Category Archives: General

Speaker Meeting News

Those of you who attended Carolyn Kirby’s talk in the Ministry Centre last year will remember that she gave a very interesting and entertaining talk on the background to her first novel, The Conviction of Cora Burns. Carolyn has written another book, When We Fall, based on the female pilots of WW2, which has been published through a small publisher, No Exit Press. She will be coming to talk to us in October (all being well), but in the meantime I have received the following email from her:

This is a very tough time for small businesses, my publisher – No Exit Press – being one of them. In order to bring in some income, the availability of my new book When We Fall has been brought forward and for a limited time the price has been cut – by 50%. So even with £2.90 p&p (which remains the same even if you order some more of the excellent No Exit Press books at half price) the cost is less than the full price if the book. Full details of this offer – which is only available if the book is ordered direct from the publisher – are here:

 I wonder if you could put this info in the U3A newsletter? The members might be in need of reading matter for the coming weeks!

 Carolyn is also planning to produce a short video by way of an introduction to her talk, which we are hoping to be able to post on the website.  Keep an eye on the Speaker Meeting Page for further info.

Pam Ball



If you are experienced in Photography/Photo. Enhancement, please come and share your knowledge with us.

If you are new to Photography, we are a friendly group who will always be pleased to help with advice on Camera equipment and how to take better pictures.

Submitting Competition Entries – a reminder

Please ensure that your competition entries are submitted in the correct format – i.e. as JPEG files – and at a resolution of at least 1024 x 768 pixels.  Please also remember to rename the files to include your name and the competition topic, e.g. Joe Bloggs – September Topic 1

Because of Covid  19, all our meetings and trips are cancelled until further notice

Our aim is to run a virtual group whilst the self isolation rules are in force.

Digital Photography group members have already been informed by e mail about the monthly competition, the first of which will be in April.

We can also provide help and information on any Photography and Photo editing topics as requested by members, and perhaps suggest photography projects that can be undertaken in the home during this period of  social distancing .

If you have any questions, observations ,or topics for discussion,  please make contact via the competition e mail address

Stay at home. Keep well, and we hope the time when we can once again resume our meetings will soon pass. 


March 2020 Competiton

Topic 1    Bottles   click for slideshow

Topic 2    Gold    click for slideshow

Your U3A Magazine

If  you have not yet received your U3A Magazine through the Post, please email:

Bill Evans, the U3A Magazine Editor, has written a very interesting article about how your U3A Magazine is printed and also, for this March issue, ‘why’ it was printed:

Usually, this is the ‘timeline’ of the U3A magazine:

  • I work on it for approximately four weeks or so, before the Distribution Day – sometimes in Ormskirk, occasionally in Spain, and for this issue, in ‘Center Parcs’ near Penrith.
  • Feature pages and photographic pages are created first.
  • The ‘group copy’ is read by one or two ‘volunteers’.
  • Then the group copy is inserted and made to fit. This is the part which can take a considerable amount of time. Sometimes I have enough group copy to fill 22 pages – other times only enough for 17 or so.
  • Hopefully it leaves me on the Wednesday or Thursday before ‘Distribution Day.
  • Production then takes place.
  • It gets delivered to either myself or the Scout & Guide HQ on the Friday, or over the weekend, or perhaps the Monday before Distribution Day.
  • On (and around) Distribution Day (a specific Horizons meeting), Magazines are distributed by various methods. These include:
    • individual members turning up at the Distribution Desk at Horizons to pick up their own and maybe one or two for friends and neighbours
    • Hand delivery at members’ addresses by a team of local Deliverers
    • Handover by Group Leaders or others during Group Meetings
    • Mail Posting for the remainder

This current issue was a little different:

  • I had it virtually ready for printing but waited until our Management Committee met on Monday, 16th March
  • A decision was made to ‘go ahead and print’ . . . but I needed to completely re-jig the front cover. (Obviously lots of our meetings and events are postponed or cancelled . . . but hopefully some of the later ones may take place.)
  • This time round, our magazine left me on Saturday afternoon of the 21st March
  • The platemaker came in on the Sunday to compete his part of the job
  • Our printer delivered the job to the Scout & Guide HQ in the early evening of Monday 23rd. Here they joined the already printed labels and stock of envelopes
  • For this print issue, isolated at the Scout & Guide HQ through Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the Magazines were put in envelopes along with Membership Renewal Forms and then Beacon address labels were stuck on and stamps added from our pre-purchased stock
  • All the magazine were delivered to the nearby very helpful Post Office by early afternoon on 24th March ready to go out.

How our magazine is printed:

A little technical ‘info’ on four-colour printing:

  • If we printed only 250 or so, it could probably be printed ‘digitally’ i.e. no film or metal plates.
  • The ‘copy click’ charge wouldn’t be too excessive.
  • Most companies ‘rent’ from Canon, Xerox, etc, etc, and pay a ‘copy click’ fee for each print – usually between 5p and 10p per sheet.
  • This is because hardly any ‘local’ printer would actually have their own digital printer – they are enormously expensive.
  • Our print run of around 1,800 would cost a fortune printed this way.
  • We use two companies to produce the magazine ‘lithographically’.
  • Using the ‘hi-res’ pdf file I send them, one company makes the 40 ‘plates’: 10 pairs of A3 pages x 4-colour: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
  • The other company collects the plates, prints the magazine and delivers them.
  • The companies are extremely efficient and they do a great job for us. Unfortunately, both these companies are being ‘hit’ like most firms are, with the Coronavirus. Jobs being cancelled, or printed and then not required, etc, etc.

Science & Technology Quiz No 2

Here’s another short quiz, 10 more questions – again, don’t google the answers – at least not until you’ve tried the quiz!

Do let us know how you get on by email to

Let’s Communicate (Remotely)

As you probably are aware, enews is emailed to all members with an email address on the Beacon Membership System.  But you may not be aware that Group Leaders can send emails to all members in their Group.  A number of Groups are set up in Beacon to enable this already – extremely useful in the current circumstances. If your Group cannot do  this, contact the Web Team and we’ll explain the procedure to get you started.

Remember too that all members are very welcome to make use of our U3A’s facebook page. You can send in items to Brian Bostock, the facebook editor. And you can even arrange with him to be allowed to post info on U3A facebook for yourself. If you don’t know how to get in touch with Brian, contact the Web Team.

Website Group Leaders and Authors are encouraged to add appropriate information applying to the current situation on their Group Pages and Posts. Members of Groups with no Author can  send their content direct to the Web Team.

