Online Newsletter 186 – September 2023

By | September 2, 2023

Our lead photo shows Windsor u3a members listening Cristina Loggia at August’s Monthly Meeting.

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What does September hold for you?

September holds many associations and expectations around the world – Labor Day in America; The Moon Festival in China; the start of a new academic year in many countries; Harvest celebrations in the western hemisphere. What does September hold for you? A holiday? A new Interest Group?

It will be a busy month for u3a members. Members will be able to –

Reminisce with Rock and Roll Music?

Reminisce with Rock and Roll Music: The TVN events season starts with a bang and a dance!
On 12th September, music presenter, Clive Aronson is giving a presentation on Rock and Roll. So get out your dancing shoes, clear the furniture and enjoy! RocknRollflyer.pdf

Join the TVN Autumn Quiz?

Commencing at 14:30 on Friday 15th September: Autumn Quiz Flyer

Please book either (or both) via the appropriate event link on the TVN website: using the TicketSource button(s).

Listen to ‘My Life as a Micro Artist’?

Listen to ‘My Life as a Micro Artist‘: A talk by Graham Short at our Monthly Speaker Meeting at 2-00pm on Wednesday, 13th September.

Take part in Eton Action Fair?

This year, Windsor u3a will be taking part in Eton Action Fair. It will be an opportunity to showcase the u3a movement and Windsor and District u3a in particular, as well as to help raise funds for deserving charities.
We need volunteers on Saturday, 16th September 2023 to help man our stall (in one or two hour shifts) between 11am and 4pm. Please contact Peter Todd via to offer your help. Eton Action Fair is a very enjoyable community event and there will be plenty of time to browse the many stalls, buy some bargains, lunch and afternoon tea, as well as helping to man our stall. Follow this link to find out more:

Enjoy a Live Jazz Concert?

On Tuesday, 26th September at 2-00 pm in Datchet Village Hall, we will welcome back The Traditional Jazz Quartet. Members from all u3a groups are welcome. £7.00 cash on the door, no need to book.

Book a Christmas Outing to Waddesdon Manor at Christmas?

Christmas at Waddesdon Manor (NT) 2023
Decorated Rooms, Animated Light Projections, an Outdoor Light Trail
with a Food Village, Christmas Fair and NT Gift and Wine Shop.
Christmas at Waddesdon – Waddesdon Manor

Wednesday, 29th November
Coach leaving from St Leonard’s Road, Stag Meadow at 1-30pm
Tour of the manor at 3-30pm
4-30pm – 6-30pm Enjoy the festivities
£23.25 for NT members or £32.25 for Non-Members
Please book with Jackie Wiggins.

Join us for our Christmas Party?

Book tickets for our Christmas Party on 20th December at The Christopher Wren Hotel.
Tickets are selling fast but there some are still available.
Contact Chris Dufty

Decide to spend a weekend in the Midlands?

A Weekend in the Midlands with Windsor & District u3a
Friday, 9th February – Sunday, 11th February
Staying in **** Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford.
Visiting Coventry, Stratford on Avon and Warwick
The Birmingham Tattoo.

£319.00 per person sharing a Twin/Double room. (Based upon a minimum of 25 passengers.)
£299.00 per person sharing Twin/Double room. (Based upon a minimum of 35 passengers.)
Single room supplement: £60.00 per person.
Optional Travel Insurance: £31.00 per person.

Only a limited number of single rooms are available, so if you could find a friend to share a twin room, it will not only reduce your cost, but help towards achieving our minimum number of participants.

This weekend offers some included visits, some optional visits and some free time to wonder and discover the towns in your own way.

Expressions of interest to Jackie Wiggins.

Included activities:

  • The amazing old and new Coventry cathedrals and St Mary’s Guildhall, Coventry.
  • Tickets for the Saturday evening performance of the Birmingham Tattoo, National Exhibition Centre.

Optional activities:

  • Stratford Butterfly Farm, £7.95pp
  • A tour of RSC Theatre, Stratford, £10.00pp


  • Warwick Castle, £26.00 pp, £34.00 including dungeons
  • A one-hour guided walking tour of Warwick, £6.50pp

(NB. These are current prices for the activities and may increase in 2024)
If enough people wish to visit, we can apply for group discounts.

Take part in u3a Week?

Sam Mauger (Chief Executive of u3a) writes, “I hope many of you will take part in u3a Week this year. We may be spread out across the UK but every member of u3a is a part of our wider u3a community. We are running an exciting programme of online events. We are delighted to have Carl Honoré, award winning writer, broadcaster and activist on ageing, challenging us to embrace ageing as an adventure. We will also be joined by Heléna Herklots as an advocate for older adults in her role as Commissioner for Older People in Wales, and by John Tucker from the Woodland Trust.
Find out more about all these events and how you can get involved on our u3a Week page


Caveat Emptor!

