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2019 AGM: Chairman’s Report

WOW! ~ hasn’t the last two years gone quickly, as your Chairman, as I realise I will very soon pass the reins of office onto my successor. In accordance with our Constitution the maximum period of tenure as Chairman is two years.

It is easy to look back, but the success of our U3A must be to look forward and to learn from the past and where appropriate to improve.

I have been fortunate to have worked with a committed Management Committee as well as being a member of the Trustee body. The members of both have worked tirelessly both front of house and behind the scenes to make it all work.

U3A will continue to prosper if and only if members are prepared to share a proportion of the workload and to maintain our forward momentum.

I read recently the chairman’s annual report of a Lake District U3A ~ her plea was to the membership ~ help please with the running of U3A. A message, which has similar, rings in Ormskirk and Aughton. We are all volunteers.

If was disappointing when a vacancy arose for a trustee that out of a membership of 1800 not one person put their name forward. The current constitution, which created the different roles of trustees and the management committee is quite clear, that if more that one vacancy arises then the organisation cannot function until a special general meeting is held and new trustees are appointed.

We are 50% there ~ trustees cannot be co-opted. The membership may have to revisit the constitution to consider a return to the older version if nobody is prepared to stand for a trustee role.

I am indebted, as should all members, to the unstinting work of group leaders. They make the extensive activities work. Their organisational skills are to be commended but they cannot be expected to carry on with out help and some succession planning is essential. What a disaster it would be because a group leader was unable to carry on that there was a risk of that group folding. We must all look ahead and provide support. We cannot always rely upon and take for granted the few.

We are a group from the wider community that benefits the whole local community. We are lucky to be able to draw on the excellent facilities in our area. We pay rent to use and enjoy the facilities ~ the rent in turn helps to provide financial assistance and security for the owners of the premises so the same can be further enjoyed by the community. We are indebted to all our landlords for the opportunity of using their premises.

I have to thank the Scouts and Guides committee for working with us and commend their brave decision to buy ‘the Sands’ which carries with it financial obligations but provides unin­ter­rupted access to our HQ. The opportunity of U3A with its more age mature members being able to provide reliable financial support for those at the other end of the age spectrum is very satisfying.

Your management committee is very grateful for the financial expertise offered by its treasurers and the finance and resource committee. Sadly over my period of tenure there have been changes in the personnel but at no time has the accuracy of our financial position been in doubt. I am grateful for the help and guidance of all those who have worked to keep accurate and reliable accounts. The financial year ended on the 31 March 2019 and within hours our books were into our accountants.

What have been identified are issues concerning VAT and Gift Aid. Guidance has been sought from the Third Age Trust but my take on it is that a general view is not sufficient and that specific professional guidance will have to be obtained ~ a task for our new treasurer when appointed.

As I sign off as your Chairman there are many who I need to thank for helping and supporting me. The greatest sin is to name a number of people but then to leave someone out.

I cannot however say thank you without naming our retiring Trustee chairman. Margaret Gibbon has worked tirelessly in her role as well as manning her normal desk at Horizons. She has provided unstinting support to me in dealing with some tricky issues.

Our U3A will say goodbye to our secretary Linda Burden following our AGM. Linda is the conduit for contact both for the Trustees and the Management committee. She has also been a good listener for issues arising and many potential issues have been addressed before they have snow­balled. Her attention to detail and her clerical skills have provided a reliable service to our U3A.

We should be proud of our magazine ~ a quality product worked on tirelessly by Bill Evans and distributed by the late Pete Trigwell and his team. The recent and sudden passing of Pete was a shock to us all. He worked hard for U3A. Our thoughts go out to Alayne and his family.

The webpage is a compliment to Alan and Joyce Nolan.

I thank individually and collectively the Management Committee. I am aware of the four persons who have stood for election this time ~ they will be received as valuable members of an active management team. They have already shown a commitment to our U3A wearing different hats and I know they will be welcomed.

In this litigious society that we live in I commend the work of the Health and Safety committee ~ we are lucky in our membership to be able to call upon those with skills on this issue. We have addressed this year also the complicated obligations of Data Protection.

The persons however I wish to thank most are you the members ~ this is your U3A ~ you should be proud of what has been achieved, and can still be achieved, when looking to the future. I hope the membership will continue the enjoy the wide variety of activities which are on offer and work with the group leaders and share some of the responsibilities to ensure that current members and future members will be proud to be part of our organisation.

