Category Archives: News

News items

A Chance to take part in a Research Study!

Sara Norburn from Edge Hill University has sent us the following request for volunteers to take part in her interesting Research Study:

– We would like to invite you to participate in a focus group study to explore how reduced mobility impacts eating behaviours.

– This research study aims to understand how eating behaviours in those aged 65 and over are affected by reduced mobility, which includes arthritis in any of your joints and pain.

– If you would like to take part you will be asked to come along to the Scout & Guide HQ on an agreed day/time suitable for yourself and have a cup of coffee/tea and a biscuit and talk to others for a maximum of 45 minutes about how your mobility effects how you purchase and prepare the foods that you eat.  These might be things like bending down to use the oven, reaching up for items on high shelves or chopping fruits and vegetables.

You can take part in this study if you:

  • Are aged 65 years or above.
  • Participate in the purchasing and/or preparation of the food you consume.
  • Identify yourself as having reduced mobility.
  • Are able to understand verbal explanations or written information given in English.

If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact the lead researcher – Sara Norburn:

A Message from the Membership Team

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.

‘Rhythm of Life’ Choir Concert

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 or ring 01772 933042.

July Speaker Meeting

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.

September Speaker Meeting

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 Matters…

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is currently much in the news!

 We have a Working Party delving into possible implications for an organisation such as Aughton & Ormskirk U3A. The Working Party has published a Privacy Policy.

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.

Anniversary Celebrations in 2018

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.

Computer Advice News Flash

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.

Computer Tutorials News Flash

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.

Let’s Celebrate

In a year when Britain celebrates a Royal Wedding, our U3A has two Anniversaries to celebrate, one with a royal connection.

  • It’s 15 years since the founding of the Aughton & Ormskirk U3A.
  • And 10 years ago this U3A won the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
  • And just 5 years ago, we were commemorating the 10th birthday with a very special quilt made by talented members.

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, many others also played their part including various members the Management Committee,  our Trustees and  the Social Subcommittees, 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

Saving our Golf Lessons

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

10th Anniversary of the Queen’s Award

The Award

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.

The words on the certificate explain the reason for the award, the signature ‘Elizabeth R’ is in blue ink:


To Aughton & Ormskirk University of the Third Age for providing opportunities for older people to pursue active retirement through social and recreational activities.
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 it
The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award
for voluntary service by groups in the community 2008
Given 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.

Trophy Photo

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.

Sue Watkinson

Speaker Meeting Cancellation

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

A special Note for the Choir

The Web Team has received this notification relevant to members of the U3A Choir.

No choir rehearsal on May 2nd. Next one May 9th.


The 2018 Cricket season is here!

Ormskirk Occasionals CC has challenged us to a “20-over bash” at Ormskirk Cricket Club on Tuesday 15th May at 5.45pm

Spectators welcome

Pilates Places

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.)

Many thanks


More information can be found here on our website about the ever-popular Pilates Group.

Important info about the AGM

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:

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.

Best wishes,

Linda Burden

Honorary Secretary

April Guest Visitor

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.

Easter Greetings

The Web Team wishes all our readers a Happy Easter!

Friends Against Scams

This month’s Computer Tutorial is of interest and use to us all.  Here is the notification from Computer Helper, Brian Bostock.


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

Best wishes


A Message from Shakespeare Revisited

We have recently received a thank you  and a plea from Jean Leigh – the Shakespeare Revisited Group Coordinator.

Our  Shakespeare group, which was formerly run by Joan Hughes, is  in need of a new leader.

Joan has been our guide  for many years and  now feels that she will need to spend more time at home.  We thank her for spending so much time with us;   for her patience and scholarship, which we all respected.

We are now in need of a new leader.  If you could spread the  word around we would be very grateful.  We have been meeting on the first Tuesday of each month.

Jean Leigh

Summer Social 2018 (Date Change)

Click on the poster to download a larger version

In 2018, the Summer Social event will take place on Friday 31 August, at 6:30 pm in Aughton Village Hall.

It will include a Hot Buffet Supper followed by entertainment.

Tickets on sale from 12th July onwards at Horizons.    Remember to book early to avoid disappointment!

Please note change of date – was 20 July, now 31 August!

Click on the poster to download a larger version.

The Summer Social is run by the Social Subcommittee.

March Guest Visitor at Horizons

On Thursday 15 March, our Guest at Horizons is Sophie Yates, a Fund Raiser with Marie Curie.  It’s a perfect month for this visit as the daffodil has for many years been the logo of the Society and we all hope our garden daffodils will be in bloom by then.  Sophie will talk to members individually about the work of Marie Curie and their need for support.  Do come along and have a chat.

Yoga 2

Leader of Yoga Jean Will writes

Yoga is recommended as a way to relax and keep supple by the medical profession. It includes physical movements and postures, skilled and precise breathing techniques, properly constructed mental concentration and safe and effective relaxation exercises.

If there is sufficient interest – we are hoping to set up a 2nd Yoga group. We already have 2 Yoga teachers who are interested and a current waiting list of 8 people. Also – we would require a coordinator for the new group. Time and venue (probably Aughton Village Hall) are yet to be determined.

