Online Newsletter 185 – August 2023

By | August 4, 2023
View of Mervyn Edwards addressing Windsor u3a at July's Monthly Meeting

Our lead photo shows Windsor u3a members listening Mervyn Edwards at July’s Monthly Meeting.

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What fun we had! What a lot we learnt!

A coachful of u3a members spent a long weekend together discovering Yorkshire.

We stayed in Harrogate and enjoyed Betty’s Tea shop

We visited the Great Yorkshire Show and learnt about woolly pigs, obedient pigs, runaway pigs and what makes a piggy squeak!

We made friends with big goats, little goats, curly horned goats, straight horned goats and many other sorts of goats and watched them on parade.

We watched sheep, being weighed, sheep being brushed, sheep being shorn and their wool being woven.

We were humbled by the size and majesty of prize cattle.

The animals were just a small part of the ‘The Show’. We were all astounded at the size and variety of exhibits. You can see more of these in the separate post here

We were all delighted by Skipton, which none of us had visited before. It was a market day and some people enjoyed retail therapy. Others discovered the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and enjoyed a walk which climbed steeply through Skipton Woods. Yet others visited Skipton Castle and The Craven Museum. Craven was the name of a medieval shire including parts of West and North Yorkshire. Skipton was within this shire. The name means garlic fields. Wild garlic was growing along the banks of the canal and in the woods. More pictures here

The Keighley and Worth Valley Steam Railway took us to Howarth, a pretty, but now very commercialised little village and we had the opportunity to enjoy the scenery and learn about the lives and background of the Bronte sisters.

Sunday was spent at Harewood House and Estate which belongs to the Lascelles family (NB Lascelles Road in Slough!) It was designed and created by some of the best and now most famous craftsmen of the 18th century – John Carr, Robert Adams, Thomas Chippendale. Many fine pieces of furniture and paintings of the Renaissance era are on display, as well as displays of modern art. We learnt a lot about how to ‘read’ the portraits of aristocrats of yesteryear by considering the size and frame of the painting, the pose and expression of the sitter, their clothing and hairstyle, the composition of the background and any materials e.g. curtains used in the composition. A three-quarter length portrait was most common. A full-length portrait would have been more expensive. It would ‘cost an arm and a leg’, hence the expression we use today. More Harewood House and Himalayan Gardens pictures here

On our journey to Harrogate, the group visited Northampton, which was also a town unknown to many. Here we had a guided tour of 78, Derngate, a small terrace house exquisitely renovated by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1916 for his client, W.J Bassett-Lowke, well known as a model engineer. We cannot share the wonderful interior designs, as no photography was allowed. You are encouraged to visit yourself.

Northampton County Museum was a much-appreciated surprise. After lunch, most of us had time only to be amazed at the exhibition of shoes – old, new, practical and fantastical! At one time, Northampton was the centre of Britain’s shoe industry. We also discovered that many celebrated people lived in Northampton. Photos here

On our way home, the group visited York. There is so much to see and do there, a return trip is planned to revisit this area and appreciate more of Skipton, York and other places in North Yorkshire.

What has made this holiday special is the company!” one member exclaimed.
This photograph sums up the attitude of the group.
Look on the bright side! Dodge the rain or dress for it! Make the most of life!

by Julie Burman

Learn (which we did) + Laugh (which we did a lot) = Live (Let’s do more of it)

Thanks for photographs go to Beverley Ward, Sue Griffin,
Julie Burman, Christina Sandford, Ann Vaughan, Gill Hurdle, Jackie Wiggins, John Wiggins.

Many thanks to all participants for your cooperation, good humour and willingness and ability to include others.
Jackie Wiggins


Diary Dates

  • Thursday, 13th to Monday, 17th July 2023 – u3a holiday to Yorkshire
  • Tuesday, 25th July 2023 – Live Jazz in Datchet. The Dixieland Swing Kings, a six-man traditional jazz band
  • Saturday, 16th September 2023: Eton Action FairHelp will be needed to run our stall promoting u3a membership.
  • Tuesday, 24th October 2023 – The Woodhouse Jazz Band with their singer Catherine
  • Tuesday, 28th November 2023 – Gambit Jazzmen

u3a Pocket Diaries are now available. If you would like one, please let me know by email. They are £3.75 each (postage tba dependent on how many we purchase).
Kind regards, Kate Fagence, Membership Secretary Windsor & District u3a

Listening Ears or Deaf Ears?

