So come along to the Gardening Group.
Click or tap on any picture to run the gallery as a a slide show.
So come along to the Gardening Group.
Click or tap on any picture to run the gallery as a a slide show.
A message from Sue Watkinson about a Guest Visitor that she has organised.
Our Guests at Horizons on Thursday 7th March will be two representatives of the Fire & Rescue Service. They will bring along their literature and talk to individual members about safety in the home and what services they can offer to the retired population of Lancashire.
Recently they replaced a smoke alarm for me. The neighbours were impressed to see a big, red Fire Engine outside the house for a good 20 minutes while the work was done and we were given a thorough Fire Safety check and good advice.
We have been very fortunate in having an excellent series of Speaker Meetings of recent years organised by Sue Watkinson and her Team. For a resume of past Speaker Meetings, please see:
Sue has now retired from this important and valued role and member, Pam Ball, has kindly stepped forward to take over. Here is a message from Pam:
I’ve been a member of the U3A for some years now – I attended the German group for a while when it first started and have been to one or two other events, but because of family responsibilities I haven’t been able to commit myself to anything on a regular basis. Things have changed for me now and I look forward to greater involvement and getting to know a few more people. My professional background is in teaching, and my interests range from gardening to all aspects of the arts.
Sue will be a hard act to follow I know, and initially I will be scaling things down a little bit so that we will have a speaker every other month. We will be starting on Thursday 7th February with a subject very dear to our hearts – Chocolate! Andrew Thwaite is a former chef who for many years has specialised in the history and manufacture of chocolate, and I’m sure his talk will be just the thing to brighten the dull days of February. Apparently he brings samples as well! Have a look at his website https://www.andrewthwaite.org.uk.
Looking forward to Thursday 4th April, we have Carolyn Kirby, who will speak about her new book ‘Victorian Scientists and Scandals: true stories behind The Conviction of Cora Burns‘.
Carolyn writes: My novel The Conviction of Cora Burns will be published in the UK and USA in March 2019. This is a historical thriller set in 1880s Birmingham about a troubled young woman, Cora Burns who was born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse. Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of a scientist, Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora?
The novel is inspired by some real Victorian lives and events. My talk will give an insight into the research that underlies the fictional narrative of the novel.
Looking ahead, I would be very pleased to hear from any members who would like to give a talk, or maybe you remember a past speaker you would like to hear from again. Please email any ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07974 749362.
In December, we received a message from Sur Watkinson:
The Jazz Appreciation Group held its last event on Friday evening 14 December with a superb performance by the Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band. Group numbers for regular meetings have fallen to single figures and our mainstay, Keith Lamb, has retired to spend more time with his family. In the circumstances, we find ourselves unable to continue, so the Group has now closed for the moment.
Alan Starkie has issued a message asking for volunteers. Alan is to be found most Thursdays at Horizons at the Digital Camera / Computer Table in the far corner of the Aughton Room in the Scout & Guide HQ. He also is a Helper at Computer Advice on Mondays.
There are vacancies on the Finance and Resources Sub-Committee. A background in finance is desirable but not essential. If you are interested in serving on this Sub-Committee or would like more information then please contact Alan Starkie.
A message from the current Magazine Distribution Organiser, Peter Trigwell:
Many rumours are flying about the U3A at the moment with a view to what is happening with the magazine distribution. Let me try and answer some of them. The next Distribution date is the 28th February, and nothing will change at this time, magazines can still be collected from Horizons and from certain group leaders who already hand magazines out at their groups. Magazines will also still be posted out on this occasion.
The changes will be made on the subsequent distribution days. On these days, each new magazine will initially be available for collection at Horizons, and there will be a distribution desk at the following three Horizons. This provides four weekly opportunities to collect your magazine each time.
Hand deliveries will continue for as long as the volunteers wish to carry them out. I would like to wholeheartedly thank all the volunteers who already give up their time to make this process work.
I do now need to ask if there is anyone who is willing to take on the distribution role as I am looking to step down from this post due to other U3A commitments. If anyone is willing could you please get in touch with a member of the Management Committee or me. I would be quite willing to work alongside a new distribution manager for several copies.
A fuller explanation will appear in the next magazine.
Do you have a problem with vision or do you know someone who is struggling to read because of an eye condition?
