News and Reports 2017

Writing for Fun – Best Competition Entries

Earlier this year we held a competition, open to non-members, for the best story or poem on the subject of Home. Though the number of entries was not overwhelming, the quality was excellent! The best entries are listed below. The overall winner was judged to be the story The House by Sue Watkinson. Congratulations Sue and everyone else who entered.

(If the writer of The Wren will get in touch I can reattach your name to your poem!)

The House by Sue Watkinson

The See-Through House by Megan Tomlinson

Home Counties Home by Joan Potter

Houses and Homes by Joan Ridout

The Wren by ????????

Brian Yates (Writing for Fun Group Leader)

What’s On – July 2017

If any of these activities take your fancy in July, search and browse this website and check your magazine and e-newsletter for further information on them.

Click or tap on any pic to get the presentation going ………

Memories of Aughton

A member from Oundle U3A  – Kathryn Baird, a former resident of Aughton – has contacted the Web Team as follows:

I was born and brought up in Aughton but left in 1980.  I am a member of Oundle U3A where I belong to two Creative Writing groups.  Inspired by those U3A groups, I have published my family’s memories of Aughton Parochial School and added the Aughton memories of Miss Marjorie Holmes which she wrote in 1978.  To make it available to as many people as possible, I have published it as a website:  

I wonder if this is something you could publicise to your members?

Do take some time to check out this website.  I’m sure it will be of great interest to long-time residents of the parish, as well as members of groups such as Local History and Writing or Fun and those members on the Writing Your Life Story short course.

Joyce Nolan (Web Manager)

Tai Chi and Chi Kung Summer School

This is a weekly class (for U3A members) starting on Wednesday, 26 July from 14:00-15:00 at Scarisbrick Village Hall, Smithy Lane. It will run for 5 weeks, to 23 August. The cost will be £10. This class is open to ALL levels of students, from beginner to experienced.

We will be learning and practising Chi Kung at each class, and then sampling a different Tai Chi form.

Chi Kung are exercises similar to Tai Chi but without the intricacy. Chi Kung is practised in China by people of all ages to maintain health and it is one of the 5 branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Check out the U3A Tai Chi Group Page for info on other classes.

Occasional Tour – July 2017

There are still places on the coach for the next Occasional Tour.  The trip is to the Buddhist Centre, Ulverston, Cumbria on Wednesday 5th July.

You can book with a cheque for £24.00 at Horizons until 22nd June. The cost includes Afternoon Tea at the Centre.


Compost Bin going Free

A U3A member has contacted me to say that he has “a large composting bin (reasonable condition and undamaged)”. It is  going free (including delivery).

If any gardeners among our members are interested, please contact me via the website Contact Form, checking Web Manager on the drop-down list.

Joyce Nolan (Web Manager)

Summer Choir Concert

Choir Concert ‘Singing in Summer’, soloist Susan Black, will be in the Oakleaf Room at Aughton Village Hall on June 24th at 7:30pm. Tickets £5 from Horizons or Ruth Griffiths (01695 571772) or Margaret Billington (01257 424760). The bar will be open.

Joan Potter

What’s On – June 2017

Want to get out and about this June? Then here are just some of the many U3A activities available both outdoors and indoors.  (Contact the Web Manager if you would like your June Group or cross-U3A event adding to the Gallery below.)

If any of these activities take your fancy, search and browse this website and check your magazine and e-newsletter for further information on them.

Click or tap on any pic to get the presentation going ………


Guest Visitor – June 2017

 Our Guest Visitor at Horizons on Thursday 1 June is …….

Amanda Boult from the Alzheimer’s Society.

Venue: Scout & Guide HQ, Long Lane, Aughton

Time: 9.30 – 11.30 a.m.

Amanda is a Dementia Adviser and Support Worker for Alzheimer’s Society in West Lancashire and will be available to chat to members at the coffee morning to assist with any individual concerns you may have and to also provide more general information and guidance about memory problems and dementia.

Please do come along and meet Amanda for an informal chat or just to pick up any information, as she will bring along lots of factsheets and details of local services run by Alzheimer’s Society which members can access.