During 2022-23 many pleas were made for members to step into roles on our committee. Sadly, these pleas fell on deaf ears. Our need was and is for help with the duties of a secretary. This role can encompass many responsibilities. Some of these are listed below. Not all require attendance at committee meetings. If you would be prepared to take on ONE of these, it would be much appreciated by the whole membership.

  • Invite members to Monthly Meetings and other events.
  • Liaise with Thames Valley Network (TVN) and keep the Committee and membership updated with TVN events.
  • Liaise with Third Age Trust (TAT) and keep the committee and membership updated regarding TAT events and developments.
  • Keep copies of insurance cover notes and send any invoices received from TAT to the Treasurer.
  • Take Minutes at Committee Meetings and distribute to the Committee. Keep Minutes and Committee Member Reports, if provided, filed securely and in date order.

Please contact Peter Todd, Chairman


Monthly Speaker Meetings

2-00 pm at Gardeners Hall, 213 St Leonard’s Road, Windsor, SL4 3DR
on 2nd Wednesday of each month.

Story Writing with Cristina Loggia

Wednesday, 9th August at 14:00

How does somebody become a novelist?
And what does it take to write a Second World War thriller?
This is the story of fiction author Cristina Loggia, the inspiration that came from her family history, the research required for historical fiction, the challenges she came across during her journey as a debut writer, and how she got published, with an insight into the workings of the publishing industry.


Cristina started her career as a newspaper reporter for L’Eco di Biella, in Piedmont, Italy. After a spell running the press office of an MP, she moved to London, where she worked for several years as a public affairs and media relations professional, advising major multinational corporations on communications campaigns.
Cristina read English Literature and Foreign Languages at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Writing and reading have always been her greatest passion. ‘Lucifer’s Game’ is her first fiction novel; she has now finished writing a second one.
Cristina is a member of The Society of Authors, The Crime Writers Association and The Historical Writers Association. Cristina is represented by literary agent Catherine Wallace, High Spot Literary.
She lives with her husband and three cats in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Future meetings

We hope you will enjoy listening to these talks.

  • Wednesday, 13th September: My Life as a Micro-Artist, by Graham Short
    Graham Short is a micro-artist, living and working in Birmingham. Known for producing miniature pieces of art, he has spent over 50 years going to physical and mental extremes to produce the highest-quality hand engravings ever seen. Appearing in news features internationally and the subject of many television programmes, Graham is now considered to be one of the most talented living micro- artists in the world.
  • Wednesday, 11th October: RNLI with Colin Brown
    With more people predicted to visit our coasts, more people will be relying on RNLI lifesavers to rescue them from a life-or-death ordeal. We have come to rely on top-class kit and world-class training to bring those in trouble, and crews, home safely. Colin Brown who we have enjoyed listening to before, returns to tell us more about RNLI and fundraise for this good cause.


CAMEO Coffee Mornings

Come And Meet Each Other

Coffee mornings run from 10-30am to 12-00pm, why not drop in between those times?

If you arrive and find the ‘u3a table’ is fully occupied, PLEASE make yourself known before settling elsewhere on your own or in a splinter group. Depending on the venue, it may well be possible to enlarge the circle, or take over/join on another table.

The purpose of holding Coffee Mornings is for members to widen their circle of friends and acquaintances, not to sit and drink coffee alone!

Old Windsor

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

West Windsor

Our regular CAMEO Coffee Morning held at All Saints’ Church, Dedworth has been cancelled this month because the church is holding a week of summer fun activities, ’Wonderfully Made’. We are invited to attend an Afternoon Tea and Beetle Drive on Wednesday, 16th August 2-00pm – 4-00pm. There will be no charge for this event, but donations will be welcome. It would be great to see you there.
Contact Jackie Wiggins

The Running Man Café, All Saints’ Dedworth, SL4 4JW
These are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, excluding July and August.
Next on 20th September 2023


The Restaurant, Hilliers Garden Centre, off A30 between Sunningdale and Bagshot, GU20 6LQ
These are held on the last Tuesday of each month. Next on Wednesday, 29th August 2023


The Bridge Café, The Village Green, Datchet, SL3 9JH
These are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month, excluding August. Members will be welcome at the Afternoon Tea and Beetle Drive mentioned above.
Next on Datchet meeting on Wednesday, 27th September 2023


New Members who have joined Windsor u3a during July

Please make them welcome when they come to your groups.

Names visible to logged in members.