There are many other technologies useful for communicating remotely via social networking, web conferencing and such, that can help us all keep in touch with family and friends and neighbours as well as fellow U3A members.  Common examples, in addition to facebook above,  are Skype, FaceTime, Twitter, (the very popular) WhatsApp, (the increasingly well-known) Zoom, Echo Show and so on. Over the following weeks, we could perhaps use this website to provide info on some of these, if there is a demand.  There are also YouTube videos and TED talks that might be pertinent to your Group or other U3A activities. Let the Web Team know of your interest in learning about them and especially if you have expertise to impart.

Do return to the Website regularly as these are fast-changing times. New content will also be gratefully received.

For now …….

Stay Safe, Stay Well and Stay in Communication with the U3A.

from the Web Team (Maureen, Alan and Joyce)


Drama Group

We are really disappointed that our planned production for April – “Death By Paintbrush” has had to be rescheduled.  All being well we hope to perform it later in the year.

All April tickets will still be valid for the later performance and anyone unable to attend will be entitled to a refund.

Best wishes

Science & Technology Quiz No 1

To get you started, here’s a short quiz, just 10 questions – why not try it without googling the answers?!

Let us know how you get on, whether you enjoyed it, whether you want more of them. You can email


March – Scandinavian Mythology

The session:

Continued the topic of Frey and Freya the twin gods of fertility in Germanic and Scandinavian mythology.

1/.  Frey – means lord

According to Snorri Sturluson he was good, gentle, beautiful to look at, had power over sunshine and rain.  He had a boar which pulled his chariot.  Frey was venerated particularly in Uppsala in Sweden where there were great celebrations including wild dancing, men dressing as women, laying down of weapons. The people doing it believed it was vital to do or Spring would not be able to come again.

We had a look at the story of Gunnar Helming where Gunnar due to a twist in the plot impersonated Frey.  Olaf Tryggvason the King of Norway who has a role in this story features in historical records.

Frey was married to Gerd the daughter of a Frost Giant.  There is a tale about how their marriage came about where gifts were offered and threats given before she gave in and married Frey.  This can be seen as Winter marrying Spring after a confrontation.

2/.  Freya – means lady

Freya is a female version of Frey and they are very similar but Freya also has influence over love and affairs of the heart.  She visited the world of men regularly.  Some say she was married to Frey but in other myths she is married to Odr in perfect happiness.  However she was insatiably lustful and had a passion for jewels.  Loki said that she had worked her way through the men of the nine worlds.  She had a chariot pulled by cats.  She travelled in her chariot to every battle scene.  Odin took half of the fallen to Valhalla and Freya took half to Asgard.  There is some of the Great Goddess Mythology life and death, responsibility for wnter/spring, creator destroyer.

In the story of Dvalin and his Three Brothers, who were dwarves, she is tricked into buying a beautiful necklace in exchange for marrying each of them for a day.  Dwarves were seen as very low status in these myths.  When Odr finds this out he leaves and she wanders the world looking for him, shedding tears of pure red gold.

3/.  Thor

Thunor the Germanic weather god and Thor the Scandinavian weather god are much the same thing.

Thor is a god of the people and a way of explaining the world around them.  He was a huge red haired figure, boaster and drinker, ruler of thunder lightning and storms and by extensions a god of battle.  A powerful protector of the gods.  Protector of humans, giver of good weather for agriculture.

His chariot was pulled by 2 goats.  Thunder rumbled as Thor passed by.  He was married to the goddess Sif who had golden hair like a field of corn.  If brute force was needed they called on Thor, for cunning Odin and Loki.

He had three treasures, a magic strength doubling belt, iron rock shattering gauntlets and a mighty hammer Mjollnir.  If the hammer was thrown it would return to his hand and was his thunderbolt.  The hammer was the most important as it kept the universe safe and secure.

The Greeks, Romans and Celtic people viewed oak trees as sacred, in Germanic myths oak trees are linked to Thor.

When people travelled to live in new places they would take soil from beneath his shrine to scatter on the newly tilled fields to ensure a good crop.

There are lots of tales of battles with the Frost Giants.  These were not presented as monumental battles, much more down to earth and humorous.  We started looking at three tales recorded by Snorri Sturluson’s Prose.

i/ Thor’s Duel with Hrungir where Thor was brought in to use his strength to fight the strongest of all the Frost Giants.

When we re-convene after the covid-19 break we shall look at ii/ Freya the Bride and iii/. Thor’s Visit to Utgard.


The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson – A 12 century Icelandic historian – there are translations and reference books of his work available online and good bookshops.

Dyes and Pigments

Wednesday 4th March 2020

Ever wondered how clothes, furnishings, home decorations, cars etc. get their colour?  Our own Marguerita McBride gave us a wide ranging talk, with illustrations from history about dyes and pigments, and more recent details of their chemistry, how they are used and how they get their colour.

February – Norse Mythology

The session:

Continued the topic of Odin and Frig in Germanic and Scandinavian mythology.

1/.  Odin –

We covered the tale of The Lay of Grimnir in more detail.  In this story Odin visited the world of men under one of his many disguise.  Odin and his wife Frig were very competitive and Frig warned Gerrod, King of the Goths, to beware of a magician who would visit.  This caused Gerrod to seem to break the rules of hospitality and lead to him coming to a bad end but as Gerrod was a cruel and tyrannical king that would have gone down well with the audience.

2/. Frig

Nerthus was venerated as the Earth Mother by the Germanic and Scandinavian peoples.  Frig was originally the earth mother worshipped by the Angles and Saxons.  Borne of the earth itself and married to the sky god so linked back to creation mythology.

Over time the fertility element moved over to Frey and Freya who started out as the children of the Earth Mother Nerthus.  Frig became the goddess of marriage and married love.

The Legend of Baldur

Baldur was the favourite son of Odin and Frig.  He was the best of gods, bright, beautiful and shining, kind and wise.  He was very happy with his wife Nanna.  Baldur had a twin brother called Holder who was the opposite of Baldur to look at; he was dark and blind.  They loved each other.

Baldur could tell the future and started to have bad dreams full of dread, of a shadowy world.

Odin went to the Hall of Hel (the goddess who ruled in the Realm of the Dead) to find out what was going on.  The Hall was set out for a special guest.  Odin was told that Baldur would be killed by Holder.

Frig went to see each and every substance to gain its commitment not to harm Baldur, and this was agreed.

They decided to test Baldur’s new found invincibility and threw things at him, much fun was had and Baldur was unhurt.

Everyone was happy apart from Loki who was consumed with jealousy.  He shapeshifted into the form of an old woman and visited Frig to see if there were any flaws in the plan.  He checked that everything had been covered by asking lots of questions and identified it covered everything that grows out of the earth so it did not cover mistletoe.

Loki made a dart out of mistletoe, gave it to Holder to use, helped blind Holder sight up and the dart went right through Baldur and killed him.

