Online Newsletter 190 – January 2024

By | January 1, 2024

Our lead photo shows members of Windsor u3a’s Singing For Fun and Merry Ukes of Windsor groups performing at our Christmas Monthly Meeting.

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The future of Windsor u3a

Windsor and District u3a has gained a reputation for being a very friendly, active and supportive group. This is evidenced by its sustained and growing membership over the last 15 years and is thanks to the energy and commitment of all past and current committee members and convenors.

It is pleasing to report that there has been some response to the letter written by Dave Humphries outlining his role as secretary. There has been no interest shown yet in taking over Sue White’s role of Groups’ Coordinator. This role could be filled by friends working together.

The philosophy of the u3a movement rests on 2 principles – Self-help and Mutual Aid. Please come forward if you are interested in the work of the committee in any capacity. You would be welcome to observe committee meetings and/or sit on the committee as non – executive members to get to know ‘the business’ and subsequently be able to take over particular tasks.

Monthly Speaker Meetings

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

  • Wednesday, 10th January 2024: “The Rhyme of Our Lives” 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.
    An afternoon of fun poetry (similar to Pam Ayres). Some audience participation. Lots of laughs. Topical and funny.
  • Wednesday, 14th February 2024: 1940 by Ron Snowball
    Our long-standing member will tell us about 1940, a year of special interest in the Second World War.


Looking Back with Pleasure

Visit to The Mill Theatre-Restaurant at Sonning

Saturday, 9th December 2023

Thirty members of our group donned their ‘glad rags and glitz’ to join in the spirit of the ‘High Society’ weekend party staged at The Mill, Sonning. We enjoyed a buffet supper and well-known songs from the post war era, performed by a very talented cast. Quoting Maggie Reeve after the show; “What a superb production! Both my husband, Brian, and I loved the music, the set, the costumes and we had a great view from our seats too”. There was opportunity to catch up with friends and to get to know some new members in the bar before the performance and during the interval. We came home in high spirits.
As Pat Oldcorn commented, “It was a great evening and lovely to go out with a crowd”.

David Oldcorn researched the history of some of these songs, as shown in sliding cells below.
Click arrows to scroll through them all, or use dots.

** The Last Time I Saw Paris was by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein.
I regret to say I muddled this with “I Love Paris”. It was a one-off song.
David Oldcorn

David Oldcorn will be showing a film about Cole Porter at his Show Music session on 15th January. Please contact him if you would like to join him.

Next year, the Christmas production at The Mill is to be Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’. Booking is already open. If you would be interested in going to this, please contact me (Jackie Wiggins).

Our Christmas Tea Party

Wednesday, 13th December 2023

Last month we celebrated Christmas with our annual Tea Party. John Holdstock, one of our founder members, wrote a welcome note of thanks to our secretary, Dave Humphries.

A brilliant event, full of interest and lovely food and beverages. And concert quality music from the Ukulele Band and the Choir. And mastermind quality challenges, to make sure we were still awake. A lovely start to Christmas!

John Holdstock

Thank you, John and the other members who have expressed their appreciation. Successful events rely on the cooperation and good will of organisers and participants. This event was a real team effort. It was good to welcome new members joining in for the first time, as well as ‘trusted old faces.

Dinner-Dance at The Christopher Wren House

Wednesday, 20th December 2023

Thanks go to Chris Dufty and Bridget Tubby for organising this event. It was a very happy evening with opportunity to eat, chat and dance the night away. The Dee Jay hit the right music for ‘our era’ and many people visited their youth on the dance floor. Again, there was a good mix of new members and well-established friends. A good night was had by all!

Photo of one of the organisers (Chris) enjoying the evening dinner-dance.


Interest Group News

Explore London 1

Following in the footsteps of Malcolm Hellings, who began the original Explore London group, Nigel and Maureen Russell have undertaken many diverse adventures with Explore London 1 and we thank them for their enthusiasm and dedication during the past 4 years. Over the last year, 25 different outings were planned for the group and 4 were repeated due to demand. Moving forward, Maureen and Nigel will continue to lead some outings, but members of the group have agreed to share the responsibilities of organising outings and activities. From the 1st January 2024, a small committee (Diana, Mary, Frances, Jane, Lynne and Peter) will take over the admin. of the group and all members, old and new, will be expected to organise an outing/activity during the year. The group’s committee members will be pleased to help with the organisation. In this way, the costs and expenses of running the group will be spread evenly among all members. If you wish to be part of this group during 2024, please let Maureen know and liaise with Diana or Mary with your suggestions for an outing/activity.

Logged in members can see contact details.

Explore London 2

This group also grew out of the popularity of Malcolm Helling’s original Explore London group. It is run by Sheelagh Irish and Maggie Reeve, who do sterling work organising the group’s outings. Their first exploration this year will be to the Hunterian Museum in Farringdon. Please contact Maggie for details.

Logged in members can see contact details.

