The plan is to hold all Speaker Meetings at Aughton Village Hall as part of New Horizons, starting at 11.15 am. The first of these will take place on Thursday 19th August, when author Carolyn Kirby will speak about the background to her new book, When We Fall, a gripping 2nd World War thriller which was chosen by the Times and Sunday times as one of the 10 best historical novels of 2020. Please click here for further information, and for October and November dates.
Another request for research volunteers has been received:
I have been approached by Liverpool University Biomechanics Laboratory who are looking for volunteers to take part in a research project investigating the effect of ageing on leg muscle strength. Please see more information on the Research Poster.
Our u3a have taken part in a previous project at the Biomechanics Laboratory on walking gait so we know that they work professionally with proper arrangements for confidentiality and safety. If you are interested in getting out of the house as pandemic restrictions are eased, seeing university research work in action, and helping the study of the effects of ageing, please contact Dr. James Charles at email@example.com. I’ve checked with James: the MRI is only on your legs so you do not need to be worried about the claustrophobia which some people may get with whole body scans.
The sun was very hot, as usual, and my dress was long and with full sleeves due to the local custom. I couldn’t wear trousers of course as these were seen as the sign of a woman of ill repute, and that’s not what I particularly wanted to be mistaken for. We were off on a visit and were driving ourselves so didn’t need to be collected by a car bearing the proverbial red number plates used by the royal family. The drive was quite short and the guards on the entry gate waved us in. Inside the palace it was cool and we were shown into an ornate room decorated mostly in gold, probably real.
Our hostess, known by her Arabic title as Sheikha, entered wearing midnight blue embroidered in silver and her face covering was, as usual, black. Sheikha spoke extremely good English, had a great interest in world affairs and she was indeed walking history as she remembered clearly the power struggles between the nomadic tribes in the Emirates when she, as a young girl, handed loaded guns to her uncle during the fighting. We were made welcome and given orange juice and biscuits, the ones especially reserved for British visitors.
Then the afternoon commenced, the purpose of which was to help our hostess select the jewels she would wear for the forthcoming wedding of her nephew, son of the Ruler of Dubai. The wedding would last seven days and for each day she would choose different sets of jewels to match the seven different garments she was to wear. Her assistants were summoned and soon there were leather and crocodile cases with jewels spilling out and two assistants handing round tiaras, necklets and ear-rings for our comments. So many glittering gems but eventually choices were made, the ruby set chosen because our hostess knew that the Queen of England had a tiara similar to this one. The diamonds because they were just so beautiful, (and hey they go with anything don’t they?) We also visited the room next door which contained many metal suitcases filled with perfume and gifts from the Bride’s family.
Now it was nearing time to leave as we had stayed the required visiting time and were saying our thanks and farewells when our hostess asked if I would like to try the tiara that had belonged to the Shah of Persia which her nephew had recently purchased from Sotheby’s for 1.5 million pounds. Of course I did, wouldn’t you? This was probably the most exquisite item of jewellery I will ever see and I did wear it if only for two minutes. I felt as though I had briefly held a piece of history and I will always remember our lovely friend Sheikha and her thoughtfulness and kindness.
So it was a lovely day out and an adventure, there were more adventures to follow and I’ve been very lucky to be part of them.
Keep an eye on this website for the latest u3a news – check out the links displayed in sidebar of this Front Page or the items on the News Page. The brand new Restart Page will also increasingly keep you informed as Groups and other activities get underway again over the next few months.
Refer to your email for past and current enews and special enews and Bulletins, Newsletters. (For the relatively few members without an email address recorded on their Beacon Membership Record, a paper version of certain important missives such as the occasional Newsletters are hand-delivered or sent in the Post.)
Thank you to all those who have supported our Zoom Speaker Meetings so far. The talks have been hugely enjoyable, entertaining and informative, so if you haven’t zoomed in already, why not give it a try? The next one will take place on Thursday 6th May at 11 am, when John Whittles will join us to speak about Mason Bees. Click here for more information.
If you would like to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 3rd May to book your place – the Zoom information will be sent to you a couple of days before the meeting.
There are plans to restart Aerobics to Music with Jo in the Scout & Guide HQ in September. A Coordinator, however, will be needed for the class to keep the register and take payments. This is not an onerous task and it could be done by two people. If anyone will do this, please could they contact Ann Roberts on 01695 575708.
The photo is of our son, Michael Ingman, next to the monolith that appeared mid January in Hightown Dunes.
The first monolith was discovered in the Utah Desert mid November 2020 after being seen by a pilot from a small plane. It then disappeared with no trace after a few weeks. Since then over 170 similar monoliths have been viewed around the globe and within days of being discovered have vanished like the first one.
The mystery of why and how these monoliths came to appear for short periods around our Planet has given vent to various ideas. It has been likened to an alien life form as imagined in the 1968 film of “A Space Odyssey.” The appearances and disappearances have both added in equal forms in the attempt to discover a realistic explanation.
In the meantime different artists have come forward to claim credit and the term “Land Art” has been used to describe these metal monoliths. How appropriate, though, for one to appear in such close proximity to Anthony Gormley’s, ‘Another Place’ within a mile further down the coast.
There is, I believe, sadly no mystery over this one’s disappearance within a week, as by all accounts Sefton Council have it in storage, to prevent visitors damaging more of the dune area where conservation projects are ongoing.
As yet though, my understanding is that no-one seems to have claimed this monolith! So could there still be a mystery to be discovered?
We have been contacted by researchers in the psychology department at Edge Hill University requesting help with a project to examine the influence of cognitive and social factors on memory for events. They are currently recruiting older adults for this study. More details are given below:
Participants should be fluent in English and aged between 65-80 years old
The first part of the study will be administered online and will look at how a person’s age and level of contact with other age-groups may affect memory of events.
Participants will be asked to view short film clips and complete some questionnaires. This should take approximately 40 minutes to complete.
For the second part of the study participants will be asked to complete a short routine memory questionnaire over the telephone.
Participants will receive a £5 Amazon voucher for their time following completion of participation.
The study is being conducted by researchers from Edge Hill University (Dr. Joyce Humphries) and the Open University (Dr Catriona Havard) and has been funded by the British Academy.
This project is being organised by Dr. Emily Breeze from Edge Hill and if you are interested in taking part please contact her directly by email at email@example.com to receive more information and a link to access the online part of the study.
We are part of the North West Region of u3as, all 100 plus of them. From time to time the regional committee organises events and projects for their membership. “My Street” is the latest one with an aim of fostering local and regional involvement, pride and awareness – a sense of place to present to the outside world. It’s described as a Collaborative Project.
The project will be a collection of images – photographs, paintings, drawings, embroideries, accompanied by some words to tell the story behind the image. It can be done by individual u3a members or groups. The image should be of the local area – the street where you live.
Journalists go out on assignments with the intention of observing, questioning and reporting. We don’t go with the idea of expressing our personal opinions.
