Mansfield and District U3A's monthly newsletter shows what members have been doing recently and what's planned. This edition includes reports on Mansfield U3A's choir concerts and the lunch club's Christmas lunch.
Mansfield and District U3A
Christmas Lunch: Page 3
HMRC Charity Registration No.: XT30525
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Welcome from your chairman
A very Happy New Year 2014 to you all. The 15th Anniversary Year of Mansfield U3A, with the
'Crystal Themed Ball' scheduled for Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at the John Fretwell Centre – if you
have not already put your name down, tickets will be on sale at the January meeting at a cost of
£20 each. We are also being addressed at the May meeting by Barbara Lewis, the National
Chairman of the University of the Third Age and very much hope she will be able to join us at the
Ball. It promises to be a highly popular evening! Final details will be announced later in the year.
In addition it is hoped to hold a 'Party in the Park' in the summer and our president, Rita Turner, will
attend a meeting on 28 March 2014 for plans to be put in place along the lines of the three previous
So, we have a lot to look forward to during this year and hope our new intake of members in
September 2013 will be able to take advantage of the extra social events and, as usual, our Quiz
Night on Saturday, 22 February 2014 – it is not too late to buy your tickets and this proves to be a
very entertaining and 'brain-taxing' evening!
It always amazes me the small things we see every day and take for granted in not knowing the
answer to simple questions!
Today we have our annual 'Members’ Day', which always proves to be a fun-packed hour – with
much diversity and talent demonstrated by our members. Marilyn Dibble has worked hard to put the
programme together and has had a good response this year. Sit back and enjoy!
A quote I read recently stated: “With age comes experience and a knowledge of what truly makes
us happy”. How true that is. No-one can make us feel bad about our choices in life, because we
have “been there and got the T-Shirt”. I’ve been told we can also develop a sense of 'selective
hearing' if we wish Slowly, age seems to creep up on us all – was it really 13/14 years ago when
we were all anxiously awaiting the Millennium in case the computers crashed! (They didn’t.)
Well, 'Strictly' and 'Downton' are over until the autumn and not even sight of baby George – how
disappointing is that? The Christmas cards and decorations are down and presents put away – I’m
determined to get a sparkly Christmas jumper next year, like the one Colin Firth wore! How are the
diets and exercise going too – are all the New Year resolutions broken by now?
So, no more ado – enjoy the poetry-themed Members’ Day and have a successful, healthy and
In this issue
Page 5 - 8
Quiz Night. Book Table. Holiday Updates. Recent Events (Christmas
Lunch and Christmas Concert).
Groups News (Holidays).
Interest Groups meetings diary.
Groups News (Theatre Visits).
Groups News (Digital World, Art and Luncheon Club).
Groups News (Singing for Fun. Old Computers may put you at risk. In
case you missed it. (Start).
In case you missed it. (End).
Dates for your diary and Notices.
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Annual Fun Quiz Night
Saturday 22nd February 2014, 6.30 at Queen Elizabeth’s Academy.
Come along to our annual fun quiz night and you may win a cash prize! Organise yourself a team,
(maximum 8 players per team) or just come along and join a team on the night.
Cost £7.00 to include buffet supper, but bring your own drinks and glasses. A few tickets will still be
available at the January meeting.
Pauline Boucher – 01623 644798, firstname.lastname@example.org
SALE of books in November raised £44.00 exactly. Thanks to all helpers and customers.
Remember, any unwanted Christmas presents can be recycled to help keep your subs low!
LAKESIDE HOLIDAY VILLAGE, Hayling Island (23rd - 27th June.)
Balances due in March - amounts as follows:
Basic price £273. Singles with upgrade £293pp Twins & Doubles with upgrade £283pp. (Cheques
to Mansfield & District U3A.)
THE ALGARVE, PORTUGAL (18th - 25th Sept.) H. board.
Cost including 4 excursions with lunch and driver's gratuity: £819 (£90 single supplement)
Balance, to be announced later, must be paid no later than the May meeting.
THURSFORD CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR (December 3rd, 4th & 5th ) – see page 4.
Details on the website ...
