NEWSLETTER No 105                    November/December2018


We have been advised that work to refurbish both the ladies and gents toilets will start on Monday 12th November The renovation will take approximately 2 weeks and unfortunately this will mean that the Coffee meeting on the 16th. November and the Ukulele Group meeting on the 23rd. November will be cancelled.


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.


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.



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.



We are planning on having a birthday afternoon buffet lunch at the Masonic Hall Bryn at the end of May 2019. At the moment we are only collecting names of people who would be interested in attending.  There will be no commitment; we just want an idea of numbers.  If you are interested could you let me know at any of the meetings or ring me.

Thank you    

Pat Grimshaw


2nd November - Stephen Corless – My Career in


7th December – Christmas Party.

4th January - Dennis Lee - The Life and Times of George Formby. 



We meet on the second Tuesday in the month, meeting at 10.00 am.

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

Tuesday 13 November - A circular walk from the 3 Sisters  to  Viridor  Wood.   Approximately   5 miles.

Start at 10am from the main car park at the 3 Sisters.

3 Sisters Road, Ashton in Makerfield, WN4 8DD.


Tuesday 11 December -  A circular walk from Polly’s Pond - Abram to Lightshaw and the Leigh Branch of the  Leeds  Liverpool  canal.  Approximately 5 miles.

Starts 10am from   the  car  park  Kingsdown  Road, Abram, WN2 5R. Located off Warrington Road by Abram Post Office.

If more information is required Telephone Gil Breden


Following the success of the One off Class, Ray Sims has agreed to run a series of lessons. The classes would be on the first Monday or Tuesday of the Month from 1.00 - 3.00pm at Captains Lane Community Centre with a cost per person of £2.00 .Following my consultation with interested members the majority of members opted for Mondays and therefore the first lesson will be on Monday 5th November 2018. Please contact me if you require any further information.

John Gostelow Group Leader Coordinator. Telephone



The  next  group  meetings  will  be  on  the  8th  and 22nd of  November and  on  the  12th  of  December  at 11.00 am in Ashton library.


First of all Ann Heaton and I would like to thank Kath and Ann for running this wonderful theatre group and for giving us their full support and advice.


Our next trip is to see the Smash Hit Musical Annie on the 27th June 2019, at the Liverpool Empire. This is an evening performance and the ticket price is £38.00 per person, including coach transfers.


If you would like to come and see Annie, then please come and put your name down. A non-returnable deposit of £10.00 per person is required.


Please note we need payment in FULL on or before the Speaker’s Meeting on the 2nd of November.


Carol & Ann Heaton


The aim of the group is to appreciate a wide range of poetry and members are encouraged to read out and discuss poetry of their choice.

Due to space restrictions in the Library the group is now full, but if anyone is interested in joining, please let me (Elinor) know and we will keep a waiting list.. 
If more people are interested in the future then we may consider moving to a larger venue.

The next meetings will be held on Thursday 8th November and Thursday 14th December at 12.00 noon in the Meeting Room at Ashton Library. Contact for this Group Elinor Bentley Tel 01942 709758.


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

For November our theme is “Fireworks and Lights”.

Due to the Christmas break we have no meeting in December. Our 1st. meeting in 2019 will be on 20th January.  

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



The Pudding Club had its first meeting after our summer break. It was good to catch up with everybody and share some food.

The Pudding Club currently has a vacancy for another member, so, if you enjoy cooking and baking and making friends, and want to know more, please contact Anne on 272454.