So when, the day before Princess Diana’s funeral, I was boarding the London bound train, I was ambushed by a local TV company asking for my views, I was taken aback. In the maelstrom of the hysterical days since August 31st I had been busy reporting on the situation and had not had much time to consider what I thought.
Since entering social isolation started early last year, we have covered the times and seasons in various website ‘galleries’ filling them with items sent in by our talented members.
The first lockdown started in March 2020, so we missed late Winter and early Spring. This new Gallery, on the theme of ‘Signs of Spring’ aims to fill that gap. We hope too that it will give members cheer that warmer and brighter weather is on its way, new life is returning to the world and there is renewed hope for a safer and more carefree future.
Many, many thanks to all contributors so far. Scroll down the Page to see the latest sections. This Gallery Page is work-in-progress. If you have snapped any other ‘Signs of Spring’ in your garden or on your walks in February or March, please do send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As well as flowers, bushes and trees, we particularly welcome relevant images pics of birds, bees, butterflies and other insects, new life in farm or field such as lambs, and country and garden wildlife awakening from winter slumbers.
Moving Forward into Spring
(Click on any picture to move through the slideshow.)
No signs of Spring yet on this January walk
Or on this walk. Only a Green Man in the bare branches. *
And no leaves on these trees either lit up by a winter sunrise in an AughtonGarden
But there’s a welcome splash of colour lower down in the same garden.
Witch Hazel blooms early hereabouts as seen in another garden down the road.
A promise of Spring in a tiny Winter Jasmine flower on Prescott Road in January
But early snowdrops in an Aughton garden have to compete with snow
As too in Sandfield Park
But they survive as can be seen on the Snowdrop Walk in Gorse Hill Nature Reserve in February.
And you can also sniff them out in the Quarry in Aughton too.
* Note – According to Wikipedia, the Green Man is a “legendary being primarily interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of new growth that occurs every spring.”
Many of the first photos sent in were of snowdrops. So here is a poem from our resident poet, Judy. Although written a few years ago, it is particularly pertinent to 2021.
Leading us into a warmer direction
Taking us forward away from the snow
Away from the wind and the cold that will go.
As we see Spring colours starting to brighten
And the days grow longer in order to lighten
Projecting the warmth that will help us to cope
We will all move forward into seasons of hope.
Judy Ingman, Jan. 2018.
Early Spring Bulbs and Flowers
Early Buds and Greenery
Catkins spotted in January in Heskin Lane
Willow in Bud
Rhododendrum in Snowdrop-time
With a promise of future flowers
After the Snowdrops
When the snowdrops and witchhazel fade ……
…. other plants boldly pop up
In particular – swathes of crocuses……
… in beautiful bright hues
…. attracting the first bees
And then the cheerful daffodils appear
Kath said this sight “cheered me up no end as I came in the gate that morning.”
Ruth doesn’t need to wait to enjoy the later Spring flowers. “The tulips, from various woods, and vase, cherry wood, were made by my husband. His wood turning has kept him busy many long hours during lockdown.”
Colouring the Street
Residents here have been “Colouring the Street”
Early snowdrops spotted on a local lane during a lockdown walk in January
A promise of Spring in a tiny Winter Jasmine flower on Prescott Road in January
A colourful February display………..
…. in a Delph Park front Garden
A Colourful Corner in a Rose Place Front Garden
A View on the Leeds Liverpool Canal
Victoria Park, St Helens Road, Ormskirk
All of these flowers were on display in mid April, making an oasis of colour between two major roads in the town.
Previous Lockdown Galleries
To refresh your memory of the lovely and interesting 2020 Galleries, do revisit:
West Lancs in Bloom – galleries set up following a request, early on in the first lockdown, to members for photos taken when pottering in the garden or out on their daily walk.
Christmas Card Gallery – a seasonal webpage contains a miscellany of festive contributions sent in by our talented members. It started off as photos of cards designed by members to convey greetings within our u3a, then expanded to include crafts, a poem and short stories.
The first meeting took place via Zoom at 11 am on 4th February when Julia Clayton provided us with a fascinating talk on the topic of What did the Spartans do for us? Details of this and future Speaker Meetings already arranged for 2021, including how to sign up to attend, can be viewed on Pam Ball’s Speaker Meeting webpage.
If not familiar with joining in remotely, check out Zoom Support for help.
Although the Earth/Geology Group is currently suspended locally, the National u3a is putting on free Geology talks that members can attend via Zoom. Full details and booking are available on the online events page of the National u3a website. There are a couple of relevant topics in March. They are repeats of very popular talks earlier in the year. Be aware – places at u3a online events have to be limited and are snapped up. So sign up ASAP!
The Pilates tutor, Laura Gornell, has sent this email to u3a Pilates Group Coordinator, Lorna:
Hope this email finds you well. It has been a very strange year for us all and I am sure we didn’t expect things to last this long. However we have the vaccine now and spring is around the corner.
I am sure you are missing your pilates as much as I am missing teaching you but we are still not able to get back to the Hall just yet. However I would like to give you the opportunity to try my online classes via “Zoom”.
You can try your first class for FREE and below is my website so you can contact me or you can call or txt me.
I am still able to observe you well, as I have set up a studio at home with a large screen to see you clearly.
Lots of people are using Zoom to keep in touch with family and friends and it is now part of most of our lives. You may even be doing other U3A activities via this platform.
Please give it a go, I am sure you will be glad you did. A few of the U3A members are already attending and feeling the benefit.
TIMETABLE : Some of these times are not on the website yet as they are new.
CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE BELOW – I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
Spurred on by social isolation from friends and family, many Aughton & Ormskirk u3a members have entered into the world of videoconferencing. A favourite platform is Zoom. A good number of our A&O Groups have already been running successful remote meetings for a while now. See Our Virtual u3a. And, good news! This year, the monthly Speaker Meetings have restarted using Zoom.
If you too would like to give Zoom a go, then you may be asking one of the following questions. Skip those that don’t apply to your query and current level of expertise.
FAQs relating to Zoom
As an A&O Group Leader, how can I use Zoom to arrange remote meetings with my Group Members? A&O u3a has two Zoom licences which enable group and other meetings to run without a restriction on duration. Refer to the Zoom Sessions Calendar to book a slot.
How do I create and use a Zoom Account so that I can set up and / or join Zoom sessions for my own use? Check out on the National u3a Office website for How-to-Guidance Notes to find out how to create a personal Zoom account for use on your Mobile Phone, Tablet or Desktop Computer. National u3a also runs very professional and informative Tutorials on using Zoom for various circumstances.
