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Newsletter (May 2024)


Looking out of the window it appears Summer has been and gone!

Here’s hoping the sun makes a welcome return soon….

Meanwhile here’s your latest Newsletter, have a browse.

A peaceful haven

Walking into the Gujarat Hindu Temple in Preston was like disappearing into a tranquil oasis.

The outside

Inside this magnificent building was a riot of colour, yet the calm was palpable.

Our visit was organised by our members Rohit and Harsha and gave a fascinating insight into the Hindu religion.

From the welcoming Tikka mark painted on our foreheads, to seeing the daily offerings of fruit to the deities (which was for all to share) and the amazing gods and goddesses dressed in the brightest, beautiful costumes – it was certainly a day to remember.

Our visit

The ceiling painted with the stories of the gods and goddesses could have rivalled the Sistine Chapel!

The amazing ceiling

We were told how Hinduism is a way of life not just a religion and there are about one billion followers which make it the third largest by population.

The costumes for the deities are changed daily

I for one, was reluctant to leave this amazing, peaceful and uplifting haven.

A moment of reflection

We rounded off the visit with a delicious Indian lunch at RK Dining in Preston. See Harsha’s recipe below for one of the tasty dishes.

A garden haven…..

From one haven to another. Eight members of the Gardening Group along with three visitors, had a tour of the Astley Hall walled garden.

Green fingers at Astley Hall

From green fingers to green monsters………

The Theatre group enjoyed an excellent production of The Little Shop of Horrors at the Octagon, Bolton.

Best seats in the house for our members!

The set was fantastic, vibrant and colourful and changed to accommodate the ever growing Audrey II, the alien, flesh eating plant.

The ever-growing Audrey!

The multi- talented cast  sang, danced and  played instruments, in addition to delivering a brilliant performance leaving Ann and Mel suitably  ‘terrified’ !

Ann and Mel. Not sure it if was Audrey or the hairy knees that scared Mel!

Harsha’s Kitchen

Harsha in her kitchen

Vada Pav

The recipe I have chosen this week is one of the items we all enjoyed at the lunch following the Temple trip earlier on this month which was enjoyed by everyone. 

Vada is the term for any form of Indian fritter and pav is bread.  So basically this is an Indian version of a veggie burger and so easy to make.  It is enjoyed with green coriander and chilli chutney which is made by simply blending together a bunch of coriander leaves, a couple of green chillies and a handful of peanuts and seasoned with salt and lemon juice. 

Try some Vada Pav


3 to 4 medium sized potatoes – maris piper work best – which have been boiled and mashed with a masher. (Tip – you should have a dry fluffy mash so don’t add any milk, butter etc. Simply mashed potato.) This should be cooled to room temperature.

One teaspoon each of fresh ginger paste and fresh green chilli paste.

About a table spoonful of fresh lemon juice

Salt to taste

Half a teaspoon of garam masala

A good handful of fresh coriander leaves finely chopped.

One cup of besan flour – this is chick pea flour readily available in all supermarkets

Four soft white bread rolls – works best with white rather than brown rolls


Put the mashed potatoes in a bowl.  Add the spices and pastes along with the lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves.  Mix all these ingredients well.  Form the mixture into golf sized balls and leave aside.

Make a batter with the besan flour, salt and water to the consistency of pancake batter.

Heat oil in your frying pan and using a slotted spoon, dip the potato balls in the batter and gently drop into the oil.  Allow to fry until golden brown – only takes about 3 minutes – turning gently.  Remove from the oil and assemble the fritters as you would a burger (gently press the fritter onto the bread) smearing the coriander chutney on both layers of the bread. 

You can also add a layer of chilli and garlic sauce to the bread if your taste buds can take more heat.  Enjoy!

June’s speaker

Admit it ladies and gentlemen, we all think we are the best drivers on the road.

Well, Julie Whitworth from Chorley Advanced Motorists might have other ideas.

She will be our speaker on June 5 when she will be giving us a few statistics about people killed or injured on our roads as well as discussing bad driving habits. Julie will also encourage questions from the audience.

