Romsey & District U3A
Newsletter – February 2017 Web site: http://u3asites.org.uk/romsey Monthly Meeting Speakers All meetings start at 10.30 am. 15 March
Stuart Pocock All about Roses ————————————————————————— 19 April Steve Marshall Artists Rifles 17 May
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING John Hallett - Arundells
John Avery The Quaker Business in Britain
Abstracts for April to June 2017 Meetings 19 Apr. 2017 This talk will be a history of the Artists Rifles from their formation in 1860, through WW1 to the amalgamation with the SAS in 1946. 17 May 2017 John has been a volunteer at Arundells for many years. His illustrated talk will give us a “guided tour” of a lovely historic house and 2 acres of wonderful gardens. 21 Jun. 2017 An illustrated talk on how the Quakers led the Industrial Revolution and beyond with businesses from mining to ship building, and from chocolate to mustard, bringing incredible achievements to society. 1
Chairman’s report By the time you read this report, we will be well through our winter season and looking forward to spring. I do hope that everybody has got rid of the colds and coughs that were so prevalent over the Christmas period. This edition of the newsletter is preparing us for the AGM in May. Included are the Minutes of our AGM in 2016. We once again are looking for members for our committee. We would welcome new faces and if you are interested, you would be most welcome to sit in on committee meetings which we hold every 2 months, in order to see how the committee works and what is involved. Please get in touch with me or one of our committee members. Our AGM this year is on 17 May and will be followed by a talk by John Hallett on Arundells, the former home of Sir Edward Heath. On 1 April, it is time to renew your U3A membership. Everybody will get a Renewal Form and we ask that you use this when you renew. This will help our membership secretary at a very busy time for her with nearly 800 members. The cost of membership is £10, staying the same again this year; I feel this is very good value for the benefits you can gain from our U3A. We will be collecting the renewal forms and money at the March and April monthly meetings, otherwise send it by post to our Membership Secretary. It is very important that we have your current email address on our database and also we do ask that if possible you receive the newsletter by email. It really helps to reduce the cost of printing and postage. Anyway, it is much better to see the photos in colour on the email edition rather than in black and white on the printed copy. There is now another way to read the newsletter on the computer in the ‘Flipbook’ edition; you will find details in this newsletter on page 16. Also in this edition you will find an advertisement about online courses, ‘MOOCs’ - see page 15. They are free and on a very wide selection of subjects. Are you interested in doing one? Perhaps, our Interest Groups might like to look at the selection of courses 2
and work on one together. I am sure you will find a course that fits with your subject. We could start a new Interest Group around one of the courses. Please do avail yourself of this free opportunity, they are of varying lengths and require no qualifications. National Office has just started to advertise a brochure for Summer Schools at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester during August and September, on a wide variety of courses. I will have some brochures available at our February Monthly Meeting but if you want to find out the information for yourself then the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 8466 6139. I am sure you would like to join with me in thanking Ann Jackson and her team for the Christmas Fayre, both drink and food, that we shared together to celebrate the festive period, after our December meeting. Marion Fowler
News from around the Groups
TRAVEL GROUP - Visit to London - October 2016 A few days in London is always an opportunity for visiting the galleries and taking in some of the shows. This was the fifth year in which the Travel Group took off for a short break at the Hilton Hotel in Edgeware Road, thanks to Brenda who had arranged everything, including the return coach travel from Romsey. It took very little time for us to unpack our cases and hop on a bus outside the hotel. Jan and I headed for Trafalgar Square from where the number 88 bus took us straight to the Tate Britain Gallery at Millbank. The Turner Prize was still on exhibition, so we took the chance to visit it. We should have guessed that we would be challenged by its content, and wondered who makes the choices for such modern art. Our visit the next day to the Tate Modern Gallery on the South Bank restored our senses; we learned a lot about Georgia O'Keefe's style of painting and her life in South America. Group decisions about theatre and shows to see were made at 3
breakfast time in the hotel. There was a general agreement about two of the plays, and we booked individually to see Kinky Boots and also The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The performances and acting of each play were excellent, though very different in style. We were impressed by the innovation of each production.