I have been invited to a u3a Zoom meeting. Can I join in without downloading the Zoom app? Yes, just use the browser link provided on the invitation eg to a Speaker Meeting or a Group Event. (You do not need to logon to Zoom using the username and password mentioned on the invitation.) If you do not wish to download and install the Zoom App, you can join a Zoom meeting direct from your browser – for details see either of the following:
I would like to try out Zoom for the first time, but don’t feel confident in following the routes mentioned above. Can anyone provide me with more individual assistance? The Monday and Tuesday Computer Helpers are still around offering personal IT support to members remotely. We can set up a practice zoom session with you, guiding you through by email and phone and then Zoom itself. See IT Support Contact details below.
IT Support Contacts
Local members can refer to the A&O u3a February 2021 enews for Computer Helper names and phone numbers
Thank you to all who have supported our Zoom Speaker Meetings during the first half of the year. Now we are pleased to say:
In person Speaker Meetings are back!
The following dates have been confirmed and will take place at Aughton Village Hall at 11.15 am on the dates shown.
Thursday 19th August: Carolyn Kirby: Women with Wings – the background to Carolyn’s latest novel.
Many of you will remember Carolyn Kirby, who spoke to us in 2019 about the background to her first book, The Conviction of Cora Burns. Carolyn will be speaking to us in person on Thursday 19th August, on the subject of the background to her new book, When We Fall, a gripping second world war thriller, When We Fall was chosen by The Times and Sunday Times as one of the ten best historical novels of 2020, and is due to be re-launched this year.
Carolyn says: “This illustrated talk tells the story of how I came to write When We Fall through the lives and careers of four female pilots of World War II.
The original inspiration for my novel lay with the amazing airwomen of Air Transport Auxiliary who overcame many barriers to fly warplanes from factories to RAF airfields during the war. My talk will focus on three of these women, including Amy Johnson, highlighting the glamour, excitement and daily dangers they faced in the skies above wartime Britain.
Flying in even more perilous skies was the Polish air force pilot, Janina Lewandowska, the real life character who is at the heart of the fictional story of When We Fall. Janina was a pioneering aviator and the only female victim of the notorious 1940 massacres of Polish prisoners of war by the Soviet Union at Katyn – the real event that underpins my novel.
Using photographs and visuals, I will explain how, over more than ten years of writing, my novel was shaped by the lives and fates of these remarkable women.”
The talk will be followed by an audience Q & A and a chance to buy a signed copy of the novel.
Dates for your diary – all in person at AVH:
On Thursday 7th October at 11.15 am writer Martin Lloyd will be joining us. The title of his talk is Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies, a dramatic account of how the actions of a group of assassins brought about a change in the passport regulations; how the unmasking of a spy caused a modification in passport design and how, for one man, the passport itself turned into a killer.
Martin Lloyd first came to national notice when, on BBC Radio 4’s programme, Midweek, he enthralled listeners with his accounts of the history of the passport whilst comfortably patching over the hole left by an absent programme guest, much to the relief of the presenter – after all, this was live radio.
He left HM Immigration Service after 24 years to concentrate on his writing and it was while engaged in research for his book, The Passport, the History of Man’s Most Travelled Document, that he uncovered the three interesting stories which he will be presenting in his talk, Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies.
He is often heard on radio or seen on television; he has been on BBC’s You and Yours, The One Show and Making History and when the blue passport was introduced recently he was obliged to race around the country to deliver eleven television and radio interviews in the space of twelve hours.
He now has eleven titles published, covering romance and thriller fiction, travel humour and history and you will have the opportunity to purchase a selection of his books at discount after his talk.
Thursday 4th November Philip Caine From Barrow to Baghdad (More details nearer the time).
Please keep an eye on newsletters, enews and website for the latest information.
U3A member David Wotherspoon had “a day I will never forget” when Marine, the Crosby team he has followed for over 70 years, took on Tottenham Hotspur in the 3rd round of the FA Cup on January 10th this year. The team lost 0-5 but that was hardly surprising, says David, as Spurs had nine full internationals in their starting line-up.
David was taken to watch Marine as a child by his father who had been a player before the war and then a committee member and later president. “The first game I really remember was also in the FA Cup in 1947 against New Brighton, then in the Football League. We lost 0-4 and I cried all the way home on the ferry”. He lived all of his early life in Crosby; attending Merchant Taylors’ with compulsory rugby on Saturday afternoons meant a rush to get to Marine games.
He joined the Marine committee in the late 1960s and served on it for over 30 years before becoming president himself. “We are the only father and son so far on the presidents’ board. I am very proud of what the club achieved in that period. We had a rundown ground and two wooden sheds. Now we have an excellent stand and terracing all round the ground as well as a large clubroom complex.”
David edited the match programme for over 20 years and wrote the centenary history of Marine “The Mighty Mariners”.
“The Spurs game was undoubtedly the club’s greatest ever. I was fortunate to be able to go as one of the small Marine contingent as Covid forced the game to be played behind closed doors. It was more the tie that caught the imagination and put a smile on faces in this terrible time all around the world. I had messages from people I had not heard from for years and the social media support for the club was amazing.”
Marine lost out through having no crowd but the cup run of eight matches gave them a good income from FA awards and TV rights. “When we learnt it was behind closed doors someone came up with the idea of selling virtual tickets at £10 which would also go in a raffle for a variety of prizes.
“We thought we might get 600 but it quickly passed 6,000 and finished up in five figures. All of that was very welcome as lockdown had virtually ended all our normal sources of income.” The main thrust of that came from Spurs’ supporters and David is full of praise for the Premiership club and their followers. “They treated us with warmth and respect. For example, Covid stopped the normal exchange of shirts after the game but Spurs gave our players a complete new set of kit so each one could have a named shirt as a great souvenir”.
Marine also has a strong community operation which has been involved in delivering meals to pensioners in the lockdown as well as a host of other activities including the players coaching in schools. Various Tottenham groups gave considerable support to these efforts to mark the tie.
David hopes the game and the TV coverage watched by 6.7 million viewers will give people a better idea of what a club like Marine is about. “It is very like u3a with people coming together to enjoy something special. It welcomes families and creates lifelong friendships. It relies on a group effort”
He reckons he has seen around 4,000 Marine games, still travelling away on the team coach until Covid struck. “I suspect the virus has put an end to this season for non-league clubs but the memory of that Sunday will keep me going for a long time to come.”
The latest enews was sent out by the enews Editor to all members with an email address on Monday 25 January. If you are not receiving your monthly enews, check your Spam folder. If not there, check with the Membership Team that they have your correct details on record
If you have missed an enews deadline (noon on the day of sending), and have some u3a content you would like to publicise on this website, contact the Web Team.
You can use the web forms for the enews Editor, the Membership Team and the Web Team on the Contact Us webpage to get in touch, selecting appropriately from the ‘drop-down list’ on the form as you fill it in.
