News and Reports

Pilates via Zoom

The Pilates tutor, Laura Gornell, has sent this email to u3a Pilates Group Coordinator, Lorna:

Hi everyone,

Hope this email finds you well. It has been a very strange year for us all and I am sure we didn’t expect things to last this long. However we have the vaccine now and spring is around the corner.
I am sure you are missing your pilates as much as I am missing teaching you but we are still not able to get back to the Hall just yet. However I would like to give you the opportunity to try my online classes via “Zoom”.
You can try your first class for FREE and below is my website so you can contact me or you can call or txt me.
I am still able to observe you well, as I have set up a studio at home with a large screen to see you clearly.
Lots of people are using Zoom to keep in touch with family and friends and it is now part of most of our lives. You may even be doing other U3A activities via this platform.
Please give it a go, I am sure you will be glad you did. A few of the U3A members are already attending and feeling the benefit.

TIMETABLE : Some of these times are not on the website yet as they are new.

Monday-

  • 8.30am
  • 4.30pm
  • 7.00pm

Tuesday-

  • 8.30am
  • 7.15pm

Wednesday-

  • 8.30am
  • 10.50am

Thursday-

  • 8.30am
  • 7.30pm

Friday-

  • 8.30am

CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE BELOW – I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU

pilatesdefined.co.uk

STAY SAFE! Hope to see you soon
Love
Laura xxx

m: 07801 658210
e: lgornell@yahoo.co.uk

Note: These classes are not exclusively for u3a members.

Zoom Support

Spurred on by social isolation from friends and family, many Aughton & Ormskirk u3a members have entered into the world of videoconferencing.  A favourite platform is Zoom.  A good number of our A&O Groups have already been running successful remote meetings for a while now.  See Our Virtual u3a. And, good news! This year, the monthly Speaker Meetings have restarted using Zoom.

If you too would like to give Zoom a go, then you may be asking one of the following questions.  Skip those that don’t apply to your query and current level of expertise.

FAQs relating to Zoom

  1. As an A&O Group Leader, how can I use Zoom to arrange remote meetings with my Group Members?  A&O u3a has two Zoom licences which enable group and other  meetings to run without a restriction on duration. Refer to the Zoom Sessions Calendar to book a slot.
  2. How do I create and use a Zoom Account so that I can set up and / or join  Zoom sessions for my own use?  Check out on the National u3a Office website for How-to-Guidance Notes to find out how to create a personal Zoom account for use on your Mobile Phone, Tablet or Desktop Computer.  National u3a also runs very professional and informative Tutorials on using Zoom for various circumstances.
  3. I have been invited to a u3a Zoom meeting. Can I join in without downloading the Zoom app? Yes, just use the browser link provided on the invitation eg to a Speaker Meeting or a Group Event.  (You do not need to logon to Zoom using the username and password mentioned on the invitation.) If you do not wish to download and install the Zoom App, you can join a Zoom meeting direct from your browser – for details see either of the following:
  4. I would like to try out Zoom for the first time, but don’t feel confident in following the routes mentioned above.  Can anyone provide me with more individual assistance?  The Monday and Tuesday Computer Helpers are still around offering personal IT support to members remotely.   We can set up a practice  zoom session with you, guiding you through by email and phone and then Zoom itself. See IT  Support Contact details below.

IT Support Contacts

Email:

elearning@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

webteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

Phone:

Local members can refer to the A&O u3a February 2021 enews for Computer Helper names and phone numbers

Speaker Meetings

Speaker Meetings are back!

The following dates have been confirmed – these meetings will all take place via Zoom, for Aughton & Ormskirk u3a members, at 11 am on the date shown. Put the dates in your diary and email speakerteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk to register your interest, including a phone number please. I will send you the meeting codes in due course.

If you don’t feel comfortable using Zoom, help is at hand! Follow this link to see what’s available: Zoom Support Page

Note: Some devices have trouble linking directly to your email using links on our website such as the above.  In this case, just load your email app and copy or type the address into the To field and carry on with your reservation.

1st April             Andrew Thwaite:  Title to be confirmed, but definitely chocolate related!

6th May             John Whittles: No Honey, I’m Solitary! A talk on the fascinating life cycle of Mason Bees.

3rd June            Fool’s Gold: Musical duo Steve and Carol Robson present ‘Dark Light’.

8th July             Carolyn Kirby: Women with Wings – the background to Carolyn’s latest novel.

Stephen Wells

Stephen Wells spoke about The Curious Incident of Agatha Christie

On Thursday 4th March over 50 members enjoyed a most entertaining and informative talk by professional entertainer Stephen Wells. The topic was ‘The Curious Incident of Agatha Christie’, and we heard how the famous author staged her own ‘disappearance’ in 1926, after receiving the devastating news that her husband had been having an affair. After a much publicised investigation involving Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Wallace and Dorothy L Sayers, she was finally found 10 days later, very much alive and well, at the Hydro Hotel in Harrogate (now the Old Swan), having caused huge embarrassment to her errant husband, whom she divorced shortly afterwards.

Agatha Christie became known as the ‘Queen of Crime’ and is the best-selling novelist of all time, her books being outsold only by The Bible and Shakespeare. Stephen’s enthralling talk not only outlined her incredible career as a writer but also described how the film adaptations of her books have entertained huge audiences over the years, and continue to do so. An excellent presentation, complete with archive photos, film clips and music, added to our enjoyment of this excellent talk.

If you missed Stephen’s talk it can be viewed by following this link

 

Andrew Thwaite

Thursday 1st April will see the welcome return of chocolatier Andrew Thwaite, who entertained us in 2019 with a demonstration of chocolate making, accompanied by amusing anecdotes and samples at the end. Chocolate is a way of life for Andrew Thwaite. He is never happier than when he is working with it, talking about it, learning about it or sharing his sweet skills with other people. He understands how to make a successful business out of it just as well as he knows how to tease your taste buds with it. His passion is enriching other people’s lives with chocolate and has done that successfully for more than 20 years and with some of the biggest names in the chocolate industry, such as Barry Callebaut, de Zaan, Keylink and many others. During his career he has been a manager, a strategist, a consultant and a teacher but above all has remained a natural-born chocolatier.

At the time of writing Andrew has not confirmed the title of his talk, but it is sure to be just as entertaining as the last one.

On Thursday 6th May we will welcome Mason Bee expert John Whittles, who will explain the importance of this tiny, endangered creature, and how we can help safeguard its existence. Mason Bees are gentle, solitary bees who make their nests in hollow spaces, not in hives. They are very important and efficient pollinators, and their numbers are in decline.

 

On Thursday 3rd June we will be entertained by Fool’s Gold, alias Carol and Steve Robson. Carol and Steve have been performing their unique shows for some while – long enough to rack up over 100

Carol and Steve Robson

0 performances which have been delivered to audiences all over the UK. Since the pandemic began, they have adapted their performances so that they can be delivered very effectively via Zoom.

Steve and Carol write:

Dark Light is the new Fool’s Gold zoom show for 2021. It has been created as a wholly new show specifically for Zoom using some of the clever functions available to build a fascinating and creative show. This time we have connected the songs to one story: a fascinating mystery based on a wholly true history from 1900 … and it’s amazing how many songs of the time that you will know, smile, and sing!

Many of you will remember Carolyn Kirby, who spoke to us last year about the background to her first book, The Conviction of Cora Burns. Carolyn will be speaking to us via Zoom on Thursday 8th July on

Carolyn Kirby

the subject of the background to her new book, When We Fall. A gripping second world war thriller, When We Fall was chosen by The Times and Sunday Times as one of the ten best historical novels of 2020,  and is due to be re-launched in the spring.

Carolyn says: “This illustrated talk tells the story of how I came to write When We Fall through the lives and careers of four female pilots of World War II.

The original inspiration for my novel lay with the amazing airwomen of Air Transport Auxiliary who overcame many barriers to fly warplanes from factories to RAF airfields during the war. My talk will focus on three of these women, including Amy Johnson, highlighting the glamour, excitement and daily dangers they faced in the skies above wartime Britain.

Flying in even more perilous skies was the Polish air force pilot, Janina Lewandowska, the real life character who is at the heart of the fictional story of When We Fall.
Janina was a pioneering aviator and the only female victim of the notorious 1940 massacres of Polish prisoners of war by the Soviet Union at Katyn – the real event that underpins my novel.

Using photographs and visuals, I will explain how, over more than ten years of writing, my novel was shaped by the lives and fates of these remarkable women.”

The talk will be followed by an audience Q & A and a chance to buy a signed copy of the novel.

Full details will be published nearer the time, but in the meantime, if you are interested in watching any of these talks, please email speakerteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk, and I will send you the links in due course.

I will post further updates as and when I am able to confirm them.

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:

speakerteam@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk  or phone 07974 749362.

January 2021 enews

The latest enews was sent out by the enews Editor to all members with an email address on Monday 25 January. If you are not receiving your monthly enews, check your Spam folder. If not there, check with the Membership Team that they have your correct details on record

If you have missed an enews deadline (noon on the day of sending), and have some u3a content you would like to publicise on this website, contact the Web Team.

You can use the web forms for the enews Editor, the Membership Team and the Web Team on the Contact Us webpage to get in touch, selecting appropriately from the ‘drop-down list’ on the form as you fill it in.

My Experience as an Oxford Vaccine Trial Volunteer

This letter was sent in by one of our members:

My Experience as an Oxford Vaccine Trial Volunteer

As with most people it has been a switchback ride for me ever since the first national lockdown last March. Even before then I stumbled across the YouTube channel of health expert John Campbell who calmly anticipated the pandemic as early as January and I felt a mounting anxiety turning to disbelief with the slow response in the UK. Looking back on those times I realise how depleted my current energies are since the days of sourcing face masks and making hand sanitiser out of rubbing alcohol and sending out thermometers to those I thought were vulnerable.

(more…)

Change to u3a Membership Year 

An imortant message from Aughton & Ormskirk u3a Treasurer, Derrick Fewings:

In case you missed the article in the December 2020 mini-magazine, please note that the next membership year will now commence on 1st October 2021 and that no membership renewal payment is required in advance of that date. The annual membership subscription will remain at £15. Future membership years will run from 1st October to 30th September.

Note that the mini-magazine referred to above was Newsletter No 2, emailed in mid-December to all members with an email address on their Beacon membership record.  Those without email were sent a printed A5 version by post or via hand delivery.  These occasional Newsletters, currently in place of the long-standing quarterly Magazine, should not be confused with the monthly enews.  These are emailed to members at the end of every month – too frequently for printed copies to be posted.  So if you know of any member without an email address or not on the Internet, perhaps you could print and deliver a copy for them to read or phone them with any important u3a news.

December 2020 enews

The latest enews was sent out by the enews Editor to all members with an email address on Monday 28 December. If you have not received it, check your Spam folder. If not there, check with the Membership Team that they have your correct details on record

If you missed the enews deadline, and have some U3A content you would like to publicise on this website, contact the Web Team.

You can use the web forms for the enews Editor, Membership Team and the Web Team on the Contact Us webpage to get in touch, selecting appropriately from the ‘drop-down list’ on the form as you fill it in.