Headlines for our June 2021 issue

Tony Gordon – Pages Shaw woods, Chazey Heath

THIS month the Caversham Bridge is doing its bit to help local businesses recover from the impact of three consecutive lockdowns, so our theme is ‘Think Local, Shop Local’. In addition to our regular advertisers, we have a four-page supplement in which we have offered low-cost advertising to local enterprises. Artists, service providers and others have taken advantage of the offer – please take a look and ‘Choose Caversham’ for your purchases, not forgetting to mention the Caversham Bridge! … Read more

Let’s Meet Outside John Lewis
YOU’LL OFTEN see someone waiting outside Reading’s foremost department store in the town centre, and, for many Caversham residents, this historic rendezvous is as little as a twenty minute walk away.
You know, there’s nothing quite like seeing a product ‘in-the-flesh’, feeling the texture of a fabric, trying on an item of clothing, and being able to ask for advice from knowledgeable Partners in every department. So thank goodness we still have John Lewis … Read more


Time for action
READING VOLUNTARY ACTION promotes and supports individuals and groups who make up our town’s diverse voluntary and community sector. As part of this work we encourage, support and celebrate volunteering and social action. Over the coming months we will share the stories of organisations, projects and individuals working in different ways to improve our town.
This month we focus on The Woodland Improvement Team … Read more

Trees for Tom
LAST MONTH we featured Captain Sir Tom Moore’s eldest daughter, local Homeopath Lucy Teixeira.
Following her father’s funeral in February, people asked how they could do something other than sending cards and flowers in his memory. Tom’s message of “Tomorrow will be a good day” resonated with Lucy’s colleagues, who asked what they could do. She suggested planting trees and within days there was funding for 17,000 trees. This sparked the idea of planting trees in Tom’s name. … Read more

Award Stars
ON THURSDAY 29 April 2021 at the South West and Thames Valley Business and Community Awards, The Weller Centre won the Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award. The judges said “We wish that there were more centre likes this around the country, centres that support numerous groups, clubs and classes in the heart of the community. This facility will help people of all ages.”… Read more

Drawing conclusions
EVERYONE HAS heard of Star Wars, and many have fallen in love with their iconic characters. A ‘How to Draw Star Wars’ book has recently been released and it’s great. It takes the drawer on a step-by-step journey through each element of your favourite Star Wars characters, and by the end the picture looks pretty impressive. The book starts off with easier characters before progressing to more complex ones as you gain confidence. The fridge door at home is now awash with Star Wars characters! I’d definitely recommend the book for any child (or adult) who enjoys drawing!
For a more adult read, Snowblind… Read more

Music in Nineteenth Century Reading: A Family History
IN THIS fifty-page book, I trace the influence of three generations of the Binfield family on the musical life of Reading in the nineteenth century. Their story tells how they:
• Created the Binfield Music Warehouse in Friar Street which became a highly successful business selling music and
musical instruments for over a century,
• Organised an ambitious series of Triennial Berkshire Musical Festivals between 1809 and 1846 based in St Lawrence’s church and the old Town Hall,
• Established a Singing School which attracted hundreds of adults and children, and
• Founded The Royal Berkshire Academy of Music… Read more

Happy Wanderer explores De Bohun links
THIS MONTH, we have a picture of Caversham Lock and the lock-keeper’s cottage as they were around 1910. You can just about see that the footway over the lock is on a separate swing-bridge between the lock gates, instead of being attached to the upper gates, as now.
I chose it because I’ve been asked several times recently about the naming of De Bohun Island. The first time I was asked, I had no idea this was an old name for the Caversham Lock Island, though I did know about De Bohun Road… Read more

Wildlife – Lock up your chickens, Reynard is back
I SWEPT open the curtains one morning recently to find the metal sculpture of a heron had been tumbled over on the patio. There was only one explanation; the fox was back. A very disappointed dawn raider, but new to the territory, hence the heron incident. A few days later I saw it.
A couple of years ago the fox trotting through the garden every evening was not very healthy. Its coat was patchy and its brush bedraggled, and the last sighting I had was when it was in full flight being chased by the black monster. The shame of it – a fox being pursued by puss.
The new Reynard is young, sleek and bushy-tailed, … Read more

Help our hedgehogs
WITH THE exception of their habit of trampling down any seedlings by the fenceline, hedgehogs are the gardener’s best friend, as they are one of the few things to eat slugs. The name comes from their habit of wandering next to a hedgeline or fenceline rather than out into the open. Although once a hedgehog knows that there is a bird feeder with food tossed on the ground, in garden A and another in garden C, it will scuttle directly across garden B, day or night, ignoring any humans in the way!… Read more