This very interesting and informative letter was sent in by one of our members:
My Experience as an Oxford Vaccine Trial Volunteer
As with most people it has been a switchback ride for me ever since the first national lockdown last March. Even before then I stumbled across the YouTube channel of health expert John Campbell who calmly anticipated the pandemic as early as January and I felt a mounting anxiety turning to disbelief with the slow response in the UK. Looking back on those times I realise how depleted my current energies are since the days of sourcing face masks and making hand sanitiser out of rubbing alcohol and sending out thermometers to those I thought were vulnerable.
An imortant message from Aughton & Ormskirk u3a Treasurer, Derrick Fewings:
In case you missed the article in the December 2020 mini-magazine, please note that the next membership year will now commence on 1st October 2021 and that no membership renewal payment is required in advance of that date. The annual membership subscription will remain at £15. Future membership years will run from 1st October to 30th September.
Note that the mini-magazine referred to above was Newsletter No 2, emailed in mid-December to all members with an email address on their Beacon membership record. Those without email were sent a printed A5 version by post or via hand delivery. These occasional Newsletters, currently in place of the long-standing quarterly Magazine, should not be confused with the monthly enews which are emailed to members at the end of every month – too frequently for printed copies to be posted. So if you know of any member without an email address or not on the Internet, perhaps you could print and deliver a copy for them to read or phone them with any important u3a news.
The latest enews was sent out by the enews Editor to all members with an email address on Monday 28 December. If you have not received it, check your Spam folder. If not there, check with the Membership Team that they have your correct details on record
If you missed the enews deadline, and have some U3A content you would like to publicise on this website, contact the Web Team.
You can use the web forms for the enews Editor, Membership Team and the Web Team on the Contact Us webpage to get in touch, selecting appropriately from the ‘drop-down list’ on the form as you fill it in.
If you have set up an email address for the first time (or you have changed your email address), please don’t forget that you can logon to update your u3a Beacon details for yourself. Or if you need it to be added, changed or checked for you on your Beacon membership record, contact the Membership Team.
It is important (especially during time of lockdown and tiers) that your correct email address is on the Beacon system. This ensures that you, as a member of Aughton & Ormskirk u3a, will receive useful emails such as the monthly enews, the occasional special Newsletters (currently in place of the Magazines) and important notifications from the Chairman, the Management Committee and other u3a Committees and Officers. It is also an easy and secure way for Group Leaders to contact their members.
Various groups now meet using Zoom. Our local U3A now has two licences which enable groups to have meetings without a restriction on duration. It also means that two Zoom meetings can take place at the same time.
The group has begun zoom sessions on the 3rd Monday morning of every month. The next meeting will be on 21st December, when we will be talking about Black Dogs, Boggarts and other supernatural creatures in British folklore. For further details, please contact June Jones by email at email@example.com
This group has begun zoom meetings every Friday morning. The dances are adapted so that they are suitable for solo dancers or for couples. For further details, please contact June Jones by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Third Age Trust also has a National Newsletter containing government information on covid-19 along with very interesting, entertaining and useful advice, stories, titorials and ideas from across the U3A movement on all manner of topics. Members of u3a can subscribe for this other National Newsletter to be emailed to them monthly. (Members can also access archived past issues from that same page.)
At an Autumn Zoom meeting of the Communications Subcommittee, a suggestion came up of publishing a u3a Christmas Card Gallery on the website. If that idea appeals to you, please do get creative and produce a ‘Christmas Card’ using your talents and skills in painting, drawing, cartooning, textiles and other crafts, hand-made cards etc. Then just send a photo of it to the Web Team for publication. See those we have already received in our Christmas Card Gallery..
For practical and technical reasons, there have to be a few guidelines:
it should be your own work, or you’ll need to check that included photos, clipart etc are free of copyright
it should be a single page
send in your digital ‘card’ as an attachment in an email to email@example.com if you already have it stored electronically (or take a photo or scan it and send that file)
greetings text can be included in the image on the page and / or on the gallery ‘caption’ area which will appear below the card in the gallery. Include your caption in the email message when you send in your card file attachment
the recipient(s) of the greetings should not be personal or individual, though the sender(s), ie the card maker(s), can name or identify themselves as they wish
To further explain this last point ……. we are looking only for u3a-related greetings to recipients at the Group / Committee / u3a friends level. Therefore suitable greetings (appearing on card or caption or between both might be along the lines of:
“Happy Christmas to members of the Such-and-Such Group from Josephine Bloggs”
“Joe Bloggs sends Best Wishes to all his u3a Friends”
“Christmas Greetings from the Web Team to our Website Visitors”
Of course, any restarting of activities in the foreseeable future will involve assessment of risk and acceptance of some required changes to behaviour (social distancing) and additional tasks relating to hygiene. Our work to date on this subject is given in this Covid-19 Risk Management presentation.
A number of Groups (and Organisers of other events and individual members) are being very innovative in carrying on remotely! See below for the examples we know about so far. Please send the Web Team examples of u3a Remote Activities that we don’t yet know about.
You will note that a good number of remotely active Groups use Zoom. If you need help with this videoconferencing platform, either as a u3a Group Leader or Participant, check out the new Post called Zoom Support.
Member Julia Bate had organised a series of talks on matters relating to health and wellbeing for 2020. Unfortunately, after a good start, talks arranged for March and April had to be cancelled till further notice due to the Coronavirus lockdown.
Since then, however, Julia has had Zoom meetings with the Patient Safety and the Patient and Public Involvement Groups attached to the North West Coast NHS Innovation Agency. Do take a few minutes to check out Julia’s interesting reports from these meetings:
A message from Pamela Ball, the Speaker Meeting Organiser, about Free Online Talks:
UK Tours Online are offering a number of online talks via Zoom which may be of interest to members. Most have to be paid for, but there will be a free one on Monday 7 September entitled Saints, murderers, heroes, crooks: the worst and best of British monarchs. Also on 25 August there will be a talk on Seven treasures of the British Museum – this one is available to us for a donation (you choose the amount) to Prostate Cancer UK. Register for either or both here (you will need to scroll through a bit!).
Thanks to the U3A Gardening Group members (and a couple of other enthusiasts) that sent in photos of their gardens taken during the lockdown summer of 2020, the Web Team have created this interesting and colourful gallery.
Many members are asking questions about re-opening our U3A. The Management Committee has been actively discussing the situation and examining the latest Government rules. You can read the Chairman’s statement (sent to members in a special Beacon email on 3rd July) about the steps we are taking to ensure a safe continuation of our activities.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
There have been many announcements from Government detailing when and under what conditions businesses can open from 4th July. As a result, many members have raised the question of when our U3A will be operational.
Government rules on how organisations such as ours can re-open have been examined and as a consequence, there are several steps we need to take in order for us to make it as safe as possible for us to start Group activities again.
There are obligations on the owners of venues that we use such as Scouts & Guides, Aughton Village Hall etc.
Before we can commit to using any facility, we must be sure that they have been deep cleaned and how they will conform to cleaning regulations.
