News and Reports

Speaker Meetings

Please note this Speaker Meeting will take place at Aughton Village Hall

On Thursday 7th October at 11.15 am writer Martin Lloyd will be joining us. The title of his talk is Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies, a dramatic account of how the actions of a group of assassins brought about a change in the passport regulations; how the unmasking of a spy caused a modification in passport design and how, for one man, the passport itself turned into a killer.

Martin Lloyd first came to national notice when, on BBC Radio 4’s programme, Midweek, he enthralled listeners with his accounts of the history of the passport whilst comfortably patching over the hole left by an absent programme guest, much to the relief of the presenter – after all, this was live radio.
He left HM Immigration Service after 24 years to concentrate on his writing and it was while engaged in research for his book, The Passport, the History of Man’s Most Travelled Document, that he uncovered the three interesting stories which he will be presenting in his talk, Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies.
He is often heard on radio or seen on television; he has been on BBC’s You and Yours, The One Show and Making History and when the blue passport was introduced recently he was obliged to race around the country to deliver eleven television and radio interviews in the space of twelve hours.
He now has eleven titles published, covering romance and thriller fiction, travel humour and history and you will have the opportunity to purchase a selection of his books at discount after his talk.


On Thursday 4th November (venue to be confirmed), author, speaker and raconteur Philip Caine will be joining us. The title of his talk is  From Barrow to Baghdad.

Born in 1950 in Barrow-in- Furness, Philip’s working life began in the hotel business. His career developed in the oil industry and 30 years were spent in places such as the North Sea, Algeria, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Russia. From 2003, he spent 7 years in post war Baghdad working with the American coalition and a further 3 years running oil services companies in Dubai. He retired in 2015 and began writing and public speaking, since then he has spoken at over 400 venues all over the UK and written 9 adventure thrillers. All Philip’s books are available in Paperback, eBook and Audio format. For more information see



Please keep an eye on newsletters, enews and website for the latest information.

Pam Ball

See Pam’s Past Speaker Meetings for info on previous events.

Please email any ideas for Future Speaker Meetings to Pam Ball, our Speaker Meeting Organiser,  at:  or phone 07974 749362.

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.


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.)