READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)


Firtree Newsletter           September-October 2018              Issue 476

 Welcome back to our autumn programme, season of mists and fruitfulness and putting on the central heating or a couple of jumpers. We try to keep to jumpers until October. We certainly have not needed them this summer! The news doesn’t seem to have changed with very few people knowing what is happening to Brexit. I hate the way it seems to have brought out the worst in people. I worked for some years with the divorce courts and so much of what is happening reminds me of the angst of those who were caught up in the pain of such separation. The one thing they could never do was to simply walk away. Sometimes it took years to reach a settlement fair to both parties.

But to our simple lives as, like schools and colleges we start a new term. Michael has worked hard to give us a programme of speakers for Tuesday mornings so let’s start mid-September.

18th Sep.    Gwen Barton returns after nearly three years with one of her travelling             stories.

25th Sep.    David Hunt takes us for a walk down the Thames from its source to the                  Barrier.

2nd Oct.      Colin Ferguson – a camera in my pocket.

9th Oct        Bert and his accordion come to set our feet tapping again.

16th Oct      David Beasley takes us back to World War one in Wallingford

23rd Oct      Mark is back to tease our wits with a quiz

30th Oct      Jaye Windmill returns with ‘The Witches of Pendle’ (just in time for                            Halloween!!)

Just a reminder that you can bring your lunch after the talks and play scrabble or bridge or other board games by request, then table tennis in the afternoon. On Monday mornings bridge is at the chapel and Wednesday at the YMCA has the movement to music, gentle exercise group at 9.45 and the songsters at 11.00.

In the afternoon from 1.30 on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday there is whist (12th and 26th Sep. and 10th and 24th Oct.). The YMCA café is open for coffees and lunch.

The garden Circle meets every second Monday in the afternoon. This month twenty three have been to Beale Park and enjoyed all the animals as well as the gardens. Be sure that a nice tea is available at most of their outings. Next month they are visiting the Wyevale Garden Centre on the 8th .

If that is not enough for you Terry Pine’s dance group meets on Thursday at 2.00. and the bowls group finish their Summer season this week  and then in October they meet on Friday mornings at the Rivermead stadium. That will cost about £4.30 per session.

On Monday October 1st we are at the Butts Centre with a half table to show what Firtree can do. Starting at 10.00 and finishing at 3.00. Volunteers to help will be appreciated. The whole central area is dedicated to Older People and what is available for them and the day will include walks around the Abbey and a visit to the Lavender Garden on the site of the old Civic Centre.

If anyone wants to join Firtree now it only costs £25.00. That lasts until 1st April when the full fee of £35.00 will apply for 2019-2020. Liz is always on the look out for new faces and we have already had two new members this month, taking us to nearly 110. There is plenty of room for more.

We have not arranged a Turkey and Tinsel week this year but our Lake District holiday is well booked up now and there is a waiting list. It promises to be a good holiday with a cruise on Lake Windermere, a steam railway trip along the Irwell valley and a cruise over the Lune aqueduct near Lancaster, a trip to the largest market in England at Bury and time to enjoy our hotel area in Morecambe Bay. We are looking to run a coach outing soon so watch this space.

Olive acts as our welfare officer and if you know of any of our members who need a card or a visit do let her know. This month alone we have hospital operations, accidents and sadly one death when Sue Clifford died in August. Our thoughts are with them all and for those who are waiting for hospital dates.

The YMCA Annual meeting takes place on Wednesday evening the 19th September. If you would like to go please let Maureen know. There will be light refreshments as well.

We are planning to hold our ‘Christmas Dinner in January again. Any ideas for a venue will be welcome. It’s a long way off but our Carol Concert is on the 11th December and then we will break from the 12th until the 7th January.

Quick ageist thoughts – a) His earliest memories are in black and white.

b) When she went to the Antiques Road Show they appraised her.

c) My grandson was talking about his history homework and I remembered that I was there! (Sadly that is true)


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

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