News and Reports

Speaker Meeting News

In Person Speaker Meetings are back!

The plan is to hold all Speaker Meetings at Aughton Village Hall as part of New Horizons, starting at 11.15 am. The first of these will take place on Thursday 19th August, when author Carolyn Kirby will speak about the background to her new book, When We Fall, a gripping 2nd World War thriller which was chosen by the Times and Sunday times as one of the 10 best historical novels of 2020.
Please click here for further information, and for October and November dates.

Friday Pilates Returns

A reminder from Leader Pam Ruscoe to members of her class:
The Friday Pilates Group begins this Friday 23rd July at 12.15pm until 1.15pm at the Scout & Guide HQ.
The Tuesday class has already recommenced.

Leg Muscle Ageing Research

Another request for research volunteers has been received:

I have been approached by Liverpool University Biomechanics Laboratory who are looking for volunteers to take part in a research project investigating the effect of ageing on leg muscle strength.  Please see more information on the Research Poster.

Our u3a have taken part in a previous project at the Biomechanics Laboratory on walking gait so we know that they work professionally with proper arrangements for confidentiality and safety.  If you are interested in getting out of the house as pandemic restrictions are eased, seeing university research work in action, and helping the study of the effects of ageing, please contact Dr. James Charles at directly.  I’ve checked with James: the MRI is only on your legs so you do not need to be worried about the claustrophobia which some people may get with whole body scans.

Jack Brettle

A Musical Treat

Our June Speaker Meeting, featuring the Fool’s Gold duo, was live on Zoom on Thursday 3 June…
click the poster for the full size version

Fool’s Gold – Dark Light

This Zoom Meeting was very much enjoyed by the members who attended.  To find out more about Fool’s Gold, and future u3a talks and events, see the Speaker Meetings page.


A Brief Brush with History

The sun was very hot, as usual, and my dress was long and with full sleeves due to the local custom. I couldn’t wear trousers of course as these were seen as the sign of a woman of ill repute,  and that’s not what  I particularly wanted to be mistaken for.  We were off on a visit and were driving ourselves so didn’t need to be collected by a car bearing the proverbial red number plates used by the royal family. The drive was quite short and the guards on the entry gate waved us in.  Inside the palace it was cool and we were shown into an ornate room decorated mostly in gold, probably real.

Our hostess, known by her Arabic title as Sheikha, entered wearing midnight blue embroidered in silver and her face covering was, as usual, black. Sheikha spoke extremely good English, had a great interest in world affairs and she was indeed  walking history as she remembered clearly the power struggles between the nomadic tribes in the Emirates when she, as a young girl, handed loaded guns to her uncle during the fighting.  We were made welcome and given orange juice and biscuits, the ones especially reserved for British visitors.

Then the afternoon commenced, the purpose of which was to help our hostess select the jewels she would wear for the forthcoming wedding of her nephew, son of the Ruler of Dubai.  The wedding would last seven days and for each day she would choose different sets of jewels to match the seven different garments she was to wear. Her assistants were summoned and soon there were leather and crocodile cases with jewels spilling out and two assistants handing round tiaras, necklets and ear-rings for our comments.  So many glittering gems but eventually choices were made, the ruby set chosen because our hostess knew that the Queen of England had a tiara similar to this one.  The diamonds because they were just so beautiful, (and hey they go with anything don’t they?)  We also visited the room next door which contained many metal suitcases filled with perfume and gifts from the Bride’s family.

Now it was nearing time to leave as we had stayed the required visiting time and were saying our thanks and farewells when our hostess asked if I would like to try the tiara that had belonged to the Shah of Persia which her nephew had recently purchased from Sotheby’s for 1.5 million pounds.  Of course I did, wouldn’t you?  This was probably the most exquisite item of jewellery I will ever see and I did wear it if only for two minutes.  I felt as though I had briefly held a piece of history and I will always remember our lovely friend Sheikha and her thoughtfulness and kindness.

So it was a lovely day out and an adventure, there were more adventures to follow and I’ve been very lucky to be part of them.

Megan Tomlinson


Follow the News

Keep an eye on this website for the latest u3a news – check out the links displayed in sidebar of this Front Page or the items on the News Page. The brand new Restart Page will also increasingly keep you informed as Groups and other activities get underway again over the next few months.

Refer to  your email for past and current enews and special enews and Bulletins, Newsletters. (For the relatively few members without an email address recorded on their Beacon Membership Record, a paper version of certain  important missives such as the occasional Newsletters are hand-delivered or sent in the Post.)

Speaker Meeting Success

Thank you to all those who have supported our Zoom Speaker Meetings so far. The talks have been hugely enjoyable, entertaining and informative, so if you haven’t zoomed in already, why not give it a try? The next one will take place on Thursday 6th May at 11 am, when John Whittles will join us to speak about Mason Bees. Click here for more information.

If you would like to attend, please email by Monday 3rd May to book your place – the Zoom information will be sent to you a couple of days before the meeting.

Pam Ball