Andrew Coleman, who is the Technical Support Officer for Galloways Society for the Blind, will be leading a two hour session on Friday 29th March from 2.00 – 4.00 p.m. in the Scout & Guide HQ. He will explain and demonstrate the use of up to date technologies aimed at people who need extra help.
We’ll serve tea and biscuits in the interval to give you time for questions and hand-on experience.
Please share the date and details with friends and neighbours.
If you have any questions please contact Sue Watkinson on 01695 422423
If you could manage a little light exercise helping out once every four weeks then do please get in touch with me and we can agree dates for the rest of this year. So many members will be grateful to you for your time.
Contact Sue Watkinson on 01695 422 423.
Church History Group is starting a new Series on Medieval Cathedrals in January. Keep an eye on the Church History Group Page for details of these ever-popular Talks (and a Cathedral Visit).
We have had an approach from Barry James, the leader of Cannock Chase U3A Science & Technology group in the West Midlands region. He is proposing a Robot Constructor’s Challenge, open to any U3A team who would like to construct a moving robot type device; he says that this would be interesting to technology or construction groups who may like to do something practical, and then come together to see how their constructions compete against each other. He has the support of the National and Midland Regional U3A in this venture.
Are there any mechanical or electrical constructors in our U3A who’d like to build a robot capable of moving and being controlled? You may have heard of “Raspberry Pi”, “Arduino” or “Picaxe”, which are all programmable devices, and will aid the use of sensors on robot devices so the challenge will clearly be of interest to coding creators too. If successful the robot would be demonstrated and compete with those of other U3As, undertaking some simple challenges at Aston University in Birmingham where the U3A Science Network is holding its annual meeting in August 2019. It is also hoped that a visit to the School of Engineering & Applied Science Robotics department will be included.
We have some limited expertise in our U3A in this area and if there was sufficient interest we could take part in this activity. We are just looking for expressions of interest at the moment. If you want to learn more please contact Jack Brettle at email@example.com for more background information
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.
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.
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.
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.
British History is a brand new Group, starting on 7 January, in which you can learn anew or refresh your memories about the fascinating History of our homeland from the Norman Conquest till the reign of Victoria.
See the new British History Group Page for full details.
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.
Beginners’ Tap-dancing Class 2019
Six week course: Wednesday 9 January – Wednesday 13 February – 10.30-11.30 (1 hour)
This class is for anyone who fancies learning to tap-dance and is suitable for those who have had no tap-dancing experience. It will deliver the basic tap-dance steps at a pace which will suit the individual.
It will be held at Aughton Women’s Institute (newly refurbished) on Town Green Lane. You do not need tap shoes but you do need some comfortable flexible-soled shoes (not trainers).
If you want to speak to the Coordinator, please ring Irene (01695 578263) and if any ex-tappers wish to donate their unwanted tap shoes, then please contact Irene and she will arrange to collect them. (Irene is also the new Coordinator of the U3A Tap Dancing Group,)
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:
The Shakespeare Revisited group closed for a while last year. However, there is now a new group leader, Eila Wall and the group is starting again in the New Year.
The first meeting is on Tuesday 8th January 2019 from 2pm to 4pm and will meet in the upstairs room at the Ministry Centre.
All former members will be very welcome, as is anyone who has an interest in Shakespeare. Don’t worry if Shakespeare is a distant memory – no previous knowledge is required.
If you think you might want to join the group or find out more, please phone Eila Wall on 01695 423341 at any time prior to the first meeting.
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.)
Are there any motorcycle enthusiasts in our U3A, out riding on their own? We are a couple who are motorcyclists who would like to enjoy the company of like-minded people on sensible ride outs.
If you have a bike (any size) and are keen to ride to interesting places at sensible speeds (within speed limits) during the week then please get in touch.
We would look to operate rides between April and September and, if there is interest, the odd ride out or meetings in other months. Please contact Marilyn and Richard Jones 01695 570280.
A group of U3A members, who always travel abroad, have decided this year to stay at home – now called a ‘Staycation’. More details on the Musical Theatre Group page.
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.
A message from Dennis Morley who manages the U3A ‘assets’.
