The quarter centenary was marked with
an AGM in a new venue. The Grace Church on the Peppard Road opened its
doors to a record number of attendees on 28th April. Amongst those was
David Miles, EGRA’s inaugural Chairman. We have been very lucky
over the years to have dedicated and hardworking committee, who have
pushed the scope of the Association way beyond its original remit. Jill
Verran is the longest standing committee member and her enthusiasm and
hard work has remained throughout. She was presented with a wildlife
book. We thank Kate Manton for her contribution as Secretary over the
last two years, and welcome her replacement Carol Gibson. Tara Taylor
and Diana Hartrup have also left the committee, btu continue to offer
support. Richard Bennett from Reading Civic Society gave an enlightened
talk after the formal business.
A few weeks later followed our anniversary
party. The event took over a year in the planning and a big thank you
goes to all those who worked
so hard leading up to the day and helpers on the day itself. Photographs
were taken and we hope, in due course, to devote a web page to the occasion.
EGRA member Jenny Leach was there with her family “We were
all at the celebrations on Saturday, loved the band and the girls loved
Charley. It was also poignant to see the photos of the old village.”
The event’s main organiser, Barry Prior
has written an account of the afternoon:
Were you near Emmer Green Primary School on the afternoon of 9th May,
to hear the foot tapping strains of a jazz band, or the applause of an
audience, or the excited laughter of children? During the afternoon over
250 members, friends and well-wishers came to our Family Event.
The celebrations were opened by the then
Mayor of Reading, Councillor Peter Beard, who having toured the hall
and studied the photographic
history of Emmer Green, joined everyone in a celebratory glass and enjoyed
a piece of our “ birthday cake”.
During the afternoon we were entertained
by the Earley Music Centre Jazz Band. The band gave two excellent sessions
of familiar jazz numbers,
mainly trad. and blues. In between the band’s performances, the
children of Mo’s Dance & Drama School entertained everyone
with lively dance numbers. Everyone showed their appreciation of the
dancers’ enthusiasm. To round off the afternoon’s entertainment,
the children were held spellbound by the tricks and dexterity of the
well known children’s entertainer, Uncle Charley.
In particular your committee would like to thank Emmer Green Primary
School for making the hall available and Neil Ingram, the school caretaker
for his help both before and after the event. Thanks and appreciation
should also be given to our local supermarket, Budgens, which donated
all of the snacks and biscuits served during the afternoon and to Len
Smales who made our celebratory cake.
The new location of the EGRA website is now
operational. The search engines may take a while to pick up on the new
name, but we hope, with a name
that is concise and easy to remember that it will have long-term benefits.
Many thanks go to Clive Ormonde for his skills in designing and maintaining
the site over a long period. For those without computer, the site can
be freely accessed at the local library.
March saw an EGRA outing to the re3 Recyling Visitor Centre at Smallmead.
Unfortunately the trip was over-subscribed, but we have been informed
the there will be forthcoming public open days, so watch out for announcements
in future web updates or in the local press.
Following on from the visit to The Houses of Parliament last year, we
are looking into a similar free group visit to Mansion House, London.
The tours are heavily oversubscribed, so we may have to wait a while.
If you might be interested, please contact via phone or email email@example.com or 0118 9470922 to add your name to our list.
The economic downturn has given us a respite from the relentless infill
development, and knock on effect that has. However, we continue to
monitor all local planning applications and respond to consultations
as necessary. In particular we keep an eye on the area of South Oxfordshire,
just over the border and the forthcoming new Thames Bridge proposals.
Unfortunately the situation with the housing market is bound to affect
the local economy and one victim has been the estate agent Stuarts, which
for a while occupied the former Post Office.
Experimental Closure Of Gravel
Hill To Motor Vehicles
The Council closed Gravel Hill to motor vehicles, except for access,
on an experimental basis from 17th June. This is to address local
concerns about its condition and assess the impact of its closure on
highway network and on Gravel Hill. An experimental order of this
kind can operate for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 18 months.
will be accepted by The Council for a period of 6 months from its
date of introduction and should be addressed to: Head of Legal Services,
Reading Borough Council, Civic Centre, Reading RG1 7AE. Nearby residents
will be contacted again in September for their views.
Several members have commented to us about the poor state of some pavements.
Please report these, either to us or local Councillors, so the information
can be passed on.
New Bus Services
The Vitality No 2 began serving Emmer Green and Caversham on 20th April
and offers a more frequent and extended service. The 28 has been introduced
to serve residents of the Marchwood Avenue area.
http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/yournh-tvp-pol-area-N130 This is the
direct link to the Caversham North neighbourhood section of the Thames
Valley Police website. It gives details of our local officers and forthcoming
police surgeries outside Budgens. Unfortunately the Neighbourhood Action
Group meetings for Upper Caversham have been suspended whilst considerations
are given to how the NAGs might operate most effectively in conjunction
with Safer Forums throughout the town. We hope to have news on this soon.
