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Newsletter - Mansfield U3A

Mansfield and District U3A
Members Day: Pages 3 and 4
Established 1999
HMRC Charity Registration No.: XT30525
February 2015
Page 1 of 12
Welcome from your chairman
“FEBRUARY FILL DYKES” as my mother used to say; one of her many sayings from
years ago. This refers to the melting snow filling the dykes in a rural location but also a
painting by BW Leader, a Victorian artist of some repute.
Remembering old sayings, which we commonly use, two cropped up the other day. “He
is around the bend” was the first one, referring to someone who is mentally challenged.
This saying came about in the Victorian age when they built the asylums. The approach
road always had a curve so the buildings could not be seen from the road, hence 'Around
the Bend'. The other one concerned pot holes. All drivers know about these and one idea
is the name came from the long ago practice of potters digging up the roads in their area
for just enough clay to make a pot but never filling them in. Who knows?
At the time of writing this welcome, snow is on the ground just in time for the annual trip
to Thoresby for our U3A. I know from past reports that come rain come shine, or snow,
they always have a great time. This has become one of Mansfield U3A’s annual events
due to the hard work of Terry and Lilian Whitehead. Anyone who has tried to organise
group holidays will appreciate this, along with Terry and Lilian’s work with the book table
Mansfield U3A is lucky to benefit from their efforts.
I saw my first snowdrops this past week on a walk from Cuckney. The weather was
changeable but a drink in the Greendale Oak, which has just been refurbished, was most
welcome. We are privileged to live in and around Mansfield as within a short distance we
have some wonderful countryside, as our walkers and hikers already know, to enjoy.
I would like to say a few words to our new members. Sometimes it can be daunting when
joining a group as large as Mansfield U3A but please do not hesitate to speak to myself
or other committee members to help make your membership as enjoyable as possible.
One of the best ways to become involved is to join an interest group, details of which can
be found in the monthly newsletter and on our website, or form a new group, be it
another wine group, as an example.
Bob Longden
In this issue
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5 - 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Quiz Night. Holiday Updates. Book Table Report. Recent Events (Members'
Day – Start)
Recent Events (Members' Day – End)
Interest Groups meetings diary
Groups News (New Groups. Art. Art Appreciation – start)
Groups News (Art Appreciation – end. Digital World. Tai Chi. Luncheon Club)
Groups News (Afternoon Teas. International Dining). Member's Contribution
(Good News for Some)
Dates for your diary and Notices.
Page 2 of 12
Annual Fun Quiz Night
A reminder to members who are coming to the Quiz night: Social committee will be providing
supper but please remember to bring your own drinks and glasses.
The Quiz will commence at 6.30 pm.
Pauline Boucher, (01623 644798, [email protected])
Holiday updates
Danube River cruise 11th-20th April 2015
1. All balances must be paid at the February meeting. For your balance, subtract £120 (£100
deposit + £20 deducted for drivers & tour manager's gratuities) from the original cost of your
chosen deck and cabin. This you will find on the sheet given to you last year. Should you be
unsure then check with me before you write your cheque, to be made out to Mansfield U3A.
2. The cruise line needs to know if you have any dietary requirements, so see me at the meeting
please as I have to send that information off with your balances.
3. All passport & insurance forms must be returned at the meeting please.
4. Remember the pre-holiday meeting on March 28th at the Junction, Sutton in Ashfield at 11-12
noon, after which you can stay for lunch if you wish.
Penrith - Lake District 22nd - 26th April 2015
The balance of £354 (with no single supplement) to be paid no later than the April meeting. Just to
remind you that all excursions & gratuity for the driver are included in this final price. Cheques made
out to Mansfield U3A will not be submitted until after the April meeting so you can pay now if you
wish as it will make no difference to your finances until then.
Margaret Burlinson (01623 632538, [email protected])
Details are on the website …
Book Table Report
SALE of books in January raised £50.50; thanks everyone who bought and brought – and everyone
who helps the book table to run smoothly and so profitably for everyone's benefit.
Lilian Whitehead.
Recent Events
Members' Day
WHAT a tremendous talent our members have!
Sue Longden started our January meeting with
a brilliant presentation detailing the history of
Mansfield's many watermills. We learnt a little of
the workings of the cotton mills, with great illustrations of how grand the mills used to be and
how neglected they look now.
It was fascinating to learn that the upstairs
workrooms of the weavers' cottages on Mount
Pleasant had glass domes in the centre of the
ceilings so that they could catch the last rays of sunshine and could work on for as long as possible.
Page 3 of 12
Terry Whitehead followed on with a very humorous account of "How to deal with ..." large holiday
companies. He took us, step by step, through his many years of dealing with Thoresby Hall Hotel
when booking group holidays.