These and a whole raft of other topics will need to be negotiated and agreed before we continue with our activities.
When we can eventually restart meetings, we should not expect things to continue as before the lockdown.
We shall have to plan and allocate where and when meetings can take place, taking into account the size of the group; how many people a facility can accommodate within distancing rules etc., and if the wearing of masks will be mandatory or not.
For example, face to face Groups such as Bridge under present rules will probably have to wear a mask for the duration of the meeting.
It is also more than likely that Horizons will not be reactivated for some time.
There are many more rules for the committee to consider before we can give the go ahead to continue with meetings and meet our friends again.
Uppermost in our thoughts is that, according to the scientists, our generation is identified as being very vulnerable to Covid-19 and we must take very cautious steps when moving forward.
Even when we can continue, every member must be responsible for their own health and safety and should bear this in mind before attending U3A meetings.
I hope that a successful vaccination against Covid-19 will be found and we will all be vaccinated, rules and regulations will no longer be needed and we will be able to freely meet again.
Until then we must cope with how things are.
The Committee will strive to restart our U3A and we will inform you when it is safe to do so.
All meetings are currently postponed until further notice.
Hello Everyone. Helen here from the Gardening Group. I do hope that you are all staying safe and well and enjoying your garden or outdoor spaces.
For anyone that hasn’t heard, the National Gardens Scheme have started garden openings with an online booking system for visits so that numbers are limited and social distancing can work.
79 Crabtree Lane – which our group visited last year is opening this weekend – Sunday 5th, Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th.
Hazel wood – which our group was due to visit this year is also opening this weekend – Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th and Monday 6th.
Just go online to ngs.org.uk and click on ‘book a visit’.
Photo gallery of our groups gardens .
Following on from the earlier success of the West Lancs in Bloom galleries on our U3A Website, the Web Team are wondering if Gardening Group members would be interested in a special gallery to add to our Group Page with recent pictures of your gardens? West Lancs in Bloom was nearly exclusively Spring Blossom, so we were thinking of a gallery this time with a theme like Our Summer Gardens during Lockdown.
Contributions can be emailed as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. As the website is public, contributors should avoid the appearance in a photo of recognizable people or obtain permission from those appearing. Please provide suitable short captions for your photos and say whether you would like your name to be included or not.
Looking forward to seeing your lovely gardens. I’m amazed at how resilient many plants have been to the recent extremes of weather, gales, heatwave, drought and torrential rain !
When we heard that we’d no longer be able to meet up for our usual monthly sessions, the Creative Writing Group decided that we’d still like to write something every month and share it via email. We knew it wouldn’t be half as enjoyable as getting together but it was better than nothing. However, with the next ‘meeting’ several weeks away, someone suggested we created a WhatsApp group so we could keep in touch in the meantime. What a great idea! National lockdown was looming but we were prepared.
We’ve got to know each other surprisingly well. Through the WhatsApp chat we’ve heard snippets of lives past and seen present day photos from daily walks. We’ve even had the odd glimpse into each other’s homes via Zoom. Strangely, during this time apart, acquaintances are becoming firm friends.
One day, a bit of banter on WhatsApp sparked a couple of lines of fiction and everyone joined in adding their own couple of lines. Before we knew it we had a page-worth of words that could have been lifted from a spy novel. It was a bit of fun so we decided we’d have a proper go with a new story. We’ve written seven so far, including one round of poetry. The six of us keeping ourselves amused with these exercises are set in a new order every time and then write two or three paragraphs each, usually two rounds per story.
With all of this, plus our short story competition entries, we’ve done more writing in the last three months than most of us ever do under normal circumstances and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of lockdown.
John and Joan, Leaders of the Bridge Group, have sent the Web Team some very interesting news about what the Group has been doing to keep going during Lockdown. What an active and adaptable Group!
During the lockdown, we have been in touch with all the group members with a regular email contact as well as by phone. We know that all our members are coping pretty well with all the restrictions, although two members of the group have had to be hospitalised due to falls, but are recovering well. Many members are becoming more IT savvy, using online platforms to communicate with each other and to play bridge.
Just before the lockdown, one of the group, Nick Dowrick, was about to start his ‘beginners’ bridge lessons. Following a trial with some willing volunteers from the group, who had some expertise in the game, using Zoom and Bridge Base online, he started the lessons with 12 keen students, a few weeks ago. All the feedback is very good and the students have praised Nick’s patience and knowledge. We hope that they continue to enjoy the lessons and look forward to welcoming them to our bridge sessions when we get back to normal. However, the two metre social distancing rule will cause some great difficulties for us!
We also have some budding poets in the group, who have been using their extra leisure time to put pen to paper – we have ‘published’ the poems on the group emails for all to enjoy.
All meetings are currently postponed until further notice.
Hello Everyone. Helen here from the Gardening Group. I do hope that you are all staying safe and well and enjoying your garden or outdoor spaces. Thank you to everyone who has emailed with comments or photos, good to hear from you. I hope you all enjoyed the quiz in the last email, here are the answers to that one and a new quiz for this month.
A new virtual group – Science during Lockdown – has been specially set up for these strange times. It features a Daily Science Snippet, Science Jokes and Cartoons, Illusions, online Science Quizzes that any member can try out and links to Coronavirus articles.
As per established practice, you will be invited to propose agenda items for that rescheduled AGM. If appropriate, we will also advise you of vacancies for Trustee and Management Committee positions and invite nominations. The usual timetable for such activities will apply.
This Post was the response to a request for poems from the Web Team, in early May 2020 (during the coronavirus lockdown), for members to read on our U3A Website. The result below is an eclectic mix penned by known poets and by our own talented U3A members. Many, many thanks to all contributors.
Please note – This particular post is now complete. But members are always welcome to send in contributions for publication on the website sharing their many and varied literary and artistic talents eg poems, stories, paintings, cartoons etc to:
All meetings are currently postponed until further notice.
I like gardening – it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself – Alice Sebold.
Hello Everyone – Helen here from the Gardening Group. I do hope that you are all staying safe and well and enjoying your garden or outdoor spaces. Garden centres are now opening so we can get on with planting up lovely colourful summer baskets and containers. For anyone isolating many are still offering local delivery and online ordering.
Latest Website initiative – the not-currently-relevant Events Menu Item has been temporarily exchanged for another calledKeeping in Touch.
And don’t miss out on the many, fantastic opportunities open to members on the Third Age Trust (TAT) website. There is something for everyone there – from Maths to Mindfulness, from Keeping Well to Keeping Fit (with Mr Motivator, no less).
Leader of the Latin & the Roman World Group, Dennis Morley, has sent the Web Team the following example of their activities during Lockdown. The Group is certainly being kept busy.
Lockdown for the Latin Group means just a change of method, as the group have continued their course without interruption.
Although “red ink” assessments are not used, there is a lively exchange of translations and comprehensions. This week we are looking at some “Cicero” to see whether Boris was affected by his rhetoric.