In Kinky Boots, which is a true story, we liked the change of glamorous costumes and the ability of grown men to balance on such high heels! The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was created with a minimum of staging and the use of digitised props. The audience included many teenagers and, of course, they were fully engaged with all the technicalities. We, on the other hand, just managed to keep abreast of the events. The play gave an insight into people with Aspergerâ€™s Syndrome, who are so gifted. Public transport in London is so versatile that finding your way round can be very rewarding, so the journey to the Textile Museum in Bermondsey was not as difficult as we imagined; you see so much more from the top deck of a bus. Once there we were treated to a fine display of Art Deco Clothes and Furniture. Our admission fee included a talk, in the afternoon, from a lecturer who had travelled down from the Liverpool Museum, which had been given sixty tea chests full of clothes dating back to 1912. This had been the collection of one woman's wardrobe over the years of her life married to a doctor. The garments had been carefully folded and stored in the tea chests at the outbreak of World War II. They remained in the basement of her Liverpool home until discovered by relatives when selling the house. It took some years for the museum staff to unpack and catalogue them. Thank you to Brenda for organising the trip each year. We have so enjoyed the visits we have made.
SHORT DAY TRIPS GROUP In November a group of members travelled to Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. After a quick coffee on arrival we were off to explore and it wasn't long before expressions like, "Oh, I remember those" or " We had one like that" were heard. The museum houses a vast collection of items showing what life was like for Hampshire folk in the 1940's and 50's or even earlier. Cobbled streets, little individual shops, even a cottage with an outside privy - they were all there. Vintage vehicles and a replica of Chesil Railway Station in Winchester circa 1910 were also to be enjoyed. The only other visitors appeared to be a class of 4 year olds who gazed in amazement at a red telephone box while the teacher exclaimed: "Imagine having to go out in the dark and walk to a box like this, just to make a phone call!" No doubt you remember it well. All in all this was a very successful trip. Yvonne Goodridge In order to cut costs, details of future visits will be sent by email where possible. New memberâ€™s applications will have a one-off joining fee of ÂŁ3; existing members will not have to make any renewal payment. With over 100 members, if you no longer wish to receive details of our trips, please let us know so that your name can be removed from the database. If you cancel a trip, we will endeavour to find a replacement and ask that person to make a cheque payable to you; otherwise it may not be possible to give a refund as we have to pay venues well ahead and costs are based on capacity attendance. We have trips planned until May and all except the trip to Oxford on 23 March, are fully booked. Details of further trips will be sent out in March. Our trips are planned at present by Anne Scarborough, Yvonne Goodridge and Doreen Hedger, ably assisted by Gill Hodge and John Scarborough, but we would welcome another member to help with running the group. Please contact me if you would like to help. Anne Scarborough email@example.com : 01794 518172 5
Travel - Bembridge Coast Hotel - New year 2017 The fog was so thick, and the ferry journey so much longer, that I wondered if we had really landed in Guernsey when we arrived - but a warming bowl of soup at Osborne House confirmed we were on the Isle of Wight. Eventually the whole team mustered for dinner at the hotel and what proved to be a fun time. Good food, plenty of drinks, bowling, a tour of the lifeboat station, a few more drinks, Jack and the Beanstalk, dancing, dinner, Freddie Mercury and Qween (oh yes - that is the spelling), table tennis, fireworks, a Scottish Piper, more drinks, lunch, a movie, quizzes, walking, breakfast, Fit Steps dance class, and a brilliant single handed GOLD medal for indoor curling (congratulations Dorothy) kept everyone busy and enjoying themselves. Janet M I was delayed going to the IOW by half a day by an unforeseen incident at my home but arrived in time for dinner. I love the seaside, so next morning, in spring like weather, I enjoyed a long walk along the coast with a friend. The “Girls” in our party were also a joy to be with. Nancy We left Southampton in thick fog, which also made finding our hotel more difficult. The hotel itself was welcoming, sea-view accommodation excellent. We walked, talked, played table tennis, bowls, curling and danced the New year in with drinks! We enjoyed a very informative trip to the lifeboat station but got drenched walking back. The entire group mixed and mingled very well and it was a most enjoyable break. Carole
