WOW! ~ hasn’t the last two years gone quickly, as your Chairman, as I realise I will very soon pass the reins of office onto my successor. In accordance with our Constitution the maximum period of tenure as Chairman is two years.
It is easy to look back, but the success of our U3A must be to look forward and to learn from the past and where appropriate to improve.
I have been fortunate to have worked with a committed Management Committee as well as being a member of the Trustee body. The members of both have worked tirelessly both front of house and behind the scenes to make it all work.
U3A will continue to prosper if and only if members are prepared to share a proportion of the workload and to maintain our forward momentum.
I read recently the chairman’s annual report of a Lake District U3A ~ her plea was to the membership ~ help please with the running of U3A. A message, which has similar, rings in Ormskirk and Aughton. We are all volunteers.
If was disappointing when a vacancy arose for a trustee that out of a membership of 1800 not one person put their name forward. The current constitution, which created the different roles of trustees and the management committee is quite clear, that if more that one vacancy arises then the organisation cannot function until a special general meeting is held and new trustees are appointed.
We are 50% there ~ trustees cannot be co-opted. The membership may have to revisit the constitution to consider a return to the older version if nobody is prepared to stand for a trustee role.
I am indebted, as should all members, to the unstinting work of group leaders. They make the extensive activities work. Their organisational skills are to be commended but they cannot be expected to carry on with out help and some succession planning is essential. What a disaster it would be because a group leader was unable to carry on that there was a risk of that group folding. We must all look ahead and provide support. We cannot always rely upon and take for granted the few.
We are a group from the wider community that benefits the whole local community. We are lucky to be able to draw on the excellent facilities in our area. We pay rent to use and enjoy the facilities ~ the rent in turn helps to provide financial assistance and security for the owners of the premises so the same can be further enjoyed by the community. We are indebted to all our landlords for the opportunity of using their premises.
I have to thank the Scouts and Guides committee for working with us and commend their brave decision to buy ‘the Sands’ which carries with it financial obligations but provides uninterrupted access to our HQ. The opportunity of U3A with its more age mature members being able to provide reliable financial support for those at the other end of the age spectrum is very satisfying.
Your management committee is very grateful for the financial expertise offered by its treasurers and the finance and resource committee. Sadly over my period of tenure there have been changes in the personnel but at no time has the accuracy of our financial position been in doubt. I am grateful for the help and guidance of all those who have worked to keep accurate and reliable accounts. The financial year ended on the 31 March 2019 and within hours our books were into our accountants.
What have been identified are issues concerning VAT and Gift Aid. Guidance has been sought from the Third Age Trust but my take on it is that a general view is not sufficient and that specific professional guidance will have to be obtained ~ a task for our new treasurer when appointed.
As I sign off as your Chairman there are many who I need to thank for helping and supporting me. The greatest sin is to name a number of people but then to leave someone out.
I cannot however say thank you without naming our retiring Trustee chairman. Margaret Gibbon has worked tirelessly in her role as well as manning her normal desk at Horizons. She has provided unstinting support to me in dealing with some tricky issues.
Our U3A will say goodbye to our secretary Linda Burden following our AGM. Linda is the conduit for contact both for the Trustees and the Management committee. She has also been a good listener for issues arising and many potential issues have been addressed before they have snowballed. Her attention to detail and her clerical skills have provided a reliable service to our U3A.
We should be proud of our magazine ~ a quality product worked on tirelessly by Bill Evans and distributed by the late Pete Trigwell and his team. The recent and sudden passing of Pete was a shock to us all. He worked hard for U3A. Our thoughts go out to Alayne and his family.
The webpage is a compliment to Alan and Joyce Nolan.
I thank individually and collectively the Management Committee. I am aware of the four persons who have stood for election this time ~ they will be received as valuable members of an active management team. They have already shown a commitment to our U3A wearing different hats and I know they will be welcomed.
In this litigious society that we live in I commend the work of the Health and Safety committee ~ we are lucky in our membership to be able to call upon those with skills on this issue. We have addressed this year also the complicated obligations of Data Protection.
The persons however I wish to thank most are you the members ~ this is your U3A ~ you should be proud of what has been achieved, and can still be achieved, when looking to the future. I hope the membership will continue the enjoy the wide variety of activities which are on offer and work with the group leaders and share some of the responsibilities to ensure that current members and future members will be proud to be part of our organisation.
