On-line Newsletter 173 – August 2022

By | September 18, 2023

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Monthly Speaker Meeting

14:00 / 2pm Wednesday, 10th August

Gardeners’ Hall, St Leonard’s Road, Windsor, SL4 3DR

Bulbs in a Royal Garden

George Lockwood

George is a passionate, organic gardener and is a member of ‘Garden Organic’, a charity working to spread the understanding that organic growing is essential to sustain a healthy world. Our gardens are our own little patches of the world to look after. Most gardens are quite small, but there are 15 million of them in the UK. If all these gardens were cared for organically, we could create a much better environment – for our families, plants and wildlife. Follow this link to read more about Garden Organic

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be available

Future Speakers

  • Wednesday, 14th September: Secrets, Scandal and Salacious Gossip of the Royal Court, 1660-1830 by Sarah Slater
  • Wednesday, 12th October: The Origins of Place Names by Anthony Poulton-Smith

Poetry in July

Photo of Windsor u3a members applauding presenter

Our July Speaker Meeting was an experiment. It was a poetry recital rather than a lecture, by Jean Hills, a grandmother who lives in Wokingham.  As you can see from the expressions on members’ faces in Dave Humphries’ photograph, the poetry was much appreciated and so was Jean’s humour.  She has agreed to visit us again in 2024, so if you missed her, make sure you come next time she visits.


New Members

Kate Fagence is our Membership Secretary. She not only renews our annual membership, but also helps new members integrate with our u3a group by organising informal coffee mornings to introduce them to each other and the convenors of interest groups.

Logged in members can see a list of names here.

Please make old and new faces welcome when they join your group.

The next New Members’ Coffee Morning meeting will be rescheduled soon.


On Line News

Learn to Make the most of your Smartphone

You may have read in your Neighbourhood Watch news that Thames Valley Police are running workshops to teach older people how to make the most of their Smart Phones; how to turn on, make calls, send texts, take photos.  How to download apps to send WhatsApp, to ‘Facetime’ with relatives and friends etc. These technicalities are going to become more and more important for everyday living, banking for example. As High Street banks close their branches, business will be done online or by mobile phone. We will have no choice. If we make no effort and remain resistant to technology, we will be ignored.

At our Speaker Meeting on 10th August, Peter Todd, our chairman, will take the names of members interested in attending a workshop, with the intention of setting up a session for u3a members with Jeff Pick, our Community Engagement Officer. Jeffery.pick@thamesvalley.police.uk

If you are interested, but will not be attending the Speaker Meeting, just send Peter your name by email chairman@windsoru3a.org.uk

Staying Safe Online

Do take time to follow this link and learn provided by Age Concern. Find out how to protect yourself from common online scams.

What else does the u3a offer on line?

Thames Valley Network (TVN) Study Days http://u3atvnetwork.org.uk/
Please book via TicketSource, even for the free ones.

Trust u3a Interest Groups Trust u3a Home (u3asites.org.uk)


Outings and Events

Summer Picnic

Meet at 2-00pm on Tuesday, 23rd August at Queen Anne’s Ride, Windsor Great Park.

All welcome, no need to book.
Bring your own picnic and rug or chair. Enjoy socialising with friends and make some new ones.

Please note there are no toilets at this site

N.B. If the weather is inclement, the picnic will be rescheduled for Tuesday, 30th August.

Map of exact location is available to logged-in members only

Queries to Kate via membership@windsoru3a.org.uk

Sandringham Coach Trip

  • Tuesday, 6th September: A visit to Sandringham to celebrate the Queens’ Platinum Jubilee
    Only waiting list places available – Jackie Wiggins

Local Coffee Mornings

These are open to all members but will be for the convenience of those living in a local area. Convenors are especially welcome, particularly if they would like to increase the size of their groups.

