Issue 112                 NEWSLETTER                   July 2019

Ashton-in-Makerfield and District U3A


Nominations for membership to the Committee are urgently required. Please give this some serious consideration and, if interested, contact Mike or Pam for details.

The 2019 AGM will take place at the Friday Coffee Meeting on the 16th August. Nominations for membership to the Committee must be made on the forms that are available at the Friday meetings, and before being sent to the Secretary they must include the names of a proposer and seconder, and the written consent of the nominee, and be received by the Secretary before 24:00 hours on Friday 5th July 2019.


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.


5th July – Ken Pye - Ferries, Fun Fairs, Turrets and Towers - New Brighton of Course!

2nd August - Joanne Halliwell - Betsy, Happy Ever After.




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.


1.00pm at Captain’s Lane. The usual entrance charge of £1.00.

Note - Due to Health and Safety restrictions numbers are limited. Winnie   will   be   selling the tickets, cost £1.00, at the June and July meetings so be sure to buy a ticket and come and join us on this special afternoon A chance to catch up with friends and hear how it all began. There will be cake, photos from the past. Can you remember what happened in 2009?                                               

The Committee Ashton U3A.


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.




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). 


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.


The July meetings are on the 10th and 24th at 11.00 am in Ashton Library.


The next meeting for the Drama Group is on Thursday 4
th July. Please note the group will not be meeting in August and the September meeting will be on the 5th in the Library meeting room from 12 noon to 1.30 pm


We have the tickets for ‘The King and I’ at the Liverpool Empire on Thursday 19th March 2020. This is a matinee performance. The cost is £45 including Coach travel. We need a deposit of £10 to reserve your seat and payment in full by the Speakers meeting on 2nd August 2019.

Carol Heaton & Ann Heaton

09142 802780    01942 715608


The next Line Dancing Class is on Monday 1st July 2019.


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




Friday 14th will go down as one of our most memorable and enjoyable afternoons.  Our singers were all in fine voice, the hall was awash with red, white and blue flags, every single flag was waved heartily and with great gusto.

Tribute in song was paid to our armed forces, past and present. Our songs included – Wing and a Prayer/Dambuster’s March/Ancient Brits/White Cliffs of Dover/We’ll Meet Again/Kiss me Goodnight Sergeant Major/Bless ‘Em All/Wish me Luck as you Wave me Goodbye/Run Rabbit Run/Lili Marlene – to mention just a few.

Our final rendition was Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia.

Thanks must go to our refreshment ladies, our handing–out words monitor and to every single singer whose spontaneity made it the fabulous afternoon it was.

The afternoon singing ended with the National Anthem. See page 6 for photograhs.

Next singing session – Friday 12th July, our Strawberry and Ice Cream afternoon.   Josie Bretherton.


Next walk is on Tuesday 9th July

Windy Bank Wood and beyond.

Approx 5 miles. Duration 2 to 2.5 hours. Start at 10am from Bents Garden Nursery Warrington Road Glazebury Warrington.WA3 5NT.

Take the A580 East Lancs Road towards Manchester. At the traffic island at the Greyhound Hotel turn right. Bents is on the left about 200 yards on. Turn left at the mini island for the car park. On the extreme right of the main building is a Trespass shop. Meet a little further along the block.

The walk takes us past the River Glaze, into the new plantations of the Red Rose forest and Windy Bank Wood before we cross the A574 and into the fields of Glazebury.

The walk may be muddy in places, has some ups and downs, no hills but some stiles to climb over.

At the end of the walk there is a big cafe which sells jam and cream scones. It also has toilet facilities.

Tel Gil 07917205730 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 and if you no longer want to be on the mailing list again, please let me know.


The next meeting on July 19 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.


Bowling Group PC1 on the 3rd and 17th July. 


Bowling Group RP1 on the 10th and 24th July.


The next Local History Group meeting will begin at 1.30pm on Monday, 8 July 2019 at St James’ Parish Centre, WA11 ONJ.  There will be a short overview on aspects of the history of Policing, to whet appetites for our planned trip to the Police Museum.  Brian Woodward will also give us an illustrated talk about how a colliery operated and evolved.

If you are booked to go on the trip to the Police Museum on 12 August, please be at Hilton Street for 12 noon.  As the traffic situation when travelling to Manchester is unpredictable, we need to depart as soon after 12 noon as possible.


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.


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.


The Knitting Group meets on the second Thursday of each month in the alcove at Ashton Library at 1:30pm, The July meeting will be on 11th July but 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.  


Reading Group 1

Our book for June was Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription”, a work of fiction inspired by one of the periodic releases by MI5 to the National Archives.   In 1940, eighteen-year-old orphan, Juliet Armstrong, is taken on by MI5 as an audio typist.  Her duties are soon extended into the realm of espionage when she is involved in the infiltration of a network of British Fascist sympathisers.  The narrative switches between 1940 and 1950 when Juliet is working on radio programmes for schools at the BBC.  During the latter period, characters from her MI5 days re-enter her life with profound consequences for her.  Everyone in the group found the novel interesting but most had reservations.  The humour incorporated in the narrative was appreciated but a large cast of characters coupled with time shifts made significant demands on the reader.  We felt there were surprising plot weaknesses and the revelation in the denouement of  an aspect of Juliet’s activities, of which there had been no previous hint, came as a complete, and hence unsatisfactory, surprise.  On balance we would recommend it as an interesting, if not entirely convincing read.

Reading Group 2.

Confessions of Catherine de Medici – by C W Gortnor.

A fictional account of Catherine de Medici’s life. Born in 1519 into the massively powerful Medici family she entered into an arranged marriage to the Duc de Orléans who would later become King Henry II of France.  One year into the marriage Henry began his lifelong affair with Diane de Poitiers. Ten years into the loveless marriage Catherine gave birth to her first child, however a year later Henry was killed in a jousting accident which had the effect of catapulting Catherine into the political arena.  We felt that the book gave a well-balanced account of life in 16th century France, with wonderful descriptions of the splendours and luxury of the French court and the political intrigues and religious upheaval prevalent at the time.  As the book develops the reader is able to get to know Catherine as she grows from a mere child to a consummate politician in her own right, although her methods of resolving problems were often questionable and sometimes murderous. The book also covers the murder of the Huguenot leader Coligny which led to the St Bartholomew’s Massacre and the exodus of the Protestant Huguenots from Catholic France.

We thought this was a very readable book that left us wanting to know more.  Would we recommend it? Yes we would.

The Hit by Nadia Dalbuono.

This is the third book in a series featuring Leone Scamarcio, a detective living and working in Rome.  Scamarcio is drafted in to investigate a hit and run incident on a Rome street.  On first glance this was a job for the local police not a detective of the rank and experience of Scamarcio.  There’s obviously more to this than meets the eye which we discover when the identity of the injured family member is revealed.  As the case proceeds we see the sort of man Scamarcio is, a dedicated, honest man trying to do a thorough job.  However, he is a man on a mission, which is to prove that his father’s links to the Mafia are not his.  Scamarcio drinks too much coffee and eats too little food, he has a quick temper that sometimes he can’t control, in short, he is a flawed man but no less likeable for all that.  

The books in the series are all ‘stand-alone’ but the group recommends that it may be better to start with the first in the series ‘The Few’. Well written with a complex plot we thought the book was very enjoyable.  Would we recommend it?  Yes, we would.


Ashton-in-Makerfield Ukulele Group (AIMUG)

Another good meeting on the last Friday in May at Captain’s lane, the group was in fine fettle as we started off with beginners, worked our way through the movers on pack and had a requests time from our new books.


Players are more confident in their abilities and continue to improve.  It’s noticeable that many of the group have upgraded their instruments, from the basic £20 starter to the more expensive concert or tenor.  Consequently, this has brought an air of confidence to the new owner and the sound is much sweeter.


We’re hoping to perform during the summer at one of the members meetings, just a short spot to let everyone know that we’re still here and we’re also putting another bid in to appear at Sainsbury’s, with our friends from Wigan Uke3A, in the run up to Christmas.


All in all things are going well and we might be able to hold an interim meeting in the second week of the month.

Next meeting is Friday 26th July. New members always welcome.  Contact Stephen in the first instance.



Concorde Trip

We boarded our coach at Hilton Street, after a short journey we arrived at the Visitor Centre at Manchester Airport. It was quite windy on the day we went there and you could see the planes bobbing about.

After a quick drink in the café we went on the tour of the Concorde Aircraft. As we were a large group we were divided into two groups.

The first group were taken on to Concorde and the guide explained the history of Concorde, how the British and French had collaborated on having this spectacular aircraft build. The speed she travelled at was mind blowing, I was surprised that the inside of the aircraft was not as cramped as I imagined. Then in groups of four we were taken up to see the cockpit, where the pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer sat. There was a whole wall of switches and dials that the engineer had to deal with on the flight. It was fascinating, and the guide assured us that every one of them was used on the flight.

The second group was taken for a look round underneath the aircraft where they explained what the aircraft was made of and how it flew and other technical things that I had never even thought of. I was impressed that our group were asking questions and the guides where providing all the answers. It must have been a great thing for all the engineers and technicians to work on this ground-breaking aircraft.      

After our tour we went for lunch at the restaurant next door, we had pre-ordered our two course lunch with tea and coffee afterwards, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The people who were brave enough went outside to the viewing platforms, (it was a very windy and blustery day) to watch the planes take off and land.

We enjoyed our trip and would recommend it, especially the guides who were excellent. Looking at the aircraft in the hangar, I would have loved to fly in it just once.   Mary Davies.


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.


(Note they are PART OF ACTIVE LIVING and are NOT covered by U3A insurance).


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


I think everyone who attended the lunch had a wonderful time. The food was superb and the entertainment excellent. It was a bonus that the Mayor and his consort could attend.