I attach a selection of cuttings from local and national rags all of which contain some “errors”; a big part of Latin in translating from English is to strip the language down to its most literal form.
See how many errors you can spot! Responses published in next edition.
Lapsus Linguae u3a
The Association this year argued that schools could only afford a 2% increase for teachers, meaning the remaining 0.75% would need additional funding.
This legislation will mean that myself and many other families will, hopefully, not have to endure the torture of not knowing where their loved one’s remains can be recovered from.
I do not know if this follows a decision to purge the party of moderates like us, or if it was a crude attempt to see us fold under pressure.
The Church of England has published official advice that sex is only good for married heterosexuals only.
Pervert jailed for abusing girl now sent down for rape.
Labour MPs can barely look one another in the eye, let alone be bothered to seriously challenge the government.
For more than 25 years, she only told a few people close to her about the encounter.
Re-cycling is well established in kitchen and grocery products, with Tesco announcing last week that it was removing certain shrink-wrapped multipacks.
People doubtless go to church for all sorts of reasons. But I’d advise anyone looking for friends to inspect a church’s advice on relationships.
At a summer camp in Ohio, I complained to colleagues about the state of my hair, due to the wind.
Remember that not all the attendees would be fervent followers of Jeremy.
Still, if there’s one upside to Brexit it’s that hopefully we will be seeing a lot less of Farage.
The daffodils had faded, but there was no shortage of beautiful blooms appearing in our gardens and local countryside. Member, Audrey Patterson, had sent the Web Team a stunning photo of a lovely tree in her garden. This was the inspiration to set up a new Photo Gallery to brighten up both our spirits and the website, and to show off West Lancs in Bloom. A request to members for photos taken when pottering in the garden or out on a daily walk was so successful that we have now included some late additions and an extra gallery 7 that you may not have seen earlier.
Many Many Thanks for contributing to and viewing these photo galleries. It has proved very popular with loads of hits on this Webpage. No more photos are required for the time being for this Webpage. But if the lockdown persists, we may set up another one on nature seen in the local gardens and countryside later into the summer.
But in the meantime, if you would like to view some further excellent photos taken by members, take a look at the Competition Winners to be found following on from the Digital Photography Group Page.
Click or tap on any of the photos in the Gallery you wish to view, and then scroll through the slideshow for that Gallery to see the images full-size.
Bill S indicates, “Princepia, flanked by Pieris”
One “of my images taken in our garden recently” by Jenny W
One of “A few pictures from a walk in Aughton” taken by John W.
An unkown pot plant from Bill S
Taken by Alayne in her Garden
Taken by Alayne T in her Garden
Taken by Alayne T in her Garden
Taken by Alayne T in her Garden
Taken by Alayne T in her Garden
One “of my images taken in our garden recently” by Jenny W
“Photo taken on my mobile phone”, Fran
Audrey’s lovely photo that instigated West Lancs in Bloom
Lily of the Valley in Alayne’s Garden
Rose Place Camelia, Alan N
Rose Place Camelia Flower, Alan N
Tulips surrounding a tree in Aughton Park Drive
Bill S indicates, “Princepia, flanked by Pieris”
Taken in a Country Lane (or two) by Geraldine B
From ” A few pictures from a walk in Aughton” taken by John W.
From ” A few pictures from a walk in Aughton” taken by John W.
From ” A few pictures from a walk in Aughton” taken by John W.
From ” A few pictures from a walk in Aughton” taken by John W.
Trees coming into bloom surround St Annes, by Joyce N
“Brightening my front door”, says Christine
“First Hibiscus of the year” from Bill S
Scottish Heather and Welsh Daffodiles spotted in the Grounds of an English Village Hall by Joyce N
Bluebells in Sandfield Park, Aughton, snapped by Alan N
“Tulip pot” in Liz F’s garden
“Hellebore” in Liz F’s Garden
An Amazingly Bright Splash of Colour in Gaynor’s Garden
Blossom in Parkland off Delph Lane, much admired by Joyce N
Even the leaves are ‘blossoming’ (mostly taken by Alan N)
Alayne’s fine Hostas in her Garden
Alayne found prolific bluebells and wild garlic on a trip to Aughton Quarry
Taken on April 21 “in the quarry on Delph Lane, Aughton by Liz D”
Liz D also spotted this Lilac among the hedgerows on the A59
Several examples of “Tree Blossom” captured by PatO’H
And Carole D snapped “Blossom in Aughton on daily walk”
A series of “Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron in my garden Long Lane Aughton” from Colin R
Following on from the Post called TAT Advice and Info on this website, here are some other great lockdown ideas and activities from the Third Age Trust (TAT).
Find out about a great opportunity that has been arranged for U3A Members via YouTube.
Mr Motivator has joined forces with U3A for a weeklong series of exercises. Mr Motivator – famous for his brightly coloured outfits and enthusiastic tv workouts- has compiled a workout aimed at specifically at Third Agers. It started on Monday 20 April AM and will run every day through that week working on every muscle in the body.
Here you will find links to guides to tools that will help you stay in touch and connected with your friends, family and U3A.
National U3A Support Forum
This is an online message board available to all U3A members.
The Third Age Trust has launched three online discussion forums so that you can share ideas and support each other during this time. This user guide will walk you through the registration process and basic navigation and use of the forums.
The Third Age Trust (TAT) currently issues regular bulletins to members. Please check the TAT website regularly and, if you have not already done so, sign up to their national U3A Newsletter which disseminates advice and information quickly to all U3A members. On a rainy day, stuck in the house during this lockdown, you might also like to pass some time browsing past issues – see the newsletter archive.
When looking at the TAT website, you will find the first three top menu links particularly useful for the current circumstances viz Home, Learning and Newsletter. Another very helpful place to go on the TAT website is down to the grey footer area on the main pages. Here you will find an area called Covid Links with 3 very useful entries for these times. Have a browse.
Although fairly familiar, or at least aware of, a good number of apps, I had never heard of Zoom until the start of social isolation. When asked about video conferencing, a younger family member immediately said Zoom. Soon after that, we also heard mention of it from a couple of U3A members. A Computer Helper, Ann P, had already done a family meetup using it and Willem, Computer Advice Leader was already experimenting with it for U3A and non-U3A use. Since then, our Website Media Manager, Alan N, has joined in with a non-U3A online Pub Quiz run with Zoom which after a few initial hiccups – technology rather than alcohol related – worked amazingly well. And recently the Burscough, Formby and Aughton Nolans have had a Zoom get-together. After we learnt how not to talk over each other, it was pretty good. We have also heard from Megan, the U3A Secretary, that there is a non-U3A Zumba class being run with Zoom by a local teacher.
If you already have used Zoom, please do share your experiences. Contact:
Tuesday afternoons will be stories for children and families, and Thursdays will be something a little more grown-up. Once they are live, they’ll be available to watch on the Spot On website for 30 days.