  • Datchet – 10:30 to 12:00 noon on Wednesday, 24th August
  • Datchet – 10:30 to 12:00 noon on Wednesday, 28th September

As these have proved successful in Datchet, Monthly Coffee Mornings can be set up in other local areas, such as Ascot, West Windsor and Old Windsor, all we need is an organiser for each area.


Interest Group News

COVID-19 is still with us, so please be considerate – stay at home if you are feeling unwell or think you may recently have been in contact with someone with COVID.

Many groups will not have met in time to report on their July activities as the deadline for submitting copy was earlier than usual due to holidays. We look forward to learning about them in the September newsletter.

Gardening 1

Meet on Thursday, 18th August at NGS garden, ‘Handpost’, Basingstoke Road, Swallowfield, Reading, GR7 1PU. This is the garden of a creative designer who has designed gardens for several well-known buildings. The cost is £10.00 ph.

Tea and Jazz

In June, lots of heads were swaying, lots of feet were tapping, lots of lips were mouthing the words to the sounds of the South Bucks u3a Jazz Band playing well known tunes and songs. Their concert was much appreciated by all present.  Thanks go to Peter and Nina for organising this entertainment and to Marie Gawthorpe for organising refreshments (and washing up!).

There will be no meeting in August. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, 27th September and we are hoping to present more live jazz this Autumn. There is plenty of parking and the hall is only a short walk from Datchet railway station.

Shorter Walks Walking Group

The group will meet at the Coopers Hill Lane car park, Englefield Green (more details visible to logged in members).

This car park is 200 yards from The Air Forces’ Memorial (free entry).  There are loos beside the car park. The walk is about two miles, mainly through woods and across green spaces, and contains no significant climbs. On the walk we shall pass (or dally in?) a restaurant/cafe and a pub. This month the walk is being led by Louden Masterton.

Please let Louden or convenor Pat Oldcorn know if you will be joining them. (logged in members can see their e-mail addresses here)

Windsor Area Walking Group

This month we will walk in the Hambleden Valley. It will be a circular walk of about 5 miles (2 ½ hours maximum) through fairly steep terrain, taking in spectacular unspoilt views across valleys, fields and forests. We start and finish in the picturesque village of Hambleden famous for so many TV backdrops. Meet on 26th August at 10.15am in the municipal car park adjacent to The Stag and Huntsman pub in Hambleden Village, RG9 6RP. Parking costs £3.00 for 4 hours, so bring change. Toilets available in the pub. This walk will be led by Philip Ross. Roy Battison and Philip are both happy to give a couple of walkers each lifts, leaving from either Clewer Park or St. Leonard’s Hill. Contact them if you would like a lift to Hambledon.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

Wine Group

The Wine Group toasted Bastille Day with Heisenberg Frizzante Blue wine from a very small vineyard in Almeria. The wine is really white initially, but grape skins, and some other fruit skins are left in for some months to create the blue colour. It is lovely on a hot day, but possibly a little on the sweet side. The colour is quite spectacular and a good talking point. We had a good selection of French white, rose and red too. Contact convenor, Pat Oldcorn for details of future meetings of the Wine Group.


New Interest Groups

Sue White

Walking Groups: We now have 3 walking groups

u3a Amblers

A third walking group is ready to step out for the first time in September. Called u3a Amblers, it has attracted interest from 25 members who would like to undertake monthly trek of about two miles. Walks are being scheduled for the first Monday morning of each month at 10.30am, the first on Monday, September 5th. u3a Amblers’ members must be prepared to take it in turns to recce and organise the walks, in pairs if preferred. Where possible, every walk would take in, or end with, a stop for coffee/tea or other liquid refreshment. For safety reasons, the number of walkers on each trek would be capped at 12, i.e., the first dozen to reply to the convenor’s email notifying the route. Eve Brand is the group’s convenor.

Eve’s contact details are visible if you log-in.

Shorter Walks: Amblers is not to be confused with our Shorter Walks group which was launched for people with mild mobility problems and meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

Windsor Area Walks: This group sets out on a four or five mile hike every fourth Friday. It is open to all. Just turn up on the day. Roy Battison is the convenor, he would appreciate some help from members in finding and researching new walks, so if you know of a walk, or have details of walks in the area, please contact him.


