READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

Firtree Newsletter                         July/August                         Issue 484

Did anyone see where May went. It was such a busy month that I thought about going back to work for a rest and as for June we are still waiting for the flaming bit. I am not going to say anything about Brexit, Donald Trump or rhubarb because they all upset me. So here is to the summer and our Firtree holiday in the Lake District and North Yorkshire but also to our August break. Meantime our Tuesday programme continues as follows.

2nd July      Matt Taylor of AGE UK, Reading will be here to tell us about his role in working for older people. He has promised to give plenty of time for questions

9th July       While thirty of us are away enjoying the weather Mark presents a show for the rest of us.

16th July     Marjie Carden – inspired by Pam Ayres

23rd July     We go scuba diving with Paul Hatfield and visit the underwater world  of Indonesian Borneo

30th July      We go out with a party with an invitation to bring a friend to find out about Firtree and to share a lunch. Can you please let Liz know what you plan to bring and    remember it is finger food. Paper plates do not do well when soggy.

Holiday makers need to be at the YMCA TO LEAVE BY 9.30 on Monday 8th, and we should return home on Saturday 13th by about 6.00, but that depends very much on the traffic. Details of where we are going etc. are available today18/6.

During August the bowlers will still be meeting at Prospect Park from 9.45. All you need is flat shoes. Bowls can be provided as can a bit of tuition. At £2.00 a session you will never get another chance to try playing bowls for such a generous payment.

The choristers also meet on some dates during August, these have yet to be confirmed.

We start back again on Monday 2nd September (Bridge) and Tuesday 3rd for the normal Tuesday morning programme. I will be providing a single page issue of the newsletter for information about our September activities.

Michael Taplin has done a brilliant job for the last five years in getting speakers for Tuesday mornings. He needs to step down now and a volunteer to take this job on would be very welcome. All it needs is a telephone and a great deal of patience. Michael has a lot of information to pass on and would certainly be willing to work with anyone who is able to take the job on. Costs will be paid.

The garden circle had ten members meeting at Christine’s home with an exchange of plants this month. As our next meeting is while a number of us are away on the holiday, we will just be going to the Forbury Gardens on the 8th July.

Firtree? What’s that? The number of times I have had to explain what we are. Usually the reply is – ‘That’s a good idea and then amazement when I tell them we have actually been in Reading for over forty- seven years and that nearly four thousand people have been a member at some time. What do you do? Do you know all the things we do? Do you know for example the over our life time we have never asked for a penny from the Council, even though we have nearly gone broke from time to time. But we are not a private club, anyone is welcome. All you need to be is retired. Most new members have come because one of the existing members invited them to come along. Mary Parsons invited us.

The 30th July is an open invitation day. No cost. Just come and see a bit of what we do, have chat and share a meal. What nicer time could you have. You never know how long you end up staying.

Now is a good time to let us know what you would like to do next year or if you have a topic for Tuesday mornings

One of my Christmas presents last years was a book called ‘Wrinklies big book of jokes. I owe the following to that.

Joe tells his friend Pete, “My grandad died last night. He was working in the whisky distillery when he had to check one of the vats, but he lost his balance and fell in.”

“Oh dear!” said Pete, “did he drown?”

“Yes, but not for eight hours.”  “Eight hours! That’s terrible! Why was it so long?”

“Well it would have been quicker but he had to get out three times to go to the toilet.”

You know you are getting old when:

a) you start repeating all the stupid, irritating things your mother used to say to you as a child,

b) your birthday cake is a fire hazard, and

c) the chemist offers to carry the bag of medicine to the car for you.

If you want to know more about  Firtree, contact Colin Ferguson ( or Liz Prior on 0118 942 2958


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