NEWSLETTER No 103                                                    September 2018


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.


It is with some regret that both Ann and I feel we need to step down from running the theatre group after the next show in November. I have been involved in running the group from the beginning over 9 years ago. We both have different reasons but my health issues now stop me going to shows. We are looking for either one or two people to take over next year. I will give them full support and advice and will continue to work alongside them. I hope this group continues as so many of you enjoy it. Please contact either of us for information Kath and Ann. 


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.


We are taking orders for U3A diaries, the price of which is three pounds .Please put your name, membership number and contact on the clipboard at the front of the room. Due to a change in procedures we will need the money with your order. Thank you.


There will be Tombola during the two Friday meetings in September.

In memory of Teresa Garland the proceeds will be donated to The British Lung Foundation Please pass any prize donations to Winnie Burns.


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 on 01942 713841.

Thank you    Pat Grimshaw


7th Sept - Gerry Shaw  –   The Rat Pack (Singer).

5th October - David Jones –The Law.



If anyone still owes money for Calendar Girls please could we have it as soon as possible. We hope to be offering a new show very soon . Kath and Ann 


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

September sees us back in the library after a three-month break when we used the excellent summer weather to go out on photo shoots.

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


As many of you will know by now, the Local History Group is re-launching on Monday, 10th September 2018; 1.30 until 3.00pm, at St James’ Parish Centre, Haydock, WA11 0NJ. The venue has been changed as it was necessary to have a bigger room now that the two Local History Groups have had to be amalgamated. It is easy to get to by bus or car, being only a short distance from the bus stop and it also has its own car park. There are no steps to climb so is very accessible. The programme that has been put together so far is displayed on the notice board at both the speaker meeting and the coffee afternoons. Pat Grimshaw will be our speaker at the meeting on 10 September and will tell us about the Wigan Parish Map Project. I have tried to put together a varied programme in the hope that we will have something to suit everyone in the coming months. Please do look at the notice board but if you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Elaine Wallwork: 07788504026


The next meeting of the Drama group will be on the first Thursday in September and we will be busy getting ready for our Christmas party!  New members will be made most welcome so if you fancy having fun whilst 'acting' come along and give it a go. 

Pat Grimshaw


Please note that owing to holidays of group leaders and members, there will be no French group meetings in September. Meetings will resume in October on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 11.00am in Ashton library.


(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).


This group, run by Phil Carter, meets on the First and Third Wednesdays of the month. The next meetings will be on the 5th and 19th of September. Meet at Ashton REC Club at 1.45 pm for bowling at 2.00 pm till 4.00 pm. 

Please Note! The meeting on the 19th September will be the last meeting of the season for this Group.

It will also be the date for the Bowling Groups party, when members of Group RP1 will also attend for Refreshments and a group bowling competition.


This group, run by Ray Potter, meets on the Second and Fourth Wednesdays of the month. The next meetings will be on the 12th and 26th of September. Meet at Ashton REC Club at 1.45 pm for bowling at 2.00 pm till 4.00 pm. 

Please Note!  The meeting on the 26th September will be the last meeting of the season for this Group.

On the 19th September the Bowling Groups party will take place when members of Groups RP1 and PC1 attend for Refreshments and a group bowling competition.

Thanks to all the group members for a well-attended and successful season.


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 September 21st and we have room for a couple of new members if you would like to come along for a taster.


Singing for Pleasure – Friday 10th August, 2018.

This afternoon we paid tribute to our dear friend and co-singer Teresa Garland in song.  We opened our afternoon singing Bring me Sunshine, then we paused for a minutes silence as a mark of respect.  Our singing programme comprised songs dear to Teresa – Leaving of Liverpool, Sailing, Close to You, Dancing Queen and Ballad of Wigan Pier.  We all felt that Teresa was with us in spirit.

Despite absence of those singers attending Teresa’s funeral, we had a very good attendance today.

No Singing for Pleasure meeting in September.  Next meeting – Friday, 12th October.

