Dates for your 2017 diary
Wednesday 29 March, 7 for 7.30pm
Reading Canoe Club on The Warren
Caversham RG4 7TH
Our speaker will be Travis Elborough, author of A Walk in the Park
"Parks are such a familiar part of everyday life, you might be forgiven for thinking they have always been there – and that they always will. In fact, the roots of even the most humble neighbourhood park lie in age-old battles over land and liberty. From their medieval life as private royal hunting grounds and private estates to their modern incarnation as public spaces teeming with activity, acclaimed author Travis Elborough traces their extraordinary history in an illustrated talk based on his latest book, A Walk in the Park, praised as 'a fascinating, informative, revelatory book" - William Boyd in The Guardian.
Acclaimed by the Guardian as "one of the country’s finest pop culture historians", Travis Elborough has been a freelance writer, author, broadcaster and cultural commentator for more than a decade, and is frequently on BBC Radio 4 and Five Live. Elborough’s books include Wish You Were Here: England on Sea and The Long-player Goodbye, a hymn to vinyl records that inspired the BBC4 documentary When Albums Ruled the World.
Easter egg trail
Saturday 15 April 2.00 to 4.00 p.m.
Celebrate Easter with us when we offer a nature-themed trail around the gardens designed mainly for younger children, but all entrants will receive a chocolate or non-dairy egg at the end, so older siblings will want to join in!
All children to be accompanied by an adult. It is a free event, but donations are welcomed.
Storytelling in Caversham Court Gardens
Sunday 21 May, 12.00 to 4.00 p.m..
The Friends are getting together with Get Reading, Reading for an afternoon of storytelling and creative crafts as part of the Reading Children's Festival. Children can explore the beautiful riverside gardens on a trail featuring their favourite storybook characters - come dressed up to match! Storyteller Anne Latto will be be narrating tales of wonder in the mysterious undercroft overlooking the river. There will be books to read and stories to hear on the river bank and under the trees. Make enchanting birds in the vinery with Hester and join Jenny weaving magic around the mulberry tree!
Suitable for children up to 11, all must be accompanied by an adult. The event is free, but donations are welcome. Bring a picnic - the charity-run Tea Kiosk will be open from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m serving hot and cld drinks and home-made cakes.
Christmas Tree Sales 2016
Conservation volunteers Econet held a sale of Scots pine Christmas trees in the Gardens on 10 December. The trees were harvested as part of a heathland management plan. Visitors were also able to buy holly, mistletoe and willow stars and wreaths from local willow beds. The event was supported by the RSPB, Fairtrade and local beekeepers. The date was the same as St Peter's Church Christmas fair so hot refreshments and another range of gifts were available in the church.
Carol Concert 2016
The Friends organised a successful carol concert in the Gardens on 19 December. Visitors warmed themselves with mulled wine and mince pies served by volunteers from local charities who man the tea kiosk from spring through to late autumn. The carol concert was compered by national sports presenter Simon Thomas whose enthusiasm mirrored that of the Reading Salvation Army band and the choir of St Peter's Church (director Ian Westley) which led the singing of carols and of the Rector, Reverend Mike Smith. Generous donations allowed us to cover the cost of the event and were shared with the church bell ringers and the Salvation Army. The event was well stewarded by Friends who ensured a safe and enjoyable evening.
Simon Thomas with concert organiser Linda Humphreys-Evans and the Reading Salvation Army band.
Actors from Progress Theatre populated the gardens with ghosts from the past
Local potters explained Caversham's clay roots
This began in Caversham Court Gardens! Bright sunshine and thousands of well-wishers greeted Reading PC Lee Umpleby as he emerged from the gazebo carrying the torch, to the sound of the bells of St Peter's church.
As the excitement built up before the torchbearer left, Progress Theatre performed scenes from their 2012 production, Shakespeare's Henry IV Part I, and the Reading Scottish Pipe Band gave a taste of the program they would play at the Olympics closing ceremony.