READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

 April 2018                  Firtree Newsletter                             Issue 471

 A very happy Easter to everyone in spite of the cold and snow which is making for a very shivery week. Hopefully by the time you read this it will be warm sunshine all the way. Even Firtree stops from time to time so the week after Easter is a holiday, except of course for those of us who are blessed with grandparent duties. What would our society be like without all the unpaid work done by what is sometimes known as the grey work force? How many hotels would be out of business and how many theatres would have to close if we were not here spending our well gotten gains?

Michael has been busy persuading people to come to entertain us on Tuesday mornings and this is what we think will happen this April.

Tuesday 3rd          Closed for Easter

10th             Norman Horsham – Travels with my camera

17th             The Brightwell donkeys                    to be confirmed

24th             Glenys Kerr-Elliot returns with more of her grand tour.

May   1st               Mark has a quiz for those of us who are not in Bournemouth. For those going we meet the coach at 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 29th April at the YMCA.

And for your planning the AGM will be on the 22nd May. I will want any short reports by the 8th May please. This is your main chance to let your committee know what you think, and to elect someone else instead or offer to do something yourself. Ray is standing down as vice chairman and we need at least one other following the sad death of June Raeburn. The rest of the committee is prepared to did it all again but it is good to have others willing to help as some of you already do. I am willing to do another year as chairman but give you notice now that I do not believe in jobs for life and if someone wishes to take that role now please let me know.

Mark is very grateful to all those who have paid their annual subs already. If you still have to pay see either Mark or Liz Prior.

I am meeting someone this week to look at a possible art group for older people. We are always looking at ways in which your activities can expand. Yes! I said your!

We are though restricted in leading groups to people who can take the job on. Who knows where the next grandma Moses is?

Fresh on my desk today is a note from the Sainsbury Singers who are presenting ‘Anything goes’ at the Hexagon in May. Parties can get a discount of 20%. Last year’s show was much enjoyed. If we want to go again we need to decide soon so there will be a list going around for names. Saturday 19th May has a Matinee performance at 2.30 all other performances begin at 7.30.

Yeomanry House is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with an open day on the 21st April. They will not be holding weddings there soon as those are moving to the Town Hall so it is a nice opportunity to see something of Reading’s history (between 10.00 and 14.00)

Look out for street parties to celebrate the Royal Wedding (19th May) and big lunches in June. They are good in bringing communities together and meeting neighbours you didn’t know were there!

The wellbeing newsletter comes to me and this issue reminds us that Community Pharmacists can help with diagnosis and treatment of minor complaints and concerns without you needing to wait for a doctor’s appointment. The pharmacist may well be able to see you when you go into the chemist.

The garden circle had a good time last month at Dobbie’s garden centre. Once the ground has recovered from this frost it will be time to think of what you want in your garden during the Summer. If you have a lawn now is the time to get a dressing down on it. Mine looks very green at present but most of that is moss. That in itself is a nice base for your hanging baskets. Check the noticeboard for the groups next foray into the gardens of Berkshire.

We have been able to reduce the choristers’ contribution towards their costs to £2.00 so it is now not only a great experience but well worth the joining. Don’t worry about singing well, they make a joyful noise and have lots of fun at the same time.

An older woman decided to exercise and signed on to do an aerobics class for senior citizens. On her first day she bends, twists, gyrates, jumps up and down and perspires for an hour. By the time she has got into her leotard the class is over.

A very old man goes to the gym and asks if he can join an aerobics class. ”O I’m not sure about that”  says the instructor, “How flexible are you?” “Very” says the old man “but I can’t do Tuesdays.”


If you want to know more about Firtree, contact Colin Ferguson ( or Mark Bowman (0118 967 7130)

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