Speaker Meetings

By | February 28, 2022

Speaker Meetings usually take place on the first Thursday of the month at the  Scout & Guide HQ, starting at 11 am and lasting just over an hour. Last orders for tea and coffee 10.45 am. All the usual Horizons facilities (apart from the book stall) will be available until then.

Russell Parry

On 11th April Russell Parry will speak on the subject of The Appley Bridge Meteorite. Russell writes:

I will present this fascinating story of the Appley Bridge meteorite which fell in 1914 as told through newspaper reports and archive documents of the time. The meteorite explosions, fireball, the confusion with enemy zeppelins and the confiscation of the meteorite by the police will all be revealed. The story has recently been the subject of a 3 episode BBC radio dramatisation written by me.

I will bring samples of 4.5 billion year old meteorites to handle and photograph making this a unique experience. The illustrated talk will be followed by a Q&A session, and signed copies of the Appley Bridge meteorite book will be available for purchase.

Don’t miss this fascinating talk!


Dr John Patterson

On Thursday 9th May we will welcome Dr John Patterson, who is Principal at St Vincent’s School for visually impaired children, in the Archdiocese of Liverpool. After taking over as Principal in 2012, Dr Patterson set about encouraging students’ entrepreneurialism, employment skills, creativity, and solidarity with those less fortunate. On Wednesdays pupils choose lessons they feel play to their strengths, including in music, drama, sports, ICT, environmental work, and growing food on the school grounds to use in a student-run café. One of his many achievements has been to oversee pupils developing a disability sports toolbox that now helps children in 20 countries across four continents.

He has championed pupils’ leadership skills with an enriched curriculum which has them teaching their international peers in how to use the toolbox, and the Indonesian government has since asked for 70,000 of its social workers to be similarly trained.

The school’s pupils have made ceramic Remembrance poppies worn by leaders including the then-Prime Minister Theresa May; they have sung for the Queen; and have also been featured in an exhibition by celebrity photographer Rankin for the COP26 climate change summit that took place in Glasgow during 2021.

There is no meeting in June due to the Annual General Meeting being held on the 13th.

Jeff Vernon

Our final Speaker Meeting of the season will take place on Thursday 11th July, when retired solicitor and. u3a member Jeff Vernon will speak on the subject of Consumer Rights.

We are all consumers; we all buy goods and services both in shops and online.  Normally all goes well and we are happy with what we have bought but, occasionally, things go wrong.  Goods can fail to arrive or can break down very soon after, services may not be carried out satisfactorily.  This talk aims to explain the main rights that consumers have when buying goods and services from traders, what remedies are available to them and how best to exercise those remedies.

After first pursuing a career in financial services, Jeff decided to change course and qualified as a solicitor.  Jeff worked for a number of large, international firms and finished his career as a partner with DLA Piper UK LLP.  His practice area was principally consumer credit law and he led a small team which dealt with all such work arising from all the firms’ offices within the UK.  Examples of the work he undertook included drafting the personal contract purchase agreement for Tesla when they commenced selling in this country and advising the UK government when it became necessary for the Student Loans Company to be authorised be the Financial Conduct Authority.

Because he practiced consumer credit law all work with any “consumer” element tended to land on Jeff’s desk.  Frequently, this involved advising on issues arising under the Consumer Rights Act, which is the main subject of his talk.

There are no meetings in August or September.

Please keep an eye on news, website, Horizons slideshow and flyers for the latest information about Autumn Speakers.

Southport University Extension Society (SUES)

We are planning a new, collaborative venture with SUES, whereby members of our respective organisations will be able to take advantage of each other’s talks and other events. Click here for more information. If you are interested in attending any of the events listed, please contact Pam Ball in the first instance on 07974 749362.


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.

Last Updated on April 9, 2024