On a cold, foggy and frosty morning, eight of the Travel group set off on the ferry to The IOW. With the aid of “YOM Tom” we managed to get to the Bembridge Coast hotel. We all met up for dinner then went our own way, some to bed and others to the entertainment. The next day we all tried table tennis, bowls etc. The New Year arrived amid lots of frivolity; most of our group showed their dancing skills. On Jan 1 I went with others to the lifeboat station for the well organised tour. Sadly the heavens opened and we got soaked on our way back to the hotel. One of our group won the curling completion, so there was more “champagne” to celebrate the win, as well as a most enjoyable & well organised trip. Margaret Well it was a very foggy day to start with, but in the end we all arrived safely at Bembridge. I was rather apprehensive about the weekend as last year’s weekend was so good, but pleased to say it all turned out so very well. I always find our group from the U3A are so friendly and
helpful; there is so much to do at Warners with walks, table tennis, bowls, curling, gym dance, and visit to the life boat, and then we had all the entertainment each evening. Our New Year evening was very special with a Scottish piper coming round the tables at dinner time, and for the count down. The food was very good and the staff very helpful, which made our stay very pleasant. We had a wonderful trip back up the Solent, with not a cloud in the sky. I do hope that people will be interested in coming next year. Dorothy We wish you all a healthy and peaceful New Year.
Birdwatching - Poole Harbour - 15 January 2017 Braving dire weather forecasts, which fortunately turned out to be overly pessimistic, twelve hardy souls met on Poole Quay. We were to go on one of the regular winter birdwatching boat trips organised jointly by The National Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust and RSPB. The first part was in the North and West areas of Poole Harbour looking for wintering birds at high tide. We had an excellent guide (Luke from Winterwatch!) with an audio system who identified and described the birds we saw from the upper deck of the boat. Rarities spotted were Slavonian and BlackNecked Grebes and Great Northern Divers, whilst we also had great close up views both in flight and on the water of RedBreasted Merganser and Goldeneye.
We then spent an hour and a half on Brownsea Island which is normally closed to the public during the winter. The lagoon was covered with waders, ducks and other birds. We saw Spoonbill and over a hundred Avocet as well as a variety of other waders testing our identification skills. Red Squirrel and Sika Deer were also seen in the woods. We then returned by boat to Poole Quay. In total 58 bird species were seen. Many thanks to Sheila Holmes for organising this very enjoyable outing. Simon Nickols 7
Wine Appreciation Our first meeting with 18 members was a get together, bring a bottle and a glass and an open discussion of what members wanted from the group. The second was a structured wine tasting, ably led by members John and Ann Daly, on Red and White Rioja. We meet on the second Thursday of the month at the United Reform Church. Our Object: to learn and develop our knowledge and skills of wine and tasting wines. We are still in the process of planning events for the coming months. Currently full with 25 members, we are opening a reserve list. Fees are ÂŁ5.00 a year and ÂŁ5.00 per meeting; additional costs may apply with guest speakers and vineyard visits. Contact Derek Morley : firstname.lastname@example.org
Games for all What are you doing on Friday afternoon? If you are not busy or need something to do, come along to the Comrades Club between 2 and 4 pm! (Free parking!) What started as a mere thought and a liking for board / card games is now a thriving mini group activity. From beginning with 4 people but now 12-15, disparate people of all genders and ages meet, enjoy a cup of tea and mix together to experience a fun and jovial afternoon. With Bridge, Whist, Rummikub, Bananagram, Sequence to name but a few, we all have a friendly time together and learn new skills. Meeting every week -come along if you want to give it a try -- but miss a week if life intervenes. We welcome everybody! Elaine Rockell 8
New Groups Interested in Ten-pin Bowling? I am a relatively new member of Romsey U3A, but not of U3A as an organisation. lf enough members are interested I would be happy to start a Tenpin Bowling Group at the Millbrook Bowl, Southampton, which is just 7 miles away; I am a qualified instructor. Two games would cost about ÂŁ6.40. I suggest starting around 1:00pm on the day selected; Monday is best for me. It's not serious competition - the first rule of bowling is just to have fun! Anyone interested please contact me at email@example.com, or telephone : 01794 651937 (with answer phone) or mobile : 07532 327295. Bob Wren
Singing Several members are keen to join a singing group. It will be formed as a singing for pleasure group, with no previous experience necessary. Sight reading of music is not essential, we just need you, to experience the lift that singing can give. To help us on our way we need the skill of a pianist or keyboard playing member. If you are willing to help, please make yourself known to any Committee member.
Beaded Jewellery making If you are interested in joining this new group please contact Sheila Scott : 01794 322758.
Newsletter Comment Please send copy for the MAY newsletter to: Jane Hargreaves : 01794 513172 : firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline is Friday 28 April 2017. Many thanks to all our contributors this quarter. Newsletter Team 9
ROMSEY & DISTRICT U3A ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the
Annual General Meeting of the U3A â€” Romsey & District will be held in Crosfield Hall, Romsey
on Wednesday 17 May 2017 commencing at 10.30am. AGENDA 1. Minutes of the AGM held on Wednesday 18 May 2016. 2. Matters arising from the minutes. 3. Chairman's report. 4. Treasurer's report. 5. Secretary's report. 6. Election of Committee: Chairman Vice Chairman Treasurer
Committee Members 7. Other Appointments: Newsletter Team Representative
Web Master Examiner of Accounts 8. A.O.B.
MINUTES OF ROMSEY & DISTRICT U3A ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 18 MAY 2016 1. ATTENDANCE: 142 members + 4 Guests present. 2. APOLOGIES: Ron Maidment, Liz Holloway, Angela Greet, Michael Greet, Celia Moretti, Mary Hill, Sandra Vines, Ruth Walker, Roger & Lindsey Hunt, Lyn Hollingworth, Irene Maidment, Tony & Wendy Channer, Chris & Mike Wenman, Jane Horne and Brenda Purdie. 3. MINUTES of AGM held on 20 May 2015: The Members agreed the minutes and the Chairman signed them as a correct record. 4. MATTERS ARISING: None.
5. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT: Marion Fowler Having come to the end of her first year as chairman, Marion expressed her thanks to everyone who had supported her during this year. R&DU3A flourished with 700 members, which is the highest membership so far. This meant a lot of extra work for all those who are on the committee, lead interest groups and help in other ways. Marion explained that because of our increase in numbers, we do need to have more interest groups or short courses. She thanked everyone who had completed the Questionnaire and encouraged those who had not done so already to fill it in and let us have your ideas. A team were now collating the results and by the Autumn we hope to be able to increase the interest groups with the ideas that members have suggested.
Now that the renewal of membership is over for the year, Marion thanked Brenda Sennett, our membership secretary, and Jean Stone for all the work they have put in to the time consuming job of keeping the database up to date and sending out new membership cards Marion pointed out that Janet Payne is just coming to the end of her first year as Treasurer. It had been a steep learning curve with all the different accounts that she keeps under control, and Marion thanked Janet for all her hard work and commitment. Marion also thanked Janet Moody, the secretary, who had been a great support during her first year, producing excellent minutes from the committee meetings and keeping us in touch with the Third Age Trust. Ann Jackson had once again found excellent speakers for the monthly meetings, on a wide variety of subjects, including talks about English Wine, Winchester Cathedral and “Cantering through a funny life”, something to interest everybody.
Marion expressed special thanks to Ron Maidment, who is retiring from the committee this year. Ron coordinates the very busy Number 3 bank account, which is used by Questers group, Travel group and the Theatre group, and has very kindly offered to continue with this role for us. Michael Allison together with Jo Morgan had increased the number of interest groups this last year. It is very time consuming getting a new group started and keeping track of all the other groups, helping them when needed. Marion thanked them for their time, trouble and expertise. David Thwaites had been looking after the website keeping it up to date. Marion encouraged members to have a look at it sometime and asked interest group coordinators to let David have up to date details about their group. Our website address is u3a.org.uk/romsey. The rest of the committee, Liz Holloway, Elaine Rockell and Glenda Taylor, have all contributed tremendously to the running of our U3A and Marion thanked them all for their help.
The Newsletter team are now working well producing the newsletter 4 times a year. They are always grateful for any contributions. Marion reminded members that an updated version of our interest groups appears in every edition of the newsletter, and suggested members keep this for easy reference. Newsletter contributions are always welcome. The Chairman pointed out that the “Meeters & Greeters” had performed a very important role at our monthly meetings, welcoming everybody and making sure any visitors and new members find out all about our U3A. Marion had been told by a visitor that we are a very friendly and welcoming group. Marion thanked Lois Dare and Margaret Eades and their team of helpers for keeping everyone well provided for with tea and coffee at our monthly meetings.
The Chairman pointed out that the interest groups could not run without the hard work of our interest group coordinators. The interest groups are the life blood of our U3A. It is a way for everybody to learn new things, contribute to other members’ learning and a way of making new friends. “Those who teach shall also learn and those who learn shall also teach”. Finally, Marion thanked Colin Moretti and Roger Hunt, who had been in control of all our technical matters, including setting up and working the projector at our monthly meetings and the rolling screen at the beginning and end of our meetings, which is a good way of keeping everybody up to date.
The Chairman said every member of Romsey & District U3A is an important part of our organisation and contributes to its success. We now look forward to another interesting and successful year.
6. TREASURER’S REPORT: Janet Payne The Treasurer presented the Financial Statement to the meeting in detail. The Current Account Balance stood at £5,414 with the Deposit Account balance at £6,254 giving a healthy total balance of £11,668 It was recommended the annual membership fee should remain at £10.00. The Accounts had been thoroughly examined and checked by Examiner of Accounts Kate Hargreaves. The voting members unanimously accepted the report and accounts.
Janet expressed her particular thanks to Ron Maidment for his excellent management of the Number 3 account. 7. SECRETARY’S REPORT: Janet Moody Janet said that the last year had been busy and much had been achieved. Once again Committee Meeting attendance had been excellent. The Secretary confirmed that all the necessary procedures and paperwork had been properly completed (such as The Charity Commissioners Return), and the roles and responsibilities of Trustees had been reviewed. The successful use of sub-committees involving group members to run specific events had continued, with the addition of a group supporting Ann Jackson in organising catering for special events such as the Queens Birthday celebration in June. Members would be familiar with the team in action in the Annex every few months distributing the new membership cards, the annual programme card, and the quarterly newsletters. And the increased role of the Meeting and Greeting team in taking care of visitors and new members. This year in an effort to get to grips with new technology, with the help of David Thwaites, a new email address system had been introduced (so for instance the Secretary is now secretary@romseyu3A.org.uk). As much of our mail from the Third Age Trust now comes via email, this new system will be particularly helpful when postholders change in the future. Finally Janet expressed appreciation for the patience and support of the other committee members and especially The Chairman, Marion Fowler. 8. ELECTION OF OFFICERS: Marion explained that The Chairman and Treasurer had just completed the first year of their 2 year term, and will serve a further year. The rest
of the Committee are due for re-election. Formal Nomination forms for Committee Posts had been submitted as follows: Officers: Secretary: Membership Secretary: Programme Secretary: Group Co-ordinator
Janet Moody Brenda Sennett Ann Jackson Michael Allison
Committee Members: Elizabeth Holloway Jean Stone
Kieran Jones Elaine Rockell
Jo Morgan Simon Spurrier
Glenda Taylor David Thwaites
There being no other nominations, the meeting voted for the Committee en bloc. Everyone was in favour, no-one against. 9. AMENDMENT TO THE ROMSEY & DISTRICT U3A CONSTITUTION The Chairman advised that, as announced at the previous meeting, an amendment to the wording of our constitution was required by the Charities Commission in order for us to continue receiving the benefit of Gift Aid. The amended wording to Clause 3: ’The charitable purposes of The U3A are: to advance education and in particular the education of people not in full time gainful employment who are in their Third Age (being the period of time after the first age of childhood dependence and the second age of full time employment and/or parental responsibility) residing in Romsey and its surrounding locality’ was unanimously agreed.
Marion thanked everyone and confirmed the revised R&DU3A Constitution would be sent to the Charity Commissioners. [POST MEETING NOTE: University of the Third Age – 288007. The Charity Commission for England and Wales approved Block Consent for the amendment on 12 May 2016.] 10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS On behalf of the membership, Colin Moretti gave a vote of thanks to Marion for her active and interested Chairmanship over the past year.
11. MEETING CLOSED at 11.05am followed by a presentation from the RNLI.
ROMSEY AND DISTRICT U3A COMMITTEE, 2017 â€“ 2018 This year, we have vacancies for Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and 8 more Committee Members and we should like to receive nominations for all these vacancies. As you all know, each U3A is autonomous and self-supporting. This can only be done by every Member being prepared to do their bit by helping to run an Interest Group, becoming a member of the Committee or an Officer of our U3A, or helping in some other way. We are indebted to you if you already give your service but there is still a vast pool of untapped talent, experience and ideas from which we could all gain benefit. Why not give it a try? Please contact Janet Moody : 01794 517589 for a Nomination Form.
U3A needs you!
MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses Free, open access courses via the web. Content is delivered through a University but no qualifications are required. A wide range of topics can be accessed such as: Politics, History, Languages, Science, Literature
Check out these websites: www.futurelearn.com www.mooc.org www.coursera.org
www.moocs.co www.edx.org www.mooc-list.com 15
Alternative Newsletter Format The Newsletter team strives to keep looking for new ideas to keep the Romsey U3A Newsletter up to date and one to be proud of. This year is no exception, as we shall be introducing a new online format to work alongside the existing paper copy and emailed Adobe PDF versions, from 20 February. This ‘Flipbook’ edition can be read by using your internet browser to access the Romsey U3A website: http://u3asites.org.uk/romsey/ home, then following the Links section. Those of you that have subscribed to the emailed Newsletter will receive an attachment with fully-illustrated instructions as to how to access and open this new version. All editions of the Newsletter on our website do not contain the Groups contact listings; these are only on the emailed PDF and paper versions. What is a ‘Flipbook’? Well, it is an electronic copy of the Newsletter, where you can turn the pages over as if you were reading the paper Newsletter version. After the first single page you will have a double spread and so on until the back page. We hope you like this new addition and welcome any comments to: email@example.com Mike Driscoll - Newsletter Team
Gift Aid on Subscriptions ‘Gift Aid’ helps keep the membership fee at a low level. It is very easy, and it will not cost you a penny! If you are a UK tax payer and have not done so, please sign up to ‘Gift Aid’. Contact our Membership Secretary, Brenda Sennett; ask for a Gift Aid form, sign it and return it to Brenda so that we can claim back the tax paid on membership fees. You only have to do this once. If you pay tax, please sign up to ‘Gift Aid’. 16