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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Doors open on 2m museum makeover
The museum's gypsy caravan
The gypsy caravan is one of the museum's main attractions
The doors have opened on a riverside museum in Berkshire that has undergone a controversial 2m redevelopment.

Blake's Lock Museum in Reading has been rebranded as the Riverside Museum, which will focus on the town's main waterways, the Kennet and Thames.

The four-year revamp has been backed by the Bel and The Dragon restaurant, which took over the main building of the museum while that was rehoused. Council bosses say that working with the restaurant was the right approach.

Sewage turbines

Reading Borough Council's cultural services chief councillor Jon Hartley said: "The benefits of our originally controversial move to work with a private partner to redevelop Blake's Lock are now clear to all - we have a wonderful new museum which celebrates the importance of Reading's rivers and a smart new restaurant overlooking the Kennet.

"This project has breathed new life into the area and I hope that people in Reading will now enjoy food, drink and culture on the same site."

The museum is now housed in two former industrial buildings.

The Screen House displays a gypsy caravan made on the banks of the Kennet and a medieval mill wheel found when the Oracle shopping centre was built.

The Turbine House spans the Kennet itself and boasts the turbines that once pumped Reading's sewage.




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