Issue 108                 NEWSLETTER              March 2019

Ashton-in-Makerfield and District U3A


Are you someone who enjoys counting money, balancing the books, paying bills and writing cheques.? Answer YES.

Well you are the person we are looking for to take on the role of TREASURER.

It is not as scary and onerous as you may think, you will be supported every step of the way by the Committee. Dot Wright has volunteered to be your Right Hand Woman and will be on hand should you need a Deputy.

We have Accountants who compile and complete the end of year paperwork and produce accounts for the AGM.  

If you feel you would like to hear more about being our  Treasurer please see Mike or Pam at the Meetings or contact Pam Potter.


It is that time of year again when we are looking for members to join the COMMITTEE. This year has been a particularly challenging one with changes to the Constitution and Charity Status HOWEVER that is all behind us now .

The Committee consists of 12 members, who work together as a team and support each other to ensure the smooth running of Ashton U3A and that every member can join in and enjoy all that is on offer.

Committee members have a limited tenure of three years and therefore we constantly need new members to replace old ones. If this does not happen U3As are in danger of having to close.

All that we ask of any prospective Committee members is

· Flexibility, willingness to help others.

· Commitment to the continuing success of Ashton U3A.

· The Committee meets once a month on the 2nd Friday in the month at Captains Lane 10.30-12.30.

· If possible to attend either or both Speaker Meetings /Coffee pm Meetings.

For further information and the opportunity to attend and observe the workings of the Committee, please see Mike or Pam at any of the Meetings.

Please seriously consider this request as we need your help.

Ashton in Makerfield U3A Committee.


Registration dates will be FRIDAY 15th MARCH (Coffee pm).

         FRIDAY   5th   APRIL

          NO U3A MEETING ON GOOD FRIDAY – 19th April

          FRIDAY 3rd MAY

If you have been given an envelope, please put your registration money/cheque inside and bring to one of the above meetings.

If you have not been given an envelope/ renewal form to complete, you will need to complete one, on any of the above days.

Ray Potter-Membership Secretary


Masonic Hall, Bryn, Friday 31st May

Tickets are now on sale at the Friday meetings price £6.50.

Please note that numbers attending is restricted by the size of the venue and can only be sold on a first come first served basis. If you would like a ticket please contact Winnie Burns at a Friday Meeting’


A book has been created in which we would like members to record their comments, memories or experiences of their membership during the first ten years of the Ashton-in-Makerfield and District U3A. The book is now open and will be available to all during the months leading up to our 10th Anniversary in May 2019. We would appreciate as much input as possible and on behalf of the Committee we thank you in anticipation.

Pat Grimshaw, Winnie Burns and Arthur Hemmings.


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 Easter Chocolate Raffle which will be taking place on Friday the 5th of April. Donations of chocolate prizes or wine etc, will be thankfully received.


1st March -  Carole Johnson – Jam. As it Should Be.   

5th April        No speaker – Registration.




Our first trip this year is to see Blood Brothers at the Lowry Theatre on Thursday the 11th April. This is a matinee performance and the coach will leave Hilton Street at 12.30 pm.

We have two tickets left for this show at a cost of £42.00 including the coach. Come and see us at a Friday meeting if you wish to go.

Carol and Ann Heaton  


This Group will continue for the foreseeable future and will meet on the 1st Monday of the month (unless a Bank Holiday) at Captains Lane Community Centre from 1 - 3pm. The next meeting will be on Monday 4th March 2019.

Group Leader Ray Sims 


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  next  group  meetings  will  be  on  the  13th  and 27th of March at 11.00 am in Ashton library.


The next meeting of the group will be on the 28th of March at 1.30 pm in the Ashton Library.


The next meeting for the Drama Group is on Thursday 7
th March


We normaly meet on the second Tuesday in the month, meeting at 10.00 am. Please note that on this occasion the start time will be 11.30 am

Appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear must be worn and members walk at their own risk.

Next walk is on Tuesday 12th March at 11.30 am.

We leave at 11.30AM from the Eagle &Child 233 Heath Road Ashton in Makerfield. WN4 9HW. Street parking.

The walk will be led by Pat Aspinall and the intention is to have a coffee break at the Queen Anne Golborne before resuming the circular walk back to the starting point. There are no hills or stiles. The footpaths are quite firm but in places can be muddy. No toilets or refreshments before the walk

Distance is 3.5 miles approx and including the coffee stop could take between  two and two and a half hours?

Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

For any other information contact Gil Breden


Our meetings are held on 3rd Thursday of the month   in   Haydock   library   from  10.00 am   to 12.00 noon.

Our next meeting will be on the 21st. March when the project for the month is “Close Up”.  

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


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.


Our Singing for Pleasure Group met last Friday 8th February, we had a good attendance.  Our singing of -  ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ worked its usual magic as we all witnessed a burst of sunshine as the clouds rolled back.

We continued singing songs from two Shows in the first half of our singing session.  After refreshments kindly provided by our members, we continued with some of our favourite songs.  Everyone left the room in high spirits.

Thank you to Ian for his guitar accompaniment.   


This is a rolling 5 week course. We meet at Ashton Scout Hut (corner of Woodedge /Liverpool Road). Thursday 10.30 am – 12.30 pm.

Although the first date for this class to start was interrupted due to the snow and ice. We have now attended a class or two and thoroughly enjoyed by those people who have signed up, the response was it was very addictive. Therefore they are now anticipating working again on their projects each week. If you are interested in joining us please contact me Pat Moulsdale.



The Intermediate German group is currently full. It meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm. It is now in its sixth 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 2019 season will commence on Wednesday March the 6th. Jim Conboy, Group Leader.

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 (school and motorway) 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.


The Knitting Group meets on the second Thursday of each month in the alcove at Ashton Library at 1:30pm.  If you are interested in joining us, please contact either Anne Knowles on 01942 716826 or Hazel Groom-Hollis on 01942 270390.  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.  We have been supporting The Storehouse Project in Billinge for the last few years and have also knitted for the premature baby unit in Wigan.    


Reading Group 1

Our book for February was “Winter in Madrid” by C. J. Sansom.  More familiar for his “Shardlake” novels set in the England of Henry VIII, he writes with equal assurance when setting the action in Spain during and just after the Civil War.  We were virtually unanimous in our enjoyment of the novel and can certainly recommend it.                                        


Reading Group 2.

Book 1 - The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert

A very interesting book, written in a very scholarly fashion.  We found the Italian names a bit of a challenge, losing track of who's who. Some members of the Medici family were very hard to like, there were some who showed signs of greatness wisdom.  I was disappointed to get so little information on Catherine De Medici who became a Queen of France and had a lot of her family's spirit and intelligence.

We asked the group to sum the book up in one or two words.  Scholarly, text book, Good insight, descriptive, very readable.

Book 2 - The Light in the ruins - John Bohjalian

Set in Florence, the story switches between the 1945 at the end of the WW2 and 1955 when the consequences of a murder mystery and intrigue between the Germans, Italians and the resistance fighters. Highly recommended.


The venue for the Kurling is the 1st Ashton Scouts HQ (Scout Hut) on Woodedge off Liverpool Road. Ashton WN4 9LH.

We meet on the 2nd and fourth Wednesdays each month at 10.30 am to set up for Kurling 10.45 am to 12.45 pm.

Note: The last meeting for this season will be on the 27th March 2019.

The Group will return in October 2019.


The venue for the games has changed from last season and is now at the 1st Ashton Scouts HQ (Scout Hut) on Woodedge off Liverpool Road. Ashton WN4 9LH.

We meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 10.30 am to set up for Games at 10.45 am to 12.45 pm.

We will no longer have the use of a table tennis table but will have 2 lanes of Kurling instead.

Note: The last meeting for this season will be on the 20th March 2019.

The Group will return in October 2019.


This Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at Ashton Rec Club off Townfields.

Meeting at 1.45 pm for Bowling 2 pm - 4 pm.

The first meeting of the season will be on 3rd April 2019.

This Group is run by Phil Carter.

We look forward to a new season with good weather!!


This Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at Ashton Rec Club off Townfields.

Meeting at 1.45 pm for Bowling 2 pm - 4 pm.

The first meeting  of the season will be on 10th April 2019.

This Group is run by Ray Potter.

We look forward to a new season with good weather!!


Our next meeting starts at 1.30pm on Monday, 11th March 2019 at St James’ Parish Centre, Church Road, Haydock, WA11 ONJ. Our speaker is local historian John Alexander who will give us Haydock’s history from as far back as records go and will share some surprising facts with us. If you have not been to a Local History group meeting before, you would be very welcome to join us for a taster session.


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 by telephone or at a Friday meeting.


A day out to Kendal has been arranged for Thursday 16th May 2019 to visit the Quaker tapestry followed by a visit to Sizergh castle which is a short drive away.

The tapestry was created by Quaker members and consists of a series of panels depicting the start of the Quaker movement and the activities and good works in which the Quaker members have been (and still are) involved. There is a café and gift shop.

Sizergh castle is a National Trust property lived in by the Strickland family for the past 750 years.  Apart from the stunning interior it has beautiful and extensive gardens.

The total cost will be £20 but non NT members will have to pay for entry to the Castle which will be £11.50 payable on the day.

I would appreciate it if members who have put their names down for this trip could pay the full amount (£20.00) at the earliest opportunity.



Trip 1 -Tour of Concorde Aircraft & Lunch. 

Monday 15th April 

This tour may not be suitable for people with mobility difficulties as there are 40 steps to climb to go inside concorde 

The cost of the trip is £28.00 which includes the coach,  a  90  minute  tour  of  Concorde  and  a two course lunch.  For further details etc please see Mary or Maureen. 

Trip 2 - LLangollen Boat Trip & Town. 

Proposed event August / September 2019.

Trip 3 - Christmas Meal 

Proposed event December  2019.




12-00pm to 4-00pm


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)


Under the guidance of Robert Rylance and Alan Walker the Ukulele group met for the first time this year.  It must have been a refreshing change to be strumming along to something other than Christmas songs, which we have been rehearsing and playing since September.

Then a request for us to play at a venue has flooded in and we must now decide if we are ready to entertain.

Wait for the next exciting instalment!  Will they or won’t they.

Newbies welcome.  Please contact Stephen for details.


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.