On-line Newsletter 180 – March 2023

By | June 6, 2023

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Your u3a Needs You

The month of March is when your committee are busy planning for our Annual General Meeting which is held in April. This year, Peter Todd and Jackie Wiggins both complete their first 3-year term of office as committee members. They are both eligible for re-election for one more 3-year term of office. Next year, Dave Humphries and Sue White will both complete their second term of office. They must then stand down and other members must step up to replace them for our u3a to continue to operate. It is desirable
that members join the committee this year to become familiar with the general work of the committee and to shadow Sue and Dave to learn what is involved in their roles. We need people with administrative experience (e.g., ex-office workers), IT technical experience (e.g. ex-programmers, audio – visual techies, electricians, data entry assistants, laboratory technicians), people handling experience (teachers, nurses, social workers, doctors, shop assistants, customer service assistants). Whatever your experience, you
have something to offer as a committee member. We need people with initiative and people prepared to ‘muck in and help’. It would be sad to see our u3a group fold. Please consider what help YOU could offer. If you would like to sit in on a committee meeting as an observer to see how we operate, please contact Dave Humphries, Secretary to arrange.

This year our AGM will be immediately followed by an Afternoon Tea with a classical guitar performance by Gary Jordan. You may recall we enjoyed Gary’s talk on the Spanish Guitar back in June 2022.

The AGM will be a hybrid meeting to allow as many members as possible to enjoy this, but Zoom attendees will not be able to vote.
If you have any items you would like to be included on the agenda, please notify Dave Humphries, Secretary. before the 15th March.

We need approx. 100 members to attend the AGM in-person, at Gardeners’ Hall, to be quorate.

Please make every effort to be there and avoid the need for us to schedule a second date.

Thank you.

Monthly Speaker Meetings

Discovering the Surrey Hills by Tony Howe

Wednesday, 8th March
2-00 pm at Gardeners Hall
213 St Leonard’s Road, Windsor, SL4 3DR

Tony is a Blue Badge guide specialising in the South and Southeast areas of England. He is also a qualified Walking Group Leader, holding an award from the British Mountaineering Council and leads walks in the Chilterns and Surrey Hills. The ‘Surrey Hills’ make up an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and is one of 46 nationally protected landscapes in the UK, having equal landscape status and protection to a national park. The hills stretch across a quarter of the county of Surrey, that runs from Farnham in the west along to Guildford, Dorking, Reigate and on to Oxted in the east. Tony’s talk will cover the history and geography of the Surrey Hills and will have wide appeal.

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

  • Wednesday, 12th April: AGM, Afternoon Tea and Classic Guitar recital, by Gary Jordan
  • Wednesday, 10th May: My Year in Russia, by Gerald Seaman
  • Wednesday, 14th June: The Earth’s Fragile Beauty Sustains Us, by Doug Kennedy

Windsor and District u3a Annual General Meeting

Followed by Afternoon Tea
with a Classical Guitar Recital by Gary Jordan

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

Membership Subscription

The majority of members have now renewed their subscriptions – thank you. Most of those who have not renewed, have moved out of our area and have sent their thanks and appreciation to our u3a.

The LAST DATE for RENEWAL of your 2023 SUBSCRIPTION is at the Monthly Meeting on 8th March.

After this your membership will lapse and you will no longer be entitled to take part in activities organised by Windsor and District u3a, receive communications from us, or have access to the full content on this web site.

If you are experiencing problems with the online renewal process, please contact Derek Gadd, Data Administrator via dataadmin@windsoru3a.org.uk


Fit for the Future

Those of you who read Third Age Matters, published by The Third Age Trust (TAT) or who peruse the national u3a website u3a – Home or who have signed up for the national u3a online newsletter, will know that recently there has been much debate about the future structure of the u3a movement. Communications between national trustees, regional and local networks are all under review. Ways to secure an ‘effective member voice’ in future developments are being discussed. Opportunities are being explored for members to meet and enjoy learning together by participating in events and activities at network, regional and national  levels, as well as at local level. Ideas include conferences, summer schools and other ‘festivals of learning’ involving programmes of talks and activities such as ‘Off the Wall’ which, in 2023 is based on Hadrian’s Wall. This may all seem remote, but if successful will establish precedents for events and activities geographically accessible to all u3a members.

