News and Reports

Launch of the West Lancs Dementia Hub

The West Lancs Dementia Hub will launch at the Wellbeing Centre, Moorgate in Ormskirk, on Wednesday 8 May between 2.00 and 4.00 p.m.  It will then take place every 3rd Wednesday at the same time and in the same venue.  Anyone affected by dementia is welcome.
A range of Dementia related service providers and experts will be there to guide and advise those living with dementia and their carers.   We will serve free tea/coffee and cake and there will be a speaker, Dr Penny Foulds, who leads the well-established Hub in the Lancaster and Morecambe Bay area.  Members may recall that Penny came to speak to our U3A last year, her enthusiasm and positive outlook were infectious.
Members of our Textile Group have been making a tablecloth with the Dementia Friendly logo on it and it is hoped that it will be complete and on display on the day.
U3A became a ‘Dementia Friend’ last year after an awareness session was held for around 50 group leaders and I have been attending the planning meetings that have led to the Hub initiative.  Numbers of local organisations and businesses are supporters too and it is hoped that the Hub will provide a joined-up service for those who need support.  We need meeters and greeters at each event so, if you are interested in becoming involved, then do contact me.
Sue Watkinson
01695 422 423

Desert Island Favourites

Join our U3A Choir on a Desert Island!

Click or tap to view full-size.

Coping in adversity

The U3A catering corps, marshalled by Lily Bunner, certainly know how to keep the troops fed and watered!

Here they are providing the same fantastic Horizons service as usual, but in the unfamiliar Ministry Centre, while the Scout building works were in progress.

Philharmonic Visits News

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!

Guest Visitors

At some Thursday Horizons Meetings  there is a Guest Visitor, arranged by Sue Watkinson. This typically is a representative of an organisation (usually local) providing information of relevance  to the  U3A membership.

Our Guest at Horizons on Thursday 11th April is Jodie Taylor from Macmillan Information and Support Services, West Lancashire.  She is coming to promote an event they are hosting at Christ Church Ministry Centre on Friday 12th April which is for anyone who has ever had a cancer diagnosis and for their careers, friends and family.  Come along to Horizons and find out more between 9.30 and 11.00 a.m.

April Sunday Social

Make a date for a heated debate at this month’s Sunday Social.

Click of Tap for full sized version

Speaker Meetings

Speaker Meetings are held at 10.30 on specified Thursday mornings throughout the year, usually in Christ Church, Aughton. Coffee is available in the Scout & Guide HQ (very nearby the Church and its Ministry Centre) from 09.30 to 10.15 before the meeting. Everyone is welcome, so bring family, friends and neighbours.


Speaker Meetings in 2019

Here is the latest information from our new Speaker Secretary for 2019 – Pam Ball

FASCINATING INSIGHT INTO VICTORIAN LIFE

Our second Guest Speaker this year was Carolyn Kirby, whose debut novel The Conviction of Cora Burns has recently been published in the UK and USA. Carolyn’s fascinating talk focussed on the background to the novel, set in Victorian Birmingham, and in particular on research being carried out at the time into the question of Nature v Nurture, and what influences are at work in the criminal mind.

We heard first about Francis Galton, whose wide-ranging work included statistics, fingerprints, the first weather map and a counting system which enabled him to observe women and put them into categories: attractive, indifferent and repellent. It was interesting to hear that, according to Francis Galton’s survey, London had the best looking women and Aberdeen the ugliest! Arthur Munby studied working class women and married scullery maid Hannah Cullwick, who sported a 14” bicep. Their strange relationship was a living experiment, and we saw photographs of Hannah dressed as various different characters including a gentlewoman and a slave. WT Stead became known as ‘The Father of Tabloid Journalism’ and based his research on child prostitution. He was eventually prosecuted and convicted of abduction of a child, Eliza Armstrong, aged 13. The case hastened the raising of the age of consent from 13 to 16, where it remains today, and Eliza was immortalised in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

We are grateful to Carolyn for sharing her extensive knowledge and research with us in such an interesting and entertaining way. We wish her well with her new career and look forward to perhaps welcoming her back in the future.

