Easter Holiday closure dates

The Foodbank will be closed on Good Friday (29 March) and Easter Monday (1 April).

Jane’s Walk 2022 – Day 8

The forecast was poor for the afternoon so Tom and I set off with the intention of getting as far as we could before stopping. After crossing over the bridge into Goring, we were greeted by a very-out-of-breath man on the Thames Path. Introducing himself as a ZANE supporter, he told us how he happened to be staying in a hotel on the bridge for a family reunion. He’d been eating his breakfast when he spotted us crossing the bridge with Moses and immediately rushed over to wish us luck – kind man! Moses is definitely famous among our supporters.

Making our way along the path, we had cheery chats with a number of boat owners. As we left Goring, we reminded ourselves how, just a week ago, we were lamenting the dullness of the brown and tired-looking countryside. After a few days of rain, the view has been transformed. The water meadows have now changed to lush green pasture, the trees seem fresher and it all looks more like the countryside we know and love.

Our walk now took us into a forest that reached down to the water’s edge. Faced with the first real hill of this walk, we climbed steeply away from the river. The going was good though, with steps on the steepest parts – very different from our previous walks! On arrival at Whitchurch-on-Thames, Richard told us that heavy thunder was forecast within the next hour, so we decided we’d press on rather than stopping for lunch – and hopefully miss the worst of it. Further along, we came across a couple of policemen searching for someone who had asked for help. After 20 minutes, we left them behind still searching.

Walking between the railway line and the river, we saw ominous dark clouds and heard the distant rumble of thunder. We were puzzled by three vast multi-coloured tents that we glimpsed behind some buildings. We couldn’t think what they were for but we’ve since discovered they were part of the Reading Festival held a week ago (and attended by our grandson!) Much of the surrounding parkland was very worn down but there must have been a very successful clean-up job as there was no rubbish to be seen anywhere.

Unfortunately, the clouds opened about an hour before our end point, and we got soaked yet again – though this time we were rather better dressed than previously. We drove to Pangbourne for a late lunch where we were greeted by a charming waitress. She told us she had just left the navy and was hoping to go into the fire service. A very sodden Moses was provided with a dog bed and biscuits, and there was an excellent lunch for us.

Arriving at Caversham Bridge, in West Reading, we heard the very sad news of the death of our beloved queen – a sad way to end our day.

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Patrons: The Rt Revd Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford and The Revd Canon Geoff Baylis, Vicar of St James and St Francis Churches, Oxford