Headlines for May Issue

Marking the 650th issue of Caversham Bridge
The tens, the fifties, the hundreds and the thousands are considered significant markers of whatever it is needed to commemorate, celebrate or remember! From issue number 1 in September 1964 we celebrated issue number 500 in September 2006: that is 42 years old! In January 2015 we reached our 600th issue. This coming September will be our 55th birthday and with the current issue we publish our 650th issue. Hopefully, we can find no fault in increasing (slightly) our rate of…. (Read more)

Caversham Centre replacement sub-Post Office update: progress on the horizon?
Caversham Bridge has been in contact with the Post Office, following on from our previous coverage on the matter of a replacement sub-Post Office in Caversham Centre (Caversham Bridge, January and February issues on front page and in the March issue on p.14). We report here the response to our most recent inquiry: ‘We (the Post Office) received a resignation from the Postmaster for Caversham, and, as a result, the premises, that we did not own, were withdrawn from…. (Read more)

Heights Free School
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has completed work preparing for the construction of the new Heights Free School on part of the Mapledurham Recreation Ground this week, after full planning consent was granted on February 25th 2019. A lease of part of Mapledurham Recreation Ground was granted by…. (Read more)

Beanpole Day is April 13th: Get your garden ready for summer!
Econet’s annual gardening event takes place on Saturday April 13th at Caversham Court Gardens by the River Thames from 10.00am to 3.00pm. Come and buy very reasonably priced plants and plant supports whilst assisting local charitable organisations. You can enjoy the…. (Read more)

Caversham Royal British Legion: Poppy Appeal awards and thank-you party at the Griffin, Caversham, Thursday 7th February
Helpers met for drinks and nibbles and to receive awards for their help in collecting for the Poppy Appeal. The help they give takes many forms: not only the street collections themselves, but also making poppies in various materials, arranging window displays, being involved in special church services and handling the proceeds from the collections. The Poppy Appeal organiser, Pauline Palmer, announced that the Caversham Branch had already collected over £53,000 for the 2018 appeal. She also announced that since she ‘took over temporarily’ from Trish Gregson, who died twenty years ago, the…. (Read more)

The Caversham Heights Society: talks on public libraries in Caversham & on the Thames Valley Police
There were two meetings held during February. On 6th February David Cliffe, a former Librarian at Reading Library, gave an informative and amusing illustrated talk on ‘the development of public libraries with particular reference to Caversham.’ Most of the photographs came from the Reading Library archives. Although the Public Libraries Act was passed in 1850 and there had been library provision on a subscription basis at the old Atheneum since 1807, thanks to the generous provision of William Palmer (of Huntley and Palmer’s), no public action was taken in Reading until 1855 when, after a public consultation, the first public library was opened at the bottom of London Street next…. (Read more)

Easter Services
A full list of Easter Services held by Caversham Churches appears on page 6 of this months edition…. (Read more)

Tribute to Rev. Dr John Ogden
John was born on 16th October 1939. His secondary education was at Reading School which he left in 1958 to go to Southampton University to read Physics. On graduation a wise tutor suggested to him that Computer Sciences would be a more beneficial line to follow. He then went on to take a postgraduate diploma in Computer Sciences and subsequently obtained a post at Glasgow University as an assistant programmer. He later obtained his Ph.D. and returned in 1966 to Reading University as a lecturer in the subject. In 1977 he was made Head of Department – a post he held until 1989. He served as an External Examiner on Computer-related courses for at least six different universities. John’s grandfather was a Methodist Minister in the Reading and Silchester Circuit and may well have influenced John in his approach to preaching. In 1964 John became an accredited local preacher in the Methodist Circuit and then around 1989 he was accepted for part-time training for the ministry while still at…. (Read more)

Mapledurham Playing Fields Landscape Plan is contested
In the last two months the pace of activity relating to the Heights Free School construction and it impact on the Mapledurham Playing Fields (MPF) has increased significantly. A spate of planning applications and consultations have been posted seemingly with very short lead in times for proper reflection and comment by the public and by those most likely to be affected. In fact a consultation deadline associated with the application reported here will have passed before this issue of your monthly local paper goes to press! Planning Application No 190240 has been submitted by Reading Borough Council, for landscaping works to…. (Read more)

When England was ruled from Caversham
The great William Marshal, Regent to the boy King Henry III, came home to his manor house in Caversham early in 1219, feeling his end was nigh. He managed the affairs of state from his sickbed, while the court and Henry III remained over the Thames in Reading Abbey. He died on 14th May, after which his body was taken to Reading Abbey for a solemn mass, and thence to the Temple Church in London for burial. It was thanks to William Marshal that a French invasion force was defeated at Lincoln in 1217, and it was he who ensured that…. (Read more)

By standing here on stage I’m overcoming my fear. I’m speaking here today for all of you to hear My anxiety inside is screaming, it is telling me to run, my mind is playing tricks on me this isn’t really fun. But I refuse to be defeated by something that makes me feel weak. I want to prove to myself that I can do it and believing in myself is all I need. Currently I’m suppressing it, but it gets better over time, how I’m feeling aint all new it just knows how…. (Read more)