In an attempt to create space, all group leaders who use equipment stored in the cupboards at the back of the Ormskirk Room (where tv is sited) are asked to inform Dennis Morley which item/s they use , and on which day they use them, giving details of make, model, serial number etc.
It is intended to write off any unidentified items at the end of January 2019.
Info. please to Dennis on 01704 545805
We are interested in your views on what is good about our U3A and your suggestions for improvements.
Following the 10.30 am announcements at Horizons on Thursday 27 September, we invite you to share your thoughts, views and opinions about our U3A and how we can work together for the benefit of us all.
This will be an informal session for about 30 minutes.
We hope you will join in the discussions.
If you missed this Horizons Meeting, you can still come along to another one any Thursday morning. There are always some members of the Committees and Groups around to listen to, and pass on, your views and questions. And, if you cannot come then in person, there are alternative ways of contacting appropriate Officers via the Contact Us Page.
Do you have an interest or experience in stage/drama productions, theatrical lighting and sound systems?
If so, the Drama Group would love to hear from you. At our normal venue, Aughton Village Hall, a brand new lighting system has been installed which will open up new opportunities for our twice-yearly productions.
If you are interested in becoming involved or want to find out more please contact the Drama Group Leaders John and Megan Tomlinson on 01695 578207.
Thursday 6th September – Norse Mythology
We welcome Paul Atherton who will tell us all about Norse Mythology. He’s no stranger to our U3A as he has spoken to the Local History Group but the subject is endlessly fascinating and more information can be found on this link.
Come along and join Paul at 10.30 am in Christ Church. Everyone is welcome.
Sue Watkinson, is coming to the end of two and a half years as our Speaker Secretary and she’s loved every minute of it. Finding speakers isn’t difficult – there are lots of people available – but contacting them, learning about their topics and then hearing their presentations has been so interesting. But at present there is no-one to take over from her at the end of 2018. Please think about offering yourself for this important role. Speaker meetings are an opportunity for members from all groups to come together once a month to share a variety of topics. Please contact Sue if you would like to find out more on 01695 422 423
Thursday 13th September – our Guest is a representative from Preston Care & Repair. They hold the contract in West Lancashire for helping to make life easier for older, vulnerable or disabled people and anyone with a long-term health condition that affects their mobility of independence in the home. Come along and talk to their representative. They will be with us for the whole morning 9.30 through to 11.30 in the Scout & Guide HQ. More information on this link.
Sue Watkinson is coming to the end of two and a half years as our Speaker Secretary and she’s loved every minute of it. Finding speakers isn’t difficult – there are lots of people available – but contacting them, learning about their topics and then hearing their presentations has been so interesting. But at present there is no-one to take over from her at the end of 2018. Please think about offering yourself for this important role. Speaker meetings are an opportunity for members from all groups to come together once a month to share a variety of topics. Please contact Sue if you would like to find out more on 01695 422 423
Tickets for our Autumn Production “Slim Chance” and “Commemorate and Celebrate” at Aughton Village Hall on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October, will go on sale at Horizons on Thursday 6th September.
Early booking is advisable particularly if you want to sit at a table with a group of friends or family.
Tickets, which cost £8.50, are also available from any member of the Drama Group or you can contact Megan on 01695 578207 or Jackie on 01695 227503.
Check out the Drama Group Page for further news.
The Web Team have been sent the following advice from the Membership Team to be posted on the Website:
Maintaining accurate records for all our members on the Beacon Membership System is vital in order to keep you all informed. Please let us know if any of your personal details change e.g. address, telephone number, email address so we can keep the database up-to-date and ensure you receive your monthly enews and correspondence etc.
If you become aware of a change in a member’s circumstances, please contact us so we avoid sending correspondence when it may not be appropriate.
We can be contacted via our email address:
or at Horizons every Thursday morning.
U3A Choir Member, Joan Potter, has sent in this message to the Web Team:
Fri July 6th – The U3A Choir will be joining the KTB Choir from Midge Hall in a combined concert ‘Rhythm of Life’, in aid of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Venue, Rufford Village Hall at 7:30 pm.
There will be a raffle and light refreshments at the interval.
Tickets £5, available from wegottickets.com/ktbmusic or ring 01772 933042.
On 5th JULY 2018 …… Ken Pye, well-known Liverpool local historian will present the story of the Slave Trade in Liverpool on at 10.30 am in Christ Church.
