THE LONG-AWAITED return of the Caversham Late Night Shopping evening went off with a ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ on Friday 3 December and, after a blustery week, the weather was kind. Following the pandemic postponement last year, St Martin’s precinct was once again turned into a hive of seasonal activity and lit up with Christmas lights. Local traders set up market stalls for the evening to offer mulled wine, honey, Christmas baubles and gifts, and much more. The event attracted a good crowd who also enjoyed live music and dancing. Following a cancellation, Caversham Artisan and Farmers market regular Kris King stepped in at short notice to provide a selection of festive songs to set toes tapping…Read more

Wishing all our readers a peaceful and safe New Year
OUR EARLY hopes for a more normal year in 2021 were not to be, and it seems we will be living with the impact of Covid-19 for some time yet. However, we have enjoyed greater freedom in recent months, and our churches, community groups and businesses have started to recover. Our article on the late-night opening in Caversham (this page) highlights some of the local traders and community groups who made the evening such a success.
We would like to acknowledge the efforts of all the volunteers who make the publication and delivery of your Caversham Bridge possible. In particular, we thank our team of deliverers…Read more

Try Vegan this January –
VEGANUARY is an annual challenge which aims to promote veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. We asked our local vegan restaurant, Vegivores, to share a recipe – so here it is: Mushroom ‘Neatball’ Subs…Read more

Time to catch the wave?
IT HAS BEEN a rollercoaster of a ride for the property market over the last 18 months. From the lockdowns which prevented people from physically moving, to the announcement by Rishi Sunak of the Stamp Duty Holiday, which resulted in the high volume of transactions seen throughout 2021.
Getting a clear understanding of how the housing market will move in 2022 is a real challenge…Read more

The Caversham Bridge – 2022 subscriptions
LAST MONTH we made the mistake of printing our main bank account details instead of the details for our new subscriptions account. You may also have received a slip from your delivery volunteer with the correct account details. Please accept my apologies for any confusion. Many of you were very prompt in making transfers to the subscriptions account, and a few were made to the main account. In either case, we thank you for your payment. If you have not yet paid, we would encourage you to use this facility, as it makes life much easier for the volunteers who deliver the paper.
For clarity (and we have checked these details very carefully!), the details required for a direct payment are:
Bank account name: Caversham Christian News
Sort Code: 30-67-99
Account Number: 72808960
To identify the payment, please use a reference made up of your postcode and house number (or name). For example, 59 Church Street, Caversham, RG4 8AX would be RG48AX59…Read more

Not Forgotten
THE ROYAL British Legion parade service on 14 November in Caversham was cancelled this year. So the 89th Reading (Milestone Wood) Scout Group made arrangements with their local church, St Barnabas in Emmer Green, to join with them for their Act of Remembrance. Sixty-two Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, and 14 Leaders attended, supported by around 100 adults. This was a lovely Act of Remembrance and a credit to scouting.
At the same time, a spontaneous gathering occurred at the Thameside War Memorial in Caversham. People had been invited to lay wreaths during the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday…Read more

Bereavement Journey course
IT IS ALWAYS hard when someone close to us dies, but the last couple of years have made grief even more challenging. This may have been due to losing a loved one to Covid-19, not being allowed to visit to say goodbye, or having restrictions placed on funerals. One of the main effects we’ve been hearing about is that of being more isolated from family and friends at a time when they were needed most.
On Sunday 7 November ‘Remembering a Loved One’ services were held at St John’s church and St Peter’s church…Read more

Battling brambles
THE HEDGE bordering the recreation ground in Grove Road has been in a sorry state for years, strangled by ivy and brambles. As part of a Community Project organised by Margaret Ormonde, and in collaboration with Caversham Globe and Reading Council’s parks department, the hedge has been stripped back and new hedging plants planted…Read more

Building our community
Planning update from Caversham and District Residents Association (CADRA), bringing you a summary of planning and transport matters affecting the RG4 area
2021 WAS A year for large schemes in and around Caversham. The major news is a third application for 223 homes on Reading Golf Course. Comments should be sent by 11 January. Beechcroft are preparing an application for retirement homes at Caversham Park, and early designs are now available for the River Academy secondary school, near Rivermead, where construction is underway for new swimming and sports facilities…Read more

