22 June


11 June

A reception was held in the gardens to celebrate the 180th anniversary of the Reading Amateur Regatta and the 75th anniversary of the Reading Dusseldorf Association.  Rowing crews from the Reading Rowing Club and from Dusseldorf joined members of both Reading organisations, Friends of Caversham Court Gardens and other guests to mark the occasion with a picnic and drinks on the causeway and the gazebo (summer house).  The crews had  competed against each other on the 1,500 metres course on the Saturday afternoon and were to race against each other in another special challenge race the following day.  It was a very convivial occasion with speeches to mark the special relationship between Reading and Dusseldorf.  Amongst the presentations to the Dusseldorf crew were copies  of the Gardens Heritage Guide and of the book 'Down by the River' written by Gillian Clark.  The image above shows Reading and Dusseldorf crews shortly after the German guests had been presented with Reading Amateur Regatta shirts.

Caversham Court Gardens was an appropriate  venue for the event.  Back in the 19th Century prize-giving ceremonies were often held on the lawn of Caversham Court (then known as the Old Rectory).  In 1870, for example, local newspapers reported that silver presentation cups donated by wealthy industrialists were filled with champagne from the cellars of  of the Simonds family of bankers and brewers who owned the estate at that time.