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Events will celebrate heritage so good you can eat it

Wokingham Town Hall WEB

CELEBRATE the history of Reading and Wokingham over the coming month, as the annual Heritage Open Days returns with a tasty theme.

From Saturday, a whole host of events are taking place across the two boroughs as part of England’s annual heritage festival.

And this year’s theme, Edible England, will see the festival tell the story of the area’s culinary history.

This Saturday, Wokingham’s town centre will be a hive of activity in Market Place and Howard Palmer Gardens as Wokingham Town Council organises some fun – and covid safe – events.

READ MORE: Save the date – Wokingham’s Heritage Open Day will celebrate local food and its producers

That’s not all. From touring historic kitchen gardens in Caversham to discovering old shops in Woodley, residents can get involved until Sunday, September 19.

Nigel Horton-Baker, from Reading UK, which produces the guide to the town’s Heritage Open Days events, said: “The fascinating history of Reading, its people, places and its food will take centre stage for 10 days in September as part of the national festival of heritage.

“After a difficult 18 months, it is great to see so many in-person events as part of the festival, but there are also some intriguing digital events to watch from home or explore yourself on your own.”

What’s on the agenda this year?

Castle Street:

An in-person tour of a 16th century house, once owned by a Reading mayor and used as an inn, doctor’s residence and surgery. Saturday, September 11.

Reading Town Hall: A chance to chat with Father Willis and listen to organ music, marking the centenary of the Berkshire Organists’ Association. Saturday, September 11.

LifeSpring Church, Oxford Road, Reading:

Recipe tasting with local artist Caroline Streatfield. Saturday, September 11.

Caversham Court Allotments: Guided tours to learn how diets and gardening have changed over the centuries. Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12. Booking is essential.

Castle Hill and Coley:

A circular walk including a lost jam factory and listed buildings. Sunday, September 12 and Wednesday, September 15. Booking is essential.

Crockhamwell Road:

Two walks through Woodley looking at the old forge, historic shops and ancient cottages. Saturday, 11 and Sunday, 12 September, and Saturday, 18 and Sunday, 19 September.

Caversham Road:

A guided walk around a Victorian townscape. Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18. Booking is essential.

Brock Keep, Oxford Road, Reading:

An in-person tour around the historic former armoury and gatehouse now housing artists’ studios and a gallery.

People will also get a chance to create prints and sculptures with locally-sourced fruit and vegetables. Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19.

The Ure Museum, University of Reading:

A virtual eat, pray, love exhibition exploring ancient diets, food in the museum’s collection and cookalong recipes.

View anytime from Friday, September 10 until Sunday, September 19.

All Open Days are free to attend but some may require booking in advance.

There are more activities taking place than the ones listed above. View the full itinerary and find out how to book spaces here: www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/printable-area-lists/town/Reading and also at www.wokingham-tc.gov.uk

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