On-line Newsletter 177 – December 2022

By | June 6, 2023

Happy Christmas

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Windsor & District u3a Christmas Social

In house entertainment from
UKE3A and Singing for Fun
Festive Quiz


Wednesday, 14th December
2-15 pm at Gardeners Hall
213 St Leonard’s Road, Windsor, SL4 3DR

Mince Pies
Mulled Wine, Soft Drinks, Tea, Coffee
£2 pp on the door
, preferably with a credit/debit card, or cash, but not cheques.

Book your place with Dave Humphries secretary@windsoru3a.org.uk

In November, Andy Thomas, our speaker was extremely well received. He prepared us for our Christmas festivities with a fascinating explanation of many of our traditions. He linked the snowy scenes of many Christmas cards, with the druid celebrations of the Winter solstice and our contemporary fascination with Christmas lights, all together with the Christian meaning of the Christ child – light of the world. He left us with a delightful song and the advice to feel the light and happiness of Christmas in our hearts however we spend the day and whatever our celebrations.

by Dave Humphries

Future Speakers

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

  • Wednesday, 11th January: Plants and Their Benefits by Timothy Walker
  • Wednesday, 8th February: The Questionable History of the TV Quiz Show by Jeff Evans
  • Wednesday, 8th March: Discovering the Surrey Hills by Tony Howe


What is u3a?

What is your understanding of u3a? What is your experience of it? What do you expect of it? What do you take from it? What do you contribute to it?

The u3a is not just our local group. It is much wider and offers much more than the activities organised by our local group. Volunteer members run activities for regions and for networks of u3as. Volunteer members run national projects and study days.The Third Age Trust provides educational and administrative support to all the u3as in the UK. The Trust is overseen by a Board of Directors, made up of 12 trustees to which any u3a member may be elected. The best way to stay up to date with the work of the Trust is to sign up for our national newsletter. Many of you already have.

Each year the Trust holds an Annual General Meeting which is attended by members from the regions, networks and local u3 groups. Issues affecting the whole movement are discussed and voted on, as well as Board elections taking place. As part of the Annual General Meeting, the Trust creates and publishes a report and accounts. The latest annual report and accounts documents can be downloaded below, in pdf format.

Third Age Trust Annual Report 2022 (13.39 MB)

Reserves Policy (147.2 KB)

Trust Fees Presentation August 2022 (4.32 MB)

This year a major review of the structure of u3a is taking place. Presentations on this topic featured at the recent AGM. You can listen to them on Youtube by clicking the links below.

Strategic Aims of the u3a https://youtu.be/QnEvGL73cew
Fit for the Future: Governance and Member Voice. https://youtu.be/JEVAR09FRoc

The u3a at all levels runs smoothly thanks to many, many volunteers. Barrie Gunter, a trustee and executive committee member for Epping Forest u3a sadly notes the widespread and increasing problem of finding u3a members to help run their charity and its activities. (Page 39, Third Age Matters Issue 54, Winter 2022).  He comments that “many (members) regard their local u3a simply as a provider of a range of established activity services which they have paid to join”. He explains why he thinks this is, suggesting that potential and new members are not made sufficiently aware of the u3a’s core principles of ‘self-help learning’ and mutual aid. He remarks that “a volunteering ethos is central to these principles” which both indicate that members are expected to work together to make things happen. Barrie Gunter suggests the way forward may be to “bring the volunteering ethos up front and centre in our recruitment messaging”. He maintains that we need to frame u3a as “offering settings in which retired people can meet with others by attending, supporting and helping to run current activities and creating new ones that meet their mutual interests” Eric Midwinter, founder of u3a comments, “I have often thought that the wartime sense of ‘doing one’s bit’ was a factor in the u3a’s early expansion” (Page 37).

In Windsor and District u3a, we are fortunate to have many hardworking convenors and committee members and many members who help in incidental ways. Now is a good time of year to thank them all, but please remember Barrie Gunter’s and Eric Midwinter’s comments when an opportunity next arises for you to volunteer.



Thanks go to those of you who responded to the plea for help with the independent examination of our annual accounts this year.