All members, their friends and neighbours are welcome to attend. There is no charge. Coffee as always available in Scout & Guide HQ from 9.30 am.
Parking is always congested on Thursday mornings – please try to share cars, walk or use public transport.
After the usual August break we welcome Paul Atherton with stories of Viking Mythology.
Thursday 6 September at 10.30 am in Christ Church
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is currently much in the news!
More documents providing advice and some new or adapted forms are in the pipeline. In the meantime, if you have any urgent concerns, please send them to the Hon. Secretary via the web form on the Contact Us page.
Aughton and Ormskirk U3A has much to be proud of in its 15 years of existence. To this end, a party was arranged on 19 May where speeches, nibbles, and meeting and chatting to fellow members were much enjoyed and appreciated by those who attended. See Let’s Celebrate.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was on display in its fine new casing.
The wonderful 10th Anniversary Quilt also made a reappearance at this celebratory ‘do’!
Please click or tap to run this gallery with captions.
There will be NO Monday Computer Advice session on Bank Holiday Monday, 28 May.
But it will be service as usual, next day, on Tuesday 29 May.
However, because of low numbers of client on Tuesdays, perhaps partly due to difficulties parking nearby on Tuesday mornings, this will be the last Tuesday Computer Advice session until after the summer holiday.
We will review the situation at the end of August. In the meantime, as well as the Monday sessions, there are usually a number of Computer Helpers to be found at the Horizons Coffee Meetings on Thursday mornings.
Keep an eye on the Computer Advice Group Page for the latest information.
The next meeting – A Fresh Look at Computing with David Sutton = takes place on Tuesday 5 June at 2pm in the Scout & Guide HQ. It is on a topic of general interest ie not too geeky.
The Computer Tutorials Group Page explains:
This talk is aimed at anyone interested in knowing how technology is changing our lives or will affect us in the near future. However, if you are just interested in FUN and interesting things you can do with technology or just seeing strange demos, this is for you to.
Visit the Computer Tutorials Group Page for further information. All welcome even if you are not a regular at these Computer Tutorials.
In a year when Britain celebrates a Royal Wedding, our U3A has two Anniversaries to celebrate, one with a royal connection.
Val Bullen, Chair of the Social Subcommittee has sent the following message to be published on the U3A Website:
Let us extend a big thank you to all those who helped make the Anniversary Celebration on 19 May 2018 a success. As well as the Anniversary Working Party who planned and coordinated the event (Val Bullen, Linda Burden, Peter Trigwell, Jane Astles, Bill Evans, Alex McMinn, Jeff Roberts), many others also played their part including other members the Management Committee, our Trustees and the Social Subcommittee, plus quite a number of U3A members not on any committee – THANK YOU all for your contributions!
Here are two galleries of photos from the recent Anniversary Celebration event held in the Christ Church Ministry Centre on 19 May 2018. Some of these photos feature a number of long-standing members including our founder Chairman, Alex McMinn, member number 1. Click or tap on any photo in a gallery to run that gallery as a slideshow.
Photos by Geoff Roberts
Photos by Bill Watkinson
Here is an urgent message passed to the Web Team from the organisers of the U3A Golf Lessons:
SAVE OUR GOLF – if you don’t use it you lose it!!
Lessons at Mossock Hall have restarted.
New ”golfers” welcome. No experience/equipment required.
Come along to learn a new skill OR simply to improve your golf skills from professional golf coach Brad.
Only £5 per hour, every Tuesday 12 noon to 13.00.
Coordinator: Sue Conroy 570473
Golf Pro: Brad Miller 424969
In the summer of 2008, thirty of our members, led by Alex McMinn, visited County Hall for the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary and Community Service to our U3A. The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth, resplendent in his black uniform with a gold belt, red trimmed hat and insignia (I think he wore his sword) handed to Alex the heavy glass trophy amid much applause. It is a lovely piece of glass with an internal engraved logo of the crown composed entirely of tiny human figures standing, some singly but mainly in groups, signifying the individual and group effort that contributed to the achievement.