Reading Group 1

Arundhati Roy’s debut novel “The God of Small Things” won the 1997 Booker Prize.  As is often the case with Booker Prize winning novels it divided opinion in our group with those who liked it outnumbering those who didn’t by one.  The action is set in Ayemenem in Kerala, India, relating events in the lives of fraternal twins Rahel and her brother, Esthappen, which took place in 1969 when they were seven, and twenty-four years later when they were reunited in 1993.  The disorientating effect of the frequent temporal shifts of the non-sequential narrative is exacerbated by switches of narrator viewpoint between those of Rahel and of an omniscient over-viewer.   For some of us this reflected the feelings of chaos and sensory overload which India can induce; for others, wishing to get more directly to grips with the story, it was simply frustrating. Equally, the poetic descriptive writing which permeates the novel was, for some, “intoxicating”, whilst for others, initially charmed, it became too much of a good thing.  The novel explores how a combination of events and circumstances, none of immense significance in themselves, leads to a disastrous outcome for Rahel, Esthappen, their mother, Ammu and her lover, Velutha.  The caste system, colonial legacy, politics, abuse of authority, misogyny, child abuse, unrequited love and mendacity all play their part in ruining the twins’ lives.  The overall effect is of a slow motion car-crash observed simultaneously from multiple viewpoints.  Rather than the group making a recommendation, this is a book to begin reading and then decide whether or not it is for you.  Be aware though that some of the group who really enjoyed the book only came to do so after getting through the initial disorienting effect of the author’s writing style.

Reading Group 2.

Books discussed at the October Meeting:-

A must read book - The Betrayl by Helen Dunmore      (follows on from the Siege) not an easy read, fabulous author, makes you feel part of the story, looking over your shoulder to see who may be spying on you.

Another must read book - The Widow by Fiona Barton (her first book and her second book is the Child) another fabulous book, a single story told from different perspectives.

For anyone who has been following Reading Group 2 2018 Books (main choice and alternative) you may have picked up on the fact that we have had a theme Russia (we were supposed to be celebrating 1917-2017 but we were a year out)

Following a visit to London -one of our members  on the way back to Euston Station, went into the British Library and there was an exhibition, on Russia 1917 – 2017 , absolutely fantastic, films, old cine films, uniforms, newspapers, maps, books, radio interviews, interactive thingies and low and behold a bookshop.

Our 12 month reading theme started there and then.

We have read some fantastic books by authors we have never heard of, we have learnt so much , got a better understanding of Russia, its leaders, the people, the wealth and the poverty, those of the group who had visited Russia followed the journey on maps and in booklets etc

We have read some quite in depth /factual books but we also read some light weight novels but strangely enough some people popped up in them all. Did you know the Pankhursts went to Russia to teach the Russian Women!!!!! Well they met their match in the “Women’s Death Squad”.

We have had some amazing discussions from Rasputin to Putin. We all have our favourite books and mine is the Moscow Trilogy by Simon Seebag Montifore- this is our November/December choice.

Next Year our theme is Italy (lots of pasta tasting and red wine),

There are two vacancies available, if you are interested in joining the group please contact Pam Potter at a Friday Meeting.

S rozhdyestvom HRISTOVYM.


From Reading Group 2. (according to google this means Merry Christmas in Russian).   


The creative writing group is currently working on the Christmas edition of the magazine Our Word.  We meet on the third Friday of the month at 2-0 p.m. following the coffee meeting in Captains Lane.  You’re welcome to come for a taster meeting.  Our aim is to share ideas and give and receive constructive feedback.


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.


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.


Both Groups are now closed for the Autumn and Winter and will reopen in April 2019. 

Ray Potter and Phil Carter.


The next meetings for the Drama group will be on Thursday 6th December (the day before the Christmas party) and then on Thursday 3rd January. 
Preparations are well in hand for the party on Friday 7th December and tickets are now sale on - price £2.  Entertainment, raffle, quiz and, hopefully, lots of fun! 
New members will be made very welcome so if you fancy 'acting' whilst having fun come along and give it

a go. 

Pat Grimshaw


The next meeting of the Local History Group will be on Monday, 12 November 2018; 1.30pm until 3pm, at St James’ Parish Centre, Haydock, WA11 0NJ.  This meeting will look at some aspects of local railway history and Brian Woodward will give us an illustrated talk about the recent modernisation works which necessitated rebuilding the bridge over the railway line at Garswood.  