Thanks also go to the convenors, committee members and ‘The Tea Party’ volunteers who attended the New Members Meeting on 18th November and who provide refreshments at Monthly Speaker Meetings.

Payment for Subscriptions, Outings and Events: You will have noticed that most of the Windsor branches of high street banks have closed. Our nearest branches are now in Slough, Uxbridge or Staines. There is no longer a convenient bank to pay in cheques. It is possible to pay in cheques using a mobile phone, but when dealing with many cheques, it becomes an extremely time-consuming task. For this reason, unless specifically requested, you are encouraged to make future payments to Windsor and District u3a by electronic bank transfer.

The details you will need to do this are:

Please login to see the account name, number and sort code.

Reference: (This is important as it records what your payment is for. Your convenor or other organiser will tell you what this is, each time you make a payment)

To pay by bank transfer, you will first need to register for electronic banking with your own bank.

Not all members will feel confident about using electronic banking yet and so for the time being, cheques will continue to be accepted. However, if you are already registered to use electronic banking, it would be very helpful if you were to use this facility. If you have not yet investigated electronic banking, you are encouraged to talk to your bank to find out how to use their electronic service. Thank you.


Outings and Events

Learn to make the most of your Smartphone (Date to be set)

Apologies for the delay in setting venue and dates for this course. Peter Todd will contact you with details if you have already given him your name. It is not too late to register. If you would like to join in and have not yet given your name, please let Peter know. chairman@windsoru3a.org.uk

Coach tour to Lincoln and its Christmas Markets

  • Friday, 2nd December to Sunday 4th December 2022

Waiting list places only available.

Contact details visible to logged-in members only.

Christmas Social at Gardeners’ Hall

  • Wednesday, 14th December 2022 at 2-15 pm

£2.00 pp at the door. Payment by card preferred, or cash. More details above.

Booking essential for catering purposes: e-mail Dave Humphries secretary@windsoru3a.org.uk

Christmas Party Night at The Christopher Wren

  • Wednesday, 14th December 2022

£49.95 pp.
Contact Chris Dufty for details.

Live Jazz Concert organised by Tea and Jazz

  • Tuesday, 24th January 2023 at 2-00pm

£7.00 pp on the door. No need to book, just turn up at Datchet Village Hall at 2-00pm. All u3a members are welcome. There is plenty of free parking available close to the hall, which is only a short walk from Datchet Railway Station. Details next month.

‘The King and I’ at the Swan Theatre, High Wycombe

  • Thursday, 16th March 2023, Matinee Performance 2-30pm
  • £52 per ticket (including coach)

Contact Adele McNally for details, a few tickets are still available.

Contact details are only visible if you log in (details at top of page)

Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever” at the Mill, Sonning

  • Saturday, 22nd April 2023, Matinee Performance including 2-course lunch
  • £67.50 per ticket
  • TRANSPORT IS NOT INCLUDED. Lifts may be available.

Contact details visible to logged-in members only.


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.

Craft Group 2

Craft 2 is a group led by Helen Hamilton and held at Connaught Court every month. Members use different mediums and decide what to make the following month at each meeting. So far, they have had sessions including stone painting, jewellery making and painting pouring. During November, the group has been working on various Christmas crafts. If you are interested in joining, please contact Groups Coordinator, Sue White.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

Explore London 2

This month, the group plan to lunch at the Crypt, St Martin’s in the Field; peruse the Christmas Market in Trafalgar Square; see the lights (and shop?) in Covent Garden and attend the “Candles and Stars” charity service in St Paul’s in Covent Garden.

Geocaching 1

Hip-Hip-Hurray! The advanced group celebrated their 600th find at the end of their November meeting. The group followed an interesting route around Upton Park in Slough and found the caches only after solving twelve puzzles beforehand, to reveal the twelve co-ordinates.

by Jackie Wiggins

This was a particularly rewarding session because we also found a ‘travel bug´ which is an item left in a cache that is on a journey. Finders note the date and then place it elsewhere, rather than returning to its designated position. This one had started in Germany on 22nd December 2019 and had travelled 2188 miles across Europe. It requested that a favourite recipe be written on its on-line log. Co-ordinator, Adele McNally sent a recipe for blackberry and apple crumble.

