Newsletter No. 20 Spring 2018

Tours of the Gardens

Volunteers guides from the Friends will be in the gardens on the first Sunday of the month from April until September, between 2.30 and 4.30 p.m., including Easter Sunday 1 April. There is no need to book for a tour, just turn up, it's free but donations are welcome. Tours for hearing- and sight-impaired visitors are also available. If you wish to book a tour or an illustrated talk for an organisation or group at a time to suit you, please contact the Friends:

Stories by the Riverside, 19 August, 2.00 to 4.30 p.m.

The Getting Reading reading team are joining the Friends for another afternoon of stories and crafts for young book-lovers. Watch our Facebook page for details.

Head Gardener

Head Gardener Will Paice, was unfortunately on sick leave and then on light duties for much of 2017. We are grateful to Graham Spiller, who worked hard in the autumn to cover for Will's absence. Will is undergoing treatment and we wish him all the best.

New Committee Member

Katie Russell has kindly agreed to be co-opted onto the Friends' committee. She is working with John Evans, an FCCG volunteer guide and speaker, on revamping the FCCG website.

Data Protection Bill

The FCCG committee is working to ensure that we comply with the new data protection legislation which comes into force in May 2018. We are liaising with the Friends of Reading Museum and the Friends of Reading Abbey to ensure that all three Friends' organisations take a joint approach to the General Data Protection Regulation.

Britain in Bloom 2018

Reading Borough Council has entered both the national and regional categories of Britain in Bloom in 2018. We hope this will see horticultural standards raised not just in Caversham Court Gardens, but throughout the borough.

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days are to be marked on two weekends in 2018: 6-9 and 13-16 September. The Friends will be contributing on one of those weekends, and the theme this year is 'Great Women': all ideas for Great Women of Caversham welcome.

National Award for Frances Woolaway

The Friends are delighted to be able to congratulate Frances Woolaway on being awarded the British Empire Medal for meritorious civil service in the 2018 New Years Honours list. The award is in connection of Frances' work as the CEO of the Ways and Means Trust, and also for her work in the community. Amongst many other roles, Frances chairs the group of representatives of local charities and organisations which run the Caversham Court Tea Kiosk. She is also the chair of the Caversham Court Management Committee, which is made up of RBC, FCCG, the Caversham Court Allotment Holders, the Tea Kiosk and St Peter's Church. We thank Frances for all the work she has done for Caversham Court, the Tea Kiosk and St Peter's Church; and also for the wider community, and send her hearty congratulations.

Hidden Abbey Stones Project

The Hidden Abbey Stones Project, spearheaded by Lindsay and John Mullaney, aims to track down pieces of carved stone which might - or might not- have originally come from an important monastic building such as Reading Abbey. Two carved stones found at Caversham Court during the refurbishment were taken along to St James' Church for the inaugural meeting of the project in October 2017. There is also some interest in the provenance of the two mask-like corbels on the Griffin steps in Caversham Court: these have been dated to the 11th century, and are closely related to a similar stone now in the Forbury Gardens.

Footprint Stonework

Talking of stones, you will have noticed that the stonework on the house footprint has deteriorated dramatically over the winter. The Parks Dept are looking at cost-effective ways to replace it.


Caversham Tree Walk

Reading Tree Wardens have produced a leaflet for a walk around Caversham centre, pointing out some of the fine local trees. The walk is designed to end in Caversham Court Gardens, with its very fine collection of specimen trees. Download the map at http://www.readingtree