Oliver Dixon: A Reading horseman remembered

The Life and Times of Oliver Dixon, by Caroline Piller
Vikenzo Books

In the 1880s a young Irish boy, showing an exceptional talent with horses, was brought over to Reading. He left behind his family at a time of great agricultural hardship to learn a trade and make something of himself.

His determination to succeed he secured for himself a far reaching reputation, with clients coming from across the social spectrum including aristocracy and royalty.

Oliver Dixon was a generous, religious man who supported many communities in Reading. But he also ensured that his family back in County Mayo were well provided for. His business empire at Mockbeggar Farm has now vanished: all that remains are a field, a gate post and a bus stop.

In this book, Oliver’s life (1869–1939) and his business premises are vividly brought to life. Photographs and maps illustrate how a neighbourhood once looked, while anecdotes reveal forgotten lifestyles across Reading and Ireland.

This fascinating biography is enriched with historical facts on the social, economic and political events of the time.