Ian Grant

Chairman

 

2019 AGM: Honorary Secretary’s Report

Time passes so quickly it is hard to believe that I am now coming to the end of my tenure, having been a Trustee for four years and it was three years ago that I was elected as Honorary Secretary. There have been some ­interest­ing, challenging times, but some happy ones too. The year started in June 2018 with three new Trustees elected to the Trustee Body and one new member to the Management Committee.

At our 2019 AGM we had two members of the Management Com­mittee and one Trustee standing down and four new members standing for election to the Management Com­mittee. I wish the new members much success over the next few years. The new Management Committee will elect a Chairman, a Hon Secretary and a Treasurer at its first meeting after the AGM.

Our Sub-Committees, as usual, have been working hard, sometimes through difficult times. The F&R Sub-com­mittee is meeting new challenges and is keeping our accounts in good order. Four new members joined this Committee during the last year and this has helped to ease the workload.

Group Support continue to assist established Groups as well as helping new Groups to get up and running. We now have a Motor Cycle Group, which is not only proving popular with our own members, but is creating interest in other local U3As as well. During the last year this Group put together a new Welcome Pack which will assist Group Leaders enormously when organising activities and dealing with incidents within their groups.

Communications continue to keep us all in touch with what is happening in our Organisation by ensuring that we have clear and concise information on the Website and in our own very comprehensive Magazine.

The Social Committee have been busy organising events for us including a very successful Anniversary Cele­bra­tion in October and the very popular Christmas Lunch . . . and there are still events for us to enjoy during the summer.

Our Working Parties, both Health and Safety and GDPR, have been hard at work keeping us up to date with new legislation.

Horizons goes from strength to strength and we now have a new Team Leader at the helm. Late last year we held our first Forum at Horizons which was well attended and proved extremely informative. It is hoped to repeat this again this year. We also have a new Speaker Secretary, and I have no doubt that we can look forward to enjoying a varied programme of topics over the next twelve months. Future Speaker Meetings will most likely be held in the Ministry Centre.

As I finish my time in Office it is good to see that our U3A is working efficiently and is flourishing, as it should be. It is just left for me to say that it has been an Honour and a Privilege to be both a Trustee and Hon Secretary for the last four years and I would like to thank all the people who have helped and supported me over this time.

I know my successor will be hard­working and efficient and I wish her all the best as she takes up these very demanding roles.

So Au revoir and I hope you all have lots of fun, enjoy learning and the many friendships which our U3A is well known for as you participate in all the U3A activities throughout the coming year.

Linda Burden

Honorary Secretary

Visit to Woolston Eyes – 14th May 2019

Nine members of the Bird Watching group attended this our fourth visit to this ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’. Access to the site is restricted to permit holders and our thanks go to reserve volunteer David for unlocking the gates for us and helping with some of the sightings.

 

The site is well known as the home for probably the largest breeding site in the UK for the rare black-necked grebe.  This year there are 26 of them although we only saw a fraction of this number as many were on their nests hidden among the reeds.

Amongst the total of 39 species recorded another special highlight was the sighting of a Garganay.

 

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

Continue reading

enews Reminder

Items for the enews should be sent by NOON on the last Monday in the month for publication soon after. So for this month, the Deadline is Monday, 24 June, at 12 noon.

Please send enews items to:

enews@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

or

use the contact form on the web contact page selecting enews Editor from the drop-down list.

Note that if you want the same information to be published in the Magazine, face book or the Website, you need to send it in separately to the appropriate editors.

West Lancashire Dementia Hub-Talk by Peter Horton

The West Lancashire Dementia Hub – launched in May and its monthly meeting – will now take place at the Age UK building (the Wellbeing Centre) in Moorgate, Ormskirk, each third Wednesday from 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.

On 19th June there will be a short talk by Peter Horton from Age UK Lancashire on ‘Local Dementia Services’.  There will be an opportunity to meet representatives of the local agencies and organisations that support those living with dementia, their carers and families.  U3A members are providing the ‘meet and greet’ service.  There will be tea/coffee throughout the afternoon.

Second Chance

Pat Morton, who was recently featured in the local Champion newspaper, is a member of several U3A groups including Poetry, Italian and Film Appreciation. She has now turned her hand to writing, and her first published novel is titled, “Second Chance”.

