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Newsletter (December 2023)

December

An amazing 2023...

Well, 2023 is almost over. But there has been lots of celebrating before we get there.

First, here’s a message from our chair, Ann.

So what have we all been up to this month?……

It’s been a busy month, kicking off with an outing to York Christmas Markets.

Shambles Christmas market

Despite the freezing conditions – and that was just on the train – it was a festive treat with everyone left to their own devices, some went shopping, some to see the sights, some to the pub!

Elaine warms up with mulled wine
Sheila eyes up the delicious food

At least the train home was a little warmer! Thanks to Ann for organising.

Beatlemania!

Who would have though our crafty Pat Holt was such a cool chick in her youth!

Pat shows off her moves

Pat, who runs the Craft group, donned her mini dress, dark glasses, amazing yellow tights as well as long locks to impress at the Beatlemania lunch at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel.

Sue, Pat and Elaine find their grooves!

Beatlemania  followed on from the successful Abba mania last December and this year our u3a had three tables, with several members, besides Pat, donning some Sergeant Pepper outfits.

Cheers to a fab time!

There was a Beatles quiz, a delicious three course lunch and of course……dancing. It always seems strange getting on the dance floor at 11.30am!

There was no stopping them!

A great time was had by all.

No more boring sausage rolls

What to serve to all those guests that might descend on you next week – there were some delicious ideas at a cookery demo.

No more boring sausage rolls

Sarah from Bees Kitchen in Chorley, demonstrated three easy dishes  that members might want to try out on friends and family .

The first was sausage meat and onion jam in a puff pastry lattice.

There was also a wonderful cured salmon dish. The salmon is cured in salt sugar and gin. Served with a lemon creme fraiche it’s a winner.

Sarah’s masterclass

For dessert there was an easy mincemeat Chorley cake.

Sarah tries to use local products as well as those she makes herself like the onion jam and mincemeat.

The Quiz of the Year!

One of our biggest and most popular events of the year is the Christmas Quiz, and this year you turned out in your best outfits for a hard-fought contest.

Beware Mr Reindeer, Santa Mike is about!
Santa and his helper elf – Bernard and Pat
Norma and Geoff ready for the quiz

Fired up with plenty of mince pies, stollen and festive biscuits, it was a fierce battle with some contested answers – needless to say the quizmaster Graham had none of it!

Do you know the answer????

The worthy winners were Jump us into Christmas –  the clue was in their name, their festive jumpers! Wooden spoons went to Four of a Kind – those u3a pens and pencils will be worth a fortune on eBay!

The winners!

And of course there had to be prizes for the best Christmas outfit.

Elf Pat and Snowwoman Celine

It was such a close call between Elf Pat and Snowwoman Celine that it was declared a tie and both were worthy winners.

Thanks to Jayne for setting the questions.

Ding-a-ling!

Some of the Bells and Chimes group managed to get in some valuable rehearsal time when they went carolling at Chorley’s Inspire.

Five of us got in the festive mood and practised our musical talents, albeit to a limited audience, however it put us in good stead for the Withnell Fold Village carol service when we will join the ukulele group playing a the clubhouse next Friday evening.

The concentration was clear to see...

We have mentioned our partnership with Chorley Youth Zone a couple of times, working with them to develop the Inspire Invites Hub following our U3A visit there earlier this year. The initiative is all about helping socially isolated adults in and around Chorley come together, do fun activities and make friends. It’s been a really positive partnership, linking up like minded community groups around Chorley to bring our skills and experience to the table to help others. It has also given us the opportunity to raise our profile.

It’s great that Inspire Invites is now going from strength to strength, and will be increasing opportunities for more people to get involved with a wider range of activities in the new year. So WPVU3A will be gracefully bowing out at this point to focus on our other activities and partnerships. We wish the Inspire Team all the success for the future.

Christmas crafters

Crafters went Christmas crackers with their colourful creations and enjoyed their own festive party. This little chap will be adorning someone’s tree.

Mr Snowman

It wasn’t all chat and craft, the members had a delicious buffet and some fizz – non alcoholic of course! – to celebrate a successful year as a group. Well done ladies.

Crafters at work

Super Geoff……

To finish the croquet year on a high, Geoff Green pulled of a cracking jump shot.

Champion Geoff!

For non-players, the aim is to get the ball through the hoop, however if there is a ball blocking, a player can try a jump shot which literally jumps over the ball and through the hoop. Geoff went one better and jumped over two balls to win a point. Well done Geoff!

And here’s some of 2023’s highlights….

As I said it’s been an eventful year. Here’s a quick catch up.

We started several new groups from Pickleball to Tai Chi, and the Soss strollers to the STEM group.

We went on outings to the theatre – to see Brief Encounters, Spring and Port Wine as well as a behind the scenes tour at the Palace Theatre in Manchester – to RHS Bidgewater and the Castlefield Viaduct garden for a boozy night out at Cuckoo Gin, to the more refined afternoon tea at the Midland in Morecambe.

We had excellent speakers including Karen and Stephen Brooke who undertook the 800 kilometres of the famous Camino de Santiago, and two young people from Dance Syndrome – one of whom David is the son of one of our members Jenni – who showed off their amazing dancing. We got into the Power of the Mind sessions and also established the link with Inspire at Chorley.

We had a couple of milestones, our fourth anniversary party, our 200th member, new signs and we moved into the technological age – with a card machine! Phew!

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.

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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