Online Newsletter 193 – April 2024

By | April 6, 2024

Our lead photo shows George Lockwood presenting his “Bulbs in a royal garden” talk, at our March Monthly Meeting.

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Annual General Meeting

Our AGM will be held at our Monthly Meeting at 2pm on Wednesday, 10th April,
PLEASE attend in person (Zoom not available).
We need 95+ members to be quorate.
If you help Windsor u3a in no other way this year, please attend this meeting, the committee will be both grateful and relieved (at not having to reorganise a repeat AGM next month).
Thank you in advance!

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 had an interesting and informative illustrated talk from George Lockwood about the bulbs grown at Highgrove, from a horticulturalist who has spent many years working there. He was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable speaker who was much appreciated by our gardening enthusiasts.

  • Wednesday, 10th April: Following our Annual General Meeting, Peter Honey, the convenor of our Writing Group, will relate how he tackles the process of writing his stories and speak about the way his writing group functions. Two of his books, Twenty-five Short Stories (RRP £8.99) and Twenty-five more Short Stories (RRP £9.99) and speak about the way his writing group functions. Peter is an entertaining speaker who raises funds for Cancer Research through the sale of his books. Tea and cakes will be available following Pater’s talk.
    Please attend this meeting if you possibly can, to ensure that the AGM is quorate and can proceed, then enjoy the talk and special refreshments.
  • Wednesday, 8th May: Secrets, Scandals and Salacious Gossip of the Royal Court 1660-1830 by Sarah Slater, historian and guide at Hampton Court Palace.
  • Wednesday, 12th June: A classical Guitar recital from Gary Jordan. Gary was much enjoyed when he visited us in 2022 and is making a return visit.


Outings and Events

Holiday to the Loire Valley – Saturday, 27th April

Saturday, 27th April – Friday 3rd May.

Windsor and District u3a holiday to the Loire Valley. Information from Pat Oldcorn

Logged in members can see contact details.

A Guided Mystery Tour – Tuesday, 29th May

Join us for a guided mystery tour by coach on Wednesday, 29th May. We anticipate the coach will leave Stag Meadow/St Leonards’ Road at 9-00am and return at approximately 5-00pm. £25.00 pp

Please contact Jo Wattis by email for details.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

Holiday in Yorkshire – Monday, 9th September

Monday, 9th September – Friday, 13th September.

Windsor and District holiday in Yorkshire visiting NT properties and other places of interest. This holiday is now open to all u3a members to fill last few places. Please contact Jackie Wiggins.

Logged in members can see contact details.


Interest Group News

Lawn Bowls

The Lawn Bowls group begins its 2024 season on Friday, 3rd May.

It will meet for two terms of 9 weeks at a cost of £25 per player, per term.
Each session will begin at 09:30.
Players must wear flat trainers and weather appropriate casual clothing.
The group number is limited to 25.

Please register with Mary Sibley by 21st April to secure your place.

Logged in members can see contact details.


The Chess Group now meets at 10:30 every Monday (apart from Bank Holidays) at The Bridge Cafe in Datchet. All chess players are welcome to come along, to watch or play as they wish.

Contact details are visible if you log-in.

Explore London 1

Last month this group visited the Bank of England Museum. The job of the Bank of England is to make sure we can pay for things easily and securely in the UK. It produces banknotes (cash) and oversees many of the other payment systems we use (e.g. with a debit or credit card). It also works to keep the cost of living stable. One way the Bank does this is by changing the main interest rate in the UK. It also regulates UK banks and other financial firms so we know they are safe to use.

The museum traces the history of our money and the changes in the way we use it and anticipates future development. Click to see an online exhibition.
It may quell some of your concerns about digital and electronic payments. It may also provoke more questions.

There’s a separate post with more photos by Alan Wheeler here

Flower Arranging

In March the group enjoyed a demonstration by Sheila Allen and produced arrangements of their own design, using mostly daffodils. More daffodil arrangement photos here

Contact Mo Salter for more information.

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Gardening 1

On a dry warm afternoon in mid-March the group visited ‘Brownswood’ an NGS garden in Beaconsfield. We were told all about the history of the garden and how it is continually cared for. This garden had been designed by Barbara Hunt. Although very compact, it has a huge plant collection so there was something for everyone to appreciate.

Tea and delicious cakes were served outside. Several of us very happily took to the very pretty summerhouse. This was a lovely start to the Garden Visiting year.