The concern that there is need for change has arisen because since the Covid pandemic there has been a nationwide decline in the growth of u3a groups. The results of a small survey indicate some predictable conclusions.

  • The original u3a members are now in their late 80s and 90s. Many newly retired, potential new u3a members are 55-60+ and consider u3a groups to provide for ‘the elderly’, with whom they do not yet identify, as peers.
  • u3a members in their 60s in terms of learning, show a preference for activity and opportunity to socialise, rather than listening to talks.

The implications for u3a groups is the need to make sure they are attractive to the newly retired, as well as those who have been retired for some years.

In fact, Windsor and District u3a has not declined. Its membership has returned to pre Covid numbers. However, in the next few months, your committee are planning to invite members to take part in a short survey, ‘Tell us what you want’. The results of this will be used to shape our approach to monthly meetings, the newsletter, Interest Groups, outings, trips away and more. It will help to ensure Windsor and District u3a is ‘Fit for the Future’. We will let you know when the survey is launched, so that you can keep a look out for it in your email/post.

If you would like to know more detail about the Third Age Trust survey, it is available on the national u3a website. u3a – Home in the Recruitment Toolkit.


Outings and Events

A Springtime Day Trip

Wednesday, 31st May: A Guided Coach Tour through Midsomer Murder Country, in the Chilterns. £20.00 pp. This guided coach tour passes through parts of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire where much of the filming for Midsomer Murders happens. We will pass through delightful, historic Chilterns towns and villages to see filming locations and other points of interest.

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.

Windsor and District u3a Coach Holidays

15th June to 21st June to The Loire Valley, visiting Versailles, Tours and Amboise and their chateaux.

Contact details visible to logged-in members only.

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.

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

Diary Dates

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

  • Thursday, 16th March 2023, Matinee Performance 2-30pm

Booking is now closed.

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
  • Booking is now closed

Contact details visible to logged-in members only.

Gambit Jazzmen, organised by Tea and Jazz

  • Tuesday, 25th April 2023 at 2-00pm

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


Interest Group News

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

Gardening 1

On Thursday 16th March we will meet at the entrance to RHS Wisley at 2-00pm for a guided tour. The cost is £14.00 entry (free to RHS members) and £5.00 for the tour. The booking for this must be with me by 6th March, at Wisley’s request!

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


This month we had an inspiring meeting led by Dave Humphries. Dave demonstrated the effects of lighting, perspective and depth of field in the context of creating miniature scenarios of different weather conditions e.g. making fake rain and snow. In April, Dave will share a presentation of his demonstration and our achievements. NB Thank you for the samosas, Sameena. New members are welcome.

Tea and Jazz

Meet at 2-00 pm, Tuesday, 28th March in Datchet Village Hall. For our March meeting we are planning to present live jazz from the South Bucks U3A Jazz Band. There will be a charge of £5.00 to cover the costs. There is no need to book – just turn up at 2-00pm. We are an open group, all u3a members are welcome. In April, we have booked the Gambit Jazzmen and in May the Woodhouse Jazz Band and singer, Catherine.

Walking Groups

u3a Amblers

The group had a lovely, sunny walk through Eton on 6th February sharing local knowledge of the area and enjoying some famous landmarks, followed by riverside refreshments.

The group next meet on 2nd March for a walk along the new riverside path at Runnymede with refreshments and a chat in the NT Magna Carta Cafe afterwards.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

Shorter Walks

Meet on Wednesday 22nd March at the National Trust Car Park, Runnymede, next to the NT café, on the right-hand side of the A308 when driving from Windsor. Parking is free for NT members or Blue Badge holders, but £1.50 per hour for non-members. We will walk along the river on the new gravel track which was completed recently and have tea afterwards in the café. Please confirm your intention to join the walk with Lynda Eadle.

