Woketober anyone? Or would it be Woktober? Though that rather sounds like wok-cooking for a month; healthy, but month unlike any other with regards cultural and social engagement right here in Wokingham (and surrounds of course). I want people turned away owing to fire safety regulations from nights mentioned in the forthcoming announcements; I want to see the market stalls resembling a Russian supermarket from the ’80s by 3pm of a Saturday; I want to hear people mentioning how lucky they feel to be part of such a vibrant and connected community when I’m next earwigging in a pub or a restaurant, they say ‘I want doesn’t get’, but some time I want is deserved, and this is deserved and thus worth wanting. It’s up to you to make it happen.
So, as the legend that is Marvin Gaye said, Let’s Get It On! Though, given the frequency that said song is used as a wedding’s first dance, one feels his intentions were rather different to mine own – still it served a purpose. So let’s indeed get it on and kick off with the Wokingham Film Society, by virtue of their event be first out of the blocks. The date to scribble on the calendar is 8th and the place you’re heading for is the Bradbury Centre, Rose Street. You’ve obviously worked out they’re showing a film so you may wish to know what that is too I guess, well it’s Still Alice; not a film called Alice that they’re still showing, but a film called Still Alice. It all starts at 7.30pm, but given the new age of Wokinghamness you may wish to get to the head of the queue. Entry for non-members is £6.40. www.wokinghamfilmsociety.com
Do you think the word quiz finds its origins in the two words that could likely be used to make it up; those being ‘question’ and ‘is’ (obviously the word is having had a bit of a jazzing up at some point since the inception of the term!). It’s a theory, and possibly good quiz question, if I only knew the answer, which is kind of the point in a quiz really. If you do know the answer then you really do need to get to the Thames Valley Guide Dogs Branch quiz which is taking place Saturday 10th at the Emmbrook Village Hall at 7.30pm. If you don’t, then you should still go as it’s a New Dawn in Wokingham let’s not forget. So recruit your family and friends (especially that one who knows EVERYTHING, we’ve all got one) into a team of up to six in true quiz style see if you can bag that winning prize. Entry is £10 per person and that includes a superb ploughmans supper and the opportunity to take your beverages of choice. To book call 0118 9786867, oh and all proceeds go to Guide Dogs!
Favourite film of the 80s? In reality it’s Ghostbusters, but for the purpose of this Ramble we’ll pretend that not to be true and say that my favourite film of the ’80s is Police Academy. Why the smoke and mirrors? Well there’s a good reason for it, that being there is a band of the same name playing at Wokingham Music Club on 16th, now you see the use of the white lie. So what else do you need to know, well tickets are £10 in advance or £12.50 on the door and it kicks off from 7.30pm. To book tickets visit www.wokinghammusicclub.co.uk but before that you may want to get a little sneaky peek, in which case you need to find your way to www.thepoliceacademy.co.uk
Life in India, a big subject right? A bit like Tesco’s choice of honey, it could be a little daunting. Though this is a Wokingham Art Society meeting we’re talking about here, so I just know they’ll have the right amount of guidance to assure you’re not spending the whole evening worrying about how you’re portraying Indian culture, but instead coming up with something marvellous of your own making, specifically a painting in pastels. So get along on 20th to the Methodist Church on Rose St and have yourself led by Tony Jackson in all Price for non-members is £4 and if you’d like to find out more call 0118 9731556.
If you’re informed that Wokingham Theatre are putting on a ‘whodunit’ then even the least likely detectives amongst us are likely to have an idea of the author of said story might be, I’d hope so at least. The bigger questions would be, one; which specific work of Agatha Christie are we talking about here and two; whodunit? Well I can solve the first part of the riddle for you, the story in question is ‘And Then There Were None’, I will however not pass any comment on the second questions, for a multitude of reasons. The run starts at the Wokingham Theatre in Cantley Park on Tuesday 20th and goes right through to the last day of the month. So why not get a little bit of culture and an opportunity to test the old grey matter to boot, you know it makes sense. Visit www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.
Well none of us can be sure exactly who Anita Ward was singing about back in 1979 (aside from Anita herself of course) but I tell you what, we can all ring bells, every single one of us. And not metaphorically, literally, that’s right; all of us can literally ring bells with the All Saints Church Bell Ringers (www.allsaintswokinghambells.org.uk). I say all of you because their current membership is testament to this fact, there are those more mature in years right through to small humans. And why not huh; it’s an enjoyable skill that requires mental dexterity, a sense of rhythm and moderate physical exercise. Not only that but it is also a chance to be part of a performance without being in public view, something which can be off-putting, as well as finding yourself immersed in the history and heritage of our country. The web address above is your first port of call if you’re interested (wish I had a phone number to give you, then I could say…go on, give it a ring!).
Art…art…art, this is thinking aloud (of sorts), what to do about a new art group? What to say? How to get the idea started before I give you dear readers the meat of the Ramble sandwich? Well perhaps this nonsense has sufficed? It takes place every Tuesday from 1pm – 3pm at the FBC Centre in Finchampstead. Blimey, that was easy. Oh sorry, few more bits, each session is £3 but you only pay for those you attend, simple enough, and the group is open to one and all, established artists through to those whose experience is limited to splodging cut up spuds and sponges onto a piece of paper. For details call 0118 9088155 or 0118 973 2484.