Sue Watkinson

Summer Social Tickets

Tickets are already selling well for this Year’s Summer Social Evening.

You can now buy yours at Horizons.

Click on the poster to view details full-size.


Publicising your U3A Event

There seems to be a wee bit of confusion about how best to advertise U3A events.  For example, under the present system, if you want an item to appear in each one of  the quarterly magazine, the monthly email e-newsletter and the anytime website, you should send copy to the editors of these 3 media individually. (Group Authors, of course, can update their Group pages on the website for themselves.) (more…)

Tai Chi Beginners – Taster Classes Continue

The two initial 4-week taster sessions for Tai Chi Beginners finished on 25 May.

But the taster classes restarted on 8 June, running for 7 weeks

at Aughton Village Hall

Try out Tai Chi at the new trial classes for Beginners

14:45 – 15:45


16:00 – 17:00

Cost is £2 per session, payable at the start, ie £14 in total.

Contact Mary Forshaw (01695 574531) or Janet Piggin (01695 575736) if interested.

The Confucius Institute – free cultural workshops

The Confucius Institute at Edge Hill University are running a series of interesting workshops this June,  They are free and open to the public.  This is a great opportunity to learn something of Chinese culture and meet new people while doing so.  Please refer to Confucius Institute Events for details of the 4 workshops and the contact link for booking.

Group Leaders’ First Aid Demo

This event, run by St John’s Ambulance, is taking place on Tuesday 30th May at 2:15pm at the Scout & Guide HQ.

There are still a few vacancies left. Any Group Leader or someone from the Group that they nominate  should ring Iain Smart  on 01704 220618 to book a place.

Dementia Awareness Week

Members may be interested to know about Dementia Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May 2017.  Sue Watkinson, who leads the team  arranging the Guest Speakers and Visitors, has been sent notification of the following events taking place in West Lancashire:

Wednesday 17 May, 9am – 4pm: Alzheimer’s Society Information Event at Ormskirk Hospital

An information stand supported by the West Lancs Dementia Adviser & Support Worker will be available on the main corridor to chat with staff, patients and visitors to raise awareness and answer questions about dementia and support available.  People will also have the opportunity to add a wish or memory on to a memory tree.

Wednesday 17 May, 1:20pm – 3:30pm: Age UK Dementia Friendly Afternoon Tea at the Wellbeing Centre, Ormskirk

The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of dementia and provide an opportunity for local people living with dementia or a memory problem, their carers, family members and friends to come together and gain support and information in a nostalgic environment.   Further details from Caroline Thompson at Age UK 0300 303 1234

Saturday 20 May: CLM Church – Sponsored Walk – Rufford Loop via Mere Sands Woods

The walk is open to everyone and will help raise funds to help set-up a CLM dementia friendly activity and resource lending library, so fellowship and community members can loan fun and meaningful activities to use with anyone they know who is affected by dementia.  Further details from Ginny Salkfield at CLM Church  01695 574103

Information Display – All week – Skelmersdale Library

Contact Noreen Martin for further details on 03001236703.

Note also that the June Guest Visitor at Horizons is  Amanda Boult, from the Alzheimer’s Support Group.

Debate and Entertainment at the May Sunday Social


Looking to liven up a quiet Sunday afternoon?  Come along to one of our monthly Sunday Socials. For example, on Sunday 23 April members were treated to 3 films.

If you missed that event, then join us on Sunday 28 May for a lively debate (as well as the customary chat, a cuppa and biscuits followed by a light hearted quiz).

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

Support the U3A Cricket Team this May

U3A Cricket XI are playing Ormskirk Occasionals on Tuesday, 2nd May at 6.00pm in a 20-over match.

If you missed this match, there is  another on Sunday, 14th May at 2.00pm – an afternoon match again against the Ormskirk Occasionals.

Any support would be welcome.

What’s On – May 2017

Want to Spring into action this May? Then here are just some of the many U3A activities to consider. (Contact the Web Manager if you would like your group or May event adding to the Gallery below.) (more…)

Guest Visitor – April 2017: Dial a Ride

On Thursday 27 April,  Philip Walker, Manager of the West Lancs Dial a Ride organisation, joined us  at Horizons to explain how some U3A members can access the services of this local charity either with the well known mini-buses or through the Community Car Scheme. More information is readily available through the Dial a Ride website.