He highlighted the need for good customer service; larger companies sometimes forget that loyal
customers are the core of their business.
Also he pointed out that unless the staff are happy then this will show throughout the hotel and high
turnover of staff leads to poor continuity and communication.
Terry's sure to continue the battle for good service and good prices in the coming years.
Ian Boucher took us into the future with a talk about artificial intelligence: Robots. The video clips
brought to life the capabilities of each robot. One of the most amazing robots could run, hop and
balance on one leg; it then kicked a football firmly at the President of the USA!
Another use of artificial intelligence was the development of and use of an artificial arm; the video
clip showed just how brilliant this technology is and how it changes lives.
Lastly, Peter Thurkettle enlightened us to the history of the 'Best Invention' – the toilet!
There was a detailed history and illustrations of toilets and their workings. Also there were many
obscure facts e.g. Wembley Stadium has one toilet per 34 people; this is the greatest number per
head in any public building.
Another fact is that there are more mobile phones in the world than there are toilets!
It was a fascinating morning and we greatly appreciated the knowledge of some of our members.
Marilyn Dibble - Speaker Finder
Page 4 of 12
Key to Meetings details:
THIS TABLE SHOWS THE DAY of the month, time and frequency using the first two letters of the
day, followed by numbers 1 - 5 to represent the week number. The final letter M (or F, W or V) indicates that the group meets monthly, fortnightly, weekly or at variable intervals. So 'Tu2, 2.30 - V M'
would mean a group meeting on the 2nd Tuesday at 2.30pm Monthly but with Variable finish times.
The main Mansfield and District U3A meetings are on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (except August
and December) at the Oakham Suite, 155 Nottingham Road, Mansfield from 10 am - 12.30 pm.
All members are invited to contact the relevant Group Leader if they would like to participate in any
interest group or attend an event. NB: * indicates a waiting list.
Interest Group
Meeting Places
Afternoon Teas
Sa1, 3 - 5 M
Sheila Whalley
01623 453908
Next Meetings: March 7th – Brown's, Berry Hill, £10; April 4th – Dakota, Annesley Woodhouse, £9
Antiques and
Collectables *
Tu 2, 10 - 12 M
Stanhope Centre,
Bridge Street
Pat Blackwell
01623 481745
Next Meetings: Feb. 10th – Kitchenalia; March 10th – Ivory, bone and Bakelite; April 14th – TBA
We3, 10 - 12 M
Big Barn Lane
Methodist Church,
Gordon Howlett
01623 627423
(NB Change)
Stanhope Centre,
Bridge Street
Pauline Boucher
01623 644798
Next Meetings: February 18th – A winter scene
Art Appreciation
Mo1, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Next meetings: March 2nd – Seurat & Pointillism; March 30th (NB date) – Portraits
Beginners' Bridge
(With Ashfield U3A)
Mo, Various
6.30 - 9.00
Enviro Centre,
Derby Rd College,
Maxine Rose/Glenis
Carr 01623
Next Meetings: TBA (Also ACOL sessions at the Mechanics Institute – Thurs 10 - 12.30 W)
TuW 2.30 – 4.00
Lammas Sports
Centre, Sutton
Don Wright
01623 628946
Next Meetings: Weekly until return to Mansfield Bowls Club on 24th March. Cost £3.00. All
welcome, including beginners, but flat / bowls shoes must be worn.
Caravan & M'home
Terry Lammas
01623 471963
Next Meeting: April 9th/13th – Bath Marina; May 21st/July 2nd – France
Chat and Stitch
Mo3, 2.00 - 4.00 M
St John's Centre,
Next Meetings: Feb. 16th; March 16th
Page 5 of 12
Doreen Storer
01623 407731
Interest Group
Meeting Place
Current Affairs
Tu2, 2.00 - 4.00 M
St John's Centre,
Norma Shillinglaw
01623 466934
Forest Town
David Ling
01623 822994
Next Meetings: February 10th; March 10th
Digital World
Fri2 & 4, 2.00 - 4.00
Next Meetings: February 13th & 27th; March 13th & 27th
Family History
Tu4, 10.00 - 12.00 M St John's Centre,
Max Clarke
01623 621744
Next Meetings: Feb. 27th
Film Studies *
We1, 1.30 - V M
Joy's home
Joy Crowe
01623 645400
Next Meetings: March 4th
Garden Visits
During the Summer Various
Janet Whitlam
01623 635607
Tu1, 10.00 - 12.00 M St Peter's Centre,
Avril McGee
01623 452688
Next Visit: TBA
Next Meetings: March 3rd – A-Z of perennials with Don Witton; April 7th – Medicinal Weeds
with John Etherington
William Kaye Hall,
Ladybrook Lane
Linda Leivers
01623 471963
Th2, 2.00 – 4.00
William Kaye Hall,
Ladybrook Lane
Linda Spray
01623 795176
Margaret Burlinson
01623 632538
Next Meetings: TBA
Next Meetings: Feb. 12th; March 12th
(Home & Abroad)
Next Holidays: Sat. 11th - Mon. 20th April – Danube Cruise; Mon. 22nd - Fri. 26th June – Lake
International Dining We2, 6.30 for 7.00 M
Jacqui Hampshire
01623 239210
Next Meetings: March 11th – Mint (Asian); April 8th – BB's (Italian)
Local History
Fri1, 10.00 - 12.00 M Bridge Street
Methodist Church
Bob & Sue Longden
01623 486903
Next Meetings: March 6th – The Southwell Burgage Project with John Lock; April 3rd
Page 6 of 12
Interest Group
Meeting Place
Luncheon Club
Th after 3rd Tu,
12.00 - 2.00 M
David Ling
01623 822994
Next Meetings: Feb. 19th – Fox & Hounds, Blidworth Bottoms*; March 19th – Lion at Farnsfield*
Movement to Music W 10.30 - 11.30 W
St John's Church
Linda Leivers
01623 471963
Next Meetings: Weekly on Wednesdays. Cost £4.00 per session
Music Groups
Classical Music 2
Mo4, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Members' homes
Peter Hart
01623 620940
Next Meetings: Feb 23rd – Handel & Purcell (Sheila); March 23rd – Free choice (Geoff)
Music 2 *
Mo4, 2.00 - 4.30 M
Members' homes
Eric Prescott
01623 631160
St John's School,
Peter Haynes
01623 610886
Tu1, 4.00 - 6.00 M
Members' homes
Sylvia Slack
01623 633981
Th3, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Peter Dawson's
Peter Dawson
01623 882191
Ravenshead Library
Joan Hufton
01623 557488
Stanton Hill Baptist
Church, Skegby
Ian Boucher
01623 644798
Next Meeting: As per calendar
Popular Music
Appreciation *
Tu4, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Next Meetings: As per calendar
Pudding Club *
Next Meetings: TBA
Reading 1
Next Meetings: As per calendar
Reading 2
Tu3, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Next Meetings: As per calendar
Science & Technical
Tu1, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Next Meetings: March 3rd – History of the Gas Industry with David Bonsell; April 2nd – Bar Codes
Scrabble *
Mo2, 2.00 - 4 .00 M
Brenda Thurkettle's
Brenda Thurkettle
01623 628136
St Alban's Church,
Forest Town
June Fell
01623 623547
Next Meetings: As per calendar
Singing for Fun
TuV, 5.45 - 7.15
Next Meetings: February 17th
Next Concert: TBA
Page 7 of 12
Interest Group
Meeting Place
Tai Chi
Mo, 9.30 - 10.30 W
St John's Centre,
Jean Kirk
(NB Change)
01623 480207
Sheila Whalley
01623 45390
Next Meetings: Every Monday
Theatre Visits
Next Visits: Feb.11th matinee – Barnum (£40). Wed. 4th – March 7.30pm – Richard and Adam
(£27.50); April 30th matinee – Oklahoma (£32.40)
Walking Groups
(all-day, 6 - 8 miles)
Th1 & Mo3, 9.30 - V Tesco car park, off
Oak Tree Lane
Peter Thurkettle
01623 628136
Next Meetings: Mon. Feb. 16th – Lee; Thurs. March 5th – Maun Valley Way; Mon. March 16th –
Lathkill Dale; Thurs. April 2nd – Alfreton; Mon. April 20th – Epperstone / Lowdham
(short & gentle)
Th4, 12.00 - V M
Sylvia Slack
01623 633981
Next Meetings: Feb. 26th – Fillets Fish, op. ASDA Forest Town, 12.00; March 26th – Sutton Lawn
(a leisurely 2 miles)
We2, 10.30 - V M
Barbara Massey /
Marion Thornton
01623 628357/ 651528
Next Meetings: Feb 11th – Vicar Water; March 11th – Sherwood Forest
(an easy 4 - 5 miles)
We4, 10.30 - V M
Joy & Nick Crowe
01623 645400
Next Meetings: Feb 25th – Rushley Woods; March 25th – Edingley and Kirklington
Wine Appreciation 2 * We3, 7.30 - V M
Members' homes
Mike Allen
01623 653345
Next Meetings: Feb. 18th – Rioja at John & Margaret's; March 18th – Italian white at George &
Wine Appreciation 3 * Tu4, 7.30 - V M
Members' homes
Graham Allin
01623 473662
Next Meetings: Feb. 24th – Cooper's Vineyards NZ at the Boucher's; March 24th – Hungarian
Red at Barrie and Lynne's; April 28th – Riesling at Colin's
Writing for Pleasure * Mo2, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Stanhope Centre,
Bridge Street
Sue Ford / Hilary
Miller 01623
844286 / 620067
Next Meetings: February 9th; March 9th; April 13th
I got invited to a party and was told to dress to kill. My turban, beard and pack weren't popular though.
Page 8 of 12
Groups News
New Groups
A GOOD response was forthcoming following the request for ideas for new groups for a new U3A
year at the January meeting.
It is heartening to find that most of these suggestions came from new members. I feel sure, after
speaking to these members, that we can make them into reality for 2015.
The first of these is International Dining.
Jacqueline Hampshire has already identified dates and venues for a start to this group. The aim of
the group is to give members the opportunity to taste the cuisine of other cultures which they might
not otherwise choose. Asian, Italian and Polish restaurants start off the year; full details are on page
11 and on the website. Please support her if you can; remember if you eat out someone else does
the washing up! (See her item on page 11).
Other suggestions include a Golf group, with enough support members would meet up once a
month at various golf clubs, of which there are many in our area. A Craft Workshop to enable
members to share knowledge and try a craft new to them; card making, glass painting, quilting, the
list is endless. Board Games for those who enjoy the mental exercise and challenge of playing a
wide variety of games. A Sunday Lunch group is another good idea; why cook when you can eat
out with good company?
Please keep the ideas coming and support those who are adding to our U3A.
Linda Leivers
DESPITE the falling snow, 8 brave artists
arrived at the first meeting of 2015.
The subject for January, 'Zebras', was chosen
by our tutor Michael Morton, who brought
along his own painting of a herd of Zebras
which we all agreed was inspiring though not
easy to achieve.
A happy and industrious morning soon passed
producing some good results, including this
study by Joy Crowe.
The subject chosen for February is, 'A Winter
Scene' which certainly fitted in with the one
awaiting us outside.
Hilary Miller
Art Appreciation
WE ARE planning to host an event with the U3A National Arts Appreciation Group Co-ordinator,
Olwyn Hughes on 22nd May.
Olwyn co-ordinates the Art Appreciation U3A national network and is an experienced speaker. It is
early days yet but our idea is to make this an afternoon event with sandwiches and tea around
12.30 pm. and the presentation following at 2.00 pm.
More details will follow including the title of Olwyn’s presentation, which will be related to how to
'read' a picture, using famous paintings as illustrations.
Page 9 of 12
Any member who is interested will be welcome to join us so please let me know as soon as you can.
(No commitment required immediately – we will contact anyone interested when we have more
Pauline Boucher – 01623 644798 ([email protected])
Digital World
OUR RELAUNCH with a new, less-formal format seemed to suit members better so we hope to
see anyone who'd like help making the best use of their camera if they drop in to the Foxglove in
Forest Town, opposite ASDA, on any 2nd or 4th Friday (2.00 – 4.00).
Meetings are free and refreshments will be available from the bar.
We don't have an agenda so come along and ask or show us whatever you want. It doesn't matter
how much or little you know, what camera you use or how basic or technical you want the chat to
be. But do please bring your camera and some pictures on a camera memory card or laptop.
David Ling (01623 822994)
Tai Chi
CLIFF LAYCOCK has led this group for several years but is now suffering with health problems. We
wish him well at this difficult time.
In the meantime, I will be the contact for the group. We have been glad to welcome members from
Sherwood and Rainworth U3As.
Car parking has become difficult at St John's Centre but we would still like to welcome new
members if they are prepared to walk to the venue. But, sorry, no car spaces are available at the
Jean Kirk. (01623 480207)
Luncheon Club
OUR NEW YEAR lunch at 281 on 22nd January,
again organised by Brian and Barbara Harvey, was
another triumph; spoiled only by the clumsy photographer who smashed a vase. (I wonder who that
Next, on 19th February, Mike Allen is arranging for
our first visit to the Fox & Hounds at Blidworth
This is a delightful but small country pub that has
gained some rave reviews and our menu will
include breaded whitebait, rump steak, beef & onion pie, fish & chips and apple pie. Cost will be
£3.75 for starters, £6.75 for mains and £3.75 for puds.
Then, on 19th March, we'll be returning to the Lion at Farnsfield, a long-time club favourite, where
Norma and Ian Shillinglaw have arranged an attractive menu at a discount. Fish 'n Chips lovers will
be able to compare their version with the Fox & Hounds's but there will be lots of alternatives if they
fancy a change, such as steak and mushroom pie, sausages 'n mash and vegetable lasagne. Puds
include sticky toffee pudding and creme brulée.
Both these sold out very quickly but there are waiting lists if you want to be told if anyone has to
drop out.
Page 10 of 12
We've had to rearrange the programme slightly thereafter so our outing to Oakmere Golf Club will
now be on 21st May. NB all golfers: Mike Allen is trying to arrange for lunchers to be able to play
after lunch so please let him know if you'd like details in due course. ([email protected] or 01623 653345.)
Arrangements are still being made for our lunch on April 23rd but details will be on the website as
soon as possible.
David Ling (01623 822994 or [email protected])
More photos on the website …
Afternoon Teas
FOR OUR FIRST meeting of the new year, on January 10th, we had a buffet lunch at Il
Rosso instead of afternoon tea. Twenty U3A members enjoyed the food, which was delicious. Some of us indulged in a glass of wine as well.
It is good to sit and relax with friends, especially on these cold winter days.
Sheila Whalley
International Dining
THE NEW International Dining group will meet on the second Wednesday evening in the month at
6.30pm for meal at 7.00pm.
We will choose various venues to give a broad range of the world's food and budgets as possible.
The aim of the group is to give members the opportunity to try the cuisine of other cultures, also to
give the opportunity for single persons to enjoy evening meals out, something perhaps they
wouldn't do alone. All this in a friendly, informal and enjoyable way!
Our first dinner will be on March 11th at the award-winning Mint, Clarkson St., to sample Indian
food so see me at the back of the hall, next to the Luncheon Club table if you'd like to come.
Please contact me for any further information if you'd like to join us or would like to suggest a venue
you think the group would like to try.
Jacqui Hampshire (01623 239210 or [email protected]
In case you missed it …
Good News for some.
I HAVE KNOWN for some time that when you reach 75 you do not have to pay for a TV licence and
was looking forward to my next birthday in February 2015. However, I have paid monthly by direct
debit for some years and earlier this month (November) I received my annual email telling me the
TV licence which I had paid for was on the Internet to download.
Then it said I was now 74 and eligible for zero payment. Some quick computer work and I had
applied for a zero cost licence and received an acknowledgement that details would be in the post.
Today I got a letter from TV Licensing informing me a refund of £40 odd would be returned to my
bank account from where the direct debit was coming and on logging into my bank account the
money was there and the relevant direct debit had vanished.
So, two pieces of good news:
1. When you reach 74 investigate the cost of a TV licence, do not wait until you are 75, and,
2. A Government website has worked at least once.
Terry Whitehead
Reprinted from the December on-line edition
Page 11 of 12
Speakers' Corner
OUR SPEAKER today is Colin Wilde who will be telling us about Nottingham's Castle Rock
Castle Rock was originally founded in 1977 by Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chairman Chris
Holmes. The first pub was The Old Kings Arms in Newark. There are now 12 pubs in the group and
the brewery has won many awards for its beer.
Colin is the Managing Director of the brewery and will talk about the history of the brewery and
some of the production methods. Keep your fingers crossed that he may bring some samples.
Dates for your diary (Check the website for more information and updates.)
Sat. 28th Feb: FUN QUIZ NIGHT at Q. Elizabeth's Academy. (Sold out)
Fri. 8th May: COFFEE MORNING at The Towers. Details in due course.
Tues. 18th Aug: ANNUAL SUMMER PICNIC at Q. Elizabeth's Academy. Details in due course.
Linda Leivers
Mon. 11th to Fri. 15th Jan. 2016: WARNER'S THORESBY HALL. Details in due course.
Terry Whitehead
Event and Visit Payments
MEMBERS are reminded that deposits and payments for events and visits organised by Mansfield
U3A and its interest groups are non-refundable, but places so reserved may be offered to others.
Changes of address, etc.
PLEASE contact the membership secretary, Avril McGee (01623 452688), if you've changed your
address, phone number or email since joining Mansfield U3A so that she can update our records.
THE VIEWS expressed here are those of the contributors, only, and do not necessarily reflect those
of the editor, the committee of Mansfield U3A or the Third Age Trust. Nor can any responsibility be
accepted for members' announcements or any errors that may occur.
Next Issue
PLEASE SEND contributions for the March issue to [email protected], or in typescript, to the
editor as soon as you can and by 1st March at the latest. Thanks!
Editor: David Ling (01623 822994)
Printed by: Portland Print (
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