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Newsletter (April 2024)


Hopefully by the time you read this April Newsletter, the weather might have caught up with itself!

In the meantime here is some great WPVu3a news for you all.


What a great turn out for our AGM. Thanks to all the members who came along and voted in your ‘officials’ for the next term.

Reselected were:
Ann Furlong as chair, Geoff  Tittensor as vice chair, Norma Tittensor as secretary and Paul Brooking as treasurer

Committee members – Maria Brooking, Steve Perry, Jane Watson. Clive Bass, Graham Green, Kay Aldred and Lynn Worden.

We also welcomed three new committee members, Rohit Radia, Lynne Robinson and Mike Smith.

Ann told members about another successful year and asked for approval to change WPVu3a’s constitution re the make up of the committee.

She explained that while we can extend the length of time officials can hold office, she stressed: “We can’t keep doing it. The decision was not taken lightly.” She added that it was vital for succession that we attract other members to join the committee.

If anyone would like to join the present committee, please contact Ann.

Once the meeting was closed it was excellent to see people stayed on to chat and enjoy the delicious pastries.

Harsha’s Kitchen

Harsha in her kitchen

Moong Bean Curry

This month Harsha is inviting you to try her delicious Khatta Mag. For those who want a translation it is Moong bean curry with yogurt sauce.

Harsha explains: “Moong bean is a green lentil readily available now in all supermarkets in its dried form or in cans.

“I always soak them for a couple of hours in cold water and then boil them in plenty of water for about 20 minutes until completely soft. (If you use a pressure cooker, Instant Pot or Ninja appliance then you can boil them using that following the grain setting instructions.)


One cup moong beans or one can.

One teaspoon each of garlic, ginger and green chilli paste

One small carton of natural yogurt

Two tablespoons of besan flour

Half a teaspoon each of black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and turmeric powder

One teaspoon of sugar, you can use brown sugar or jaggery( palm sugar)

Fresh coriander for garnish

A couple of tablespoons of sunflower/vegetable oil for tempering.

Try some Khatta Mag


Soak and prepare your moong beans. In a medium sized pan heat a couple of tablespoons of oil and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to crackle add the cumin seeds and follow quickly with the moong beans.

Now add the garlic, ginger, chilli paste, salt and turmeric plus about a cup of water and simmer gently for a few minutes until it all comes together. Meanwhile place the yogurt into a bowl and add the besan flour and whisk thoroughly so that the flour is completely mixed. Add this to the simmering moong beans along with another cup of water and simmer gently for about 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce becomes thick.

When ready take off the heat then top with fresh coriander and serve with plain boiled rice and/or chapattis or naan bread.

Note: There are no onions or tomato in this recipe but you will be amazed at the taste of the yogurt sauce!

Audrey’s important message for us all

Before we catch up with all our latest news, we have some serious information for all our members.

Audrey, the wife of committee member Steve Perry, wants to share her story with you all and it has a valuable message for everyone. 

Like some of our female members, Audrey had passed the age of having a regular call for a mammogram. After the age of 70 she had not had one for eight years.

However, last December she had some skin irritation and realised it was one sign of breast cancer. She saw her GP who referred her to Chorley Hospital breast clinic and she was seen four days later. Sadly a mammogram showed breast cancer and Audrey underwent a mastectomy in February. Luckily she didn’t have chemotherapy but had hormone suppressing tablets and radiotherapy which she has just completed. She also had physiotherapy and advice from specialist breast care nurses who are available to be contacted at any time for help and advice.

Audrey wanted to tell her story as she wanted to make women aware that while you are not routinely called for mammograms, you can ask for one.

She said: “My personal  experience shows how important it is to do this especially because the majority of breast cancers occur in women over 75 . I did not have a mammogram for eight years after 70 despite knowing this, which I now regret obviously.

“All this in four and a half months, it seems the NHS is excellent regarding treatment of breast cancer I would say. However, all this might not have been necessary had I asked for a mammogram years ago – it is a salutary warning – please go and get a mammogram.”  Audrey says she is happy to talk to any members who may want to contact her.

