Issue 110                NEWSLETTER                    May 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.


Note:  Members who have not registered by FRIDAY 3rd MAY cannot be guaranteed to be issued with their existing membership number.

If you have been given an envelope, please put your registration money/cheque inside and bring it to the Registration Desk.

If you have not been given an envelope/ renewal form to complete, you will need to complete these at registration.

Thank You.

Ray Potter-Membership Secretary


3rd May - John Gostelow  - In Search of Elvis.  

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


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 31st 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.



No meeting on the 8th of May. The next meeting  will  be  on  the  22nd of May at 11.00 am in Ashton library.


The next meeting for the Drama Group is on Thursday 6th June in the library meeting room at 12 noon.  All budding thespians welcome !



Our trip to see ‘Blood Brothers’ at the Lowry was thoroughly enjoyed by all. It was a brilliant production.

**** 2 tickets have become available for ‘Annie’ **** at the Liverpool Empire on Thursday 27th June 2019. This is an evening performance. Please see Carol or Ann if you wish to purchase a ticket. The price is £38 including the coach fare. The coach will leave Hilton Street at 5.45pm.

We are now taking names for a production of ‘The King and I’ at the Liverpool Empire. This will be a matinee performance in March 2020. Please put your name on the list if you wish to go.

Carol & Ann Heaton.


The Line Dancing Class on Monday 6th May is cancelled as this is a Bank Holiday. The next session will be 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 30 May, at 1.30pm. 



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.


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 16th May when the project for the month is “Water”.  

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 14th May

Borsdane Wood and Woodshaw Ruck

Approximately 5 miles, duration 2 to 2.5 hours. Start at 10am Mill Lane car park Aspull.

Mill Lane is immediately after the Gerrard Arms, 615 Bolton Road, Aspull. WN2 1PZ

At the mini roundabout at the top of Market Street, Hindley, take the left exit onto Ladies Lane. Follow this road passing Hindley Station on the right to a T junction and turn right at the mini roundabout. The Gerrard Arms is on your right some way down. Turn right into Mill Lane and follow all the way through to the car park at the end.

The walk passes by Aspull Water Pumping Station, Woodshaw Ruck, Kirklees Wood, Hindley Golf Club and back through Borsdane Wood.

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.

Telephone 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 or if you no longer want to be on the mailing list again, please let me know.


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 or Hazel Groom-Hollis.  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.   


Our next meeting starts at 1.30pm on Monday, 13 May 2019 at St James’ Parish Centre, WA11 ONJ.  This month, our speaker is William Froggatt from the Canal Trust, who will tell us about the Leeds/Liverpool Canal, focussing on the Wigan section.  NB:  There will be no meeting in June.  Due to roadworks, the planned visit to the Police Museum on 12 August will now leave Hilton Street at 12 noon on that day.  There are a few tickets available as we go to press, if you would like to join us.  If you have not been to a Local History group meeting before, you would be very

welcome to come along for a taster session.


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 April was “The Children Act”, a slim novel by current standards, from the pen of Ian McEwan.  Fifty-nine year-old Fiona Maye is a Family Division High Court judge totally immersed in her work and still affected by the fallout generated by the intense media coverage of a recent case concerning conjoined twins.  Her marriage is in crisis; her husband of over thirty years, feeling neglected, is embarking on an extra-marital affair.  In the midst of this Fiona is required to rule in a case of considerable urgency.  Seventeen year-old Adam Henry is refusing, on religious grounds, a blood transfusion without which he will die or be left with life-changing disabilities.  In reaching her judgement, Judge Maye fails to maintain an appropriate professional distance leading to a difficult continuing involvement.  

We were virtually unanimous in enjoying the story for the quality of the writing and the moral issues explored whilst not warming to the characters themselves but would certainly recommend it.  The film with the same title, released last year with Emma Thompson as the judge, Stanley Tucci as her husband and Fionn Whitehead as Adam follows the narrative closely.  

Reading Group 2.

Meets on the 2nd Monday in the month in Ashton Library at 12.15 pm -1.45 pm. For more information see Pam Potter or Fran Berka at the Meetings.

Book 1-"Joanna, the Notorious Queen of Naples" by Nancy Goldstone

The members who had read this biography of the first European woman to govern a realm in her own name thoroughly enjoyed the complex, dazzling account of her life in the violent insecurity of 14th century Italy. 

Joanna was a determined leader who weathered war, plague and treason to govern the rich, fertile and powerful realm of Naples for more than 30 years. She was dedicated to the welfare of her subjects, reduced crime, built hospitals and churches and facilitated the licensing of women physicians. We wondered why we hadn't heard of her before!

We would recommend this book to readers who enjoy biographies and historical novels.

Book 2-"The Flood" by David Hewson

Set in 1986 Florence, but also taking us back to 1966 and the great flood of Florence, this crime novel was enjoyed by the whole group. Intrigue and dark secrets are revealed when Pino Fratelli, a Carabinieri Police Inspector on sick leave, and Julia Well-beloved, a student researching the psychology behind acts of vandalism against art; together investigate a sequence of crimes which begin with an attack on a fresco in the Brancacci Chapel.

The plot, which seems a little thin at times, reveals a ruling elite, corrupt but seemingly untouchable, and expertly contrasts the beauty of Florence architecture and art with an evil and corrupt underbelly. The book is well-written with likeable characters and is definitely recommended.


The Ashton-in-Makerfield U3A Singing for Pleasure Group, met Friday, 12th April.  An Easter Bonnet competition had lots of singers sporting very novel and glamorous creations.  John Gostello kindly judged our Event and prizes of Easter eggs were awarded to the three winners.  

All in all it was a very happy afternoon, and we enjoyed singing some of our favourite songs.

Thanks go to our refreshment ladies.  Also to Ian for his musical rendition and to all those who entered into the spirit of our Easter Bonnet Parade.

Next Singing for Pleasure Meeting – Friday, 10th May. 1 pm. Captain’s Lane.  


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.


Bowling Group PC1 on the 1st and 15th May. 


Bowling Group RP1on the 8th and 22nd May.


The coach for the day out to the Quaker Tapestry and Sizergh Castle will leave Hilton Street at 9 am prompt on Thursday 16th May. Everyone who put their names down has now paid in full - thank you.  

There are a few places still available so if you are interested please let me know. The cost is £20 (plus £11.50 for non-National Trust members, payable on the day).



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)


Ashton U3A Ukulele group met on the fourth Friday in March and had a thoroughly good session.

Our numbers were swelled with visitors from Wigan and Leigh, with whom we have reciprocal agreements.

Not sure yet as we ran through our new songbook, which we bought through our own subscriptions, but we enjoyed the wide variety of songs that it contains from easy three chords numbers in the key of ‘C’ to more complicated ones in ‘F.  This includes Delilah, which is proving a little complicated.

Never mind, we’re on it and we are a single minded bunch.  One of the gratifying things that is happening is that we’re all stopping at the same time, which sometimes feels a bit spooky.  We’ll get used to it.

Next meeting is at 2 till 4pm on Friday 24th May at Captain’s Lane, Ashton. Beginners welcome.


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.