On-line Newsletter 181 – April 2023

By | June 9, 2023

The featured picture shows the audience enjoying Tony Howe’s talk on the Surrey Hills in March.

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Monthly Speaker Meetings

Wednesday, 12th April
2-00 pm at Gardeners Hall
213 St Leonard’s Road, Windsor, SL4 3DR

Afternoon Tea with a Classical Guitar Recital by Gary Jordan


Windsor and District u3a Annual General Meeting


We have a varied programme of speakers for 2023 and hope you will enjoy listening to their talks.

  • Wednesday, 10th May: My Year in Russia, by Gerald Seaman, a well-known author and lecturer, specialising in Russian music. Gerald lived for a year in Russia, meeting Shostakovich and other leading figures in the field of music.
  • Wednesday, 14th June: The Earth’s Fragile Beauty, by Doug Kennedy, a photographer who is passionate about nature and our environment.


Outings and Events

Paying for Outings and Events

The preferred way for members to pay for Windsor and District u3a outings and events is by electronic bank transfer ( often abbreviated to BT ). Our bank details are …

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When you use this method of payment, PLEASE ADVISE THE ORGANISER, because they are not informed directly by the bank and will not be aware of your payment until the end of a month, when a statement is issued. Thank you for your cooperation.

A Guided Coach Tour through Midsomer Murder Country

Wednesday, 31st May and Tuesday 6th June

This tour passes through parts of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire where much of the filming for Midsomer Murders took place. We will pass through delightful, historic Chiltern towns and villages to see locations and other points of interest used in the filming of this television crime series, to create the picturesque, but deadly villages of the fictional county of Midsomer.

The coach will leave at 9 am from Stag Meadow and return at approximately 5 pm. There will be stops for coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. Bring your own picnics or try the local cafes and hostelries.

This tour has been so heavily oversubscribed that a second tour has been arranged for
6th June. A few places are available and there is a little room for manoeuvre, if you wish to join a friend who has already booked for 31st May.
£20.00 per person.

Coach Holiday

13th July to 17th July to Yorkshire, based in Harrogate and visiting the Great Yorkshire Show, Harewood and a journey on the Howarth Heritage Railway through ‘Bronte countryside’.

Contact details visible to logged-in members only.

Holidays need a minimum number of participants to run, so please express your interest ASAP, if you are considering joining in.

Diary Dates

  • Saturday, 22nd April 2023Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever” at The Mill, Sonning.
  • Tuesday, 25th April 2023 at 2-00pmGambit Jazzmen, organised by Tea and Jazz
    No need to book, just turn up at Datchet Village Hall at 2-00pm. All u3a members are welcome.
    £7 pp on the door. Put the date in your diary. More details below.


Interest Group News

Colds, Flu and COVID-19 are still with us, please be considerate – stay at home if you are feeling unwell.

A group-in-the-making. Learn to enjoy the sky at night

Does viewing the mystery and magic of a night sky, sprinkled with stars, planets, and satellites, appeal to you as much as it does to Judith Perry, one of our members?

Judith’s fascination with astronomy was sparked when she saw her first shooting star flash overhead in the Sicilian night sky.

“Since then, I have grown more and more fascinated and awed by stargazing”, she says.

“Whether, like me, you are an enthusiastic novice wanting to learn about and see more celestial sights or have a deeper knowledge of astronomy to share with others, please join with me to form this exciting group.”

Judith believes the group’s activities could include local star-gazing and visits to UK designated dark sky areas and planetariums to track celestial events throughout the year.

“And may be even to view the “biggie”…. Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) which were recently, and unusually, seen above the UK a few weeks ago,” she adds.

If you are interested in joining Judith please contact her, or Sue White, Groups Coordinator.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

Explore London 1

Explore London 1 visited the Dorich House museum in March and enjoyed looking at the exhibits, admiring this wonderful Arts and Crafts apartment and learning about the history of the building and its former occupants. Their visit coincided with an exhibition entitled ‘Spirit of the Ballet’ which was a small display of sculpture from the Royal Ballet School. They also visited the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, an area of London new to some members of the group. Alan Wheeler shares some pictures, with our thanks.

Planned for this April are visits to Mayfair, to churches on the Strand and the Battle of Britain Bunker, in Uxbridge.

Explore London 2

A group of 22 enjoyed a day of two halves for our outing in March – the new city of London views and the very old established financial sector – by visiting Sky Gardens in the morning and the Bank of England Museum in the afternoon.

Sky Gardens offers amazing views across London and even on a murky day you can see as far as the Wembley arch to the west and of course nearer landmarks, such as the Shard (opposite), St Paul’s Cathedral and Canary Wharf too.

After lunch on the 35th floor, we visited the Bank of England Museum and were amazed that despite seeing the recent TV programme “Gold”, it is actually almost impossible to lift a gold bar. We listened to a very informative talk about the history of the Bank of England and then were free to wander around the museum, which is much more interesting than it might first sound! We returned to Slough via The Elizabeth Line, which has made travel to this part of London much easier.

Gardening 1

Thursday April 20thSpring Plant Swap at 2-00pm at Carol’s house.

Time, place and contact details are visible if you log-in.