Many people believe that when they pay for goods or services with their Credit Card they are protected, if the goods are faulty or the services fail, by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (CCA) 1974. Providing the goods cost more the £100 and less than £30,000, this makes a credit card provider jointly liable with the retailer for the quality of the goods and the purchaser can claim a refund from either. This perhaps feels especially reassuring when buying by mail order and is true and works — up to a point!

What many of us do not know, until we learn by an unhappy experience, is that a refund under Section 75 is subject to certain conditions. There must be an unbroken chain between the purchaser, the credit card provider and the seller. If you buy through an agent, you lose your right to a refund under Section 75. For example, if you buy accommodation or flights through or Expedia rather than directly from the hotel or airline, you have no right to a refund under section 75 if things go wrong. The chain between buyer and seller is broken by the agent and you therefore lose your right to refund. The same applies when buying from Amazon. If you buy from an Amazon Marketplace seller, rather than directly from Amazon, again you lose your right to refund if goods are faulty or a service fails.
Caveat Emptor (Ref. Money Which? September 2023 page 11)

Learn more here

Paying by Cheque

Nowadays cheques are read at our banks by machines, not people. For this reason, an increasing number of cheques are rejected. Above is an example of what the machines are looking for and shows what we must take care to make clear.


Monthly Speaker Meetings

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

My Life as a Micro-Artist with Graham Short

Wednesday, 13th September at 14:00

Graham Short is a micro-artist, living and working in Birmingham. He is well known for producing miniature pieces of art, including The Lord’s Prayer on a speck of gold inside the eye of a needle and his portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth, also in the eye of a needle, which sold for £100,000. Graham will give a highly entertaining PowerPoint presentation of his work and tell us some very amusing stories.

Future meetings

We hope you will enjoy listening to these talks.

  • 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.
  • Wednesday, 8th November: Metaphors, Clichés and Phrases – avoid them like the plague! – the origin of sayings in the English Language, with Warren Ashton


New Members who have joined Windsor u3a during August

Please make them welcome when they come to your groups.

Names visible to logged in members.


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.

Old Windsor

The Bells of Ouzeley, Straight Road, Old Windsor, SL4 2SH
These are held on the 1st Wednesday of each month.
Next on 6th September 2023

West Windsor

The Running Man Café, All Saints’ Church, Dedworth, SL4 4JW
These are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.
Next on 20th September 2023. This month Sheila Allen and Angela West have agreed to host the morning. Thank you, Sheila and Angela.


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, 26th September 2023


The Bridge Café, The Village Green, Datchet, SL3 9JH
These are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month.
Next on Datchet meeting on Wednesday, 27th September 2023. This month Sylvia D’Mello Burchell has agreed to host the morning this month. Thank you, Sylvia.


Interest Group News


The Windsor U3A chess group remains very small and would welcome more members. Recently members have been playing at The Bridge Cafe in Datchet, at 10:30 every Monday. Anyone can turn up, but are advised to contact David Oldcorn first by phone or email.

Gardening 1

This month Gardening Group 1 will be holding their annual AUTUMN PLANT SWAP at 2-00pm on Thursday, 21st September. Please contact Carole for details of venue and to confirm your attendance. Please bring any spare plants AND take some new ones home. The group hopes many of you will join them.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

During the summer this group have visited some splendid gardens and been made welcome by their proud and knowledgeable owners.

For many more photographs of these beautiful gardens, please see the separate post here.

Local History

  • 25th September: We will get the inside track on The Life of an Auctioneer with Harry Ballin of Windsor Auctions. If you want to know about the ‘treasures’ that have passed through their doors or are fans of Flog It, this will be a must.
  • 30th October: Jackie Bryans will recount the History of the Theatre Royal. Legend has it that strolling players performed in Peascod Street as far back as Elizabethan times and the theatre itself goes back well over 200 years with many famous names performing there.
  • 27th November: Our borough’s town crier, Chris Brown, will regale us with the history of his role the purpose of which is to bring happiness to the people of Windsor and Maidenhead. What a great theme for our pre-Christmas meeting. Oyez!

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.

History of Design

Members treated themselves to a unique experience last month when they visited Eltham Palace. The word unique is often misused but, the palace in south-east London is truly a one-off – a marriage between a Medieval and Tudor palace and a 1930’s millionaire’s mansion. It is considered an Art Deco “gem”.

The palace’s history shows that between the 14th and 16th centuries English monarchs stayed and hunted in the surrounding parks and each lavished large sums of money on the property and its 19 acres of grounds. It was then largely left to fall into decline until 1933 when Stephen and Virginia Courtauld leased it from the Crown. The couple built an up-to-the-minute mansion that incorporated as much as possible of the historic palace, including the mediaeval Great Hall.