Recent Events (Longer reports with photos in the December on-line edition)
NORMA Shillinglaw and all the Oakham Suite staff well-deserved the thanks and applause they
received after lunch on 2nd December. The main hall was packed with members, old and new, who
quickly got into the Christmas spirit, beers, wines or whatever took their fancy before highly professional service of a well-chosen festive menu. Presentation and service were first class.
Singing for Fun
THE MANSFIELD U3A Singing for Fun Choir, together with Ladies' choir, Bellisima, entertained a
large audience at St Lawrence’s Church on Sunday December 8th. In turn, each choir sang carols
and Christmas songs under the direction of Suzy Fell, who also sang a solo and a duet with her
friend Grace. John Sellers accompanied the choirs on piano and played a glittering solo himself.
Our U3A choir, has developed really well since it started – practice has led to greater confidence
and to a cleaner and tighter sound. More difficult music was performed and the choir compared well
with the more experienced Bellisima whose complex harmonies were a joy. It was noticeable that
the men sang with greater vigour and tone, although it would help if there were more of them!
Our best wishes go to Suzy who will now go on ‘leave of absence’ awaiting her new child. Ann Irons
(of Cantamus) has stepped in and both choirs will rehearse together for the time being.
Another concert and another success for the choir.
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I HAVE have been persuaded by members who haven't yet been, to organise a visit to the
Thursford Spectacular this year – 2014 – instead of waiting two years. If you have read or heard
about the views of those who went to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular at the beginning of
December in 2013 you will undoubtedly understand the reason for this request. (See Sue Howlett's
report below and another, by Linda Leivers, in the December on-line edition.)
The only problem is that the company I work with need to know ASAP how many tickets we will
need. The application has to be in by the 6th of January & it has to be accompanied by a £1 registration fee. 'Just for Groups' has kindly put this in for us for the time being and will be ordering 46
tickets at £170. Hannah, my contact, found that most hotels in Norfolk have been booked up
already but managed to find one in Great Yarmouth. The price above includes coach, excursions,
two nights B&B, theatre tickets and the driver's gratuity. Very good value for money!
If you are interested in joining us from 3rd to 5th December, please come and put your names down
at the January meeting and bring your £1 registration fee to secure your place. Deposits of £10 can
also be paid then but certainly no later than the February meeting. Balances by September. As
usual there will be an optional £10 insurance so you will need to ask me for a form at the same time
as you pay your deposits. Cash is acceptable but cheques to be paid to Mansfield & District U3A.
2013 Thursford Christmas Spectacular
Amazing, spectacular, magnificent, dazzling, colourful, nostalgic, lively, exhilarating and
emotional, what a SHOW! Why had I waited so long to see it?
Over 130 singers, dancers and musicians combined to give a seamless production to make one
of the most enjoyable and unforgettable evenings that I have ever experienced. The spirit of
Christmas surrounded us and set the scene for the happy family times to come. My heart was
glowing with happiness as the evening evolved and I was almost overcome with joy and love.
The displays decorating the steam engines, tractors, mechanical organs and carousels in
Fantasy Land were magical and so well presented. Everything was pristine and in perfect order.
We felt like children again as we gazed in wonder at the exhibits.
The shops took us back in time to the Dickensian period. Once again we were transported to
bygone times and the real meaning of Christmas. Margaret has arranged similar trips before
and many people were returnees; a sign of the quality of the experience. It was a first for me
and one that I will treasure forever. The next day, the day of the big storm, we visited the city of
Norwich where people found the Cathedral, the famous Mustard Shop and other shops and
places of interest. It was cold and windy but we were fortunate to avoid any wet weather.
In the afternoon we went to the Fakenham Parish Church Christmas Tree Festival where 77
Christmas Trees were decorated to raise funds for charities. The church looked absolutely fantastic. The day ended with a visit to Holt where we visited the ‘Tardis’-like departmental store
called Bakers and Larners to stock up on specialised seasonal foods and gifts,
On the last day our final stop on the way home was Stamford, a beautiful small town bursting
with so many independent shops all decorated with seasonal products. A fitting end to our short
break. We certainly returned to Mansfield more prepared for our individual celebrations. Thank
you Margaret for making this magical experience possible and thanks to everyone on the trip for
making it such a special occasion.
Groups News continues on page 8 ...
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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 U3A meetings are on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (except August
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.