For your bookshelf
Happy New Year and welcome to ‘Fourbears Reviews’ where we briefly review a couple of titles chosen from our bookshop ‘Fourbears Books’ on Prospect Street. We hope you all had a relaxing festive season. We have reduced opening times at the start of January to relax after a busy year. We’ve just celebrated our first birthday, which is huge for us, so we’d like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout. We’re sure 2022 will have its challenges but, hopefully, we’ll be here to celebrate many more birthdays
WE HAVE TWO very different books this month. First up is Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver. His previous book, The Beresford, was our biggest selling book across 2021. Psychopaths Anonymous can be read as a stand-alone, but also has many of the characters from Carver’s other books. It’s about Maeve. Maeve is an alcoholic, but the AA meetings aren’t giving her what she needs…Read more

Sail away with the Pie-Rats
Jump aboard the good(ish) ship Black Biscuit with Steady Eddy, Cap’n Greentail and the rest of the Pie-Rat crew as they search for the lost treasure of Mist Island. Only be warned, there be mouldy pies, pirate ghosts and skullduggery aplenty. So batten down yer hatches, grab yer pie pistols and get ready to set sail… if ye be brave enough!
OR SO IT SAYS on the cover of the latest children’s book from Caversham author Kate Poels. It is her Kate Poels. It is her third, launched at a Fourbears Books event on 2 December, and follows on from Mima Malone and the Mad Bad Inventor published in 2020…Read more

Back after the break

THE CAVERSHAM Heights Society regroups in January after a long break
due to the pandemic. We have seven meetings planned, which will be held
at the Caversham Heights Methodist Church hall (RG4 7BG) in Highmoor
Road. The talks are held fortnightly between January and April and cover
a variety of subjects…Read more

Happy Wanderer abroad – St. Kilda’s Chapel, Caversham
THIS PICTURE was sent to me by a friend of a friend, with a request for information. It comes from a postcard, bought via the Ebay website, and arrived from Germany. The caption, which appears very small in the bottom right-hand corner, reads: ‘Chapel of Ease, St Kilda, to St Peter’s, Caversham.’ The building pictured owes something to the Arts and Crafts movement, and I guessed that it dated from around 1910. There is no writing at all on the back of the card.
Of course, I’m familiar with St Peter’s, Caversham, St John’s, St Andrew’s and St Barnabas in Emmer Green. But St Kilda’s seemed a very unusual church dedication…Read more

READING’S relationship with Santiago goes back to medieval times when Reading Abbey was the starting point for the Camino Ingles, a religious pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in Galicia, Northwest Spain. Our relationship with the Camino started seven years ago, when French friends invited us to join them as volunteers at the pilgrim reception centre in St Jean Pied de Port, a picturesque Basque town in the foothills of the French Pyrenees. This is the official start of the 800km Camino Frances pilgrimage to Santiago.
Medieval pilgrims came to Reading Abbey, attracted by its holy relics, especially the ‘hand of St James’. Devout pilgrims walked to the south coast and boarded a ship to A Coruña, crossing the Bay of Biscay, before the final 100km walk to Santiago de Compostella. This became the Camino Ingles…Read more

Save that turkey
Soups are a brilliant way of using up leftovers or making a cheap meal from seasonal vegetables.
A basic turkey stock
IF YOU STILL have the turkey carcass, pick the remaining meat off it for various other uses, break up the bones and put them into a large saucepan with a tightly fitting lid. If you previously put the turkey neck in the freezer for later use, throw that in too. Chop 2 onions, 2 large carrots, 2 celery stalks (no need to peel or string) and, if you have them, unwanted parsley stalks and outer leaves and stalks of cauliflower. Add these to the pan. Cover well with water, at least four and a half pints/2.5 litres, add two bay leaves and a teaspoon of black peppercorns…Read more

DID YOU realise I have been writing these monthly articles for two years? I can hardly believe it. When I started, in January 2020, we had not heard of coronavirus, I certainly never dreamed there would be a thing called lockdown. A great many things have changed during this time, but one aspect which has emerged is the realisation of just how fragile our world is. So, let’s play our part and at least ensure one tiny part of England is green.
On that upbeat note, let’s get out and turn our 2022 garden into Eden, or something like it. One of the things I like to do each year is to try growing a couple of different things…Read more

