Online Newsletter 189 – December 2023

By | December 10, 2023

Our lead photo shows Windsor u3a members listening to Warren Ashton at November’s Monthly Meeting.

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Monthly Speaker Meetings

Gardeners Hall, 213 St Leonard’s Road, Windsor, SL4 3DR
on 2nd Wednesday of each month, 2-00pm to 4-00pm.

We were treated to an extremely entertaining and thought-provoking talk in November. Warren Ashton rollicked through the afternoon explaining the historical origins of many of the metaphors and cliches commonly used by native speakers of English. The subject attracted a larger than usual audience and their applause was enthusiastic.

This month, at our monthly meeting we will be celebrating Christmas with a tea party, seasonal quiz, carol singing and a raffle for some beautiful table decorations. Thanks go to: the committee for organising the event, the ‘tea ladies’ serving the tea ( and clearing up afterwards! ), the makers of the table decorations and those of our members providing our entertainment – John Wiggins, quizmaster, the Uke’s3a, the singers and especially Adele for leading them. Thank you, one and all for your time, effort and good humour.

  • Wednesday, 13th December: Our Christmas Party in Gardeners’ Hall, from 2 – 4 pm.
    Payment by card or cash on the day, £3 per member for those with a confirmed seat.
  • Wednesday, 10th January 2024: Poetry reading by Jean Hills
    We look forward to hearing again from Jean Hills, a poet who visited us 2 years ago and whose recitations we enjoyed immensely.

A Poetry Competition

Many of our groups take a break in December and/or January and some of our members may feel the days of the Christmas Holiday season are long and lonely. If you have some time on your hands, take part in the National u3a’s poetry competition. This year the theme is ‘What If’. Your poem should be a maximum of 16 lines. The deadline for submission is 12.00pm on Friday 26th January 2024. Follow this link to find out more and how to enter.


Coach Holiday to Versailles and Loire Valley
27th April – 3rd May 2024

Would you like to join a group of 30 u3a members visiting the beautiful Palace of Versailles and then enjoying five days based in the centre of medieval Tours with trips to chateaux in Amboise, Valencay, Cheverney and Chaumont? If so, then please email Pat Oldcorn for more information. Cost is £1,290 per person sharing a twin or double room. This includes coach, Channel Tunnel, six nights bed and breakfast, four dinners, entry to chateaux and a wine tasting. There are three rooms still available.

New Members who have joined Windsor u3a during November

Please make them welcome when they come to your groups.

Names visible to logged in members.


Interest Group News

National Trust Group

Our new National Trust Interest Group met for its first outing in November. The first outing was organised by Zara Redhead and Eva Brookes and group members organised transport among themselves. Zara and Eva had booked a guided tour for the group and members enjoyed a fascinating talk about the history of Hughenden and the wartime Hillside Project. Zara reports that they learnt a lot about the manor house in pre-Disraeli days, as well as about its importance during WW2. They were very lucky to have sunshine the day they visited, and the talk took place on the veranda overlooking the gardens, so they were able to enjoy the view too. Thanks go to Zara and Eva for organising this outing.

Details of the next outing will be circulated to members of the group shortly. Please come to the next CAMEO Coffee Morning at All Saints’ Church Café on 17th January 2024 to discuss transport issues and future outings.

Logged in members can see contact details.

Local History

  • December: no meeting
  • 29th January 2024: Keep Calm and Wear it Well. The fashions of the 1940s’.
    Grace Evans – Keeper of Costume at Chertsey Museum. She will take us on a fascinating journey through the garments of the time – the austerity of the war years and the styles that reflected the indomitable British spirit that created the iconic 1940’s look which resonates with us all…

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.

Jane Standley

Ukulele Group

It’s official – we’re now The Merry Ukes of Windsor! We’ve re-branded ourselves and you can see us in Alan Wheeler’s photo proudly displaying our new banners.

We’ve had great fun playing several “gigs”(!) this year with more coming up soon. We’ve entertained residents of Viscount Court and Connaught Court, attendees at The Spencer Denney Centre, and more recently, members of Datchet Folk Club, playing alongside the Slough group. We even joined in the dancing!

