THE LAST wedding in Yeomanry House took place today, Tuesday 20th November, 11 days before the building closes its doors in anticipation of the Register Office’s move in early December.
Robert Bishowkarma and Barsha Rasaily, both living in Reading and originally from Nepal, are poignantly the last couple to tie the knot at the beautiful Grade II building, which has seen thousands of ceremonies over the years, ranging from weddings and vow renewals, to baby naming ceremonies and citizenship ceremonies.
The Register Office will be operating as normal from its current location at Yeomanry House, on Castle Hill until Friday 30th November, after which it will move to three new locations.
From Tuesday 4th December all birth, death, marriage and nationality enquiries and appointment booking will relocate to Reading Council’s Civic Offices in Bridge Street, offering a significant improvement in accessibility for visitors. All applications for replacement certificates will only be available online at www.reading.gov.uk/life-events
The Register Office’s stunning new ceremony room at Reading Town Hall will host its first marriage on Saturday 8th December and the first citizenship ceremony will take place on Wednesday 12th December.
The Town Hall and museum provide an attractive, accessible and historic setting with a choice of internal and external backdrops for photographs, including the nearby Forbury Gardens, which is a short walk away.
For the first time, people will have the option to webcast their ceremony – ideal for those with family and friends around the world who cannot make the service.
The Register Office’s Strong Room, which holds all of Reading’s birth, death and marriage records since 1837, will move to a new purpose built building at Henley Road Cemetery.
Cllr Jason Brock, Reading’s Lead Member for Corporate and Consumer Services, said: “I’d like to wish Robert and Barsha, the last couple to get married at Yeomanry House, the best of luck for their future lives together. Yeomanry House has seen thousands of ceremonies in Reading over the years and, as a result, is very special to many families.
“From December, the register office’s move and the new ceremony venue will offer an improved service for residents. As well as better accessibility, the beautiful Town Hall building has stunning architectural features that are full of history, making it the perfect backdrop for a special big day. The close proximity to the Forbury and Abbey Ruins ensures plenty of spectacular photo opportunities for the happy couple and their guests. I’m also delighted we can offer the ability to webcast the service across the globe!
“People can access the register office service from its current location until Friday 30th November. From Tuesday 4th December all enquiries and booking will transfer to the service’s new home at the Civic Offices – which is easier to visit due to its central location and offers improved accessibility.”
Visitors to Reading’s Town Hall and museum will have noticed the exciting transformation work that has been happening this year, including the complete refurbishment of the former 3Bs Café, which is due to open in February 2019.
As well as the re-opening of the 3Bs Café, the big changes completing in 2019 include:
• The upgrade of all toilets by the reception and on the first and second floors;
• The reconfiguration of the reception desk area;
• The completion of the new Story of Reading gallery;
• The creation of a new museum shop;
• The Coroners Court will move into the Victorian gallery – the Victorian schoolroom has already relocated to the newly renovated Abbey Gateway;
• General maintenance and improvements throughout the building.
The work is designed to minimise disruption to visitors and staff as far as possible.
The investment at the town hall links to the wider regeneration of the Abbey Quarter, including the newly re-opened Abbey Ruins and improved information points across the town centre.
Contact details for Reading Registration Service after 4th December:
Telephone: 0118 937 3533
Post: Reading Registration Service,
Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU
Opening Times: 9:00 – 5pm M-F
Background to the changes
The changes are part of the Council’s Asset Management Plan, which details how the Council’s is making the best possible use of its buildings to help reduce running costs and contribute to closing the budget gap by through the sale of buildings, as well as providing a better services to residents: www.reading.gov.uk/media/5706/item11-2/pdf/item11_(2).pdf