Helping our neighbours

CAVERSHAM GOOD NEIGHBOURS (CGN) is a local charity offering essential transport to the elderly and disabled in the neighbourhood.
It started life in 1965, when the initial motivation came from a local GP, Dr Beale, and a local priest, Rev Derek Eastman. Dr Beale realised some of his patients were having difficulty in attending his surgery, collecting prescriptions and getting to hospital. In his previous parish, Rev Eastman had experienced an innovative scheme to help housebound people.
The proposals for Caversham Good Neighbours were adopted in 1965 by the Caversham Parochial Church Council. They were for an independent voluntary organisation to provide transport for older or disabled people in Caversham to enable them to attend surgeries, clinics or hospitals, and to assist with the collection of prescriptions. Nearly 60 years on, we are still fulfilling this need…Read more

Daffodils,
That come before the
swallow dares, and take
The winds of March
with beauty – William Shakespeare

BY NOW the daffodils and tulips should be in full bloom, with their promise of longer days and warmer weather. Your March Caversham Bridge is another 20- page edition, looking forward to Easter and highlighting some of the people and activities at the heart of our community.
We have a number of articles featuring local groups in need of volunteers to help in their work. Caversham Good Neighbours (above) is appealing for more drivers, and the Read Easy charity (p11) is seeking support for their work helping adults with literacy difficulties. We also look further afield, with a report on local links with The Gambia (p8), the work of the Reading Refugee Support Group (p9), and…Read more

IN THE NEWS – Caversham Bowls Club

THE ALBERT ROAD-based Caversham Bowls Club raise funds for a selected charity each year. In 2023 they chose The Cowshed, a Wokingham-based charity which provides support to people of any background in their time of personal crisis. They help across Berkshire by providing clothing and essentials for free to those in need. The Club raised a total of £920, which was presented to Rebecca Mole of The Cowshed by Leigh Furlonger, President of the Club…Read more

Outstanding Waitrose Caversham!

WAITROSE CAVERSHAM was named ‘The Grocer’ Magazine’s Store of the Week, for the week ending 15 December, thanks to The Grocer 33 mystery shop.
The magazine conducts nationwide mystery shops, comparing supermarkets within a five-mile radius and, for this particular week, Reading and the local area were in the spotlight. Grocer 33, conducting the research, also incorporates shopper profiling and data from a long-standing analytical organisation.
Last year’s major refurbishment in the layout and lighting, the increased food assortment and the much-needed new refrigeration system, all contributed. Branch Manager Wade Lavery and his ever-helpful team can rightly be proud of their branch…Read more

An update from our editors

THIS MONTH we are considering how we could provide a low-cost way for those running paid-for classes in our area to advertise their services. Currently, our What’s On listing contains predominantly information on clubs, concerts and public services. Space is limited and we do not normally include information about the many classes which run locally, such as pilates, chess, dance and Tai Chi. However, we would like to gauge interest in small, low-cost entries in a listing of these activities with a similar format to our What’s On entries.
If you would like to find out more, we would be pleased to hear from you…Read more

For your bookshelf….

Welcome to ‘Fourbears Reviews’ where we briefly review a couple of titles chosen from our book shop ‘Fourbears Books’ in Caversham.

MY FIRST choice this month is a children’s book by Fiona Barker. We absolutely adore Fiona’s books, which are always beautiful and thoughtful. ‘A Swift Return’ is about the delicacy of nature as Aria and Yusuf, two very different children, work together to save a bird which has lost its way. A simple story beautifully illustrated, with the English text accompanied by Arabic text. It helps remind us to look above the streetlights and houses at the wonderful nature all around…Read more

That Little Tent of Blue: Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol

THE NEWS THIS year of the long-awaited sale of Reading’s former jail brings to mind one of its more famous inhabitants, Oscar Wilde, imprisoned between 1895 and 1897. This is his most famous connection with the local area, but not the only one. Only a couple of years earlier, Wilde had spent time in Goring, writing his play An Ideal Husband. Anyone familiar with the local area will find that link obvious from the character list, which includes the Earl of Caversham, Viscount Goring, Lady Chiltern, and the Countess of Basildon, among others – continuing Wilde’s practice of naming characters after locations, as in Lady Windermere’s Fan…Read more