There are few words cooler sounding than baroque, it’s so evocative, just saying it or putting it into a title lends the occasion an air of mystery and chic. So I would imagine the artists are only too pleased to be associated with the Candlelit Baroque series which is currently running at All Saints’ Church. Next up in the run is Terence Charlston with his harpsichord in a night given the rather fascinating sounding Fugues and Fancies. So let’s looks at some of the details in more…err…detail shall we; Terence has experienced a rich and broad career as a solo and chamber musician, choral and orchestral director as well as finding time to teach and do the odd bit of research, good on him, but for this he’s flying solo. The show starts at 8pm on 28th, tickets are £12.50. www.wokinghamconcerts.co.uk
It would appear that when Noah wasn’t busy building arks but he also dabbled in studios, who knew. Oh hang on, that’s not right at all, for one the place is called The Ark Studio, not Noah’s Studio and it’s at the Ravenswood Village which has no biblical associations that can be found anywhere on the internet. Still it’s a place where nice things happen, as was Noah’s alleged ark, so I guess there are intrinsic links, of sorts. Anyway all of this chat about arks and studios and the bible are only a distraction from what we’re actually trying to tell you about here which is the Ark Studio (as mentioned) at the Ravenswood Village (also mentioned) on Nine Mile Ride (new information) which provides music, dance, drama and other arts courses for disabled people, the sort of thing which I’m sure God would agree with. For more information call 01344 755528.
Okay so the Bracknell Flower Club deserve some plaudits right? Credit where it’s due and all, it’s not every flower club who win a silver gilt medal at the Chelsea Flower Show and in their 45th year to boot, bloomin’ marvellous! (Sorry). Success brings with it untold riches, though in this case they’re probably told riches, a spike in membership one would imagine. So get onto the bandwagon people and find your way to their next monthly meeting which is on Wednesday 14th at Priestwood Community Centre. Should you wish for more information than that, then call Alison Phillips by call 01344 882733.
The normal set up for a group or society is a fairly well-trodden path; meeting including a guest speaker; likeminded folk sitting, discussing, cogitating and collaborating; a cup of tea or coffee and maybe a biscuit or two and a little surcharge for non-members…but not all groups are cut from the same cloth. Take the Binfield Badger Group, they tick the boxes on the first three criteria mentioned but on the fourth they diverge drastically, that’s right there is no charge, none whatsoever, beautiful. So why not get along to their next meeting on 22nd to take in all they have for offer entirely for free. Here you’ll catch a guest speaker talking about wildlife as well as all of the other trappings mentioned. Meeting take place at the Memorial Hall in Binfield and the doors open at 7pm.
It seems like an age since we heard from the Reading Branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society, and one would imagine it is someone’s age, specifically someone aged four months. So welcome back into the fold from your four month hiatus you lovely cacti and succulent enthusiasts you. On Saturday 17th catch their informative, illustrated talk entitled ‘Echeveria’, which will also score you about 300 points in Scrabble. The talk is by Dr John Hughes and, as always, takes place at the Chapel Hall on Loddon Bridge Road, Woodley. Doors open 7.15pm and a token entry fee of £2 is required but does get you tea, coffee and biscuits as well as a ticket for the raffle. Call Alice on 0118 9775273 or visit www.reading.bcss.org.uk
Okay, it seems a little early but we’re gonna mention Christmas. In our defence we won’t be there first time and we’re mentioning for a Good Cause. The annual Toys and Teens Appeal s run by Reading Family Aid. You are asked to donate new or nearly new gifts to children aged 0-16 whose families do not have the means to make their Christmas as merry as one would like it to be. For details of dropping off points then go to www.readingfamilyaid.org or call 07930 033 413. See, totally worth the mention!
On occasion things going on next month warrant a mention. This is justifiable in for a number of specific criteria, these being as follows; one, it might sell out if we mention it too late. Two, it’s for a worthy cause. Three, it feels like the sort of thing which will require organisation of some kind, i.e. a babysitter or hiring a tuxedo/fancy dress. Four, all of the above; which, coincidentally, is exactly how it is with the Fundraising Ball on Friday 13th November in aid of disability organisations in Reading and the surrounding area. Obviously it might sell out, it’s unique and offering a three course meal and a band (Ding Dong Daddios). This is a joint venture led by Stepping Forward and each charity involved will profit. Tickets are £40 and you can buy them from www.eventbrite.co.uk or from Stepping Forward themselves on London Street in Reading.
Are you ready for the last Ramble folks? We round things off with those bastions of Sunday night folky loveliness, Readifolk. They have, as always, a month of folk entertainment sure to get your toes tapping like a woodpecker on the back end of six energy drinks who is looking to impress a lady woodpecker (such things impress lady woodpeckers right?). The month kicks off on 4th with the usual Singers Night, by where you, or I, or him, or her can get up and do our thing, whatever that might be. A week later, 11th, they host the long-awaited return of brilliant four piece Acushla (www.acushlafolk.co.uk ). On 18th we get into the theme Questions and Answers by where the audience provide the material, so long as it has a link to the theme mentioned and then the month finishes on 25th with Reg Meuross (www.regmeuross.com ) who will be wowing folks with his thought provoking songs and melodies. Busy little bees aren’t they, what a jam packed month. www.readifolk.org.uk
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA