Online Newsletter 191 – February 2024

By | February 1, 2024

Our lead photo shows Jean Hill entertaining members of Windsor u3a at our January Monthly Meeting.

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The future of Windsor u3a is safe

This month, we welcome Carol Crago as a co-opted member of the committee of Windsor and District u3a. Carol has responded to the trustees’ pleas for a member to take on the role of Secretary. She will attend committee meetings between now and April observing, working alongside Dave Humphries, and getting to know the business of u3a, prior to standing for election as Secretary at the AGM in April 2024. Carol is a well-established member of our u3a, who has led Beginner Bridge groups for several years. We thank her for her past and continuing interest in and support for our u3a.

No-one has yet shown willingness to be involved in the work of Interest Groups’ Coordinator. This is a job that could be shared among 2 or 3 friends. Please consider how YOU could help. YOU are welcome to observe at committee meetings to find out more about what is involved and how the committee works.

Contact Peter Todd (Chairman)

Monthly Speaker Meetings

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

Last month we were entertained by a poetry reading from Jean Hill, an inspirational lady! Her poems, based on astute, social observation, gently poked fun at herself and her friends. Most of our members were highly amused and several have requested a return visit from Jean.

  • Wednesday, 14th February 2024: 1940 by Ron Snowball
    Our long-standing member will tell us about the military strategy of 1940, a year of special interest in the Second World War. Food rationing started in January 1940, four months after the start of World War Two. Fashion became utilitarian. Function and comfort presided over style. Walt Disney released cartoon films of Fantasia and Pinocchio. Ron has made a close study of the military, naval and air strategies adopted during this remarkable year and has published the results of his research.

Most members who enjoy our speakers by Zoom have been informed that this month (February 2024) our audio-visual team will be trialling with the use of Microsoft Teams, instead of Zoom, to provide the virtual meeting. More information about this will be available in due course. Help will be available to anyone who needs. The reason for the change is that Microsoft Teams software is available free of charge, whereas our use of Zoom requires a licence, which requires payment.


Interest Group News


The chess group has changed its meeting place. It now meets at 10-30am every Monday morning at the Bridge Cafe in Datchet (Bank Holidays excluded). This is a “Turn Up and Play” group. Please contact David Oldcorn if you wish to know more.

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Flower Arranging

There are a few places available in this newly formed group. It will meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month in The Porch at All Saints’ Church, Dedworth, SL4 4JW from 1-30pm to 3-30pm. Contact Mo Salter for more information.

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Hosted by David Oldcorn

The Ballet Appreciation Group, Show Music and Classical Music will meet on their usual days in February.

New members welcome.

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National Trust Group

This new group met at the CAMEO coffee morning in West Windsor in January and began to sort out its programme for the year. Some members volunteered to drive friends to local venues in the months in between coach outings and all agreed to the formation of a WhatsApp group.

Below is our plan for 2024:

January: A planning coffee morning
February: Cliveden, Berkshire
March: Grey’s Court, Oxfordshire
April: Osterley House and Park, Osterley
May: Carlyle’s House, London
June: Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire
July: Ham House, near Richmond
August: The Vyne, Hampshire
September: Holiday visiting NT properties near York and en route
October: Polesdon Lacey House and Garden, Surrey
November/December: National Trust house decorated for Christmas. TBD

Members will be circulated with joining details at the appropriate time. If you decide to join our group, please be willing to organise an outing at some point over the next 2/3 years.

Logged in members can see contact details.

Tea and Jazz

The Pete Rudeforth Jazz Club Four will be performing in Datchet Village Hall on 27th February. 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.

£10.00 pp to cover the cost of hall hire, musicians and refreshments.

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Singing For Fun

Starts again this month on Monday, 5th February in St Agnes Hall, St Leonard’s Road, SL4 3DX.

Local History

  • Monday, 26th February: Maidenhead Heritage Centre makes a welcome return when Keith Parry describes The Fight Over Cookham Common. Presumably, no weapons were involved then, but in the 19th century there was quite a furore over the ownership of the land between Maidenhead and Cookham which is now a popular walking area in the custodianship of the National Trust.
  • Monday, 25th March: David Burnell will talk about the poster and art collection of London Underground. This will include a very local focus as the underground once came out as far as Windsor. Launched by the District Railway on 3rd March 1883, the extension of the line was not a success and it closed just 18 months later, with the last train on 30th September 1884. Its artwork will be very familiar.
  • Monday, 29th April: Nigel Smales – D Day in Focus, Eddy ‘Smiler’ Smales did not make history but, as an accidental pioneer in British feature films in the 1930s, combat filming in the 1940s and television news from the 1950s, he filmed lots of it happening. Eddy was one of the original recruits to the ground-breaking Army Film & Photographic Unit, a bunch of irregulars based at Pinewood Studios which filmed and photographed the unfolding Second World War in North Africa, Europe and the Far East. This presentation will share AFPU headlines, then focus on its coverage of the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944.

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

February’s amble was actually today (Thursday, 1st February), we went to Dorney Wetlands on a sunny day and enjoyed the nature and wildlife on display, see report next month.

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Dave Humphries shares his picture of the the amblers enjoying refreshments in the Toby Carvery after their Old Windsor walk on Thursday 11th January.

Windsor Area Walks

Meet in the free car park at 10-15 am in Upton Court Park, Upton Court Road, SL3 7LU (Eton and Windsor SU982790). Park at the far end by the Scout Hut. The walk will take us towards the Jubilee River and Datchet golf course, returning via Victoria Bridge over the Thames. We will have a coffee stop in Eton High Street and walk back via Eton College playing fields. About 5 miles. Led by Roy.

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

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


CAMEO Coffee Mornings

Come And Meet Each Other

There has been a request to run a CAMEO Coffee Morning in Central Windsor.
Is there someone willing to host one? It could be held on any day to suit the organiser(s) at a venue of their choosing. Please let Sue White (Groups Coordinator) or Jackie Wiggins (Newsletter Editor) know, in order to advertise details of where and when.

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 Wednesday, 7th February.

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 Wednesday, 21st February.


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, 27th February.


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 Wednesday, 28th February.


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.
  • Saturday, 30th November 2024 (TBC): Booking is already open for Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at The Mill, Sonning. Group bookings are limited to 30 persons and several members have already expressed their interest in attending. Final costings are not yet available, and no deposit is yet required, but if you are seriously interested in joining our group, please let Jackie Wiggins know.

Thames Valley Network Diary Dates

Tuesday, 27th February 2024: The music of Burt Bacharach. A presentation from Clive Aronson starting at 10-30am.

Further events are planned. Keep an eye on their diary. See TVN home page and scroll down to list of events with booking buttons. All events are on Zoom unless otherwise stated.

National u3a offerings

The national u3a runs many projects, initiatives and competitions available for all members to get involved in too.

Below is a list of their most recent web updates, surely there’s something here to whet your appetite?

Online events are coming soon and most are FREE.
You can book onto them all on the online events page.

These online events are hosted on Zoom.


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 February 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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