Events and things to do in Berkshire - July 2017

PUBLISHED: 15:50 29 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:50 29 June 2017

See classic cars and much more (Photo: Flying Custard Photography)

See classic cars and much more (Photo: Flying Custard Photography)


July provides a feast of entertainment across Berkshire

Enjoy HADCAF’s superb choices

The Ben Waters Big Band will headline this year’s Hungerford and District Arts Festival – HADCAF – which runs from 30 June to Saturday, 15 July. One of Europe’s supreme boogie piano players, his career has spanned 25 years working with such legends as The Rolling Stones, Shakin’ Stevens, PJ Harvey, Bobby Womack, Paul Weller, Dave Gilmore, Dave Stewart – to name but a few!

Waters has hand-picked a group of fine musicians to join him in rocking audiences around the globe. He brings his 16-piece Big Band to on 15 July. Glamorous cabaret chanteuse Lili la Scala launches the festival in great style on Friday 30 June, followed by around 50 further events including the acclaimed Wessex Male Choir with students of MJ-UK Music & Arts, outstanding young Russian pianist Alexander Karpeyev, bluegrass band Francis Pugh and the Whisky Singers, and La La Piano Bar, where New York cool club meets Berlin cabaret bar.

BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby will be broadcast live from Hungerford as part of the Festival, while theatrical treats include a tribute to Stan Laurel by the Hi-de-Hi actor Jeffrey Holland, and The Watermill Theatre’s new touring comedy, Nesting.

Gavin Roberts, Organist and Director of Music at St Marylebone Parish Church will give recital at Our Lady of Lourdes on Tuesday, 11 July. He is Artistic Director of the recital series Song in the City, for whom he has devised more than 100 recital programmes. Gavin has appeared regularly on BBC Radio broadcasts as a soloist and accompanist, often giving premiere performances of new works.

With lots more music of all kinds, films, an exhibition by 22 local artists, talks, workshops, open gardens, guided walks and children’s activities, there’s something for everyone. See, or pick up a printed programme from Hungerford Library and other outlets in and around town. Tickets can be bought online via the Festival website or in person at the Hungerford branch of Newbury Building Society.

One for motors fan

Take the family to Reading’s Prospect Park on Sunday, 2 for the Berkshire Motor Show and Reading Pageant. It’s open from 10.30am and as well as classic cars, custom, rod, bikes, tractors there will be a small fun fair, vehicle display, crafts, food and stalls.

Party time for all our four-legged friends

The Old Windsor centre of Battersea Dogs Home has a fun day from 10.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday, 8 July, with lots of activities for you and your canine friend. Dog competitions include for the greatest golden oldie, the most obedient dog and the waggiest tail, plus plenty of games and chances to show of agility skills. As for those on two legs, attractions will include stalls, bouncy castle and lots more.

Join Newbury’s legendary day

Newbury’s big day arrives on Sunday, July 16, with The Carnival fete from midday until 6pm and the Carnival Parade through the town starting at 2pm. There are now nearly 40 fabulous parade entries appearing in the Myths and Legends theme, with a range of local community groups, charities, businesses, schools, and dance and music groups taking the opportunity to take part in this huge event.

A full programme of exciting music and dance at the main stage at fete will include local Elvis tribute band, Trouble. They will be performing Elvis classics from the 1950s, 1960s and the career defining 70s Vegas series over two sets at the beginning and end of the fete.

Lead singer Darren Boyle says: “Trouble are very honoured to be playing at Newbury Carnival. The theme of ‘Myths and Legends’ fits perfectly with Elvis Presley as there is no bigger legend than the King of Rock and Roll. We perform with passion and enthusiasm and are very excited to be given the opportunity to give something back to our home town for all the support provided.”