Frig sent an emissary to Hel to negotiate a ransom for Baldur’s life.  The condition of the ransom was that everything must weep for him.  Everything wept apart from an old woman (Loki) so Baldur stayed in the hall of Hel.

This shows some evidence of the earlier role of Frig.  Baldur has a lot of the characteristics of the spring god, but in this story he does not come back, reflecting that the fertility role had already been taken over by Frey/Freya and the concept of an inescapable fate.

3/.  Frey/Freya

We touched very briefly on this and will take it further at the next session.

March 2020 competition

T!   Bottles   click for slideshow


T2  Gold  click for slideshow


Musical Theatre

Our next show will be in May at The Civic, Ormskirk and will be ‘The Magic Of The Movies’. Songs from Movies and Musicals from the last nine decades, including Kiss me Kate, Wizard of Oz, Me and My Girl, My Fair lady, Greece, Evita, Singing in the Rain, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and some that might be not known such as Bugsy Malone,  Moulin Rouge, Hairspray and Billy Elliot – so there should be something for everybody. Book now to ensure your place for this magical night of song.

Gems in the Dunes

Wednesday 5th February 2020

Thomas Brown [CC BY 2.0 (]

Fiona Sunners is the project manager of “Gems in the Dunes“,  a Heritage Lottery funded project focused on protecting the plants and animals of the Sefton Sand  Dunes, an important habitat for rare amphibians and reptile species.

Fiona talked about the efforts to preserve the natural habitats of this local environment for the rare species of the Sefton coast such as the Natterjack Toad and Northern Dune Tiger Beetle.


New dancers for the new year

Welcome to five new dancers so far this year, it great to have new people join us.

7.02.20 Some of Liz’s birthday requests.(L)

  • (The) Farmer’s Joy a Joseph Pimentel longways dance, with joyful tune by Adam Broome.
  • Pine Cones a 3 couple Pat Shaw dance from 1974. (L)
  • Alice longways dance by Philippe Callens 2002 in waltz time. (L)
  • Double Jubilee a 3 couple set dance by Gary Roodman 2015 with a tune by David Wiesler. (L)
  • Ladies of London a traditional dance from 1718.

some danced two or three times.

14.02.20 more of Geraldine’s & Liz’s birthday requests.

Most appropriately Valentines Day a longways Playford dance 1650.

  • Sailor’s wives a 3 couple dance danced twice. (G)
  • Sea Breezes another 3 couple dance also danced twice. (L)
  • Marching to Praetorius a 2 couple dance by Gary Roodman 1996. (G)

21.02.20 and another of Geraldine’s birthday requests!

  • Jamaica we danced the longways version which is the original way from 1670.
  • Greenwich Park a longways dance.
  • Morrison’s Reel a 5 couple dance which we danced twice to give all a turn. (G)
  • Zig Zag Tuesday a longways dance with unsurprisingly zig & zag moves.
  • Fourpence halfpenny farthing a traditional longways Playford dance from 1709.

28.02.20 A special treat today dancing to live music with Frank’s band & June calling as usual. Many thanks.

  • Indian Queen a longways dance.
  • Corelli’s Gavotte this speedy longways number certain gave us a challenge…
  • Lead through and Cast away a 3 couple dance.
  • A Lady remembered a JohnWood longways dance. We recall dear departed dancers.
  • Maiden Moor a 4 couple dance with music/choreography by Tom Cook & Brian Jenkins, 1980.
  • (The) Ladies of London from 1718.
  • and finally The Duke of Kent’s waltz a longways dance from 1801.

followed up with refreshments, and thanks to all.

Forget me not appeal

Textile Group – Tap to enlarge

In mid February,  a representative from the Alzheimer’s Society, Gina Berry, came to collect all the knitted, crocheted or stitched ‘Forget me not Flowers’ made by our own Textile Group, the Creative Stitchers from Aughton Village Hall and the Knit and Natter Group from Christ Church.

The flowers will decorate the staircases at the Harris Museum & Gallery in Preston where they will be part of ‘The Unfurlings’, an events programme to support those living with dementia, their carers and families.  Events have just begun and continue until the end of May.  Everyone is welcome to attend and they are all in the afternoons.

Gina is the dementia adviser for West Lancashire and was quite overwhelmed at the numbers of hand-made flowers presented to her.  We didn’t count them but there were probably around 250.

Drama Group

Our next production “Death by Paintbrush” will be on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th April at Aughton Village Hall.  Curtain up at 7.30.

The play is set in the 1920’s so please feel free to come dressed in the style of the time.

Tickets will go on sale on Thursday 5th March..

We look forward to seeing you.

Short Story Competition

If you would like to submit a short story of no more than 1000 words, on any topic, you could win a £25 book token and see your work in print in the August edition of the magazine. This is a new venture for the Creative Writing group and we are hoping for lots of entries, so please start writing now.

Some members of the group have offered help with typing and emailing so, if you would like some assistance, please consult Sue Watkinson at Horizons  or email and we’ll do our best to support you.

Read on for the full details …….

Short Story Competition Guidelines

  • The competition is for a story of no more than 1000 words and no fewer than 300, on any topic.
  • Stories should not have been published previously.
  • There will be one prize of a £25 book token.
  • Entry is restricted to members of Aughton & Ormskirk U3A.
  • The competition will close at midnight on Saturday June 27th 2020.
  • The result will be announced in August.
  • Pages should be A4 size, typed in 14 point using a plain font with 1.5 spacing.
  • Pages should be numbered.
  • The number of words used, excluding the title, should be included at the end of the piece.
  • Entries will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on the text pages of your entry.
  • The story should submitted to as an attachment to an email listing the title of your story, the number of words, your name, phone number, email address and U3A membership number.
  • Your entry will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
  • Copyright remains with the author but by entering you are agreeing to publication of your work in the August edition of the U3A magazine and on the website if you win.

2019/20 Snooker League

Here are the Divisions and Matches for the forthcomming Event.


I will update the Match Results as they happen.

2020 here we come…

10.01.20 Elfrida calling the dances today starting with:-

  • The first of April ??? a longways traditional dance from 1780.
  • Childgrove another traditional dance 1701.
  • My Lord Byron’s Maggot a longways dance with clapping 👏🏼.
  • The Leaving of Liverpool to the tune the Merry Flirt. A 3 couple dance.
  • Liberty from The Yorktown Victory Ball, a 3 couple dance 1781 to the tune Bridle path.
  • Portsmouth a longways dance.

