News and Reports 2016

A Retrospective of News and Reports 2016

This is a really slow time of year for new Posts appropriate to the News page.  So, before clearing out the Page for 2017,  I’ve selected and republished some 2016 News and Reports Posts that might interest you or trigger some memories. It certainly illustrates what a range of activities and topics are provided or addressed through our U3A!

Note:  The ‘last updated’ dates have sometimes been affected during selection of posts.  But generally, they are still ordered latest first.

Joyce Nolan (Web Manager)

Christmas Celebrations 2016

Many of us have enjoyed celebrating  Christmas  in December this year with our U3A friends. Some events were run for a particular group, but others were open across  the whole U3A.


Ho Ho Ho – It’s Xmas Time ……..


Come along and enjoy one of the many Xmas events open to All U3A Members.

 Join in the celebrations with any of the following Groups. Please click on the Group’s links below for more information.


Church History – a New Series

A new series of Church History talks and outings started on October 25th.

The popular Inaugural Church History meeting led by the 3 Peters.

The popular Inaugural Church History meeting led by the 3 Peters. Click or tap to see the image full-size.

There was a grand turnout to hear the organisers (all called Peter) give an overview of  series.

If you missed the initial meeting, the next meeting on November 22nd will be looking in detail at Durham Cathedral.

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Keswick Views

Recently Alan and I were very fortunate to get a last-minute opportunity to join in the U3A Holiday to Keswick organised by John and Kathleen Spurr.  Aside from a Science Group trip to Bletchley Park a few years ago, this was our 1st U3A holiday.  It was thoroughly enjoyable! Great company, really good food, a handy location in Portinscale, just a short and pleasant walk from Keswick and, once the steep flights of stairs were negotiated, into the garret, a very comfortable room.


Things to Do in November 2016

Click on the Gallery below to run a slideshow about some special events going on in our U3A this month.

December Speaker Meeting

Christmas Concert: Our own U3A CHOIR, conducted by Duncan Roberts. Come and join in with old favourites and listen to our Choir’s current repertoire. To be held in Christ Church, Aughton on Thursday 1st December.

All welcome – bring your family, friends and neighbours!

NO speaker meeting in January

Things to Do in October 2016

Click on the Gallery below to find out about some special events that were going on in our U3A back in October 2016.

Comparing Photo Editing Suites

This Computer Tutorial may well be of interest to the general membership. It will be presented  by Bill Soens on Tuesday 1st November, starting at 2pm.

Bill will compare three ‘free to download’ and ‘free to use’ photograph manipulation software programs:- Google Picasa 3, IrfanView and Gimp. Say about 20 minutes each. All the software demonstrated is 100% legal and free to use.

The talk will take place in the smaller room of the Scout and Guide Headquarters.  There will be a £1 charge to cover tea/coffee and biscuits in the interval.


Old Time Music Hall Review

Our Old Time Music Hall show is now completed and was a huge success, thanks to your support!  Both nights were very well attended and generated lots of smiles and laughter – which is just what we’ve all joined the U3A for!!

The show was directed jointly by the very talented Chris McCabe and Gaynor Hale who both have many years of stage experience behind them!  It was staged at Aughton Village Hall on May 13 and 14, 2016.


Venice Study Day

All Members are invited to an Art Appreciation event ………..

See the Event Website or click / tap on poster fro more details.

Click or tap on the Poster to find out more details and booking contacts.


The Future is coming quicker!

Monthly Lecture – “The NHS 100,000 Genome Project”


Click to view full-size poster.

Thursday 6th October 2016 – 10.30 am

Christ Church, Long Lane

(Coffee 9.30 – 10.30 am Scout HQ)

Speaker – Viv Parry OBE

A Broadcaster & Writer, Viv is skilled and experienced in making medical and scientific topics understandable to large audiences.

The Genome Project will lead to a new understanding about the causes of disease and find better ways of diagnosis and individual treatments.


“Get Inspired” in the Year of the Olympics

With the GB success of the August Olympic Games and the Paralympics taking place in September, why not “Get Inspired”  to try an outdoor sport this Autumn.


