Headlines for our August issue

Unlocking to the new normal
AS WE moved out of ‘lockdown’ in early July, we were beginning to experience our new world. We can finally visit the hairdressers, but it is a different experience. Staff in facemasks or visors and no magazines to read. Clients have been asked to wash their hair before their appointment, wear a face mask and wait outside.
There is more traffic on the roads now and the centre of Caversham is busy as a result of roadworks on Reading Bridge. At times on the quieter roads some cars have been travelling much faster than normal – something which has been noted across the country. There also seems to be many more people running or jogging … Read more

Match postponed
FOR SAM and me, Saturday 2 May 2020 was to be our day, the day we said “I Do” at St Peter’s Church, Caversham. Instead, it was a day we celebrated, not our wedding day, but our commitment to each other. Back in October 2018, when Sam proposed I said yes. Ever since we have been busy planning and preparing for the day. As time crept closer and more news was coming in about Covid-19, no one said we would have to postpone … Read more

Tell us what you think
WE ARE considering improvements to the Caversham Bridge newspaper and our on-line services for you. So we would like to understand our readers better and find out what you like about your local community paper, along with any new features or ideas you would like us to look into for future editions. We had planned to launch the reader survey in May, but this had to be postponed in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. We now propose to include the survey in our September edition. It will also be available on our web site at www.cavershambridge.org:5154/Readers-survey-2020 … Read more

Caversham Priest to lead seminary
A FORMER parish priest of Our Lady and St Anne church has been appointed as the new Rector of St Mary’s College, Oscott, near Sutton Coldfield. The college, founded in 1794, is one of three which trains priests and deacons for the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Father Giles Goward, who served in Caversham from 2005 to 2013 … Read more

Online birthday celebration
ST JOHN’S DAY – never heard of it? Well, St John’s Day marks what is considered the birthday of St John the Baptist. Usually a saint’s feast
day is celebrated on the day the saint died but St John’s is one of the few whose birthdays are celebrated instead!
Every year around St John’s Day (24 June) St John’s Church, situated on the corner of St John’s Road/Gosbrook Road, holds a community
celebration. Of course, this year things had to look a little different and so we took the celebration online!
Around 40 members of the St John’s family, ranging in age from 5 months to 90 years … Read more

In memory – Dr Peter Tun
WE RECEIVED the following letter in early May from Caversham resident and stroke survivor, Mr C J Goodall. There will be many Caversham residents who were treated and cared for by Dr Tun, who was an associate specialist in neurorehabilitation at the Royal Berkshire Hospital for more than 21 years.‘The sad death of Dr Peter Tun at the Royal Berkshire Hospital will be mourned by hundreds of stroke patients over the last 21 years. He became a living testament of the NHS in caring for those whose lives are shattered when strokes strike … Read more

A Valentine Date
WHAT A surprise to find a picture of Valentine Crescent’s VE day party and later the Fancy dress party. It brought back happy memories for me and probably for other people who lived in ‘Our Road’ in 1945. I remember the street party – I would have been just 6 years old. I also remember the Dads lighting fireworks in dustbins … Read more

St Peter’s Day Celebration
ON SUNDAY 28 June, 83 people celebrated St Peter’s ‘Patronal Festival’ via Zoom, joining in a spiritual Holy Communion with Rector Mike Smith. The choir sang ‘together’ for the first time since lockdown, a celebratory piece in which each member had practised their part at home and then sent it off to be blended. Quite a triumph. Afterwards most stayed on to share coffeetime … Read more

From here to Modernity
AS WE travel through Covid-19 and beyond, we have to face the fact that our lives will never be the same again. We have just passed through three months of lockdown, which has been the strangest experience of our lives. I am trying not to use the overworked word ‘unprecedented’, but even those of us who can remember the last war, when we had blackouts and rationing, have found the recent situation a very new experience … Read more

The Attwells Memorial Fountain
MANY must have wondered about this monument, by the car park at the beginning of the Thames Side Promenade, just off Richfield Avenue. It always looks a little dusty and neglected, a drinking fountain with no water supply, and a memorial to someone long forgotten. It tells you that Frank Attwells died in 1892, during his mayoral year, and that his widow, Sarah, left the money for the building of the monument and died in 1905 … Read more

Top Advice
FOLLOWING my article on Recycling in Reading published in June, I was asked about the best thing to do with the screw-on caps for glass bottles and paper ‘Tetra Pak’ type cartons. For glass bottles, the answer is yes please …Read more

