READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

May 2018                               Firtree Newsletter                             Issue 472

 This is getting scary, it’s May already and the bees are buzzing in the first bit of warm weather we have had for some time! My daffodils are wilting and the bluebells are on the march for their month of domination. It is also AGM time and our spring holiday. Here is what you can enjoy on Tuesday mornings in May

1st May       Mark’s Spring Quiz

8th May       Tony Hassan talks about macular degeneration

15th May     Bert and his accordion take us on a musical tour of Europe

22nd May     The Annual General Meeting

29th May     Neil Stewart takes us to Alaska and the home of the Grizzly bear

Members going on the Bournemouth holiday should meet on Sunday 29th April by 9.30 a.m. outside the YMCA. We will return on Thursday 3rd  May by about 3.30 p.m.We will be staying at the Tower House Hotel in West Cliff Gardens and visiting Beaulieu, Abbotsbury and Weymouth and with a day at leisure in Bournemouth.

The next trip will be on Monday 11th June, meeting by 9.45 a.m and going to Compton Acres. With 48 members already booked the coach is almost full.

Coming back into May, on the 19th which is Saturday we have booked twenty seats at the Hexagon for the afternoon matinee of Anything Goes. All the seats are downstairs and cost £14.40 (instead of £18.00). I’m afraid we couldn’t wangle any invitations to Windsor! – or Wembley. Gloria will be collecting the money from those whose names were on the list. If anyone else wants to come it may still be possible but you will need to book this week.

After the talk on the Donkey Sanctuary there was a demand for us to arrange a trip there. Nothing is yet arranged but Jenny muttered something about September.

Once the Bournemouth trip is over we start looking at next year when we plan to go to the Lake District, though the hotel is at Morecombe. Gloria will be taking names for this after the AGM once the dates are fixed.

Now for the AGM. The agenda and annual report are separate this year so if you do not normally see one please just ask and a copy can be emailed to you. A summary of the activity reports are printed here,

The Garden Circle have enjoyed their year visiting gardens and centres as the seasons change such as the herb farm (April).  As with all our activities more people willing to help would be welcome. Having transport for members without it has helped enormously and enabled our range to be widened. All monthly trips are advertised at the YMCA from which the coach leaves on the second Monday each month.

Arts and crafts meet monthly though most of the members are busy with individual projects during the month. The next meeting is on Wednesday May 16th at the Chapel when we will be looking at how our projects have been going. As from June the group will be meeting at the Chapel on the 1st Monday in each month.

Bridge numbers are holding well for Monday mornings and a smaller group on Tuesday. The whist numbers dropped during the winter but are rising again on alternate Wednesday afternoons at the YMCA. Scrabble on Tuesdays remains quite popular with at least three boards in use each time.

Wednesday at the YMCA is as busy as ever with the movement to music group meeting weekly in the morning and the new chorister group thriving after the coffee break. Both have room for new members.

After the winter break where some of us meet at the Rivermead Centre for indoor bowls we should be heading out to Prospect park in mid-May for the Summer season. The cost of £2.00 is excellent value for a morning of good exercise and lots of fun whatever happens. Alan Warner is very good at keeping us under control and we are grateful to him for enabling the club to meet. Again, new members will be welcome and training given for those who have never tried it before.

Firtree though isn’t just about all the enjoyable activities but also about caring about each other. One of the sad things about any club for older people is that many of us do get ill. Olive does a splendid job for us in sending cards for us and letting them know they are not forgotten. This year alone she has written thirty-five cards, twenty-eight get well and sadly seven sympathy.

Like all clubs we depend on our members doing the work that allows everyone to enjoy the activities. Firtree runs on a committee of its members. This year we need a new vice-chairman and at least one new committee member. Don’t be afraid to volunteer. We also need people who can shadow the committee roles but don’t want to be on the committee. Don’t be shy!

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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.