NEWSLETTER No 116                    November/December2019

The numbers in attendance at Captain’s Lane.

We are required by law to limit the numbers at U3A Events as follows:-

SPEAKER MEETINGS - Seating cinema style the maximum number is 100. This number includes Committee Members, Volunteers, Visitors and Speakers.

We understand that the Trustees of Captains Lane have a legal limit of 120 people in the room, however the Committee of Ashton In Makerfield U3A do not feel comfortable with this number.

From time to time at the rear of the room, we have the Book Trolley, Jigsaw Table, Raffles, Tombolas and members displaying goods and at every meeting we need to have access to Refreshments and the Ladies toilets.

At the front of the room, we may have Display Screens, Projector, Laptop, Screen, Sound Equipment, Speaker Table, Secretary Table and Welcome Table.

COFFEE MEETINGS -  Seating around the tables, the maximum number is 90. This includes Committee Members, Volunteers, and Visitors

Members are asked not to move chairs or tables as this my cause an obstruction to the Fire Exits.

ANY EVENT where hot food will be served at tables, the maximum number is 80.  This includes Committee Members, Volunteers and Visitors

Again members are asked not to move any furniture, also do not leave coats or handbags on the floor. This could cause a tripping hazard.

Your committee members have debated these numbers at several meetings and agreed upon them, will you please understand that we may need to sell or issue tickets for special events, in order that we can control the numbers in the room to comply with our legal requirements and to ensure that we look after your safety.


July 2019


1st November  -  Ananda Mukherjee  -  Amazing Himalayas.


If we have enough interest we will have a Beetle Drive on  Friday January 31st 1.00pm-3.00pm
at Captains Lane. Admission £3.00 Contact Phil Carter 01942 717902.


October’s speaker, Peter Turner, had us all flummoxed with his mesmerising tricks of the mind.  Did we really see what we thought we saw?  And how did that piece of orange silk get into the wallet?  Absolutely brilliant!  Thanks to Patricia and Phil who assisted Peter so well.  I think we all came away buzzing with questions - How did he do it!!!!


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.

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 next meeting dates will be on:-

13th and 27th November and 11th December


The next meeting dates will be on:-

6th and 20th November

4th and 18th December.


The Card and Paper Craft Group meet on the last Thursday of the month in Ashton Library. The next meeting is on Thursday 28th November at 1.30pm. 


Would you like to join our craft sessions, no experience necessary, just plenty of enthusiasm. We will meet on the first and third Thursday in the month at Captains Lane from 1.00pm-3.00pm, beginning the 16th January.



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.


Two days out are planned for 2020 as follows:-

Thursday 21stMay 2020 - Nostell Priory Yorkshire and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Nostell Priory is a National Trust Property near Wakefield, an 18th century Palladian mansion built by the Winn family on the site of a medieval priory.  It is filled with Robert Adam interiors and has a world class Chippendale collection.  There are over 300 acres of gardens and parkland.

Please note that non National Trust members will be charged £9.80 for admission.  NT members should remember to bring their membership cards with them on the day.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). YSP is set in over 500 acres of parkland and features art works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and other British and international artists.  Go online to see more about this remarkable open air gallery.  It is stunning! Entry is free. The price of this trip will be £15.00.


Our next outing is to see the pantomime Aladdin at St. Helens Theatre Royal on Thursday 2nd January 2020.  This is a matinee performance and the coach will leave Hilton Street at 1pm.

We still have tickets available for The 75th Anniversary V.E Day celebration show at the Brindley Theatre, Runcorn on Monday 4th May 2020.  This is an evening performance.

Tickets are £28 including the coach. Please come and see us if you wish to go.

Carol Heaton & Ann Heaton


Due to the closure of Ashton Library during week commencing 7th October, there was no meeting of the knitting group on the 10th as planned. However Anne was in touch with all members of the knitting group regarding a different venue.

Any new members will be welcome to our next meeting at the library on 14th November.


The next meetings are November 13th and 27th and December 11th at 11.00 am in Ashton Library.


We have loads of fun and laughter at the daft scripts we act out but also others which make us think a bit more deeply.

We have started rehearsing for the Christmas party and hope for an entertaining afternoon in December.
The   next   meetings   of   the   group  will  be  on Thursday  7
th November, Thursday  5th December and Thursday 2nd January.