There has been a spate of burglaries this year and residents are reminded
to keep valuables secure and keys out of easy reach. However, anti-social
behaviour appears to have lessened and we hope that trend continues.
Thames Valley Police Open Day on Saturday
8th August between 10.00am -4.00pm at the Training Centre at Sulhamstead
near Reading. Adults £2.00,
under 16's free. Limited parking. No dogs, except guide dogs.
street-cleaning / verges /hedges / graffiti
We regularly monitor grass and hedge cutting, and feedback to the Council
anything reported to us. Summer grass cutting does appear to be more
regular. The Council’s resources are limited, but generally things
are encouraging. Bob Cruickshank heads our graffiti clean up team and
he asks for you to report to him on 0118 9482900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Reading Borough Council has an obligation to site more bottlebanks to
give residents access within walking distance. Whilst EGRA encourages
recycling we support the views of nearby residents and other wider
concerns concerning disposal of glass. Please contact us if you have
an issue with any proposals, or alternatively if you can suggest a
Friends of Clayfield Copse continue to meet for active conservation work
on the first Sunday of each month. They also arrange guided walks through
the woods. Contact Anne Latto email email@example.com.
and Young People
We shortly hope to be in a position to present to second of our annual
book prizes to pupils of the school who have shown an interest in the
community. We are also pleased to say, that following on from our recent
local history photo display, we have loaned the boards to the school
to use in a new teaching project for the autumn term.
Emmer Green Youth & Community
There are plans to expand the footprint of the centre. This will allow
a base for the North Children’s Action Team, a multi agency team
who work closely with schools and the community to support children
and young people. It will also be a hub for the third phase of Children’s
Centres, which will prioritise outreach services to support families
with children under 5 years within the locality.
St Barnabas Garden
Saturday July 11th 2.00pm – 4.00pm.
Also an opportunity to look round the new Parish Centre. There is also
an opportunity to view the centre between 8.30 and 11 am on Tuesday and
Thursdays, and following the 10am service on Wednesdays.
Age Concern 50
Plus+ Forum, and AGM.
Monday 13th July at 2.00pm, at St Barnabas Church
Hall. Apart from the official
business, there will
be the launch of Mark Ralph’s Buddy Scheme, a talk on Dementia
and Alzheimer’s and the work of the Albert Road Day centre. Please
respond to Marveta Hinds 0118 9594242.
Seat for Caversham Court Gardens.
EGRA will be joining forces with CADRA and Reading Civic Society to provide
a seat in the newly restored gardens,
due to reopen later this year.
It was brought to our attention
at the AGM that the postal delivery service had deteriorated since the
move of the sorting office
to Swindon. The Reading Chronicle highlighted the issue. For anyone still
having problems contact the customer helpline on 0845 7740740 or feedback
online via www.royalmail.com .
One of the drains near
the pond has been overflowing after heavy rain for a long while. The
Council assure us the matter is
under investigation, so hopefully things will be resolved by next winter.
Thanks to members Bryan Verran and Brian Bernard, the base of the village
sign has a new layer of brickwork. The sign itself is
made from oak and we have been advised to let it weather naturally. The
commemorative Turners Oak in the recreation ground has thankfully repaired
itself with healthy new growth.
Recommended Tradesmen’s List.
this newsletter is a supplement to the 2008 list. The next complete
revision will be in
2010. As before, all entries are from members' recommendations. Please
note this does not imply a responsibility or liability on either the
Association or any of its members in the event of possible dissatisfaction
with any of the tradesmen listed.
Caversham Good Neighbours.
This is a
group of volunteers who serve people in the Caversham, Emmer Green, Mapledurham.
If you can
spare any time,
ring the Caversham Bridge Office on 0118 948 3466.
The new arrangements
seem to be working well, with a smaller committee plus team of support
who fulfil vital roles and maintain regular contact:
Committee - Chairman Margaret Ormonde, Vice Chairman Barry
Prior, Secretary Carol Gibson, Treasurer Bill
Secretary Jill Verran,
Schools’ Liason Cathi Edwards, Safer
Caversham / Age Concern Vera Bodman.
Committee Support - Environment/ Tradesmen's List Bob Cruickshank
Newsletter Distribution Diana Hartrup Website
Management Clive Ormonde
North Reading Youth Project Tara Taylor
Thanks go our teams of volunteers who help deliver the newsletters and
keep an eye on the notice board.
WE VALUE ALL HELP AND SUPPORT. THERE ARE VACANCIES ON THE COMMITTEE.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FIND OUT MORE.
Margaret Ormonde, Chair. Tel: 0118 4970922