Gardening Group Needs You!

If you like gardening, please read this plea from the Gardening Group.

This Group has provided us with enjoyable and informative meetings this Spring and Summer, but it now needs volunteers to help it continue into the Autumn and Winter.


A Supremely Successful Summer Social

We’ve been treated to an excellent Summer Social this year, thanks to the sterling efforts of Val Bullen and her Social Sub-committee and helpers. We were served a delicious and copious afternoon tea topped up by one of Pearl’s famous cakes.  The entertainment, hosted by John Tomlinson, included Performances from the Drama and the Recorder Playing Groups, Monologues from the inimitable Pearl Webster and a Sing-along  led by a guitar-playing band made up of U3A members. What a display of talents!


U3A Presence at Park Praise

The U3A Green  Gazebo popped up at Park Praise in Coronation Park in Ormskirk on Saturday 25th June!

Sue and Bill propping up the famous U3A Green Gazebo.

Sue and Bill propping up the famous U3A Green Gazebo.

Bill and Sue Watkinson and their rota of Volunteers were on hand to explain what U3A is all about, extol the benefits of joining U3A, hand out leaflets etc.

Ormskirk’s Gingerbread Lady,  (who also happens to be the U3A Local History leader) popped in on a visit, as did our Chairman Geoff Maitland.

Helpers and Visitors at the U3A Green Gazebo.

Helpers and Visitors at the U3A Green Gazebo.

Our U3A Cricket Team against the Ormskirk Occasionals

The U3A’s Cricket XI had a return fixture against the Ormskirk Occasionals on a (mostly) sunny Bank Holiday Monday, 30th May on the pleasant pitch at the rear of Ormskirk Cricket Club.


Chemistry is Magic

chemistryismagic heading
The repeat of the successful “Chemistry is Magic” course began with ten enthusiastic “later life learners” finding out about the wonderful world of chemistry. From the creation of the elements when stars explode to the make-up of every day materials, this course introduced complete beginners to the fundamentals of chemistry.


Windows 10 Updates

If you missed Willem’s Computer Tutorials in the past about Windows 10 and are concerned about the end of the free updates to it;  or you are experiencing problems having attempted Windows updates, then not to worry. Call in at a Computer Advice session on a Monday or Tuesday morning (Mondays only during the school holidays).

If those days are not suitable, call in at Horizons on a Thursday morning.  There is often a veteran Computer Geek or two lurking in the Computer Room or around the Digital Photography / Computer Desk in the far corner of the Aughton Room. Ask the Welcome Desk to point one out.

windows 10 logo

AGM 2016 Information

Information about this year’s AGM is now available.

Visit to Merseyside Mounted Police

We had a wonderful visit and were very grateful to our guide, Kate (head groom), who is an expert in her field. Kate has been with the force for twelve years and the horses have become her “family”. One can tell at a glance that the horses love Kate as much as she loves them.


Jazz Appreciation Evening

Everyone is welcome to attend Jazz Appreciation – just come along.

Next Meeting is on Friday May 20th.

May Speaker Meeting

speaker meeting-20160505-flyer

Try to set aside the morning of 5th May  to attend a Speaker Meeting on this really important topic. NB Change of venue to Christ Church due to Ministry Centre being a Polling Station on this date.

Please click on this Poster for details

New Sunday Social

The Sunday Social started again on 22nd May in a relaxed format where you can find good company, a bit of fun and a little light music. Please join us at 2.15 pm in the Scout & Guide HQ on the 4th Sunday of the month. Check the Sunday Social Group Page for details.

Tea and biscuits for all.

8 April 2016 Spring Ball at Rainford Village Hall

ballroomdancing-20160212-rainfordThe members of the ballroom dancing group enjoyed an evenings dancing when in April they visited the new venue of Rainford Village Hall. The music was provided by Kevin Breen and as normal he managed to ensure that everyone had a most enjoyable evening.

The use of Rainford Village Hall was a new venue for the group due to the unavailability of Ormskirk Civic Hall.