Antiques & Collectables
Tu 2, 10 - 12 M
Next Meetings: Jan 14th – Treen (small wooden items); Feb11th – TBA
We3, 10 - 12 M
Big Barn Lane
Next Meetings: Jan 21st; Feb 19th
Mo1, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Next Meeting: February 3rd; March 3rd; April 7th
(With Ashfield U3A)
6.30 - 9.00
Derby Rd College,
Next Meetings: Jan 20th; Feb 3rd; Feb 17th; March 3rd
(Also Acol sessions at the Mechanics Institute – Th, 10 - 12.30 W)
Tu, 2.30 - 4.00 W
Next Meetings: Weekly on Tuesdays at stated time until March 15th
Caravan & M'home
Next Meetings: June 1st to 29th – France. (See web page for more details).
Chat and Stitch
Mo3, 2.00 - 4.00 M
St John's Centre,
Next Meeting: Jan 20th; Feb 17th
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Tu2, 2.00 - 4.00 M
St John's Centre,
Stanton Hill Baptist
Next Meetings: Jan 14th; Feb 11th; March 11th
Fri 2 & 4, 2.00 - 4.00
Next Meetings: January 24th; February 14th & 28th; March 14th & 28th
Tu4, 10.00 - 12.00 M
St John's Centre,
We1, 1.30 - V M
Next Meetings: Jan 28th
Film Studies *
Next Meetings: March 5th; April 2nd
During the Summer
Next Visits: February 24th – Hodsock Priory – Coach / private tour / snack for £26. Book early;
June 12th – Harlow Carr
Tu1, 10.00 - 12.00 M
St Peter's Centre,
Next Meetings: March 4th – The Scented Garden, with Janette Merilion; April 1st – A Vision of
Roses with Stuart Dixon
M3, 1.00 - 3.00
William Kaye Hall,
Next Meetings: January 27th; February 24th; March 24th
(Home & Abroad)
Next holidays: Mon. 27th to Fri. 31st Jan. – Warner's Thoresby Hall (Contact Terry Whitehead on
01623 626991); June – Warner's, Hayling Island – fully booked; Sept 18th to 25th – Portugal
Fri1, 10.00 - 12.00 M
Bridge Street Methodist Church
Bob & Sue Longden
Next Meetings: Feb 7th – Archaeology of Sherwood F'st, with Andy Gaunt; March 7th – Soft Drinks
Th after 3rd Tu,
12.00 - 2.00 M
Next Meetings: Jan. 23rd – 281, Nottingham Road Mansfield; Feb 20th – The Maypole at Wellow
Movement to Music W, 10.30 - 11.30 W
St Peter's Church Hall Linda Leivers
Next Meetings: Jan 15th, 22nd & 29th; Feb. 5th, 12th; 19th & 26th.
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Classical Music 2
Mo4, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Next Meetings: Jan 27th – Vaughan-Williams with Peter Crabbe; Feb 24th – Sonatas with Sheila
Music 2 *
Mo4, 2.00 - 4.30 M
St John's School,
Tu1, 4.00 - 6.00 M
Th3, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Peter Dawson's home Peter Dawson
Next Meeting: Jan 27th; Feb 24th
Tu4, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Next Meetings: Jan 28th; Feb 25th
Pudding Club *
Next Meetings: TBA
Next Meetings: Jan 23rd; Feb 20th
Tu3, 2.00 - 4.00 M
Stanton Hill Baptist
Next Meetings: Jan 21st; Feb 18th
Science & Technical
Tu1, 1.30 - 3.30 M
Next Meetings: Feb.4th – Bees, with Barry Jackson; March 4th– Weights & Measures with Graham
Mo2, 2.00 - 4 .00 M
Next Meetings: TBA
Singing for Fun
Thur2 & 4, 6.30 – 8.30 Methodist Church,
Next Meeting: Jan 9th – fortnightly from then on. Bring ideas and music you'd like to sing. The
church is just up from QE Academy on the other side of the road. Plenty of parking on side road.
