Spire University of the Third Age  

Message From Our New Chairman
As one of the founder members of Spire U3A I feel particularly honoured to be elected your new chairman.

Looking back on the formative days of our U3A in 1998 when some eight of us regularly met in my home to set it up, it is encouraging to see the progress made since then. Sylvia Parrett, our first chairman, led us through the first three years when all the groundwork was done in establishing Spire as a viable organisation alongside the other Salisbury U3As, Salisbury and Sarum. Mervyn Scamell has carried on the good work during the last two years. Both deserve our thanks for the time and devotion they have given to our development.

It now falls to me to meet the challenges ahead - and there are challenges that we have to face. On the financial front we have to bear increased costs - higher capitation fees, increased hall rental, and greater postal charges. Yet our subscription has not been raised since we were formed and is by far the lowest of the three Salisbury U3A's. Clearly, we shall have to increase our subscription to meet the increasing costs and maybe your committee should examine the option successfully introduced by Sarum U3A of an annual fee that includes the monthly meeting charges so as to reduce the amount of money handling necessary at each meeting.

Ideas also need to be introduced to encourage the greater involvement of

members in the running of Spire. In the past there has been too great a
dependence upon the few stalwarts who keep the organisation in being - we
all need to play a part. Perhaps we should remind ourselves that we are not a university in the sense of providing qualified staff to run courses and activities but a self-help organisation sharing each other's knowledge and experience. Thus the scope and breadth of activities are essentially dictated by the input of our members. Above all we need your ideas about our future development. What would you like us to do and, perhaps of equal importance, what are you prepared to do to help.

Do please contact myself or any other member of your Committee about ideas we can consider and to discuss any help that you can provide

With your help and support I will do all I can to ensure that Spire's future progress is one of increasing scope and vitality.
Thank you

Anne Gould


Creative Photography Group
        Friday April 18th was a lovely warm afternoon, so were able to sit outside for tea and hot cross buns and meet every one in this new group. We hope this bodes well for our future meetings, most of which we like to take on 'location'! To start with we plan fortnightly meetings to get into the habit of taking plenty of pictures.
The three Digital Imaging groups are also busy beavering over their PCs trying to forget the fine weather. For them the garden has to wait!
         Sheila and Peter

The Garden Visit Group

The April meeting on Wednesday 30th was arranged for a visit to Exbury, near Beaulieu, in the New Forest. It was a perfect day and the Azaleas were a blaze of colours in the sunshine.
The group was formed, not only to choose a years venues, but also to share transport. There appeared to be only seven participants this time, unless we missed some! On our return to Salisbury we could see that it had rained so perhaps that had put some off. A pity as it was such a lovely day.
The next meeting is at Abbey Gardens, Malmesbury on Wednesday, May 21st (11am at the Abbey Entrance).
This is followed by a visit to Hestercombe, near Taunton on Wednesday June 18th (again at 11am but at the NT Tea Room).

Historic House Visit

We met at Hamptworth Lodge on April 9th and were shown round this wonderful house by the owners. The furniture was Jacobean and lovingly cared for, as were all the contents. The family used the rooms we were shown round so it felt very homely. This was a real treasure and on our 'doorstep' at Landford. We recommend you try visiting it in April 2004.

Welcome to the new members who have joined recently.

Catherine Frankfort
William Chick
Sylvia Gault
Jack and Margaret Shore
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