I’m off angling with the Fish Wives tomorrow. I’ve not once picked up a fishing rod. The closest I got was when I went to the canal with a fishing-mad ex-boyfriend and stood, freezing cold, watching him not have a bite all day... At least with the Fish Wives there’s a picnic involved (and plenty of sunshine, hopefully). It’s good to try something new sometimes, don’t you think? I don’t expect I’ll become a fan of fishing. However, there are lots of things for you to try this month. From singing to badminton and bridge. If that all sounds a bit much, we’ve always got the usual fetes, fairs and festivals to tempt you outdoors.
‘Beyond The Doll’s House’ is a new show with live music and animation film by Witt Morgan Musicventures, who will be performing at 7.30pm on Friday, 17th July at Wesley Church in Queens Road, Reading. The show explores the fears and hopes of two children, William and Victoria, whose newborn brother or sister is due to come home the next day. While they wait for news, the children discover an old doll’s house. Through this they visit strange lands and peoples on a richly-imagined make-believe journey of emotional discovery. The show features stunning artwork in a silhouette animation film, and a cast of 100 professional and local singers with a professional orchestral-band who perform live well-known pieces from an inspiring range of orchestral and vocal music. Excerpts from the opera Hansel & Gretel, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, well-known songs from Oliver!, the magical Peer Gynt by Grieg, and music by John Williams, Copland, Coldplay, Billy Joel, and Bach. Advance tickets are £14 and £11 concessions. Call 0333 666 3366, or on the door they are £18 (£15 concessions). See www.beyondthedollshouse.com to discover more about the show and the other great artists involved.
Now, to a brilliant family-friendly show for the summer holidays – and a world premiere for Berkshire! Reading Rep, in association with The Watermill, presents A Little History of the World from 29th July until 15th August. This, the theatre group tell us, is ‘not just a story, but our story, the story that we call the history of the world. Shall we begin?’ This world premiere adaptation, based on E.H.Gombrich’s international bestseller, will take families on a light-hearted, whistle-stop tour through the centuries from the big bang to WWII. Meet colourful, historical figures, take to the great battlefields, marvel at fabulous works of art and ground-breaking scientific discoveries. At 26, Ernst Gombrich, a brilliant but unemployed academic, is invited to write an entire history of the world, in just six weeks! The book he writes is an instant success, becomes an global bestseller and is published in 25 languages. Join Ernst, Ilse and Otto on a fun-filled trip through the fascinating, entertaining and heart-warming history of the world to discover the extraordinary achievements of mankind and its frailties. Suitable for children aged 10+. Performances take place Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm with Saturday matinées at 3pm. Tickets are £15/£12 for adults, £10 for under-18s and a family ticket (two adults and two children) is £40. Call the box office on 01183 750 280, visit www.readingrep.com or tweet #LittleHistory
This month, there are a gang of runaway brides you might just notice and will, hopefully, want to sponsor! Ashley Burnell, who owns White Rose Bridal Rooms, has recruited more than 20 women to run Newbury’s Race For Life on July 5th, in donated wedding dresses. The idea came to Ashley as a way to help a cause close to her heart; Cancer Research UK. Opulence Brides, Pure Bridal and David Tutera by Mon Cheri have donated the dresses to raise money for the charity, and Ashley hopes as many people as possible will sponsor the gang. Her sister has been undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer and several of the other women running have personal reasons for the sponsored run, too. Read more and donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/teams/white-rose-bridal
The Roy Bailey Band return to the Goring Social Club on Thursday, July 16th at 8.30pm. If you like that big band swing from the 1940s and some up-dated jazz ‘n’ funk this will be the place to hear it. The wonderful Beccy Kean will sing during the evening so it’ll be a Big Band Plus! With great music and free admission to a great venue with great beer (and a chance to check out the Goring Social Club) this evening is not to be missed. I get the impression it’s going to be ‘great’….
Next up, it’s the West Ilsley Village Fete & Dog Show On Sunday, 5th July, from midday until 4pm. It’s held on the cricket pitch opposite The Harrow pub in the beautiful village of West Ilsley. This year’s fete has lots on offer including owls and birds of preys display, classic cars, helicopter, crockery smashing, inflatable go-karting, bouncy castle, raffle, silent auction, boxing ring, sweets and popcorn stall, vintage clothing, fun dog show and agility clear round, pizzas, ice cream van, barbecue and much, much more. Entry is £2 for adults and children are free. There’s also free car parking.