17.01.20 Happy New Year to June. With some more of Geraldine’s Birthday (2019) choices.

  • The Welch Dance a longways dance from 1790’s.
  • Soldiers and Sailors a longways dance (G)
  • For Rebecca a square set dance for 4 couples, constantly changing partners, until you get back home. (G)
  • and another of (G) Geraldine’s choices Prince William of Gloster’s Waltz. From 1801, reconstructed by Pat Woods 1958.
  • The Greenwich Pensioner a 4 couple dance from 1790.

Advance notice for Live Music event on Friday February 28th.

24 01.20

  • Whim of the Moment L/ways
  • Karla’s Waltz L/ways
  • My Lady Anne 3 couple
  • Braes of Dornoch 3 couple, with note to do it again on a future occasion.
  • Wooden Shoes L/ways.
  • Holborn March 

31.01.20 Elfrida recording

  • St. James’ Gardens L/ways danced twice, quick moves!
  • Wooden Shoes L/ways.
  • Shandy Hall 4 couple sets, circles & half stars.
  • Shepherd in the fields 3 couple sets X3.
  • Holborn March L/ways.

NOTICES. (more country dancing)

Monday 10th. Feb at Emmanuel Church hall at 7.30 Charity Night.

Friday 28th February Live music from Change of Key (Frank’s band)

Birdwatching Group AGM – 13th January 2020

1. Birds of the Galapagos Islands

Bill Hale gave a very interesting one hour talk on ‘Birds of the Galapagos Islands’. No one in the group except Bill had been there, and we were treated to Bill’s photographs of over 55 species, most of which are not seen in Great Britain, (except the Turnstone, the Sanderling and Cattle Egret).

Many of the birds seen are native to the Galapagos: G. Penguin, G. Hawk (the only bird of prey), 13 species of G. Finches including 2 species of G. Warblers, G Flycatcher, G. Dove, and G. Cuckoo, etc.

Other memorable birds seen were Short Eared Owls who predate the local Petrels, Albatross, Mocking Birds, Shearwaters, Oystercatchers, Blue Footed Booby, Masked Booby and Red Footed Booby, Flightless Cormorants and the Magnificent Frigate Bird, Flamingos, Herons (4 species) and the delightfully named Vermillion Flycatcher, etc., etc.

Bill’s immense knowledge of the ‘bird world’ made it an enthralling session, and he can rightly claim to know more than Darwin having visited all 16 of the Galapagos Islands, that’s 12 more than Darwin achieved!

2. Proposed venues for 2020

Peter Hatfield presented his list of proposed venues for birdwatching in 2020.  Seven of last years reserves are revisited in the year ahead but in different seasons, two sites not visited by the group in the last 4 years (Rivington CP and Sizergh Castle*) and three more venues not seen last year will be seen this year, (Speke Hall NT, Yarrow CP and Brockholes LWT).  (See ‘continue reading’ below for the full list.)

*Please note that Sizergh is an optional extra for seeing Haw Finches from 8.30 am. The rest of the group will start at 10.30 at Silverdale. The Sizergh group will aim to reach Siverdale by 11.00am.

3. Review of 2019 visits and sightings

Peter Banks presented the summary of visits and sightings for 2019.  Two of the visits planned for 2019 had to be changed and the December visit cancelled due to bad weather.  All of our group sightings are recorded on the group’s web pages and also logged at BirdTrack a national project run by the British Trust for Ornithology in partnership with RSPB (and others) that records distributions and migration movements of birds throughout Britain and Ireland and also is linked to global records.

4. BirdTrack update

Peter Banks reported that, because the group submits records to the online BirdTrack system, we receive a regular monthly email from the BTO.  As well as information about bird populations they also have useful links to other information and bird identification videos.  Peter has long felt these emails should be made available to other group members but unfortunately the U3A’s Beacon email system does not allow forwarding of emails received.  He suggested that an email group could be set up so that these emails could be forwarded from the group email address to members of the bird group who would like to receive them.

5. AOB

Peter Banks introduced a discussion about ways in which members of the group might be able to share information about local bird sightings.  (One of our group members who was not able to be present at the AGM had emailed to suggest such a group that people could ‘opt in’ to.)  Again this would need to be outside the U3A Beacon system as only group leaders can send Beacon emails.  Peter showed a few examples of the sort of sightings that could be shared:

The suggestions are:

  • A WhatsApp Group that members could opt in to so they could share information (requires a smartphone).
  • A group page where members who opt in could share photos of birds seen locally or on group visits.  Ideally this should have a link on the group webpage so everyone can view.  This will be investigated further to determine the best platform to use.


Thirteen members of the group attended this year’s AGM, and apologies were received from one other.  The list of attendees is recorded on the group’s database.

Peter Hatfield and Peter Banks, joint leaders.


Click ‘continue reading’ for the full list of planned visits for 2020 and the summary of visits and sightings for 2019.


Continue reading

January – Norse Mythology

The session:

 We agreed an earlier start time of 9:50 to avoid congestion in the car park, with an earlier finish.

Continued Norse Mythology covering Germanic and Scandinavian mythology with the topic of Odin.

1/.  Odin –

Odin became the Sky God, creator of the Universe, King of the gods.  He provided rules which had to be followed to protect against the chaos which still existed outside the organised world.  He visited Midgard, the world of men, to make sure the rules were being followed.

Over time he took on many attributes, physical appearances and roles, and had many aliases.  He also had magic skills and was a shape shifter.  He was a majestic figure with gravitas and dignity.  He was capricious, lustful and quick tempered and a rule breaker when it suited him.  He was also arrogant and boastful as related in the Song of Harbard.  A god but one with flaws.

He was very successful with women apart from in The Myth of Billing’s Daughter who outsmarted him.  She is portrayed as being duplicitous and treacherous for not wanting to have a relationship with him and using her wits to avoid him, a view which is much less acceptable now.

This was all in the context of a world where gods and men are doomed.  Great warriors would go to Valhall to await the final battle (Ragnarok), to qualify for this they would need to show their skills to Odin but the Norns (the three Fates) had already set down the fates of the gods and mortals.

We looked at two tales The Myth of Mead of Poetry where Odin gains a magic mead from giants by means of shape shifting, cunning and deceit and The Lay of Grimnir where again he did not reveal who he was.

Oden was married to Frig and they had a tempestuous relationship with neither being faithful to the other.

2/. Frig

Originally Frig was the goddess of fertility but her attributes changed over time too and she became the goddess of the home and protector of women whilst Freya became the goddess of fertility.

In February we shall continue Norse Mythology

Further Reading

There is a lot of information available on the internet by using simple searches.  These books are not in print but may be available second hand or from a library.


Brian Branston ‘The Lost Gods of England’ Thames and Hudson

‘Encyclopaedia of World Mythology’ Octopus Books

Past Meetings 2020

Wednesday February 12 :  Yes, we have no Galanthus – A talk by Steven Halliwell.

