Issue 109                 NEWSLETTER               April 2019

Ashton-in-Makerfield and District U3A


Are you someone who enjoys counting money, balancing the books, paying bills and writing cheques.? Answer YES.

Well you are the person we are looking for to take on the role of TREASURER.

It is not as scary and onerous as you may think, you will be supported every step of the way by the Committee. Dot Wright has volunteered to be your Right Hand Woman and will be on hand should you need a Deputy.

We have Accountants who compile and complete the end of year paperwork and produce accounts for the AGM.  

If you feel you would like to hear more about being our  Treasurer please see Mike or Pam at the Meetings or contact Pam Potter.


It is that time of year again when we are looking for members to join the COMMITTEE. This year has been a particularly challenging one with changes to the Constitution and Charity Status HOWEVER that is all behind us now .

The Committee consists of 12 members, who work together as a team and support each other to ensure the smooth running of Ashton U3A and that every member can join in and enjoy all that is on offer.

Committee members have a limited tenure of three years and therefore we constantly need new members to replace old ones. If this does not happen U3As are in danger of having to close.

All that we ask of any prospective Committee members is

· Flexibility, willingness to help others

· Commitment to the continuing success of Ashton U3A.

· The Committee meets once a month on the 2nd Friday in the month at Captains Lane 10.30-12.30.

· If possible to attend either or both Speaker Meetings /Coffee pm Meetings

For further information and the opportunity to attend and observe the workings of the Committee, please see Mike or Pam at any of the Meetings.

Please seriously consider this request as we need your help.

Ashton in Makerfield U3A Committee.


Registration dates will be on the following dates -

         FRIDAY   5th   APRIL

          NO U3A MEETING ON GOOD FRIDAY – 19th April

          FRIDAY 3rd MAY

If you have been given an envelope, please put your registration money/cheque inside and bring to one of the above meetings.

If you have not been given an envelope/ renewal form to complete, you will need to complete one, on any of the above days.

Thank You.

Ray Potter-Membership Secretary.


5th April        No speaker – Registration.

3rd May - John Gostelow  - In Search of Elvis.  


A book has been created in which we would like members to record their comments, memories or experiences of their membership during the first ten years of the Ashton-in-Makerfield and District U3A. The book is now open and will be available to all during the months leading up to our 10th Anniversary in May 2019. We would appreciate as much input as possible and on behalf of the Committee we thank you in anticipation.

Pat Grimshaw, Winnie Burns and Arthur Hemmings.


There is a BLUE BOOK on the Information Table, at the front of the room, in which we would like you to put any Suggestions for New Groups.

We cannot promise that they will all get off the ground but we will explore all your suggestions and support anyone who wants to give it a try.

The groups are very important to the welfare of the U3A. They provide a range of activities that would not be available if it was not for the input from the membership. If anyone wishes to talk through a suggestion for a new group they would like to attend or, if they would like to lead a new group, please see JOHN GOSTELOW or ANNE DOYLE for more details.


The Easter Chocolate Raffle which will be taking place on Friday the 5th of April. Donations of chocolate prizes or wine etc, will be thankfully received.


Our March coffee afternoon was brilliant!  Josie, ably assisted by Barbara, treated us to a display of Egyptian dancing, or belly dancing. We learned of the origins of the dance and how it developed to take in the movements of the people as they moved around the desert areas.  Josie and Barbara wore dazzling outfits and some very willing volunteers added to the enjoyment.  Everyone clapped along to the music and musical instruments added to the rhythm. We all came away with huge smiles on our faces and light hearts. 

Who needs T.V. when we have talent like this on our doorstep!!!  

Thank you Josie, thank you Barbara. 




Please note that the Matinee to see ‘Blood Brothers’ at the Lowry is now fully booked.

The coach will leave Hilton Street at 12.30pm on Thursday 11th April 2019.

** 2 tickets have become available for ‘Annie’ ** at the Liverpool Empire on Thursday 27th June 2019. This is an evening performance. Please see Carol or Ann if you wish to purchase a ticket. The price is £38 including the coach fare.

We are now taking names for a production of ‘The King and I’ at the Liverpool Empire. This will be a matinee performance in March 2020.

If you wish to go please put your name on the list

Carol & Ann Heaton


This Group will continue for the foreseeable future and will meet on the 1st Monday of the month (unless a Bank Holiday) at Captains Lane Community Centre from 1 - 3pm. The next meeting will be on Monday 1st April 2019.

Group Leader Ray Sims 


The  next  group  meetings  will  be  on  the  10th  and 24th of April at 11.00 am in Ashton library.


The Card and Paper Craft Group meet on the last Thursday of the month in Ashton Library. The next meeting is on Thursday 25 April, at 1.30pm. 