St Mary’s Church, Aldworth is celebrating 700 years of consecration with a variety of events and a Flower Festival on the first weekend of August. Every Wednesday in July and August delicious afternoon teas will be served from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, with time to explore the treasures of the historic and beautiful church and churchyard. Groups are most welcome if you call this number first: 01635 578936. Also, on the first three Saturdays in July, from 9.30am to midday, St Mary’s will host a village produce market with refreshments all morning. For market details, call 01635 578090.
Reading Outdoor Group is organising a three or four-mile evening walk from Goring-on-Thames. If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch by visiting www.readingoutdoorgroup.org.uk or phone the membership secretary on 0118 961 6506. Reading Outdoor Group is a long-established outdoor activity group that welcomes new members of all ages from Reading and surrounding areas. Events are arranged and led by members and the range of activities is varied including walking, cycling, weekends away and social events.
Readifolk meets in the Conference Room at RISC on Sundays from 8pm to 10.30pm. The first event, on 5th July, is a Guest Night featuring the young, award-winning singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist, Louise Jordan. On 12th July the highly-acclaimed singer/songwriter John Conolly makes a return visit. The brilliant singer/songwriter Anthony John Clarke is the guest on 19th July and on 26th July, it’s a Singers Night – the usual format; sing a song, play a tune, read a poem, tell a joke or just listen. Admission is £6 on Guest Nights and £2 on Singers Nights. For more information visit www.readifolk.org.uk or call Una on 0118 9483145.
Race organiser, Sweatshop has today revealed the 2016 Vitality Reading Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, 3rd April, 2016. The event will see thousands of runners lace up and take to the start line, with Cancer Research UK named as the official national charity partner of one of the most prestigious half marathons in the British running calendar. The 33rd Reading Half Marathon will attract seasoned distance runners and thousands of newcomers to the running community. The world renowned course will lead runners from Green Park, through the beautiful grounds of Reading University and to a momentous finish inside Reading Football Club’s Madejski Stadium. To keep up with the latest race developments and to secure a place, visit www.readinghalfmarathon.com
This year’s Nettlebed Art and Craft Show is expected to be another quality arty experience. This takes place on Saturday, 1st August, from midday to 6pm and Sunday, 2nd August, 10am to 5pm, at Nettlebed School. This is an opportunity to see excellent work by local artists as there will be lots of paintings, drawings, and craft on display.
Goring and Streatley Regatta takes place this month, on Saturday 25th, 9.30am to 6pm. It’s at Streatley Farm and visitors can expect a hog roast, real ale tent, fun fair, music, children’s Dongola Racing and crafts. Advance tickets cost £7 for adults, £3.50 for children and seniors and £18 for a family ticket. Book now to take your gazebo and enter a crew. Visit www.goringgapbc.org.uk
Vivace Voices Ladies’ Choir are holding a concert at St Stephen’s Church in Upper Basildon on Wednesday, 15th July in the afternoon, at 2.30pm. The programme includes songs from Irving Berlin to Bach, WWI songs, ballads, readings and an instrumental piece. Tickets are £3 on the door, which includes savouries, cakes and tea, with all proceeds going to Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice.
Goring’s Village Greenfingers’ gardening club meets next on Wednesday, July 1st, at 8pm in Storton Lodge, Icknield Road, Goring. Their meetings are open to all, whatever your level of interest in gardening, and visitors can be sure of a warm welcome. Malcolm Brownsword’s talk promises to appeal to many people; he will speak about local gardens – Hartslock, Hidcote, Waterperry and Oxford Botanic Gardens. There will be refreshments, a raffle and plant sundries for sale. For further information, contact Alexandra on 01189 842616.
