Headlines for February Issue

‘Caversham means Caversham’: replacement Post Office must be located in Caversham centre
The front page feature in the last issue of Caversham Bridge drew attention to the impending closure of the Caversham sub-Post Office (located inside the Day Lewis pharmacy) in Church Street in the heart of Caversham centre. By the time this issue has gone to press it will be close to the closure deadline of 31st January 2019. Since Novermber last Matt Rodda, MP for Reading East, has taken up the campaign to secure a sub-post office for Caversham Centre as part of its commercial and community mix. On 30th November Matt Rodda hosted a meeting at the Caversham Baptist Church which was very well attended and we reported the outcome of this and his immediate report on proposed actions to follow up the matter with the Post Office. Matt followed up on 14th December to report ‘progress’. For the record the text is as follows: ‘Prior…. (Read more)

The Flowering Teapot
the 2018 Reading Retail Awards, ‘The Flowering Teapot’, a delightful little cafe in Prospect Street Caversham, was voted by the public ‘the best in Reading’ in the ‘Cafes, Coffee and Lunch’ category. The ‘Flowering Teapot’ which opened in November 2017` is owned by Samantha Cudjoe and Tim Leonard and they were presented with their award at the Hilton Hotel in Reading. Samantha grew up in Caversham said, “Everything is made ‘inhouse’ from sweet to savoury and…. (Read more)

Traidcraft update
In the article published in the September edition of the Caversham Bridge, we reported on the difficulties faced by Traidcraft and the possibility that the company might cease trading. Following an outpouring of support for the company from across the UK, the Directors announced the adoption of a new business plan on 4th November 2018. The plan contains both good and bad news. The improvement in sales has given the company the confidence to take forward proposals for a significant restructuring and downsizing. However, the new company will employ only 12 staff (reduced from 68) and will have to reduce the number of products stocked, in particular the number of craft items. They will focus on a core range of products that customers repeatedly purchase. This means that many food producers will continue to have…. (Read more)

Retirement of Helen Wallace: Head Teacher of Thameside Primary School
In commenting on the retirement of Helen Wallace as head teacher of Thameside Primary School, Mark Harper the Chair of governors was reminded of the saying that the best time to start thinking about your retirement is before your employer does! Well, in that regard Helen Wallace, headteacher of Thameside Primary School on Harley Road, was well ahead of the game. Helen is moving on to the next chapter in her life Prior to joining Thameside, Helen taught at Geoffrey Field Infant School in Whitley. She first started there in April 1993 with a mixture of temporary contracts and supply teaching. She became a…. (Read more)

Caversham Bridge Hotel and the Reading Rowing Club Boathouse
One of our readers (Mr Peter R. Taylor) has been able to correct the editors on a point of fact and has been able to enhance the piece contributed by ‘Happy Wanderer’ in the January 2019 issue. Mr Taylor read with interest the article in the recent edition of ‘Caversham Bridge’ about the building of the present Caversham Bridge, and has kindly offered us a minor correction to the article concerning the Caversham Bridge Hotel that was demolished to make way for what is now the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Caversham Bridge Hotel was demolished in 1986, not…. (Read more)

Christingles at St. Peter’s 2018
Why were fourteen buggies stabled in St Peter’s at 3.00pm Christmas Eve? No, this isn’t a cracker joke! Actually – a sign of the marvellous attendance at the first of two Christingle services. Their very young occupants came for a special Orange – having a red band around it; impaled by four cocktail sticks, each piercing a jelly tot, and a candle. And there also came more than 700 others of all ages: with about as many Grandparents as…. (Read more)

Reading in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I
The subject of the December talk was ‘Reading in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I’. The speaker was Joan Dils, the Society’s President. Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England on 15th January 1559; she was the last monarch of the House of Tudor, the only issue of the marriage of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. At the beginning of her reign Reading was comprised of three ancient parishes: St.Mary, St.Laurence and St.Giles. The extent of the built-up area lay within the triangle of New Street (today’s Friar Street) in the north and flanked by London and Southampton Streets to the south, the population was around three thousand inhabitants. With the Dissolution of the Monasteries and…. (Read more)

The Mapledurham Playing Fields: solutions emerging but many problems and issues still outstanding
Many Caversham residents are aware that there is something going on at the Mapledurham Playing Fields but maybe most are not aware of everything that is going on! Mapledurham Playing Fields (MPF) is a charitable trust, bequeathed for the recreation of the residents of Mapledurham and Reading, now owned by the Charity Commission, but managed and maintained by Reading Borough Council (RBC) as trustees. It is enjoyed by many different groups including footballers, tennis players, dog walkers, ecologists and children as well as clubs using the Pavilion, all in amicable harmony. For a long time the facilities at MPF, in particular the Pavilion, have been…. (Read more)

After a rainy Friday, the Saturday before Christmas dawned sunny, and I decided to get out of the house and go for a walk by the Kennet. The bare branches of the different kinds of willow tree by the water glowed faintly yellow, green, orange and red, giving the landscape the look of a watercolour painting, and I was happy. But music was coming into my head which reminded me that willows have often been associated with unhappiness. There was Desdemona’s ‘Willow Song’ from ‘Othello’. Before…. (Read more)

The talks at the final two meetings of the Reading and District Probus club in 2018 were on wildly varying subjects. The speaker at the November meeting was Tony Weston, whose subject was ‘A Woman of Wax’. Tony told us the story of Madame Tussaud, the founder of Madame Tussaud’s, the well-known waxworks show in London. She was born in 1761 as Anna Maria Groshaltz, known as Marie. Her mother worked for Philippe Curtius, a physician who produced portraits in wax. He moved to Paris, to be followed in 1767 by Marie and her mother. Marie learnt all about the art of wax…. (Read more)

Caversham WI
The December meeting for our WI was both our Christmas party and 57th Birthday party. After the success of line dancing last year, we thought we would try folk dancing. We welcomed a local caller, who had chosen dances which fit some very festive tunes and we had a great time with some well-known and some new dance steps. This was followed by a buffet and a home-made celebratory cake. January’s meeting is traditionally our Members’ meeting, and this year one member will be…. (Read more)

Rosehill WI
The December meeting of Rosehill WI meant that Christmas was not far away. Our President Arlene Riley welcomed all present with a glass of Prosecco or soft drink. Arlene began the afternoon by introducing our entertainment which was given by Sam Brown and her Ukulele Band. This was made up of 16 members from different groups. They entertained us with such songs as: ‘The Bare Necessities of Life’; ‘Bring Me Sunshine’; ‘Sway’ and ‘Boots’ (‘Made for Walking’) and more. A vote of…. (Read more)

Chazey WI
The final meeting of the year for Chazey WI gave us a chance to see the first gallery of work by the new Chazey Art Group. Our artists have been meeting regularly throughout the year to brush up their skills, learn new ones and encourage each other in a friendly atmosphere. This was the first opportunity for the rest of the Chazey membership to see the work of our artists. The verdict was encouraging as they admired the display of portraits and still life. The art group will continue its activities in the coming year. The art group is just one of the…. (Read more)

St Peter’s Christmas Market raises £3200 for Indonesian Tsunami Appeal
On 8th December the Christmas Market in St Peter’s Church raised the wonderful sum of £3200 to help the people of Indonesia recover from the devasting tsunami that struck the island of Sulawesi last September. One and a half million people were affected, many were killed, thousands were seriously injured and whole villages were destroyed. The survivors need food, clean water, shelter and help to rebuild their shattered lives and livelihoods. Thank you to all who came to the Market and bought super handmade toys and…. (Read more)

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