Mo, 9.30 - 10.30 W
St John's Centre,
Next Meetings: Weekly from Monday Jan 6th
Next Meetings: Wed Feb 12th – Singing in The Rain (Theatre Royal) matinee; Wed 5th March –
Brassed Off; Thurs 6th March – Richard & Adam
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(all-day, 6 - 8 miles)
Th1 & Mo3, 9.30 - V
Tesco car park, off
Oak Tree Lane
Next Meetings: Jan 20th – Ticknall & Carvers Rock; Feb 6th – Kelham Hills ; Feb 17th – Blythe &
Hodsock; March 6th – High Peak Junction
(short & gentle)
Next Meeting: Friday Feb 14th (12.30 pm) – Valentine Shuffle at Fillets Fish Restaurant, Fulmar
Close, Forest Town. (Opposite ASDA)
(a leisurely 2 miles)
We2, 10.30 - V M
Barbara Massey /
01623 628357 /
Next Meetings: Feb 12th – Burnt Stump Park; March12th – Brierley Park Huthwaite
(an easy 4 - 5 miles)
We4, 10.30 – V M
Joy & Nick Crowe
Next Meetings: Jan 22nd – Strawberry Hill Woods and Rainworth; Feb 26th – Thieves Wood
Wine Appreciation 2* We3, 7.30 - V M
Next Meetings: Jan 15th – South African Reds with Bob & Sue; Feb 19th – Spanish Whites (Mike's)
Tu4, 7.30 - V M
Next Meetings: Jan 21st – Entre-Deux-Mers with Ian & Pauline; Feb 25th – Italian Reds with
Graham & Eileen
Writing for Pleasure * Mo2, 2.00 - 4.00 M
The Stanhope Centre
Sue Ford / Hilary
844286 / 620067
Next Meetings: Jan 13th ; Feb 10th
STAMFORD Shakespeare Theatre has just sent out its 2014 brochure. I reckon we should go to
The Taming Of The Shrew, that wonderful comedy.
The best time would be in the second week of July (before schools break up), rather than
August. So at the January meeting, I will be taking names of those who want to go on
Monday 14th July or Tuesday 15th July.
Tickets will be £12, the Community Bus will be about £12 (tbc). We’ll leave the Odeon car park at
about 5pm and return at about 11pm. (Bring your own own food for a picnic on the lawns.)
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WE WELCOMED several new members to our first meeting of the year, on 10th January, including
one who has a new camera she didn't know how to use before we helped her and a very expert
one who may be able to help us develop our editing, so you'll be in good company if you'd like to
join us, however knowledgeable and skilful you may be!
Please bring your U3A membership card if you are joining us from a neighbouring U3A so that I can
check that you're covered by our insurance and also your chequebook as we're following other
interest groups by introducing a quarterly subscription of £12, covering six sessions, to simplify
registration and payment of room fees.
And don't forget your camera, with a charged battery, and any photos you'd like members to discuss
– on an SD card, memory stick or DVD as convenient.
It doesn't matter if you just use a simple point-and-shoot or a complex DSLR, we'll try to help. So
please come along to Stanton Hill Baptist Church on a 2nd or 4th Friday at 2.00.
David Ling (01623 822994)
OUR MEETING on 18th December was fairly well attended by 11 eager arty members, presided
over by Michael Morton who gave a brief demo of a landscape he'd drawn out ready to paint.
We continued the theme of landscapes and at the coffee break, out came the mince pies, chocolate
brownies and iced fancies. A very pleasant session indeed. We are all at different levels of
expertise, but the joy of creating an artwork of some kind is the key factor in our group.
Our next meeting will be on 21st January (10.00 -12.00) so come along to Big Barn Lane Methodist
Church and give it a go as we have a few places available.
LUNCHEON Club members brought their 2013 season
to a close in traditional French manner at Launay's in
Edwinstowe, where Alain Launay and his expert kitchen
team reinforced their reputation as one of the best for
Five courses of French classics were on offer to cater
equally for the indulgent for whom the Christmas season
cannot begin without oysters and those who preferred a
lighter lunch of simpler fare cooked beautifully and
served immaculately by Alison and her front of house
(One couple relaxed so much that they got half way
home before they saved their blushes, and everyone
else's, by returning to settle their bill!)
Our New Year lunch will see a return to 281 on
Nottingham Rd, where Brian and Barbara Harvey are
sure to repeat their success of 2013. Bookings are still
open for an attractive menu priced at £10.95 for 2 courses and £14.95 for 3, including coffee.
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But only 8 places remained at the time of writing so run to the Lunch Club table before they all go.