A chance to learn Bowls in unique Royal surroundings. If you have ever entertained the idea of playing bowls, but failed to get round to it, now is your chance to give it a go and see if you like it. Windsor Great Park Bowls Club is offering free, introductory sessions to Windsor and District u3a. The bowls are called woods, although they may be made of rubber, wood, or some other material. Their maximum weight is 3.5 lbs and their diameter measures from 4.75” to 5.75”. The game is generally played on a flat lawn, between 40 and 42 yards square and sometimes called Lawn Bowls.

This opportunity is thanks to our member, Mary Sibley, who belongs to the club and would like to share her enthusiasm and form a u3a Bowls group. If there is enough interest among our members after the taster sessions are completed, the club would be happy to agree a time when the group could use its premises, in the unique Windsor Great Park village, for a regular game.

If you are interested in joining a Bowls group or have any questions about the please contact Sue White, Groups Coordinator, via email at u3agroups@windsoru3a.org.uk


Recent Events

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of u3a

On Tuesday, 12th July, 64 of us boarded a boat at Runnymede to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the u3a movement in England. We enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, followed by fancy cakes and shortbread biscuits. Pimms was available, too. As we cruised along the Thames towards Windsor, we listened to a commentary about geographical and historical features of our locality. For our entertainment, Windsor and District u3a’s Quiz Master, John Wiggins had prepared a ‘Remember Them?’ quiz of 40 faces of celebrities famous 40 years ago, in 1982. This gave rise to a lot of light-hearted reminiscing.  Try it yourself. Answers are on the back page. A well supported community sing – along was led by Adele McNally and some of her ‘Sing with the Ukes’ group and added to the air of festivities. Many members recorded their enjoyment of the occasion and Dave Humphries, from our Photography group and Anne Cross were on hand to capture the moment.

“A fabulous afternoon, what better way to spend a day in celebration? The afternoon tea was delicious too. Looking forward to many more trips with u3a.” Jane Croskerry

“Such a fun afternoon, definitely a lovely way to celebrate U3A. Also, thanks to John and ukulele players, for the quiz and music/sing a long, which made the time go by very fast indeed. All in all, I thought a very enjoyable trip.” Maggie Reeves

The tea was delicious and the entertainment superb.  A most pleasurable afternoon.” Diana Jolley

Boarding by Dave Humphries
Cream Tea by Dave Humphries
by Anne Cross
by Dave Humphries

There are a few more photos in this month’s Newsletter Extra


Committee Contact Details

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Committee Members’ Contact Details
Chairman:Peter Toddchairman@windsoru3a.org.uk
Secretary:Dave Humphriessecretary@windsoru3a.org.uk
Treasurer:David Tredertreasurer@windsoru3a.org.uk
Data Administrator:Derek Gadddataadmin@windsoru3a.org.uk
Groups’ Coordinator:Sue Whiteu3agroups@windsoru3a.org.uk
Website Administrator:Dave Humphrieswebeditor@windsoru3a.org.uk
Membership Secretary:Kate Fagencemembership@windsoru3a.org.uk
Newsletter Editor:Jackie Wigginsnewsletters@windsoru3a.org.uk
Speaker Organiser:Joanna Wattisspeakers@windsoru3a.org.uk

This Newsletter was written and compiled by Jackie Wiggins, then adapted for web publication by Dave Humphries. This web version allows us to make minor updates after release, typically to correct errors and omissions notified shortly after release (at the beginning of the titled month).

We welcome contributions from any member, not just convenors, so if you have enjoyed a u3a organised event, why not share that (and show appreciation to the organisers) by writing a short report, ideally with some photos, please send to newsletters@windoru3a.org.uk

Readers may notify an error or omission via e-mail or logged in members can use the Comments area below to convey their thoughts on this particular edition.