READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

Newsletter                              December 2021                                Issue 513

Welcome to our Christmas edition and a very happy season to you all. After the last two years, everybody needs some cheer in their life and we hope that will be the story of 2022.

We are grateful to our friends at Grange United Reformed Church for welcoming us into their church. It has been so good to meet each other again and to return to a degree of normality. We hope we can start to open up even more in the New Year.

Our Tuesday morning programme until the end of January:

Tuesday 30th November         Bert Randall will be entertaining us with his accordion                                               and encouraging us to sing along

Tuesday 7th December           it is your turn as we hold our traditional “Party
Pieces”, compered by Colin Ferguson

Tuesday 14th December         Our Christmas carol service will be led again by the Reverend
David Jenkins. There will be mince pies to have with your drink.


Tuesday 11th January             a games morning and a chat – no doubt about all                                                the New Year resolutions we have already broken.

Tuesday 18th January             Mark will entertain us with some films you may remember

Tuesday 25th January             Chat and games day

At St Matthew’s Church on Friday 3rd December at noon there is a Christmas Carol singalong (numbers are limited so you MUST book – ring Gloria on 9412549).

Again at St Matthew’s, the Sainsbury Singers are holding their Christmas concert on Saturday 4th December at 3.00pm. In times past, many of our members were active in the Sainsbury Singers.

The Garden Circle has been very active recently with a good visit to the Henry Street Garden Centre, and they plan to meet in the Toby Carvery on the 10th January for a Christmas/New Year celebration meal.

On Monday 22nd November, a group led by Gloria and Jenny had a successful trip to Winchester for the Cathedral’s Christmas Market. The coach party of 38 had a very good day, and were so impressed with the helpfulness of the driver, Bruce, that they have asked if he can be their driver again next time.

Good news for the Movement to Music group as we now have a hall booked at St Matthew’s Church. The hall is very pleasant and the church very welcoming. About 20 people attended each of the first two sessions. Mary Absolom has led the sessions with help from Gloria and Jenny.

We are still trying to find a time and place for the choir to meet.

We are now in our fiftieth year of existence. Founded in October 1972, we would like to make 2022 a celebration year, certainly in October. What we do need is your ideas. I shall be running a session on “what did you do in ’72?” so be prepared.

It’s not just us that are getting older. I watched an old musical last week and suddenly thought that the beautiful young blonde will now be the same age as me!

Jack Nicholson, talking about his trademark sunglasses, said: “With them, I am Jack Nicholson. Without them, I’m fat and seventy.” (Note from Mark: Jack is 84 now…)

Advice from George Bernard Shaw: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

“Denis Norden declares that one of the advantages of being seventy is that you only need four hours sleep. True, you do need it four times a day.” (With thanks to Rosemarie Jarski)

One for Christmas: There are three stages of man – first, he believes in Santa Claus, next he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, then he is Santa Claus!

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

2 thoughts on “Firtree Newsletter : December 2021

  1. Hi
    I am looking for new interests and noticed you run a fitness group on Weds mornings.
    Is this something I can come along to try or do a need to pre book?
    Many thanks


  2. Hi Carole,
    I’m sure Mary and Gloria would welcome a new face, so just turn up and see if you like it. There’s a £1 per week fee for Movement to Music. If you decide to join Firtree, there’s an annual £35 membership fee too.


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