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

Windsor Area Walking Group

In March, we will walk approximately 5 miles from Knowle Hill on the A4 and around the Ashley Hill Forest. There is no coffee stop on route, so please bring a drink. There may be coffee at the end. The walk will be led by Roy Battison.

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

Interest Groups Online (IGOs)

Interest Groups Online (formerly Trust u3a) is an online u3a community which is a great way to meet people from across the u3a movement. IGOs give you the opportunity to join groups, talks and courses from the comfort of your own home and may offer subjects not available locally. As with a local u3a, the activities are run by members. It costs £12.00 to join for the year, equating to £1.00 per month. Membership runs from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024.

I joined an IGO, the Mobile Phone Photo Art group, during the Covid pandemic lockdown. It is led by a very knowledgeable and supportive lady called Carrie. Members learn a lot from Carrie about using various (mostly free) apps for editing photographs and have fun ‘creating’ and sharing their edited photographs. Members live in very different localities and in general friendships are virtual. I have met up with one member at Savill Gardens. We were showing photographs of the same area! (Jackie Wiggins)

If anyone else in Windsor and District u3a have joined an IGO, please share your experience and how it has suited you.


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 1st March 2023

West Windsor

The Running Man Café, All Saints’ Dedworth, SL4 4JW
These are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Next on 15th March 2023


The Bridge Café, The Village Green, Datchet, SL3 9JH
These are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Next on 22nd March 2023

Ascot members – a New Local Coffee Morning?

Olwen Bowyer-Lowe is a Windsor u3a member who lives in the Ascot area. She would like to set up a Local Coffee Morning meeting at Hilliers’ Garden Centre on the A30.


Digital Communication

Our Learn to Make the Most of your Smartphone sessions have been very successful and several members have asked for guidance using their tablets and computers.

Dedworth Library offers 1:1 IT Help Drop in Sessions
Thursdays: 10am – midday
Saturdays: 10-30am – midday
For more information call: 01753 868733

Making Payments by Electronic Bank Transfer
If you are uncomfortable with the prospect of making payments by Bank Transfer, please make an appointment at your bank. There are advisors who will explain security systems and teach you how to proceed using your mobile phone, tablet or computer.


Subscription Renewal – last chance!

Annual membership for Windsor and District u3a was due on 1st January 2023. The amount is £14 per person.

The last opportunity before a membership is lapsed is at the Monthly Meeting on 8th March. Subscriptions may be paid by any of the following methods:

Online – the preferred method. Although payment is processed by PayPal, you do not need an account with them and can simply pay with your credit or debit card. You will receive an e-mail receipt and your membership will automatically be renewed in our database and be confirmed by email. This is by far the most efficient method and saves the committee much time and effort. Please refer to your renewal invitation e-mail, sent on the 1st January (or subsequent reminder e-mail), for log-in details and link to use. Either joint member can renew online for the pair of you in a single £28 payment.
If you are experiencing problems with the online renewal process, please contact Derek Gadd, Data Administrator, via dataadmin@windsoru3a.org.uk

Bank transfer – see your e-mail for bank payee details. Reference: Please ensure that you include your membership number(s) in the reference field on your bank payment.

Credit or Debit card – Windsor u3a have a card reader, so payments can be made by credit or debit card at the subscription renewal desk at the January or February monthly meetings.

Cheque – made payable to Windsor & District u3a can be handed in at the monthly meeting. Please use a pen with black ink, and write your membership number on the back.
Joint members: please pay with a single cheque, writing both membership numbers on the back of the cheque.

After completion, please read and double check you have filled in the cheque correctly and that it is written clearly. If you have made a mistake, or have ‘pen-trouble’, please tear it up and start again. Amended cheques are not accepted by the bank.

We regret that Cash cannot be accepted, due to bank branch closures complicating paying in.

Kate Fagence and Dave Humphries


Credits and Contributions

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

The copy date for our April Newsletter is 16th March

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