The Royal Opera House
The ROH is offering selected productions on demand free of charge as part of a wider package of online content available for audiences.
Following a meeting of the Management Committee and Trustees, all Aughton & Ormskirk U3A face-to-face activities are suspended with effect from 17 March 2020, until further notice.
This government guidance on coronavirus includes ongoing and changing information about how to protect yourself or check if you need medical help, and provides advice about social distancing, staying at home and travel etc.
We have heard via the North West Region of U3As that international pianist Andrew Wilde will be giving a recital on Tuesday 21st July at 2 pm, via Zoom. The concert is free of charge and is open to U3A Members only.
Andrew will play a selection of much-loved ‘evergreen’ pieces by some of our greatest composers for the piano, to include works by Chopin and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. He will introduce the pieces and their composers adding in some entertaining musical anecdotes. Andrew studied piano at Chetham’s School of Music and graduated with Distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music. He went on to win top prizes at international competitions and to play with great orchestras at major venues throughout Europe and America.
As you probably are aware, enews is emailed to all members with an email address on the Beacon Membership System. But you may not be aware that Group Leaders can send emails to all members in their Group. A number of Groups are set up in Beacon to enable this already – extremely useful in the current circumstances. If your Group cannot do this, contact the Web Team and we’ll explain the procedure to get you started.
Remember too that all members are very welcome to make use of our U3A’s facebook page. You can send in items to Brian Bostock, the facebook editor. And you can even arrange with him to be allowed to post info on U3A facebook for yourself. If you don’t know how to get in touch with Brian, contact the Web Team.
Website Group Leaders and Authors are encouraged to add appropriate information applying to the current situation on their Group Pages and Posts. Members of Groups with no Author can send their content direct to the Web Team.
There are many other technologies useful for communicating remotely via social networking, web conferencing and such, that can help us all keep in touch with family and friends and neighbours as well as fellow U3A members. Common examples, in addition to facebook above, are Skype, FaceTime, Twitter, (the very popular) WhatsApp, (the increasingly well-known) Zoom, Echo Show, WHYPAY? (for conference calls) and (the latest to have come to my attention) TikTok. Over the following weeks, we could perhaps use this website to provide info on and experiences of some of these, if there is a demand.
There are also YouTube videos and TED talks that might be pertinent to your Group or other U3A activities that you organise. Let the Web Team. know of your interest in learning about them and especially if you have expertise to impart.
Do return to this Website regularly as these are fast-changing times. And please do send your ideas to the Web Team (email address below) on your ideas on how to keep in touch and help each other during social isolation.
For now …….
Stay Safe, Stay Well and Stay in Communication with the U3A.
I hope you’re all coping with this period of social distancing. The latest edition of the magazine is winging its way to you. Expect your Postman to drop it through your letterbox in the next few days. This would not be happening if it were not for the great joint effort from the Communications Subcommittee and the Membership Team. The Magazine Editor had extra work this time round, altering content as the coronavirus situation developed. As usual, he had welcome assistance from his proofreaders. Finally all the magazines were put in envelopes, stamped and labelled and delivered to the Post Office next to Christ Church. So, on your behalf, I would like to offer them all a GREAT BIG THANK YOU. I would also like to thank Ian at the Post Office for helpfully getting this much larger number of Magazines into the system.
In the present circumstances, the preferred way of renewing your U3A membership is online; if you are unable to do that, you can use the membership renewal form enclosed in the magazine. Although we cannot participate in our normal group meetings, your membership fee is still important if we are to meet our financial obligations both now and when we can resume our activities.
Bill Evans, the u3a Magazine Editor, has written a very interesting article about how your u3a Magazine is printed and also, for this March issue, ‘why’ it was printed:
Usually, this is the ‘timeline’ of the u3a magazine:
I work on it for approximately four weeks or so, before the Distribution Day – sometimes in Ormskirk, occasionally in Spain, and for this issue, in ‘Center Parcs’ near Penrith.
Feature pages and photographic pages are created first.
The ‘group copy’ is read by one or two ‘volunteers’.
Then the group copy is inserted and made to fit. This is the part which can take a considerable amount of time. Sometimes I have enough group copy to fill 22 pages – other times only enough for 17 or so.
Hopefully it leaves me on the Wednesday or Thursday before ‘Distribution Day.
Production then takes place.
It gets delivered to either myself or the Scout & Guide HQ on the Friday, or over the weekend, or perhaps the Monday before Distribution Day.
On (and around) Distribution Day (a specific Horizons meeting), Magazines are distributed by various methods. These include:
individual members turning up at the Distribution Desk at Horizons to pick up their own and maybe one or two for friends and neighbours
Hand delivery at members’ addresses by a team of local Deliverers
Handover by Group Leaders or others during Group Meetings
Mail Posting for the remainder
This current issue was a little different:
I had it virtually ready for printing but waited until our Management Committee met on Monday, 16th March
A decision was made to ‘go ahead and print’ . . . but I needed to completely re-jig the front cover. (Obviously lots of our meetings and events are postponed or cancelled . . . but hopefully some of the later ones may take place.)
This time round, our magazine left me on Saturday afternoon of the 21st March
The platemaker came in on the Sunday to compete his part of the job
Our printer delivered the job to the Scout & Guide HQ in the early evening of Monday 23rd. Here they joined the already printed labels and stock of envelopes
For this print issue, isolated at the Scout & Guide HQ through Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the Magazines were put in envelopes along with Membership Renewal Forms and then Beacon address labels were stuck on and stamps added from our pre-purchased stock
All the magazine were delivered to the nearby very helpful Post Office by early afternoon on 24th March ready to go out.
How our magazine is printed:
A little technical ‘info’ on four-colour printing:
If we printed only 250 or so, it could probably be printed ‘digitally’ i.e. no film or metal plates.
The ‘copy click’ charge wouldn’t be too excessive.
Most companies ‘rent’ from Canon, Xerox, etc, etc, and pay a ‘copy click’ fee for each print – usually between 5p and 10p per sheet.
This is because hardly any ‘local’ printer would actually have their own digital printer – they are enormously expensive.
Our print run of around 1,800 would cost a fortune printed this way.
We use two companies to produce the magazine ‘lithographically’.
Using the ‘hi-res’ pdf file I send them, one company makes the 40 ‘plates’: 10 pairs of A3 pages x 4-colour: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
The other company collects the plates, prints the magazine and delivers them.
The companies are extremely efficient and they do a great job for us. Unfortunately, both these companies are being ‘hit’ like most firms are, with the Coronavirus. Jobs being cancelled, or printed and then not required, etc, etc.
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Committee and Trustees of Aughton & Ormskirk U3A have taken the decision to suspend all group activities and Horizons at all U3A sites as from midday, 17.03.2020.
