(Friends in retirement taking relaxation exercise, and education)



Hopefully you have all had the information about the Chapel’s car park being resurfaced this week and I am afraid next week as well. This means that all our Tuesday activities are postponed until the 11th July. The information was changing all the time and even Mark only learnt on Monday morning that  the work is continuing next week. As Queen Victoria is supposed to have said, we are not amused. All Wednesday activities are as normal and the bowls will be on Thursday (though the weather outlook is not promising)

We will be breaking for the Summer in August though I think the bridge players are looking to continue but it won’t be at the chapel. Bowls will still be on Thursday, 9.45 at Prospect Park Bowls Club. We return in the first week of September starting on Monday with the committee meeting

The reintroduction of the Founders Day service proved to be very popular and we will try to keep this as a regular June event, the month we began 45 years ago. The open day last year was also much enjoyed, though hard work and we plan to do this again on the 24th October. We would like a small working party to put this together so volunteers will be welcome. We welcome June Raeburn and Liz Prior to the committee and Beryl Court as a new Vice-President of Firtree. They are all very welcome.


Tuesday mornings are as follows


4th July         closed


11th July       Rodney Hayward from St John Ambulance will be speaking about their work


18th July       Sophie Adele Stokes will tell us about the work of Reading Launchpad


25th July       Hopefully Helen will be able to give her talk on Namibia either today or next                     week


1st August     to be confirmed


The next Tuesday meeting will be on the 5th September.


The Longleat trip has proved to be very popular and a bigger coach had to be arranged. All we need now is a cool dry day. No more bookings can be taken at this stage. The Turkey and Tinsel week in November (6th – 10th) is also well supported and single rooms are now full, though a double room can still be available at a higher cost (£330) and there are more of them.  Jenny Supper is taking those bookings. There will be outings to Brighton, Battle and Rye and half day in Hastings. The hotel is the Mansion Lion at Eastbourne.


A question about non Firtree members being involved in activities has been raised. Non- members joining bowls or choir should pay £4.00 (not 2) per session. If they subsequently decide to join the extra £2 will be counted as part of the membership fee. As from July the fee for the rest of this year (up to April) will be £20.00. It was agreed at the AGM that we would not hold a Christmas lunch but a New Year Meal as so many people are already well fed by Christmas. Ideas for where we might go are welcome.


Thank you for your good wishes as I became an octo chump (who else watches Countdown on record so it can be slowed down ?)


What a topsy turvy June the country has had with an election that made things worse (or better depending on your view). It was certainly a great miscalculation by the government. It made me feel slightly sorry for the prime minister as she was blamed for actions that could only be made by a cabinet decision. Parties in a brewery come to mind but that might be too discourteous. If only they could actually work together and come to a joint plan of action that would unite the nation.


The terrible terrorist attacks in Manchester, Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and Finsbury Park were followed by the enormity of the fire in Kensington, the image of which is hard to forget. Someone somewhere has been responsible for taking risks with people’s lives. I would hate to have that on my conscience. What was heart-warming was to see the way in which the communities responded to disaster with complete unity of all religious and social groups.


The elections here brought change as well with Labour’s Matt Rodda claiming Reading East and Alok Sharma holding on his seat. He has now been appointed the Minister for housing. Not an easy portfolio with the immense housing shortage and the aftermath of the tower block tragedy. We wish both of them well in their representation of our richly varied community.


If anyone is interested in a theatre outing around Christmas time do let me (Colin) know and we will see if it can be arranged.


Already the nights begin to draw in again so enjoy the warmth while it is here, hope for

sunshades and not umbrellas, for rain during the night.




You know you are getting old when you go on holiday and then want to be back home or it is always too hot or too cold or too wet or too dry or….. When everybody knows your life story and you don’t even know their names !!


Enjoy your Summer holiday.


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