Organisers of the annual Church Fete in Caversham Court have issued an open invitation to enjoy a great afternoon in beautiful surroundings on 12th July with a traditional English fete courtesy of St Peter’s, Caversham and St Margaret’s, Mapledurham. We’re all excited to hear that they will be welcoming back the Berkshire Maestros, as well as the Hurst Morris People – always popular with the younger audience who like to get up and have a go. There’s a Grand Draw you won’t want to miss out on, either, with the top prizes including a Kindle Fire, a Barrett Photography portrait pack and four rounds of golf at Caversham Heath Golf Club plus many other great prizes. In among the stalls you will find cakes, plants and bric-a-brac, as well as a coconut shy to try and even the classic hook a duck. If, after all that activity, you feel in need of refreshment then there’s homemade cakes, tea, coffee, and ice cream available on the lawn all afternoon and, new for this year, a Pimm’s tent near the river. Fred in the Shed will also be joining in again to keep the little ones entertained with a fun show for all ages, followed by children’s races. It all starts at 1.45pm with the ringing of St Peter’s bells.
One of Britain’s most recognisable and unique species, the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) is unfortunately becoming increasingly rare to find. For 15 years, People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has been actively working to halt the decline of this iconic insect. PTES is asking volunteers to join their annual Great Stag Hunt Survey and record any sightings of stag beetles. The survey, which can be found on their website, www.ptes.org , is easy to use and with your input, PTES can better understand how stag beetles numbers are faring in the UK. By the end of May this year, only 384 stag beetles have been recorded, so all contributions are vital to this survey.
Unfortunately, the stag beetle’s tough exterior and formidable looking mandibles encourages some people to kill them without realising they are not harmful to humans.
Afternoon teas will be served at St Mary’s Church, Aldworth (RG8 9SB), every Wednesday from 2.30pm to 4.30pm from 3rd June to the end of August. Everyone is very welcome to visit this unique and beautiful church, home to 14th century effigies know as ‘The Aldworth Giants’. Families, walkers and groups can enjoy Afternoon Teas in Aldworth’s historic church and peaceful churchyard on the edge of West Berkshire’s Ridgeway. St Mary’s has toilet facilities and toys for children. Proceeds go towards St Mary’s conservation funds. Large groups are kindly asked to pre-book dates by calling 01635 578936.
Like Scrabble? Then go along to St Thomas’ Church in Manor Road, Goring, on the fourth Friday of the month. Sessions start at 3pm until 5pm in the Canterbury Room and it costs £2.50. There’s no need to book, just turn up. Transport can be arranged if required. Ring Antoinette Jackson on 07740 940777.
On Sunday, 5th July it’s the Berkshire Motor Show in Prospect Park, Reading, from 10am to 5pm. To book, call Steph Awbery on 07990667503 and for more details visit www.berkshiremotorshow.co.uk
Do you suffer from back pain? Why not join a weekly hydrotherapy class run by Reading Branch of BackCare. They are a friendly group of men and women of various ages who meet once a week for an hour of exercises in lovely warm water at Pulse 8 in Winnersh. Exercises are led by a physiotherapist with a pool assistant. It is ideal for post-operative rehabilitation or to help maintain movement and muscle tone. It costs £66 for a six-week term and there is a reduced rate for a one-off ‘taster’. Find out more by calling 0118 9470709 or 0118 983 5582.
Friends of Music at Goring have announced the second of their 2015 season of Lunchtime Recitals to be held on Wednesday, 1st July, in the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Goring, at 1pm. This will be a piano recital given by James Sherlock. Those who attended the song recital last September by Raphaela Papadakis will remember James’ wonderful playing of Schubert and Schumann. His programme will include Bach’s French Suite in G major, Liszt’s Three Petrarch Sonnets, music by Chopin and Schumann and will end with the great Busoni adaptation for piano of Bach’s violin Chaconne. Admission will be £12 at the door, or £10 if purchased in advance from Inspiration, The Arcade, Goring-on-Thames or by contacting Nigel Fountain on 01491 873341.
Aldworth’s weekly Saturday Market is moving into St Mary’s Church (RG8 9SB) from June to December while a new village hall is being built. Fresh foods, Fairtrade groceries, sweets, refreshments and a friendly welcome as usual. Visit on Saturdays from 9.30am to midday. Shop, chat and take refreshment in our beautiful church and churchyard. For details call 01635 578090.
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