Local History

This group meets in Windsor Methodist Church Hall in Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HH. Talks begin at 2-30pm. Admission is £3.00 on the door. No need to book. New members are warmly welcome.

  • Monday, 24th April, Nigel Smales will invite us into the elite world of Nancy Astor and the Cliveden Set. They were accused of conspiring for ‘appeasement’ in the run-up to WW2.
  • Monday, 29th May, there is no talk as it is the late spring Bank Holiday.
  • Monday, 26th June we welcome for the first time Jackie Bryans, Development Manager of the Theatre Royal Windsor. She will reveal the fascinating history of the theatre which dates to 1706, though legend has it that strolling players performed in a courtyard off Peascod Street as far back as Elizabethan times

Music for a Desert Island

The Music for a Desert Island group has now been going for almost three years. Originally started at the beginning of the covid lockdown period, the idea was that it would help to keep members in touch during those difficult times. But here we are almost back to normal and we are still in business. Over the years we have heard some special music and some wonderful stories, often with our castaway bearing their souls. I think of the lady who told us that her parents were not pleased with all the drinking and smoking that went on at her wedding reception by the guest jazz musicians from Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Tubby Hayes was their best man. Another member told us about a magical evening in Northern Spain when at midnight on a balmy summer evening, Miles Davis appeared solo on-stage playing music from his Sketches of Spain album. The audience went mad. I would have loved to have been there! Another lady, one of our oldest castaways, told us that she called a family meeting to help her with her choice of music and what lovely memories came out of that get together. The latest visitor to our island is one of the busiest ladies in the Windsor and District u3a. Adele McNally has an interesting tale to tell and I thought I would share it with you today. She tells us of her Welsh connections, her famous musical ancestor and her time in the Salvation army – all interesting stuff.

Click on the link and Adele’s picks and stories will display.

Why not join us on the island? It is rather an unusual group in that we do not meet up on a regular basis. The only time we get together is when we sit down at one of the local restaurants for Christmas lunch. The monthly choice is sent out via e-mail on the fourth Friday of each month. The music clips we pick up from YouTube. Maybe in the fullness of time, I can persuade you to be a castaway on our island.


The group will meet to share their photographs taken at the Science Museum in March and Dave Humphries will also show a presentation of his workshop on the effects of lighting and depth of field in the context of creating scenarios. New members are welcome.

Tea and Jazz

Meet at 2-00 pm, Wednesday, 26th April in Datchet Village Hall. We have booked the Gambit Jazzmen to play. There will be a charge of £7.00 toward costs of hall, refreshments and band. There is no need to book – just turn up at 2-00pm. We are an open group, all u3a members are welcome.

Walking Groups

u3a Amblers

On 2nd March, the group had a lovely, sunny, 4km walk along the new riverside path at Runnymede with refreshments and a chat in the NT ‘Magna Carta Cafe’ afterwards.

The new path took us from our starting point, by the boat yard, along the Thames to the statue of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in the recreation ground, with its plaques to its origins, we then retraced our steps halfway, crossed the road and ascended to the ‘Writ on the Water’. From there, down the gentle slope, passing the American Bar Association’s memorial, onwards to the ‘Hay Sculptured Village’, for refreshments in the Magna Carta Cafe. Photos by Eileen Harris and Dave Humphries.

The group next meet on Thursday 6th April, we’re planning for a walk along the Thames from Windsor Leisure Centre car park to the lock at Romney Island, returning via the Home Park road, followed by a coffee stop. Please note the group now ambles on the first Thursday of the month.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

Shorter Walks

Meet on Wednesday 26th April on Windsor/Eton bridge for a 2 mile walk around Eton Walkway, following the trail of 18 bronze markers defining points of historical interest. Please confirm with Pat Oldcorn that you are coming.

Time and contact details are visible if you log-in.

Windsor Area Walking Group

The April walk takes us into Eton College playing fields and then around the back of the college. We meet the Thames and then cross over the bridge into Windsor and walk back via Datchet golf course. About 5 miles. The walk will be led by Roy Battison.

Logged in members can see the date, time and meeting/starting point.


Local Coffee Mornings

All coffee mornings run from 10-30am to 12-00 noon. If you wish to stay longer, please do. There’s no need to book for the regulars, just turn up.

Old Windsor

The Bells of Ouzeley, Straight Road, Old Windsor, SL4 2SH
These are held on the 1st Wednesday of each month. Next on 5th April 2023

West Windsor

The Running Man Café, All Saints’ Dedworth, SL4 4JW
These are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Next on 19th April 2023

Ascot – NEW

The Restaurant, Hilliers Garden Centre, off A30 between Sunningdale and Bagshot, GU20 6LQ
These are held on the 4th Tuesday of each month. Next on 25th April 2023

Look for a u3a sign on Olwen’s table. If anyone living locally needs a lift, Olwen is willing to do pickups.


The Bridge Café, The Village Green, Datchet, SL3 9JH
These are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Next on 26th April 2023


Credits and Contributions

Thank you to all who have contributed to this month’s newsletter.

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

The copy date for our May Newsletter is 16th April

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.

This Newsletter was 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).

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