An interesting talk with a ‘poetical’ twist and some lovely photos of mass plantings of snowdrops from Banks Hall, Gresgarth Hall, Dunham Massey, Lytham Hall, Brantwood, Parcevall Hall and Hornby Castle. There are hundreds of varieties of snowdrop mostly developed from 3 species

Galanthus Nivalis (our native snowdrop) from Western Europe

Galanthus Elwesii from Eastern Europe

Galanthus plicates from Russia. 

Wednesday January 8:   The Walled Garden – A talk about Norton Priory 

A very interesting and informative talk given by Keith and Kathy Williams who have been volunteering at Norton Priory for about 30 years. The talk started with a brief history about the property and some interesting information about the numbers and roles of the gardening staff needed to look after the garden when it supplied all the produce for the main house. The only women working in the garden were  ‘Daisy grubbers’ which meant weeding all the gravel paths on hands and knees with special gloves which had hooks on the finger ends.   The talk then moved on to an illustrated look at how the garden has been developed and restored since the house was demolished and the garden abandoned in 1928. The walled garden is two and a half acres and has been redeveloped with reference to how Victorian walled gardens were generally arranged. The garden is divided into four quarters and includes various old varieties of apples and gooseberries as well as the national collection of quince, a croquet lawn and an orchard. The garden opens at the end of March is well worth a visit.

Search for a new Musical Director

We are a very friendly, sociable group with 35 Members and like to sing a wide range of music including; Musical Theatre, Folk, Sacred and Popular.  We enjoy the challenge of three part singing as well as a good unison sing-a-long at most of our sessions. We give one formal concert a year in the summer and organise the annual U3A Advent service. We are also regularly invited to sing at several local nursing homes.  We meet every Wednesday morning at Aughton Village Hall from 10 am until 12. (Broadly following school holidays).  We have a well organised team who take care of admin, finances and hall bookings.  We need someone who can inspire us, build on what we have already achieved and lead us along an exciting and rewarding musical path.

If you are interested in finding out more then please contact the U3A Choir Group Leader, Ann Henders, on 07847 364330.  Closing date for expressions of interest Tuesday, 21/1/20.

Please note there is no remuneration for this role.

Drama Group

Here we are at the end of our dress rehearsal for “Christmas Pudding”.  We hope you came along and enjoyed the “live”performance.

No time to let the grass grow – we are now in rehearsal for our next performance “Death By Paintbrush”, a whodunnit set in the 1920’s

Looking forward to seeing you on 24th or 25th April at Aughton Village Hall, ready to do some sleuthing.

Recent works

Here are some photos taken by Bill Soens of recent works by members of the Painting Group.

(Bill also produced a YouTube video of some of these works – watch it here)

Summary of visits – June to December 2019

Firstly please accept my apologies for not posting the usual individual reports for these visits.

11th June 2019 – Lunt Meadows

Five members of the group attended and enjoyed a very good morning’s birding despite the persistent rain.  The water levels in all the lakes and ponds were much higher than we have seen before as a result of all the recent rain.  A total of 37 species were recorded and it was good to see many chicks and juvenile birds.

9th July 2019 – Burton Mere RSPB

Five members of the group attended and as on previous visits to this site we benefited greatly from the experience of guest leader Peter Twist.  A total of 51 species were recorded on this visit and a particular highlight was the large number (25 plus) of Little Egret several of which were at their nest site.

10th September 2019 – Marshside RSPB

Twelve members pf the group attended for the morning with a couple of us staying on into the afternoon.  Although we did not see as many species as on some visits to this site, a total of 31 species being recorded, the sighting of the two Ruddy Shelduck was a ‘first’ for the group.  Another highlight was the group of five Cattle Egret ‘doing what it says on the tin’ as they interacted with some cattle.


‘Record shots’ of the Ruddy Shelducks (left photo) and the Cattle Egrets at Marshside.

8th October 2019 – Martin Mere WWT

(One of a number of occasions this year when the venue had to be changed because of the poor weather to a site where there was shelter available.)

Eleven members of the group attended this visit and a total of 42 species were recorded.  Large numbers of Pink Footed Geese and a few of the Whooper Swans had arrived at the site, a little later than usual probably as a result of the mild Autumn.  There were however surprisingly few waders to be seen although 6 Snipe was a highlight.  Another highlight was seeing three Marsh Harriers hunting.

22nd October 2019 – Leighton Moss

On this occasion we were lucky with the weather but had been advised to take wellington boots as some of the paths were flooded following recent rain.  Six members of the group attended and a total of 46 species were recorded.  After spending the morning at the main reserve most of us went to visit the hides located at Morecambe Bay before returning home.  One member who remained at the main reserve was rewarded with the sighting of a Bearded Tit.  Although on the group visit we had heard a water rail we had not been lucky enough  to see it.  The photo included here was taken by Bill Hale who was not on the group visit but had visited the site the following week.

12th November 2019 – Mere Sands Wood

Another weather-related change of venue as the wind-chill and muddy conditions would have been intolerable at the planned venue of Hesketh Outmarsh on the Ribble Estuary.  Ten members of the group attended this visit and a total of 33 species were recorded.  Highlights were the large numbers of Teal and 10-12 Goosander.

The planned visit to Speke Hall on 10th December was cancelled, again because of bad weather.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen on the above visits:

Continue reading


The Bridge Group are looking at running a short course in March or April 2020 for members who would like to learn how to play Bridge, or who would like to return to playing after a break from the game.  If you think you may be interested in such a course, the please ring Nick Dowrick on 07988119408 to register an interest.


Our Autumn 2019 Production

We are proud to present, in November, another new musical written and directed by our own Gill O’Flaherty.

‘Chances’ is loosely based on a true story of finding and losing love over the years, with highs and lows and modern songs that ties up and adds to the emotion of the story line.

Please click or tap on poster to view all details in  full-size.

24 November 2019

Our Creative Writing ✍ group make a first appearance for our last session of the year.  They are very talented and and were  well received.
After early festive refreshments the ‘Sunnysiders’🎻🪕🎸🎷🎤🎧🎶 (musical variety show) entertained us further.

27 October 2019


27 October 2019 –

’REVAMPED’ returned to entertain us with their songs & guitars  🎸🎸🎼plus we had  a display by our Textiles & Quilting group🧵🧶.


22 September 2019

22 September 2019 –

Our marvellous U3A choir 🎤🎶 performed  for us in September followed by refreshments as usual and Prize Bingo🎁


Christmas Cheer

Wednesday 4th December 2019

On the 4th December we had our traditional Christmas Cheer event which started with short talks on the theme of the deep mid-winter: the effects of freezing, when is it actually winter?, the effect of day length on plants and a new slant on the birds of the twelve days of Christmas; plus a quiz and of course Christmas refreshments with mulled wine.  A good time was had by all!

December – Icelandic Sagas and Norse Mythology

The session:

Completed the Saga of Gisli and started Norse Mythology.

1/.  The Saga of Gisli

In the final part of the story Gisli became a warrior hero, honourable and true.  He would have been seen as a popular hero at the time the story originated.  Not all his killings would have been seen as good now but when he was found guilty of a crime magic had been used to prevent people from speaking for him.  His actions would have fitted the social conventions of the time.

In his final confrontation Gisli took a warrior hero’s last stand.  Eyjolf who had been paid to find Gisli discovered his hiding place.  Gisli challenged Eyjolf to attack him.  Eyjolf is portrayed to be a coward in this part of the tale and orders Helgi to attack Gisli first.  Helgi agrees knowing he will certainly die but also tells Eyjolf he must follow him.  Aud (Gisli’s wife), who is portrayed as being strong and brave, attacks Eyjolf injuring him.  Gisli cuts Helgi in two and Eyjolf behaves in a cowardly manner by hiding behind a rock.  Gisli fights valiantly against Eyjolf’s men, killing many of them, but is eventually overcome by his grievous wounds.  The wounds were so bad those there did not know how he fought for so long.

We looked at Gisli’s warrior hero qualities and had a discussion around how he fitted the criteria.  He was a northern hero, existing in an extended family, with family ties and loyalties.  The tale’s scale is more domestic, involving family feuds.

2/. Norse Mythology

This covers Germanic and Scandinavian mythology

This would have been brought to Britain in the 500’s by the Angles and Saxons and in the 800’s by the Danes, Vikings and Norwegians so the stories would have been familiar to the people of Britain.

We had a quick recap of the Creation Myths which generally start with chaos and darkness in a fluid unformed state which had existed for all time.  There was a Sky God who was the father of the gods, he formed the universe and imposed order on the chaos.

In the Germanic and Scandinavian myths little of the original mythology survived.  The Germanic god of winds and storms Woden and Odin the Scandivanian god over time took on the characteristics of the old sky god and the original faded away.

In January we shall continue Norse Mythology

Last dances in the year 2019.

6.12.19 Elfrida recorded the dances.

  • Childgrove – longways
  • Turning by threes – 3 couple longways, danced it twice after lots of practice.
  • The soldier and the sailor – longways, danced it before, with poussettes and half figure eights.
  • Jamaica – 4 couple dance.
  • Gloster reel – longways.

Then 16 of us enjoyed the meal at the Stanley.

13.12.19 Several of Geraldine’s birthday requests:-

  • Geud Man of Ballangigh a longways Playford dance from 1709.
  • Mirror Me a 3 couple Loretta Holz 2007 dance.
  • another of Geraldine’s waltz requests, April’s Lady, 3 couples in circle.
  • The Queen’s new square (not one of Geraldine’s) longways.
  • Holborn March published by Johnson 1742.

20.12.19 some more of Geraldine’s requests, (she knows what she likes and we like them too.)

  • Wooden Shoes pub. Playford 1703 a longways dance.
  • Loose Ends a 4 couple dance with draw poussettes. This is the first dance with poussettes, see later for a different form.
  • Sellenger’s round, as expected, a circular dance.
  • Dunham Oaks a longways dance, from the dances of Brian Wedgbury 2004, with straight poussettes
  • and finally another of Geraldine’s favourites, a suitably jolly dance to end 2019, The Comical Fellow.

🎄🎄Happy Christmas to all and our thanks to June for her patience and skill, leading our group for another year. Also for Elfrida, deputising from time to time.

See you all in the New Year on January 10th.





Our ‘Christmas’ Do!!

Here we are at spitroast having our meal. Good food and good company.

Thanks Dag for arranging the meal.

November – Icelandic Sagas

The session:

Looked at Icelandic Sagas

1/.  Around 700 survived in manuscript form.  Some are based on family history, others covered leaders and battles, early Viking exploration and heroes.  A mix of fact with storytelling.

2/.  The Saga of Gisli – this is a settler saga based on historical records from around 800-1000 AD.  It was written sometime in the C13th.

It is a story with a large cast of characters, a number of whom start with THOR as the first four letters, and is not an easy tale to relate in a few words.  If you enter ‘Saga of Gisli’ in your search engine a number of sites will give you the story in full.

It is interesting to see that the settler story based on the facts produces a cracking story with family honour, conflicting loyalties, revenge, oaths, prophecies, heroes and daring deeds.  It is also a good example of how stories grow and are embellished over time.  It is about a settler society involving families, kinship groups, protection and defence, family honour and reputation.  The society rules were there to protect the good order of society.  Oaths were very important and were seen as a call to the gods.  At the time it was believed that Odin created the universe and natural laws.  Once an oath was broken fate will have its way.


In December we shall conclude the Saga of Gisli and start looking at Scandanavian Mythology

November dancing

1.11.19 some chosen by Pat as her birthday requests.

  • The Pursuit x3 a longways dance with several layers of complexity from the Walsh collection 1714-19.
  • Trip to Bavaria by James MacGregor-Brown a 4 couple set danced twice.
  • Rostillion from J&W Neal 1726 collection.
  • (The) Working Masons in Merlin a longways dance, also from Neal collection 1726. What an amazing title.
  • St. Katherines another longways dance from the Neal collection 1726.


  • Portabella a longways dance from the Walsh collection 1715.
  • Pool’s Hole a longways dance from Dancing Master 1690 reconstructed in 2011 by Christine Robb.
  • Double Jubilee a contemporary 3 couple dance by Gary Roodman, & tune by Gary Wiesler.
  • Sea Breezes another 3 couple contemporary dance by our very own June Jones.
  • Gasconne a longways dance 1710 & interpretation by Pat Shaw.

15.11.19 recorded by Elfrida, with a limited number of dancers.

  • Lead through and Cast away – longways 3 couple set
  • Broom the broom, the Bonny Bonny broom a 4 couple set, danced twice.
  • A June Jones composition, with no title so far, a world premiere, a 4 couple set, danced twice to 2 different pieces of music, one a slower deliberate beat, the second a more racey Scottish reel. The dancers preferred the more racey one!. I look forward to encountering this dance in the future.
  • Happy Days  – a 3 couple dance. Version 1 with Grimstock heys, version 2 with cross heys. Cross heys preferred.
  • Doldrums – 4 couple square set, 3 figures and a chorus, danced twice.

22.11.19 Session with live music from Frank and fellow musicians. Recorded by June.

  • Nampwich Fair longways.
  • Portabella longways.
  • The Waggoner 3 couples.
  • Irish Lamentation longways.
  • Lord of Carnarvon’s Jig 4 couples.
  • Rostillion longways.

Refreshments followed.

29.11.19 4 new dances today.

  • The Welch a traditional longways dance.
  • The Journey 4 couple dance.
  • The Exact Tuesday a June Jones longways dance.
  • The Bonny Bonny Broom 4 couple dance from 1651.
  • The Greenwich Pensioner the song composed by Mr. Dibdin 1791.

🎄🎄🎄Please note Christmas lunch after dancing on December 6th.

 AND We will be dancing as usual on the 13th. and the 20th. December.




Battlefields Tour

Battlefields Tour –  September 2020

If you have an interest in history and WWI in particular, you may be interested in a five day break which has been organised for next year. The trip, which is led by a professional guide is based in the French city of Arras on a b/b basis but includes three additional meals – one lunch and two dinners. All outings and entrances are included in the cost which is £439.00.

Visits will be made to many of the famous sites of the battles of Passchendaele and the Somme with additional visits to Poperinge, Ypres, Notre Dame de Lorette and Wimereux.

For the full itinerary and details of booking arrangements please click or tap on the Battlefields Tour Flier. Or you can pick up the flier from Ken Moulton at Horizons or call 0151 526 2530.

Please be aware that this is not a U3A organised holiday so the U3A insurance will not apply. Private insurance will be required.

Jane Jones

November 26th 2019 – mid-break meeting

Prior to starting on our exploration of medieval cathedrals of the South and South-east of England in January 2020, there will be a mid-break meeting at the Scout Hut at the usual time of 14.00 on Tuesday 26th November.

This will give the opportunity for a brief preview of the 2020 programme, including the nationally historically important Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

As a holiday treat we will whisk you abroad to look at eight medieval French cathedrals, although separated by relatively short distance we will be able to see some of the differences between English and French Gothic, as well as show regional differences within the large geographical extent of France itself.

Speakers: Peter Goodrich, Peter Hatfield and Peter Gateley

2019 Local History Summer Outings

Saturday 27 April 2019 – The National Memorial Arboretum

The 150 acre site located in Staffordshire is the UK’s centre of Remembrance and home to the iconic Armed Forces Memorial was the location for the first of the Summer outings. We took a land train with commentary to see some of the thought-provoking memorials and we listened to an introductory talk about the Arboretum. The opportunity was taken by some to hear another presentation entitled Shot at Dawn about soldiers who were executed by firing squad.

Departed 9.15am, Long Lane near S&G HQ.

Returned approx. 7.15pm.

Cost – Coach £18 – Land train £5.


Sunday 12 May 2019 – West Derby Courthouse and Speke Hall Liverpool

Firstly we visited the West Derby Courthouse. This stone built Courthouse is the only free standing post medieval court in Britain. Built in 1586 on the authorisation of Queen Elizabeth I it functioned until 1910.  We continued onwards to Speke Hall, a fine example of a timber framed Tudor house with an interesting history to be told by one of the guides at the Hall.

Departed 1pm, Long Lane near S&G HQ.

Returned approx. 6.15pm.

Cost – Coach £10, Speke Hall admission £10. National Trust members no charge. Please remember to bring your Trust membership card.


Saturday 22 June 2019 – A Day in Deva – now known as Chester

The Roman roads linking Chester with Lancashire may have passed through Aughton and Ormskirk, we do have a turnpike road and Roman coins have been found in the area. Our visit included a cruise along the River Dee with a sandwich, cake, fruit, tea / coffee lunch. After disembarking we carried on to see the Midsummer Parade that dates back to Tudor times. Led by a child, the City Drummer and a family of Giants, puppet animals, mythical creatures, hobby horses, musicians and more costumed participants added to the colourful parade as it made its way around the City centre. Later in the day there was the chance to walk in the footsteps of Legion XX.v.v with Titus , our very own Roman Legionary guide. A welcome stop for a meal / snack / comfort break was taken on the return journey.

Departed 9.45 am, Long Lane near S&G HQ.

Returned approx 8.45 pm.

Cost £28. Optional walk £4 extra.

More details and booking at Horizons.


Tuesday 2 July 2019 – A Tour of Liverpool’s Empire Theatre. Lunch at the Adelphi Hotel. A Tour of Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre.

All the venues were optional but we started at The Empire where we met at 10.50 am for and 11am start. We had an interesting tour of the front of house areas from one of the Empire staff. Much reminiscing took place by members of U3A, remembering visits made there to see, amongst others, The Beatles and other 60’s icons! This was followed by a tour of the back stage areas.

We moved on to The Adelphi for 12:40pm where we had a three course meal and a much welcome sit down!.

After lunch we walked to The Playhouse. We were shown around all the public areas and taken onto the stage and into the backstage areas. An interesting time was had by all.

Christmas from the Garden

A special Gardening Group Meeting on Wednesday November 13: Jaqueline IddonChristmas from the Garden.

A practical demonstration, making a blue spruce door ring, winter pots and other festive ideas to help decorate your home for Christmas.

All welcome!

Malcolm Jacques Trophy November 2019

The Match took place on Friday afternoon, November 8th.

It comprised of Singles between the A and B teams of Southport and ourselves.

The Teams:



The Singles Resolts;

Ormskirk A beat Southport A [Ash Street] 3-2

Ormskirk B beat Southport B [F&H SSC] 3-2

So the Doubles match to win the Trophy took place between Ormskirk A and B. Ormskirk A won both Doubles.

Barry accepted the Trophy as Captain of Ormskirk A.

Xmas Events & Celebrations


All U3A Members Invited



“Please click on links listed below for each group to view more details of the various festive events.”



November 13th – Gardening – :  Festive ideas to help decorate your home for Xmas. Christmas from the Garden. 

November 29th & 30 Drama Production – :  Come along and “taste” our recipe for  A Christmas Pudding. 

December 3rd – Local History – :  Our seasonal meeting on.   A Winters Day

December 5th – Advent Event  – :  Come along to Christ Church at 10.30 am. for the  Advent performance form the Choir and Recorder Groups

December 6th – Wine Tasting – :  Come along to our  Wine Event

December 12th – Philharmonic Visit – :  Listen to enchanting music in the beautiful St. Georges Hall Concert Room.  Xmas with Septura

December 13th – Christmas Lunch – :  Christ Church Ministry Centre.  U3A Seasonal Social Event

December 19th – Christmas Walk & Lunch – :  Garstang  Golf Club – Walking Group D
Walking Group E

Attrial Fibrillation

 Wednesday 6th November 2019

The full title of the talk was “The global stroke tsunami related to an irregular heart rhythm: A focus on atrial fibrillation” – which really says it all.  Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition which affects 7 in 100 of over 65s and we were lucky to hear all about it from two experts Dr. Deidre Lane and Professor Gregory Lip from the Liverpool University Centre for Cardiovascular Science.  Not only did we have a fascinating presentation but Dr. Lane and Professor Lip then tested those interested with a Kardia electronic device to determine if they had atrial fibrillation and give them advice on what they should do next.

