It’s been an interesting month. By the time you read this, I’ll know whether or not my husband passed his driving test. It’s not often (if at all) you find a wife teaching her husband to drive. I think he will pass, but the road to this point has been a tad bumpy... for me, anyway.
It’s been a good marriage test and one I’ll be happy not to repeat. I have everything crossed that from here on in, I won’t have to be a car with him for a while. But enough about me, and my brushes with imminent RTAs, now autumn is here we can look forward to changing colours, changing weather and changing moods, from feel good to festive. I notice the Christmas cards are in the shops already But enough about me and my brushes with imminent RTAs, now autumn is here we can look forward to changing colours, changing weather and changing moods, from feel good to festive. I notice the Christmas cards are in the shops already.
Firstly this month, the Reading branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society will welcome Dr John Hughes for an illustrated talk entitled ‘Echeveria’. These popular succulents from Central America are widely grown and much loved for their varying leaf colours. The date is Saturday the 17th. The time 7.15pm. It takes place at Chapel Hall, Loddon Bridge Road, Woodley, Reading. Non-members welcome and a token entry fee of £2 includes tea/coffee and biscuits together with a ticket for the raffle. See the website www.reading.bcss.org.uk If you have any questions, call Alice Vanden Bon on 0118 9775273.
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 the 3rd, 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.
Don’t forget the Floral Art Demonstration at The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel on the 2nd, from 7.15pm to 10pm. The Flower Guild will be welcoming Tan Strong, a specialist in floral design and a trained 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.
Purley Players next production is On Her Way Out, a play by Fiona Roberton on the 2nd and 3rd. Taking place at the Barn, in Purley on Thames, this is a Murder Mystery Evening that will include a three-course meal. 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 teambuilding 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
Time is running out to go along and see An Elegant Society by Adam Buck, Artist in the Age of Jane Austen, 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
Trinity Concert Band’s Autumn Concert ‘Music of our Time’, will be taking place on the 3rd in the Great Hall, Reading University. 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. They will also have a guest soloist (Jay Bevan) to play a 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 226 3047 or via www.trinityband.co.uk
Runners can still enter the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday the 11th. Wantage Counselling Service has charity places available and volunteers are invited to run for the charity that provides an affordable counselling service to the local community. Registration is £10 and all they ask is that runners raise around £75 or more for the charity. For further information visit www.wantagecounselling.org.uk/getting-involved/fund-raising
The Pangbourne Art Group will be holding its annual exhibition in the Pangbourne Village Halls on the 10th and 11th 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 plentiful tea and cakes.
On Wednesday the 21st, Malcolm Brownsword will be talking to the Purley Horticultural Society about Butterflies & Orchids of the Upper Thames. If you’re interested in this one, go along to Purley Memorial Hall on Glebe Road at 8pm.
Bonfire night… is it nearly that time already? This year it falls on a Thursday, which is when Purley Primary School in Purley on Thames is holding theirs, on the banks of the River Thames. Illusion Fireworks are creating the show, gates open at 5.30pm and the display starts at 7pm. There will be hot food, drinks and glow items on sale. Proceeds go to Purley Primary School. For more details and to book, visit www.thamesidefireworkfiesta.org
Advance notice of a concert by The Thames Valley Chorus now. A Reading based Barbershop Group, will be giving a concert in Benson Church on Saturday, 28th November at 7.30pm. The Group, who have featured on Radio Berkshire and have competed in many music festivals, will perform from their wide ranging repertoire, which includes songs from the shows and traditional barbershop ballads. There will be a cash bar in the interval. Tickets for the concert (priced £12, £10 for concessions) can be obtained by calling 01491 838494 or buy from Derry’s Den in Benson. The event is in aid of church funds.
Goring Chamber Choir will be getting together with singers from local primary schools and the Church Choirs of St Thomas and St Mary on the 17th. The concert will take place at St Thomas’ Church in Goring at 3pm and will be conducted by Frances Brewitt-Taylor. Tickets cost £5, and children get in for free with a ticket. Buy yours from Inspiration in Goring, from a choir member, or at the door.
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.
As ever, there lots going on at Readifolk this month, which opens its doors at the Solidarity Centre every Sunday to welcome bands and fans of folk. On the 4th it’s Singers Night, the usual format, sing a song, a poem, tell a joke, or just go along and listen. On the 11th, it’s the long-awaited return of Acushla, a brilliant four-piece band playing music from the Celtic world. It’s Theme Night on the 18th, with the theme being ‘Questions and Answers’. Don’t forget, it’s the Reading International Festival this month, from the 16th to 31st, which is also themed, ‘Live and Act to Create a Better World’. Theme Night will give you the chance to offer some solutions with your own songs. Last but not least, Reg Meuross will be playing on the 25th. All these events start at 8pm. Admission costs £6 guest nights and £2 Singers and Theme Nights. For more information see www.readifolk.org.uk or call Una on 0118 9483145.
And finally, Charity Stepping Forward is putting on a Fundraising Ball for disability organisations on Friday, 13th November. The black-tie event starts at 7pm at the Hilton Hotel, Reading. The evening includes a three-course dinner, auction, raffle and music from local band, The Ding Dong Daddios. This is a joint charities venture, with each charity profiting from the places that they sell and the auction prizes they donate. Tickets cost £40 and you can buy them from Stepping Forward online at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-stepping-forward-charity-ball-tickets-18114543086 or from Stepping Forward, RISC, 35-39 London St, Reading, RG1 4PS.
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA