Issue 111                 NEWSLETTER                     June 2019

Ashton-in-Makerfield and District U3A


Your membership was due for renewal from the 1st of April. 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. If you have not yet registered and would like to do so please collect a Membership Renewal form and Registration Fee envelope from the Membership Secretary.

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


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.


6th June - Daniel Pinder - Tax, Care and Toy Boys.

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


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 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 June meetings are on the 12th and 26th at 11.00 am in Ashton Library.


The next meeting for the Drama Group is on Thursday 4th July in the Library meeting room from 12 noon to 1.30 pm


Our next trip is to see ‘Annie’ on Thursday 27th June 2019 at the Liverpool Empire. This is now fully booked. It is an evening performance and the coach will leave Hilton Street at 5.45pm

We now have 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


The next Line Dancing Class is on Monday 3rd June 2019.


The Card and Paper Craft Group meet on the last Thursday of the month in Ashton Library. The next meeting is on Thursday 27th June, 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.



Next walk is on Tuesday 4th June

Sankey Valley Country Park, Chadwick Green, Carr Mill Dam

Approximately  5 miles,  duration  2  to  2.5 hours.

Start at 10am at the Sankey Valley Visitor Centre on Blackbrook Road (A58) WA11 OAB

From Ashton take the A58 past St Oswald’s Church and continue forward over the East Lancs Road. At the bottom of the hill, immediately before the Ship Inn, turn right into the car park.

The circular walk initially follows the old St Helens canal and Black Brook before passing Carr Mill and heading into the open country-side then  onto the Hamlet of Chadwick Green and back around the edge of Carr Mill Dam

The walk may be muddy in places. There are some ups and downs but no hills or stiles. There are no cafe or toilet facilities on 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.


Bowling Group PC1 on the 5th and 19th June. 


Bowling Group RP1 on the 12th and 26th June.


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.


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.   


There will be NO MEETING IN JUNE but we will meet again at 1.30pm on Monday, 8th July 2019 at St James’ Parish Centre, WA11 ONJ.  More details about that meeting will appear in the next newsletter.


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.


Reading Group 1

Our book for May was a collection of short stories by George Mackay Brown published under the title “A Time to Keep”. These are written in a direct, spare style, well-matched to the austerity of the Orcadian farming and fishing community in which they are set.  Half the group found the tales spoke to them directly of universal themes and really enjoyed them; only two could not really get into them while the rest had liked most of the stories.  Mackay Brown; poet, novelist, dramatist and journalist, lived most of his life in Orkney.  His work, perhaps as a result, is less well known than it deserves to be.  However, given the mixed reaction of the group, we would hesitate to give an unqualified recommendation but the fascinating Wikipedia entry on Mackay Brown’s life and work may provide a better guide to whether or not his writing might be for you.   

Reading Group 2.

At the moment we have two vacancies in our Reading Group, if anyone would like to know more please see Pam or Fran at the meetings.

We meet 2nd Monday in the month in Ashton Library 12.15-1.45pm.

Our books for May Books were:-

Blood and The Beauty – Sarah Dunant.

Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (Alexander VI) buys his way into the papacy, a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. The book follows the relationship between father and son, father and daughter and daughter and son!!!!! Well written story and Lucrieza portrayed as a likeable young woman, a pawn in her father’s game. Cesare, evil, ambitious and brutal. The description of the Pope, his affairs, his children clashed with the Jeremy Irons version The Borgias

A bit of a mixture of History, Romance, Fantasy and Political Intrigue.

Would we recommend it?   YES.

Cosi Fan Tutti - Michael Dibdin

An Inspector Aurelia Zen book, Based in Naples fast paced, good easy read, page turner. Corrupt politicians, shady business men, bodies disappearing off the street –literally before your eyes and the Mafia, what more can you ask for.

Would we recommend it? YES.


Ashton-in-Makerfield Singing for Pleasure Group met on Friday 10th May.  We have given ourselves a new title – A-i-Mak U3A Singers – ‘Sun Whisperers’.  To explain, Ian played ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, singers joined in.  Heavy rain, bright sunshine plus rainbow had us all tittering, especially when the afternoon produced the best sun seen in days.  We all agreed, singing does brighten up everything.

Friday 14th June, next sing-along.  1 pm Captain’s Lane.  Proposing to mark the occasion of D-Day [6th June] singing commemorative war songs, the programme still to be devised.

Thanks go today to Ian for his guitar accompaniment.  Our gorgeous tea makers, Pat – song word monitor, and all the singers who sang their hearts out.  A good afternoon indeed.


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 at a Friday meeting.



Christmas Meal 

Proposed event December  2019.

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.


Ashton-in-Makerfield Ukulele Group (AIMUG)

Well, what a jolly afternoon we had at our monthly meeting. We played and sang and sang and played, enjoying songs from our new songbook. We’ve got a good set of players now and are delighted to have frequent visitors from, Leigh, Wigan and St Helens groups. The more the merrier is what we say.


Our standard of playing is getting better with every session and the players themselves seem to be enjoying it.  There are fewer grimaces and more smiles than there first were. Then we all keep stopping at the same time, which seems a surreal and a bit spooky, but that’s what we are training to do.


The main thing is that we are happy with what we are doing.  Gil must be really happy with his efforts as he won the prestigious Strummer of the Week award. Pauline will be beside herself seeing that on her mantelpiece until the next meeting.


Next meeting is on Friday 24th May and will be led by that talented musician; Mr Alan Walker.



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.