(Friends in retirement taking relaxation exercise, and education)

June 2017

What a busy May we have had in Firtree, holiday in Newquay, our new songsters tuning up and the AGM well attended and sorted. All have been very successful, with a sunshine holiday and the songsters enjoying their new leadership with Stewart Lewins. It promises to be a very successful group and well worth joining. (Wednesdays at 11.00 in the YMCA).  All voices are welcome.

The AGM reappointed all the present committee and added June Raeburn and Liz Prior to fill the vacancies we had. In addition Beryl Court was elected to be one of our vice presidents. And, I nearly forgot, over thirty of us enjoyed a trip to the Hexagon to see the Wizard of Oz. The Sainsbury Singers can always be guaranteed to put on an excellent performance.

For the future we have agree to run another open day on the 3rd  of October, which is during the week when we are celebrating Older Peoples week. I think we are quite a good example of how older people contribute to our society in so many ways. As our brochure says, retirement is a new way of life.

Copies of the Annual report and finances are available on request. It was good to see a financial report that showed us ending the year with a slight profit. That of course is due to the great generosity of the Church and the increase in our membership that has resulted from our move.

Our Tuesday programme is as follows;-

6th June                Enjoy the rhythm with Bert Randall as he returns with his daughter and, of course, his accordion.

13th June              Wally Gilbert regales us with his ‘brushes with Royalty.’

20th June              The Rev. David Jenkins comes to lead us in a short memorial service to give thanks for our founders.
This will be followed by a ‘bring and share lunch’. Please make sure it is finger food.

27th June              Helen Dorman takes us on a trip to Namibia

7th July                 Lorraine Cook from the RSPCA will be telling us about their work.

The coach outing to Longleat is now almost full. Those who pay the £30.00 to Gloria will be guaranteed a seat. It is a real bargain though I think the monkey enclosure is closed as they are getting too clever for the safety of cars!

Jenny will be taking the bookings for Eastbourne (November 6th – 10th) Turkey and Tinsel break. This is a £50.00 booking fee (total cost £280 inc tips and insurance.)

Jenny and Gloria managed the holiday to Newquay  so well that even the perilous climb out of the boat at Falmouth was soon forgotten. They richly deserved the gift vouchers given to them . Gloria has asked me to put in their thanks for the vouchers – “Thanks very much for your generous gift of garden vouchers. They are very much appreciated. We will spend them wisely and enjoy doing so”

Thinking of the garden our garden circle met at Christine’s on the 10th May for a plant swap and social time. On 12th  of June  they will be meeting in the Forbury Gardens at 2.00 p.m. and no doubt finding tea and cakes somewhere nearby.

All our activities are open now and if you want to know about them then these are the contact numbers.
Firtree meets every week at the Mormon Chapel and at the YMCA (Parkside Road). For further details phone:-

Mark Bowman (0118 9677130) or email Colin Ferguson –(

Thursday morning at 9.45 may not be in your diary yet but some of us will be at the bowling green in Prospect Park and there is plenty of room for people who want to be out in the fresh air, get some gentle exercise and lots of fun. Bowls can be provided, just wear flat sole shoes.

We were all saddened by the news that Monica (our treasurer) had suffered a heart attack. She is now back at home but under orders to slow down. We wait to see how she will do so and will fully support any decision she has to make. She has done so much for Firtree in getting our finances sorted out and even managed to get our annual report out. Take it easy please Monica, and the same to all those who are poorly at present. Firtree relies on its members to do the work needed to run the groups, to arrange holidays and outings, to keep speakers coming, keeping in touch with the sick, making sure that we can get in, have a cuppa and all for free.

The week of 12th to 17th June is National Carers week and on Wednesday 14th and Saturday 17th (Disability awareness day) there are events at the Civic Centre to celebrate the work that is done by carers. Many members of Firtree have experience of caring in their family. If it wasn’t for the love so freely given social care would be so much worse. Those who care need the support of others for their own wellbeing. The failure to provide adequate funding for care and nursing ultimately causes greater cost and suffering.

Yes we do have an election on the 8th June and even though some papers want it to be a presidential battle we actually vote for local candidates and for the party which will try to provide us with the type of society we would like to live in. Leaders come and go, the policies direct the way we will be.

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