According to Government information, the isolation policy for the over 70’s could last for several months. We will make every effort to maintain contact with you through email, Magazine, Facebook or Telephone and the Website.
We will continue to send further updates via email.
Group Leaders – please could you contact any Group member not on email.
If you know any member of your Group who may live alone, a phone call for a chat could make all the difference to their wellbeing through the forthcoming isolation.
Due to the Corona virus, the request for money to be deposited with the Finance team before the end of the financial year (31st March) is set aside. Please hold on to the money and deposit until the suspension of the U3A is lifted. If a significant amount of money is held and you are uncomfortable with this then please email me (email@example.com) to discuss how the money may be banked.
The Management Committee and Trustees think it would be a good idea to pass on this message from the National Office regarding the U3A National Newsletter to the membership to help keep them in touch.
The National Newsletter is crucial in reaching out to members as we have no direct contact with them. During this period we would be very grateful if you could assist members who are happy to do so, to sign up to the national newsletter.
Member Julia Bate is organising a series of talks on matters relating to health and wellbeing over the coming months. Julia says:
The next date for your diary is 18th March at 3pm in the Cinema Room in the Christ Church Ministry Centre when Dr Dennis Wat, Respiratory Consultant at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital will speak about the respiratory condition COPD, and I have also asked that he includes some information on sleep apnoea in his talk.
On 22nd April, we have two local Cardiac Nurses from Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Trust coming to discuss how we can help to keep our hearts healthy and they will also have some advice for anyone with existing cardiac disease. This will be at 2pm in the Cinema Room at the Ministry Centre.
If you are interested in attending either talk, please let me know by email so that we have an idea of numbers because of limited space in this room.
Contact details for Julia: Members, please refer to your monthly enews or see foot of page 16 in the latest U3A Magazine.
In mid February, a representative from the Alzheimer’s Society, Gina Berry, came to collect all the knitted, crocheted or stitched ‘Forget me not Flowers’ made by our own Textile Group, the Creative Stitchers from Aughton Village Hall and the Knit and Natter Group from Christ Church.
The flowers will decorate the staircases at the Harris Museum & Gallery in Preston where they will be part of ‘The Unfurlings’, an events programme to support those living with dementia, their carers and families. Events have just begun and continue until the end of May. Everyone is welcome to attend and they are all in the afternoons.
Gina is the dementia adviser for West Lancashire and was quite overwhelmed at the numbers of hand-made flowers presented to her. We didn’t count them but there were probably around 250.
The Open Forum, held on 23rd January, 2020, was interesting and several points and questions were put forward by members. Alan Starkie., our Chairman, opened the Forum reminding members that the U3A is all about its members. Also that the National office have now opted not to use the word ‘university’ but simply call ourselves U3A. National U3A Day is on 3rd June, 2020 and U3As are encouraged to celebrate this day.
The change from four issues to three of the Magazine was well received and it was noted that our magazine continues to be much appreciated. Suggestions were made as to how to recoup the cost of postage. Moving forward, newer members tend to visit the website and read enews.
It was put forward that the Management Committee and Trustees should be combined for more efficient working and members were encouraged to come forward to join Committees.
It was generally agreed that new members should be made welcome at Horizons and everyone was urged to assist in this. A ‘Meeter and Greeter’ was suggested.
Discussion about car parking took place and efforts are being made to co-ordinate activities with Christchurch School, The Ministry Centre and Christ Church.
This is only a brief outline of the Forum – a more detailed account will appear in the next issue of the Aughton & Ormskirk U3A Magazine.
On behalf of our U3A I attended a meeting of the above group on 22nd January. They are conducting a project aimed at increasing medication safety, looking at four areas in particular:
The safe prescribing of medicines in primary care.
Transfer of care between primary and secondary care to ensure effective and timely communication of any medication changes when a patient is discharged from hospital.
Poly pharmacy (prescribing of large numbers of medication items to one patient, which increases the risk of drug interactions and can lead to failure to take medicines correctly).
Medicines administration in care homes.
If anyone has any suggestions of how medication safety could be improved from a patient’s perspective, please contact me – Julia Bate, Tel: 01744 883086 – and I will mention them at the next meeting which will probably be in 2 or 3 months’ time.
Julia’s email address can be found in Bob Carlton’s January enews.
English Medieval Cathedrals of the South and South-east
Commencing Tuesday 28 January, for this fourth series of Church History we move to medieval cathedrals in the south-eastern extremity of England, interspersed with two visits to more-local medieval sites.
The 1st talk is on Canterbury Cathedral – part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and mother church of the Anglican Communion, seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Speakers are Peter Goodrich, Peter Hatfield and Peter Gateley. For further details, please refer to the Church History Group Page.
We are a very friendly, sociable group with 35 Members and like to sing a wide range of music including; Musical Theatre, Folk, Sacred and Popular. We enjoy the challenge of three part singing as well as a good unison sing-a-long at most of our sessions. We give one formal concert a year in the summer and organise the annual U3A Advent service. We are also regularly invited to sing at several local nursing homes. We meet every Wednesday morning at Aughton Village Hall from 10 am until 12. (Broadly following school holidays). We have a well organised team who take care of admin, finances and hall bookings. We need someone who can inspire us, build on what we have already achieved and lead us along an exciting and rewarding musical path.
If you are interested in finding out more then please contact the U3A Choir Group Leader, Ann Henders, on 07847 364330. Closing date for expressions of interest Tuesday, 21/1/20.
Please note there is no remuneration for this role.
The new Marketing Manager at West Lancs Leisure Services will be our Guest Visitor at Horizons on Thursday 9th January. He is hoping to generate interest in specific U3A activities at Park Pool, Nye Bevan Pool and Burscough Sports Centre and wants to talk to members about their preferred sport. He is in contact with the other five U3As in West Lancs so look forward to some competitive elements as well as keeping fitter and feeling better. Come along and talk to him at the Scout & Guide HQ between 9.30 and 11.30 a.m.
The Bridge Group are looking at running a short course in March or April 2020 for members who would like to learn how to play Bridge, or who would like to return to playing after a break from the game. If you think you may be interested in such a course, the please ring Nick Dowrick on 07988119408 to register an interest.
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.
As a Member, you can also update parts of your Beacon Membership Record for yourself. Just ask the Membership Team for help or the Computer Advice Team who are offering an email Computer Advice Service. The email address for this service is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Prior to starting on our exploration of medieval cathedrals of the South and South-east of England in January 2020, there will be a mid-break meeting at the Scout Hut at the usual time of 14.00 on Tuesday 26th November.
This will give the opportunity for a brief preview of the 2020 programme, including the nationally historically important Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
As a holiday treat we will whisk you abroad to look at eight medieval French cathedrals, although separated by relatively short distance we will be able to see some of the differences between English and French Gothic, as well as show regional differences within the large geographical extent of France itself.
Speakers: Peter Goodrich, Peter Hatfield and Peter Gateley