Thanks go to Jo Wattis for submitting these photographs. More Brownswood photos here

Carol has organised a visit to Westways Farm, Gracious Pond Road, Chobham, GU24 8HH, on Thursday April 18th at 2-00pm. The cost is yet to be confirmed. Please inform Carol Grigson if you would like to join the group on this visit.

Logged in members can see contact details.

National Trust Outings

Twenty members of the group enjoyed a bright, sunny day visiting Greys Court near Henley, last month. Thanks go to Michelle and Diana for organising this trip.

See more of Michelle’s photographs of the house and garden.

Please contact Pat Oldcorn or Jackie Wiggins for details of future outings.

Wednesday, 19th June: NT Outing to Mottisfont.

Logged in members can see their contact details.

Local History

  • 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


Hosted by David Oldcorn

David Oldcorn’s three music groups will all meet in April, but to avoid Easter Monday, the Ballet Appreciation group will meet at 2-00 pm on Monday, 8th April. The Show Music group will meet on 15th April and the Classical Music group will meet on 25th April.

New members very welcome. All groups begin at 2-30pm.

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Music Makers

Calling all members who can play a musical instrument or like to sing.

Why not come and have a try with the Music Makers group? We meet at 10:00 on the second and fourth Thursdays each month, in Windsor. For more information contact Peter Cheeseman.

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Rummikub 1

Due to the popularity of this group, it has moved to a larger venue. It now meets in the Willows Riverside Park Social Club, SL4 5TR and so has room for a few more members.

We are a friendly group with members of varied playing ability, so please come along, whether you are an old hand at the game or if you are interested to finding out how to play. The more the merrier.

We meet every fourth Wednesday of the month and play runs from 2-00pm – 4-00pm with a refreshment break. There will be a cost of £3.00 per session to cover hall hire and refreshments. Parking is free. Please contact Julie to join.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

Singing For Fun

This group now meets in Gardeners’ Hall, St Leonard’s Road, Windsor from 1-30 pm – 3-30pm on the second Monday of each month.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

Tea and Jazz

On Tuesday, 23rd April at 2-00pm in Datchet Village Hall, our concert will feature the Fleur Stevenson Quartet. Lovely jazz singer, Fleur will be backed by Hugh Turner, the great guitarist who was with us last year. In addition, Marianne Windham, an acoustic bassist who also teaches bass will be playing as well as top trumpeter/percussionist, Stuart Henderson. Stuart was principal trumpet in the Scots Guards’ Band from 1983 to 2005. During this period, he played many times for the Royal Family and at State occasions all over the world.

We have booked another great band for 28th MayPaula Jackman’s Jazz Masters. Paula plays clarinet and saxophone, she will be joined by “Magic” Mike Henry on trumpet. Mike has previously played in many top groups including the Chris Barber band. Hugh Crozier will be on piano and vocals. Hugh is one of the best exponents of Jelly Roll Morton style of piano playing and is a brilliant boogie player. “Lord” Marc Easener will play bass and is also a fine sousaphone player. He plays all styles of music. Not to be missed – make sure Tuesday 28th May’s ‘Tea and Jazz’ is in your diary.

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.

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

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.

u3a Amblers

In April, Dave is again delaying the amble a week, until April the 11th. The walk will be in the Old Windsor area, group members will receive their invitation e-mails the prior week.

March’s amble was held on Thursday, 14th March, we went to Ray Mill Island, Taplow Riverside Park, adjacent to the Jubilee river, over the Thames bridge and back up along the Thames. Thank you to all 12 that attended the amble, I attach a few pictures, taken by Dave Humphries and Eileen Harris.

Dave Humphries

Panorama of swollen river Thames, looking upstream from Maidenhead bridge.
By Dave Humphries

You can see many more photos in a separate post

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Windsor Area Walks

Our walks are usually approximately 4.5miles – 5 miles.

The April walk is as follows – Park at Dorney Court garden centre SL4 6QP, where we can have a coffee or lunch after the walk, which will be along the Jubilee River towards Maidenhead, but cutting across farmland to Bray Lock and then back via the Thames Path. About 5 miles starting at 10:15 April 26th, led by Roy.