Over a period of time during our Tuesday morning sessions, we’ve put together a full and varied programme of all the songs we know will lift the spirits – from Jambalaya, Waltzing Mathilda and Chatanooga Choo Choo to some foot-tapping sing-along 60’s numbers such as Oh Boy, Sunny Afternoon and Let’s Twist Again. We know we’re always on to a winner with Sweet Caroline – lots of opportunity for arm-waving and singing along and we’ve been lucky enough to be supported very enthusiastically by members of Adele’s Singing for Fun group. A few of us take turns to introduce the songs, opening a chance for some chat and banter which helps keep our audience engaged and interested, and when a chap in the front row asked at one of our gigs, “Can you come back tomorrow?”, we knew we’d done a good job!

Many of the group recently attended a workshop with other ukulele groups in Maidenhead and Slough, given by Phil Doleman, a ukulele specialist and maestro. We all enjoyed trying out new strum patterns and rhythms and finding out more about the instrument and how we can improve individually and as a group.

Don’t miss us at the Christmas Party on 13th December at Gardeners Hall when we’ll be playing carols and Christmas songs with lots of opportunity for you to join in!

Ros Middleton


If you like Latin, Carpe Diem

There are two lovers of Latin in our u3a who meet by Zoom once a week and we would be very happy to welcome a few more members to our study group. We learn with the help of OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA) courses, crosswords and other resources. Various topics are researched and a book of stories is also part of the course. All levels are welcome and anyone who has studied Latin at school should be able to join in. The Zoom meetings are every Friday morning at 10-00am for a couple of hours. The group used to meet fortnightly, but during the lockdowns in the Covid-19 pandemic, we discovered that regular weekly meetings helped us to remember better what we had done before and we decided to keep the meeting for two hours, every week. If you are interested in joining the group, please email Pat.

Pat McKeown


New members welcome.

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Tea and Jazz

Please note there will be no Tea and Jazz at Datchet Village Hall in December, but we have already booked great bands for January and February next year. On 23rd January 2024 we will welcome back the Dixieland Swing Kings a 6-piece band who were very popular with members when they played for us in July. On February 27th, The Pete Rudeforth Jazz Club Four will be in Datchet. Pete was trumpeter in the Chris Barber Band.

However, members are welcome to attend an open session of the Friday Jazz Group meeting in The Hope Pub, Ward Royal Parade, Alma Road, Windsor SL4 3HR on Friday, 8th December from 10-30am to 12-30pm for our Christmas session. We will be having live music provided by The Trad. Jazz Quartet (sometimes Quintet) who played at Tea and Jazz earlier this year. The cost will be £7.00 per person. Tea, coffee and other drinks may be purchased at the bar. Mince pies and cake will be provided. There is some parking behind the pub. Booking is not required. If you have any queries, please contact Pauline Thompson, convenor of the group.

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u3a Amblers

The next scheduled amble will again be around Windsor town on Thursday, 7th December.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

My thanks to Eileen Harris for taking and sharing her pictures of the amble on Monday 6th November.

Windsor Area Walks

There will be no walk in December.

The next walk will be led by Philip starting at 10-15 am, 26th January 2024. This will be a circular walk of about 5 miles from Stag Meadow Car Park Windsor SL4 3DR (free Parking) taking in Rangers Gate, The Village, Copper Horse, Long Walk. We will follow largely flat terrain and paved footpaths for the entire walk. Coffee stop will be in the village, assuming the post office is open. Please check with Philip that this walk will go ahead.

Logged in members can see Philip’s mobile number.

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

Logged in members can see Roy’s e-mail address.

New Interest Groups

Sue White, Groups Coordinator

The bright ideas for new interest groups that our creative convenors came up with at their conference earlier this year continue to bear fruit. A total of six more have been established and are now meeting or are poised to go early in the New Year. These are in addition to the two new Creative Writing groups and the National Trust properties outings group which have all attracted a lot of interest from members.

Logged in members can see contact details for most convenors named below.

Learning from Experience: Group members meet with the aim of improving their informal “learning” by rescuing it from the almost subliminal process it can be for most of us, to one that actively enhances their lives. The convenor is a keen advocate of the four-stage Learning Cycle by David Kolb, which is used as a guide. If you are interested in joining, please contact convenor, Peter Honey.

Meetings are on the third Friday afternoon of the month.

Music Makers: The new “Music Makers” Group has started with 3 members, playing piano, accordion and saxophone and a fourth member is due to join us next month. We are particularly looking for a rhythm guitarist, bassist and percussionist and someone who would like to have a go at singing with us. Whatever instrument you play, the group would welcome you to come and have a try with us. We like to play classic songs such as “Blue Moon” and “The Very Thought of You”. We meet in Windsor on the second and third Thursdays of each month. If you are interested, please contact Peter Cheeseman.

