You know you’re a proper grown up when you decide to throw a summer party for your entire family. This will be my first time – and possibly only time to impress. They’re travelling three hours or so to see us so I have to make it worth their while. We have all kinds of entertainment planned, from archery to garden boule (that’s posh bowling I’m told) – let’s just hope the Bank Holiday weather forecast brings me good news otherwise we’ll all be cooped up in my tiny living room eating summer salad and oven-cooked sausages crying into our Pimm’s – or that might just be me….
First to tell you about this month, is another garden fete which being held in the beautiful grounds of Sulham House near Pangbourne on Saturday, August 8th from 2pm to 5pm. Attractions include fun dog show, barbecue, Pimm’s bar, beer and tea tent and many varied traditional fete stalls.
Dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets are being targeted in a Reading Borough Council campaign. The Council’s dog wardens and street care team will be visiting dog fouling ‘hot spots’ and spreading the ‘poop scooping’ message over the next few months. They will also be giving advice to dog owners about new legislation being introduced which requires their pets to be microchipped. Reading Council has run its dog fouling campaign for the last three years and will be holding five events this summer and autumn, the next one being at Coronation Square in Southcote between 11am and 2pm on August 20th. Dates have yet to be confirmed for two more events in September and October. Anyone who fails to clean up after their pet can be issued with a £75 fixed penalty notice. Non-payment can result in prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000. Reading council has issued 15 fixed penalty notices in the last 12 months.
The new Microchipping of Dogs Regulations make it compulsory for all dogs over the age of eight weeks to be fitted with microchips from 6th April next year.
Afternoon Teas will be served at St Mary’s Church, Aldworth (RG8 9SB) every Wednesday from 2.30pm to 4.30pm until 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 on 01635 578936.
Staying in Aldworth, and the weekly Saturday Market is moving into St Mary’s Church (RG8 9SB) until 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 the beautiful church and churchyard. For details call 01635 578090.
Time to expand your mind…Courses ranging from mathematics to making money on eBay are now available to sign up for at New Directions, part of Reading’s learning and employment service. There is also a new traineeship scheme, work placement at Reading Borough Council and Digital Inclusion courses available this year. Adult learners can try new languages, such as French, Spanish or Arabic, turn their hands to different skills such as sewing or photography or get healthier with courses in Tai Chi and complimentary therapies. Eight-week work placements are available with Reading council for over 19-year-olds with opportunities in areas such as customer services, parks and open spaces and leisure. A range of Information Technology courses are also on offer, including creative and practical IT, digital photography and confidence in using IT for job seekers.
Full details of the courses and how to enrol can be found at www.newdirectionsreading.ac.uk or paper copies of the guide are available at council locations across the borough.
Cleeve-by-Goring WI, assisted by 2nd Goring and Streatley Scouts (their chosen charity this year), will once again be serving teas and homemade cakes at Goring Lock on 23rd and 30th August from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. On 23rd the Goring and Streatley Concert Band will be playing nearby. As usual the cakes will be delicious and very keenly priced – an afternoon by the water to enjoy!
Purley Horticultural Society, together with Purley W.I. will be holding their Late Summer Show on Saturday, 5th September from 2.30pm to 4pm in Purley Memorial Hall, Glebe Road. Refreshments will also be available.
‘An Elegant Society’ by Adam Buck, Artist in the Age of Jane Austen, is at the Ashmolean in Oxford until 4th October. Well-known to collectors and Jane Austen enthusiasts, Irish artist Adam Buck (1759–1833) was one of Regency England’s most sought-after portrait painters. He worked in Ireland for 20 years, becoming an accomplished miniaturist; but moved to London in 1795 and immediately gained a roster of star clients including the Duke of York and his scandalous mistress, Mary Anne Clarke. This summer exhibition celebrates Adam Buck’s influence on Georgian art and style, showing over 60 works from private collections including watercolours, small portraits and miniatures; examples of his decorative designs for porcelain and fans; and his prints. A new monograph on Buck, by guest curator Peter Darvall, accompanies the exhibition and will be the first major study of his work. For more details visit the website at www.ashmolean.org
On Sunday, 9th August, Reading Outdoor Group is organising a 12-mile day walk from Ipsden back to Reading. If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch at 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 the members and the range of activities is varied including walking, cycling, weekends away and social events.
For our continental friends, Saturday is ‘gallery day’ at CircleReading. The Art Scope Gallery in the stunning Atrium at CircleReading is now open to everyone on Saturdays, from 9am to 5pm. See beautiful paintings and sculptures, and relax in the Circle Café where scrummy snacks and delicious lunches are available. There are over 100 pieces of art on show - the largest collection of affordable art on permanent display in Reading. All the art is for sale and all profits go to the charity – Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service. To date, Art Scope Gallery has raised over £14,000 for the charity, through sales of art. The gallery provides a pleasant and stimulating environment for patients and staff at CircleReading. Entry and parking is free. www.artscopeatcircle.co.uk
Whitchurch Hill Camera Club will be presenting an exhibition of their work both print and digital at Pangbourne Library from the 3rd to 12th September. Pay a visit to see all the local talented photographers and perhaps even purchase a print.
Like Scrabble? Then go along to St. Thomas’ Church, Manor Road in 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, 9th August it’s the 23rd Annual Classic Vehicle Show in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research at Newbury College. The show is organised by West Berks Classic Vehicle Club and attracts a wide variety of classic cars, motorbikes and commercial vehicles. The show previously held at Newbury Racecourse moved to its new venue of Newbury College last year. This is a great day out for enthusiasts and all the family with refreshments, band, side stalls, auto jumble, with all the proceeds going to the chosen charity. Entry forms can be downloaded from the WBCVC website at www.classicvehicles.org.uk . The show starts at 10am and admission is £6 per adult and under 14s go free.
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA