Mansfield and District U3A
Local History & Sci-Tech visit heritage railway: Pages 3 & 4
HMRC Charity Registration No.: XT30525
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Welcome from your chairman
BEFORE anything else, I’d like to thank Sheila Whalley for her generosity in opening her
wonderful garden to us last month. It was a real life Secret Garden as garden ‘room’ opened into
yet another hidden garden room, filled with plants and statues and comfortable places to sit.
The hard work and dedication she has shown astonishes me and I can only thank her. Thanks
also to the hard working Social Committee members who spent Sunday (and other days
beforehand) ‘on duty’ providing us with tea and delicious cakes. We spent enough on cakes,
plants and raffle tickets to give Air Ambulance nearly £200.
Next year is our 15th Anniversary and I suggested that we celebrate this by holding an
exhibition of U3A and its work in Mansfield Museum. It was all a little vague at the time, so
now I want to firm things up. We have been given the back exhibition room in the Museum
from May 24th to June 28th 2014 and I have accepted this pro tem.
But firstly, I need to know if you, the members, think this is a good idea. Should we go to the
trouble and possible expense of an exhibition of our work, and that of our neighbouring
Secondly, I need your help: help with providing exhibits, manpower, ideas and enthusiasm.
The museum people are totally positive about the idea – it would provide another insight into
local life. And they will help us – by providing display cases and boards, by hanging our art
works, by helping us to be as imaginative as possible.
Just imagine that room (visit it if you can) with slide shows, projection of photos onto the
wall, displays on specially painted walls, each group showing its ideas – the wine group with
a map of the world and explanations of where the wines they drink come from, the music
groups telling us about their composers or bands, the walking groups displaying their maps
And, being more imaginative – how about having our meetings there, open to the public?
The art group at work, a music group playing CDs, the choir performing for the public, a
Digital World session?
The only limitation would seem to be our own effort.
So ... I shall go ahead in the short term, but I would like your feedback, your enthusiasm,
your advice to drive me on to show Mansfield what fun we have, what ideas we have, what
an excellent U3A we have.
In this issue
Page 2 Chairman's Welcome.
Page 3 Subscriptions. Holiday Updates. Recent Events: Local History & Sci-
Tech visit heritage railway (Start).
Page 4 Recent Events: Local History & Sci-Tech visit heritage railway (End).
Holiday Group in Tenby (Start).
Pages 5 - 8 Groups Meeting Programme. (Book Table: P8)
Page 9 Recent Events Holiday Group in Tenby (End), Groups News: Strollers at
Page 10 Groups News: Strollers at Pleasley (End), Luncheon Club, Digital World.
Page 11 Reflections from the Committee Table
Page 12 New Interest Group. Obituary. AGM Notice. Dates for your diary. Notices.
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Annual Subscriptions 2013/2014 – Reminder
OUR FINANCIAL year ended on 31st July and annual subscriptions are due at the September
Due to the generosity of our members in supporting our social events and the tax we have
reclaimed via the Gift Aid Scheme, we are yet again delighted to offer our members a refund of £2
on this year’s subscriptions. Existing members will therefore only pay £15 for this year. (Associate
Subscriptions to Mansfield U3A remain at £17 for the forthcoming year for new members.
Payment can be made any time between now and the September meeting so please let me have
your cheque when convenient, made payable to Mansfield U3A. Post-date to September if you
Please remind any friends who wish to renew their membership but are unable to attend the
monthly meetings to contact the treasurer or any committee member.
For those members who use internet banking, why not pay your subscriptions ONLINE this year?
Full details available from the treasurer. Thanks.
Pauline Boucher (Treasurer)
Annual Picnic – Tuesday 20th August
Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, Chesterfield Road (12.00-3.00)
Join us for our annual picnic – bring food to share and hope for some sunshine so that we
can have some fun in the garden.
Alternative indoor accommodation in case of inclement weather.
Admission is free and raffle prizes will include 2 FREE U3A MEMBERSHIPS for the lucky
winners. Hope to see you there!
Thursford Christmas Spectacular – 4th, 5th & 6th December
The balances of £194 for singles and £168 pp for those sharing must be paid no later than the
September meeting. These prices include the driver's gratuity. Since cheques will not be cashed
until the last week in September you can start paying now especially if you know you may be
absent at any of the meetings before then. Cheques payable to Mansfield & District U3A.
Margaret Burlinson Details of all holidays are on the website ...
Local History and Sci-Tech combine to visit heritage railway
IN THE June meeting of the Local History Group, we had a presentation of the history of Mansfield's
Local Railways. The group had decided that the next meeting would be a trip to the Severn Valley
Railway to sample the delights of steam rail travel which many of our group remember with
So on Friday July 5th along with members of the Sci/Tech group we boarded our bus on a glorious
sunny morning to Kidderminster, the station where we were to board the train. Unbeknown to us the
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Railway had a 1940's weekend with soldiers, armoured cars, children dressed in evacuation garb –
all looking really good. There was even a Spiv!
We had a carriage reserved so we boarded the steam train named The Jolly Fisherman for
the journey to Highley. We left the train there to visit the Engine House Museum. Inside were
many steam locos, exhibitions, shop and a café.
I particularly liked the mock up of a Mail Sorting Van set at the time of the Great Train
Robbery in 1963.
We returned to Highley station and joined
our next train, headed by Sir Keith Park, a
loco from Southern Railways' Battle of
Britain Class built in 1947 and named after
the New Zealander who devised the
tactics for the Victory in the Battle of
It is the latest addition to the stock and the
overhaul has taken 13 years and a million
pounds, money well spent, even though
she burns two tons of Russian steam coal
per round trip at a cost of around £1 per
After a stop at Bridgenorth, where we
tasted the local beers in the station pub,
we again joined the loco Sir Keith Park
and returned to Kidderminster.
We journeyed back to Mansfield
Woodhouse still in sunshine after a day of
nostalgia remembering the days of Steam.
Bob Longden More pictures here ...
Holidays Group in Tenby
WHATA gem of a place Tenby is!
From our hotel we had the perfect view of the
beautiful sands and harbour and of the old
life-boat station, now converted into a
comfortable home, which some of you may
have seen featured recently on TV.
The town itself had narrow, winding streets
(too narrow for our coach), a thirteenth-
century town wall and ancient buildings and
there were plenty of small, independent
shops to explore too.
Down one of the almost hidden alleyways
was the Tudor Merchant's house - not many
rooms, but full of interesting details of Tudor
life, all well displayed.
A bonus was that, sitting down to read information or simply to absorb the atmosphere, was actually
encouraged, not forbidden. Continued on page 9 ...
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Key to Meetings details:
THIS TABLE SHOWS THE DAY of the month, time and frequency using the first two letters of the
day, followed by numbers 1 - 5 to represent the week number. The final letter M (or F, W or V)
indicates that the group meets monthly, fortnightly, weekly or at variable intervals.
So 'Tu2, 2.30 - V M' would mean a group meeting on the 2nd Tuesday at 2.30pm Monthly but with
Variable finish times.
The main Mansfield and District U3Ameetings are on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (exceptAugust
and December) at the Oakham Suite, 155 Nottingham Road, Mansfield from 10 am - 12.30 pm.
All members are invited to contact the relevant Group Leader if they would like to participate in any
interest group or attend an event. NB: * indicates a waiting list.
Interest Group Meetings Meeting Places Leader/Contact
Tu 2, 10 - 12 M Stanhope Centre,
Inaugural Meeting: October 8th
Art We3, 10 - 12 M Big Barn Lane
Next Meetings: August 21st – Still Life; September 18th
Art Appreciation Mo1, 2.00 - 4.00 M Baptist Church,
Next Meeting: 2nd September – My Favourite Impressionist
Next Visit: 7th October – Visit to Nottingham Art Gallery and Museum.
(With Ashfield U3A)
6.30 - 9.00
Derby Rd College,
Next Meetings: Sept. 16th & 30th; Oct. 14th & 28th; Nov.11th & 25th; Dec. 9th
(Also Acol sessions at the Mechanics Institute – Th, 10 - 12.30 W)
Bowls Th, 1.30 - 3.30 W Mansfield Bowls
Next Meetings: Aug. 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th; Sept. 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th. (End of season.)
Caravan & M'home
Various TBA Terry Lammas
Next Meetings: 1st & 2nd Nov. – at Swinethorpe, nr. Lincoln, with hog roast, entertainment and
firework display; 1st to 29th June 2014 – France
Chat and Stitch Mo3, 2.00 - 4.00 M St John's Centre,
Next Meetings: No meeting in August; 16th September
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Interest Group Meetings Meeting Place Leader/Contact
Current Affairs Tu2, 2.00 - 4.00 M St John's Centre,
Next Meetings: No meeting inAugust; September 10th
Digital World Fri 2 & 4, 2.00 - 4.00
Stanton Hill Baptist
Church, Albert St,
Next Meetings: No meeting inAugust; September 13th – Back to Basics & 27th – Treasure Hunt
Summer Theme: TheAlphabet in Pictures
Family History Tu4, 10.00 - 12.00 M St John's Centre,
Next Meetings: TBA
Film Studies * We1, 1.30 - V M Joy's home Joy Crowe
Next Meetings: 7th August; 4th September
Garden Visits During the Summer Various Janet Whitlam
Next Visits: TBA
Gardening Tu1, 10.00 - 12.00 M St Peter's Centre,
Next Meetings: 3rd Sept. – Cooking with edible plants & flowers; 1st Oct. – Native Trees of Britain
with Phil Holmes
Heartstart Th3, 1.00 - 3.00 William Kaye Hall,
Next Meetings: 22nd Aug.*; 19th Sept. (10.00 - 12.00); 17th Oct. (1.00 - 3.00)
(Home & Abroad)
Various TBA Margaret Burlinson
Next holidays: 4th, 5th & 6th December – Thursford Christmas Spectacular; Monday 27th to
Friday 31st January 2014 – Warner's Thoresby Hall (Contact Terry Whitehead on 01623 626991)
Local History Fri1, 10.00 - 12.00 M Bridge Street
Bob & Sue Longden
Next Meetings: No meeting in August. Sept. 6th – Clipstone Camp with John Danbury
Luncheon Club Th after 3rd Tu,
12.00 - 2.00 M
Various David Ling
Next Meetings: No meeting in August. September 19th – Bestwood Lodge,Arnold
Movement to Music
TBA TBA Linda Leivers
Inaugural Meeting: TBA
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Interest Group Meetings Meeting Place Leader/Contact
Classical Music 2 Mo4, 2.00 - 4.00 M Members' homes Peter Hart
Next Meetings: No meeting in Aug. 23rd September – Scandinavian composers with Peter Hart
(With Southwell U3A)
Various Royal Concert Hall,
Next Meeting: TBA
Music 2 * Mo4, 2.00 - 4.30 M Members' homes Eric Prescott
Next Meeting: TBA
Tu4, 2.00 - 4.00 M St John's School,
Next Meetings: TBA (Subs are due. PH)
Pudding Club * Tu1, 4.00 - 6.00 M Members' homes Sylvia Slack
Next Meetings: Aug. 6th at Janet's. No meeting in September.
Reading 1 * Th3, 2.00 - 4.00 M Peter Dawson's home Peter Dawson
Next Meetings: 15th August; 19th September
Reading 2 Tu3, 2.00 - 4.00 M Ravenshead Library Joan Hufton
Next Meetings: 20th August; 17th September
Science & Technical Tu1, 1.30 - 3.30 M Stanton Hill Baptist
Church, Albert St,
Next Meetings: No meeting in August. 3rd Sept. – Steel with Bob Longden; 1st Oct. – DNA with
Scrabble * Mo2, 2.00 - 4 .00 M Brenda Thurkettle's
Next Meetings: TBA
Singing for Fun Th V West Notts College,
Derby Rd. Mansfield
Next Meetings: Sept. 5th & 19th; Oct. 3rd & 17th
Tai Chi Mo, 9.30 - 10.30 W St John's Centre,
Next Meetings: Sept. 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th; Oct. 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th
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Interest Group Meetings Meeting Place Leader/Contact
Theatre Visits Various Various Sheila Whalley
Next Meetings: Wed. 21st Aug. – Ghost The Musical; Wed. 18th Sept. – Fiddler on the Roof; Sat.
12th Oct. – Our House; Wed. 16th Oct. – To Sir With Love (Matinees at the RCH, Nottingham)
(all-day, 6 - 8 miles)
Th1 & Mo3, 9.30 - V
Tesco car park, off
Oak Tree Lane
Next Meetings: Mon. 19thAug. – Southwell and the River Trent; Thurs. 22nd Aug, Lunch Walk –
Hardwick Inn; Thurs. 5th Sept. – Ashford-in-the Water; Mon. 16th Sept. – Tithby / Cropwell Bishop
(short & gentle)
V Lunchtimes Various Sylvia Slack
Next Meeting: TBA
(a leisurely 2 miles)
We2, 10.30 - V M Various Barbara Massey /
01623 628357 /
Next Meetings: 14thAug. – Teversal Trail; 11th Sept. – Oak Tree Heath; 9th Oct . – The Lawns,
(an easy 4 - 5 miles)
We4, 10.30 – V M Various Joy & Nick Crowe
Next Meetings: 28th Aug. – Thoresby; 25th Sept. – Calverton
We3, 7.30 - V M Members' homes Mike Allen
Next Meetings: Aug. 21st – Chardonnay with RB; Sept.18th – Whites with John & Margaret
Tu4, 7.30 - V M Members' homes Graham Allin
Next Meetings: Aug. 27th – Lesser-known Rhone with Barrie & Lynne; Sept. 24th – Wide price
range White with Ron
Writing for Pleasure * Mo2, 2.00 - 4.00 M The Stanhope Centre
Sue Ford / Hilary
844286 / 620067
Next Meetings: 12th Aug.; 9th Sept.
SALE OF BOOKS in July raised £47.20.
As you are reading this online you will know there is no book stall until September. Save your
holiday reading and bring it to the stall as soon as possible. The reduction in annual subs
announced last month was in part made possible because YOU purchased books. If you bought
twice as many we could get another discount next year (probably).
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Holiday in Tenby, cont. from Page 4
Only a twenty-minute boat ride away was
peaceful Caldey Island, where there was a
Cistercian monastery. Here people had the
chance to attend a short service and listen to
the monks' chanting and, by contrast, to visit
It rained for our visit to St. Davids, the
smallest city in Britain – only village-size with
1800 inhabitants, but, as we stepped through
the ancient gate-house, we were not disappointed: there was the cathedral tucked away into a
hollow, blending into the landscape. Inside, some of the pillars leaned outwards – the legacy of a
thirteenth-century earthquake. As we toiled up the steps (all 39 of them) back to the coach, we may
have given a thought to all those pilgrims of old treading the same path.
Another highlight, reached by many winding lanes through the Pembrokeshire National Park, was
the wood-worker's shop, where we heard the history of the Welsh love-spoons his family made and
saw some remarkable examples.
There was plenty to do: walking, sight-seeing, evening choral concerts, even a ghost walk and, as
usual, U3A members made the most of it and of the excellent food at the hotel. What a pity we
could not bring the chef back home!
Thank you Margaret for another very enjoyable holiday. We do appreciate all your efforts on our
Marjorie Smith More pictures here ...
Groups News (Check the Interest Group web pages for updates)
Strollers on the Pleasley Pit trail
ON A DRY, but cool day on 10th July, I drove to the little car park near the old Pleasley Pit at 9.45
am to wait for the other members of Strollers. By 9.55 no-one had appeared. I felt sure our walks
always started at 10.00 am so got a bit
worried, I may have got the date wrong.
Anyway, I saw a car or two drive past and up
a small hill, so I followed and blow me down,
there was one of our group near the entrance
to the pit building.
Seems I’d got the time wrong – we don’t
assemble until 10.30 and should have met at
the top car park, not the bottom one.
Soon the others started to arrive and 18 of us
set off for our leisurely stroll around the
Pleasley Pit Trail which is now a country park
and wildlife reserve.
What a lovely place to be in July. We saw lots
of bird life, fields glowing red with poppies and
some mixed with bright yellow rapeseed.
From a distance this was a fantastic sight to
behold. At the entrance to the walk there is a
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large board with a map showing the different routes to be taken around the park. Our leaders,
Marion and Barbara, took us round a rather short walk, so we didn’t have hills to climb or stiles to
struggle over. Everyone chatted happily and marvelled at the fauna and flora along the way.
We ended our walk at the small café near where we had parked our cars. The smell of sausages
and bacon filled our nostrils, but most of us opted for coffee, tea, toast or scones. A leisurely chat
followed, surrounded by a large selection of historic photographs of the old pit and its workers which
represented the life-force of the Pleasley area many years ago, before closure in the 80’s.
The pit is currently being renovated into a mining heritage site. There is a museum, but we didn’t
visit it on this occasion, but one day I would like to go back and see more. The wonderful thing
about Strollers and the other walking groups in the U3A is that we get to see places in our
local area that we perhaps did not know existed. You have to go along and see these gems
whilst getting to know like-minded congenial souls who eventually become your friends.
Linda Spray More pictures here ...
ATTENDANCE on 18th July at The Lion at
Farnsfield was hit by a combination of
hospital appointments and grandparently
duties but thanks are due to John and Karen
Troop for arranging an attractive menu we all
enjoyed so much that several doggy bags
We'll explore new ground on 19th
September, after the holiday break, when
Pauline and Ian Boucher are taking us to
Bestwood Lodge Hotel, a Victorian
Hunting Lodge just north of Nottingham,
where our 2- and 3-course menus are priced
at £10 & £15. We'll be dining in their elegant
Parkside Restaurant overlooking the
Bookings are open now, and please make a
diary note that our annual Christmas fine-
dining lunch at Launay's in Edwinstowe will
be on 12th December. There'll be a choice of 2, 3 or 4 courses of French family cuisine, including
oysters for the adventurous, priced from £15.95 for 2. Please book with a £10 deposit at the
September meeting (cheques only please, payable to Mansfield and District U3A.)
David Ling More pictures here; menus on the website ...
OUR EXPLORATION of the alphabet in commonplace subjects produced some interesting
examples at our last meeting at Stanton Hill Baptist Church before the holidays and we'll revisit the
subject on 13th September. We'll also have another back-to-basics session then to help less-
experienced members with the camera settings and menus that may seem daunting until they're
explained. Everyone welcome!
Then we're hoping to hold another treasure hunt on 27th September, weather permitting, when
members will be tasked to find and photograph a list of subjects that we'll discuss on 11th October.
(Details next month.)
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Reflections from the Committee Table
ON BEING THE MINUTES SECRETARY
My name is Jennie Roberts and I have had the honour of holding the position of Minutes Secretary
on the Mansfield U3A Committee since September 2013.
My role involves recording the matters discussed, and the decisions reached, by the Committee at
their monthly meetings and twice yearly at the Committee and Group Leaders Meetings.
I really enjoy working with the other Committee Members who are all friendly and dedicated to
helping to make our U3A enjoyable and progressive for all of us.
My role involves using email to communicate with other Committee Members and Group Leaders
and to circulate the Minutes of the meetings. This has benefited me greatly, as I have learned to
evolve from “Computing for the Overwhelmingly Petrified” to “Computing for the Cautiously
Serving with the Committee has been a revelation into the thought and effort many of our members
willingly invest in sustaining and improving Mansfield U3A, and the pleasure that our members
derive from it.
Museum to showcase Mansfield's industrial history ...
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New Interest Group
Antiques & Collectables
THIS NEW GROUP will have its first meeting on Tuesday the 8th of October, at the Stanhope
Centre on Bridge Street, Mansfield. There is free parking at this venue and a lift.
The Group Leader will be Pat Blackwell, who has her own interests in this subject. The hope is that
people will share their own interests and knowledge with others. The format for the following
monthly meetings will be discussed at the initial meeting. The subjects and objects need not be of
great value and can range from medieval to mid-sixties, junk to jewellery, clogs to cloisonné,
European to Oriental.
So root in the attic and find granny's teapots, tapestries and tat. And be prepared to do a little
research and share your finds with friends. The group may also plan visits to places of interest and
auctions so come along and find a new interest.
Please contact Pat Blackwell on firstname.lastname@example.org
Diaries. Orders for 2014 diaries (£4) close at the Sept. meeting. Contact Linda Spray if you want
Ken Smith. It is with regret that we have learned of the death of Ken Smith on Monday July 8th
after a short illness. The funeral on Tuesday 23rd July at Mansfield Crematorium was followed by a
reception at the Mansfield Manor Hotel.
Mansfield U3A 14th AGM: Tuesday September 17th. 2013.
MEMBERS are reminded that motions for the AGM must be proposed & seconded by the 20th
August. Please contact the Chairman or send the information to the Secretary via the website
Contact form if you want a motion to be discussed.
Dates for your diary (Check the website for more information and updates.).
Tues. 20th Aug: SUMMER PICNIC at Queen Elizabeth's Academy. 12.00 to 3pm, with garden
games. FOC, but bring food to share and your own drinks. Details from Jean Hinds (414393)
Sat. 12th Oct: FLEADRIVE. Cancelled due to lack of support.
Event and Visit Payments
MEMBERS are reminded that deposits and payments for events and visits organised by Mansfield
U3A and its interest groups are non-refundable, but places so reserved may be offered to others.
Changes of address, etc.
PLEASE contact the membership secretary, Avril McGee (01623 452688), if you've changed your
address, phone number or email since joining Mansfield U3A so that she can update our records.
THE VIEWS expressed here are those of the contributors, only, and do not necessarily reflect those
of the editor, the committee of Mansfield U3A or the Third Age Trust. Nor can any responsibility be
accepted for members' announcements or any errors that may occur.
PLEASE SEND contributions for the September issue to email@example.com, or in typescript to
the editor, as soon as you can and by 1st September at the latest. Thanks!
Editor: David Ling (01623 822994)
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