The result was a masterpiece of 20th-century design which also displayed the Courtauld’s extensive collection of works of art, contemporary pieces as well as Old Masters. Celebrity visitors included Stravinsky, Gracie Fields, Malcolm Sargent, film producers Basil Dean and Michael Balcon, band leader Lew Stone and politicians such as Rab Butler and Leo Amery. The Courtaulds also took full advantage of new technology. Most rooms had synchronous clocks regulated by the main electricity supply and a loudspeaker system that could broadcast records to rooms on the ground floor. Siemens installed a private internal telephone exchange.

The Courtaulds remained at Eltham for most of the Second World War, until May 1944 when they passed on the remainder of the lease to the Army Educational Corps. English Heritage assumed responsibility for the Great Hall in 1984 and in 1995 took over the management of the entire site.
Since then, it has been systematically restoring the principal interiors of the 20th-century house to their appearance in the time of the Courtaulds. In the gardens surviving features from the Courtauld era have been conserved and the integrity of a 1930s garden maintained.

Sue White

Members of the group at the tea room.

World Cuisine

We are a small group who enjoy trying out and tasting new recipes from different parts of the world. Some of us are experienced cooks. Some of us are not! We take turns cooking and hosting our evenings in our own homes. We also try out restaurants specializing in a particular cuisine. Sadly, one of our most accomplished members has died and we now have space for one person or one couple to join us for lighthearted get togethers where we learn from each other.

Tea and Jazz

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 December.

Quiz Groups

Thank you to all those who attended the Quiz Night at All Saints’ Church, Dedworth in August. It was very enjoyable and the u3a teams held their own against some serious challengers. Well done! Thanks go to Hazel Fossgard and Linda Saunders who ran the session at Hanover Way Community Centre in August. John Wiggins

u3a Amblers

The morning amble on Thursday, 7th September is to be around Braywick Park Nature Reserve.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

In early August, nine members had a pleasant summer amble of 3.3 km (2.1 miles) along the new riverside path at Runnymede. This was followed by coffee, tea (and snacking by some) at the National Trust cafe and and short walk to take in ‘The Jurors’ chairs in the meadow.


The Mahjong group meetings are now well settled in the bar area of the community pub, The Swan in Clewer. We all have an enjoyable time playing there every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 2-00pm until 4-00pm.

The group now has enough table space – and available Mahjong sets – to take more members, so if you would like to join us, you will be very welcome! You do not have to know how to play already, as we can help you to start, and we are all always learning.

If you are interested in joining, or would just like to watch and find out more about the game, then please contact Anne Greenshields by email or phone for more details about the meetings, including parking arrangements.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.


David Oldcorn will host his three music groups at his home on the usual dates in September, The Ballet group will meet at 2-00 pm on Monday 4th September. The Show Music groups will meet at 2-30 pm on Monday, 18th September. The Classical Music group will be at 2-30 pm on Thursday 28th September. This term, with the Ballet group, David will continue to work through the showing of his collection of over 90 DVDs of ballets. His Classical Music group will be able to enjoy reruns of the recent Promenade concerts. New members are welcome at any of these sessions.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

Lawn Bowls

This group started at the end of April with 18 members. They have all stayed the course and have progressed from a simple version of the game to playing the proper game, learning the many rules on the way. Everybody has improved and there is a great camaraderie between the players. The outdoor bowls season ends in the middle of September, but we look forward to playing again next April.

Windsor Area Walks

Sadly, there will be no walk in September due to an absence of volunteers to lead a walk. This is partly due to holidays although it would be nice to see a few more people sharing their favourite walks with us. There is one organised for October from the Stag and Huntsmen car park in Hambleden, to be led by Philip.

Please let Roy know if you would be happy to organise one or two walks a year.

Logged in members can see contact and precise meet details.


Diary Dates

  • Wednesday, 13th September: Monthly Speaker Meeting with Graham Short, My Life as a Micro Artist
  • Saturday, 16th September: Eton Action FairHelp will be needed to run our stall promoting u3a membership.
  • Monday, 18th September: New Members’ Coffee Morning
  • Wednesday, 11th October: Monthly Speaker Meeting with Colin Brown from RNLI
  • Tuesday, 24th October: Live JazzThe Woodhouse Jazz Band with their singer Catherine
  • Tuesday, 28th November: Live JazzGambit Jazzmen
  • Wednesday, 29th November: Coach outing to NT ‘Waddesdon Manor at Christmas’
  • Saturday, 9th December: Visit to The Mill Theatre-Restaurant at Sonning. ‘High Society
  • Wednesday, 20th December 2023: Dinner-Dance at The Christopher Wren Hotel
  • Friday, 9th February to Sunday, 11th February 2024: Birmingham Tattoo and weekend in the Midlands


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 September 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.

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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