            Michael Iredale  01942 709370

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

The next meeting will be on the 21st. November when the project for the month is “Architecture, but the picture must have been taken in the last 3 months. Due to the Christmas break we have no meeting in December.

Our 1st. meeting in 2020 will be on 16th 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 Creative Writing group is taking a short break. Watch this space for further news. If, when we return, you want to give us a try then please contact the group leader, Mavis Fairhurst,  for further details.


Next Line Dancing Classes are on Monday 4th November and Monday the 2nd December 2019 at 1.00 pm - 3.00 pm Captains Lane Community Centre.


A great time was had by all; the weather was very kind to us, as we set of for the Grosvenor Hotel and Spa in Pulford near Chester.  We were shown into the Palm Court a lovely restaurant where we had a lunch comprising dainty little sandwiches, scones both fruit and plain, along with beautiful crème brûlée and loads of cream cakes.
We had so much food that we all had boxes of cakes to take away with us.

After a very good lunch, we went into Chester city centre, some people went shopping, and others went down to the river Dee and went on a boat trip. We visited the amphitheatre; it gave a real sense of how it would have looked in Roman times. After this we walked part of the City walls, after a quick cuppa in the Cathedral cafe it was time to make our way back to the coach.  

Pudding Club meets once a month on a Wednesday afternoon in a member’s home.  We are a small group of amateur bakers who enjoy trying new recipes over a friendly chat and a cup of tea.

For more information speak to Anne Doyle at one of the monthly meetings.


Our 2019 golf season ended in October. The 2020 season will begin in March. The weather during the 2019 season was very mixed, wet at times and dry occasionally. The group has twelve members and usually between five and eight play on a given day. Rain or shine we have a lot of laughs, some great shots and some shots were the divots go further than the ball. So what? Good company, the crack and the satisfaction when the ball goes down in that little hole is magic.


Our Group met on 11th October, working their customary magic on the weather which brightened up as we sang.  We began by singing our Christmas Programme with great enthusiasm and enjoyment.  

Refreshments included cake, apple pie and cream along with tea and coffee at half time.

During the second half we sang singers’ requests which added to our happy afternoon.  Two new singers joined our ranks.

November and December - singing Christmas songs highlights the advancing year, and this year has been a most enjoyable time for me.  Our membership has increased steadily.  It is my pleasure to lead our singers in song their confidence has grown along with their singing ability and I am proud of their achievement.  It is fair to say, all of our singers leave Captain’s Lane with a smile on their face.

My thanks go to everyone who has helped our afternoons go so smoothly during the year – setting out chairs, clearing the room, providing refreshments and all the support I receive.

I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and Healthy New Year, remembering always, YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH.  God bless everyone. Bye Josie


The Pudding Club meets once a month on a Wednesday afternoon in a member’s home.  We are a small group of amateur bakers who enjoy trying new recipes over a friendly chat and a cup of tea.

For more information speak to Anne Doyle at one of the monthly meetings.


The recent closure of the library for structural checks resulted in the postponement of the Reading Group 1 meeting. Reading Group 1will resume meeting in the library on the 4th of November and Reading Group 2 on the 11th November.

Reading Group 2

Due to the library closure Group 2 met this month at the home of Group Leader Pam.

Owing to various reasons, including cost, the first set book for October was abandoned and members chose a book individually.

These included:

The Artist, The Philosopher and The Warrior by Paul Stratton

Respectively Leonardo Da Vinci, Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia; historical easy reading. – Interesting and recommended.

The Borgias & The Home of the Borgias by Christopher Hibbert

Both were found to be interesting and exceptionally well written accounts of the Borgias.

In The Name of the Family by Sarah Dussant about Lucretia & Cesare Borgia – Good beguiling writer.

Roman Blood by Steven Saylor

A mystery of Ancient Rome. The detective Gordianus the Finder assists Cicero in defending his first major case. A good read thoroughly recommended.

Several members also read the 2nd choice “God Spy” by Juan Gomez-Jurado

Dealing with the murder of cardinals during Conclave. They came to the conclusion that they preferred a previously read book on a similar theme i.e. Conclave by Robert Harris – Well recommended.

An enjoyable afternoon thanks to Pam for her kind hospitality, ably assisted by Anne.

Barbara Burton


Next walk is on Tuesday 12th November

Sankey Viaduct Walk.