Our March meeting was full of fun with members bringing their own contributions and also reading some very amusing items and short scripts.             
Robin Hood and his Merry Men featured as did Horatio Nelson.  As for Desmond Dunn - he doesn't half get himself into some situations!         
If you think you might like to have a go at a bit of light hearted drama, come along and see what it's all about.  We don't take ourselves too seriously! 

The next meetings will be on Thursday 2nd April and Thursday 4th May in the Library meeting room at 12.00 noon. 



The Intermediate German group, now in its 6th year, is currently full. 

If you would like any further information please contact Bill, by phone or email, (contact details and times are on the back page). 


Our meetings are held on 3rd Thursday of the month in Haydock library from 10.00am to 12.00am.

Our next meeting will be on the 18th. April when the project for the month is “Movement”.  

If any of our U3A members wish to learn more about photography or can offer any expertise, please come along and join us.

Michae Iredale  


The poetry group continues to meet in Ashton Library on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 12 noon.  We have room for 2 more members at the moment; if anyone is interested in joining the group, please contact Elinor Bentley or Madeline Hynes.


Next walk is on Tuesday 9th April at Worthington Lakes. Approx 5 miles. Duration 2 to 2.5 hours.

Start at 10am from Worthington Lakes car park which is off the A5106 Chorley Road. WN1 2XW

Head towards Standish. When you reach an island (Boars Head pub on left, garage in front) turn right onto Chorley Road and follow the road downhill and straight across a mini island. The car park is hidden on the right just past a sign for United Utilities.

The walk will be muddy in places; it has some ups and downs, it goes round the lakes through woods and along the canal and back through woods to the car park.

There is no cafe or toilet facilities on the walk but the road back to Wigan passes the Boars Head if anyone wants coffee or something to eat after the walk.

Tel Gil for more information is required.

Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear whilst walking.

If you have not been before please have with you on the day your next of kin details and let me know of any potential health issues that might occur whilst walking.

If you want to be on the Walking Group emailing list please email and if you no longer want to be on the mailing list again, please let me know.


Due to unforeseen circumstances the Mosaic class will not resume until after the Easter Break, Thursday 25th April. I will be in touch with class members.

Pat Moulsdale


The creative writing group, which meets on the third Friday of the month at the YMCA, Hilton Street, at 2-0 p.m., is currently working on the contents of their magazine, Our Words to be published in June.  We are aiming to theme the contents towards the celebration of the 10th birthday of U3A Ashton so if any of you want to join us we have space for a couple of new members.




Our singers enjoyed a lively afternoon singing all their favourite songs, happily accompanied by Ian’s guitar accompaniment and CDs.  In the full spirit of “The Show Must Go On”, Pat and Barbara stepped in at the last moment to keep the singing going and the afternoon went very well.

My thanks go to Pat and Barbara for saving the afternoon whilst I was incapacitated due to family sickness.  

Our next singing afternoon will be FRIDAY, 12th April.  1 pm at Captain’s Lane.


The 2019 season commenced on Wednesday March the 6th.

The venues (on our Web page) may change slightly in which case I will possibly advance the start time to 10.00am instead of 09.30 because of the problems with the traffic (school and motorway) that we encounted last year but any changes will appear in the monthly newsletter.

Also, when there is a three week gap in a couple of the monthly dates, if possible, an extra game will be arranged nearer the time.

Jim Conboy, Group Leader.


The Knitting Group meets on the second Thursday of each month in the alcove at Ashton Library at 1:30pm.  At the moment we do have a few vacancies so if you are interested in joining us, please contact either Anne Knowles on 01942 716826 or Hazel Groom-Hollis on 01942 270390.  Or if you'd like to just pop in to one of our meetings to see if you'd like to join us, you'd be most welcome. We knit for ourselves or for charity and if you'd like us to pass on your charity knits, we'll be happy to do so.   


Our next meeting starts at 1.30pm on Monday, 8 April 2019 at St James’ Parish Centre, WA11 ONJ.  This month, our speaker is Steve Horton, author, historian and tour guide.  He has written several books on local history and has written for the Times and Liverpool Echo as well as currently maintaining an active blog for ‘Liverpool’s Hidden History’.  Steve will be bringing along copies of his books and will sign any copies which are purchased on the day.  We hope to have a good attendance for his visit.  If you have not been to a Local History group meeting before, you would be very welcome to join us and to meet Steve.


We are a group of seven amateur bakers who get together once a month in a member’s home to have lunch and dessert prepared by two of our members. None of us profess to be experts but we do enjoy the opportunity to catch up over a nice meal.  We have a vacancy for a new member at present so if you would like to know more please get in touch with Anne Doyle on 01942 272454 or at a Friday meeting.


