No end in sight

Two years ago, our April edition reported on the way our community had responded to the invasion of Ukraine.
We were shocked and horrified by the Russian invasion. Many of us held fund-raising events and donated food and clothes, which were collected at the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre (RUCC) for onward transport to Ukraine.
Our July 2022 edition carried an interview with Caversham resident Mick Pollek, whose family settled in this area after the Second World War. Following a march in Reading in support of the people of Ukraine on 24 February, marking the second anniversary of the invasion, I spoke to Mick again.

ALTHOUGH EVENTS in the middle east have dominated the news in recent weeks, the war in Ukraine continues. The RUCC is working to provide support for both Ukrainian guests in our area and the people of Ukraine. Mick said…Read more

Out and about this April

OUR APRIL edition leads with a reminder of the local impact of the continuing war in Ukraine. Many homes here still have the blue and yellow flag or bunting in their windows, and there is a continuing need to support Ukrainians, both locally and in Ukraine.
Environmental concerns underpin several items this month, with the CADRA annual general meeting taking as its theme our response to climate change (p3). Water is the subject of our Ecotip, which highlights the need to provide water for wildlife in our gardens, and an article which follows up on the flooding in Caversham in January (both p9)…Read more

IN THE NEWS – Good Old Days Restaurant

FOR THE second time in recent months, a Caversham restaurant was featured in the Guardian Restaurant Review – this time a review by Jay Rayner on 24 February.
Good Old Days Hong Kong Ltd, on George Street, received an enthusiastic review from the critic for its authentic Hong Kong cuisine.
Describing it as ‘like finding a chef from the Ritz at your local caff’, he went on to commend the quality and variety of the food. The Sung family, who came to the UK from Hong Kong recently, opened on the site of a former burger bar…Read more

A window into our past

WE WERE contacted in February to tell us an item had been found in the basement of Church House which we might like to keep for the Caversham Bridge archives. A large, padded envelope awaited collection!
The contents were a photo frame containing the Award of Merit given to the Caversham Bridge in the 1978 Diocese of Oxford Parish Magazine Competition! At the time the paper was in its 14th year, and was already recognised for ‘its high quality as a community newspaper’.
The paper has evolved over the years, but we still aim to serve our community. Our stated mission is:
‘To enrich community life in Caversham and the surrounding area through the provision of reliable and trusted local news, as well as information about local churches and other religious organisations, people, events and businesses.’…Read more

Our Response to Climate Change

CAVERSHAM AND DISTRICT Residents Association will hold its Annual General Meeting and Open Meeting at 19:30 on Monday 20 May in Caversham Baptist Church. After the brief formal business and a roundup of the year, we will welcome two speakers from the Reading Climate Action Network…Read more

An update from your editors

LAST MONTH, we invited comments on our suggestion for a new section in the paper listing information about the many classes which run locally, such as Pilates, Chess, Dance and Tai Chi. In the light of the responses to this, we are now working on the details of how this will work.
For further information, email or visit our website,

Preparing for our Diamond Anniversary

As part of our 60th Anniversary preparations, we asked the Royal Berkshire Archives to scan a number of past editions. The most recent cover the years 1974, 1994, 2004 and 2014, which are now available on our website…Read more

World Day of Prayer 2024

ON THE first Friday in March each year, the World Day of Prayer is celebrated in around 170 countries around the world. This year St John’s Church in Gosbrook Road hosted the service in Caversham on 1 March. The World Day of Prayer is an ecumenical movement which aims to bring together women of various races, cultures and traditions in a shared act of worship. The service focuses on a different country and a specific theme…Read more

Smarter money management

CAMPAIGN GROUP Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has developed a money management course which teaches us to improve our money management, day-by-day. CAP experts have developed a proven method for helping people to take control of their finances, to avoid debt and become confident in building a spending plan and sticking to it. The course is for anyone who manages household finances and would like to become smarter or less anxious, in making money plans…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.

BEFORE WE get into the books, I want to tell you how excited we are about The Reading and Caversham Book Festival, which will be taking place 18-19 May. We have 20 events over the weekend. Childrens authors’ events will be hosted at Caversham Baptist Church and Fourbears Books. Adult authors’ events will be at the Progress Theatre in Reading. Check out the ‘What’s On’ in the Caversham Bridge, or the Fourbears Books website for details…Read more


St Laurence Church – 9 March 2024
In the first of what we hope will be an occasional feature in the paper, Caversham resident Richard Wells reviews a local, live music performance. There are many small venues in and around our area which we felt might be of interest to our readers. We hope to not only review recent performances, but to also highlight the venues and forthcoming events.

WHEN SEMINAL Liverpudlian band, The Zutons, announced a long-awaited return and tour, promoting their new, Nile Rogers produced, album, many locals were delighted to see Reading on the list of dates. Especially as the show was to be at the wonderful St Laurence Church…Read more

Happy Wanderer and the escapee ABRAHAM-ISAAC-ESAU

STRANGE name for a flower, you might think. It’s the name given to several plants whose flowers change colour as they age. One of them is also known as Lungwort. I have it in the garden, where it seeds itself all over the place so I have to keep rooting it out, but I don’t want to get rid of it entirely because it attracts bees.
The plant illustrated here belongs to the same botanical family, the Borage family. It’s thought to have been brought from Turkey and the Caucasus as a garden plant at some time in the distant past, and to have escaped into the wild. It’s a bit of a curiosity, nowhere common, sometimes a long way from present-day human habitation, and it likes shade and moisture. ‘The Flora of Oxfordshire’ published in 1998 records it near Henley, and ‘The Flora of Berkshire’ mentions Bere Court Farm near Pangbourne…Read more

