West Pennine Villages u3a

Website Menu

Newsletter (September 2023)

September 2023

What a Party!

Judging by the lovely comments, everyone who braved the weather thoroughly enjoyed our fourth birthday party.

It was touch and go with the rain but as the steady stream of members trudged up the path to the clubhouse they were greeted with a warm welcome.

Enjoying the entertainment

Soon the clubhouse was crowded with standing room only. The entertainment from the ukulele group went down a storm as did the delicious buffet.

Lovely to see so many members

After lunch the chimes group continued the entertainment and everyone enjoyed a chance to chat to new friends and catch up with old ones.

The Ukulele group belted out the tunes

Then, amazingly the sun came out and queues quickly formed to have a go at pickleball and tennis on the tennis courts.

The Chimes group

All in all a great day out! And thank you to all those who sent a comment about how much they had enjoyed the party.

Roll on Christmas for our next get together!

Well done Jayne!

Well done to one of our intrepid members.

Jayne Stevens has just completed a 160 miles trek around the Peak Way climbing to 23,232 feet – the equivalent of the 99th highest mountain!


The trip, took her through Bakewell, Ashbourne, Matlock, up Kinder Scout, Man Tor and Stanage Edge. Jayne, who was accompanying her friend Louise, took part to raise funds for three charities – The Charities Charitable Trust, Francis House Children’s Hospice and the Alzheimer’s Society.

She said: “It was exhausting but I’m pleased to have completed the challenge.”

Blowing our minds!

The popular ‘Power of the Mind’ summer sessions with Dr Debbie Pope have now finished for 2023. We learnt about the science of the brain, did some fun tasks and had great conversations! Members found out about how we make decisions, how our memory works… or not!, the importance of emotional intelligence, how we develop language, use imagery and problem solve.

Some of your comments:-

“A brilliant informative series of talks. Learnt a lot. Great delivery as well.”

“Very interesting and thought provoking sessions. Would like more.”

“Fun and interactive delivery added to the enjoyment. More sessions appreciated.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed learning something new to me.”

Thought provoking session

“Would be good to do some kind of experiment/ trial to see if the results for a bunch of old people are different to those for the young.”

Given we’ve had such a great response to this first link with The University of Central Lancashire UCLAN…. we are now planning more. This is part of expanding our U3A horizons with local partners so Members can experience an even wider range of activities, fulfilling our mission to learn, laugh, live.

So what next! We are currently in discussion with UCLAN about further talks that might potentially lead to a research project, plus Debbie has now agreed to do another series of Power of the Mind sessions around Social psychology. This is about the nature and causes of individual behaviours in social situations and how people’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs, intentions and goals are influenced by others. Topics are many and varied but can include identity and attribution theory, social influence, group behaviours, prejudice and discrimination, relationships, aggression, attitudes, stereotypes, and morality. We will also be posting useful links on the Power of the Mind group website page including interesting articles, YouTube videos, courses, public talks and anything else we think might float your boat. Watch this space!

Pond skaters and a rare beetle

**Health warning in this report!

The September meeting of the natural history group owes a vote of thanks to dogs (and their owners), writes Patricia Harper! 
Chartered Biologist Andy is a dog walking friend of Sally, a member of the group and it was due to Sally we had the privilege of such an eminent guide. Not only does Andy have an amazing knowledge of all aspects of the natural world but he seems to know all the dogs visiting Cuerden Park when six members met him on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Andy was responsible for discovering a beetle that was thought to be extinct in the north the Agelastica alni (alder leaf beetle). We were shown its habitat and were lucky enough to see both the larva and adult form.
As we walked round Andy pointed out areas that needed more management (dreaded Himalayan balsam choking water sources). The special black poplar trees impressed with their incredible height. Ripples on a pond were caused by large pond skaters on the surface of the water, on anther pond we saw the lesser pond skaters enjoying their skating.
The wardens have provided special provision for sand martins which have now flown back to warmer climes. They hope to provide more next year hoping even more of the birds will arrive to breed at Cuerden . 
Thank you to Andy for such an informative and interesting introduction to Cuerden and thank you Sally for organising this.

Health Warning!
Danger beware of offending any member of our group as we now know there is cyanide in Rhododendron which can affect humans. Fortunately, our honey bees don’t take nectar from them as honey made from the nectar of the flowers can cause Mad Honey Disease!

October speaker

We are back to our speaker programme next month on Wednesday, October 4 at the clubhouse at 10.30. Details to follow soon, watch out for an email from Mike.

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.

Leave a message
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.