Online Today – helping people with sight loss

“Online Today”   was an Awareness Session being hosted by our U3A on Tuesday, 22 March with help from RNIB and Action for Blind People.

Technology can make life easier if you have hearing or sight problems, but knowing where to start isn’t always easy. This session, led by Andrew Coleman, Assistive Technology Support Officer with Action for Blind People, took us gently through the benefits of being online and how it can assist your daily living. (more…)

Jazz Group Tribute Evening

jazz appreciation-2016-Trio Gitan

Click on the Poster to find out more about this invitation from the Jazz Appreciation Group!


AGM 2016

Please check out the details for this year’s AGM.

Megan’s Jewellery Making Taster Session

One Saturday morning in March, Megan Tomlinson ran an excellent Taster Session in making Jewellery from wire and beads and a whole range of other colourful craft materials.  A variety of attractive and useful items were produced by the attendees who were also having a great time making them under Megan’s expert tuition.

Click on any pic above to run a slide show of full size photos.

And here are some of the beautiful finished articles:

Results of the Jewellery Making workshop

Results of the Jewellery Making workshop

Megan is a very talented member of our U3A who is also Coordinator of the Drama Group. And their next production is coming up soon in April!

A Special Lecture

A Special Lecture: Robots and Artificial Intelligence.


Click on the Poster to view the details.

In March, we were very fortunate to have a talk on Robots and Artificial Intelligence given by Professor Samia Nefti-Meziani, Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, School of Computing, Science & Engineering, University of Salford.  Professor Nefti-Meziani is an internationally recognised expert in robotics as well as being an engaging and enthusiastic speaker.  She was accompanied by some of her research staff who demonstrated robotic systems in the Ministry Centre after the talk.  This was an excellent opportunity to learn more about robots, get close to some robots and even be led in singing by one of them!

Tai Chi Robot

Tai Chi Robot

Publishing items in the U3A Magazine, in enews and on the Website

Remember, please, to occasionally check the deadlines for sending in your items for the U3A Magazine and enews! You can view them in the online Calendar in the sidebar of the News page.


19 January 2016 – “St Kilda, The Lonely Isle”

Bird Watching - St Kilda 3The 2016 programme of bird group meetings began on 19 January with Steve Halliwell’s excellent talk ‘St Kilda the lonely Isle’, based on 4 visits to the group of islands which have double World Heritage Site status.

The 15 resident bird species include significant breeding populations of Gannets, Petrels, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Puffins, Razorbills, and Guillemots, but we learned that the sustainability of the birds is threatened by climate change, lack of active management of the bird colonies, and the recent arrival of the Arctic Skuas. The latter are serious predators.Bird Watching - St Kilda

The talk was wide ranging covering geology, extreme weather, botany and the history of human settlement which itself became unsustainable in 1930.

The audience or bird watchers, digi-photographers and science group members enjoyed a stimulating and entertaining morning.

After refreshments the Bird Watching Group reconvened for the AGM.

Wellbeing Course

Exploring ways to maximize happiness and health in older age.  A short four week course starting on 14 March run by Judith Crimlisk (more…)

Writing for Pleasure

Writing for Pleasure, a new group, started on Monday 18 January 2016 at 1.00 pm. in the Ministry Centre.   (more…)

Computer Tutorial – Windows 10

windows 10 logo

A Computer Tutorial on Windows 10  was held at the Scout & Guide HQ on Tuesday 2nd February at 2pm. It was presented by Ken from KC Computers.  (more…)

‘Head to Head’ with Tony Crimlisk and Eric Midwinter

‘Head to Head’ conversation between Tony Crimlisk and Eric Midwinter, collaborators on the latest musical ‘Bob Cratchitt – retired’(more…)

Musical Theatre – Bob Cratchitt – video

Hope you didn’t miss the new U3A musical – ‘Bob Cratchitt, retired’. It tells the story of the character from the Charles Dickens’ story  ‘A Christmas Carol’ as he reaches retirement.  This Musical Theatre group production was on 10, 11 and 12 December and there is an excellent video (more…)

Last Updated on January 18, 2017