Drama in April

If you missed this excellent show, then look out for the next production of the Drama Group in October!


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



Musical Theatre in May

Click or tap on the Poster to view full-size

If you missed this show, watch out on the website for news of the next one in October.  Or maybe even think about taking part by joining the Musical Theatre Group. They have a lot of fun rehearsing and performing.

Tai Chi Beginners Class

We are starting a 4 week Tai Chi class for beginners at Aughton Village Hall commencing on Thursday 4 May at 14.45 and which will last for an hour. The cost is £2 per session.

The Tutor will be Heather Reade, an Aughton resident, who might be  known to some of you.

Anybody interested should ring Iain Smart on 01704 220618.

Tai Chi Classes Past and Future

A message from Bob Broughton who has been the U3A Tai Chi Leader for over 10 years…..

Sorry to have to say, both Tai Chi classes will finish on Wednesday, 29 March, with me as instructor. It has been a difficult decision to make but circumstances have changed.

I will miss you all but will see you around.


And a Thank You from his Group ……

Bob Broughton’s Tai Chi group would like to wish both Bob and Maggie a happy retirement, after over 10 years of leading our classes.

They will be greatly missed by us all. We hope they enjoy many well earned holiday breaks in the future. We wish them well, and thank them for all they have done for us over the past 10 years.

Check the Tai Chi Group Page for information on the reinstatement of Tai Chi.

APRIL 17 Competition Winners


Walking Netball Taster

A unique opportunity to try out Walking Netball has been offered to our members by Maghull U3A:

Netball England are providing taster sessions for 4 weeks starting 5th May, 10.30 to 11.30 at West Lancs College in Skelmersdale Campus WN8 6DX, for Maghull and Lydiate U3A.  These sessions are FREE  and provide a great opportunity to try a new skill or improve the skill you already have.  We would welcome members from other U3As to join in with us in this great opportunity.
Walking Netball is a slowed down version of the game of netball designed for anyone looking to exercise in a relaxed, supportive and friendly environment.  It is suitable for all ages and abilities and every session contains a gentle warm-up.
Please contact Brenda McKenzie on 0151 531 0207 or send a text to 07900525222 to register your interest.

What’s On – April 2017

Looking for things to do, places to go and new opportunities to ‘Get Active’ this Spring? Then here are just some of the many U3A activities to consider. (Contact the Web Manager if you would like your group or April event adding to the Gallery below.)

Click or tap on any pic to get the presentation going ………


A Thank You Message

Bob Broughton’s Tai Chi group would like to wish both Bob and Maggie a happy retirement, after over 10 years of leading our classes.

They will be greatly missed by us all. We hope they enjoy many well earned holiday breaks in the future. We wish them well, and thank them for all they have done for us over the past 10 years.

New Arrangements for Tai Chi

A message from Iain Smart, Chair of the Learning and Group Support Committee:

As you are aware Bob Broughton is giving up as Group Leader after the classes on 29 March. We are pleased to announce that we have found a new tutor Heather Reed to replace him.

Iain Smart, Chair of the Learning and Group Support Committee will be introducing her to the present members of both groups at Bob’s last sessions.

Dianne Piggin has volunteered to take on the roll of coordinator for the second group and we will need someone to do a similar roll for the first group. Her telephone number is 577837. Any volunteers?

If demand is there Heather is prepared to start a third class provided accommodation can be found.

March Sunday Social

Our very own U3A Pearl will be performing at the February Speaker Meeting

Join us for the Sunday Social at the Scout & Guide HQ.

There will be entertainment from our very own raconteur, Pearl and a Quiz.



U3A facebook Facts

Are you a U3A Aughton and Ormskirk member?

Are you a facebook user?

Have you ‘Liked’ the U3A Aughton and Ormskirk facebook page?

To be kept informed of U3A activities without the need to search for them, all you need do is ‘Like’ our page.   You’ll find it under ‘U3A Aughton and Ormskirk’ in facebook and all that’s needed is to click the box in the heading area and thereafter anything posted by a U3A leader who is an ‘Editor’  will automatically appear on your own page whenever posted.   

Group leaders can request to be a ‘Friend’ of Brian Bostock (need only be temporary until he appoints you as an editor) and then you can have almost instant communication with your group members by posting on the page.  Additionally, of course, it will make other U3A members aware of your group’s existence.

Brian Bostock

(U3A facebook Editor)

Magazine, e-news, Website and Facebook “Deadlines”

Do you need to publicize a U3A event or activity? Here are the timings and deadlines for advertising in some of methods of communication.

Next Magazine Deadlines

  • any articles and photos: 15 May
  • forthcoming group events: 22 May

Next e-newsletter Deadline

  • e-news items: 29 May

U3A Website

  • Group and other News and Events, Photos etc:  Anytime

U3A Facebook

Please refer to the Communicatng within our U3A webpage for more information on these “publications” and how to contact their “editors”.

Note that if you are using the Contact form to send in an item for publication in the Magazine, the e-newsletter and the Website, you will need to send in a separate form to each “editor” of the publication that you want it to appear in.

Active Ageing with the U3A

Active Ageing with the U3A

Alex McMinn, Founding Chairman of Aughton & Ormskirk U3A, has produced a couple of papers on the topic of Active Ageing – something all our members are putting into practice by enthusiastically participating in a wide range of group activities  and other  events.

Tai-Chi class – Goodbye

Bob Broughton  is retiring from being the U3A Tai Chi Leader for over 10 years. He has posted the following message to his class on the web page.

Sorry to have to say, both Tai Chi classes will finish on Wednesday, 29 March, with me as instructor. It has been a difficult decision to make but circumstances have changed. I will miss you all but will see you around. BOB.

We received the following message from Doreen Williams:

I was very sad to hear Bob was retiring from our lovely class of Tai-Chi, but, may I thank him and his wife Maggie for all their hard work, keeping us fit and making such a long term, 10 year commitment to the class, we are all devastated. Bob and Maggie – here’s wishing you both a happy retirement from all the Tai-Chi class.
The web team also wish to send their best wishes for his well-earned  “retirement”! (We are sure your classes will be much missed and that many members will have greatly benefited from all your efforts over those 10+ years.)

What’s On – March 2017

Looking for things to do, places to go and new opportunities to ‘Get Active’ this Spring? Then here are just some of the many U3A activities to consider. (more…)

“Get Active” Meeting

Get Active with a Wearable Tracker

Thursday 16 March – 2.00 pm

Christ Church Ministry Centre

In response to the interest of many members we have purchased some wearable trackers as a trial.  Come and join the new club.  There’s nothing miraculous about exercise but it is effective  in disease prevention, secondary prevention and treatment of many common diseases.  Join the Club!

Alex McMinn

Jack Brettle

Shine a Light on Beacon

Still in the dark about the  U3A Beacon Management System?  Then let the Membership Secretary, Ian Haskell, enlighten you at the March Computer Tutorial on Tuesday 7th March at 2pm in the Scout & Guide HQ.

This workshop is of interest and relevance to all members, not just the usual ‘Computer enthusiasts’.  For example, among other things, you can  find out about:

  • the newly announced  Beacon online membership renewal feature
  • how you can update your personal details on the Beacon database
  • a method for group leaders to easily communicate with their group members.

After the talk and demonstration from Ian and refreshments, there will be a hands-on opportunity to try out Beacon features for yourself. So bring your ownlaptop or tablet.  (Though there will also be computers and tablets on hand for your use.)

If you missed this Tutorial then get the necessary detail for Renewal of Membership via the Join Us webpage.

Gardening News

Although the Gardening Group is currently dormant – like our gardens during the winter months – David Blanchflower has been producing interesting, useful and colourful gardening  newsletters for you.

The latest one has some handy hints of things to do in the March garden and some facts about snowdrops.

You can see the March garden newsletter on the ‘virtual’ Gardening Group webpage which is still available.

Guest Visitor – February 2017

On February 16, members attending Horizons were invited to share their memories of Ormskirk and district with representatives from Ormskirk Community Partnership (OCP) which is a voluntary group working to ensure that our local heritage is secured for future generations.

They are also working with the Ormskirk Family History group which already has many recorded memories.  So, if you remember anything about the past, do come along and talk to them; let them record your thoughts so you can be part of history.

Keeping Active in Winter

Members are very welcome to come along to the Short Mat Bowling at Scarisbrick Village Hall – an activity to help you “stay active” during the winter months.

U3A Celebration Video

Sue Watkinson has drawn our attention to a message from U3A National Office which contains a link to a video that contains a speech from Eric Midwinter, one of our founders.

We are pleased to announce that the video recording of our Celebration of 1,000 U3As is now available to view on our YouTube Channel.  It is also available from the home page of the national website.

U3A Summer Schools 2017

Sign up this Spring to Learn something new at a U3A Summer School!

The acclaimed North West Summer School takes its place once again among the various national and regional U3A Summer Schools held  throughout July and August.


Special Saturday Local History Event

There is a special Local History meeting this Saturday 18th February.

Note the change of day, time and place from the usual for  Local History meetings.

Click on Margaret’s Poster for details.

Another Getting Started with Tablets course

February sees the return of the popular Getting Started with Tablets 3-week short course.  See Computer Courses for booking and contact details.

If there are no places left or the course is too basic for your requirements (it is aimed at complete beginners), then drop in sometime to a Computer Advice slot for individual help.

Open Forum for U3A Golfers

Interested in U3A Golf? Then do show up at the Golf Forum on Wednesday 8th and have your say.

Click or tap to see full-size flyer.

A Taste of Raspberry PI

If you would like a taste of Raspberry Pi, join us at the February Computer Tutorial on Tuesday afternoon of the 7th. Those expecting it will be “a piece of cake”, but techie-types should find the session very informative.  There will be tea/coffee and biscuits for those needing a bite.

For more info see the Computer Tutorial Group Page or our U3A  facebook page  (courtesy of Brian Bostock).


Horizons Coffee Meetings

The Horizons Coffee Meetings are a popular weekly event at our U3A.

Non-members are also very welcome to join us for a cup of coffee (or tea)  and a chat to find out what U3A is all about and to join up if they like what they find.

Note that this week, Thursday 16th February, there is a special Guest Visitor – see the Horizons webpage.  (You’ll need to scroll down the left-hand column a bit!)

Click on a photo for a full-size view of a typical morning at Horizons.

What’s On – February 2017

Looking for things to do, places to go this February? Then here are some U3A activities to consider.

Click or tap on any pic to get the presentation going ………

Speaker Meeting – February 2017

If you did miss the chance to hear our very own U3A Pearl at the Speaker Meeting in February, keep an eye on the Speaker Meeting website column for the next Speaker.

Contractors List 2017 – Explanatory Notes

We have  been asked to look into the possibility of reviving the so-called “Contractors List”.  To that end we are proposing a simple system:

  • A form will be available in the Scout & Guide HQ allowing members to nominate a business for inclusion in the list
  • An online version of the form is also available for members to download and print for themselves
  • A box for the return of completed nomination forms will be available at Horizons
  • Each nomination will require a member to make the proposition
  • The business being nominated for inclusion will be expected to confirm their willingness to be listed
  • The names of businesses being nominated will be posted on a board in the Scout & Guide HQ. This will give an opportunity for members to comment on the nomination
  • After a two week period has passed the business will be listed
  • We will ask the listed businesses to let us know if there are any changes in their circumstances and members should also feel free to let us know

It is our intention to start the list from scratch. The old list contains details of businesses which no longer appear to be trading and is therefore unreliable. The old list also appears to have expanded beyond its original purpose.

Thus it is intended that the list should confine itself to businesses providing services in or to the home ie painters and decorators, builders, roofers, central heating engineers, electricians, domestic cleaners etc. We will not therefore expect to list shops.

It is likely to take a while to build up the list which is for information only.

Appearance on the list does not in any way imply a recommendation or endorsement by Aughton and Ormskirk U3A.

John Butterworth

Colin Gray

Family History and Liverpool Heritage Study Day

The new U3A  Lancashire – Merseyside Network has organised a study day which is open to Aughton and Ormskirk U3A members.