Reading Group 1

Our book for March was “A Town Like Alice” by Nevil Shute.   We all thoroughly enjoyed it, finding it a well-told, life-affirming story; testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.  Those who had read the novel previously were pleased to have re-read it.  We would all recommend it.   

Reading Group 2.

Meets on the 2nd Monday in the month in Ashton Library at 12.15 pm -1.45 pm. For more information see Pam Potter or Fran Berka at the Meetings.

Our main choice was Miss Garnet's Angel by Salley Vickers.

Following the loss of her friend Harriet, Miss Julia Garnet, retired school mistress, rents out her London Flat and goes to Venice for 6 months. It is the story of her journey through the canals, piazzas, churches, tourist sights but it is also a story of her personal journey, re-evaluating the things that she has accepted all her life, looking at life anew. Alongside this story is the story of Tobias and the Archangel Raphael and the dog Kish and the Church of the Plague. Wonderful read ...yes we would recommend.

The Devil's Advocate by Morris West.

A classic book, Giacomo Nerone, deserter, traitor, collaborator, condemned to death by the local partisans. Was he a Saint or a Sinner? Vatican Emissary Blaise Meredith known as the Devil's Advocate has to decide.  Another recommended read.


This group is now closed for the summer. The group will return on Wednesday 23rd October 2019.


This group is now closed for the summer. The group will return on Wednesday 16th October 2019.  



This Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at Ashton Rec Club off Townfields.

Meeting at 1.45 pm for Bowling 2 pm - 4 pm.

The first meeting of the season will be on 3rd April 2019.

This Group is run by Phil Carter.

We look forward to a new season with good weather!!


This Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at Ashton Rec Club off Townfields.

Meeting at 1.45 pm for Bowling 2 pm - 4 pm.

The first meeting  of the season will be on 10th April 2019.

This Group is run by Ray Potter.

We look forward to a new season with good weather!!

Ray Potter


A day out to Kendal has been arranged for Thursday 16th May 2019 to visit the Quaker tapestry followed by a visit to Sizergh castle which is a short drive away.

The tapestry was created by Quaker members and consists of a series of panels depicting the start of the Quaker movement and the activities and good works in which the Quaker members have been (and still are) involved. There is a café and gift shop.

Sizergh castle is a National Trust property lived in by the Strickland family for the past 750 years.  Apart from the stunning interior it has beautiful and extensive gardens.

The total cost will be £20 but non NT members will have to pay for entry to the Castle which will be £11.50 payable on the day.

I would appreciate it if members who have put their names down for this trip could pay the full amount (£20.00) at the earliest opportunity.

Pat Grimshaw



Trip 1 -Tour of Concorde Aircraft & Lunch. 

Monday 15th April 

This tour may not be suitable for people with mobility difficulties as there are 40 steps to climb to go inside concorde 

The cost of the trip is £28.00 which includes the coach,  a  90  minute  tour  of  Concorde  and  a two course lunch.  For further details etc please see Mary or Maureen. 

Trip 2 - Christmas Meal 

Proposed event December  2019.




12-00pm to 4-00pm


Names and a Deposit of £5-00 are now being taken to secure our booking.

There will be an option of self-drive or provided transport. Cost of transport will be given later.


Ashton-in-Makerfield Ukulele Group (AIMUG)


As we approach Spring our group will be getting to know some of the songs from our shiny songbooks and really just enjoying playing the ‘Jumping Flea’ as its translation reveals. Then we’ll see if we want to perform for our second concert, the first being Sainsbury’s last Christmas.


Over the past two months our group has been led by Songstress Christine, who took the group last year and had a thoroughly good time, aided and abetted by bassist Alan Walker.

So now it’s onwards and upwards for us, new people to train and encourage, experienced players to stimulate. Should be good as we suggest new songs for the empty space in our songbooks.


New members always welcome, just contact Stephen.


The following Groups are PART OF ACTIVE LIVING and NOT covered by U3A insurance.


Meets every Monday at 10am - 11am at St Thomas's Church Hall on Warrington Road. 

The exercises are tailored to older people whatever their capabilities. You don't need any special equipment or clothing. The cost is £3 per session. For more information call in to St Thomas's before 10 am on Mondays or speak to Anne, Pam or Mary. 


Meets every Wednesday 1.30 pm  to 2.30 pm in the Scout Hut, Woodedge, off  Liverpool Road.


The classes are on Tuesdays at ll.45am - 12.45pm and a 2nd class from 1.00pm – 2.00pm at the Scout Hut in Woodedge, off Liverpool Road.