Category Archives: News

News items

Mid-term Carpark Closures

The Web Team have received a message from Megan,  the Hon. Sec., for the attention of all U3A members:

The Aughton Christ Church Ministry Centre have designated work to begin on new pavements around The Church with impact onto The Sands. This means that The Ministry Centre, Café Vista and The Ministry Centre Parking will be closed during half term commencing Monday, 21 October 2019.

The Scout & Guide HQ will remain open but access will be pedestrian only via Colinmander Gardens or The Sands. So there will be no parking at HQ.   Horizons on Thursday, 21 October will be as usual but there will  be pedestrian access only to HQ.  But note that Christ Church School will remain open for parking during its half term closure week 21 – 25 October.

This will, of course, cause inconvenience to U3A members but unfortunately this work is necessary to the Church and Ministry Centre.

We have since had confirmation that the Christ Church Primary School yard will be available for parking during that week.

Do think about walking or car sharing where possible.  And remember that the 310 Ormskirk / Liverpool bus (half-hourly in both directions) stops very nearby on the A59, Holborn Hill.  (Make use of the free Bus Pass while we still have one.)

Some Groups may have decided to cancel meetings at the Scout & Guide HQ that week.  Do check with the Leader / Coordinator before setting off, if unsure.  See the Group Links in the Programme for Group contact details.

Please note that both the Monday (21st) and Tuesday (22nd) Computer Advice sessions have been cancelled.

Local “Dementia Therapy” Course

Age UK Lancashire is launching a brand new service in West Lancashire for people living with mild to moderate dementia.

Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) is a 12 weekly programme designed for people living with mild to moderate dementia and is the only non-drug treatment recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to improve cognition, independence and wellbeing.  Taking place in a safe group environment, participants will take part in meaningful and stimulating activities designed to maintain or increase levels of mental functioning, independence and happiness.

The initial pilot course is available to older veterans (born before 1st January 1950) living in the West Lancashire area.

Visit our website for more information:  https://www.ageuk.org.uk/lancashire/our-services/maintenance-cognitive-stimulation-therapy/

We expect a high level of interest from potential participants, due to limited places please register your interest early to avoid disappointment.  The waiting list for future courses is now open.

 To find out more or to make a referral to dementia services please call Age UK Lancashire on 0300 303 1234 or email referrals@ageuklancs.org.uk

A Message from the Membership Team

Advice from the Membership Team first posted last year 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.

And did you know that as a Member, you can also update parts of your Beacon Membership Record for yourself.  Just ask about our new Demo and Workshop Opportunities to learn how to do this.

Missing Guillotine

Have you seen or used the Guillotine that usually resides in the Scout & Guide HQ?  It has disappeared in the last few weeks.  It’s quite a large one so not easily missed or hidden from view.  Contact the Secretary  if you have any ideas on where it might be lurking.

A Tower with a View

Heritage Open Day in Christ Church, Aughton on Saturday 21 September. Church Tower open for viewing  and a talk on Christ Church History  given by U3A member, Peter Goodrich.  See the Parish Newsletter and also Posters in the Christ Church Ministry Centre

Speaker Meeting

Do join us on Thursday 5 September.

Click or tap to view flier full-size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you missed this one, don’t forget the next Speaker Meeting on 7 November!

Click or tap to view photo full-size.

2020 Diaries

The U3A diaries are now available from the Social Subcommittee.  A useful bargain to be had at only £2.75 each.

A cheery pic of Val and Elva at the Social Desk during a weekly Horizons meeting where, at appropriate points during  the year, Summer Social and Christmas Lunch  tickets and U3A Diaries are on sale.

Stroke Risk

Are you at increased risk of stroke?  Take our 30-Second Test.
We recently had a visit by the NHS Innovations Agency to our U3A Science Group.  They demonstrated a simple diagnostic tool (the Diagnostick!) which can pick up an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation or AF).
AF is a common complaint but one which can increase the risk of stroke in the older age group by five times, therefore identifying people at risk is very important. In many cases simple medication can be effective for the condition.
If you would like to be tested using this hand-held device, Joy Taylor, one of our U3A members will be at the Horizons coffee mornings on 5th September & 5th December (Speaker Meeting Days) and hopefully some Horizons in-between.  Alternatively if you would like your Group to be tested, then Joy is happy to come along to your usual meeting point when contacted by the Group Leader.
Joy can be contacted on 01695 423694.

A Summer (and now Autumn) of Sport

There have been some wonderful sporting events to sit and watch on the TV  this summer – golf, cricket, netball, cycling.  But if you feel like being more active, we have a good number of Groups in our U3A that provide a range of opportunities for members to get going – albeit at a more leisurely pace.

And now as the days get cooler, the U3A offers a good many indoor sports at a variety of local venues to keep you active this autumn eg table tennis, badminton, various forms of dance classes, 2 types of indoor bowling, Keep Fit at various levels, Tai Chi.

