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Quarterly Newsletter

Bridge is our quarterly newsletter reporting on recent events,
articles on local history, with news from our Planning, Traffic and Education panels

Issue 70: Autumn 2022

Have Your Say!

The 1st draft of the Sonning Neighbourhood Plan is ready for review.

Sonning Traffic

Report from the Community Speed Watch group - 75mph recorded!

Seeing The Wood For The Trees

Ali Driver examines the devestation on the Oxford bank of the Thames.

Looking After Our Rural Spaces

A plea for Sonning not to be overwhelmed with inappropriate development.

Issue 69: Summer 2022

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Issue

Covering all the events held in Sonning and Sonning Eye to mark this historic occasion.

Sonning Regatta Photos

Wildlife Activities

Scarecrow Trail

Issue 68: Spring 2022

Platinum Jubilee: Planned Events

Timetable of village events to mark the Jubilee

A History of Sonning Scarecrows

The Baby Farmer

All the facts behind Amelia Dyer - Britain's most prolific serial killer

Blue Coat School

The future as foreseen by Pete Thomas, Headmaster

Issue 67: Winter 2021

Local Plan Update: Revised Growth Strategy

Details of Wokingham's plan for our neighbourhood

Almshouse Associations 75 Year Celebration

The Society's 18th AGM

Celebrating the fact that we were allowed to get together in Pearson Hall

Protect Our Green Spaces

Sonning Support

We're here to help

Issue 66: Autumn 2021

Right Royal View from the Bridge

Details of the planned Platinum Jubilee

Almshouse Associations 75 Year Celebration

A gathering of the residents and trustees of the Robert Palmer Almshouses

Not Just The Pond Man

Memories of: Alastair Driver

Issue 65: Summer 2021

Neighbourhood News

53% of households responded to our questionnaire on the Plan

Valuing The Pound

The rejuvenation of the area between King George's Field carpark and Pound Lane


The secret history of Wentworth Golf Club

Issue 64: Spring 2021

Sonning Developments

Details of the Neighbourhood Plan and WBC's Local Plan Update.

Charvil Lakes

The history behind the bomber that crashed there in 1953.

Open All Hours

Part Two: The Village Hamper opens its doors

Issue 63: Winter 2020

Canon Chris Clerk

Biography of the Society's first chairman

The Sonning Twinning Association

What it does and how it came to be.

Open All Hours

Part One: Birth of The Village Hamper

Issue 62: Summer 2020

Life in the Time of Coronavirus!

What's been happening in Sonning - an extended version of the newsletter

The Silver Bracelet

The history of a piece of antique jewellery found in a Sonning garden

Sonning Support COvid-19

Details of the support group set up to help local people during the crisis

Road Safety in Sonning

Traffic volumes and pollution

Issue 61: Winter 2019

Sonning needs you!

Morin information about the Neighbourhood Plan for Sonning.

St Luke's Home for Sick Children

History of the Home set up in Caversham by Miss Dashwood.

The Pearson Hall Management Committee

Everything you need to know about the group of people who look after our village hall

HGVs in Sonning

Issue 60: Autumn 2019

A neighbourhood Plan for Sonning

Why a Neighbourhood Plan is a good idea for Sonning.

The Gravestone in the Garden

The genealogy of part of Yorkshire gravestone found in a Sonning garden.

Issue 59: Summer 2019

Capturing Village Voices

We look back at the exhibition and book reflecting the oral history of Sonning.

Wormsley Estate Walled Garden

A visit to the Getty owned estate.

Issue 58: Spring 2019

Local Girls Rescued Circus Ponies

Two local schoolgirls came to the aid of circus animals during the 1960 floods

The Robert Palmer's Almshouse Charity

Alastair Moncur describes a potted history of the local alms houses

Memories of: Penny Feathers

Penny has played an important role in the Society for many years, Annabella Marks chats to her

Issue 57: Winter 2018

WBC Local Plan Update

Info about the consultation and how to make your views known

RNLI Sonning Branch

David Bates reports on the local chapter of this important chairty

Sonning Habitat Enhancement Programme

Prof. Alastair Driver was instrumental in securing the funds for this regeneration project

Sonning Old Men's Bridge

Alastair Moncur has written a poem about the local card players

Bridge Ends

Butts Hill Road Bridge, Thieves steal driveway

Issue 56: Autumn 2018

We Need Your Help

An appeal on behalf of the Planning and Traffic Panel

Sonning Volunteer Fire Brigade Trust

John Russell takes us through the history of this illustrious organisation

A Meeting with Sir Oscar DeVille

Annabella Marks chats to the respected businessman about his fascinating life

Putting Sonning's Children First

Marjie Thorne, from Reading Blue Coat School, outlines their links with Sonning CE Primary School.

Bridge Ends

Speed Control, SEAG, Local Plan Update

Issue 55: Summer 2018

Alien Invasion

Prof. Alastair Driver warns about Floating Pennywort

Loddon Brewery Celebrates 15 Years

Christopher (The Gaffer) Hearn details the history

The Revered Humphrey Gainsborough

Robert Farquhar discovers the inventor and engineer

An Evening with John Piper

Pauline Simmonds reports on the recent talk

Bridge Ends

The developer next door, parking at the Great House

Issue 54: Spring 2018

West Drive

Rodney Huggins MBE is a resident of this exclusive road

The Queen's Swan Marker

Patrick Hamblin reports on our recent talk

Memories of: Michael Emmanuel

The owner of the French Horn interviewed by Annabella Marks

John Piper and his Stained Glass

Bridge Ends

CAGE launches fighting fund, Sonning Parish Clean Up Day

Issue 53: Winter 2017

The Treacher Papers

David Gambrill examines the diaries of a railway enthusiast

The Oscar Wilde Connection

Joyce Reed continues the railway theme

The Amazon Explored with Alastair Driver

Pauline Simmonds reports on the recent Society talk

A Flag for Berkshire

Mike Hart recounts how the new county flag came to be

Bridge Ends

Wokingham Veteran Tree Assoc, Parking in Sonning Lane, A Third Bridge?