The May walk is as follows – a walk including part of Staines Moor and the Thames riverside. There are a couple of stiles and some steps. Meet on Moor Lane opposite the Swan Pub now defunct. (Approx. 200m after passing under the bridge.) Post Code TW19 6EB. This will be led by Maureen. Starting at 10:15 May 24th.

The June walk will be on 28th June. The walk is from Knowle Hill on the A4 and will be around Ashley Hill Forest. Fields (possibly with the odd cow) woods, paths and tracks. About 5 miles. Park in the large lay-by adjacent to Star Lane. Nearest post code RG10 9UR. There is no coffee on route so please bring a drink. There may be coffee at the end. Start time 10:15. 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 for later in the year.

New group – The 60’s and 70’s

Fancy spending an afternoon listening to 60’s and 70’s music and taking a trip down memory lane by watching T.V. and video footage of the time and afterwards, join like-minded friends and share stories, memories and experiences of yesteryear?
The first meeting will be on Thursday, April 18th between 2-00pm and 4-00pm at the Willows Riverside Park Social Club, Windsor and then every following third Thursday of the month. There will be a charge of £3.00 per session to cover costs. Free parking is available.

To find out more and/or register your interest, please contact Julie.

Convenor contact details are visible if you log-in.


Coffee Mornings

Come And Meet Each Other

Linda Saunders has responded to our plea for a CAMEO Coffee Morning to be held in central Windsor. Thank you, Linda. This will be held at The Cinnamon Café in the precinct of Royal Windsor Central Station. Linda writes, “I have met the owner and one of the managers of The Cinnamon and they are more than welcoming. A small section will be reserved for us between 10-30am and 12-00noon. They offer a discount on presentation of an Advantage Card. I have given them the first date of Tuesday, 5th March and the first Tuesday of the month thereafter. I will be there at 10-30am.” Linda Saunders.

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

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

Central Windsor

Cinnamon Café in Windsor Central Station
These are held on the 1st Tuesday of each month, organised by Linda Saunders.
Next on Tuesday, 2nd April.

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, 3rd April.

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, 17th April.


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 April.


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

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.


Windsor and District u3a Diary Dates

Open meetings, day trips and holidays shown here in date-order for quick reference, further details may be shown elsewhere in this, or previous, Newsletters.

  • Wednesday, 10th April: Windsor and District u3a’s Annual General Meeting, followed by Peter Honey presenting “Writing Short Stories for Fun“.
  • Tuesday, 23rd April: Live Jazz concert at Datchet Village Hall with the Fleur Stevenson Quartet
  • Saturday, 27th April to Friday, 3rd May: Holiday to Versailles, Valencay & Chateaux of the Loire.
    Contact Pat Oldcorn (Cancellation places only)
  • Monday, 29th April: Local History Meeting – Nigel Smales – “D-Day in Focus
  • Wednesday, 8th May: Monthly Meeting featuring Sarah Slater with “Secrets, Scandals and Salacious Gossip of the Royal Court 1660-1830
  • Tuesday, 28th May: Live Jazz concert at Datchet Village Hall with Paula Jackman’s Jazz Masters
  • Wednesday, 29th May 2024: Guided Mystery Tour by coach. Contact Jo Wattis.
  • Monday, 9th September – Friday, 13th September: National Trust and Geocaching groups visit to York. Contact Jackie Wiggins.
  • 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

All events are on Zoom unless otherwise stated.
NB You must book a few days in advance of the date(s) shown below and often a small cost is involved.

View TVN home page and scroll down to list of events with TicketSource booking buttons.
Flyers with more information are available there too.

    Supporting the North Sea Oilfields by Helicopter
    Wednesday 10th April at 14:30 on Zoom
    Full details from TVN link above
  • BORDERING ON INSANITY – by Timothy Walker, Lecturer, botanist, gardener, author
    Creating an all-year-round border
    Tuesday 23rd April at 14:30 on Zoom
    Full details from TVN link above

Further events are always being planned, keep an eye on their diary via link above.

National u3a offerings

The national u3a runs many projects, initiatives and competitions – available for all members.

See their Latest News page for national events and opportunities.

Use their Podcasts Playlist (on YouTube) to listen to something interesting (with subtitles).

Interest Groups Online (IGO) is an online community of learners. Those who subscribe to IGO can participate in our online interest groups and also access the u3a national learning.
IGO Help and Information

Do you receive Third Age Matters? The national website provides an archive list of ‘screenreader’ editions.


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 April 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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