar should be exhumed for a DNA test with Salter. I am sure that there is a biological connection. Mrs Wilde might not be the ONLY lady to have enjoyed Wilde's favours. Remember, Camilla Parker Bowles is related to Alice Keppel... What a wonderful memorial to Oscar a mummified Salter would be.