When I retired from teaching I needed to do something creative. I joined the U3A then started writing. I wrote poetry, articles for magazines and two novels. I love the U3A so when I started my second novel it seemed right to set it there – although the characters are fictitious, you will probably recognise some of the settings and situations. I don’t expect to make a lot of money but will be happy if my book gives pleasure to some U3A members.

Continue reading

Charity Shop Collections

We have had a kind offer to provide the following service:

One of our members (and a stalwart of the Horizons Chair Teams) is John Dixon.   As a collector/driver for The Salvation Army Charity Shop in Ormskirk, John uses his own car to collect donations from local people who, for whatever reason, can’t get into Ormskirk Town Centre.

John is offering to expand this collection service to any U3A members who have heavier items or bags of items suitable for donation.  Although his first loyalty is to The Salvation Army, he is willing to collect and deliver to any of Ormskirk’s charity shops.

If you would like to take advantage of his services then why not give him a call 01695 421178 and arrange a suitable day and time for collection.  

Launch of the West Lancs Dementia Hub

The West Lancs Dementia Hub will launch at the Wellbeing Centre, Moorgate in Ormskirk, on Wednesday 8 May between 2.00 and 4.00 p.m.  It will then take place every 3rd Wednesday at the same time and in the same venue.  Anyone affected by dementia is welcome.
A range of Dementia related service providers and experts will be there to guide and advise those living with dementia and their carers.   We will serve free tea/coffee and cake and there will be a speaker, Dr Penny Foulds, who leads the well-established Hub in the Lancaster and Morecambe Bay area.  Members may recall that Penny came to speak to our U3A last year, her enthusiasm and positive outlook were infectious.
Members of our Textile Group have been making a tablecloth with the Dementia Friendly logo on it and it is hoped that it will be complete and on display on the day.
U3A became a ‘Dementia Friend’ last year after an awareness session was held for around 50 group leaders and I have been attending the planning meetings that have led to the Hub initiative.  Numbers of local organisations and businesses are supporters too and it is hoped that the Hub will provide a joined-up service for those who need support.  We need meeters and greeters at each event so, if you are interested in becoming involved, then do contact me.
Sue Watkinson
01695 422 423

June Speaker Meeting

For our next Speaker Meetings, on Thursday 6th June, we will welcome local resident, writer and photographer, Peter Rimmer,  who will present a talk on Morecambe Bay. 

Magazine Deadline

Note that the deadline for the next U3A Magazine is now past. If you missed, there is still time to send your item in to appear in the next enews.  And remember,  you can additionally / alternatively have your info appear on both this website or the U3A facebook page at any time.

See the latest U3A Magazine and the Communications webpage for timing of the various publicity methods, editor contacts and other detail.

New Events Menu Item

Do check out a new item on the top horizontal menu bar of our website called Events.  This connects to a new page that provides easy links to non-Group-related events of general interest to members across the U3A.  (Some, such as certain Speaker Meetings,  may also be open to non-members.)

To keep content on this and all other pages timely, accurate and up-to-date, please, please  remember to inform the Web Team directly of event details.  It cannot be assumed that if you send information to the Magazine and /or the enews editor, it will magically appear on the website.  It does not.  So additionally, please remember to send event and other details to:

webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk.

Coping in adversity

The U3A catering corps, marshalled by Lily Bunner, certainly know how to keep the troops fed and watered!

Here they are providing the same fantastic Horizons service as usual, but in the unfamiliar Ministry Centre, while the Scout building works were in progress.

Philharmonic Visits News

A message from Ann Robinson, the Philharmonic Visits Coordinator:

Could I please ask anyone who wishes to come to the concert on Sunday 19th May, Russian Passion with Vasily Petrenko, with lunch at The Refinery, to book this Thursday, April 11th, or contact me by phone.
(There will be no Philharmonic table at Horizons on 18th April when bookings should be confirmed.)

 

The new season launch is 8th May and I would be pleased if someone would come with me and help to choose the new programme.

 

Finally, if anyone missed the concert on Sunday 8th April, for which we were given free seats in the Grand Circle, it was broadcast on Radio 3 on Sunday and could be heard on iplayer. You missed a treat!

Guest Visitors

At some Thursday Horizons Meetings  there is a Guest Visitor.  This typically is a representative of an organisation (usually local) providing information of relevance  to the  U3A membership or perhaps a demo of an activity likely to be of  interest to members.


