About us

The Reading Gaol Hug is being organised by the Reading Gaol Hug Society. The Society aims to promote the campaign to preserve Reading Gaol for the benefit of the town as a cultural hub.

The Reading Gaol Hug Society committee consist of the following four founding members. 

Linda Saul (Chair)

Born on the Isle of Wight, Linda has lived in the Reading area for about 35 years. Following a successful career in IT she has recently become a full time artist. Her artistic practice focuses mostly on the built environment. She recently co-curated a highly successful exhibition at the Riverside Museum in Reading inspired by Oscar Wilde’s famous “The ballad of Reading Gaol”.

Richard Bennett

Richard is from Middlesbrough and has lived in Reading since 1986.  

He is chair of Reading Civic Society, Vice Chair of Reading’s Conservation Area Advisory Committee, Hon Sec of the Watlington House Trust and a member of Civic Voice’s Regional Forum.  Involved in the Trooper Potts VC Memorial Trust from 2010 he became chair in 2013 and led the team to raise £177,000. The memorial to Reading’s VC winner and the men of the Berkshire Yeomanry was unveiled in 2015.

He continues to work with Reading College and the Berkshire Yeomanry Museum delivering educational events at local schools and groups.  He has organised several Heritage Open Days events.  A house guide at Stratfield Saye, he delivers presentations about the Iron Duke and his country house in Hampshire.

He has worked for organisations including Whitbread & Co (Brewing), British Rail – InterCity – and the Ministry of Defence.  A qualified accountant, he worked in finance and project and change management.  As Head of the HR Business Partner for the RAF Air Command HQ, he lead a major change programme managing the impact on staff of closing several RAF Stations across the UK.  In the 2012 & the 2013 Queens Birthday Honours he was awarded a 2* Commendation for his, and his team’s, work.

Terry Dixon

Terry was born in Reading where he has lived all his life. Aged 18 he joined Reading 18 Plus, an activities group with 100s of groups around the UK undertaking committee roles related to Activities, Publicity and Chairman. He held the post of National Publicity & Development Officer on the Regional and National Executive Committee gaining invaluable management skills. Terry completed a local apprenticeship as an Electronics Engineer, and worked as a project manager throughout his career managing major defence related initiatives. Shortly after retiring he set up Terry’s Reading Walkabouts (guided walks) to engage more people in Reading’s wonderful Culture & History. This has grown exponentially, and he has taken out well over 1,200 residents and visitors, generating over £6,000 for mainly local charities.

Richard Stainthorp

Richard was born in Preston, Lancashire but has resided in Reading for over forty years. He was a Reading Borough Councilor from 1990 to 2010 (Battle Ward and Katesgrove Ward) and Mayor for the municipal year 2003-2004. Since standing down as a councillor he has continued to be active in the arts, heritage, planning and education. He is an active member of many local organisations and currently Chair of OpenHand OpenSpace (artists studios and gallery) and Treasurer of the Friends of Reading Museum and the Reading Governance Association.

Our Constitution

Constitution