Issue 100                 NEWSLETTER                   June 2018

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 write your Name and Membership number on an envelope containing the Registration Fee.

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


New Membership Application Forms.

It is never easy to complete an application form with all the yeses, nos and ticks.

However under Data Protection Regulations, we can only use-input data that you have provided us with and we cannot amend your data even if we think it may be incorrect.

Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any concerns please contact me:

Ray Potter -Membership Secretary and Data Protection Officer.


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.


The 2018 AGM will take place at the Friday Speaker Meeting on the 3rd August. Nominations for membership to the Committee must be made on the forms that are available at the Friday meetings, and must include the names of a proposer and seconder, and the written consent of the nominee, before being sent to the Secretary to be received before 24:00 hours on Friday 6th July 2018.


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.


1st June  -  David Hill - The Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace.

6th July  -  Dennis Moore  -  Humorous Ways of Handling Stress.




If you could pay the balance for Calendar Girls this month or as soon as possible we would appreciate it as we have to pay the theatre by July. 
Thanks Kath and Ann. 



                                                                         NO MEETING IN JULY.

Madeline Hynes.


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.


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.

For our June meeting on the 21st. we intend to go to Rivington.  

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



The next  meeting of the group will be on the 28th  of June 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 June 15th 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.


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..

Note - Although a Passport is not required for UK visitors to Ireland arriving by Ferry, personal identification may be required and this could be a Passport, Driving License or similar. 

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

John Gostelow, Group Leader.


Singing For Pleasure meeting – Friday 11th May.

We had an excellent number of singers who gave voice to many great songs.  The Swinging Sixties had nothing on us as we gave vent to pop songs from our earlier days.  These were followed by some of our favourite songs and our Lancashire themed afternoon based songs in June.

Ian was in his element playing along to his favourite tunes which we all appreciated.  

Thank you to the ladies who provided us with refreshments that went down well after all our singing.

Next Singing for Pleasure Meeting – Friday 8th June, 1 pm Captain’s Lane.  



Reading Group 1

Daphne du Maurier’s “My Cousin Rachel” provoked lively discussion at our May meeting.  The eponymous Rachel is seen almost exclusively through the far from disinterested eyes of Philip Ashley and fleetingly through a few letters written by her late husband, Ambrose Ashley, along with a couple of reported remarks by her Italian friend, Rainaldi.  Though never stated explicitly, the main action appears to take place during the course of a year in the early eighteen-hundreds when Philip is aged twenty-five.  Orphaned in infancy, Philip has been brought up as his heir by his older cousin, Ambrose, in an almost exclusively male environment.  Ambrose, seemingly a confirmed bachelor, in failing health in his mid-forties, goes to Italy on the advice of his doctor to escape the cold, damp Cornish winter.  To his surprise and consternation, Philip receives a letter from Ambrose telling him that he has fallen in love with and married a distant cousin, the widowed Rachel Sangalletti.  Missives from Italy then become sporadic, fragmentary and clearly written whilst Ambrose is in a state of mental anguish.  Philip journeys to Florence only to find that Ambrose is dead, the Villa Sangalletti closed up and Rachel’s friend and advisor, Rainaldi unable or unwilling to enlighten him as to her whereabouts.  Philip returns home shortly to learn from his guardian that Rachel has also travelled to England.  He invites her to stay at the house he has inherited, suspicious of Rachel’s role in Ambrose’s death and determined to extract the truth from her.  For the remainder of the novel du Maurier has us trying to decide from Philip’s account of Rachel’s stay whether she is a calculating, unscrupulous opportunist, possibly a murderer or simply an essentially decent, caring though impulsive woman.  We were kept guessing up to and beyond the tragic conclusion of the narrative and for our group the “jury was still out” at the end of our meeting.  The novel can be read at the superficial plot level or as an exploration of the power relationship between men and women and in particular how both Ambrose and Philip seek to control Rachel by a variety of means; the “My” of the title having more forceful connotations than a casual glance might  suggest.  We recommend it as a very satisfying read.

Reading Group 2

Our  book  choice  for  discussing  in   May   was the Grand Duchess of Nowhere by Laurie Graham,  the author of around 12 books, 4 historical and 8 about life in America. We were really excited about this author and will be looking at including some of her other books in our reading lists especially Gone with the Windsors, (Edward and Mrs Simpson and the Importance of Being a Kennedy (a story of Kick Kennedy, a sister of JFK).

We all agreed that this book was a pleasure to read, it drew you in to the story of Ducky (Victoria Melita) granddaughter of Queen Victoria (Grandma Queen), her mother is sister to Tsar Alexander II  and her father is Prince Alfred- Queen Victoria’s second son.

Ducky is a free spirit, makes a disastrous first marriage to Ernest of Hesse and has to wait for Grandma Queen to die before she can get a divorce and marry the love of her life....Cyril

The story is told in a very casual, even flippant, entertaining, way. Set in 1917 the Tsar dithers and his wife dallies with Gregory Rasputin. Some of the characters in this book are becoming known to the group having appeared  in To Kill a Tsar, The Amber Keeper and Caught in Leningrad. Would we recommend it?  We certainly would. A real treasure.

Our alternative book – Summary Justice by John Fairfax (yes the same person who rowed single handedly) is a Court room drama, mixed with a detective story – enjoyable read. Yes we would recommend it.

Other recommends –The Slade House by David Mitchell. A ghostly story around a house and its occupants and The Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copliton. A story based in Japan/America..


There will not be any Local History Group meetings in June, July or August. However, I am pleased to let you know that there are plans afoot to re-launch a Local History Group in September. Further information will be given in the July and August newsletters.

Jo Kavanagh.


Wednesday 6th June - Porters Wood.

Gathurst Road, Orrell, WN4 0LH.

Meet at 9.10 am for 9.30 tee time.

Wednesday 20th June - 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 member 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.

Jim Conboy, Group Leader.


Ashton-in-Makerfield Ukulele Group (AIMUG)


We’re doing very nicely thanks and starting to enjoy playing our ukuleles. Practising like mad for the Lancashire day.  We’ve even had a run through of their song with the ‘Two Centigrades’ Carol and Ann.


We’ve even got some extra sessions lined up for the 29th May, 5th and 19th June at Bryn Labour club, so we’re expecting to ace it on the day.


Still room for more to join us if you fancy it.



This group run by Phil Carter meets on the First and Third Wednesdays of the month. The next meetings will be on the 6th and 20th of June. Meet at Ashton REC Club at 1.45 pm for bowling at 2.00 pm till 4.00 pm. 


This group run by Ray Potter meets on the Second and Fourth Wednesdays of the month. The next meetings will be on the 13th and 27th of June. Meeting time as above. 

Will members of both groups please try to attend only their own group as too many attending one group will overcrowd the Green and spoil the bowling experience. 

Ray Potter  


On the afternoon of Friday 29th June the Drama Group will be presenting’ Lancashire Pride’ an afternoon of music, fun and laughter, celebrating the fact that our county is the best in the country. If you are a proud Lancastrian (born here or adopted) then come along and enjoy a couple of hours being a Lassie (or Laddie) from Lancashire.

Tickets, price £2, will be on sale at the coffee afternoon in May and the speaker meeting in June on a first come, first served basis and if you feel like dressing up for the occasion then so much the better.


Pat Grimshaw  


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.



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.