Cow Lane Project nears completion
The much delayed Network Rail ‘Cow Lane Project’, which dates back to 2010, is nearing completion. The old brick bridge, which only allowed one lane of traffic to pass at a time – controlled by traffic lights, was demolished in November 2017. Since then traffic has been limited to one direction only from north to south and this has caused major delays and necessitated lengthy detours through Reading. In February 2019, following many problems including a sink hole appearing, Cow Lane reopened as two- way and free from traffic lights for the first time in its history. Work to construct pedestrian and cycle routes, the final part of the project, is now underway. This will…. (Read more)

Easter egg trail in Caversham Court
Come along to Caversham Court on Holy Saturday 20th April between 2.00pm and 4.00pm, when the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens will be hosting an Easter egg Quiz Trail on a nature theme in the lovely riverside gardens. All young competitors will…. (Read more)

Friends of Caversham Court Gardens: Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 24th April
The Friends of Caversham Court Gardens will be holding their 2019 annual meeting on Wednesday 24th April, 7.00pm for 7.30pm, at the Reading Canoe Club, The Warren, Caversham RG4 7TH. The formal meeting will be followed by an illustrated talk by landscape historian Ben Viljoen on: ‘The Landscape Architect Humphry Repton in Berkshire’. Members and non-members are…. (Read more)

Commemorating the World Day of Prayer: 1st March 2019
For the Welsh the 1st of March was the national feast day as they honoured St. David, for Roman Catholics it was the First Friday of March, the sixth of the nine in the count-down to the First Friday of June (month of the Sacred Heart) but for women across the Christian denominations it was the World Day of Prayer, a week to the day ahead of International Women’s Day. The World Day of Prayer is a women led, global, ecumenical movement. The parish community of Our Lady and St. Anne (two of the most significant female figures in the Christian story!) was host to this year’s celebration here in Caversham. The order of service was inspired by the women of…. (Read more)

St Michael Roman Catholic Church, Peppard Road, Sonning Common
We are just a few of weeks away from the most important week of the Christian calendar, Holy Week. This is the week we join Jesus as he enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey cheered by the crowds, sharing his last supper with disciples, and see him mocked and put to death, so that we can go on to celebrate the joy of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. St Michael’s will be celebrating each of these events to which everyone is invited: 13/14th April – Palm Sunday. Blessing of palms at each of our…. (Read more)

A ‘History of Reading’s Allotments’ – History of Reading Society
The subject of the February talk was a ‘History of Reading’s Allotments’. The speaker was Evelyn Williams who has published an e-book on the subject and has cultivated a plot at the Waterloo Meadows Allotments in Reading for the past 10 years. The origins of modern allotments can be traced back to medieval times when most of the poor rural population would grow much of their food on the ‘common lands’. However, from the 17th Century onwards, vast tracts of rural England would be transformed by the ‘Enclosure Acts’. These Acts of Parliament created legal property rights that favoured rural land owners, mostly the Lords of the…. (Read more)

What about a street party?
Loneliness is as damaging as smoking 20 cigarettes a day it has been reckoned. Most people need some kind of social contact to maintain good health whether this is just keeping in contact with a few close friends or perhaps with many acquaintances. What makes people lonely? There are two main reasons,

• We can get by with hardly seeing or talking to anyone.
• We do not feel understood or cared for.

It has been suggested that we could think of feeling lonely as we do when we feel hungry. Hunger tells us we need food, so we eat and feel better. In a similar way loneliness is telling us we need more social contact and therefore the simplest way to ease loneliness…. (Read more)

Caversham Village Sign
You may have noticed that the post of the village sign has started to lean. Since the sign was installed in 2002, the paint has faded and is starting to peel. As you will see from the plaque on the post, the sign was designed and commissioned by CADRA to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. We have been working with the Council and with Stuart King who made the sign and the plan is to remove the post and to send it to…. (Read more)

Caversham Library at the Heart of the community
Caversham Library, situated in Church Street, with the figure of Old Father Time holding up the clock is central to the community of Caversham. It was opened in 1907 by Viscount Valentia, chairman of Oxford County Council following a competition which was won by William Hooper Lewton, a local architect who designed the building described as ‘free renaissance style’. The clock was a later addition. William Bullivant Williams had donated the site and with a grant from Andrew Carnegie of…. (Read more)

You can find the odd dandelion plant in flower at almost any time of year, but April is the month when you can see them in profusion. And you will probably not have to travel very far to find dandelions – probably no farther than your own vegetable patch or lawn. If the large, showy golden-yellow flower-heads were not so common, we would probably appreciate them more. Where I grew up we called them ‘pee-in-beds’, and were told that if you picked the flowers, you would wet your bed that night and get into trouble. Nevertheless, this did not stop us picking the…. (Read more)

Rosehill WI
February already, soon be Christmas!! Our president Arlene Riley welcomed all present to our meeting on 6th February. Judith (Treasurer) reported that last month’s sales table raised £12.00 and the raffle £32.00. The clubs met with Scrabble on the 13th and 27th February respectively: The Book Club met on the 11th February and the Cinema Group planned to see ‘All Is true’ starring Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh. The Lunch Club visited Carluccios restaurant on the 19th February. Members were invited to sign up for a trip to the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke, or to Sonning Mill for a tour…. (Read more)

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