So, how’s your summer been faring? I must say, September confuses me, because some of the lovely people who send in Ramblings refer to it as autumn now, when, in my mind, it’s definitely still summer – mostly because I’m clinging to the thoughts of long days and sunshine.
Technically, autumn starts on the 23rd, so it’s fair to say, then, that some of what you will read below is in summer and some autumn. Mind-blowing! Anyway… I’m digressing… My summer’s been great, thanks. Even though I haven’t been abroad we’ve still enjoyed lots of garden parties, outdoor theatre, country shows and concerts. I’m definitely beginning to think winter sun is the holiday direction I’m taking from now on – otherwise I’d miss out on marvellous events such as these…
Let’s start at Whitchurch Hill Camera Club, which will be presenting an exhibition of members’ works – both print and digital – at Pangbourne Library from the 3rd to the 12th. Pay a visit to see all the local talented photographers and perhaps even purchase a print!
On the 5th, is Michael Howell will be giving an Organ Recital at St Thomas Church in Goring. Go along for 7pm when Michael will be playing works including Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B minor, Mendelssohn’s 4th Sonata and Franck’s Chorale no. 3 in A minor and some popular transcriptions. The recital will be followed by refreshments in the Canterbury Room. There’s no charge for the recital, but there will be a retiring collection for church expenses.
Purley Horticultural Society, together with Purley WI will be holding their Late Summer Show on Saturday the 5th, from 2.30-4pm in Purley Memorial Hall, Glebe Road. Refreshments will be available.
Reading and District Fuchsia Society resume their Monday meetings again on the 28th with a guest fuchsia speaker. Then, on Monday, 12th October they have an instructional talk given by a fuchsia expert. Guests are welcome to go along too, for just £1. The Society meets at Maiden Place Community Centre, Maiden Place, Lower Early, from 7.30pm.
If you don’t know about Reading Town Meal by now, firstly, where have you been? And second, I had better tell you about it; it’s important. The meal is a wonderful celebration of ‘growing your own’, and it’s returning to Forbury Gardens in Reading on Saturday, 3rd October from noon to 4pm. A tasty meal made from local produce and cooked by Reading College catering students will be served up free to over 1,000 lucky diners. Family fun activities, live music and competitions make this a great day out. You can also help make it happen by donating your spare veg – even a small amount – or volunteering on the day. See www.readingtownmeal.org.uk or call 0118 9586692.
Bad news everyone, Readifolk at the Solidarity Centre, will be closed on the 6th because of Wallingford Bunkfest. But never fear, it’s back the following Sunday, the 13th, with The Askew Sisters, a delightful young fiddle and melodeon duo who play mostly traditional music and songs in a modern way. Next, on the 20th, guitarist Steve Hicks and Lynn Goulbourn will be performing before Said the Maiden, an all-female trio, takes over on the 27th. Admission costs £6 and you can find out more online at www.readifolk.org.uk or call Una on 0118 9483145 or Anne on 0118 9613586.
Trinity Concert Band’s Autumn Concert is on the 3rd October, at Great Hall, Reading University. The concert theme is Music of Our Time and features music by living composers. The programme will include John Williams’ Midway March, from the 1976 film, a new composition based on the famous tune Men of Harlech, a medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best tunes, a foot tapping Sea Songs arrangement of well-known shanties, and New London Pictures, a composition by the British composer Nigel Hess who is famous for many TV themes. There will also be a guest soloist, Jay Bevan, who will play a premiere wind band performance of the Clarinet Sonatina by Joseph Horovitz. Tickets are £10 up to 24 hours before the concert and £12 on the door. Children under 16 years are free when accompanied by a paying member of the audience. Tickets can be purchased from the box Office on 0845 2263047 or via www.trinityband.co.uk
Reading WEA is beginning its sixth year of providing adult education classes on the 28th. Up to now, their short courses of 10 or seven weeks (two hours per week) have mainly taken place at the Hamilton Centre in Hamilton Road. However, building work on the site has meant that this venue is no longer available. So weekday classes will now take place in classrooms provided by New Directions in Caversham (in the centre near Waitrose) or South Reading (off Northumberland Avenue). This year’s programme of courses has a wide variety of subject areas, including art history, local history, architecture, literature, music, philosophy and much more. There is no written work and no examinations! Find out all about them on their website www.weareading.org.uk , where you can book online, or send completed booking forms to WEA Reading, 27 Derby Road, Caversham, RG4 5HE.