Plant of the month
WHEN THE last leaf falls and the vibrant greens of summer and blazing colours of autumn have gone, winter can seem bleak in the garden. But I have learned to love the blank spaces where the chaos of colour used to reign, and I imagine the roots of plants resting and rumbling under the surface gathering strength, and the soil creatures busy nourishing and renewing the soil with the fallen leaf litter. It’s then that the small incidences of colour and scent are ever more powerful.
Many years ago, I made it my mission to have something in the garden in flower every month. So rather than a plant of the month, here are my tips for plants which will give you a reason to go into the garden and appreciate them just for flowering…Read more

Community Connections – Claire Anderton
This month, we learn something about local resident Claire Anderton.
CLAIRE AND her partner, Jodie, moved to Caversham 8 years ago from Bury St Edmunds. They liked the diversity and culture of Reading, but quickly discovered the water is hard, which caused Claire’s and her daughter Milie’s eczema to flare up. It was then that she decided to make her own soaps, which led to the range of natural body and home products which she makes at her Caversham studio.
Originally selling her products online, Claire wanted a more personal approach to sales. Realising Caversham was crying out for a market, she set up the Caversham Artisan and Farmers’ Market…Read more

A Crafty Cuppa – with Sue Reeves
LEAFING THROUGH Sue’s beautiful botanical paintings, it came as a huge surprise to me to learn that she had never picked up a paintbrush until lockdown! A professional photographer, in March 2020 Sue Reeves found her work dried up in an instant; weddings and events she was booked for were cancelled and her diary emptied. Needing something to fill the time until things picked up, she bought a watercolour pallet and a set of paintbrushes and was soon hooked! “I mostly just taught myself,” Sue told me. “I joined a short online course which helped me to find some artistic direction, but mostly I painted for fun, all day every day!”…Read more

Creative Caversham – Keeping our heritage in the spotlight
It can be easy to overlook our industrial past. Matt Emmett has discovered a powerful, strange beauty in abandoned buildings, as he explains to Elestr Lee.
NEW YEAR, new beginnings – if you have lived for some while in the same area, it may be a time to notice changes taking place. Not just due to nature’s seasons – but also in the built environment around us. As technology and social needs change, buildings that were once vital have become redundant, frequently abandoned. Industrial buildings that were once part of our infrastructure can simply fade from our attention. But every building has a story to tell – and local photographer Matt Emmett is winning accolades for his work in drawing attention to this feature of our local, national and even international heritage…Read more

The Local Scene – THE CROWN
DURING LOCK-DOWN I had a circular route for my regular constitutional walk around Caversham – along the riverside to the War Memorial, up the path and side road to Bridge Street, and through Church Street and home. Whenever I passed The Crown public house I felt it was sad to see it closed up and dark. This evening, on one of the first really cold nights of winter, The Crown was bright and welcoming and, although still quite early, it was well populated by local regulars enjoying the warm hospitality. I popped in to tell Paulina, the manager, that one of Janina Maher’s drawings of the pub was to feature in this month’s Caversham Bridge…Read more

First Impressions Matter – Mind the Gap!
YOU MAY BE surprised by how many people have gaps in their career, whether due to raising a family, being made redundant, illness, or a life choice such as travelling.
Don’t be worried about any gaps, just ensure you explain them in a positive manner. If you have resigned, or been made redundant, and not gone straight into another role, rather than highlighting this, add things to your CV…Read more

MOST PEOPLE have a good idea what a Will is, but few know about Estate Planning.
It is a fallacy that only the rich and the famous have an ‘estate’; we all have one. Your estate is essentially everything you own, from your pensions and life assurance to your house, your car, your jewellery, and even your golf clubs!
Estate planning puts together a clear plan detailing exactly how you would like your estate to be managed and distributed on your death, or managed during your lifetime if you become…Read more

Get Jamming with the Jam Lady – Clementine Marmalade
January is a busy month for marmalade makers as it announces the start of the Seville Orange season. It’s a long, laborious process, only to be carried out by the most dedicated of preservers. Alas, that is not me! I prefer this much quicker and easier recipe for Clementine marmalade. Don’t forget you can add your favourite tipple, if you are so inclined. I add Aperol to my recipe for my Christmas…Read more

Wellbeing – Not a drop to drink
IF WE ARE thirsty, we are already dehydrated!!
Water makes up more than half our body weight. So, if our water levels are low, it can show up in a few different ways. Mild dehydration an make us feel tired, give us a headache, and affect our mood and focus.
If we’re not drinking enough, we might be thirsty, and our mouth might feel dry or sticky. We might not pee very often – less than four times a day. We may feel dizzy or lightheaded, and we may pass out…Read more