Please see our Programme to browse the list of Groups on specific days of the week..

U3A Magazine Collection

The next issue of our magazine will be available for collection from Horizons on Thursday 29th August between 9.00 and 11.30 a.m.  It will contain details of group activities through to early December plus lots of other information about our U3A.

We have no one member in charge of Distribution Day this time, so the Communications subcommittee will be sorting things out on the morning.   We will be contacting the regular helpers to ask for support.

If you hand-deliver around your area do please call in for your batch of magazines.  All remaining copies will be posted out.  However, it would help to keep postage costs down if you could collect your own magazine and perhaps that of a friend or neighbour.

Some Group Leaders collect magazines for their members and we will be sending a separate email around to ask if this is possible.

A request for a member or a small group of members to organise the next Distribution will appear in the magazine.  If you feel you could help then do make the offer.  Plenty of guidance will be available from Ian Haskell and it’s only four times a year.

Try Dinghy Sailing

A new challenge for you to take on……..

Click to view poster full-size.

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

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, 26 August, 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, facebook or the Website, you need to send it in separately to the appropriate editors.

Computer Advice Summer Break

A message from Brian Bostock (our U3A facebook Editor and Computer Helper):

It’s that time of year again when many members are on holiday, so to avoid staffing difficulties it has been decided to close Computer Advice, both Monday and Tuesday mornings after next week’s sessions (Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 July). We will reopen on Monday and Tuesday 1st and 2nd September 2019. Hope everyone enjoys the holiday period.

If you can’t wait till September to address your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone problems, you could take a chance and pop into Horizons one Thursday morning.  There are usually one or two Computer Helpers lurking in the Scout & Guide HQ at that time.

AGM 2019

If you missed this Year’s AGM, you can read Reports from the past Chair and Hon Sec via the links in  the AGM 2019 webpage.  You can also browse for full details  such as the Agenda and Minutes.

(Also find out more about all the hard work done by the various Committees and Subcommitees year-round to keep our U3A running smoothly on the How We Work  webpage and the sidebar which appears on this and all the other ‘admin’ pages.)

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

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.

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.

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.


Tom Gallagher – Lancs Fire & Rescue Service

Our guest on Thursday 17th October is Tom Gallagher, who is a retained firefighter but also the Community Safety Adviser, based in Ormskirk.  He will be with us for the morning at Horizons to discuss safety in the home and any specific requests for visits.   Come along and meet him.


 

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, either in Christ Church Ministry Centre or in Christ Church itself. 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 Past Speaker Meetings for info on this year’s events so far. 

The next Speaker Meeting will take place on 7th November, at 10.30 am in Christ Church, (please note change of venue from that originally planned) when our own U3A member John Winter will speak about his book: Blame it on the Beatles – and Bill Shankly.

As a student in Liverpool during the nineteen sixties John Winter become involved with the music scene as a songwriter.  He was there in 1968 when Paul McCartney made a secret visit to The Cavern Club.  Faith Brown and ‘Diddy’ David Hamilton recorded his songs.   His sister-in-law got letters from Paul McCartney, written when The Beatles were still unknown.   He stood on The Kop and cheered Bill Shankly’s team as they emerged from the old Second Division to hold their own with the best in Europe, and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’was heard at Anfield for the very first time.

Illustrating his talk with slides, John will tell you how these experiences provided the background material for his book, which looks through the eyes of a group of young teenagers and shows how the fame of The Beatles, and the success of Liverpool FC under the charismatic Bill Shankly, affected their lives – and changed the world.

Come along to Christ Church and rekindle your memories of that magical decade.   After the talk John will be signing copies of his book.

“I thought this book was great.   If you lived through those times first hand it will take you straight back to the streets and the clubs – and the dripping ceiling of The Cavern.   And if you weren’t there, it will make you will feel as though you were!”    

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.

John’s talk will be the last for this year, and I would like to thank all speakers, advisors, helpers, chair puter-outers, photographers and AV experts who have supported me during my first year in this job – your help has been much appreciated!

Next year’s line up will include:

6th February     U3A member Jane Sheehan presents a fascinating talk on Foot Reading

2nd April           Andrew Thwaite returns with more chocolatey talk

4th June            David Hearn will speak about Sir William Brown

More details in due course.

Please email any ideas to speakerteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk  or phone 07974 749362.

MOSAIC WORKSHOP

Saturday 12th October 2019

A small but very creative group of members spent a very pleasant Saturday morning recently creating a beautiful mosaic tile. Under the expert guidance of ceramic artist Janice Tasker, they learned how to cut and shape small pieces of Janice’s handmade tiles, then arrange and glue them into an attractive design ready for grouting.

Several people expressed an interest in developing their skills, and we are hoping to arrange further workshops in the new year for beginners and improvers, if there is sufficient interest.

Please contact Pam Ball pamelaball486@btinternet.com if you would like to take part.

The finished tiles ready for grouting

 

A Message from the Speaker Secretary:

  • Speaker 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”

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