Interest Group News

Gardening 1

Thursday 20th July, 2pm – We will be visiting Broom Acres, Sandhurst, RG6 7DD. The cost of this visit will be £9.00. Please let Carole know if you would like to come (for catering purposes) as soon as possible.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

Local History

  • August: no meeting as coincides with Bank Holiday
  • Monday, 25th September: We will get the inside track on The Life of an Auctioneer with Harry Ballin of Windsor Auctions. Your chance to find out about some local treasures and a must for fans of Flog It.

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.

Music groups

David Oldcorn’s Music Groups will meet on their usual dates in August, 7th, 21st and 24th. There is space for more members to join all three groups – Ballet, Show Music and Classical Music. David has a high-quality sound system and provides historical information about the music he chooses for each session and gives a synopsis for the ballets he shows.

Potential new members please contact David by phone or email.


Last month the group had a particularly interesting meeting and discussion. Neil Griffin demonstrated what photographers can achieve with artificial intelligence (AI). He used his own photograph of a sunset in Dorset and then asked an AI app to make it into an African scene.

Neil then used his own photograph of a boat at sea and asked the app to remove the passengers. Notice the app has not only removed the passengers, but also intuitively filled in the guardrail.

This prompted a discussion of the exciting possibilities afforded by AI and also a consideration of the pitfalls and possibilities of misuse.

Quiz Groups

John Wiggins, Windsor u3a’s Quiz Master will be running a Quiz Night at All Saints’ Church, Dedworth on Monday, 14th August at 8-00 pm for 8-15 pm start. This is part of their summer activity week. Please bring your own drink and glasses. Nibbles provided. All welcome. No charge.

Tea and Jazz

Don’t forget – there’s no meeting in August.

On 26th September, we welcome back The Traditional Jazz Quartet. There is no need to book – just turn up on the day. There is a fee of just £7.00 cash to pay towards the cost of the band, hall hire and refreshments.

Live jazz is also booked for 24th OctoberThe Woodhouse Jazz Band with singer Catherine – and for 28th November – the Gambit Jazzmen return, who were much enjoyed by our audience in April.

All performances start at 2-00pm, with a break halfway for tea and cakes and finish at about 3-45pm.
There is a car park outside the hall and when this is full, there’s a public car park a short distance back towards Datchet village centre.

Please note there will be no Tea and Jazz in August or December.

Walking Groups

u3a Amblers

The morning amble on Thursday, 3rd August is to be along the Thames from NT (National Trust) Runnymede car park to the Pleasure Grounds park and back.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

In early July, ten members had a pleasant summer amble of 3.85 km (2.4 miles) in Windsor Great Park, followed by tea/coffee and snacks at “Auntie Janis’s”, in the corner of Stag Meadow car park. We welcomed two new members to the group, Jean and Rosemary, who joined at a recent New Members’ Coffee Morning.

Shorter Walks

Please contact the convenor for details of this month’s walk and reserve a place.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

Windsor Area Walks

The August walk will be on Friday, 25th August from Knowl Hill on the A4 around Ashley Hill Forest. We will head up the hill and head towards Burchetts Green before returning via the extensive grounds of Berkshire Agricultural College, about 5 miles.

Logged in members can see contact and precise meet details.

An Interest Group in the making

Creative Writing for Fun: You don’t need to be a Shakespeare or a Dickens, in fact it’s best if you don’t want to be! This group is for you to write how, and what, you want, and have fun with words. It will be a place where you can express your creative self, your thoughts and ideas without judgement, criticism, or negativity.

I hope that every month a group member will pick a topic or choose a word, or a phrase, for group members to write about between 250 and 500 words. We will also write spontaneously, exploring ideas, and fictionalising “What If’s”.

This will be an all-inclusive group for you to explore your hidden talents using the written word, poetry, or even lyrics. The choice is yours.

If you have ever wanted to write freely, enjoy good company, and have a laugh, please contact me, Ann Vaughan. I look forward to hearing from you so we can start the group at my Windsor home in St. Leonard’s Road – until we outgrow it!

Logged in members can see Ann’s contact details.


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

The copy date for our next Newsletter is 18th August 2023

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 hide certain data from all but logged in members, plus occasionally make minor updates after release, typically to correct errors and omissions notified promptly.

Committee Contact Details

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Committee Members’ Contact Details
Data Administrator:Derek
Groups’ Coordinator:Sue
Website Administrator:Dave
Membership Secretary:Kate
Newsletter Editor:Jackie
Speaker Organiser:Joanna