Issue 52: Autumn 2017

Vyne visitor roof walkway

Bob Hine explains the restoration project to save The Vyne

A Walk on the Wild Side: Led by Prof Ali Driver

Ali Driver led a group of Society members along the Thames path and talked about TVP

Of Paints and Punts A sketch of George Dunlop Leslie

Joyce Reed investigates the local 19th Century artist

Village History In Safe Hands

Pauline Simmonds looks after historical items donated by Armine Edmonds

Bridge Ends

Sonning Bridge Repairs, Henley Road Roadworks

Issue 51: Summer 2017

5 years in the making

2017 Sonning Conservation Area Appraisal has been adopted by WBC

Memories of: A Primary School Headteacher

Lesley Green, at Sonning School 1999-2015, shares her thoughts on local schools and community

Floods: Threats & Prevention

David Woodward looks back to the great floods of 1937 and reviews where we stand now

Exploring our past: MERL & Berkshire Medical Museum

Pauline Simmonds reports on the Society's recent visit to these establishments

Bridge Ends

CAGE Celebrates Gladman Defeat, Sonning Quarry, HGVs & Sonning Bridge, Street Lights

Issue 50: Spring 2017

Green energy in Eye

Installation of a Archimedes Screw which should be able to generate 2,000kWh of energy per day

Not one but two Red House Cottages

Brian O'Callaghan traces the history and architecture of his cottage

Protecting wildlife sites

Alastair Driver discusses the different forms of designated wildlife site

Panel news

Local plan update, cycle racks, Model Farm Cottages, 245 houses in Eye & Dunsden

Bridge Ends

Berkshire Gardens Trust lecture

Issue 49: Winter 2016

SCAA - nearly there!

Description of the Conservation Area appraisal and the stages it has gone through

Eye on Sonning

How your copy of Bridge is put together

Amblings & ramblings: Eye - Sonning

Reflections on a stroll around Sonning & Sonning Eye by Joyce Reed

Owl box project take-off

Alastair Driver describes the steps he's taken to encourage barn owl breeding

Bridge Ends

Barn owl resident, Sonning Parish Magazine, Reading in 50 buildings, Dunsden Hall appeal

Issue 48: Autumn 2016

Ali's Pond LNR award

Sonning's own nature reserve, managed by Alastair Driver, wins a top environmental prize

Up hill and down dale in two counties

Brian & Diana O'Callaghan share out the highlights of a walk from Henley back to Sonning

Salisbury link explored

The connections between Sonning and Salisbury

Bridge Ends

Pearson Hall cycle racks, Berkshire gardens Trust, Heritage Open Day walks

Issue 47: Summer 2016

Recalling Denys Amos

Peter van Went paints a portrait of this tragic figure

Secret Life of Bees

Two Sonning beekeepers give an insight into this important insect

Barn Owl Box Project

Alistair Driver continues his nature notes

Bridge Ends

Professor Ali Driver, visits to Dropmore and Cliveden

Issue 46: Spring 2016

Taming the flood

Alastair Driver presents some Nature Notes on flood risk management

Becontree evacuee revisits Sonning

Ron Darvell recounts his memories to Diana Coulter and Annabella Marks

Owen: The Life Cycle

Joyce Reed takes us through the evening's celebration

Bridge Ends

Lancelot Brown in Berkshire and Caversham Park

Issue 45: Winter 2015

Hocus-pocus in the pulpit

Diana Coulter discovers "the most reviled Archbishop of Canterbury"

Holme Park in historical perspective

Peter van Went looks at the Bishop's Palace and the people who shaped it

Distinguished prisoner

Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve resided in Sonning, as detailed by John Edmonds

Bridge Ends

Berkshire family History Society

Issue 44: Autumn 2015

Tribute to John Edmonds

Mike Hart recounts the life of the President of the Sonning & Sonning Eye Society

Eye on Sonning

2015 is the tenth year the Society has run its popular heritage walks

TVP: wetland jewel on our doorstop

Alastair Driver describes the area and the wildlife that thrives there

Delights of Toad Hall

Annabella Marks was in the group that visited Hardwick House, an Elizabethan manor

Issue 43: Summer 2015

Cutting edge stuff

Alastair Driver investigated the devastating tree clearance in Sonning Cutting

Orchard news

Nick Marks helps look after the Eye and Dunsden Community Orchard

Was Thomas Rich's home like these?

Diana Coulter looks at 16th and 17th century listed buildings nearby

Owen in Dunsden app arrives

Alice McGuigan describes the project and celebrations

Bridge Ends

Brian Eighteen, Berkshire Gardens Trust

Issue 42: Spring 2015

Sponsor heritage skills

The Society's quest to encourage traditional crafts, as described by Annabella Marks

What Sidney Paddick did for Sonning

Diana Coulter traces the life of this important Sonning resident

A new app for Wilfred

David Woodward describes the high tech tour guide

Bridge Ends

History retreat, Berkshire Gardens trust