Gardening 1

The January meeting will be the group’s annual post-Christmas lunch. This year it will be held at The Fox and Castle, 21 Burfield Road, Old Windsor, SL4 2RB. Please let Carole know (01753 831568) if you intend to join the lunch party. A copy of the menu will be emailed to all members who are coming.

Logged in members can see contact details.


‘Follow us, follow,
Down to the hollow,
And there let us wallow
In glorious mud.’

Photo of members enjoying a geocaching session, most waving at camera. Entering Pope's Meadow.

Another successful walk! Despite some soggy conditions underfoot, the group racked up their finds to 688 in December and afterwards celebrated Christmas and a successful year with lunch at the Three Frogs in Binfield. Thanks go to Adele for organising our sessions so positively. We look forward to finding more caches in 2024.

Links: the original, now Geocaching 1 (Advanced) or Geocaching 2 (Beginners)


Hosted by David Oldcorn

The Ballet Appreciation Group will meet at 2-00pm on Monday, 8th January (NOT the usual first Monday this month!) when a full-length ballet by The Royal Ballet Company will be shown.

Show Music will be at 2-30pm on the usual day of the month, 15th January, when a video about Cole Porter and his songs will feature.

A Classical Music concert will be shown at 2-30pm on Thursday, 25th January.

New members welcome.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

National Trust Group

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.

Tea and Jazz

Tuesday, 23rd January 2024 at 2-00pm in Datchet Village Hall. It’s now over 2 years since Tea and Jazz restarted after the pandemic. We would like to thank members for their great support in 2022 and 2023. This has enabled us to offer live jazz regularly and to present top bands such as Gambit Jazzmen. In 2024, we plan to book more great bands. Unfortunately, due to an increase in the hall costs and to afford the professional bands booked we will need to increase entrance to £10.00 pp.

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 2023.

On 27th February, The Pete Rudeforth Jazz Club Four will be in Datchet. Pete was trumpeter in the Chris Barber band.

All u3a members – from any u3a branch – are welcome. There is no need to book – just
turn up on the day. Performances start at 2-00pm, with a break halfway for tea and cakes and finish at about 3-45pm. There is some parking outside Datchet Village Hall (SL3 9HR) and when this is full, there is a public car park a short distance back towards Datchet village centre that is also available.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

Singing For Fun

Please note there will be no meeting in January 2024.

Local History

  • 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

u3a Amblers

The next scheduled amble will be around Old Windsor on Thursday, 11th January, a week later than usual.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

Dave Humphries shares his pictures of the amble on Wednesday 7th December.

Windsor Area Walks

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.


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, organised by Jo Wattis.
Next on 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

  • 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.

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

Our New Year begins during some of the coldest, most unpleasant weather we experience in England. On some days we feel more like staying indoors than going out. Why not take advantage of the online opportunities offered by National u3a? Below are just some of the online events that are coming soon. Most are FREE. You can book onto them all on the online events page.

These online events are hosted on Zoom. Here are some ‘How to Guides‘ for using Zoom if this is new to you.

  • Thursday, 4th January: How to better insulate your home.
    The best and greenest ways to treat all parts of your home, for minimum heat loss, and with minimum outlay by Martyn of Southampton u3a.
  • Monday, 8th January: Exploring World Faiths: Common Themes in Faith
    World Religion Day is on January 15th, and we will hear from a member of the Baha’i faith. Hosted by Dr Peter Rookes.
  • Wednesday, 10th January: Laughter Yoga with Judith (January-June)
    Laughter Yoga combines hearty laughter exercises with deep yoga-style breathing (pranayama). Hosted by Judith Anne Walker of Edinburgh u3a.
  • Friday, 12th January: Chinese Wand Exercises for Mobility, Fitness and Fun
    Sit or stand to do Ancient Chinese exercises for fitness, mobility, strength, balance using a lightweight cane and incremental movements.
  • Wednesday, 17th January: Fun mathematics with Platonic solids
    A morning of mathematical puzzling for all abilities with David Martin, u3a Maths and Statistics Subject Adviser.
  • Thursday, 18th January: Toulouse-Lautrec and the Music Halls of Paris
    The world of Toulouse-Lautrec and eighteen-nineties Montmartre in Paris – a talk by Peter Webb.
  • Wednesday, 24th January: Secrets of the Human Brain: Talk One
    The series starts with a simple description of the structure of the brain, by Dr Bob Pullen of Prudhoe u3a.
  • Friday, 26th January: Holocaust Memorial Day – The story of Major Leonard Berney (1920 – 2016)
    John Wood, a speaker from Generation2Generation, will present his father’s remarkable story of survival.
  • Tuesday, 30th January: Laughter Yoga with Merrie Maggie (Jan – April)
    Bring more joy and laughter to your life with Laughter Yoga – an aerobic exercise with playful exercises combined with deep yogic breathing.

Don’t forget u3a also runs many projects, initiatives and competitions available for all members to get involved in too.


We wish all our members a
happy and healthy 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 15th January 2024

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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