READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

 June 2018                            Firtree Newsletter                        Issue 473

 How good to see the roses blooming again though I am still trying to clear the bluebells away. They are lovely when they are in bloom, especially in woodland, but when their leaves go soggy it takes quite a time to clear them so the Summer plants can go in. But it is June and we have been on our holiday to Bournemouth and had a very pleasant time indeed, returning just in time to enjoy a theatre outing to the Hexagon to watch the Sainsbury Singers perform ‘Anything goes’. They have been going for a long time now and some of us remember their shows for nearly forty years back. But life is not all fun and the Annual General Meeting is also now behind us. Ray Goodman retired from his post as vice-chairman and we were pleased to elect him as a vice-president of the club. This enables him to take a well earned back seat but to still be very much part of the club.

I remain Chairman and Mark has agreed to act as Vice-chairman. His job as membership secretary will be held now by Liz Prior. Good news for us is that Karen Badcock has agreed to be our secretary and as such to bring together the various administrative jobs which were often done by either Mark or myself.  Monica stays as Treasurer which is also a great relief. The only other change is to welcome Helen Dormon on to the committee though she was on holiday when we elected her, but I was assured she would be willing. Now it’s back to the daily round. Michael has got a lively June programme for us and here it is: – all at 11.00 on Tuesday

June 5th      Mark presents clips from the flicks – mainly song and dance.

June 12th    Ray shares some of his journey in China

June 19th    David Beasley takes us back 100 years to World War 1 in Wallingford

June 26th    David Morton: ‘Single to Brookwood’ – the London Necropolis Railway.

On Monday the 11th June we have a very full coach going to Compton Acres. It is due to leave the YMCA at 9.45. Let’s hope the good weather goes with us. Plans are in hand for a trip to the Donkey Sanctuary and of course for our Spring holiday in Morecambe and the Lake District.  Before then we may be arranging for a turkey and tinsel week but that is not yet confirmed.

The Garden Circle enjoyed another outing to a Garden Centre in May in good time to prepare for summer planting and June’s outing has been moved as we are going to Compton Acres on the second Monday. Check the noticeboard at the YMCA for up to date details. It should be well worth joining with so many flowers now in full bloom.

A reminder that our bowls group is now meeting at the Prospect Park greens on Thursdays at 9.45 and we are open to new members. The main requirement is to have a pair of flat shoes. We can provide the bowls, the training and the fun.

If you want something indoors and creative the craft group will be meeting on the first Wednesday in each month starting on the 6th June. The project at present is knitting poppies. Bring along some red and black double knit wool and your size 3.25 needles and a small crochet hook, then come for a good old knit and natter.

Because the numbers at whist have risen again they are meeting in the large hall and no, they will not have to pay extra now. Special thanks to Tony at the YMCA who sets all the tables and chairs out.

It was good to welcome Rachel Eden to our AGM on her last day as the Councillor with responsibility for Adult Social Care. She gave us an idea of the difficulties being faced in Reading in trying to meet the very real needs of our age community. Bravely she allowed a wider range of issues to be asked and swiftly found a lot of concern about pavements and pot holes. I understand that Councillor Tony Jones will be dealing with Adult Social Care from now on. We look forward to seeing him sometime.

I was rather saddened by the way the new 19 year-old councillor has been abused by anonymous e mails just for being young and inexperienced. Where do you begin? She represents a ward and a range of younger people, all of whom have a vote. Good for her I say and boo to those older people who we used to call misery guts (I don’t know if we are allowed to say that these days but !)

Now is a time to get rid of those annoying adverts that seem to have found you out. They now must have your permission to annoy you so if they continue it is your fault! It is also pertinent to those of you who receive this newsletter by email as without your renewed consent I may have to cease sending you this newsletter. Many of you were kind enough to respond to the last issue but if I don’t hear from you I shall only have one more issue before I cease sending you our annoying chatter. We do not share your information with anyone else.

It’s a proven fact: gardeners live longer. You are young at any age if you are planning for tomorrow and gardeners are always looking forward, anticipating new shoots.

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


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