In April 2011 Reading Borough Council (RBC) told Caversham GLOBE that, due to budget cuts, the Council would no longer be maintaining the 22 planting boxes along Church Street Caversham. These planters had been installed by RBC in 2001 as a millenium project to improve the appearance of Caversham village centre. In 2012, Caversham GLOBE agreed to look after the 10 RBC planters on the BT Telephone Exchange frontage. The following year, encouraged by the Caversham Traders Association (CTA), GLOBE extended its work to include the 12 RBC planters on the north side of Church Street. This is how it was reported in the local paper “Get Reading” in May 2013 when the planters were all woodstained, selectively pruned and partially replanted.
Thanks were due to the Caversham Traders Association, Drews Hardware for materials and RBC for a small grant. 10 Caversham GLOBE activists gave up much of their Bank Holiday time to carry out the first stage of painting and replanting. Then six volunteers from Scottish & Southern Energy Vastern Road Offices, as part of their “Community Programme”, later assisted in concluding these improvements for Spring 2013. Five of the Caversham traders made the generous gesture of paying the costs of buying new plants. GLOBE subsequently watered and replanted, with the help of Green Shoots Garden Centre (part of the Ways and Means Trust Charity).
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In June 2014, as result of the installation of Bicycle Hire stands, some of the planters on the BT Exchange forecourt have been replaced and we await replanting by Reading Borough Council. In the meantime,GLOBE has been encouraging BT Facilities Management to implement a maintenance programme for a tidy frontage and removal of the remaining redundant railings. This eyesore should soon be just a bad memory!
Richard Denney October 2014