READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)


Firtree Newsletter                November/ December 2018                   Issue 478

Well, there is no hiding now! Christmas is on its way. We have survived the witches of Halloween and the fireworks of the 5th November and all the days around it, and we have remembered the 100 years since the Armistice. The whole day was a fitting tribute to the fallen and Tilehurst in particular rose to the occasion with turning the town red. The lighting up of the water tower was a real triumph.

Now it is back to normal (apart from Brexit) we press on and our end of the year is on the11th December. Our programme until then is as follows;-

27th Nov.    Nick Brazil tells us about Peru

4th Dec.      Party pieces – our annual sharing of home-produced entertainment. If you wish to take part in this please let Colin know as soon as possible.

11th Dec.    Christmas is coming – a time for singing and reading the familiar Christmas stories. We are glad to say that the Rev. David Jenkins will be with us again. If you have a favourite carol again let me (Colin) know by the end of November as I need to let David Jenkins have the service outline. Mince pies will follow the carols.

We start up again on the 8th January (Bridge group on the 7th) and details of this programme will be with you on a short newsletter which will be out on the 11th Dec. but there will be talks arranged for the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and the 29th of January.

After the meeting on the 22nd we go for our annual Firtree lunch at the Caversham Heath Golf course. Over 50 of us have booked in and Gloria is to be congratulated on how she has arranged lifts there and back again for everyone.  Check with her after Christmas about your lift and the menu. The cost will be £20.00 for three courses and the tip is included.

Numbers have picked up a bit at table tennis and we had both tables out last week. Still plenty of room for more as with the indoor bowls. Sadly the unexpected death of one of our regular bowlers has been a severe blow to his friends and family.

I am glad to say that our membership is slowly going up and rarely a week goes by without an enquiry, usually as a result of our web site. Among the odd bits of information that I have had recently is the opening of a memory Café at Grange United Reformed Church in Southcote. Their opening meeting was on the 14th November and I presume the intention is to meet on Wednesday mornings at 10.00. The volunteers do not have the training to offer personalised support, so carers need to be there as well. but the scheme is designed to be dementia friendly.

Over the next two months Reading Borough Council is consulting on the provision of public health services to ensure that they support healthy, independent living across the community. They are having to prioritise their work much more as their funding has had to be cut and it will help them understand where their services are being most effective. There will be a public consultation on Tuesday 18th December from 10.30 at the RISC Centre in London Street.

Olive has recently had a telephone call purporting to be from the tax office. She knew this must be false and reported it to the tax office and the police as a hoax call. Some of these calls can be very persuasive and people have been conned out of thousands of pounds. Never give your bank details over the telephone. If a call is unsolicited simply say I do not do any business over the telephone. If it sounds to good to be true – it is.

Also, two people that I know have had their purses stolen. Sadly, at this time of the year thieves are also out in number. It helps to keep your cards separate from your cash and to spread your cash around you so, if something is stolen, the damage is limited.

Firtree has now bought our own copier which hopefully will allow us to get our printed material out quicker. If you want to know more about see Karen as she is in charge of it.

Planning ahead – From January anyone joining can either pay £15.00 until April or as an incentive they can pay the full £35.00 for the whole of the next year. Liz Prior will be collecting membership moneys by the 1st April but your holiday payments should be paid by the 1st March to Monica so that it can be included in this tax year’s accounts. It also makes a Turkey and Tinsel holiday easier to arrange for next Autumn.

Do you think you are getting forgetful? So was Marilyn Monroe! Her record for remembering her lines was 82 takes. On one occasion while filming ‘Some likes it hot’ she was supposed to enter a room, walk to a dresser, rummage through the drawers, find a bottle of bourbon and ask for a drink. She got it wrong over 50 times for even when they had written her lines on pieces of paper in every drawer, she went to the wrong piece of furniture.

 If you want to know more about  Firtree, contact Colin Ferguson ( or Mark Bowman (018 967 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.