Reading Golf Club
FOLLOWING our article last month based on information from the Keep Emmer Green group, the general manager of the golf club, Gary Stangoe, contacted us. His e-mail is reproduced in part below.
‘Good afternoon
One of our members handed me a copy of the latest edition of the Caversham Bridge today.
Whilst fully recognising that when we move to our new home in March 2021 at Caversham Heath the plans for some development on our land in Emmer Green will not be welcomed by everyone, it was disappointing that you have published an article about the club with inaccuracies based on information supplied to you by the action group opposed to us …Read more

Choose song-bird friendly olive oil
DO YOU use olive oil for cooking and in salad dressings? If so, you may be shocked to know modern harvesting practices are killing migratory birds. Portugal’s Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests has found millions of birds are killed each olive harvesting season in the Mediterranean basin.
The songbirds, many of which migrate from northern and central Europe to winter in North Africa, frequently stop to rest in olive trees …Read more

Chazey Farm Barn in the frame
IF YOU have walked down to the end of The Warren, you may have seen activity around Chazey Barn and wondered about the barn and the background to the work going on.
Of Reading’s six Grade I listed buildings, the barn is the only non-ecclesiastical structure, and the only one north of the Thames. A study by Oxford Archaeology in 2003 gave more detailed information. They described it as a large, impressively constructed barn which has been little altered since its original construction …Read more

Sow what?
ISN’T IT a great feeling when you get something right in the garden? Last September I sowed some Viola ‘Chantreyland’ seed and they have looked really great for weeks. They are a prolific bright orange that brightens every day I sowed the seed in a 5-inch pot and they germinated well. Later I pricked out three boxes of seedlings. I really enjoy pricking out seedlings – but then we all have our peculiarities. Anyway, I overwintered the plants …Read more


Send for the swarm squad
SOMETHING strange was going on in the garden. As I walked down towards the bottom hedge a menacing noise filled the air, like a Formula I racing car revving up, and a dark cloud of flying insects swirled around a young ash tree.
Bees – Swarming – And they had chosen my garden.
I consulted a neighbour who always knows what to do in this kind of emergency. “You need the Swarm Squad,” …Read more

Fairtrade facemasks and more – the World Shop
I WAS last at the World Shop in March, the Wednesday before lockdown, and already there was a sense of the disruption that was to follow. RISC had planned to close from that Saturday, hoping to reopen in May. This meant being closed in the remaining weeks until Easter, so we reduced the eggs and chocolates by 50%. I stocked up on Fairtrade coffee and took pictures of the shop to post to social media, not knowing when I would return.
Closure has brought challenges to our shop …Read more

Brought to book
MANY OF us have coped with lockdown by catching up with some reading. And books – in the form of stationery – have also come in useful to store tidied-up photos and mementos, or for creative outlets such as writing and drawing. In the age of the internet, the old-fashioned concept of the book has very much come into its own.
Local artist Janina Maher, whose work can normally be seen exhibited in Caversham’s Arts Trail, is an expert in creating unique handmade stationery. “I am a complete paper addict!” she says …Read more

What’s on the menu at the Weller Centre
AS WE moved from June into July and the easing of lockdown, we were beginning to return to something that may be normality (not that any of us know what that is anymore!). We’ve been cooking 5 hot meals a week, and not just at home for our own families, but for those in Caversham brave enough to eat our cooking! (There are quite a few!) On average we cook 30-40 meals a day. These have ranged from nachos to chicken curry to burgers to pasta bakes. Each meal is lovingly prepared …Read more

Reading’s King – Henry I and his abbey
THE MODERN play ‘Henry I of England’ was staged at St James’ Church in 2016. It was written by Beth Flintoff and produced by ‘Reading Between the Lines’. I was one of the historical advisors and became increasingly fascinated by the story of Henry I.
Books about him are either highly academic or over-simplified. I therefore decided to research and write a more accessible book, about both Henry …Read more

Healthcare weathers the storm

Gardiner’s Homecare
GARDINER’S Homecare is a local, family run, business which was set up in 1968 by my grandmother, Dorothy Gardiner. Originally it supplied nurses and care workers to local hospitals and other institutions. Nowadays we are a ‘domiciliary care’ agency, providing
care workers who go into people’s homes, enabling them to remain in their own property for as long as possible. We operate across the Reading area, and also in South Oxfordshire including Henley. Our office, on the corner of Church Road and Priory Avenue, is a
prominent local feature.
In January this year we were providing care for around 140 clients …Read more

St Lukes Care Home, Emmer Green
ST LUKE’S is a purpose-built residential home which opened in 1990, with February seeing the first resident moving in. The current manager of the home, Kim Franks, started work as a Care Assistant in June 1990, and the home was officially opened in December; so the home is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year.
Initially it accommodated 48 residents but, over the years, the need for more specialist provision for residents with dementia has grown. So a purpose built dementia unit, The Oaks, with an additional 31 beds, …Read more