Headlines for our September issue

Get Active and get growing
IT IS NOW five months since the lockdown was introduced. As I write in early August, many of the limitations have been lifted, although with conditions. Evidence of the effectiveness of face coverings has grown, and the World Health Organisation supports their use. They are now required in shops and other public enclosed places. For those who have been shielding, it can be quite a shock to see so many people in public places wearing facemasks … Read more



New Bridge to a learning journey
MORE than 5000 Caversham children have
passed through New Bridge Nursery School since its move to the former St John’s Primary School buildings on Montague Street 50 years ago. This year the school is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its relocation in 1970 from Bridge Street, Reading, after which it is named.
The school provides early years education for up to 90 3-4 year old children who spend up to 5 terms at the school before moving on to primary school… Read more


A Bridge to the future
WE ARE constantly considering improvements to the Caversham Bridge newspaper and our on-line services to you. So we would like to understand you, our readers, better and find out what you expect of your local paper, along with any new features or ideas you think we should consider for future editions.
We have therefore launched our readers survey this month … Read more

Voices of colour
THE STORIES of black, Asian and minority ethnic residents of Caversham featured in a Zoom meeting organised by Churches Together in Caversham on Monday, 20 July. More than 60 people from local churches and beyond attended the meeting which explored ‘God’s vision for a multicultural church in Caversham’. They heard stories of lives encompassing journeys to Caversham from Jamaica, Barbados, Nigeria and India. Some included aspects of the racism now being debated across the world, and the inspiring message to value all people as created equally … Read more

Wherever you go
WE MIGHT not have been able to go abroad or have the holidays we might have liked this summer, but the chances are we may have taken a few days away somewhere. Camping? To a lake? Up a hill?
Why not choose one of the places you have been to and read a Bible story based in a similar place! … Read more

Rediscover Bible stories
EVERYONE loves a good story, right? And the Bible is full of them! Over summer we have been challenging people to make videos of themselves and their families retelling a Bible story. “I wanted to come up with a fun way to encourage people to rediscover Bible stories,” … Read more


Making a monkey for the NHS
ST PETER’S craft group, although not able to meet during lockdown, have been busy individually making PPE for the Royal Berkshire hospital – facemasks and hair bands with buttons to protect the ears of NHS staff from chafing, and scrub bags. We have been making things to support the hospital for over two years now – knitting cosy blankets, mischievous monkeys … Read more

It pays to smile
AND IT did literally for me! Whilst in Markand, our friendly chemist on the Henley Road, a young man and I did a little jig to avoid each other, smiling as we did so. Social-distancing, and all that!
He was behind me in the queue and, when it came to my turn to be served, mine wasn’t a straightforward purchase. I was
returning an item I’d bought mistakenly and wanted to replace it … Read more

Heartbeat connections
CHILDHOOD memories came flooding back, when I read in CADRA’s July monthly roundup that the phone box in Kidmore Road will be adopted by the Community Heartbeat Trust. Although we have lived in Caversham less than two years, I have a long held connection with this phone box.
On Friday 23 May 1958, my mother and I left Manchester in a coach, to travel down to Reading. We came to stay for a few days with an old friend of my mother’s who lived on Kidmore Road. … Read more

Make your money work for good
HAVE YOU ever felt overwhelmed by the poverty in the world and wondered how you can make a difference? Imagine you could use a small amount of spare money to help provide financial support to farmers in disadvantaged communities. By pooling funds from over 11,500 members throughout the UK, the co-operative Shared Interest Society enables ethical investors to do just this. Last year alone, the organisation helped almost 400,000 individuals… Read more

Why we should respect our elders
SEPTEMBER is the elderberry month, and you probably won’t have to go very far to find some, should you wish to. It sets seed and spreads itself around very readily, and it can be a bit of a nuisance when it comes in over the garden fence from next door. It is weedy, weak, and short-lived, neither quite a tree, nor quite a bush.
People have had some very strange notions about this tree. Books on plant lore have more to say about elder …Read more

Have your say
THE ROYAL Berkshire Hospital Trust is formulating plans to redevelop the hospital and has won funding from government to develop a master plan as the first stage of a possibly major redevelopment of the trust. It has created a web
page to explain the proposals to the general public, patients and Reading communities and to serve as a consultation tool
to gather views, reactions and concerns. …Read more

