Welcome to MERA
Maiden Erlegh Residents’ Association (MERA) is dedicated to serving the people living in Maiden Erlegh and ensuring that Maiden Erlegh remains a pleasant and welcoming place to live.
Its reputation is built on keeping local authorities fully briefed on the issues that matter to residents, and getting answers to residents’ questions.
Features and facilities
Newcomers to the area are impressed by the local environment, especially the Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve, which includes Maiden Erlegh lake and Oak Wood. From the south side of the lake, you can walk through the woods and along a path as far as Brookside Close (where the surgery is – see below), and on into Lower Earley.
The sports fields at Laurel Park, with the pavilion and car park, are well used by the local football club. The area is also popular with dog-walkers, and there is a children’s play area.
Loddon Valley Leisure Centre on Rushey Way has a swimming pool, sauna and gym, a 10-court sports hall and tennis courts, various exercise and fitness classes, and a café.
Wokingham has the Carnival Pool and Fitness Centre, as well as the Wokingham Superbowl.
Maiden Erlegh School (11-18, Academy), behind the shopping parade, has a good reputation and gets good examination results. For that reason, it is popular!
Feeder schools include Aldryngton Primary School, which is next door, and Loddon Primary School, at the bottom of Silverdale Road.
The Parade at Silverdale Road has a hairdresser, a beauty salon, a dry cleaners, a carpet shop, a chemist, three takeaway shops including one with a restaurant, a betting shop and an estate agent. There is also a Tesco Express.
Maiden Place in Lower Earley is another local shopping area, with a post office, a pub, restaurants and take-aways, and other shops and services.
The nearest large supermarket is Asda in the Lower Earley centre, which also includes a pharmacy, pub, surgery, library and cafes, among other outlets. Woodley Town Centre has a Waitrose, together with a range of other shops and restaurants.
Kenton Road Day Centre, near to Wokingham Road, is popular with older residents. It’s also home to our MERA Executive Committee, which meets every month.
The Earley CResCent Community Association, next to the police station in Lower Earley, provides high quality facilities, including various kinds of training, information, room hire and a coffee bar.
St Nicolas Church in Sutcliffe Avenue provides not only a place of worship but also a range of activities and a coffee bar, and is a useful meeting place for local residents.
Brookside General Practice is just off Gypsy Lane at Brookside Close. There several dental practices in and around the area, together with an optician.
Reading and Wokingham
Maiden Erlegh is part of the town of Earley and the Borough of Wokingham, sharing a boundary with the Borough of Reading.
Reading, with its Oracle shopping centre, is four miles away. Hourly bus services run along Beech Lane (19b) and Silverdale Road (19c). There are also half-hourly trains from Earley station.
Wokingham’s centre has recently been redeveloped, with the addition of some exciting new shops that have reinvigorated the town. Buses run along Wokingham Road every 15 minutes, and trains from Earley station are every half hour.
We keep in touch with our local councillors (both Earley and Wokingham) and MP, and raise concerns with the appropriate authorities, attending meetings of Earley Town Council where necessary.
Our Area Representatives are in regular contact with MERA members, who pay just £1 per annum to benefit from the information and support we provide. This website was created to keep our members better informed about what we are doing.
Meetings are held on the second Thursday of every month at 8pm in the Kenton Road Day Centre. Residents who are members of MERA are welcome to attend. Our AGMs (held in May) are well attended, and we try to pick a speaker who will address topics of particular interest.
Our magazine is produced three times a year.
Some recent concerns …
- Maintenance of grass verges
- Viability of local bus services
- Protecting the interests of residents during the development of the Tesco store
- Pressing the Borough Council to introduce safety measures on Silverdale Road near Maiden Erlegh School and at Loddon Primary School.
- Making the case to retain the Post Office at The Parade, Silverdale Road.
Most of these are still a work in progress.
… and an environmental achievement
In 2017/18 we organised a campaign to prevent a field opposite the Laurel Park pavilion from being converted into a car park. The fate of this field has yet to be resolved.
MERA was brought to life on 30 September 1964, when an open meeting of residents of the Maiden Erlegh Estate agreed to form an association to represent the interests of the community.
Since then, MERA has been involved in a range of different issues, including:
- A project to clear the lake of undergrowth and debris following the sad case of a child who had drowned there;
- A campaign to support residents who had experienced problems with their chimneys;
- Many environmental concerns, including attempts to save our trees from Dutch Elm Disease in 1975.
New challenges arise all the time, and the recent news that our McColls store at The Parade in Silverdale Road would cease trading in November 2019 was particularly worrying as this meant that the Maiden Erlegh Post Office would also close. Thankfully, a new tenant has been found and we have been reassured that our Post Office will reopen in the New Year.
If you would like to become involved in MERA activities, please contact us at our email address: