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Newsletter (February 2023)

February 2023

Spring is almost here!

Give it a try……..

We are well on the way to Spring thank goodness and while everyone is feeling reinvigorated, now is the time to think about joining some of our new groups. Here are a few new ones….so give them a try!

Grow your own

For the green-fingered there is a new allotment group. But don’t worry if you don’t have one – you can go and look at Ian’s!

Ian's allotment
Ian’s allotment

Ian said he knows there are several members with allotments and the group would also be open to past, prospective, current and potential allotment holders to meet, probably on a monthly basis ( bring  a drink ) to see progress of different allotments during the growing year and to share ideas.

Interested? Send Ian a message through the Allotment page here

Talking about Art

Are you a Picasso or a Hockney fan? Or perhaps a Monet or a Vermeer is more up your street……or even a Banksy!

Whatever your likings, why not share at Talking about Art, another new group where art lovers can take turns to choose a topic or piece of art to discuss.

It may be works you want to know more about or something you really don’t like, share it with the group. The subject will be decided in advance to give everyone a chance to look at the chosen piece. The first meeting will be on Monday, March 6 from 11.30am to 1pm at a member’s home. Get in touch with the convenor at the `Talking about Art’ group here

Relax with Tai Chi

We already have Dancercise and Pilates classes, and we are expecting a rush for another new group – Tai Chi.

Tai Chi Chuan is a traditional Chinese art form practised as a daily exercise routine for centuries to promote good health, well-being, enhanced mobility and balance – and we could all do with some of that!

Steve Whitely will be taking a taster class on Thursday, March 9, from 1.30 to 2.30 at Withnell Fold Sports and Social Club. The cost will be £6.

If there is enough interest classes will run fortnightly from March 30 at a similar cost. If you are interested, contact Lynn via the form at the bottom of the newsletter.

March Speaker

Our walking group is going to have go some way to beat our next speakers, Karen and Stephen Brooke who undertook the 800 kilometres of the famous Camino de Santiago as one of their appetite-whetting retirement projects.

Next Wednesday (March 1) they will be reliving the trek and that of the 5,106 metre Larkya La pass in Nepal. They say both were challenges of endurance but very different experiences.

Come along to listen to their amazing adventures. The talk starts at Withnell Sports and Social Club at 10.30am, entry £2 to cover refreshments.

Karen and Steven will be entertaining us with their retirement adventures at the March Speaker meeting

Karen and Stephen have not requested a speakers’ fee but have asked for donations towards the Toilet Twinning charity https://www.toilettwinning.org/ and there will be a collection at the end of the event.

It will be at our usual venue, WIthnell Fold Sports & Social Club and starts at 10.30 prompt to allow for questions at the end. Entry is £2 and includes refreshments.

An inspiration

A fantastic afternoon with Gwynne, Janine and her Inspire team was enjoyed by the social outing team.

Jane Watson reports on the visit.

“It was really heartening to hear about the significant joint effort between local businesses, voluntary sector, Chorley Brough Council and many passionate individuals that resulted in the Chorley YouthZone opening in May 2018.

“Inspire is all about giving children a safe place to be themselves, have fun and gain important life skills. Where it’s needed support also goes much wider into local communities, linking with their key partners. The array of activities on offer was pretty impressive from music studios, to climbing walls, to a cooking kitchen, hair salon, craft rooms, sports halls, gym and boxing facilities.

“We discussed what opportunities there might be for our U3a to support this amazing organisation, including using some of their facilities during low use times throughout the school week.

“We’ll be exploring this a bit more so watch out for the U3a climbing wall group!

Afterwards we retired for a friendly chat and swift half in The Shed. Great restart to the Social Group calendar.”

Need a lift?

For those interested a WhatsApp group is being set up for members who may want a help with transport to and social group outings, or those who have cars and can offer lifts. While we have most people’s mobiles, this is not universal and is of course a prerequisite to join WhatsApp. Anyone wanting to join can contact Gavin who will pass on details to Maria who will administer the group to enable members to organise lifts among themselves. Contact Gavin via the social group here

PS Don’t forget to check out the Social Group page where Gavin has organised some great events from a visit to Cuckoo Gin to a tour of RHS Bridgewater.

Dyeing the Medieval way

The craft group is delving back into history for a special demonstration of Medieval dyeing, weaving and silk work.

They have enlisted two ladies from the Sir John Saville Re-Enactment Society who will be showing off their ancient skills on Tuesday, May 9.

Convenor Pat has seen them in action at Hoghton Tower and recommends attending. The costs will be £6 and it will be at the Sports and Social Club. Anyone wanting to go along can contact Pat here

The March meeting on the 4th will beginners crochet where three members will be happy to help those who haven’t a clue!

A walk and good company

More lovely pictures from Dean, of the walks at Rufford and Hoghton Bottoms

I got in a pickle!

Pickleball, the mixture of tennis, tale tennis and badminton, is up and running.

And I can confirm, it is fast, furious and fun!

I had forgotten how big a badminton court was, but despite to some gentle coaching from Mike and Gavin, I still couldn’t hit the plastic ball over the 3 foot net……. I blame my diminutive height!

However, one member who had gone along to All Seasons Leisure Centre just for a look, ended up playing a few games and certainly fared better than me, although I did improve slightly (very!).

It’s a great way to spend an hour and enjoy this hybrid game even if you are not a tennis/table tennis or badminton player. Check out the group page here

Country dancing

Before the dreaded Covid struck, country dancing was proving a popular group with some of those old-fashioned dances from our youth. Remember the Dashing White Sergeants?

Kay would like to know if anyone wants to resurrect the group. Contact her through the Country Dancing section here

Get your dusters out..

As u3a members we all use the excellent facilities at the Withnell Sports and Social Club, be it brewing up in the kitchen, to enjoying table tennis and Pilates.

And we think we can help out a bit more – by joining a cleaning rota.

The club is run totally by volunteers and if you have a spare hour and you don’t mind a bit of housekeeping, the club would appreciate your help.

The housekeeping/cleaning rota works in pairs and takes about an hour and a half for two people. If you contact me below, I can pass on your details.

National u3a 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.

Don’t struggle

We can reserve a parking spot right next to the clubhouse for those finding it difficult to walk up. Just let us know.

Help is available

Anyone who struggles with the website can find help on easy access by clicking on the Documents section on the Welcome Page then scrolling down to the Website Accessibility Statement where there is a button for AbilityNet which gives advice on how to make your device easier to use.

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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