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Loddon Lily statue by Sainsburys near Winnersh crossroads
Winnersh shown within Berkshire
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|EU Parliament||South East England|
The village is located around 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of the town of Wokingham and around 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Reading, and is roughly bounded by the M4 motorway to the south, the A329(M) motorway to the north, and the River Loddon to the west. The parish extends beyond the M4 to cover the estate village of Sindlesham.
Winnersh was largely developed during the railway age. The South Eastern Railway built the North Downs Line in 1849, but the station now known as Winnersh was not opened until 1910, and was originally named "Sindlesham and Hurst Halt", so clearly Winnersh as a village did not exist in the form that it is today (the station is fairly central in the current village). The station was renamed Winnersh Halt in 1930.
Housing and then light industry followed the railway, and now Winnersh has two stations, Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle, the latter also being the name of the industrial estate that it serves. Modern Winnersh exists mostly as a sleeper town. Relentless housing development on all sides will soon see Winnersh exist as part of an urban continuum between Reading and London.
Today the centre of the area is best known by the "Winnersh cross-roads", the junction of the A329, the Wokingham to Reading road, and the B3030 (King Street Lane towards Sindlesham, Robin Hood Lane towards Hurst).
The name "Winnersh" comes from the Old English word 'Winn' meaning meadow or pasture and 'ersc'(or earsh) meaning stubble field or park. This implies that Winnersh consisted of cultivated areas of land centuries ago. It has been mentioned in documents since the late 12th century as a description of the area. Winnersh was originally one of the four 'Liberties' of the parish of Hurst.
Winnersh is situated on the main road between Reading and Wokingham, and also on the railway line between Reading and London Waterloo. The train station was recently lengthened to accommodate full sized trains on this service. There is also one train service which goes to Gatwick Airport to allow Forest School pupils who live in Crowthorne or Sandhurst to return home without the need to change at Wokingham Station
In 2004 the main Sainsbury's superstore, which stands at the Winnersh crossroads, was expanded – almost doubling in size. It is one of the biggest superstores in the area.
The Reading Showcase Cinema multiplex is just inside the Western edge of Winnersh. It is particularly noted for being built on a flood plain for the river Loddon, but the building is raised to a sufficient level as to be unaffected.
The Forest School is in Winnersh and was relocated there in 1957. Many of the boys come from the large catchment area to attend the school.
Winnersh has only one pub, The Pheasant situated at Winnersh crossroads, opposite Edmunds Tyres & Exhausts. The Pheasant also has a hotel annex which serves a number of businesses on Winnersh Triangle industrial estate.
The 2001 census recorded 7,939 people living in 2,953 households in the parish. Of these homes, 2,444 were Owner Occupied, 290 were Social Rented homes, 195 were Privately Rented and 24 homes were Rent Free. Below are some other facts the census data revealed about Winnersh:
7,431 people live in an unshared house or bungalow, 238 people live in flats or maisonettes, 182 live in caravans or other temporary structures.
The 2001 census also recorded the following ethnic breakdown: White 94.19%, Asian 3.22%, Mixed 1.04%, Black 0.58%, Chinese 0.37%, Other 0.58%
The religious breakdown in 2001 was as follows: 5,716 Christian, 32 Buddhist, 77 Hindu, 17 Jewish, 84 Muslim, 99 Sikh, 38 Other Religion, 1,397 No Religion, 479 Religion not stated.
There were 5,842 people of employable age (between 16 and 74) in Winnersh, of whom 4,339 were in employment. Of people who were not working 588 people were retired, 371 people were looking after their families, 200 people were full-time students, 120 people were sick or disabled and only 103 people were unemployed.
In the media
- Golden Globe-winning BBC sitcom The Office namechecks Winnersh when Ricky Gervais as David Brent muses on his future: "My world does not end with these four walls. Slough's a big place, and when I'm finished with Slough, there's Reading, Aldershot, Bracknell, you know, I've got – Didcot, Yateley. You know. My – Winnersh, Taplow. And because I am my own boss, I can.. Burghfield."
- British History Online – Hurst Parish
- Elisabeth Lister talks about life in Winnersh on the BBC's WW2 People's War website
- Winnersh Census Data at the Office for National Statistics
- FirstGroup – Bus Timetable for Winnersh (line 190)
- Article on Winnersh Meadows
Media related to Winnersh at Wikimedia Commons