Issue 98                 NEWSLETTER               April 2018

Ashton-in-Makerfield and District U3A


Your membership is due for renewal from the 1st of April. Registration will take place on the  3rd Friday in April and the 1st and 3rd Friday in May. Members who have not registered by the 31st of May cannot be guaranteed to be issued with their existing membership number. The Annual Registration will, as in previous years, remain at £12.00 and the Friday Meeting door charges will stay at £2.00 for Speaker Meetings and £1.00 for the Coffee Meetings.

It is important to note that the £12.00 Registration fee is non-refundable and retains your membership for twelve months.


We like to chat to friends before our meetings start, but could we please refrain from continuing to talk when announcements are being made and during presentations by our guest speakers. Recently, conversations that have carried on have caused distractions for many trying to listen.


During our meetings please ensure that your mobile phone ring tone is switched off and the phone is either put on vibrate or turned off completely.


If you are interested in a particular subject or activity that is not catered for and would like to create a new Group please contact a member of the Committee for assistance to set it up.



4th May - Joanne Halliwell - Betsy 2 - The Promotion.


Due to the Introduction of


This is a legal requirement by the Government and the European Union.

We have received Guidance Notes and sample Membership Application Forms and sample Renewal Application Forms from U3A National Office.

These changes will affect our Registration Procedures in April and May 2018.

Members WILL NOT BE ABLE to renew their membership (i.e. pay the membership fee of £12) without completing and signing the new MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM.

ALL MEMBERS, whether, founder, existing or new, will be classed as new members but will retain their existing membership number. This will ensure that all personal details are correct and up to date at 2018/2019 renewal.

A procedure (MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL APPLICATION) will be in place to ensure that every year your personal details are checked.

The new MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM lays out the Terms and Conditions of becoming a member of the U3A. You are asked to sign and date that you agree to this.

The new MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION  - Privacy Statement lays out how we will store your information, what it will be used for .You are asked to sign and date that you agree to this.

The new MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION MUST be signed by the member (partners cannot sign for partners, husbands cannot sign for wives, wives cannot sign for husbands, friends cannot sign for friends) help can be given in completing the form but it must be then signed by the member.

We ask for your patience and understanding with this new legal requirement. This is not an Ashton in Makerfield generated procedure and we have no option but to implement.

Any Queries, please do not hesitate to contact Pam Potter- Secretary at the meetings.

Pam Potter 10.03.2018.



We are now fully booked at the moment for both Beautiful and the Play that goes Wrong. We are now taking bookings for Girls in November. If you owe any balances for either of the shows could we have it as

soon as possible.
Kath and Ann 


We are a small group of amateur bakers who meet once a month in a member’s home to share a light lunch and a dessert or cake.  If you would like to know more please contact Anne Doyle or Pam Potter.



The Intermediate German group meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm. It is now starting its fifth year. It is a friendly, sociable group and the emphasis is on speaking and listening. Group members have become much more confident in expressing themselves spontaneously in German and can now engage in small talk fluently.

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


The next  meeting of the group will be on the 26th  of April at 1.30 pm in the Ashton Library.


We meet on the third Friday of the month at 2-00 pm which gives us time to meet up at Captains Lane and have a coffee and a chat before heading off to the YMCA in Hilton Street where meetings are held.


The next meeting is on April 20th and we have room for a couple of new members if you would like to come along for a taster.


The Group meets in the Ashton Library on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays in the month 11.00 am - 12.30 pm.

If you wish to speak to me, I can be contacted on 01942-201693.

Roy Moore.


How lovely it was to hear the AIMUGS, Ashton in Makerfield Ukulele group, strumming and singing like they have been playing for years, on my return from a Winter sojourn.  They really have moved on tremendously from the first time some eight months ago.


Christine, our interim leader proved to have inspired our group on with her gentle coaxing and today, at our Bryn Labour club practice we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Thanks Christine.


We whipped through the beginner’s pack with only small shrieks of terror at Gm in Polly Put The Kettle On, before getting some practice in on our pieces for the Lancashire day.  There was a small mutiny after the key had been found to have been changed in another song, so rather than clap them in irons and heave them into the brig it was decided that the key should be reverted to a friendlier one.

A few runs through our group song, cleverly written by the members, and we found that our allotted time had shot by like the hands of the clock couldn’t wait for knocking off time.  A good afternoon’s practice.


Our next meeting is on Friday April the 27th  at Captain’s Lane from 1.00pm to 3.00pm. 




The group has closed for the summer and will re-open in October. 

Thanks to all who have attended and I hope that you have enjoyed the Games.  Ray. 


The Bowling Groups will start the new season after Easter. 

GROUP PC1 run by Phil Carter will begin on Wednesday 4th April. Meet at Ashton Rec Club off Townfields at 1.45 pm for bowling 2pm to 4pm. 

GROUP RP1 run by Ray Potter will begin on Wednesday 11th April. Venue and times as above. 

We look forward to seeing you then. 

Ray and Phil.


The group has closed for the summer and will re-open in October. 

Thanks to all who have attended and I hope that you have enjoyed the Kurling. 



Our meetings are normally on 3rd Thursday of the month.

Our April meeting will be on the 19th at Haydock Library, Church Road, Haydock, WA11 1LY with the new meeting time of 10.00am to 12.00am.

Our project for this month is “New Life”.

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



Singing For Pleasure meeting – 9th March.