Information on Diabetes

On Thursday 20 June, we welcome Joanne Sephton as our ‘Guest at Horizons’.  Joanne works for the West Lancs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and takes the lead in the diagnosis and management of diabetes.

She will be with us all morning, so do come along and speak to her if you have any concerns at all about this condition.


Janice Tasker: – Ceramic Artist

Janice is an accomplished artist who has a wealth of experience in the field of ceramics. She makes and decorates her own tiles, which she then uses to create beautiful mosaics, often using driftwood or reclaimed timber for the base.

On Thursday 4th July Janice will be demonstrating how to create a mosaic at Horizons, with a view to leading a workshop on Saturday 28th September. Do come along and watch her at work. If you would like further details please contact our Speaker Meeting Secretary, Pam Ball, on 07974 749362.

Bank Holiday Warhorse Walk

On Bank Holiday Monday 6th May, U3A member and local historian, Andrew Beeston, will lead a free walk on the ‘War Horse’ route, from the start at Ormskirk Station to Lathom and return.
Setting off at 10.00 a.m. Andrew will tell the story of the war horses and the contribution they made during the First World War.  Lathom Park Chapel is the centre for some light refreshments (donations welcome).  The walk in total is around 5.5 miles.
The organisers (WLBC) would like an idea of numbers so please phone 01695 712645 (9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.) to register your interest.  A longer (8.5 mile) walk, returning by a different route, is optional.

Speaker Meetings

Speaker Meetings are held at 10.30 on specified Thursday mornings throughout the year. From September onwards most meetings will be in Christ Church Ministry Centre. Coffee is available in the Scout & Guide HQ (very nearby the Church and its Ministry Centre) from 09.30 to 10.15 before the meeting. Everyone is welcome, so bring family, friends and neighbours.


Speaker Meetings in 2019

Here is the latest information from our new Speaker Secretary for 2019 – Pam Ball.

See Pam’s Speaker Meetings for info on this year’s events so far. 

On Thursday 6th June, a large audience welcomed local resident, writer and photographer, Peter Rimmer,  who presented a fascinating and informative talk on Morecambe Bay. 

Peter is a freelance writer and photographer from Southport, now living in Ormskirk. He was awarded a Master’s Degree in Photography by the University of Bolton in 2013, and has self-published a Photo Book “The tide’s the very devil” about Morecambe Bay and its shrimp fishermen. Peter specialises in Paralympic and disability sports as a photojournalist.

Peter writes

The illustrated talk is based on my Photobook “The tide’s the very devil: Morecambe Bay in photographs” describing the hazards, dangers and isolation of the Bay; some of its rich history; crossing the sands; shrimp fishing – the catch, landing, boiling and picking of shrimps; and the men and women involved. Shrimping is a family business where the traditions are handed down, and remain largely unchanged from one generation to another. The opportunity to use old family photographs enables me to compare and contrast the practices of today with what went before, showing similarity and difference.

The title of the talk comes from the first line of the chorus of On Morecambe Bay, a folk song written by an old school-friend from Southport and recorded by Irish folk singer Christy Moore. Kevin Littlewood was inspired to write the lyrics following the tragedy in February 2004 when 23 Chinese cockle pickers died after becoming trapped by rising tides at Hest Bank. It is a poignant reminder that the tide dictates every move on the sands.

The solitude, isolation and scale of Morecambe Bay were apparent on my first venture out on the sands sitting on the back of Michael’s tractor. I wanted to capture the feeling of isolation and show the wide open spaces. I also wanted to illustrate some of the features of the Bay such as myrings, footprints and tracks in the sand. Including aerial shots from a balloon. I discovered a rich history of literature and painting which under-score the story of life on the sands, and provide an external context largely unchanged today.

Looking ahead

On Thursday 5th September Harold Hoggarth will speak about The Civil War in Lancashire.

Lancashire resident Harold has been delivering talks to community groups for over 12 years. He speaks on a wide range of topics including local history, music, theatre and puppetry, ornithology and geology. Through his talks he raises money for five different charities including Romania, RNLI, Bible Society, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis and Cap (Christians Against Poverty).

