NEWSLETTER No 113                                                          AUGUST 2019


The 2019 AGM will take place at the Friday Coffee Meeting on the 16th August.


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 Annual Tombola will be on at the September meetings – gift donations would be very welcome.

The proceeds will go to our Charity - Wigan Hopice  -  Thank you for your support.


A sale of Woodturning items and Cards will be on sale at the October coffee afternoon. Members and friends donations will be given directly to Wigan and Leigh Hospice. Thank you once again for all your support


2nd August –  Joanne Halliwell – Betsy, Happy Ever After’

6th Sept -  Clement D’Hollande - Angers Representative to Wigan.



The Committee have decided to trial some changes in the way we organise our Social Activities.

We hope that the changes will ensure continuity, spread the work load and encourage members to become involved in our U3A.

Bernie Carter has agreed to take on the role of Social Secretary working alongside a sub group to take on the responsibility for booking Speakers, arranging Coffee Afternoon entertainment, refreshments, organising events and Christmas Party and the Coffee and Carols Afternoon.

Ann and Carol will continue to arrange the Theatre Trips, Mary and Maureen will continue to arrange Days Out.


Obviously this is a huge task and anyone interested in helping in anyway or anyone who has any ideas/suggestions for Speakers, Entertainment, Days Out or Theatre Trips please see Bernie at the Friday meetings.


Anyone interested in an 8/10 week Christmas Craft Course? One morning or one afternoon per week, starting end of September. Approx cost £3 per session. Hopefully this would cover all the bits and bobs.

We hope that there will be lots of laughter, glitter, glue, Christmas nibbles and Christmas tipples. The intention is to have fun, make decorations, presents, learn new skills and to pass your skills on to others.

If you are interested please put your name and contact details in the Groups Book which is kept on the table at the front of the room or see Bernie or Pam at the Friday meetings.

If the group is popular it may lead to a permanent CRAFT GROUP starting up in the New Year.


The Committee have been looking back at the last ten years and looking forward to the future.

How we have handled the millions of changes, the lessons we have learnt and the importance of clear communication.

One thing that is apparent is that not all our members are happy about the changes and how we have dealt with them nor do they understand the need for change. Why have we got a new constitution? Why are we now a Charity? Why do things have to change? Maybe as a Committee we have not fully explained these issues or passed on the info to the members.

Gill Russell our regional trustee sent out the attached article (page nine) to all North West U3As and we as a Committee feel that it sums up how some of you must feel about the changes and why if we are to survive and grow, we must comply.

The Committee are volunteers and work to the best of their abilities with the best interests of Ashton U3A and its members as its main priority.

We would like to THANK the present and the past committee members for their continual commitment and support, which has got us to where we are now.

We owe a BIG THANK YOU to our Group Leaders for all their hard work and enthusiasm.

We must not forget to THANK our army of volunteer tea makers and chair shifters who come early to every meeting.

Let’s raise an imaginary glass to the NEXT TEN YEARS.


A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poor those who give. It takes but a moment yet the memory of it lasts forever and is nature’s best antidote to trouble. Yet a smile cannot be bought begged or stolen, for it is something of no value to anyone unless it is given away.

A smile creates happiness in the home and is the sign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged and sunshine to the sad.

Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours; no one needs a smile as much as he who has none to give.




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 trip to see Annie at the Liverpool Empire on the 27th June was a great success and enjoyed by all.

We still have a number of members who have put their names down for tickets to see ‘The King and I’, but who have not paid in full. These tickets need to be paid for ASAP. If your name is down and you have changed your mind about going or can no longer go, please let us know, as we have a waiting list for these tickets.

We have managed to obtain a number of tickets for the pantomime Aladdin on the 2nd January 2020, at the St. Helens Theatre Royal. The tickets are £14 and there is a free coach provided. If you wish to purchase a ticket, please see Carol Heaton & Ann Heaton 09142 802780    01942 715608.


The Card and Paper Craft Group meet on the last Thursday of the month in Ashton Library. The next meeting is on Thursday 29th August at 1.30pm. 


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.


Due to Ray and Mildred's holidays there will be no Line Dancing on Monday 5th August. The next Line Dancing will be on Monday 2nd September 2019.


The French group August meetings have been cancelled, due to hospital visits and a short break. Meetings will resume on 11th September.


Please note that there will be no Drama Group meeting in August. The next meeting will be on Thursday 5th September in the Library meeting room from 12.00 to 1.30pm.


            Michael Iredale  01942 709370

Our meetings are normally held on 3rd Thursday of the month in Haydock library, however as is our usual practice we have no indoor meetings in June, July and August but use our meeting dates to go out on photo shoots.

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



Are you going to Strawberry Fair?  Well, yes - 32 singers did happily on Friday, 12th July.  Every strawberry was most fair and the ice cream was good too. We welcomed five new singers to our ranks.  

We let rip singing all our favourite songs, oh what a happy afternoon we all had.

Thanks go to our helpers for setting the room out, dishing out strawberry treat and lemonade.  Handing out song words and tidying the room at the end of the afternoon.

Next singing – 9th August.  1.00 pm.  Captain’s Lane.


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 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.


Bowling Group PC1 on the 7th and 21st August.. 


Bowling Group RP1 on the 14th and 28th August.


Reading Group 2.

The Tuscan Child - Rhys Bowen
This is a very readable novel about an English pilot shot down in Italy in 1944 and his daughter who goes to Tuscany 30 years later to learn about his escape from the Nazis. Recommend- yes.

Pasta, Poppies Fields and Pearls – Sophia Bar-Lev. Four mature women from different parts of the world have chosen Tuscany as their retirement haven. Little did they realise the adventurers that await them. A good light read.

Mildred Bolton


The Knitting Group meets on the second Thursday each month in the alcove at Ashton Library at 1.30pm.

There will be no meeting in August as we'll be going on our summer outing on 15th.  We'll resume our monthly meetings in September on 12th so if anyone interested in joining us would like to pop in, you'll be most welcome.  


The coffee afternoon on the 19th of July was a celebration of our first ten years. Winnie Burns gave a talk describing the events that led up to the forming of the Ashton and District U3A and the way it has developed during the past ten years. A very enjoyable afternoon.


Next walk is on Tuesday August 13th

Wigan Flashes - Approx 5 miles. Duration 2 to 2.5 hours. Start at 10am from the small car park just before Hawkley Hall School, Carr Lane, off Poolstock. WN3 5NY.

The walk takes us from the edge of Three Sisters onto the Leigh branch of the Liverpool Leeds canal. Scotsman’s Flash to the left and Pearson’s Flash further on but we cross the stone bridge and turn right and head towards Platt Bridge. Under the Wigan/Liverpool railway and left turn to walk around Horrock’s Flash part of Ince Moss and renowned for its wildlife

The walk may be muddy in places, has some ups and downs, no hills but some steps up an incline onto the side of the railway. No cafe or toilets before or during the walk Tel Gil  if 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 Gil and if you no longer want to be on the mailing list again, please let me know.


There is no Local History Group meeting in August; instead we are going to visit the Police Museum in Manchester.  Our next group meeting is at 1.30pm on Monday, 9 September 2019 when Pat Grimshaw will talk to us about the history of Haydock Park Racecourse and Haydock Lodge.

If you are booked to go on the trip to the Police Museum on 12 August, please be at Hilton Street for 12 noon.  Travelling to Manchester by road can be unpredictable but hopefully we will arrive in plenty of time to meet our private guide for the afternoon, as arranged.  One ticket has become available for this trip.  If anyone would like to take it up - you do not need to be a member of the Local History Group – you would be very welcome; just give me a call or see me at the next U3A meeting.


The next meeting on August 16th will be held at 615 Wigan Road  Ashton, beginning at 3.0p.m. Further details can be had from the group leader.  If you would like to give us a try we have room for a couple of new members.


We held our annual summer party in the last week in June and as the weather was kind to us we managed to have the party outside.  It made such a difference, everybody had brought delicious food and the atmosphere was very relaxed as we chatted the afternoon away. We’re on holiday now until September when we look forward to welcoming our new member Susan.

If you would like to know more please get in touch with Anne on 272454 or at a monthly meeting.


Ashton-in-Makerfield Ukulele Group (AIMUG)

Ashton in Makerfield U3A Ukes (AIMUG) met at Captain’s lane on Friday June 28th and a good time was had by all.  Again we had a good turnout on such a glorious day with strummers from various U3As across South Lancs.  The reciprocal agreement means that we’re a very well-travelled bunch and we all get on so happily.

Initially we ran through the beginner’s pack to give new starters a boost and then had requests from the group, which pulled out some interesting song selections.

One of which was the group song, written by members of the group.  One day we’ll all be singing the same tune to this but meanwhile we’ll keep practising it a couple of times per session.  We’re going well now and as our speed increases we notice that our timing, as a group, is very good.  We’re all stopping at the right times and many of us are finishing songs with the Wigan Ding Dong.  That’s where you play the last two chords again at the end to finish off a song.  Sounds good.

We had an interim meeting with our friends at Wigan Uke3A on Wednesday 10th July at Bryn Labour club (from 3pm till 5pm) and after that we met on Friday 26th July at Captain’s lane.


Beginner’s welcome, Contact Stephen in the first instance.



Trip to Chester

Thursday 26th September 2019

Afternoon Tea around about 12.00 at the Grosvenor Hotel PULFORD, which is about Twenty minutes from Chester then on to Chester  for the rest of the afternoon Cost £32.00.

Please see Mary or Maureen for more details

Christmas Meal 

Christmas Lunch Party at the DW Stadium

Thursday 12th December

 12-00pm to 4-00pm

Cost of meal £16-50

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.


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


Phil Carter  01942 717902. Meets Thursday 11am-12pn at the YMCA building on Bolton Road opposite the Rockleigh Hotel


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.