Our thanks go to Ian for his musical backing and to Ann and Carol who organised tea and biscuits.


Reading Group 1

Our August meeting began with a silence in memory of Teresa Garland.  Teresa was a member of Reading Group 1 from its beginning.  The loss of her insightful contributions to our discussions will be keenly felt.

The book under discussion in August was “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”, a debut novel by Jamie Ford published in 2009.  The events described take place mainly in 1942 and in 1986.  Most of us were aware of the internment of Japanese-Americans in the USA during WW2 after the attack on Pearl Harbour but a greater appreciation of the disruption to the lives of those involved was brought into focus for us by the experiences of Henry Lee and Keiko Okabe.  Henry, 12 years old in 1942, is Chinese; Keiko, a girl of the same age, is Japanese.  Given the Japanese invasion of China their friendship across the ethnic and cultural divide is anathema to Henry’s father whilst Keiko’s more Americanised family are open and welcoming.  The novel is based on the discovery in 1986 of the stored possessions of 35 Japanese families in the basement when the Panama Hotel in Seattle was being refurbished.   These had been deposited for safe-keeping before the internment but never retrieved from the derelict building.  The fiction which Ford weaves around this discovery allows him to explore a variety of themes including racism, the enduring power of love and inter-generational tensions against a background of

dual cultural heritage.  It is by no means a perfect novel and whilst the ending may be too neat for some, it is heart-warming and life-affirming.  We all enjoyed it and would recommend it.

Reading Group 2

Our August books for discussion were :-

Lara – Anna Pasternak. Highly Recommended, excellent read, not to be confused with Doctor Zhivago

Boris Pasternak would say Lara exists go and meet her describing the love of his life Olga Ivinskata.  It was in the 1940’s Olga was a pawn in a highly political game and was imprisoned twice  for her association  (love affair) with Boris Pasternak and what was seen to be his very controversial literary works. The book has some graphic insights to life in Russia at that time.

The Divided Spy  -  Charles Cummings. The third in a trilogy, although they are stand alone books.

The group had mixed views about this book, which had received excellent reviews in a number of newspapers. Opinions ranged from a gripping read to a real slog. If you are a fan of spy novels –give it a try.


Ashton-in-Makerfield Ukulele Group (AIMUG)


Ashton Ukulele group met again on Tuesday the 24th of July at Bryn Labour Club and enjoyed a good session.  We started from the back pages of the beginner’s pack and once we had done them we put away the pack forever, to move on to the Mover’s On pack.

Then we did our club song, cleverly written by the members, before making a start on the Christmas songbook.  We’ll have to get a good start as we’re playing in the foyer at Sainsburys in the run up to Christmas, hoping to raise money for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.


It was good fun throughout the afternoon and it was noticeable that players are much more comfortable when introduced to new chords and challenges, although the group does like tunes with only two chords. 

Our next meeting is at Captain’s Lane on Friday 24th from 1-3pm. Any questions please ask Stephen.


The next  meeting of the group will be on the 27th  of September at 1.30 p m in the Ashton Library.


The Pudding Club is taking its annual summer break at the moment. We will be back in September. 


Wednesday 5th September – Yarrow Valley

Church Lane, Charnock Richard, PR7 5NA.

Meet at 9.10 am for 9.30 tee time.

Wednesday 19th September – Haigh Hall

 Haigh Country Park, School Lane,WN2 1PE .

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.


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. 


The new season of the Kurling Group will start on Wednesday 10th October. The venue for the Kurling is the 1st Ashton Scouts HQ (Scout Hut) on Woodedge off Liverpool Road. Ashton WN4 9LH.

We meet at 10.30 am to set up for Kurling 10.45 am to 12.45 pm.


The new season of the Games Group will start on Wednesday 3rd October. 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 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.



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 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.


As a one off there will be a Line Dancing Class on Friday 14 September from 1.00 to 3.00pm.This will be run by an experienced Instructor and is intended for Beginners or Novices. The cost will be £2 per person and sensible shoes should be worn, no flip flops.