We set off on our musical journey with Bring me Sunshine, whilst Cruising Down The River, then Ballad of Wigan Pier followed. We paid tribute to Spring, borrowing the song - Spring, Spring, Spring - from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. Next - Amore [with] Strangers in the Night. Whilst we Dreamed a Dream with My Guy, but he was off with a Pretty Woman. Little Ole Wine Drinker Me, but not at the YMCA.  Didn’t find any bargains in The Old Bazaar in Cairo, but had some Happy Talk.  

We welcomed two new singers who enjoyed their singing today.

Our next meeting of the Singing for Pleasure Group is – Friday, 13th April.  1 pm at Captain’s Lane.


Reading Group 1

At our March meeting we discussed Gail Honeyman’s debut novel “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”.  We are introduced to Eleanor’s world with her as narrator so have access to her thoughts and it quickly becomes clear that all is far from being “completely fine”.  She has worked for nine years in the accounts department of a graphics design company, is nearing thirty and chooses to keep her contact with other people to a minimum.  Efficient and intelligent (she has a degree in classics), she has a dim view of her colleagues who, in return, view her as an oddity.  Nor does Eleanor have any social life away from the office; a couple of bottles of vodka see her through the weekend until work resumes.  The author uses Eleanor’s idiosyncratic take on the world to develop a humorous yet poignant narrative in the course of which we gradually become aware of her difficult childhood in care and with a succession of foster parents.  Clearly there are dreadful events in her past which she is unable to confront or come to terms with.  A new acquaintance and a chance event lead to Eleanor beginning tentatively to admit other people into her world and despite a very bumpy ride in places we are left feeling that her life will become much fuller if not “completely fine”.    

The few reservations expressed centred round a feeling of being unqualified to judge just how credible a creation Eleanor is.  Could such a melange of unworldliness, high intelligence and social ineptitude, though providing a rich vein of comic potential, actually co-exist in a single person? On balance we felt that with appropriate suspension of disbelief in places it provided a funny, poignant and life-affirming read and would certainly recommend it.  The book may well be made into a Reese Witherspoon film in the near future.  

Reading Group 2

The book discussed at the March Meeting was The Defectors – Joseph Kanon (born in Pennsylvania in 1946 educated Harvard and Trinity College Cambridge)

Other books-Los Alamos, Leaving Berlin, Istanbul Passage, Prodigal Spy and Alibi.

The Defectors is set in 1960s Moscow, where ex CIA agent Frank Weeks is living following his defection from America .10 years late ,Simon Weeks , his brother  is allowed to go to Russia to negotiate a book deal surrounding Frank’s defection and life in Russia.  Lots of twists and turns and an unexpected ending.

The Group enjoyed discussing this book as it covered areas that we knew nothing about or had in fact given much thought to. We had different views on the ending. Would we recommend it? YES WE WOULD.

To Kill a President – Sam Bourne (pseudonym of Jonathan Freedland –Guardian Journalist and Broadcaster.

Maggie Costello uncovers a plot led by two high ranking White House Officials to assassinate a corrupt President – the President appears to be out of control and his actions threaten to bring about the end of the world. She is threatened, her family is threatened, lots of unbelievable or is it technology who can she trust, no one. Anyone who has watched West Wing or Madam Secretary will see similarities.

Would we recommend it?  YES WE WOULD.

Other books -The Chosen One, Pantheon, The Righteous Men, The Final Reckoning


Visit to Terracotta Warriors Tuesday 10th April 2018.

The Coach will be leaving from Hilton Street at 10.15am on the day. Please be there early so that everyone can be checked in to enable it to leave on time.

Holiday to Ireland 16 June 2018.

A holiday has been arranged with Discovery Travel to Ireland in June 2018.

The Balance for this Holiday is due on 1st May 2018 payable to Discovery Travel..

For further details please contact me, John Gostelow (contact details and times are on the back page).

John Gostelow, Group Leader.

Tall Ships Liverpool

Friday 25th May 2018.

Depart from Hilton Street - meet 9.15 leave at 9.30 am.
Return approx 4pm Cost £14.00.

Mary Davies, Group Leader.


Wednesday 4th April  meet at PortersWood,

Gathurst Road, Orrell, WN5 0LH.

Meet at 9.10 am for 9.30 tee time.

Wednesday 18th April meet at Pennington Flash, Pennington Country Park, Leigh, WN7 3PA

Meet at 9.10 am for 9.30 tee time.

In the event that venues change I will email you.

If you are a golfer but not a members of our group or have never been a golfer but would like to give it a try please contact me at a Friday meeting or by telephone.


PART OF ACTIVE LIVING and NOT covered by U3A insurance.


Instructor Matt

Part of Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (previously called Active Living) 

Every Monday morning 11.00-12.00 at Captains Lane, Ashton in Makerfield. From April cost £3.00 per session.

Small Group, gentle exercise at your own pace -concentrating on maintaining muscle strength and balance.

Call in for more information or see Pam, Anne or Mary at the Meetings


PART OF ACTIVE LIVING and NOT covered by U3A insurance.


Walking Football is a sport for both men and women and it is an ideal way to meet new friends and improve your fitness. Games take place in the Wigan Soccer Drome.

If you are interested please contact Phil Carter by telephone (07792000624) or during any of our Friday Meetings. If enough interest is shown I will arrange a date and time for us to visit the Soccer Drome.