Historic aerial photos of the Hydro site

This aerial photo was taken in August 1928 and shows Caversham Weir and View Island towards the bottom of the image.

A large house can be seen on View Island along with gardens and another smaller property.

On the Reading side of the Thames, what is now Thames Lido is visible in Kings Meadow. This was built in 1902 as the Ladies Swimming Bath; the Men’s Swimming Bath (now demolished) is slightly closer to the town centre and when built in 1879 was the largest pool in the South at 79m x 24m. Reading Bridge was a relatively recent addition, having been built in 1923.

Given the shadow lengths, this October 1955 photo would have been taken in the late afternoon, facing the opposite direction to the earlier photo. Some aspects are very similar – there is still an extensive collection of railway sidings near Reading Station and the two open air pools are still visible. However, the Men’s Pool was disused by this point and the site was sold the following year for development as offices and workshops.

On View Island both structures have been demolished and there is a new footbridge between Hills Meadow and View Island, although this has now gone.

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