Tickets are now on sale for the next Floral Art Demonstration at The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel on Friday, 2nd October, from 7.15pm to 10pm. The Flower Guild will be welcoming Tan Strong, a specialist in floral design and a trained NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) national demonstrator, national speaker, teacher and judge, to give a demonstration on the subject of All Things Bright and Beautiful. Tickets cost £10 and are available from Garlands Organic, Pangbourne; Inspiration, Goring-on-Thames; or Richard Stone, Westfield, Woodview Road, Pangbourne, RG8 7JN, with a stamped addressed envelope and cheque (payable to: FIMC Flower Guild). Parking is free and there will be a musical prelude by students of Pangbourne College from 7.15pm to 8pm before the floral art demonstration starts at 8pm.
The Pangbourne Art Group will be holding its annual exhibition in the Pangbourne Village Halls on the 10th and 11th of October from 10am to 5pm. Once again the main hall will be devoted to displaying artwork by the PAG much of which will be exhibited for the first time. Purley Art Group have also been invited to display work in the small hall where there will also be demos of painting techniques and a sale of greeting cards. The Pangbourne China Painting Group will also be there again in the main reception area and as always there will be a plentiful supply of tea and cakes.
Every hour of every day in the United Kingdom a man dies of Prostate Cancer and 40,000 new cases are diagnosed. For the last three years Reading Lions have organised – free of charge – a PSA test at the Reading Circle Hospital. This year more than 700 men attended, 16 of whom many received a warning to visit their doctor and 34 required immediate treatment – one was operated on within 72 hours. This life-saving event is indeed free of charge to the men being tested, but Reading Lions do have to pay for it. With all that in mind, why not go along to Hennerton Golf Club on the 17th for a special Golf Day? All funds raised will go to help the Lions pay for the 2016 event next March. You could also win a car, holiday, golf clubs or a powerboat experience.
Goring Gap Photo Club will be starting their new programme on Tuesday the 8th with Ruari Cumming ARPS presenting Another World, Another View, showing the visually stunning, amusing and absurd. On the 22nd, with tips, tricks and ideas, a tutorial will be given by Berni Raffe on Improving Your Family Photography, this will be aimed at complete beginners to the more advanced, concentrating on technique rather than camera settings. The meetings will be held at Goring Free Church Hall at 8pm. For the full programme of talks, tuition and competitions contact www.goringgapphoto.co.uk
Purley Players’ next production is On Her Way Out, a play by Fiona Roberton – a Murder Mystery Evening that will include a three-course meal. The performance will be at the Barn in Purley on Thames, on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd October. If you don’t know the plot, and why would you, it focuses on Tim Seymour, facilities manager of Frimleys Potato Factory. He takes his five female staff for a weekend team-building exercise to Dedleigh Woods Outward Bound Centre; where the instructor is Doug Frith. But secrets abound; there is a reformed criminal, an estranged husband owing hundreds in back maintenance, one of the ladies took a holiday with the boss, a victim of school bullying meets his antagonist, a cheque forger, a former arsonist and many other secrets all of which have been overheard by one or more of the others. So who can’t keep their mouth shut? Who deserves to die? Go along at 7pm for 7.30pm to find out. Tickets are £15 from 0118 954 8052. See the website www.purleyplayers.org.uk
Aldworth’s 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.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to the National Trust properties this month, there’s loads on. At Basildon Park for instance, there are Nature Walks every Friday at 11am until January next year. From autumn colour to views only available in winter, enjoy guided walks and nature talks throughout the seasons. To find out more about these and upcoming events visit the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk
We all love a good tea party, and now’s your chance to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at St Stephen’s Church in Upper Basildon on the 20th. There will be a Tombola, as well as games for all and brilliant Morris Dancers. It’s all part of the national WI Centenary Celebrations. Go along between 2pm and 4pm for your cuppa.
And finally, ‘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 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. For more details visit the website at www.ashmolean.org
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA