Category Archives: General

Joyous January

Bend those knees!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR LEADER & DANCERS, may 2019 be a healthy & happy one.

Already 11.01.19 Elfrida is our Dancing mistress today.

  • (the) Farmer’s Joy a Joseph Pimentel longways dance from 2012.
  • the First of April another longways dance but from 1733.
  • Leaving of Liverpool a 3 couple set, danced twice.
  • Liberty from the Yorktown Victory Ball 1781.
  • Sprigs of Laurel a longways dance from 1794. Choreography & music by Ann & Peter Thompson.
  • Go to the Devil and shake yourself a longways dance.
  • Gloster Reel 1796 longways.

18.01.19 Elfrida recorded the dances.

  • St. Andrew’s gardens longways.
  • Lord Phopington longways, from the Walsh Collection 1718.
  • We will down with the French a 3 couple set danced twice.
  • Orange & Blue another very enjoyable 3 couple dance.
  • Meillonen a 5 couple Welsh dance.


  • The New Slip longways. A new dance for the group.
  • Eastbourne Grove a 3 couple dance, also not danced before.
  • De’il tak the Warr a Scottish lament 1721  3 couple dance, 3 times.
  • Deodar longways.
  • Bonnets so Blue also longways.


Birdwatching Group AGM – 15th January 2019

1. Waders and how to recognise them

Ruff in winter plumage (Photo by Pete Gately at Martin Mere, 2018)

The meeting started with a very interesting talk by Bill Hale on ‘Waders and how to recognise them’ focussing on Curlew, Whimbrel, Ruff, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Knott and Stint.

Aggressive Black-tailed Godwits (Photo by Peter Banks at Martin Mere, 2018)






Despite the unreliable sound system, Bill’s recordings of birdsong were memorable, and in the case of the curlew, haunting.  The video of clouds of Knott in murmuration over the Wash in Norfolk was spectacular and the aggressive Godwit behaviour was unexpected as were their ‘bendy bills’.

Bill also mentioned current research he is involved in into apparent seasonal changes in colouration of some birds without a second moult implying that mature feathers must be changing colour – you heard it here first!

Bill had prepared information about several more waders, so we look forward to ‘Part Two’ of his talk!  Bill’s immense knowledge and dry Lancastrian humour made it an enthralling session, we are lucky to have him in our group.

2. Review of 2018 visits and sightings

Peter Banks presented the summary of visits and sightings for 2018, copies of which had been emailed to members before the meeting and are also appended to this report.

Two of the visits planned for 2018 had to be changed.  It had not been possible to arrange group transport for the small number who would have been able to visit Conway RSPB on 29th May, and the wildfires that ravaged Rivington Moor prevented our planned visit on 10th July.

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.

3. Proposed venues for 2019

Peter Hatfield presented his list of proposed venues for birdwatching in 2019. Six of last years reserves are revisited this year but in different seasons, one site not visited by the group is re-introduced (Rivington) and four local venues not seen last year will be seen this year (Marbury CP, Woolston Eyes, Speke Hall NT, and Hesketh Outmarsh RSPB).

4. AOB

There was a discussion about future possible venues for visits, Sand dunes beyond Hall Rd. Hightown, Seaforth Docks Bootle, and last year we put Sizergh Hall (NT) and Bempton Cliffs on the list. More comments please, we look forward to an interesting year ahead.

Attendance: Fourteen members of the group attended this year’s AGM, and apologies were received from seven.  The list of attendees is recorded on the group’s database and is available on request.

Peter Hatfield and Peter Banks, joint leaders.


Click ‘continue reading’ for the summary of visits and sightings for 2018 and the list of planned venues for 2019.

Continue reading

Spring Handicap Knockout

Here we are ready for the start of the new Knockout Competition.

If you are unhappy with your opponent then blame Brian who did the draw!!!

It would be helpful if you could arrange with your opponent when to play your match. I will update the Table as the results come in.




Topic 1 –  Brown           Topic 2  –  Rubbish

The closing date for the February competition is midnight, Sunday  3rd February

Plan for Thursday 7th February  Meeting – Haskayne Village Hall 2pm

Competition Judging

Critique by  Alan Starkie


We shall examine techniques in Flower Photography.

Flowers are around us all year round and we often photographed them as and when we see them.  This presentation is designed to go to the next step  on taking more pleasing images that you would be proud to print and display on your wall.

If any member has a photograph of a flower which has  particularly pleased them, feel free to send send it to the competition e mail address and it can be included  in the presentation  with perhaps a short description on the day as to the circumstances under which it was taken etc.



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

Independent Living Aids


For fifteen years we have promoted a programme ‘Sustaining Wellbeing in Later Life’. The question does arise, however, “what is the point of all the extra years if they are characterised by decline and dependence?”
Most of the older people I know, like myself, would like to live long, live well, die quickly and have no need to rely on ‘social services’, particularly if the ultimate involvement of social services is to transfer us into a nursing home.
Julia Bate, with a professional background as a primary care pharmacist, has collated an extensive list of ‘aids’ and support systems available to help the incapacitated to continue to enjoy the comfort and familiar circumstance of their own home.
As a primary care pharmacist, Julia has an insight to the needs of homebound individuals and has identified equipment and systems that make it possible to sustain independent living. As a member of the ‘Understanding Tomorrow’s World’ team, with Dr Jack Brettle and myself, she has first hand experience of the potential of robotics and artificial intelligence that will ultimately produce increasingly more sophisticated equipment.
The results have now been published in a booklet, “Digital Aids for Sustaining Independent Living”.  Note that this is a ‘work in progress’, with each day bringing new developments and our hope is that Julia can continue to capture the information and even be able to influence new development.

Dr Alex McMinn, ‘Understanding Tomorrow’s World’ Team

What’s in the booklet?

There are currently four sections in the booklet:

  • Smart home devices, such as devices for voice control of home equipment, or trackers
  • Health Apps, including one for detecting trips and gait abnormalities
  • Robots to help in routine tasks about the home
  • Driverless cars – a discussion of the present situation and future projections

Where can I get hold of a copy?

A digital version can be downloaded from here.


More Work from 2018

Some more of our work from 2018

Our Work displayed at the U3A Showcase 13 October 2018

25 Nov 2018

Our Pre-Christmas Party’.✨🎄  The Cabaret 🎩🎤was  provided by our very own Drama Group who encouraged us to join in.  We had a fabulous time  Yuletide refreshments 🥨🍰were on offer of course. 

28 Oct 2018

– Our regular humourist😁 and local botanist🌲🌼 Peter Gateley talked to us about ‘Autumn Colours in our Countryside’.   Refreshments and a quiz followed.

December 2018 Competition Winners


Topic 1   Grime   click for slideshow

Topic 2   Broken Down   clock for slideshoew

Visit to Martin Mere WWT reserve – 11th December 2018

Our final visit of 2018 was again to the WWT reserve at Martin Mere where, as always, we were treated to excellent views of a wide range of bird species many of them at close range.

Eleven members of the group attended on this occasion and a total of 50 species were recorded.



We noted the considerable variation in leg and bill colouration amongst the many Ruff visible at close range from the main ‘Discovery’ hide.




We also saw examples of rivalry between members of the same species, particularly among the Black-tailed Godwits.









Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of 50 species seen:

Continue reading

December 2018 – King Arthur building the legend contd

The session:

Continued Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte DArthur”

1/.  This was finished in 1469 or 1470 and was printed by Caxton in 1485 (the first of our sources to make it into print).  The setting of the tale is fifteenth century, and Arthur is portrayed very much as a fifteenth century figure.

2/.  Malory lived at the time of the Wars of the Roses and he was greatly concerned about the damage that civil unrest was doing to England, and the danger, as he saw it, that the entire country was about to collapse in ruin.  He portrayed Arthur as the strong king who came to the rescue when the country stood in similar peril in the past; and as the sort of king that England needed in his own time.

3/.  According to Malory, Arthur fought a long and bitter civil war before he could secure the crown and the kingdom, but then Malory tells us that this security did not last.  According to the Cistercian monks, in their reworking of the Arthurian material (the Vulgate Cycle) Arthur’s glory faded because of sexual sin.  According to Malory, Arthur’s court was destroyed because of infighting and treachery amongst his own knights – Malory’s message to his readers being that England is in the same danger now; and if civil unrest could destroy the mighty King Arthur, it will certainly do the same to us.

4/.  Malory used most of the source materials that we have looked at so far, but then he added a lot of extra details and embellishments of his own.  In fact, most of the elements that are associated with the Arthurian legends actually made it into print courtesy of Thomas Malory.  So we have the sword that Arthur draws from the anvil, to prove that he is the rightful heir to the throne; the magical Otherworld sword Excalibur that is given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake; Arthur’s court at Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table; and Arthur’s act of incest with his half-sister Morgause that results in the birth of Mordred who is destined to destroy both Arthur and his kingdom.

Magazine, enews, Website and Facebook Publicity “Deadlines”

Do you need to publicise a U3A event or activity? Here are the deadlines for advertising in various methods of communication with members.

Remember that you need to separately contact the editors for all ouf the various media where you want your item to appear.  Sending to one does not mean that it will  automatically appear in the others.

Quarterly Magazine

  • copy for next magazine: deadline as publicised in latest magazine

Monthly enews

  • deadline for enews items: NOON on the last Monday of the month

U3A Website

  • Group and other News and Events, Photos etc:  Anytime

U3A Facebook

Please refer to the Communicating within our U3A webpage for more information on these “publications” and how to contact their “editors”.

Note that if you are using the Contact form to send in an item for publication in the Magazine, the enews and the Website, you will need to send in a separate form to each “editor”  individually.

2018 Christmas Lunch

Some photos taken by Geoff Roberts and Bill & Sue Watkinson at the lunch on 14th December 2018, organised by the Social Subcommittee:

December country dancing

Country Dancing Group – 7.12.18 A special treat today as we danced to a live band The Lancashire Workshop Band and had refreshments afterwards. They kept us on our toes and we and the band earned those excellent refreshments.

Dances :-

  • Sprigs of Laurel a longways dance published by Ann & Peter Thompson 1794
  • Young Phyllis of Wakefield another longways dance.
  • Pine Cones a contemporary dance (1974) by Pat Shaw for 3 couples.
  • The Drummer a longways dance & big favourite which we haven’t danced for a while, so very enjoyable.
  • Trip to Sheringham a 4 couple square set dance which we danced twice.
  • The Geud man of Ballangigh A Playford dance from 1728.
  • and to finish Guildhall a longways dance.

there was dancing on the 14th but not recorded.

                                                           No dancing  until 11th January when Elfrida will be our dancing mistress, June Jones returns on 18th and anyone thinking of a New Year activity will be very welcome to join us then.

Many thanks to June for another great year of Country dancing. Also her alternate Elfrida for keeping us dancing when June has a break.

Hope you all enjoyed a good Christmas and have a Happy Healthy 2019.

Christmas Party 2018

German Conversation Group Christmas Party 2018

On Nov. 28th Christmas came early to U3A’s German Conversation group. The final class of 2018 was organised around a theme of “Christmas in Germany” and to add to the occasion, spouses and partners had been invited to join us. The group was greeted cheerfully with glasses of warm “Glühwein” and “Häppchen”- German nibbles. Having been put in the mood, we settled down to a series of quizzes arranged around our summer out of class activities and intended to test our memories and the German we have learnt this year.

This was followed by an extended break when two long, tastefully decorated tables to match the Christmas Theme, were liberally covered with typical German delicacies and liquid refreshments.

After the break the group were entertained by a three handed comic sketch built around the concept of guests arriving at what they thought was a typical German Gasthof only to find the proprietor practised an Alternative Style of Living. As the prospective guests were shown around they discovered to their horror, that they were expected to dine in the bathroom; sleep in the kitchen and bathe in the lounge! What strange ideas some people do have. Needless to say the prospective guests decided not to stay there and promptly left.

The class ended with the hearty singing of the German Christmas songs “O Tannenbaum” (The Fir Tree), “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”) and “Still, still, still” (the same in both German and English) accompanied by recordings of German choirs.

Everyone had an enjoyable time and the class ended with a show of appreciation to Joan, Joyce and Norma in the traditional manner.

Rae Martin

Busy times for Drama Group

It’s been a busy time for our group recently.

In October we had our Autumn Shows and in November we performed a medley of sketches, poems and songs at the Sunday Social.

We are now rehearsing for our Spring Show – “Two Weddings and a Confereence” which will be at Aughton Village Hall as usual and a supper will be included. So the dates for your diaries for next spring are:

12th and 13th April

Information about tickets will be available nearer the time.  We look forward to seeing you.

Drama Group

In October at Aughton Village Hall we performed “Slim Chance” a one act play about a failing slimming club.  Anyone who has ever joined a slimming club would recognise some of the characters! This was followed by “Commemorate and Celebrate” when we paid tribute to the various historic events of 100 years ago and the period which followed.

Here are some photos of the revue:

The Autumn League Matches

Here are the Final Positions at the conclusion of the Leagues.

Congratulations to Cliff and Mike on winning their Leagues. Mike will be in Div 1 now and Eamon will drop into Div 2. The playoff for the other promotion was won by Barry so there will be no change there.




  1. All games are over one frame.
  2. 2 points for a win, 1 each for an un-played matches.
  3. All matches to be completed by end of January 2019.. Play-offs the following two weeks.
  4. Players please arrange your own matches, and inform ED of the result.
  5. Draw to decide which 14 Handicaps are in Division 2.
  6. Players level on points to play a single re-spotted black as a decider.
  7. Handicap knock-out to be played early 2019. Winner of Div 1 & 2 to be penalised 7 points for the knock-out competition.
  8. Note ; all matches to be completed on or by 29 Jan. 2019One point per player, for each match unplayed, will be allocated after that date to give us time to run a knockout.

Christmas Dinner at the Piri Piri

After play on Tuesday 4th December we retired to the Piri Piri Restaurant in Ormskirk for our Christmas Dinner.

Here we all are just about to tuck in to our main courses.

With thanks to Bill M for organising yet another successful meal.

Christmas Cheer with the Science Group

Wednesday 5th December 2018

We had our traditional Science Group Christmas Cheer event with quizzes and refreshments of Christmas cake, mince pies and a variety of nibbles, biscuits and chocolates.  Proceedings got off to a great start with Patsy’s famous mulled wine which helped everyone’s confidence in doing the quizzes if not their success!  We started with a World Knowledge Quiz which helped everyone decide that they did not know as much about the state of the world as they thought and followed this with a quiz based on the BBC TV show “Impossible” but with science orientated questions.

If you want to try Jack’s World Knowledge Quiz, you can download the Questions, Choices and Answers below:

Some members were interested in more background information on the World Knowledge Quiz and this is given below:

If you would like to have a go at doing Alan’s “Impossible” Quiz, you can download the Questions and Answers below.

The quiz is [very] loosely based on the TV quiz show, “Impossible”, where you have to identify both the ‘correct’ answer (for 3 points) and the ‘impossible’ answer (1 point).

Country dancing in November

Leading down in a longways dance

A few statistics:- from October 2017 – October 2018 we have danced 132 different country dances.

the Top Ten ie danced 4 times or more are:-

1st. joint Comical Fellow and (The) Farmer’s Joy

3rd. The First of April

4th.  joint Namptwich Fair and Whim of the Moment

6th. Jamaica and Indian Queen

        Young Phyllis of Wakefield and Captain Cotton’s Maggot

now to November’s dances

2.11.18 some Birthday requests for Pat Mc. & Wendy.

  • Gasconne a longways dance from 1710 with a contemporary interpretation by Pat Shaw.
  • Maiden Moor a 4 couple dance, choreography & music by Tom Cook & Brian Jenkins.
  • Slof Galliard another 4 couple dance by Pat Shaw, danced twice & great when it goes well…a case of doing all the right moves but not necessarily in the right order on this occasion!
  • The Disbanded Officer a longways dance from 1787.

9.11.18 more Birthday requests, from Geraldine,

  • Welcome in the May a longways dance. The weather was not quite the same as when we danced this in  May.
  • Valentine’s Day longways dance.. from the Walsh collection 1718.
  • Loose Ends a 4 couple dance with Pousettes & called by Elfrida.
  • Sailor’s Wives a 3 couple dance x2, with chevron formation.
  • Heidenroslein a 4 couple square set dance by Pat Shaw 1970.
  • Comical Fellow a longways dance from 1776. (making a bid for next years top dances?)

and 10.11.18… Thanks & well done to the dance team and June….

Country Dancing at the U3a 15th Birthday party.


  • Black Bess a longways dance from 1696.
  • Wibsey Roundabout a contemporary 5 couple circular dance by Gary Roodman.
  • Sea Breezes a 3 couple dance.
  • The Old Mole an old traditional 3 couple dance dance from 1651, which has 6 parts to it, x2.
  • ending with She looked down her nose and sneered, which has to be one of the most intriguing titles.

23.11.18 Elfrida & John calling the dances, thanks to them.

  • (The) Farmer’s Joy from 2012. (also making a bid fro next years top dances?)
  • Gloster Reel 
  • A Fig for Bonaparte from 1804 a longways dance.
  • Whim of the moment a longways dance.
  • Braes of Dornach pub. J.Johnson 1753 a longways dance.
  • Guildhall a contemporary longways dance by Naomi Alexander.

30.11.18 Also our ‘Christmas lunch.’

  • Gasconne (see 2.11)
  • Conway Castle longways dance requested by Geraldine.
  • Marching to Praetorius a 2 couple square dance by Gary Roodman 1996.
  • New German Waltz waltz rhythm from 1795.
  • Lord Caernarvon’s Jig a 4 couple Playford dance.

A treat next session 7.12.18, dancing to live music by  The Lancashire Workshop Band.





November 2018 – King Arthur building the legend contd

The session:

1/.  Completed looking at Chretien de Troyes French Romances (Romance is an old version of the French language).  He produced five Arthurian Romances.  He was influenced by the earlier writers and stories and was under aristocratic patronage rather than working in an ecclesiastical environment so could write a different type of book and add his own details.

He was the first to link Queen Guinevere and Lancelot.  The storytelling in ‘Lancelot or the Knight of the Cart’ employs the rules of courtly love with the female being revered and the male disdained, gallantry, within a deeply Christian context.  It starts with some deep flattery to Marie de Champagne his patron.  The story covers the abduction of Guinevere and other members of the Camelot Court by Meleagant.  Lancelot who is Guinevere’s champion sets off to rescue her.  Along the way he is subject to many trials, temptations and tribulations.  Not all goes well and he suffers conflict and soul searching which at times is at odds with his courtly love ideals.  He hesitates to get into the cart as it is a very low status means of transport linked to the crusades and to losers but he should only have been thinking about Guinevere.  There are suggestions of the other world.

2/.  ‘Vulgate Cycle’ was written just under 100 years after Chretien works.  It is a reworking of the French Romances by Cistercian monks sometime between 1230 and 1250.  The church had wealth and political power and had their own agenda; they rejected the questionable values of courtly love.  They used the Arthurian stories as a vehicle to promote an alternative more Christian/spiritual way of living.  The stories were transposed from the 6th century to the Middle Ages.  Guinevere is used to show the perfidious nature of women, they are sexual, fickle, betraying, and bad tempered; Lancelot is shown as wracked with grief and remorse.  As a result of Guinevere’s behaviour and the failings of Lancelot Arthur’s glory fades.

3/.  Le Morte DArthur, Sir Thomas Malory c1469/1470.  This book was Caxton Press printed so had a much larger potential readership.  There is a mystery as to the real identity of Malory he may have been a noble man who went off the rails and wrote the works in prison.  He may have been a professional gentleman soldier who was a prisoner of war but there is no evidence he was ever knighted so he would not have been a Sir.  Malory read Chretien and the Vulgate cycle and he also knew Geoffrey of Monmouth’s work and the others.  He then added in his own bias and influences.  Malory lived in the time of the War of the Roses and was afraid the country was going to collapse.  Arthur was a strong and resolute king whose power and glory did not last due to unrest within his court.

Christmas Cheer with the U3A

In December, many of our U3A Groups have a special December Meeting with a seasonal flavour.  Check the Groups List or the Programme Page to see if there is one for you to attend

If any Group Leaders would like their Xmas Do added to the Calendar  on the Sidebar of News Page, please email: 

December 25th has been and gone.  Please send us photos of your U3A Christmas events that the members on them are happy to have published on the website. So far, we are very pleased to hear about:

Visit to Lunt Meadows – 13 November 2018

Little Egret at Lunt Meadows

Thirteen members of the group, the largest number this year, attended our third visit to this comparatively new LWT site which is still being developed with new viewing screens being added each year.  There are still, however, no facilities or shelter so it was fortunate that it was a lovely sunny morning, probably the best weather for any of our 2018 visits (last year’s planned December visit to Lunt Meadows had to be cancelled at the last minute because of bad weather).  A total of 38 species were recorded.


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

Continue reading

Pictures from the 15th Anniversary Showcasing Event 13 October 2018


Our Autumn 2018 Production

The last production was ‘Staycation’ at the Civic Hall

Friday November 16 – Commencing – 19.30
Saturday November 17 – Matinee commencing – 14.00
Saturday November 17 – Commencing –  19.30

This is a Musical Comedy written and directed by our very own Gill O’Flaherty.

The Synopsis:  A group of U3A members, who always travel abroad, have decided this year to stay at home – now called a ‘Staycation’.  They use a bus tour company and end up in some great adventures – travelling around Great Britain with song and dance – before returning to their Community Centre in Ormskirk.

Up for it!

Our Spring 2018 Production

Our next production will be an adaptation by John Hardiker of Tony Crimlisk’s highly acclaimed “Up for It”.

At the Civic Hall on the 3rd, 4th and 5th May 2018. commencing 7.30 p.m.

£7 for U3A members up to the 24th April thereafter £8  …Children £5


This is a great musical comedy first shown in 2011 and follows the true story of a  group of pensioners who travel to London to join in a rally in Trafalgar Square. They intended to strip off to protest against pension cuts (sounds familiar). For more information search the Internet for ” Naked Pensioner Protest”.




Musical Memories

Our 2017 Production

Some Great pictures from Musical Memories.

“We Got Life ” directed by our very own Gill O’Flaherty at the Civic Hall – May 4th, 5th 2017. Gill’s synopsis for her show is as follows:-

We Got Life is a generic story located internationally, told in song and dance. Beginnings, hope, reality, oppression, despair, dreams, inspiration, protest, revolution, escape, happiness, fulfillment and renewal. We hope that will reflect history as well as present day, expressing our lives, struggles and diversity and yet have the audience experience the sensation of that space between a tear and a smile with some well loved songs that have already touched our lives and a few ones to intrigue. 

A Review from Katie and Shaun Geldart of the Pleasure Folk

Group visits in October 2018

As there were five Tuesdays during this October, group visits were planned on both the second and the fifth Tuesday.

Visit to Brockholes on Tuesday 9th October

This was the group’s fifth visit to this Lancashire Wildlife Trust site adjacent to the River Ribble east of Preston.  A large site spread over 250 acres with a unique floating visitor centre and a wide variety of habitats it is always an attractive reserve to visit.  Seven members of the group attended and a total of 25 species were recorded.

Visit to Delamere Forest on Tuesday 30th October

This was our first group outing to Delamere Forest.  Four members of the group met at the Linmere Lodge visitor centre where we were joined by guest leader Peter Twist who lives locally to the forest and his extensive knowledge of the area and experience at identifying bird calls was invaluable.  After lunch Peter Twist took us to nearby Newchurch Common in the hopes of seeing the rare Smew.  Unfortunately the Smew did not show but we did record a number of species which had not been seen at Linmere.  In total 47 species were recorded on this visit.

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

Continue reading

Meet our equestrian friends

The horses at Deandane

From left to right: – Annelie with Ollie a 6 year old cob, a willing learner, Ann with Tommy a 7 year old cob who doesn’t like the rain, Margaret with Joey who has won many rosettes and Di with Socks a 6 year old cob who spends most of his days lying down.


Diane on socks showing how to bend on a circle

Hacking at Croxteth

Margaret on a hack with lovely Badger

Riding at Burrows Lane Farm

Annelie on Fred an 8 year old who his honing his jumping skills.

Annelie says that he has great character

Ann on Stan.

A veteran with his own ideas of what he wants to do but behaving beautifully here


December Guest Visitor

Paula Gatterall from West Lancs Borough Council is running a FREE weight management programme and attended Horizons as Guest Visitor on Thursday 13 December to talk to members about this.  The programme will be held in the Christ Church Ministry Centre  starting in January 2019.

The meetings are on Thursday mornings, so handily timed to combine with a visit to Horizons beforehand!

Note that this is NOT a U3A course.  It is understood that as well as information on better food choices, there will be encouragement to become more active. (And, of course, our U3A provides many opportunities to do that – see the List of Groups.)

post ex






The Malcolm Jacques Trophy

Today, Monday 12th November 2018, we played Southport U3A for The Malcolm Jacques Trophy at the Aughton Institute.

The visiting team


Fran, Ann, Dave,Sheila, Steve & Craig

We began with six singles matches featuring:

Dave & Dave

Sheila & Bill

Craig & Cliff

Sue & Richard

Ann & Eddie

Fran & Mike

The match began with the Singles. There were some very close finishes including a re-spotted Black for Ann and Eddie.

The result of the Singles was 5 – 1 to Ormskirk.

After refrestments we started the Doubles which were all won by Ormskirk. Giving an overall score of 8 – 1 to Ormskirk.

Here I am presenting Barry, the non-playing Captain, with the Malcolm Jacques Trophy.

Our winning Team with the Trophy.


Summer Social – August 2018

This year’s Summer Social held on 31 August was a sell out evening with great entertainment provided by local guitarist/singer Ken Waters. We quickly forgot our SUMMERTIME BLUES as he had us singing along and dancing to lots of our favourites tunes!

The whole evening was superbly arranged by Val and her subcommittee.

15th Birthday Celebrations – Showcasing Our Groups – October 2018

Despite the very poor weather, we had a great 15th Birthday Celebration.

Although we couldn’t go ahead with the Ladies Footie Penalty Shoot Out (too wet!), the following groups displayed their wonderful wares – textiles, painting, local history, and digital photography, and we even had the chance to try out mahjong and some chess puzzles. It is amazing how creative people are, in so many different ways.

There was plenty of opportunity for a cuppa and a piece of birthday cake throughout the afternoon. What a splendid array of cakes we had – some hard decisions had to be taken! A very big thank you to all those who baked or brought a cake to our celebration.

We were also marvellously entertained by some of our performing groups – choir, tap dancing, ukulele, zumba, creative writing, drama, country dancing, recorders and guitars! I think we could all relate to the challenge of buying a cup of coffee so well ‘described’ by our drama group in one of their sketches – the almost overwhelming choice of drink options & variety of payment methods. Anyone, fancy a CAMP coffee – I had forgotten about that post war drink – no, I wouldn’t want to return to that though!

Of course, as well as all the jobs on the day itself, there was a lot of planning and organizing on the run up to such an event. I’m sure you will wish to express your appreciation to all those on the Anniversary Birthday Celebration Working Party who oversaw the event, and also to the Social Committee members who looked after the running of all the refreshments on the day, plus quite a lot of other members too – a VERY BIG THANKYOU to one and all!

Val Bullen


The membership of the Anniversary Working Party for 13 Oct event which focused on 15th Birthday,  was as follows:

Val Bullen (MC), Peter Trigwell (MC), Linda Burden (MC), Jane Astles (MC), Bill Evans (ex MC), Megan Tomlinson (MC),  Alayne Trigwell (SC), June Pardy (SC)

MC=Management Committee, SC=Social Committee

Photos by Geoff Roberts and Peter Gateley

ALICE Seeing Cancer Before it is Cancer

Wednesday 7th Nov 2018

Dr. Michele Siggel-King, a research associate from the Physics Department of Liverpool University explained to us how ALICE, a unique and extremely powerful infrared light source based on a free electron laser facility at the Daresbury Laboratories is being used  in to identify changes within and surrounding cells which indicate  the beginnings of a tumour.  The University of Liverpool has been awarded £3.2 million to develop new diagnostic tests for cervical, oesophageal and prostate cancers which are difficult to detect at an early stage as symptoms only become apparent when the tumours become large.  The talk was a fascinating mixture of high energy physics and biology which emphasised the collaboration between physicists, engineer, analysts and clinicians in government laboratories, universities and hospitals in the North West.

2018 Local History Summer Outings

Tuesday 1 May Imperial War Museum and a Tour of BBC Studios at Salford Quays

The coach departed from Long Lane at 12.30pm for a ‘self guided’ tour of the Imperial War Museum, followed by a guided Tour around the BBC Studios at Salford Quays. After extensive and comprehensive security checks, we were shown one of BBC Radio 6’s studios followed by the ‘Match of the Day’, ‘Blue Peter’ and ‘BBC Breakfast’ studios. Cost was £22.75.  We returned approx. 7pm.

Saturday 2 June Tour and Tales around the Ribble Valley

Our popular trip is fully booked with a waiting list. If your place is reserved please pay at Horizons and select your lunch menu. Cost: £32.

Departs 9.30 am outside S.&G. Hq. Returns approximately 6pm.

Tuesday 3 July Merseyside Maritime Museum and Afternoon Tea at 30 James Street Hotel

We were treated to two role play performances at M.M.M. Firstly, from Robert Hitchins who was at the wheel of R.M.S Titanic on that fateful night, 15 April 1912. We heard his moving account of the tragedy.

This was followed by Hope Chapin who was a passenger on R.M.S. Carpathia, the small liner that rescued the lifeboat survivors of Titanic from the freezing ocean.  We listened to ‘Hope`s’ narrative of the event.

We strolled to our next appointment, along Strand Street, to Afternoon tea at the former White Star Line Hq., Albion House, now restored as a hotel that pays tribute to its history.  We had a short tour of the hotel including one of the themed suites, followed by Afternoon Tea in the Carpathia Restaurant, overlooking Liverpool’s Historic Waterfront.

Cost £18. We met at M.M.M Albert Dock.

October 2018 – King Arthur building the legend contd.

The session:

1/. Completed looking at Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “History of the Kings of Britain” including:

Arthur’s exploits in Gaul where he killed a giant on Mont St Michel, subdued most of Gaul.

Arthur set off towards Rome but returned home to fight his nephew Mordred who had seized his crown.   Guinevere had broken the vows of her marriage.

He defeated Mordred and his 8,000 strong army in a bitter battle.  Mordred then retreated to Cornwall.

Guinevere gave way to despair and took the vows of a nun.

Arthur’s final battle was at the River Camblan in Cornwall.  Arthur was mortally wounded and carried to the mystical Isle of Avalon.  This happened in 542.  He was succeeded by  his cousin Constantine, son of Cador, Duke of Cornwall.

2/. Other chroniclers of Arthur based on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s work.

Robert Wace – was an Anglo-Norman monk who translated Geoffrey’s History into Norman–French, in verse form c1150.  He introduced the idea that Arthur was not dead but would return, added the first written reference to the Round Table and expanded the chivalry and romance side of the tale.  He dedicated it to Eleanor of Acquitaine.

Layamon – a priest living in Worcester took Robert Wace’s work and translated it into Middle English, in the late 1100s.  He added in a boat and two women who take Arthur to Avalon.  He was influenced by his own time when it was brutal in Britain, he left out the chivalry side of the story and increased the violence involved and the number of casualties.

Chretien de Troyes – based in Troyes at the Court of Marie de Champagne (daughter of Eleanor of Acquitaine) and her husband Henri who were his patrons.  He used Geoffrey of Monmouth and Robert Wace as source material along with other French, Breton and Welsh sources.  He was not part of the clergy.  He expanded the chivalry and romance side of the story.  Romances appeared in 12th Century and were popular with the French nobility.  These were translated in dozens of languages.  He introduced ‘courtly love’ which involved exquisite beauty, morals, nobility, with women worshipped as a goddess by their lovers, platonic in its ideal form, the hero having to show his worth to an outwardly disdainful woman.  The ideal did not always prevail in the stories or reality.

These translations made the story of Arthur accessible to more people as Geoffrey’s work was originally in Latin.  Books were very expensive and were not available to all levels of society.

The Website turns 3-years-old

The current Aughton & Ormskirk U3A Website has been going now for 3 years. The Web Team hope you find it informative and useful. We know that some potential members do refer to it prior to joining, so please help us keep it interesting and relevant.

This year, we have been making some changes to help the Website adhere to the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law. Please do a quick check for any text or photos referring to you and contact the Web Team if there is anything you would like removing or changing.

Remember – it is your website. Comments are always welcome as are contributions such as News Reports and Photos relating to events to keep it looking lively. Email the Web Team (Joyce Nolan, Maureen Boumphrey and Alan Nolan) at:

The Web Team would like to thank all the Group Authors, past and present,  for their invaluable help in maintaining a very good proportion of the Pages on our extensive List of Groups.  Much appreciation should also go to Willem Wiechers, the IT Manager, who does all the essential background work relating to the running of WordPress on the Host Server. And to Margaret Wiechers, the previous Web Master for her continued help and advice.

October – preparing for 15th U3a birthday demo!

June has our full attention-ready to dance.

5.10.18 Thanks to Elfrida for recording once again.

  • Longways – Amazonian Archers
  • 2×4 couple – Trip to Bavaria
  • Indian Queen
  • Oxford Bells
  • 3 couple – Black Nag
  • Longways – Freeford Gardens.

12.10.18 ‘ the volunteer’ country dance group of 6 dancers (no room for more) practise their moves on stage.

  • Spanish Jig longways dance

The following 3 dances are to be danced tomorrow at the party.

  • Black Nag a 3 couple dance Playford style 1657
  • Upon a summer’s day (wishful thinking) another 3 couple dance Playford style 1615.
  • Leah’s Waltz a contemporary dance by Fried Metz Herman.
  • Leaving of Liverpool
  • Fourpence half pence farthing longways dance 1709.

19.10.18 Congratulations to the Dance demo team, well done.

  • Whim of the moment longways.
  • (The) Oldenburgh Bonnet a 3 couple dance. This refers to the bonnet worn by Lady Oldenburgh.

It was quite a challenge ….but fun & danced twice.

  • The Newsham Revue a June Jones dance
  •  De’il take the Warr, a 1721 3 couple dance, reconstructed by Andrew Shaw

26.1018. some of Pat Mc’s birthday requests:-

  • Fittleworth Frolic a circular dance.
  • Pine Cones a 3 couple Pat Shaw dance from 1974.
  • Summers waltz longways.
  • Hyde Park a 4 couple square set dance Playford 1651
  • Captain’s Maggot a 3 couple dance
  • and finally (The) Geud Man of Ballangigh 1698 a longways Playford dance.