The Fete promises a huge range of activities for all ages, including bungee trampolines, chair-o-planes and giant inflatables. There will be a wide range of food-stalls, including traditional British, barbecue, Indian, Mexican, Spanish, Italian and Thai treats, to name just a few. Coffee, tea, milk-shake and other drinks vendors will also be there, plus lots of ice cream and frozen yoghurt. Trade stands will be selling everything from floral headbands to marble bowls and there will be arts, crafts and gift stalls with demonstrations and workshops throughout the day.

This is a day when the community really comes together, so you’ll see everything from ‘Disney Princesses’ to Harley Davidson motorbikes. There will also be a Dog Show and pet area sponsored and organised by Newbury Ringcraft. This starts at 1pm, with entries on the day, from noon. Entries will be £2 per dog, per class.

Fete Manager Michelle Miles says: “Newbury Carnival is much more than the Carnival Parade. Our Carnival Fete in Victoria Park will be even bigger and better this year and special thanks go to Newbury Town Council for their support and the loan of Victoria Park. Don’t forget that admission is completely free!”

Summmer sounds

Head to Forbury Gardens in Reading on Sundays this month for outdoor concerts. Coming up we have: 2 July, Salvation Army Concert; 9 July, Cholsey Concert Band; 16 July, Camberley Silver Band; 23 July, Watership Brass; 30 July, Goring Concert Band. Call 01189 372771.

If you’re into blues sounds, the line-up at Blues on the Meadow on 1 July at Meadow Brook, Frounds Lane, Aldermaston, includes Trafficker, Bad Influence, Catfish and the Robin Bibi Band.

Open Gardens

Swallowfield Outlying Village Gardens RG7 1QY - Sun 2 July, 1 to 6pm

Just five miles south of Reading, this lovely village now opens up its gardens for the NGS on two days. The inner section goes first, and this day covers six a little further afield which require a car to visit.

A pretty area of brooks and streams, the countryside is crossed by the Whitewater, Blackwater and Loddon rivers. You’ll find plants for sale and home-made teas. For instance, there’s Brookside Nursery, owned by a retired nurseryman, with its wildflowers, beehives, a large pond and vegetable garden guaranteed to inspire those who wish to ‘grow your own’. Then there’s Lambs Farmhouse, where new owners are working with a horticulturalist to develop it further, so plenty of ideas to pick up here, too.

Wickham House RG20 8HD - Tues 11 July, 11am to 4pm

There’s a true country house setting here near Newbury and a surprise is that the stunning half an acre walled garden was only designed by Robin Templar-Williams and then created in 2008 within the 19th century wall. Admire fountains and pergolas as well as the planting schemes and view sections such as the vegetable garden.

The grounds, kindly opened by Mr and Mrs James D’Arcy, include St Swithun’s Church, and you can buy home made teas and gammon rolls in aid of it.

Odney Club, Cookham SL6 9SR - Sun 16 July, 2pm to 6pm

This one makes our ‘something a little different’ list for several reasons. For a start it’s owned by The John Lewis Partnership and then there’s the sheer scale for an afternoon out – a 120 acres site next to the Thames so you can include a pleasant amble; indeed dogs on leads are welcome to this one.

Specimen trees, wisteria, borders and summer bedding, there’s a lot for the keen gardener to inspect, plus an ornamental lake. The John Lewis Partnership Heritage Centre will be open, showcasing the textile archive and items illustrating the history of John Lewis and Waitrose. As well as the NGS, this garden supports Thames Valley Adventure Playground.