Waste not
READING Borough Council starts pilot door-to-door food waste collections from October, with a full scheme in place next February. If you are part of the pilot area, you’ll receive a caddy for the kitchen, a larger lidded caddy for your weekly collection, and full instructions. The waste will go to a digestion plant in Oxfordshire, producing methane which will be burnt to generate electricity. …Read more

Wildlife – Badger, my neighbour
I WAS sitting on the patio enjoying the last of the evening sun when there was a disturbance in the undergrowth at the bottom of the hedge. The scuffling continued then a pointed white snout with two black stripes appeared, followed by a bulky grey body. The badger sniffed then advanced across the lawn towards a half empty bowl of cat food on the patio. (Surely puss hasn’t been tempted to eat elsewhere?). Brock sniffed again, then scoffed the lot …Read more


Fit more active travel into your day
AS THE lockdown eases and we move back to travelling regularly for work or leisure purposes, it is worth considering what journeys can be made by walking or cycling. So called ‘Active Travel’ – the new phrase for walking and cycling – fulfils the twin objectives of improving health and well-being, while also reducing emissions which harm people’s health and fuel climate change.
If you use the bus, could you get off a stop early …Read more

In the long grass
Reading Borough Council is experimenting with a new approach to maintaining road verges, which will include a number of sites in Caversham. In part, this is a response to its declaration of a climate emergency, but also it will improve the urban environment for flora and fauna. This ‘Rewilding’ project is part of the council’s new Biodiversity Action Plan, which they consulted on earlier this year …Read more

A Michaelmas tale
I WONDER whether anyone remembers an old friend of mine called Ronnie Watts, who died in 2009. Although he lived near Farnham, he would very often come to Reading to give a talk on any gardening theme. Ronnie was a real gardener, with a lifetime’s experience …Read more

Another way
IT’S SWEETCORN season again and time for some yummy, but messy, meals. Instead of boiling up a large pan of water and steaming up the kitchen, try this method to save time and energy…Read more

Hamming it up
AMATEUR Radio is about exploring the magic of radio and communication. The hobby evolved in the 1920s and 1930s and is still going strong today. Reading and District Amateur Radio Club (RADARC) was founded in 1934 and now has around 70 members. Many have had professional involvement with radio, communications and computing …Read more

Dearly pre-loved
USUALLY, new works of art or craft are just that – new. However local artist Barbara Goodbun has for many years been creating wonderful works of art using old, recycled materials. Greta Thunberg – eat your heart out!
For a good 25 years, Barbara has been scouring antique shops for old pieces of porcelain, offcuts of glass, and discarded pieces of old jewellery, in order to create beautiful new items – necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets. Her interest began when she started to buy earrings herself, after having her ears pierced. Having lost one of a pair, she didn’t want to throw away the remaining earring – and it occurred to her she could use it to create something entirely new. …Read more


Supporting Chazey Farm Barn
LAST MONTH I outlined the history of Chazey Farm Barn. This month I look at its planning status and the works currently being undertaken. I am grateful for information from members of the Warren and District Residents Association (WADRA) committee and to the Reading Borough Council (RBC) Head of Planning.
The planning permission status of the barn is a long and complicated story! In 1998, permission was given for a 78-bed nursing home, including road improvements and restoration of the barn …Read more

Something new for lockdown
LAST month we asked our readers to tell us what new and different things they had done in lockdown. Here are some of their stories …Read more

Shop local, shop organic
THE TRUE Food Community Co-operative is a not-for-profit community shop in Emmer Green which sells local, ethical, wholesome and organic food, toiletries and household goods. It is a co-operative, owned and run by its members. Many customers become members and volunteer their time to help run the shop. Any profits …Read more

Playtime at the Weller Centre
DURING THE period of lock-down we have had around 1700 face to face interactions with people in the community. These were mainly about food parcels and lunches, but also people popping in for photocopying, printing and borrowing books, jigsaws and toys.
During August we ran a breakfast club for the Estate. Our primary aged children were able to come and ‘dine in’, whilst take-away options were available to the rest. We catered for 30 people…Read more