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Radley Retirement Group – Newsletter October 2019


What we have been doing

Jennifer Cowling was our speaker in August and her talk was entitled “From the Page to the Stage”.  This was a very interesting talk about how difficult it was to put on an amateur show.  There are many licences which have to be paid to different bodies and restrictions as to which shows can be performed.  For example if a show is currently on in the West End or touring then that show cannot be put on by amateurs.   Then there are rehearsal rooms and costumes which have to be hired,  or made, scenery which is often hired and has to be delivered for the show and  dismantled on the evening of the last night.  These are all unseen costs.  Jennifer had put on many shows and was herself an actress who starred in many but she said that most amateur shows made little if any profit.

34 members and friends enjoyed a leisurely trip along the Thames from Abingdon to Wallingford on a lovely day in August. 

In September we had a talk from Philip Sowden telling us about his “Canal Adventure”.  To celebrate his 70th birthday he was “savouring the challenge”  to do the Bliss Canal Trail.  Starting and finishing in Oxford he aimed to complete the 862 mile circuit which includes over 500 locks, 13 tunnels and 19 canals and rivers in 2-3 months but this took a lot longer.   Along the way he encountered many trials which had to be overcome, the main one was having to abandon his trip for a while when the canals were closed because of lack of water.  He met many interesting people along the way and found the boat people very helpful.  As he was camping in a small one –man tent he was obviously worried about his safety but apart from one encounter, he met only kindness.  One lady he met even gave him a bed for the night and a welcome hot bath!!  He was supported along the way by his wife and a friend who kept him supplied with food and clean clothes.  Philip was raising money for MacMillan nurses.

Don’t forget the “Meet and Mingle” sessions at the Bowyer Arms each Monday from 12pm where you can have a chat with others.

Future dates

Our next meeting is Tuesday 8th October when Chris Gasson will have 40/50/60s music for us.


  • October: Film Show, Stan and Olly

Cost £1 for members and £2 for one visitor per member.


  • November: Bath Christmas Market.

Cost £19 for members and £21 for non-members.

If you are interested in going on any of the trips, please contact Graham Collett on 01235 555187 or Diane Shaw on 07926192127.   Our trips are open to all but members have priority.



Isle of Wight  November 2019

This is a Tinsel and Turkey break. The Hotel is the Royal Pier Hotel Sandown.

It has all the usual facilities with a lift to all main floors. There is live entertainment every evening.

One day will be a visit to Osborne House, which will be decorated as it was in Queen Victoria’s time, included in the price of the holiday.  Another day will be free to use your bus pass!!!

The cost of the holiday will be £320. There is no single supplement.

Newquay:  May 2020

Staying at The Eliot Hotel in Newquay, for 4 nights’ bed and breakfast and evening meal with entertainment each evening.  There will be two full day excursions one to Mevagissey and Heligan and the other to the Eden Project.

Cost will be £300 pp with a single supplement of £30.

Deposit of  £50 is now due.

Eastbourne:   November 2020

This is a Tinsel and Turkey break.  Staying at the Queens Hotel in Eastbourne for 4 night’s bed and breakfast and evening  meal with entertainment each evening.  There will be a full day shopping excursion and a half day excursion.

Cost will be £245 with no single supplement.

Deposit of £50 in June 2020.


All holidays are open to family and friends so if you are interested in our holidays please contact Chris Gasson on 01235 526377


Malta:  March 2020

Seashells resort at Suncrest Hotel.  Travelling with Air Malta from Gatwick.

The cost of this holiday is £749pp all inclusive.


If you are interested in this  holiday to Malta next year please contact Judith on Ab 531001

Jenny Jones

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