The talk starts at 10.30am prompt, entry is £2 (you can pay y card reader or cash) and includes a cuppa and biscuits.

A walk over the Fell and glorious Arnside

The Walking Group have been on their travels – to the magnificent Beacon Fell and picturesque Arnside.

Thanks to Dean and Geoff for the great photographs.

There’s always a dog to steal the show!
A trusty rucksack
A break to admire the view
The Arnside walkers
A magnificent view

Opportunities for even more fun, learning and living!

As part of our partnership development agenda we are keen to explore opportunities to further expand experiences, learning and activities for members. 

As you know we have already been linking up with local organisations and universities to offer wider fun learning opportunities such as Power of the Mind.

We are now widening links with UCLan and similar organisations to let you know about other free events, activities and courses that are happening in our locality or online.

These are not u3a led but you may be interested in signing up and going along as they complement our ethos and u3a aspiration to Learn, Laugh, Live.

We will add in more free events, activities and courses as we go along so here is the new link which you can now see on the WPVu3a website main menu under ‘partners…’     Enjoy!


Become a u3a Friend

A new range of services is available to all members who sign up to the new FREE u3a Friends newsletter.

u3a Friends Extra is a benefits website developed exclusively for members of the u3a Friends newsletter community.

The website provides access to a wide range of offers, discounts and additional services. Friends Extra is completely free to access. Anyone signed up to the u3a Friends newsletter can now also make savings on well-known brands, shopping, travel, days out and more. Offers and services on Friends Extra include:

✓ Health and wellbeing

✓ Shopping savings on major brands and retail discounts

✓ Travel and holidays

* Leisure offers, like family days out, trips to the cinema and theatre

✓ Insurance offers on car, travel and medical insurance

✓ Access to financial advice and a legal helpline.

To become a ‘Friend’, simply sign up to receive the Friends Newsletter on the u3a website: https://www.u3a.org.uk

Each issue of the Friends Newsletter will include a link to the Friends Extra benefits website and highlight one of the offers. This is just one element of the u3a Friends newsletter, which brings together stories from local u3a groups, learning opportunities and news of upcoming events to highlight the fun and learning within the u3a community.

Book a holiday and get our u3a some cash

Did you know that if you book a holiday with Riviera Travel and say you are a u3a member – our u3a gets 10%?

That means more money for our funds to spend on you.

The national u3a also offers a discount scheme through its Click and Save scheme where there are savings on brands including Sainsbury’s, Pizza Express, Currys and M&S. Click here to find out more https://www.u3aclickandsave.co.uk/x_/

While we are on the subject of holidays – does anyone have any interesting tales about their getaways.

Have you been penguin spotting in Antarctica, or a safari in Africa? Or you may have enjoyed a week in the sun in some exotic part of the globe. If you’d like to share your exploits, let Lynn know at the bottom of this newsletter.

I’d like to feature a question and answer feature, letting other members know about some of the best hotspots, tips on what to see etc. So get in touch via the form at the bottom.

Policies and documents

While there is always lots to do at our u3a, sometimes we forget the behind-the-scenes information.

All our policies and statements are available on the website for your perusal. Just look under the Menu button and click on Documents.

Looking forward…….

There’s lots of things being lined up for 2024, with outings and theatre visits as well as all your well-loved groups. Keep an eye on the website and your monthly newsletter.

Some members seem surprised when I mention some of the groups, especially the theatre and social outings ones. So please have a look on the website and just join whichever groups you fancy and fill in the form at the bottom of that page – that way you will receive emails about forthcoming events.

Look forward to lots of laughing, learning and living, with your WPVu3a.

Don’t struggle

Anyone who struggles with the website can find help by clicking on the Help option from the website menu.

Anyone having difficulty getting to meetings, we can reserve a parking spot right next to the clubhouse. Just let us know. There is also step free access into the clubhouse.

National news

Don’t forget your can get all the national u3a news as well as lots of info about different courses etc at the national u3a website.

We hope you have enjoyed this month’s newsletter. If you have any contributions please contact Lynn using the form below.

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