Local History

We will begin 2023 with topics that are particularly relevant to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Monday, 30th January, Richard Poad from Maidenhead Heritage Centre starts us off with God Save the King – Maidenhead’s Royal Connections.

Monday, 27th February, Kate McQuillan, Assistant Archivist, will explore with us some of the fascinating resources in St George’s Chapel archive.

Monday, 27th March, Brigitte Mitchell will regale us with information about Royal Weddings in Windsor and some right royal scandals.

We meet 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.

Music Groups hosted by David Oldcorn

In November, members of all the music groups were delighted by the mixed programme which contained a few amusing surprises. In December, the three groups will once again each meet on their normal scheduled days, which fortunately do not clash with Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve.

New members wishing to attend should email David Oldcorn.


There will be no meeting in December. Our topic for November and December is ‘Lights and Fireworks’. We will meet next on 23rd January to share our photographs, experiences and tips.

Gerald Deacon (Jez), a new member, would like to borrow a slide viewer to view his collection of slides before transferring to a digistick. If any of you have a slide viewer you would be prepared to loan to Jez, please let Debbie Gowing know. Thank you.

Singing for Fun

Christmas came early for  the Singing for Fun Group this year. We rattled through 10 carols in November!  We had the biggest turn out ever with 45 attending.  We reflected on our first session, some years ago now, when  just 7 of us gathered to sing together. We appreciated how much our singing and confidence to  perform had improved and how many friends we had made through singing together.

It was decided that we will return to the pre-Covid timings from December  to give us more time for tea/coffee and chat afterwards. Our  next meeting will be on Monday, 5th December.  Doors will open at 2.00.p.m. ready to start singing at 2.15.p.m.  Wear your Christmas jumpers please! New members always welcome. Just turn up, no need to book!

Tea and Jazz

There was a record number of approximately 60 members in the audience at the concert in November given by the Gambit Jazzmen, a professional band who regularly perform New Orleans style jazz in clubs across the south of England. They certainly had our toes tapping and lots of the audience clearly wanted to dance. We hope the band will make a return visit next year. Our ‘Tea’ was much enjoyed too, thanks to Marie Gawthorp’s delicious home-made fairy cakes. Thank you, Marie.

There will be no meeting in December. There will be live jazz again on Tuesday, 24th January at 2-00pm in Datchet Village Hall presenting a saxophone combo, with a singer.

More details will appear in the January newsletter. Many thanks to all who have supported Tea and Jazz this year, we look forward to seeing you again in 2023.

Walking Groups

Shorter Walks

The group will not meet in December.

u3a Amblers

The group will next meet on 5th December to walk round Braywick Park (fully booked) and on 2nd January 2023 for a walk in the environs of Windsor town centre.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

Windsor Area Walking Group

The group will not meet in December.


Local Coffee Mornings

Local Coffee Mornings are for the convenience of members who live in a particular locality, but other members are welcome to attend too. All coffee mornings run from 10-30am to 12-00pm. If you wish to stay longer, please do. The trial coffee morning in Dedworth was enjoyed by those who attended, especially as one member had baked a variety of home-made cakes to go with our coffee and chat. Thank you, Angela West.

All coffee mornings run from 10-30am to 12-00 noon. If you wish to stay longer, please do.

Datchet Local Coffee Morning at The Bridge Café, The Village Green, Datchet, SL3 9JH
These are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Next on 25th January 2023

Old Windsor Local Coffee Morning at The Bells of Ouzeley, Straight Road, Old Windsor, SL4 2SH
These are held on the 1st Wednesday of each month. Next on 7th December 2022, then 4th January 2023

West Windsor Local Coffee Morning at the Running Man Café, All Saints’ Dedworth, SL4 4JW
These are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Next on 18th January 2023


Credits and Contributions

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

The copy date for the January 2022 Newsletter is 13th December.

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).

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.

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