READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

September 2020                  Firtree Newsletter                  Issue 499

By the end of August we will have been in Reading for 41 Years, arriving as we did as the pop festival was clearing up. As with so many annual activities there was no festival this year and thousands of young people will be disappointed, the bands will have no work nor will the stage and tent workers. We have missed being with friends for the first time. The good news is that we are talking about things moving and the chapel has begun worship again, and the YMCA is hopeful of its works being finished soon. Don’t get too excited about it though, as we still don’t have any solid information. Everyone should now have had their money returned to them – a big thank you to Monica for organizing that.

We have been trying to keep in touch with everyone but there will be some changes, as Rosemary Stacey has moved to Lincolnshire to be closer to family. Our best wishes go to Helen as she marries her long-term partner David at the end of August.

One of our Firtree friends didn’t marry until she was 76, they had over ten very happy years together. Our thoughts are with Janet Johnson (Bridge) whose husband has died recently. If you know of any changes to our membership do let Val or one of the committee  know, as with anyone who is unwell.

The garden group have had two good outings now and are planning a September trip so contact Pat or Gloria for up-to-date info. Dick had managed to get the bowls able to meet again but sadly our numbers have fallen and it was not viable this year.

Now we are very conscious that many of our members are not on email, but we are planning to start a Zoom group as an option for the Tuesday morning talks. To do this we do need your approval for your email to be included in our message. Zoom is a way in which we can communicate together, being able to see and to hear each other. Most of you will have the Zoom facility on your mobile phone, iPad and of course lap top or desk top computers. It relies on your machine having a camera. Some of you have no doubt come across this already as it is a good way of keeping in visual touch with family and many churches have been using it as a way of sharing in worship.

We have a number of speakers who can talk via zoom but we would want to trial it out with Mark and myself just to make sure everybody can access the programme. We will be ringing around to find out what you think, but you can contact either of us if you are interested in being part of an invitation group. (01189 482557) or  (01189 677130)

In September we will select a Tuesday morning to send you an invitation to join the Zoom meeting. Hopefully on the selected day and time for the meeting we will trial our initial meeting. Mark will be controlling the information. Before we start we will be contacting you with instructions of what to do with your machine and to let you know when the trial will take place.

This will only be until we can meet again properly but hopefully if our trial goes well then we will have a selection of talks for you. Just to whet your appetite I will give the first talk on Noel Chavasse MD, MC, VC and bar – the only man ever to win the Victoria Cross twice in the same war – not even Errol Flynn did that!!

We have also decided not to hold an Autumn holiday this year. Our experiences last year were off-putting to say the least even though the hotel itself was excellent. With all the potential risks now, it would be rash to try to do anything. Hotels are of course advertising and you may choose to have a break yourself, but that must be at your own risk.

Police report:

A policeman is called round to an old lady’s house.

“It’s the man next door” she says, “It’s absolutely disgusting! I can see right into his house from my bedroom and he wanders around all day with the curtains wide open, naked as the day he was born.”

The policeman was very concerned and looked out of the window to check on this exhibitionist. “Just a minute he says. I’m not able to see into your neighbour’s house at all from here.”

“Oh yes you can “says the old lady, “just climb on top of the wardrobe!”

Some worldly wit

Fiction writing is great. You can make up almost anything. (Ivana Trump –  now we know who writes Donald’s speeches!)

It’s always been my dream to come to Madison Square Gardens and be the warm up act for Elvis. (Al Gore)

I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.        (New York City Mayor – and many politicians today)

If you want to know more about  Firtree, contact Colin Ferguson ( – 0118 9482557,  – Mark Bowman – 0118 9677130  –  or Liz Prior on 0118 942 2958

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