Queen of the border?
I HAVE been growing delphiniums for many years, sometimes quite badly, sometimes fairly well and, very occasionally, really successfully. When I meet other gardeners and mention this, I often get remarks such as: “Oh, I love delphiniums but”… (and here we go with problems).
Of course, I tell them delphiniums are really most obliging and, for all you disbelievers, here are my 10 suggestions for you to follow…. Read more

House plant of the month – Spotlight on Pilea peperomioides
PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES, or Chinese money plant as it’s commonly known, is one of those strangely unique plants which now feature in almost every house plant collection.
Distinct for their perfectly round leaves, which orbit a central stem like a model of the solar system; they are easily recognisable.
As the common name suggests, Pilea are native to Southwestern China and can be found growing in shaded forests at altitudes of over 1500 metres…. Read more

A Crafty Cuppa – with Sarah Head
MEETING SILHOUETTE Sarah for a crafty cuppa in her sunny garden provided a fascinating insight into the captivating art form of silhouette cutting. “Silhouettes were the precursor to photography,” Sarah explained. “Disney uses them widely in his films, and silhouettes are used to illustrate the books of Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens to name but a few.” I realised that once your eyes are opened up to silhouettes, you see them everywhere!
One of just a handful of professional silhouette artists in the UK, Sarah stumbled into her profession quite by chance, following an unplanned meeting with a world-renowned silhouette artist. “He cut my silhouette with scissors freehand… Read more

Community Connections – Kate Scott
KATE STUDIED Politics at university and then went on to law school, qualifying as a solicitor, working in private practice for 17 years. She carried on working when her two children were young, and then took a break from the law for a while. During that time, she launched a brilliant collaboration, called Cinnamon and Ginger, with friend and neighbour Rebecca Ranson. They formed a pop-up supper club operating out of Nomad Café (now Geo Café) in Caversham… Read more

This month we meet a woman who has made it her mission to allow others to discover the joy of creativity. Elestr Lee meets Art Jam’s Sherrie Tuhy
MANY HOMES in Caversham and its surrounding area are nowadays adorned with lovingly painted glazed bisque pottery, gifted to parents and grandparents, and created in Sherrie Tuhy’s Art Jam Studio.
However, if you step a little further into the studio, you will discover that painting pottery is just one of the many creative arts on offer – and that Art Jam isn’t just for kids!… Read more

Sixty years afloat
THIS TRANQUIL view of Caversham Warren will be instantly recognisable to those who enjoy a stroll along the Thameside Promenade. It has hardly changed since it was captured for the Francis Frith collection of photographs early in the 20th century.
However, for some, the boathouse on the left of the picture has an added attraction. It was once the headquarters of 2nd Reading Sea Scout Group and for some seventy years played host to generations of boys, and later girls, who enjoyed the enormous fun of learning boating skills on these placid waters and in the process forged enduring friendships.
In 1961 the Group purchased the Boathouse…Read more

Drawing by Janina Maher www.janinamaher.artweb.com

Local landmarks – The Griffin
WE ARE very lucky in Caversham and Emmer Green to have so many welcoming public houses. One of the oldest is perhaps The Griffin in Church Road, close to the busy junction once known as Berry’s Corner. Janina Maher’s delightful drawing shows the pub as it is today, but the present building dates from 1906, replacing a much older pub on the site. The Griffin played an important role in the life of the village and fortunately a number of photographs survive showing the original buildings. These show a slightly tumbledown group of painted brick and timber buildings that might well date back centuries… Read more

First Impressions Matter
THERE ARE no set rules in CV writing, but there are guidelines. Here is an outline of what to include and advice on what to exclude. As the chronological CV is the most common type, I’ll focus on the sections for one of these…. Read more

Get jamming – Strawberry Jam
THIS MONTH I’m taking you through how to make Strawberry Jam. Strawberries are one of the fruits lowest in pectin so need a little help to get to a setting point; either you can buy special jam sugar which has powdered pectin added, or you can buy sachets of pectin powder and add it to normal sugar… Read more




Poets’ Corner – In hope
Spring arrives and hope draws near
After the onslaught of a Covid year
Pink blossoms on the trees
Never cease to delight
Birds with their songs
Kites in flight

Read more