Approx 5 miles. Duration 2 to 2.5 hours.

Start at 10am from the small car park close to the Sankey Canal on Wharf Road. WA12 9XZ.

Wharf Road is 1.8 miles from the Oak Tree pub in Newton le Willows on the A572 heading towards St Helens. Look for green railings on the left and turn immediately left. Penkford School is on your right

The walk goes under the Sankey Viaduct, the first railway viaduct to be built in the world. Beside the Sankey Canal opened in 1757 and past the remains of Bradleigh Hall built in the 15th century.

The walk will be muddy in places, has some ups and downs but no stiles and no big hills.

Tel Gil 07917205730 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 and if you no longer want to be on the mailing list again, please let me know.

Tuesday 10 December

Abram – Crankwood – Abram

Approx 5miles. Duration 2 – 2.5 hours.

Start at 10am from the car park at the end of Kingsdown Road opposite Kingsdown Flask (AKA Polly’s Pond) WN2 5RN.

If you come via Golborne it's the second right turn after you come over the canal at Dover Lock. Abram Newsagent and PO is on the corner of the road.

If you come from Wigan/Platt Bridge, it's the first left after the Bucks Head and St Johns Church. The circular walk takes us past Polly’s Pond, the site of the Maypole Colliery (now a housing estate) and the famous Abram Morris Dancers ground to Crankwood village and then back to Abram.

There are no hills, one or two stiles. The footpaths are likely to be muddy but reasonably firm.

Tel Gil 07917205730 if more information is required.

Please ensure you were appropriate clothing and footwear whilst walking. If you have not been before, please have with you on the day your membership number, next of kin details and any health issues that might occur whilst walking.


The next Local History Group meeting is on the 11th November 2019 at St James Parish Centre, Haydock, WN11 0NJ and starts at 1.30pm.  Babs Hennessy is our speaker and will tell us about Mary O'Shaughnessy who is a local unsung war heroine - whose story is amazing.

There is no Local History Group meeting in December as we shall be having our Christmas meal on 9th December instead.  If you are registered to attend this, the table is booked for 1pm at the Queen Ann, Golborne.


Ashton-in-Makerfield Ukulele Group (AIMUG)


We had a good meeting on the fourth Friday in September, went through Maureen’s selection, which was very enjoyable and we look forward to Nancy’s choice at the end of October.


We’re really getting to grips with our new songbooks now and have planned on a supplement to give us more to go at, although I don’t know how we will cope as a couple of difficult chords have sneaked in. I’m sure we can find a work around solution.


Next meeting we’ll be going over some Christmas songs in case we’re asked to perform at the Christmas party.  Haven’t heard anything yet but the practice will come in for our Sainsbury’s gigs in December.  Our collecting Elf is already in a state of frenzy.  Why not come along and see him on the afternoons of 7th and 8th of December?


Our next meetings are:  

Bryn Labour on Wednesday 11th November with that nice Mr Walker from 3 to 5pm.

Captain’s lane, Ashton on Friday 22nd November from 1 to 3pm

White Horse, Wigan on Thursday 28th November from 2 to 4pm


New members are welcome.  Full training and resources will be given.  We’ll even lend you a uke to try out on. Contact Stephen in the first instance on 07981 976 904.


Curry was a surname.

A take away was a mathematical problem.

A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.

All potato crisps were plain, the only choice was whether to put salt on.

Rice was only eaten as a milk pudding.

Calamari was called squid and we used it as fish bait.

A big mac was what we wore when it was raining.

Brown bread was something only poor people ate.

Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green.

Healthy food consisted of anything edible.

People who didn’t peel potatoes were regarded as lazy.

Cooking outside was called camping.

Kebab was not even a word, never mind a food.

Prunes were medicinal.

Surprisingly, muesli was ready available, it was called cattle food.

Water came out of a tap. If someone had suggested bottling it, and charging more than petrol for it, they would have become a laughing stock.

But the one thing we never had on our tables in the fifties/sixties  …. Elbows or phones.

Sourced from the Internet - Bernie Carter.


The following Groups are PART OF ACTIVE LIVING and NOT covered by U3A insurance.


Phil Carter  01942 717902. Meets Thursday 11am-12pm at the Hilton Street Community centre, which was the old YMCA building. 


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.