Bricks, greenery, and rivers: Taking a cue from Thomas Hardy

SHORTLY AFTER moving to the area, I was told that Thomas Hardy had used Reading in his fictional Wessex county, calling it Aldbrickham. This was news to me, having attempted to retain as little as possible of Hardy’s work after enduring too much of it in high school and university. I blame Tess.
Hardy’s Wessex spreads over much of southwest England, and includes a group of counties. Some location names remain, while others are changed, with Oxford becoming Christminster and Windsor renamed as Castle Royal. Reading is recast as Aldbrickham and features in Hardy’s novel ‘Jude the Obscure’…Read more

Get Creative in Lower Caversham

DO YOU LIKE to knit, crochet, or sew, but are a little rusty or need some motivation? The Craft Club at the Weller Centre is a small group of enthusiastic makers who like to take time out in their week for a couple of hours on a Thursday to share ideas and be creative. No housework to distract us, no need to clear a dining table to work on; we have space to spread out and no interruptions. We enjoy each other’s company and refreshments from the Weller Café…Read more

January Floods – What next?

WE REPORTED on the January flooding in our February paper. River levels remained high throughout February,
and it was not possible for the Environment Agency to either repair the inoperable weir gate or to remove the wreckage of a boat which is partially obstructing a couple of additional gates. Drier weather in the first week of March has seen flows reduce, but both Sonning and Henley have endured an exceptionally long period of flooding.
We contacted the Environment Agency to ask questions about the maintenance of weir gates. In their reply they explained the weir gates are tested annually. They became aware of a defect at the weir in early December. The Agency press office said, ‘This is being investigated and actioned appropriately in line with our responsibilities whenever the river conditions allow us to do so safely’…Read more


HE TRUISM which says all gardeners should relax and enjoy themselves is particularly valid when you reach my age. The trouble is, some things are easier said than done. You cannot sit around doing nothing or the weeds will take over. Spring has sprung, the weather is warmer, and the garden has really come to life. In no time at all there is so much to do. Sadly, sometimes the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak…Read more

Support Beanpole Day

THIS ANNUAL charity event will take place at Caversham Court on 20 April from 10:00 to 15:00. All the usual suspects to supply your gardening needs for this summer will be there, as well as experts to advise on gardening in a time of climate change. You can also talk to a range of local environmental groups and purchase a range of other goodies.
Naturally, there will be beanpoles, harvested from locally managed woodlands, plus a range of other plant supports. You can be sure of a selection of locally grown vegetable plants, shrubs, flowers and wildflowers at reasonable prices. Star attractions will be large herbs in fibre pots, big perennials to make a statement in the garden, plants for pollinators, and young trees to capture carbon…Read more

Meet the Maker – Away with the fairies

IT IS ALWAYS interesting to discover the source and inspiration for a person’s creativity. For Tracy Titchener, the idea to make her small fairy houses for the tooth fairy came about with the experience of her own children losing their teeth. Tracy says, “I didn’t realise how tiny baby teeth are and how easily they get lost under a pillow! I’ve always loved fantasy, fairy tales, and the worlds that they create, fairy houses in particular, so I scaled down my garden fairy houses. They can sit on a shelf or bedside table keeping the lost tooth and then coin safe, but easily accessible for the Tooth Fairy”.

Tracy has always enjoyed crafting and enjoyed making her children costumes for fancy dress and school events. During lockdown, her creativity spread to making her garden a more fun place for her family with the creation of fairy houses…Read more

Bowling over the water

THE UNIQUE Island Bohemian Bowls Club is a thriving outdoor club in a tranquil position situated on Fry’s Island in the River Thames, between Caversham and Reading bridges. Access is by a short ferry ride provided by the Club…Read more


THE HOLY WELL of St Anne is a familiar landmark situated at the top of Priest Hill, close to the junction with St Anne’s Road.
Set into the brick surround is a marble plaque bearing the inscription ‘The Holy Well of S Anne the healing waters of which brought many pilgrims to Caversham in the Middle Ages’. In medieval times there were a number of mineral springs in the area believed to have healing properties, and it was common practice for pilgrims to take away little lead containers of ‘Holy Water’ as a religious souvenir of their travels. Of course, monks encouraged ‘pilgrim trade’, and this was an important source of income for the church. The Holy Well, and a small chapel built on the medieval stone bridge at Caversham, were both dedicated to St Anne, patron saint of women in childbirth amongst other things. Today we have St Anne’s Catholic primary school and the church of Our Lady and St Anne in South View Avenue…Read more

First Impressions Matter – CV versus LinkedIn

YOUR LINKEDIN profile and CV share some common things; however, you shouldn’t copy and paste your CV into your LinkedIn profile, as they are different mediums used for different things.

A CV is focused, LinkedIn portrays the bigger picture.

In most cases, your CV is tailored to the job, using key words based on the job ad and job description. You choose the most relevant achievements from your career to highlight your ability to do the job and take things out that are not relevant to that particular role…Read more

Wellbeing – Why is red light good for us?

BLUE LIGHT is a certain frequency of light that we see naturally in the mornings. It switches off the sleep hormone melatonin and helps us face the day feeling alert. That’s why one of the best things we can do to offset morning grogginess, as well as sleep better by night, is to go outside first thing.
Conversely, it’s not helpful to see blue light in the evenings, when we want to wind down and fall asleep. That’s when we need red light, which is what our ancestors would naturally have seen after dark in the form of firelight or candles…Read more