Headlines for our July issue

On your bike and find new corners of Emmer Green and Caversham
IT IS MORE than ten weeks since the COVID-19 controls came in as I write. Although we have had some rain in the last few days, the weather has mostly been hot and dry, and people are now concerned about drought. It is difficult to remember we were worried about flooding in February! Many of us have continued to use our exercise time as an opportunity to explore our local …. Read more

Capture summer in Caversham
LAST month we published details of the winning entry in our Spring photo competition. The best entries can be viewed on our web site at www.cavershambridge.org. This month we have another entry, a photo of the family pet, Dazzle,….Read more

Motorcycles and music – Len David
Leonard John David was born on 24 December 1948 in Caversham (Surley Row). He was born with two webbed fingers on each hand, and as a toddler underwent cutting edge surgery to have them separated. Who would have imagined he would grow up to be an accomplished pianist! He attended Katesgrove and Cintra schools and was always up to mischief. He and his friends once used weed killer…Read more

Blessed be your name
DEATH is such a hard topic to talk about and yet at the moment it seems to be all around us – on the news, in our communities and, for some, affecting us personally. I was reminded recently of a Christian song called Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman …Read more

It’s all happening
National Trust Properties reopening – IN OUR May edition we highlighted local National Trust properties. As of mid-June, a number of these have partially reopened. Advanced booking is required, and only the gardens and parks are open. They are making some changes so they can open cafes and shops safely. Details of which facilities will be open are available on their website…Read more

Reading Hydro – READING Hydro plan to install two Archimedes Screw turbines at the View Island end of Caversham Weir to generate enough electricity for 90 homes….Read more

Cinema for Caversham? – THE OWNERS of St Martins centre in Caversham, Hermes (which manage pension funds on behalf of BT and the Post Office), have submitted new plans for a small, three screen cinema in part of their existing buildings behind Waitrose …Read more

One way to go – NEW provisions to encourage cycling and walking form part of plans to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in Reading. Some roads will be re-allocated, possibly permanently, in a series of schemes put forward by Reading Borough Council…Read more

Churches escape their buildings
The ‘lockdown’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of life. For the church community it has resulted in the closure of buildings and suspension of normal church services. But this does not mean the churches are furloughed – they are still very active,…Read more

The healing Hart’s Tongue Fern
HERE’S a curious plant that you won’t have to go far to see. In fact, there are some luxuriant plants in the wall by the staff car park behind Caversham Library, where they were photographed at the end of May. It also grows below the step of my back door, on the shady and damper side of the house. It’s a plant that likes lime, and the lime mortar in old walls. In sunnier and drier situations, the leaves grow about six inches long, …Read more

A breath of fresh air
WHAT a great pleasure during the time golf was not being played to be able to walk freely on our local golf courses. I was able to see the first blossom on the trees, bluebells, cowslips and the new leaves on the trees. Many Red Kites could be seen …Read more

Development on course
ACCORDING to campaign group Keep Emmer Green, the land at Reading Golf Club has not been sold. However, they report the club have entered into a 10 year agreement with Fairfax Properties Ltd giving them the rights to apply for planning permission on the whole of the course and, if approved for any part of the land, to broker the sale to a house builder …Read more

Homes for wildlife
WE’LL BE wandering around our local area and spending time in the garden a lot more than usual this summer. So please spend a little time planning homes for wildlife. The usual short article on wildlife gardening advises planting flowers for pollinators to provide pollen and nectar from early spring to late autumn, and that is a wonderful thing to do. The Royal Horticultural Society provides loads of advice and a great list of plants on www. rhs.org.uk However, providing food for the adults won’t boost numbers up to levels seen ..Read more

Wildlife takes a bath
MY BIRDBATH is a constant source of joy, puzzlement, and exasperation. It started off as a conventional piece of garden furniture. Solid Corinthian column, decorated with concrete ivy, two field mice, a snail and a fat frog. The flat top of the column was crowned with a solid concrete bowl which just sat there until one day someone – who could that have been? – knocked it off and it shattered. This bowl was replaced by a succession of ceramic substitutes, which all met the same fate…..Read more


Facemasks – a hidden problem
FROM 15 June 2020 it is mandatory to wear facial masks or coverings when using public transport in England. Many people are already using them in shops, or even when out walking or driving. It is inevitable we will see a massive increase in the use of PPE, or personal protective equipment…Read more

Poultry, pies and picnics
IN OUR June edition, we reported on how local businesses had adapted to the lockdown limitations. The Caversham Butcher is another local business supporting those who are unable, or unwilling to go out to the shops as a result of the pandemic. The butcher’s shop is situated in the Caversham precinct in premises previously known for over 50 years as ‘Jennings’.Read more

Going to the dogs – Les in the garden
I WONDER how much the media has influenced us gardeners with their garden programmes and experts. Rather sadly I am old enough vaguely to remember Mr C.H Middleton on the wireless during the war. Then the message was ‘dig for victory’ and our Dads and Grandads toiled in their gardens and allotments to keep us fed. There was double summer time so we kids had to go to bed while outside the sun was shining. I still remember eating spring onions in be…Read more

Carry on guiding
GUIDING in Caversham is carrying on despite the lockdown, with many units continuing to offer meetings online and keeping in touch with ideas of things to do. Jessica from 2nd Caversham Rainbows has been taking part in the unit online meetings and has completed her Bronze Award …Read more

A Valentine date
THE RECENT celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day have triggered some family memories. I wondered if the attached photographs, which were recently sent to me by my sister, showing VE Day Celebrations in Valentine Crescent and St John’s Hall, might be of interest. I currently live in Earley and attend Earley St Peter’s Church and my sister lives in Shropshire. We grew up at 27, Valentine Crescent, Caversham….Read more

Reflections on a life devoted to art
WHILST for many of us lock-down suddenly meant spending unfamiliar amounts of time at home, for others ‘working from home’ has long been the norm. For artist Nina O’Connell, her home-based studio is her workplace. Resident in Caversham for more than 40 years, she has devoted much of that time to art as well as to its healing powers. Having spent some time working in schools, Nina undertook  …Read more

Richard Heyes – 1941 – 2020
RICHARD Heyes, who had lived in Caversham with his family since 1970, passed away peacefully in the Duchess of Kent Hospice in April this year, only two months after a diagnosis of cancer. Richard was born in October 1941 in the family home in Tadworth, Surrey …Read more

A Tale of Two Towns
HAVE you ever wondered how far back we can trace the history of Reading? Why is it called Reading? Did you know that the first time the name Reading is mentioned was as late as 871? ….Read more

Charities rise to the challenge
Charities and voluntary organisations have had to adapt to the changed circumstances in recent months. With charity shops closed, a valuable source of income has been lost. And demands for their services have also changed. We report here on how three local charities have adapted in recent months….Read more