French Conversation Magazine

Leader of French Conversation, Margaret Pagett, writes:

Anyone interested in joining the current French Conversation Group should get in touch with the group leader as soon as possible to order the magazines by April.


British Botany: Short Course

Even before the first meeting for this Botany course, on Wednesday March 21st, numbers of members wishing to participate have already reached the maximum of 25 (well, 27 including me).  Therefore any further members wishing to join can not be currently accommodated in this first set of six sessions.  If you would like to join the waiting list, please contact me, Peter Gateley on 01695 572794.

If you are not already signed up on the list of participants I’m afraid you will not be able to join at the initial meeting on 21st March.

Peter Gateley 26th February 2018

Renewing Membership Online

Just a reminder that you can now renew your membership for 2018-19 online via our Beacon Membership system.  The Membership Secretary emailed out details on the procedure, including appropriate links to Beacon, on 17th February.  If you cannot find that email, check out the Membership Renewal Online page on our U3A website.

You may still renew your membership by post or by using the renewal form included in the next magazine available at Horizons on 22nd February 2018. In addition to paying by cash or cheque at Horizons,  the Membership Desk there can now take payment by debit/credit card.

You may be aware that you can update your own membership information on our Beacon Membership system. You will find details on how to do this on the Membership – Joining and Renewing page on the U3A website.  Or you can go  direct to the Aughton & Ormskirk U3A Members Portal on Beacon.  Keeping your record up-to-date  is particularly important if you have moved house or changed your email address.  You can also still update your membership information via the usual methods eg at the Membership Desk at Horizons.

First Aid Training

We will be hosting this Workshop on Saturday 17th February between 10:30 and 12:30, as a follow-on to the Falls Prevention event we held last year. The target is group leaders who have members at risk from trips and falls, but the information given will also be useful inside the home.

The Workshop is designed to equip adults with the skills and confidence to cope in a first aid emergency following a trip or fall.  It is tailored to the attendees and offers effective, easy to learn skills.  It breaks down barriers to helping others and builds confidence and a willingness to help in an emergency.  It is fully funded and provided by the British Red Cross Education Team.  Refreshments will be provided as normal.

This invitation has already been issued to all Group Leaders via the Beacon system by Pete Trigwell (Chair, Learning & Group Support Subcommittee).

February Computer Tutorial

Our first Tutorial of the year is on Tuesday 6th February, where the topic will be The U3A Beacon Management System given by our Membership Secretary, Ian Haskell.

Our U3A has used the Beacon management system since for Membership since February 2016. Ian will briefly describe the changes we have seen since then including how to check and update your own membership data, and how to do online membership renewal, Group leader facilities and membership payment using debit or credit card will also be discussed.

This Computer Tutorial is of use interest and use to all members, as well as Group Leaders and Coordinators.

New Creative Writing Group Starts

The new Creative Writing Group hopes to cover a wide range of prose and poetry to cater for different interests, and are looking for others to join us.

If you are a professional, an amateur or a would-be writer, and would like to pursue your interest in writing in the company of like-minded people, please come and join us.

The first meeting of the year, to be led by Sue Watkinson, will be on February 12th.

For details of day, time, venue and contacts, please see the Creative Writing Group Page.

New Botany Course

Starting on the 21st March 2018 a new short course – Botany in the British Isles – will attempt to give an overview of the plant life of the British Isles, with emphasis on identifying and enjoying the plants themselves.

In this series of six meetings, it is planned that 3 sessions will be held indoors interleaved with 3 field visits to experience the plants first hand.

A Waiting List now in place for this course which is currently full.

At the first meeting in March, after enrolment, there will be a short introduction as to how the British Flora has evolved, and what we need to do to identify individual species.  Also there will be discussion as to how the course should proceed.

The introduction will be followed by our first habitat type – mountains.  We are unlikely to be able to visit this habitat during the course but we can do so through photos.

Then after a tea break we will look at woodlands, in their various guises.  This will be a precursor to our second meeting on 18th April which will be outdoors, to visit the woodland of Fairy Glen, Appley Bridge.

This promises to be a well attended and popular short course so make sure you let either the group leader, Peter Gateley, know you will be attending or alternatively let Learning & Group Support know through Pete Trigwell.

Our first meeting  starts indoors at St Michael’s Church Hall, Aughton, with indoor sessions running from 2 o’clock to 4 o’clock.

Fee for this initial six  session Botany course will be £6.00, payable at the first meeting, hopefully to minimise admin time  at subsequent sessions.

Tai Chi in the Park

Free Community Event

Learn about and try Tai Chi with other enthusiasts!

Saturday Dates for 2018

13 January, 10 February, 10 March, 7 April, 12 May, 9 June, 14 July

11 August, 8 September, 13 October, 10 November, 8 December

at 10 – 11 am in Coronation Park, Ormskirk (Meet at the Bowling Green.)

Dress for the weather, rain or shine!