The Local History Group’s Christmas Meal replaces our December meeting.  If you wish to join us, please let me have your name and £5 deposit as soon as possible to confirm your place.  

At our meeting on Monday, 14 January we will focus on interesting people.  Do you have any interesting people amongst your ancestors?  If so, please let me know.

Please do look at the Local History Group notice board but if you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me –

Elaine Wallwork.


Friday, 12th October.

Our Group under Pat and Barbara’s guidance had a lovely afternoon singing all the Group’s favourite songs, and new songs introduced during their cheerful programme were very well received.

At the Christmas Party on Friday, 7th December, the Group will start the proceedings by singing three well-loved Christmas songs.

Two new singers were welcomed by our Group.

The next singing for pleasure meeting is on Friday 9th November at 1.00 pm at Captain’s Lane

Despite all the domestic responsibilities facing our singers, we have had a good steady attendance during 2018.

The success and ability of the Group has grown and it has been a pleasure to steer singers into a positive state of mind, into believing in their own abilities they can sing and sing out well.  Songs can be romantic, patriotic, old, new, film scores etc.  Main criteria, they must be happy songs, songs to make us smile and I am happy to say no one leaves Captains Lane without a smile or a song on their lips.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Our singers share their hopes for a Happy and Healthy Christmas and New Year with all U3A members wherever they are in the world, bearing in mind - “YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH”.  A little bit of cheer goes a long way.



(Currently full)


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 in 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.

If you would like any further information please contact Bill, by phone or email, (contact details and times are on the back page).


The next  meeting of the group will be on the 29th  of November at 1.30 pm in the Ashton Library.


The 2018 Golf season has now closed for the autumn/winter months

The 2019 season will commence on Wednesday March the 8th. Jim Conboy, Group Leader.


Ashton-in-Makerfield Ukulele Group (AIMUG)


Well, we’ve done it! We’ve broken away from the beginner’s book and are trying out all manner of new songs from Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘59th Street Bridge Song’ to ‘Side By Side’.  Still a bit rusty on B flat and E minor but we’re really on it and as a group we sound measured and musical.

Alan’s bass ukulele is a welcome tone to keep us all in time and make what was a jumble of twangs lovely to hear.


The group is really getting on with it these days.  We’ve been practising Christmas songs for a month or so now and have selected three for performance at the Christmas party on the 7th December.  We won’t tell you what they are but they have all been written by members of the group.  One of them is a joint effort between ourselves and Wigan and was a challenge set out in early September.  The groups responded well and we’re pretty pleased with ourselves at the result.

Our group is sounding reasonably strong in the strumming and changes department and we’ve all been stopping and starting at the right point, which is always good. We’ve even had extra meetings to try and get things spot on for when we do perform, whether it be to a large audience of relative strangers, friends, relatives and anyone who will listen to us.

Good that we can keep going despite members jetting off all over the world for long period.  But at least now we’re taking our ukes with us when we go.


We look forward to entertaining everyone at the Christmas party.


New members welcomed and training will be given.



Tuesday 11th December 2018 at the

Talbot Hotel Southport.

Christmas Dinner £14.00 Coach £14.00

Total price £28.00

Deposits of £14.00 per person are now being taken - All details on Days Out boards in Captains Lane. Any queries to Mary Davies.


Trip 1 -Tour of Concorde Aircraft & Lunch. 

Proposed event April/May 2019 (Must be a Monday) Tour of Concorde and history of the aircraft by a Guide. Destination - Runway visitors park at Manchester Airport. 

Trip 2 - LLangollen Boat Trip & Town. 

Proposed event August / September 2019.

Trip 3 - Christmas Meal 

Proposed event December 2019. Date to be arranged. Possible venue - the DW Stadium Complex.

Turkey and Tinsel. Coach and Meal.

All costings etc, will be done nearer the time. 

Mary Davies.


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 Instructor is Sue. 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 10am on Mondays or speak to Anne, Pam or Mary.