Harold writes

Harold Hoggarth

The English Civil War lasted from 1642 until 1660. Lancashire at that time was divided into six regions called “Hundreds” Of the six Hundreds of Lancashire only Salford and Blackburn were on the Parliamentary side. In the early part of the war, people in Lancashire generally volunteered to fight for their own principles even when these split communities and sometimes even families. Lancashire played a leading part in the course of the war in the North of England and so it is worth knowing about.

This talk and the accompanying PowerPoint was prepared by my friend Bill Wilson before he moved to Canada. He then left it with me to deliver on his behalf.

7th November – John Winter: Blame it on the Beatles – and Bill Shankly

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 speakerteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk  or phone 07974 749362.

A Message from the Speaker Secretary:

  • These meetings are open to the public.  So do invite your friends even if they are not U3A members.
  • Parking can be tricky on Thursday mornings.  So, if you can, please consider car-sharing or alternative modes of transport.  The handy half-hourly  310 Ormskirk – Liverpool bus stops very nearby on Holborn Hill. Some members ‘get active’ and walk, while a few even cycle now and then.

Past Speaker Meetings

Much appreciation and hearty thanks to Sue Watkinson, who has recently ‘retired’ from the Speaker Secretary role, for a wonderful series of Speaker Meetings over her time of office. The variety and quality of the speakers arranged by Sue was truly excellent. Please take a few minutes to view and recall the extensive and interesting range of Past Speaker Meetings organised by Sue (as well a few from her predecessors).

DVD recordings

dvd_60

The Speaker Meetings are recorded on DVD. DVDs can be obtained from Bill Evans at a cost of £3.

To order one, phone Bill on 01695 312479 or contact him at Horizons.

Keyboard Open Day

After having a peek at Dee’s career in the recent magazine we are eager to know more, so she has agreed to bring along some pictorial exhibits of her musical life including a short video.

We are making this an excuse to have a fun day without keyboards just cakes, chat and bubbly. We realise that other U3A members may wish to meet Dee, so you are invited to drop in and raise a glass to Dee Sheard to thank her for the 14 years of dedication to our Keyboard Music group.

Watch a video made for Dee’s 80th birthday in 2011 to celebrate her life with music.

The Great Twin Ponds Project

Wednesday 6th March 2019

Many Lancashire farms have a pond at their field boundaries or in a quiet corner; these are often overgrown and neglected.  Helen Greaves came to tell the Science Group how these lifeless ponds may be restored to health in partnership with local farmers to improve biodiversity and aid wildlife conservation.  Helen is a great enthusiast for this work, this came across strongly in her talk with the result that many in the audience are now much more interested in what can be done in this area.  We expect shortly some “advertising material” which will tell us how we can volunteer and get more involved: so watch this space!

Sight Matters

Do you have a problem with vision or do you know someone who is struggling to read because of an eye condition?

Click or tap on the Poster to view full-size.

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.

 

Meet the Fire & Rescue Service

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.

Introducing our new Speaker Secretary

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 speakerteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk  or phone 07974 749362.

Final Jazz Appreciation Meeting

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.

Finance & Resources Vacancies

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.

Magazine Distribution

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.

Pete Trigwell

Horizons Chair Rota – members wanted!

Magically, each Thursday morning, members arrive for their coffee and chat to find chairs and tables set out ready for them, cups lined up and kettles brewed.  The small teams of helpers arrive just after 9.00 a.m. and spent around 20 minutes getting the rooms ready.  Over the last twelve months the number of members willing to help with chairs has dropped and some new recruits are needed.

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.

Robot Constructor’s Challenge

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.

A call to Aughton & Ormskirk U3A Members…

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 brettlej@gmail.com for more background information

Magazine, enews, Website and Facebook Publicity “Deadlines”

 

Under review and redevelopment

Do you need to publicise a U3A event or activity? Here are the deadlines for advertising in the various publications:

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 ways of advertising and how to contact their “editors”.

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

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.

New Group – British History

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.

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

Beginners’ Tap-dancing Course

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,)

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:

webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk 

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:

Shakespeare Revisited Returns

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.

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.)

Aughton and Ormskirk U3A Motorcycle Group.

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.

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:

webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

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.

FAO Group Leaders: Equipment Storage

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

Regards

Dennis

Looking forward to the future……….

 ………. with Aughton & Ormskirk U3A

A message from your Trustees:
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.

A Dramatic Opportunity

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.

September Speaker

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

September Guest Visitor

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

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:

membership@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

or at Horizons every Thursday morning.

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