To Aughton & Ormskirk University of the Third Age for providing opportunities for older people to pursue active retirement through social and recreational activities.Greeting!We, being cognisant of the said group’s outstanding voluntary work in the community, and being desirous of showing Our Royal Favour, do hereby confer upon itThe Queen’s Golden Jubilee Awardfor voluntary service by groups in the community 2008Given at Our Court of Saint James’s under Our Royal Sign Manual this second day of June 2008 in the fifty-seventh year of Our Reign.
The photograph was taken by Eric Rowley, a good friend of our Digital Photography Group, who is now a member of St Helens U3A. Eric became a semi-professional photographer in his retirement and agreed to take a photograph of the Queen’s Award in his studio, with appropriate lighting and background effects. It proved to be a difficult subject, as light, especially artificial light, reflects off the smooth glass surfaces. In this image Eric has managed to create depth and clarity.
At a much greater magnification than we can show here, the letters of the logo are composed of tiny human figures, representing the personal effort involved in the achievement of the award. It is the Queen’s Award for Voluntary effort.
A message from the Speaker Meeting Team about the Speaker Meeting on 3 May:
IMPORTANT NOTICE – Thursday’s Speaker meeting is cancelled.
We have just heard from our speaker, who was to have given a lecture on God and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt in Christ Church on Thursday morning. He is unwell and will not be able to deliver the lecture he has prepared. Apologies from your speaker team – it is the first time we have had to cancel. Do come along to Horizons anyway, enjoy a coffee and buy some books.
Sue Watkinson and Alex McMinn
Rest and Relax watching this month’s contribution from the Film Appreciation Group. All members welcome.
Ormskirk Occasionals CC has challenged us to a “20-over bash” at Ormskirk Cricket Club on Tuesday 15th May at 5.45pm
The Web Team have had a notification about Pilates from one of its Coordinators as follows:
There are a few vacancies in the Friday Pilates class for the coming term if anyone would like to try this form of exercise. Please contact Pam Roscoe – Friday Coordinator – if interested. (Phone number is in the magazine.)
More information can be found here on our website about the ever-popular Pilates Group.
Our Hon. Sec. has contacted the Web Team with the following message:
As you are probably aware by now, our Annual General Meeting is to be held at Christ Church, Aughton on Thursday 14th June, 2018 at 10.30 a.m. Refreshments will be available at the Scout & Guide HQ from 9.30 onwards.
There are three vacancies to be filled on the Trustee Body and four vacancies on the Management Committee. I will be at Horizons every Thursday during April and May (except the 19th April) with Nomination Forms for both Committees. The forms will also be available from the Treasurer, Gerry Latham who will be in the smaller room at HQ. If you are considering standing for election to either Committee and you would like further information, or if you have any questions or concerns or would like to discuss what is involved in being part of either Committee, then please let me know, either at Horizons, or you can email me at: secretary@aughton-ormskirk-
The AGM Agenda and supporting papers will be available on the Website AFTER 22nd MAY, 2018 and a Link for the 2018 AGM has been set up for you to access the documents from the above date if you wish to view or download them. If you have any difficulty accessing the Link then please let me know and I can email the documents to you when they become available.
I hope this information will help you if you decide to put your name forward for election to our wonderful organisation. You will not be on your own but will become part of a team working to ensure that our U3A remains a vital and integral part of the lives of all our members.
Sue Watkinson has arranged the following Guest Visitor to attend Horizons on 12 April. Sue reports:
Abigail Ellis from Age UK will be our guest. She will speak to members individually about matters that concern them and the help that Age UK may be able to offer. Do come along and speak to her.
The Web Team wishes all our readers a Happy Easter!
This month’s Computer Tutorial is of interest and use to us all. Here is the notification from Computer Helper, Brian Bostock.
TUESDAY TUTORIAL FOR APRIL 2018
Tuesday 3rd April: Friends Against Scams – Speaker Andrew Dawson.
Friends Against Scams is designed to inspire action, highlight the scale of the problem, change the perception of why people fall for scams and make scams a community regional and national topic. By attending a Friends Against Scams awareness session, anyone can learn about the different types of scams and how to spot and support a victim.
In the smaller meeting room of the Scout and Guide HQ in Aughton, starting at 2:oopm prompt. A fee of £1 will be collected at the door on entry to cover the cost of room use and refreshments at mid time.
This one is sure to be of interest to all who use computers. Hope to see you there