The year 2011 marked a very special but in some respects controversial centenary for Caversham: the anniversary of the expansion of Reading Borough to include Caversham and Tilehurst.
This presented a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Caversham and its heritage. The ‘Caversham 100 years on’ project was designed to provide a loose framework for local involvement. It was set up jointly by Caversham Rotary, Caversham and District Residents’ Association (CADRA) and Friends of Caversham Court Gardens, with support from Reading Borough Council. Close links were established with local groups, schools, museums, libraries, interest and creative arts groups and many more.
The project was awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund which covered most of the costs involved.
At the start of 2013, the project draws to a close. A new Heritage Map was installed on the railings of Caversham Library.
An illustrated leaflet to accompany the Heritage Map is from 1st February 2013 in Caversham Library or can be viewed online here.
The new illustrated Heritage Guide to Caversham Court Gardens has been published. This covers the history of the houses that stood on the site, the families who lived there and the development of the gardens through the ages. Priced at £5, it will be on sale at Friends' events, at Wordplay in Prospect Street and other local bookshops, and through Two Rivers Press.
A new leaflet describing the important trees in Caversham Court Gardens will also be available at Friends' events; details of upcoming events can be found on the Friends' website www.fccg.org.uk.
Due to its popularity, the booklet containing the material from all the Local Heritage Exhibitions has been reprinted and is available from WordPlay in Prospect Street, priced at £10. Place your order at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Local History page shows pictures of 'Caversham - Then and Now', videos and a wide range of links to further information. This is currently being reviewed and will transfer to www.cadra.org.uk/history.php.
Events included the Grand Caversham Garden Party (see the photos on the Gallery), a fascinating evening on Industrial Caversham and a well attended evening event and study day examining the changes in Caversham over 100 years. The guided Caversham Heritage Walks in September 2012 proved very popular.
There are so many people and organisations who contributed to the project that it would be difficult to adequately thank them all. A number are included under Partners and Thank You. A final celebration on 1st February 2013 attended by the Mayor of Reading will bring many of them together.