Headlines for our June issue

Going like the clappers in Emmer Green and Caversham
In our last edition we reflected on how our lives have been transformed in a matter of days. As I write, it is more than six weeks since the ‘lockdown’ began. For most of the time we have been fortunate in having good weather which has helped many to cope with the constraints on their lives. Our green spaces have provided an opportunity for exercise and have been supplemented by …. Read more

You Snapped into Action
Thank you to all who submitted photos for our Spring Photo Competition. When we planned the launch of our seasonal photographic competitions, we could not have anticipated the impact the Coronavirus pandemic. Suddenly, our ability to explore the area around Caversham has been constrained. But people are still taking exercise daily, walking their dogs or undertaking essential journeys. Even our gardens have provided inspiration, with spring blossom to brighten them….Read more

Rev William Carpenter (1935 – 2020)
The Reverend Bill Carpenter, vicar of St Andrew’s Church, Caversham from 1988 to 1999, died peacefully on Sunday 5 April after a short illness …Read more

Gorilla Curate
In summer 2019, the Parish of Caversham, Thameside and Mapledurham were delighted to welcome Andy Storch to join the team as a curate. Since then Andy has been involved in a whole variety of groups and activities – one of these being St John’s BLAZE group, aimed at children in Year 6 and above. I’m sure parents will agree children are particularly good at asking questions. It’s no different in Blaze where we have looked at …Read more

Stitching up the NHS
Ladies (mostly but not exclusively) have been dusting off their sewing machines, raiding their stashes of fabric, sorting out their threads and started to stitch for the NHS.
Our national news has been reporting daily on the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline care staff. Both hospital and community staff have requested the loose fitting and hygienic uniforms, called scrubs, (the term comes from ‘scrubbing’ before operations), bags to wash them in, and headbands with buttons to hook over face mask straps to prevent ears from getting sore from almost constant wear. In response, a Facebook page, ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ has been set up…Read more

Silk, satin and scrubs
I hated my job so I left. A bit impulsive you may think, but I’ve never been good at being ordered around and I had a plan – of sorts.
It was 2004 and I wanted to work from home so I didn’t have to worry about childminders or bossy bosses. I decided to use the skills I’d inherited from my grandmother. She was a prolific and talented seamstress who supplied the St Johns fete’s and Xmas fayres with items such as peg bags for many years. So I started a new career as Sally Stevens Alterations. …Read more

A burning problem – “It’s only asthma?
“It’s only asthma?”. This slogan from Asthma UK and a questionnaire about how asthma influences your life got me thinking. I was surprised by the number of things I listed. Not being able to sit next to someone wearing heavy perfume in a theatre or on the bus. Not being able to use the bathroom after my son has used an aerosol deodorant. Having to buy toiletries made with natural or no perfume online. Facing embarrassment when I go to someone’s home …Read more

Samuel Elliot & Sons
It’s surprising what was manufactured in Caversham – in some cases until fairly recently. Today, Elliotts are commemorated by a street called Elliotts Way, off Gosbrook Road, which was built on the site of their works.
The building of vehicle bodies was only a sideline of theirs, the main business being highclass joinery. Samuel Elliott started in business in Newbury in the 1860s …Read more

Tiles, tulips and tacos
Amersham Road Cookery Club has been running for nine years now and because of lockdown we are currently on hold until community clubs get the signal to restart. I have been involved with the club for 18 months and as a new member would like to share with you my thoughts on this experience. I was looking for a new project and, as I Iove cooking and being with children, I though ARCC might be right for me. As time went on, I realised it was and that it was much more than just a cookery club..Read more

New Life for Bugs Bottom
WITHIN Caversham’s Hemdean Valley lies Bugs Bottom, a delightful meadow grassland with a small mature woodland. A bridleway for cyclists and horses passes through it which still has parts of old hedgerows, and there are several trails regularly used by dog walkers. It is a registered Local Wildlife site managed by Reading Borough Council…..Read more

Russell’s barking legacy – Muntjac
WHENEVER I am lucky enough to see one in the garden, I wonder how our smallest species of deer, the muntjac, made its way from the forests of southern China to the wooded slopes of Caversham. The answer is John Russell, the 6th Duke of Bedford who, back in 1838, had some muntjac imported …Read more

Cut the waste
Reading’s “red bin” doorstep recycling scheme collected 6,200 tonnes of material in 2018/2019: but 17% was contaminants. Some of this contamination reflects a lack of responsibility (for example putting soiled nappies into the recycling bin). But some happens because we do not understand how the recycling plant handles incoming materials.Read more

Keep topped up and cut plastic bottle use
Many of us like to have water to drink when we are out and about. Picking up a bottle of mineral water from a shop along the way has become a routine for lots of us. The problem is, in the UK, we use 35 million plastic bottles every day most of which are immediately discarded.
But it doesn’t need to be like this. Increasingly, people take their own bottle of water with them …Read more

I was a gooseberry fool – Les in the garden
All this self-isolating has meant that we have all had plenty of time for gardening. My guess is that by the time the crisis is over most of us will have had more than enough. So here is something you will never have read before in a gardening article, when I confess that I sometimes hate gardening…Read more

Tea for two
We celebrated our Diamond Wedding during “lockdown” in April. Later in the month came my birthday. I had some cards and presents from my son and family, and a few books ordered online from Les (no card, he couldn’t get out to get one.) We had a nice day, with phones calls and emails. At 5pm there was a knock at the door …Read more

Engage gear for a Mini expedition
As reported in our May edition, the British Motor Museum (BMM) was the destination for the last meeting of the Caversham Heights Society before travel restrictions came into force. Around 30 members and friends took the trip to the Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire. We were greeted by our guides for the day and divided into two groups…Read more

Mini Memories – a reader’s comments
Following publication of our May edition, we received the following e-mail from Caversham resident, Nicky Liddon-Horncastle.
Dear Editor of Caversham Bridge and also Keith Watson, I was amazed to see my Father’s car on the front of the May edition. I was also intrigued to see it again on page 11 and read about the museum at Gaydon. My Father was Henry Liddon,…Read more

Creative Caversham – Let’s get weaving
Anyone who has completed the Caversham Arts Trail, or visited exhibitions put on by our Caversham Artists, will have seen the stunning scarves designed and woven by textile designer Gloria Pitt. As well as displaying her latest creations, Gloria is also frequently to be spotted demonstrating her skills at the spinning wheel, turning wool or silk into yarn…Read more

Trekking in the Holy Land
With a group of friends who have walked, rambled and trekked far and wide together for decades, I walked part of the Masar Ibrahim Trail through Palestine (the West Bank) in early spring. Masar Ibrahim in Arabic means Abraham’s Path, and along the trail we often stopped to discuss with our guide the points of convergence between Islamic and Christian beliefs….Read more

Business – but not as usual
The Coronavirus pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives and we have had to make rapid changes to the way we live. Local businesses have had to either close down tempoarily or have had to adapt. We asked three local businesses to tell us how they had changed in response to the current constraints….Read more