Special Earth/Geology Talk

The British Antarctic Research Station by Steve Hinde

On Friday 15th November the Earth / Geology  talk will be given by Steve Hinde who has spent more than 7 years at the British Antarctic Rothera Research Station.

He will tell us about being there, the facilities and about the range of science carried out.  We are fortunate to have got Steve to come and look forward to a most interesting presentation.

All welcome.

October dances including ‘June’s Master Class’

4.10.19 Elfrida recording.

‘June’s Master Class’ by default. We must nearly all have decided to holiday at the same time as only 3 dancers were present today, hence the 2 couple dance ‘Master Class’. It certainly tested June’s ability to improvise & succeed! Well done dancers and June.

  • Handle with Care 2 couples facing each other, music by Handel.
  • Hoop’t Petticoat 2 couple longways from 1726.
  • Improvised by June for 2 couples – a slip jig renamed ‘June rejigged’. To the music Yellow stockings.
  • Cobblers Hornpipe, a longways reel in triple time so counting in 6s.
  • Turn of the Tide, another adaptation for 2 couples, 1s improper & having a lovely solo part leading down, then reversing, then leading up & reversing.
  • then Handle with Care again, by request.

⭐️ for June, what a talented teacher we are lucky to have, able to adapt such dances ‘off the top of her head’ so to speak.

11.10.19 Back to normal numbers today!

  • Greenwich Hospital a longways dance from 1718 pub. Playford.
  • The Haymarket, a play on hay/hey as this dance included a Morris Hey and a Grimstock Hey. A 3 couple dance.
  • The Leaving of Liverpool. Called by John & danced twice.
  • Cobblers Hornpipe, dance for 3 couples as it should be – see above.
  • Come let’s be Merry another 3 couple dance from 1727 pub. John Young.


  • Zephyrs and Flora a longways dance from The Walsh collection 1715.
  • Sir Watkin’s Jig for 3 couples danced twice.
  • Stafford Castle a contemporary Naomi Alexander longways dance. We had limited success; to dance again with alternative music?
  • Alice another contemporary dance 2002, by Philippe Callens, waltz time & danced twice.
  • Namp(t)wich Fair longways from John Young’s Dancing Master 1726.

25.10.19 Birthday requests for Pat Mc.

  • Wooden Shoes longways dance.
  • She looked down her nose and sneered danced to a new tune.
  • Fittleworth Frolic a circular dance for 5 couples but we danced with 7, the men’s Star was a bit of a dash for the shorter legged dancers!
  • Hole in the Wall a triple time longways dance.
  • Mendocino Redwood written in Gary Roodman’s choreography class at English Week 2005 Mendocino Woodlands State Park.
  • finally Irish Lamentation.

Each year I count (roughly) all the different dances we have danced.

This year October 2018 – 2019, we danced – 178.

Most danced ;-

is – ⭐️ Namp(t)wich Fair

5 share the next place – Orange & Blue, Young Phyllis of Wakefield, Gasconne, Trip to Sheringham and Irish Lamentation.

10 share the next place – Farmer’s Joy, Roll the Line, Ladies of London, Rostillion, Whim of the Moment, A Fig f0r Bonaparte, Wibsey Roundabout, We will down with the French, The leaving of Liverpool and finally Wooden Shoes.

☹️ N.B. Unfortunately the front door will now be locked during classes. (so please arrive on time!) This is following some incidents.





Christmas 2019 – Advent Event

Our U3A Choir gave a sincere and heartfelt Advent Performance on Thursday 5th December at Christ Church which marked the beginning of the Christmas season.  It was an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and to have a good sing!  Once again we asked for donations for the Ormskirk Food Bank and members were very generous.  The Recorder Group  also  performed at this event.

At the end of December, the choir also sang at Aughton Park and Ince Blundell Nursing Homes where we were very warmly welcomed.  This is now a Christmas tradition for us and it is lovely to see familiar faces.  Sadly, Christmas saw the retirement of our Musical Director, Duncan Roberts.  We said a fond farewell to him and wish him all the best for the future.

September dances

Leading down, then they’ll be casting back….


  • Liberty from the Yorktown Victory Ball 1781. A 3 couple dance.
  • Trip to Sheringham a square set 4 couple dance.
  • The Jackdaw a Scottish 4 couple dance.
  • Bells of Oxford a longways dance.
  • (The) Irish Lamentation a longways dance from the Walsh Collection 1735.
  •  Whibsy Roundabout a circular dance by Gary Roodman 1995. A big favourite, everyone is moving all the time! We got a bit stuck when we danced this in August last year but cracked it straight off today ⭐️.
  • The Dutch House a longways dance.


  • Lead through and cast away a 3 couple dance.
  • The Healing Touch choreography by Ron Coxall, a 4 couple dance.
  • The Introduction a 4 couple dance by Fried de Metz Herman 1999. We did this 3 times to perfect it,  a lovely dance but quite difficult.
  • The Doldrums a 4 couple square set dance. From The Maggot Pie Collection 1797 (ref. Colin Hulme)
  • Trip to Sheringham a 4 couple dance.


  • Brighton le Sands a June Jones longways dance.
  • Sion House pub.Playford 1701, longways dance.
  • Newsham Review another June Jones dance, for 3 couples.
  • Conwy Castle a longways dance by Tom Harnden.
  • A School for Scandal a 3 couple dance from 1778.
  • Rostillion a longways dance from 1726 by John & William Neil.
  • Lord Caernarvon’s Jig dance for 4 couples. Adapted by Cecil Sharpe 1910.

We did a lot of dancing today to build an appetite for our enjoyable ‘Summer lunch’. Our thanks to June for organising it. So nice to see a few former dancers.

27.09.19 Elfrida recorded the dances. Thanks to her. Just a select 8 dancers today.

  • Prince of Wales Fancy from 1792, we were wondering which future King this referred to, danced twice.
  • Star Of Kintra a Trevor Monson dance from 2004. Kintra a settlement on the N.W coast of the Ross of Mull. Loads of practice at this dance, but eventually perfected it.⭐️
  • Upton Priory a waltz rhythm, some gypsy moves & slow changes but again cracked it in the end.⭐️
  • Lastly  The Doldrums, see 13. 09.

An enjoyable if brain taxing & physical morning!