This is also a reminder to all our u3a men to take heed – the same requests for check ups also apply for prostate cancer. Here is a NHS website for more information that clarifies what is available as standard and what can be requested in addition. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-screening/

May’s speaker

We are blessed in our area that we have some brilliant theatres on our doorsteps – from our local Chorley Little Theatre, to the bigger venues down the road in Manchester.

So for all theatre lovers, next week’s Speaker Meeting should be a gem when Marilyn Shalks will entertain us with “The History of Manchester Theatre that you never knew!”

Marilyn, a passionate theatre historian and volunteer at Manchester’s Central Library responsible for archiving theatre programmes dating back to the 1800s, will keep us entertained with unusual and interesting facts about shows at the city’s theatres as well as some of the amazing acts and performers who trod the boards there.

The talk is on Wednesday, May 1, usual place and usual time – 10.30am prompt start.  Entry is £2 which can be paid by card or in cash and this includes refreshments. 

If anyone needs a parking space close to the clubhouse and/or level access at the rear of the building – just let Mike know.

A garden invitation

If you love flowers, plants and all thing gardening, there is an invitation to visit the Walled Garden at Astley Park, Chorley.

The Gardening Group is extending its invitation to all members.

There will be the opportunity to learn about the variety of planting in the Walled Garden from the knowledgeable volunteers who will show us round.

Part of the Walled Garden

Free car parking is available in Hall Gate Car Park, Chancery Road Chorley PR7 1XA  which is very close to the Garden and there is a cafe in the park. 

The visit is arranged with the Walled Garden volunteer co-ordinator Carol for the afternoon of Tuesday, May 14, starting at 2pm. 

The garden has varied planting including numerous roses, apple trees and a hot house so hopefully the visit will appeal to those with gardens large and small as well as allotments and back yards! 

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!


April catch up……

Judging by the look on Mike’s face, his workhouse lunch of gruel didn’t go down too well.

A huge thanks to Bernard for his fascinating talk at the April Speaker Meeting about the Brindle workhouse, his research into its history shone a light on the terrible conditions and some social history that is now documented for the future.

Dating back to the 1600s it housed ‘lunatics’ and simply poor folk who were transported to the workhouse from all over Lancashire. Bernard told the stories of real people who were incarcerated often because had simply fallen on hard times.

David and Hilary with an image of Ellen

One of the stories was about Ellen Bannister a factory worker from Chorley who was in the workhouse with her five year old daughter and her two month old baby in 1851. She had probably gone in to have her baby there. Thankfully it closed in 1871 but some of the ruins still remain at Top ‘oth Lane.

Another historical trip back in time, this time at the other end of the scale – the magnificent Browsholme Hall in the depths of the Ribble Valley. The Hall, built in 1507 is the last historic home in Lancashire to be occupied continuously by the same family – the present incumbent Robert Parker, who inherited the Hall from a cousin while still a teenager, gave us a warm welcome.

Browsholme Hall

Our guides were amazing and reeled off dates and facts about the 13 generations of the family without a single note!

In the grand entrance hall

The hall is crammed with artefacts and history including paintings books and furniture and the grounds are spectacular. We ended with afternoon tea in the Tea Room and even the sun came out!

A grand day out

A big shout out to Nick Koss for organising the trip.

And the history continued…..when the STEM group went on an outing to the Commercial Vehicle Museum nearer to home in Leyland. The group enjoyed a whistle stop tour through the history of design development in transport, from horse drawn to today’s vehicles using computerised technology.

Men and machines
Peter admires an old fire engine

All aboard the Popemobile!

They also went into the archive to see interesting documents and photographs. Thanks to Robert for organising.

Dean and his trusty camera were on hand to record the latest walk – in Tockholes.

Well done to the hard trekkers, amazingly it looked as though it was actually dry – in parts – although spot the umbrellas!

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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