Then we'll be exploring new ground in February at the new Maypole in Wellow where new local
owners have transformed the old and run-down Durham Ox into a very stylish bar/restaurant
offering quality home-cooked food.
Our special menu will offer 2 courses from £9.95 and 3 from.£14.95; details are on Lunch Club
table and the website.
Singing for Fun
AS OUR granddaughter Suzy is expecting a baby in February, she will be taking 3 months
off from being our Choir Mistress. Our members want to continue with rehearsals & we are
very fortunate that Ann Irons has offered to take over until Suzy is back with us.
They have known each other since Suzy joined Cantamus when she was 9 years old. You
will probably know that Ann has taken over the post Pamela Cook left vacant & is now
Director of Cantamus. She is a lovely lady & don't worry, she knows our limitations & is
aware that it is "Singing for Fun!".
The first rehearsal of 2014 was on Thursday January 9th at 6.30pm for 2 hours; John Sellars
played for us, as usual, & for a time Bellissima members will be joining us (bring your music
if you wish).
The venue is now the Chesterfield Rd South Methodist Chapel, on the corner of Brownlow
Rd; we are allowed to park all along Brownlow Rd.
Here's to lots of happy singing in the New Year.
Old computers may put you at risk
I'VE JUST replaced two home computers that have served us well for many years because I don't
want to run the risk of being compromised by hackers via their outdated Microsoft XP operating
systems when security updates cease in April so this may be a good time for you to consider yours.
The cost of the new laptop, including the latest Windows 8.1 operating system and professional
transfer of everything from the old one was just over £300, which didn't seem much to pay for peace
of mind, especially as it lets me keep saving over £500 a year through cheap on-line purchases –
and allows access TV catch-up services.
In case you missed it …
An item from the December on-line edition.
I REMEMBER THE CHEESE OF MY CHILDHOOD
And the bread that we cut with a knife,
When the children helped with the housework,
And the men went to work not the wife.
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The cheese never needed a fridge,
And the bread was so crusty and hot,
The children were seldom unhappy
And the wife was content with her lot.
I remember the milk from the bottle,
With the yummy cream on the top,
Our dinner came hot from the oven,
And not from the fridge in the shop.
The kids were a lot more contented,
They didn't need money for kicks,
Just a game with their mates in the road,
And sometimes the Saturday flicks.
I remember the shop on the corner,
Where a pen'orth of sweets was sold
Do you think I'm a bit too nostalgic?
Or is it . . . . I'm just getting old?
I remember the 'loo' was the lav,
And the bogy man came in the night,
It wasn't the least bit funny
Going 'out back' with no light.
The interesting items we perused,
From the newspapers cut into squares,
And hung on a peg in the loo,
It took little to keep us amused.
The clothes were boiled in the copper,
With plenty of rich foamy suds
But the ironing seemed never ending
As Mum pressed everyone's 'duds'.
I remember the slap on my backside,
And the taste of soap if I swore
Anorexia and diets weren't heard of
And we hadn't much choice what we wore.
Do you think that bruised our ego?
Or our initiative was destroyed?
We ate what was put on the table
And I think life was better enjoyed.
A member's contribution
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Sheila Townsend. It is with deep regret that we have learned that Sheila died suddenly on 7th
January. Funeral details will be on the website when we have them.
Carole Justice. We were also very sorry to have to report in the December on-line edition that
Carole passed-away on 4th December after a short illness. She served as Secretary, Minutes
Secretary and on behalf of several interest groups. Her committal was on 19th December at Mansfield Crematorium.
THE JANUARY meeting is our annual Members' Day when members entertain us in various ways.
DUE TO unforeseen circumstances, some vacancies have arisen on the committee for members
who would like to be co-opted to help run our U3A until the AGM in September. Please contact the
Chairman or Vice Chairman if you might be interested.
Dates for your diary (Check the website for more information and updates.)
Sat. 22nd Feb. 2014: FUN QUIZ NIGHT at Queen Elizabeth's Academy. 6.30 . Tickets (£7.00 inc.
refreshments but bring your own drinks and glasses) on sale at the January meeting.
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 February issue to email@example.com, or in
typescript, to the editor as soon as you can and by 1st February at the latest. Thanks!
Editor: David Ling (01623 822994)
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