Time passes so quickly it is hard to believe that I am now coming to the end of my tenure, having been a Trustee for four years and it was three years ago that I was elected as Honorary Secretary. There have been some interesting, challenging times, but some happy ones too. The year started in June 2018 with three new Trustees elected to the Trustee Body and one new member to the Management Committee.
At our 2019 AGM we had two members of the Management Committee and one Trustee standing down and four new members standing for election to the Management Committee. I wish the new members much success over the next few years. The new Management Committee will elect a Chairman, a Hon Secretary and a Treasurer at its first meeting after the AGM.
Our Sub-Committees, as usual, have been working hard, sometimes through difficult times. The F&R Sub-committee is meeting new challenges and is keeping our accounts in good order. Four new members joined this Committee during the last year and this has helped to ease the workload.
Group Support continue to assist established Groups as well as helping new Groups to get up and running. We now have a Motor Cycle Group, which is not only proving popular with our own members, but is creating interest in other local U3As as well. During the last year this Group put together a new Welcome Pack which will assist Group Leaders enormously when organising activities and dealing with incidents within their groups.
Communications continue to keep us all in touch with what is happening in our Organisation by ensuring that we have clear and concise information on the Website and in our own very comprehensive Magazine.
The Social Committee have been busy organising events for us including a very successful Anniversary Celebration in October and the very popular Christmas Lunch . . . and there are still events for us to enjoy during the summer.
Our Working Parties, both Health and Safety and GDPR, have been hard at work keeping us up to date with new legislation.
Horizons goes from strength to strength and we now have a new Team Leader at the helm. Late last year we held our first Forum at Horizons which was well attended and proved extremely informative. It is hoped to repeat this again this year. We also have a new Speaker Secretary, and I have no doubt that we can look forward to enjoying a varied programme of topics over the next twelve months. Future Speaker Meetings will most likely be held in the Ministry Centre.
As I finish my time in Office it is good to see that our U3A is working efficiently and is flourishing, as it should be. It is just left for me to say that it has been an Honour and a Privilege to be both a Trustee and Hon Secretary for the last four years and I would like to thank all the people who have helped and supported me over this time.
I know my successor will be hardworking and efficient and I wish her all the best as she takes up these very demanding roles.
So Au revoir and I hope you all have lots of fun, enjoy learning and the many friendships which our U3A is well known for as you participate in all the U3A activities throughout the coming year.
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.
Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:
Items for the enews should be sent by NOON on the last Monday in the month for publication soon after. So for this month, the Deadline is Monday, 24 June, at 12 noon.
Please send enews items to:
use the contact form on the web contact page selecting enews Editor from the drop-down list.
Note that if you want the same information to be published in the Magazine, face book or the Website, you need to send it in separately to the appropriate editors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
A message from Ann Robinson, the Philharmonic Visits Coordinator:
Could I please ask anyone who wishes to come to the concert on Sunday 19th May, Russian Passion with Vasily Petrenko, with lunch at The Refinery, to book this Thursday, April 11th, or contact me by phone.
(There will be no Philharmonic table at Horizons on 18th April when bookings should be confirmed.)
The new season launch is 8th May and I would be pleased if someone would come with me and help to choose the new programme.
Finally, if anyone missed the concert on Sunday 8th April, for which we were given free seats in the Grand Circle, it was broadcast on Radio 3 on Sunday and could be heard on iplayer. You missed a treat!
At some Thursday Horizons Meetings there is a Guest Visitor. This typically is a representative of an organisation (usually local) providing information of relevance to the U3A membership or perhaps a demo of an activity likely to be of interest to members.
Information on Diabetes
On Thursday 20 June, we welcome Joanne Sephton as our ‘Guest at Horizons’. Joanne works for the West Lancs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and takes the lead in the diagnosis and management of diabetes.
She will be with us all morning, so do come along and speak to her if you have any concerns at all about this condition.
Janice Tasker: – Ceramic Artist
Janice is an accomplished artist who has a wealth of experience in the field of ceramics. She makes and decorates her own tiles, which she then uses to create beautiful mosaics, often using driftwood or reclaimed timber for the base.