Contact H Reade for info:

  • 07450 954900

Heather Reade is  the Tai Chi Teacher who currently runs 4 Classes for Aughton & Ormskirk U3A members on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.  See:

Wednesday Tai Chi

Thursday Foundation Tai Chi

Attending a Tai Chi in the Park session is a good way of meeting Heather and finding out about classes suited to you, as well as experiencing a taster session for free.

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 Monday preceding the last Tuesday 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.

Holiday Opportunities in 2018

Looking for a U3A Holiday in September this year

Then a date for your diary is 20th – 24th September 2108.

Join us for a ‘Highlights of Hampshire’ five day/four night break next September staying at the 4* Norton Hotel just outside Winchester. Travelling by executive coach our break is on a half board basis at a cost of £425.00 (before the group discount) with single rooms available at a supplement of £80.00 for the first six rooms. Additional rooms may well be subject to a higher supplement.

Our varied tour includes the city of Winchester; the Historic Dockyard at Portsmouth, home to The Mary Rose and the HMS Victory; a scenic drive through the New Forest to visit Beaulieu, including the National Motor Museum, Palace House and Gardens, Beaulieu Abbey and the World of Top Gear – plus more!

Want to know more?

  • View the Posters about 2018 holidays on display on the notice board in the Aughton Room of the Scout & Guide HQ
  • Download the Highlights of Hampshire flyer
  • Ring Jane on 0151 526 2530

Book soon to guarantee a place.

Website New Year Update

A gentle reminder to Group Leaders and Group Authors.

Just a few Groups are still not up-to-date for 2018.   If you are struggling to update your Group Page, please contact: . (Or use the Web Manager option in the Contact Form.)

Use the same contact details if you would like a Calendar event adding for a U3A activity that you are organising in 2018.

What Was On in 2017

Here are just some of the great activities and events enjoyed  by members during 2017:












December – Party Time









  • And another at the Left Bank with the Snooker players





A Merry Christmas ‘Do’

A convenient venue, a cheering sherry, a hearty meal, friendly company, seasonal music and songs and a chance for a wee bit of dancing – the ideal formula for a super Christmas Lunch.   Many, many thanks are due to Val Bullen and her team for organising and running this truly excellent Christmas U3A event.

Please click or tap below to run the Gallery Presentation.


Ho Ho Ho……..It’s Xmas Party Time – 2017



To all U3A Members.  You are welcome to come along and join in the party celebrations with any of the following Groups.

Please click on the Group’s links below for more information.


Wine Tasting:  Friday 1 December – We are well attended so please book early to avoid disappointment. All are welcome to wine events, especially New Members.   wine tasting

Discussion:   Monday 4 December  Xmas Celebrations – We have lively and friendly discussions on many subjects so come and join us in the festive season.  discussion

Local History:  Tuesday 5 December  Stir Up Tuesday – Cost £3.  Includes seasonal refreshments.    local history

Computer Tutorials:  Tuesday 5 December – Xmas Social – Meet the team.   computer tutorials

Theatre Trips:  Tuesday 5 December  Crazy for You – Xmas outing to the Liverpool Empire. Cost £39.50 (includes meal).   theatre trips

Snooker:  Tuesday 5 December – Xmas Meal – at the ‘Left Bank’ following the usual session at Aughton Institute.   snooker

Speaker meeting – Advent Celebration:  Thursday 7 December – Carols for Xmas – The U3A Choir and recorder group will entertain us in Christ Church with seasonal melodies and readings.   advent celebration

Jazz Appreciation:  Friday 8 December Xmas event – Aughton Village Hall – Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band and Xmas refreshments. Cost £3.  jazz appreciation

Ballroom Dancing:  Tuesday 12 December – Xmas party – Christ Ministry Centre – a mixture of dancing.   ballroom dancing

Xmas Lunch:  Friday 15 December – at the Ministry Centre . Doors open at noon for a Sherry reception followed by a 3-course Xmas lunch + tea,coffee and mince pie. Tickets on sale at Horizons social committee desk from Elva Marsh and Val Bullen.    xmas lunch

Philharmonic Concerts:  Sunday 17 DecemberSpirit of Xmas – The Phil’s annual feast of Xmas carols and music. Cost £29.   philharmonic concerts

Horizons Xmas Cheer:  Thursday 21 December – Start the Xmas holiday period by enjoying a mince pie with your coffee in the Scout Hut – and then welcome in 2018 on the first Thursday 4 January.

There will be no Horizons on the Thursday between Christmas and New Year.

If any other group wishes to be added to the list-please contact the webteam,  (Select Web Manager from the drop-down list.)


Prepare for Christmas with an Advent Celebration

The Web Team have received a timely reminder from Sue Watkinson who leads the team arranging the Horizons Speaker Meetings and Guest Visitors.

Make a diary note to come to the Advent Celebration in Christ Church on Thursday 7 December. This is our monthly meeting date. 10.30 in church with coffee at HQ from 9.30 am.

Our own U3A Choir, under the baton of conductor Duncan Roberts, will entertain members with seasonal readings and carols. We will all join in with old favourites and the Recorder Group will perform a short programme. A wonderful way to start off the festive season.