 

On Thursday 6th June, we will welcome local resident, writer and photographer, Peter Rimmer,  who will present a 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.

Peter writes

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.

Looking ahead

5th September – Harold Hoggarth: The Civil War in Lancashire
7th November – John Winter: Blame it on the Beatles – and Bill Shankley

I would be very pleased to hear from any members who would like to give a talk, or maybe you remember a past speaker you would like to hear from again.

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

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

Much appreciation and hearty thanks to Sue Watkinson, who has recently ‘retired’ from the Speaker Secretary role, for a wonderful series of Speaker Meetings over her time of office. The variety and quality of the speakers arranged by Sue was truly excellent. Please take a few minutes to view and recall the extensive and interesting range of Past Speaker Meetings organised by Sue (as well a few from her predecessors).

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DVD recordings

The Speaker Meetings are recorded on DVD. DVDs can be obtained from Bill Evans at a cost of £3.  To order one, phone Bill on 01695 312479 or contact him at Horizons.

Keyboard Open Day

After having a peek at Dee’s career in the recent magazine we are eager to know more, so she has agreed to bring along some pictorial exhibits of her musical life including a short video.

We are making this an excuse to have a fun day without keyboards just cakes, chat and bubbly. We realise that other U3A members may wish to meet Dee, so you are invited to drop in and raise a glass to Dee Sheard to thank her for the 14 years of dedication to our Keyboard Music group.

Watch a video made for Dee’s 80th birthday in 2011 to celebrate her life with music.

Events Menu Item

Do check out a brand new item on the top horizontal menu bar of our website called Events.  This connects to a new page that provides easy links to non-Group-related events of general interest to members across the U3A.  (Some, such as certain Speaker Meetings,  may also be open to non-members.)

To keep content on this and all other pages timely, accurate and up-to-date, please, please  remember to inform the Web Team directly of event details.  It cannot be assumed that if you send information to the Magazine and /or the enews editor, it will magically appear on the website.  It does not.  So additionally, please remember to send event and other details to:

webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk.

The Great Twin Ponds Project

Wednesday 6th March 2019

Many Lancashire farms have a pond at their field boundaries or in a quiet corner; these are often overgrown and neglected.  Helen Greaves, came to tell the Science Group how these lifeless ponds may be restored to health in partnership with local farmers to improve biodiversity and aid wildlife conservation.  Helen is a great enthusiast for this work, this came across strongly in her talk with the result that many in the audience are now much more interested in what can be done in this area.  We expect shortly some “advertising material” which will tell us how we can volunteer and get more involved: so watch this space!

Sight Matters

Do you have a problem with vision or do you know someone who is struggling to read because of an eye condition?

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

Andrew Coleman, who is the Technical Support Officer for Galloways Society for the Blind, will be leading a two hour session on Friday 29th March from 2.00 – 4.00 p.m. in the Scout & Guide HQ.  He will explain and demonstrate the use of up to date technologies aimed at people who need extra help.

We’ll serve tea and biscuits in the interval to give you time for questions and hand-on experience.

Please share the date and details with friends and neighbours.

If you have any questions please contact Sue Watkinson on 01695 422423.

 

Spring is round the corner

So come along to the Gardening Group.

Click or tap on any picture to run the gallery as a a slide show.

Meet the Fire & Rescue Service

A message from Sue Watkinson about a Guest Visitor  that she has organised.

Our Guests at Horizons on Thursday 7th March will be two representatives of the Fire & Rescue Service.  They will bring along their literature and talk to individual members about safety in the home and what services they can offer to the retired population of Lancashire.

Recently they replaced a smoke alarm for me.   The neighbours were impressed to see a big, red Fire Engine outside the house for a good 20 minutes while the work was done and we were given a thorough Fire Safety check and good advice.

Introducing our new Speaker Secretary

We have been very fortunate in having an excellent series  of Speaker Meetings of recent years organised by Sue Watkinson and her Team. For a resume of past Speaker Meetings, please see:

Sue has now retired from this important and valued role and member, Pam Ball, has kindly stepped forward to take over.  Here is a message from Pam:

I’ve been a member of the U3A for some years now – I attended the German group for a while when it first started and have been to one or two other events, but because of family responsibilities I haven’t been able to commit myself to anything on a regular basis. Things have changed for me now and I look forward to greater involvement and getting to know a few more people. My professional background is in teaching, and my interests range from gardening to all aspects of the arts.

Sue will be a hard act to follow I know, and initially I will be scaling things down a little bit so that we will have a speaker every other month. We will be starting on Thursday 7th February with a subject very dear to our hearts – Chocolate! Andrew Thwaite is a former chef who for many years has specialised in the history and manufacture of chocolate, and I’m sure his talk will be just the thing to brighten the dull days of February. Apparently he brings samples as well! Have a look at his website https://www.andrewthwaite.org.uk.

Looking forward to Thursday 4th April, we have Carolyn Kirby, who will speak about her new book ‘Victorian Scientists and Scandals: true stories behind The Conviction of Cora Burns‘.

Carolyn writes: My novel The Conviction of Cora Burns will be published in the UK and USA in March 2019. This is a historical thriller set in 1880s Birmingham about a troubled young woman, Cora Burns who was born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse. Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of a scientist, Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora?

The novel is inspired by some real Victorian lives and events. My talk will give an insight into the research that underlies the fictional narrative of the novel.

Looking ahead, I would be very pleased to hear from any members who would like to give a talk, or maybe you remember a past speaker you would like to hear from again. Please email any ideas to speakerteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk  or phone 07974 749362.

Final Jazz Appreciation Meeting

In December, we received a message from Sur Watkinson:

The Jazz Appreciation Group held its last event on Friday evening 14 December with a superb performance by the Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band.  Group numbers for regular meetings have fallen to single figures and our mainstay, Keith Lamb, has retired to spend more time with his family.  In the circumstances, we find ourselves unable to continue, so the Group has now closed for the moment.

Finance & Resources Vacancies

Alan Starkie has issued a message asking for volunteers.  Alan is to be found most Thursdays at Horizons at the Digital Camera / Computer Table in the far corner of the Aughton Room in the Scout & Guide HQ.  He also is a Helper at Computer Advice on Mondays.

There are vacancies on the Finance and Resources Sub-Committee. A background in finance is desirable but not essential. If you are interested in serving on this Sub-Committee or would like more information then please contact Alan Starkie.

Magazine Distribution

A message from the current Magazine Distribution Organiser, Peter Trigwell:

Many rumours are flying about the U3A at the moment with a view to what is happening with the magazine distribution.  Let me try and answer some of them.  The next Distribution date is the 28th February, and nothing will change at this time, magazines can still be collected from Horizons and from certain group leaders who already hand magazines out at their groups.  Magazines will also still be posted out on this occasion.

The changes will be made on the subsequent distribution days.  On these days, each new magazine will initially be available for collection at Horizons, and there will be a distribution desk at the following three Horizons.  This provides four weekly opportunities to collect your magazine each time.
Hand deliveries will continue for as long as the volunteers wish to carry them out.  I would like to wholeheartedly thank all the volunteers who already give up their time to make this process work.

I do now need to ask if there is anyone who is willing to take on the distribution role as I am looking to step down from this post due to other U3A commitments. If anyone is willing could you please get in touch with a member of the Management Committee or me.  I would be quite willing to work alongside a new distribution manager for several copies.

A fuller explanation will appear in the next magazine.

Pete Trigwell

Horizons Chair Rota – members wanted!

Magically, each Thursday morning, members arrive for their coffee and chat to find chairs and tables set out ready for them, cups lined up and kettles brewed.  The small teams of helpers arrive just after 9.00 a.m. and spent around 20 minutes getting the rooms ready.  Over the last twelve months the number of members willing to help with chairs has dropped and some new recruits are needed.

If you could manage a little light exercise helping out once every four weeks then do please get in touch with me and we can agree dates for the rest of this year.  So many members will be grateful to you for your time.

Contact Sue Watkinson on 01695 422 423.

Church History New Series

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).

Robot Constructor’s Challenge

We have had an approach from Barry James, the leader of Cannock Chase U3A Science & Technology group in the West Midlands region. He is proposing a Robot Constructor’s Challenge, open to any U3A team who would like to construct a moving robot type device; he says that this would be interesting to technology or construction groups who may like to do something practical, and then come together to see how their constructions compete against each other. He has the support of the National and Midland Regional U3A in this venture.

A call to Aughton & Ormskirk U3A Members…

Are there any mechanical or electrical constructors in our U3A who’d like to build a robot capable of moving and being controlled? You may have heard of “Raspberry Pi”, “Arduino” or “Picaxe”, which are all programmable devices, and will aid the use of sensors on robot devices so the challenge will clearly be of interest to coding creators too. If successful the robot would be demonstrated and compete with those of other U3As, undertaking some simple challenges at Aston University in Birmingham where the U3A Science Network is holding its annual meeting in August 2019. It is also hoped that a visit to the School of Engineering & Applied Science Robotics department will be included.

We have some limited expertise in our U3A in this area and if there was sufficient interest we could take part in this activity. We are just looking for expressions of interest at the moment. If you want to learn more please contact Jack Brettle at brettlej@gmail.com for more background information

Magazine, enews, Website and Facebook Publicity “Deadlines”

Do you need to publicise a U3A event or activity? Here are the deadlines for advertising in various methods of communication with members.

Remember that you need to separately contact the editors for all ouf the various media where you want your item to appear.  Sending to one does not mean that it will  automatically appear in the others.

Quarterly Magazine

  • copy for next magazine: deadline as publicised in latest magazine

Monthly enews

  • deadline for enews items: NOON on the last Monday of the month

U3A Website

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

U3A Facebook

Please refer to the Communicating within our U3A webpage for more information on these “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 enews and the Website, you will need to send in a separate form to each “editor”  individually.

2018 Christmas Lunch

Some photos taken by Geoff Roberts and Bill & Sue Watkinson at the lunch on 14th December 2018, organised by the Social Subcommittee:

December country dancing

Country Dancing Group – 7.12.18 A special treat today as we danced to a live band The Lancashire Workshop Band and had refreshments afterwards. They kept us on our toes and we and the band earned those excellent refreshments.

Dances :-

  • Sprigs of Laurel a longways dance published by Ann & Peter Thompson 1794
  • Young Phyllis of Wakefield another longways dance.
  • Pine Cones a contemporary dance (1974) by Pat Shaw for 3 couples.
  • The Drummer a longways dance & big favourite which we haven’t danced for a while, so very enjoyable.
  • Trip to Sheringham a 4 couple square set dance which we danced twice.
  • The Geud man of Ballangigh A Playford dance from 1728.
  • and to finish Guildhall a longways dance.

there was dancing on the 14th but not recorded.

                                                           No dancing  until 11th January when Elfrida will be our dancing mistress, June Jones returns on 18th and anyone thinking of a New Year activity will be very welcome to join us then.

Many thanks to June for another great year of Country dancing. Also her alternate Elfrida for keeping us dancing when June has a break.

Hope you all enjoyed a good Christmas and have a Happy Healthy 2019.

New Group – British History

British History is a brand new Group, starting on 7 January,  in which you can learn anew or refresh your memories about the fascinating History of our homeland from the Norman Conquest till the reign of Victoria.

See the new British History Group Page for full details.

Christmas Party 2018

German Conversation Group Christmas Party 2018

On Nov. 28th Christmas came early to U3A’s German Conversation group. The final class of 2018 was organised around a theme of “Christmas in Germany” and to add to the occasion, spouses and partners had been invited to join us. The group was greeted cheerfully with glasses of warm “Glühwein” and “Häppchen”- German nibbles. Having been put in the mood, we settled down to a series of quizzes arranged around our summer out of class activities and intended to test our memories and the German we have learnt this year.

This was followed by an extended break when two long, tastefully decorated tables to match the Christmas Theme, were liberally covered with typical German delicacies and liquid refreshments.

After the break the group were entertained by a three handed comic sketch built around the concept of guests arriving at what they thought was a typical German Gasthof only to find the proprietor practised an Alternative Style of Living. As the prospective guests were shown around they discovered to their horror, that they were expected to dine in the bathroom; sleep in the kitchen and bathe in the lounge! What strange ideas some people do have. Needless to say the prospective guests decided not to stay there and promptly left.

The class ended with the hearty singing of the German Christmas songs “O Tannenbaum” (The Fir Tree), “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”) and “Still, still, still” (the same in both German and English) accompanied by recordings of German choirs.

Everyone had an enjoyable time and the class ended with a show of appreciation to Joan, Joyce and Norma in the traditional manner.

Rae Martin

Beginners’ Tap-dancing Course

Beginners’ Tap-dancing Class 2019

Six week course:  Wednesday 9 January – Wednesday 13 February – 10.30-11.30 (1 hour)

This class is for anyone who fancies learning to tap-dance and is suitable for those who have had no tap-dancing experience. It will deliver the basic tap-dance steps at a pace which will suit the individual.

It will be held at Aughton Women’s Institute (newly refurbished) on Town Green Lane. You do not need tap shoes but you do need some comfortable flexible-soled shoes (not trainers).

If you want to speak to the Coordinator, please ring Irene (01695 578263) and if any ex-tappers wish to donate their unwanted tap shoes, then please contact Irene and she will arrange to collect them.  (Irene is also the new Coordinator of the U3A  Tap Dancing Group,)

Christmas Cheer with the U3A

In December, many of our U3A Groups have a special December Meeting with a seasonal flavour.  Check the Groups List or the Programme Page to see if there is one for you to attend

If any Group Leaders would like their Xmas Do added to the Calendar  on the Sidebar of News Page, please email:

webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk 

December 25th has been and gone.  Please send us photos of your U3A Christmas events that the members on them are happy to have published on the website. So far, we are very pleased to hear about:

Shakespeare Revisited Returns

The Shakespeare Revisited group closed for a while last year. However, there is now a new group leader, Eila Wall and the group is starting again in the New Year.

The first meeting is on Tuesday 8th January 2019 from 2pm to 4pm and will meet in the upstairs room at the Ministry Centre.

All former members will be very welcome, as is anyone who has an interest in Shakespeare. Don’t worry if Shakespeare is a distant memory – no previous knowledge is required.

If you think you might want to join the group or find out more, please phone Eila Wall on 01695 423341 at any time prior to the first meeting.

December Guest Visitor

Paula Gatterall from West Lancs Borough Council is running a FREE weight management programme and attended Horizons as Guest Visitor on Thursday 13 December to talk to members about this.  The programme will be held in the Christ Church Ministry Centre  starting in January 2019.

The meetings are on Thursday mornings, so handily timed to combine with a visit to Horizons beforehand!

Note that this is NOT a U3A course.  It is understood that as well as information on better food choices, there will be encouragement to become more active. (And, of course, our U3A provides many opportunities to do that – see the List of Groups.)

Aughton and Ormskirk U3A Motorcycle Group.

Are there any motorcycle enthusiasts in our U3A, out riding on their own? We are a couple who are motorcyclists who would like to enjoy the company of like-minded people on sensible ride outs.

If you have a bike (any size) and are keen to ride to interesting places at sensible speeds (within speed limits) during the week then please get in touch.

We would look to operate rides between April and September and, if there is interest, the odd ride out or meetings in other months.  Please contact Marilyn and Richard Jones 01695 570280.