On Thursday 4th July Janice will be demonstrating how to create a mosaic at Horizons, with a view to leading a workshop on Saturday 28th September. Do come along and watch her at work. If you would like further details please contact our Speaker Meeting Secretary, Pam Ball, on 07974 749362.
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 are held at 10.30 on specified Thursday mornings throughout the year. From September onwards most meetings will be in Christ Church Ministry Centre. Coffee is available in the Scout & Guide HQ (very nearby the Church and its Ministry Centre) from 09.30 to 10.15 before the meeting. Everyone is welcome, so bring family, friends and neighbours.
Here is the latest information from our new Speaker Secretary for 2019 – Pam Ball.
See Pam’s Speaker Meetings for info on this year’s events so far.
On Thursday 6th June, a large audience welcomed local resident, writer and photographer, Peter Rimmer, who presented a fascinating and informative talk on Morecambe Bay.
Peter is a freelance writer and photographer from Southport, now living in Ormskirk. He was awarded a Master’s Degree in Photography by the University of Bolton in 2013, and has self-published a Photo Book “The tide’s the very devil” about Morecambe Bay and its shrimp fishermen. Peter specialises in Paralympic and disability sports as a photojournalist.
The illustrated talk is based on my Photobook “The tide’s the very devil: Morecambe Bay in photographs” describing the hazards, dangers and isolation of the Bay; some of its rich history; crossing the sands; shrimp fishing – the catch, landing, boiling and picking of shrimps; and the men and women involved. Shrimping is a family business where the traditions are handed down, and remain largely unchanged from one generation to another. The opportunity to use old family photographs enables me to compare and contrast the practices of today with what went before, showing similarity and difference.
The title of the talk comes from the first line of the chorus of On Morecambe Bay, a folk song written by an old school-friend from Southport and recorded by Irish folk singer Christy Moore. Kevin Littlewood was inspired to write the lyrics following the tragedy in February 2004 when 23 Chinese cockle pickers died after becoming trapped by rising tides at Hest Bank. It is a poignant reminder that the tide dictates every move on the sands.
The solitude, isolation and scale of Morecambe Bay were apparent on my first venture out on the sands sitting on the back of Michael’s tractor. I wanted to capture the feeling of isolation and show the wide open spaces. I also wanted to illustrate some of the features of the Bay such as myrings, footprints and tracks in the sand. Including aerial shots from a balloon. I discovered a rich history of literature and painting which under-score the story of life on the sands, and provide an external context largely unchanged today.
On Thursday 5th September Harold Hoggarth will speak about The Civil War in Lancashire.
Lancashire resident Harold has been delivering talks to community groups for over 12 years. He speaks on a wide range of topics including local history, music, theatre and puppetry, ornithology and geology. Through his talks he raises money for five different charities including Romania, RNLI, Bible Society, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis and Cap (Christians Against Poverty).
The English Civil War lasted from 1642 until 1660. Lancashire at that time was divided into six regions called “Hundreds” Of the six Hundreds of Lancashire only Salford and Blackburn were on the Parliamentary side. In the early part of the war, people in Lancashire generally volunteered to fight for their own principles even when these split communities and sometimes even families. Lancashire played a leading part in the course of the war in the North of England and so it is worth knowing about.
This talk and the accompanying PowerPoint was prepared by my friend Bill Wilson before he moved to Canada. He then left it with me to deliver on his behalf.
7th November – John Winter: Blame it on the Beatles – and Bill Shankly
I would be very pleased to hear from any members who would like to give a talk, or maybe you remember a past speaker you would like to hear from again.
Please email any ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07974 749362.
A Message from the Speaker Secretary:
- These meetings are open to the public. So do invite your friends even if they are not U3A members.
- Parking can be tricky on Thursday mornings. So, if you can, please consider car-sharing or alternative modes of transport. The handy half-hourly 310 Ormskirk – Liverpool bus stops very nearby on Holborn Hill. Some members ‘get active’ and walk, while a few even cycle now and then.
Past Speaker Meetings
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.
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.
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!
Do you have a problem with vision or do you know someone who is struggling to read because of an eye condition?
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.
So come along to the Gardening Group.
Click or tap on any picture to run the gallery as a a slide show.
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.
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 email@example.com or phone 07974 749362.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Church History Group is starting a new Series on Medieval Cathedrals in January. Keep an eye on the Church History Group Page for details of these ever-popular Talks (and a Cathedral Visit).