Play Reading is a group of nine and has space for a further three members. They meet on the third Wednesday morning of the month in central Windsor and complete one play at each meeting. Members hope to choose their plays several months in advance and are testing the comparatively new online ordering service from Reading Library to hire their playsets. The group’s debut play in January is Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval. If you are interested in joining, please contact Sue White.

Rummikub 1: A new Rummikub group is starting with a new convenor, Julie Burman. Rummikub 2 (correct), convened by Win Slinn, has reached capacity and her waiting list has grown long enough to support another group of players. They will meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 2.00pm. The first game is scheduled for January 24th. Please let Julie know if you would like to join them.

Thinking Inside (The Box) is a small group which enjoys solving logic and other types of puzzles and brainteasers. Members have a wide variety of interests and as a result, they bring a lot of material to share at their monthly meetings. More members would be very welcome. Their first meeting is this month and will continue on the second Monday afternoon of each month. If you are interested in joining them, please contact Jane McGrath, the convenor.

Wardrobe Friends are on a journey to become Windsor fashionistas. They make up a new u3a group for women who want to meet regularly to exchange ideas and offer mutual advice and support on fashion that they might like in their wardrobe, what is already in their wardrobe and, perhaps, things that shouldn’t be in their wardrobe! The hope is that what they share with each other in the meetings could open their eyes to new ideas and ways to dress. An initial programme of meetings has been outlined that covers: Colour; Styles; Body shape; Accessories; Make-up; Jewellery; Co-ordination; A personal shopping outing; Shopping on a budget; Recycling; Swap shop; Bring out your unloved, unworn garment. Meetings will take place every other month, beginning towards the end of January.If you are interested in finding out more, please contact either of the two convenors; Ann Hall or Jan Kennedy.


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.

Please note the missing meetings in the schedule below – the three usually in late December, plus the one early January.

Old Windsor

The Bells of Ouzeley, Straight Road, Old Windsor, SL4 2SH
These are held on the 1st Wednesday of each month, organised by Jo Wattis.
Next on 6th December 2023, but NOT 3rd January.

West Windsor

The Running Man Café, All Saints’ Church, Dedworth, SL4 4JW
These are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, organised by Jackie Wiggins.
Next on 17th January 2024.


The Restaurant, Hilliers Garden Centre, off A30 between Sunningdale and Bagshot, GU20 6LQ
These are held on the last Tuesday of each month, organised by Olwen.
Next on Tuesday, 23rd January 2024.


The Bridge Café, The Village Green, Datchet, SL3 9JH
These are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month, organised by Jackie Wiggins.
Next on Datchet meeting on 24th January 2024.


Windsor and District u3a Diary Dates

  • Saturday, 9th December: Evening visit to The Mill Theatre-Restaurant at Sonning. ‘High Society
  • Wednesday, 13th December 2023: Windsor and District u3a Christmas Party at Gardeners’ Hall 2-00pm to 4-00pm.
  • Wednesday, 20th December 2023: Dinner-Dance at The Christopher Wren Hotel
  • Friday, 9th February to Sunday, 11th February 2024: A Weekend in the Midlands, visiting Coventry, Stratford, Warwick and the Birmingham Tattoo. (Waiting list places only available)
  • Saturday, 27th April to Friday, 3rd May 2024: Holiday to Versailles, Valencay & Chateaux of the Loire.
    (3 rooms available, contact details above for logged in members)

Thames Valley Network Diary Dates

See TVN home page and scroll down to list of events with booking buttons.
All events are on Zoom unless otherwise stated.

Friday, 8th December 2023: Winter Quiz, Questions set by Avis, at 14:30
Monday, 15th January 2024: Genetics of Ancient Populations in Britain. A talk by Dr. Tom Booth, at 14:30

If you would like to receive information directly from TVN with details of Study Days and Workshops, please email with your request to be put on the list.

National Events

The Art of William Morris: Wednesday 6th December at 2-00pm
A Live Christmas Cookery Demonstration: Thursday 7th December at 10-30am
Exploring World Faiths: Christmas: Monday, 11th December at 10-00am

These are just some of the online events that are coming soon.
You can book onto them all on the online events page.


We wish all our members a happy Christmas
and a
healthy and happy 2024

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 12th December 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

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