Happy Wanderer searches for THE GOLDEN KEY

AS SO OFTEN happens, when looking for one piece of information or one image, something completely different takes over my attention. Whilst looking for a picture of a building along the Kennet and Avon Canal, I came across this photo of a pub. According to the caption, its location was unknown, but since I’ve been wandering around Caversham for the last 40 years, I knew exactly where it had been taken.
In the past I’d heard the story that the golden…Read more

FROM CAVERSHAM TO THE GAMBIA

Alan and Jane Tuvey of Caversham Heights could not have imagined what would result from a holiday to The Gambia in 2022, and the depth of the connection they have established there, as Alan explains here.
FRIENDS HAD encouraged us to seek out a small church they had found in The Gambia during a visit a few years previously. So we duly contacted the pastor and, on Palm Sunday 2022, joined in a typically lively African-style service at the church.
The pastor told us of the vision of local Christians for the church across their country. They were passionate, he said, about reaching out to the remote communities and villages to the north of the capital, Banjul. One of their key needs was and is access to clean drinking water, as the ‘utility water’ supplied by the authorities is contaminated, causing illnesses among people who drink it…Read more

Cookery book raises £4000 for Military Charities

‘THE KUKRI Kitchen Cook Book’ arose as a result of the many parties and social gatherings shared by local Gurkha ladies and their teachers, most of whom live in Caversham and surrounding areas. We got used to their delicious dishes and, gradually, they got used to ours. Marie Rogers, one of the teachers, suggested a cookery book with a mixture of recipes from Nepal and Caversham might be a good idea. This was greeted with great enthusiasm. It was decided that the book would be published and sold to raise money for the Gurkha Welfare Trust and SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity…Read more

Reading has a proud history of welcoming displaced people…

One of the causes supported by former Mayor of Reading, Bet Tickner, was Reading Refugee Support Group, which works to help refugees rebuild their lives here in Berkshire. We thought it would be opportune to highlight their work this month.

THE READING Refugee Support Group was set up in 1994 following a Refugee Conference organised to look at the problems refugees were facing locally, and to find ways they could be helped. It was formed as a refugee-led organisation with the aim of helping refugees living locally. Reading has a proud history of welcoming displaced people, dating back to 1947, and hosting orphan refugees from Dusseldorf (now Reading’s twinned town in Germany)…Read more

LET’S GET MARCH IN

MARCH HAS to be a favourite month for garden enthusiasts. I am not certain I should call myself a ‘garden enthusiast’ when I have spent most of the winter moaning and groaning about all the rain and the state of my garden… and doing nothing. So now is surely the time to get going…Read more

Easter Fun in the Gardens

COME ALONG to Caversham Court on Saturday 30 March, between 14:00 and 16:00 for an Easter Egg Trail around the gardens. Explore the hidden corners of the gardens as you complete an Easter Egg Quiz on a nature theme, hosted by The Friends of Caversham Court Gardens (FCCG). The gardens should be looking lovely with spring bulbs and early colour in the borders. All young competitors will win an Easter Egg prize or a non-dairy treat. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Entry is free, but donations to FCCG would be appreciated. The Tea Kiosk will be open for refreshments all afternoon…Read more

Reading Bach Choir

FOLLOWING A popular Come and Sing with us in January, you are invited to visit Goring for the next Reading Bach Choir concert. We will perform Stabat Mater, by Dvorak, in its original form for choir and piano accompaniment. Directed by Daniel Mahoney, we are delighted to have our Assistant Musical Director, Nick Shaw on the piano. We will also be welcoming four young soloists from the Genesis Sixteen programme – they are all outstanding singers on the cusp of their careers…Read more