Other events

• 1 July, Windsor Farmers Market, St Leonard’s Road, tel: 07896 902850

• 1 July, National Meadows Day, Runnymede, North Lodge, Windsor Road, Old Windsor, tel: 01784 432891

• 2 July, Newbury Race for Life 10K & 5K, Newbury Showground, Newbury, RG18 9QZ

• 2 July, Berkshire Motor Show, Prospect Park, Liebenrood Road, Reading, tel: 07990 667503

• 7, 14, 21 and 28 July, Wildlife Walk, Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, Reading, tel: 01491 672927

• 8 July, East Reading Horticultural Society Summer Show, St Peter’s Church Hall, Church Road, Earley, Reading, tel: 01189 616332

• 15 July, Pretty Muddy 5K, Prospect Park, Reading, RG30 2ND

• 15 July, Coombes Fest 2017, The Coombes CE Primary School, School Road, Arborfield Cross, Reading

• 15-16 July, Bastille Day Festival, Forbury Gardens, Reading, RG1 3EJ, tel: 07581 074016

• 16 July, Race for Life 10K & 5K, Prospect Park, Reading, RG30 2ND

• 16 July, Padworth and Aldermaston Wharf produce show, Padworth Village Hall

• 16 July, Family Treasure & Woodland Walk, Mortimer West End Village Hall, Church Road

• 22-29 July, A Gamble with Death, Forbury Gardens, Reading

• 28 July, Family Activity Day, West Berkshire Museum, The Wharf, Newbury, tel: 01635 519562

• 28 July, Afternoon Tea, Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury, tel: 01635 279279


South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell, tel: 01344 484123

1-2 July, Bugsy Malone; 7 July, Whitehead and Woods; 8-9 July, Animalphabet The Musical; 9 July, West Forest Sinfonia; 10-11 July, Merrily We Roll Along; 14-15 July, The Olivia Dance Academy Show; 16 July, The Experience; 19-22 July, Dancing at Lughnasa; 19-22 July, Jerusalem; 26-30 July, As You Like It


Norden Farm Centre, Altwood Road, tel: 01183 788660

8 July, Kast of Kinks; 16 July, The Story of the MGM Musical; 20 July, Celebrating Schubert – recital by Joanna MacGregor; 20 July, Adam Hess and Jack Barry; 21 July, Limehouse Lizzy; 22 July, Laurie Holloway; 23 July, Lee Nelson


Corn Exchange Newbury & New Greenham Arts, tel: 0845 5218218

Until 22 July, Twelfth Night; Until 22 July, Romeo & Juliet; Until 1 July, House and Garden; 4-8 July, Nesting; 27 July – 16 September, A Little Night Music The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, tel: 01635 46044 1 July, The Railway Children; 6 July, Bowie Experience; 8 July A Midsummer Night’s Dream; 14 July, Concert by The Band of The Scots Guards; 15 July, Celebration of John Denver; 24-26 July, The Tiger Who Came To Tea


The Hexagon, Queens Walk, tel: 01189 606060

1 July, Ready or Not; 5 July, The Scarecrows’ Wedding; 8-9 July, The Nutcracker Ballet 22-23 July,Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom; 26 July, The Dreamboys 2017; 27-29 July, Agatha Christie’s: A Murder is Announced

The Mill at Sonning, Sonning Eye, tel: 01189 698000

15 July until 9 September, Agatha Christie’s Spider Web; 1 July, Don’t Dress for Dinner; 16 July, Echoes of Ellington; 23 July, Whitney: Queen of The Night; 30 July, The Bourne Again Shadows

Concert Hall, Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Tel: 01189 606060

1 July, Reading Symphony Orchestra

Progress Theatre, The Mount, Christchurch, tel: 0118 384 2195

4-8 July, The Tempest

Shinfield Players Theatre, Whitley Wood Lane, tel: 01183 9758880

8-9 July, Babe – The Sheep-Pig; 14-15 July, Pride and Prejudice


Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Tel: 01753 853888

Until 1 July, Wuthering Heights; 4-8 July Ladies in Lavender; 10 July, The Dreamers; 11 July, Faith, A Tribute to George Michael; 12 July, The Glenn Miller Orchestra; 14-15 July, Joe McElderry; 16 July, The Alter Eagles; 17 July, The Tommy Cooper Show; 18 July, The Westenders Sing the World’s Greatest Musicals; 20 July, The Mikado; 21 July, The Pirates of Penzance; 22 July, HMS Pinafore

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