Spire University of the Third Age
ISSUE No. 32        www.salisburyu3a.org.uk
January 2004


Now that we have all, hopefully, recovered from the season's festivities may I wish you all a happy and healthy 2004. I'm sure that we all wish it to be a more peaceful year than last.
Our Christmas Party was a great success with everyone enjoying the food, drink and entertainment and, more importantly, each other's company. It was most encouraging to see how everyone played a part in making it an enjoyable occasion.
I have been told that some members feel that I have made too many appeals for new executive members. I make no apology for this because without members willing to take on the tasks that need to be done no organisation can function effectively. However, I have some cheering news on this front! By dint of some hard work and extensive canvassing we have now filled all the vacancies except for that of a new Secretary. So if anyone will come forward to fill this vital, but not too demanding function, Jim will be delighted, after his sterling three-year stint. Spire is going from strength to strength, and you could be the one to complete our team - just give me a ring on Salisbury 339868.
Our thanks are due to Pat for the great variety of speakers she has obtained for us during the last year and for the excellent programme that she has prepared for us for 2004 prior to handing over to a successor as Speakers Secretary.
We are departing from our usual format for our April 5th AGM meeting to enable group leaders to let us know a little about what their particular groups are doing. So often the hard work of these members, who are the mainstay of U3A activities, goes unrecognised. As well as verbally describing what their group does we hope that some of them will be able to show some visual examples. This event will give us all a fascinating glimpse into the broad canvass of our activities and let new members know a little more about what specific groups do.
Ideas and leaders for new groups are always welcome - maybe some of our new members might consider this and add to the range of topics we already cover.
Following the meeting your committee will give a small party for group leaders in appreciation of their efforts.
Anne Gould, Chairman

We had a glorious day at Hillier's Gardens on 5th November. The sun shone and the colours were spectacular. Hillier's is a particularly interesting garden with some unusual specimens, and everything is so well kept and maintained. It was a real pleasure to saunter around. There is also now a large and beautiful new tea room restaurant overlooking the gardens, with very reasonable prices. The shop too is well worth a visit.
We have a programme of visits to gardens of interest, usually one a month. A planning meeting takes place in January at which members choose the dates and venues for the coming year, bearing in mind what would be of interest at that particular season.
We are a friendly open-ended group and anyone is welcome to come along on the day. We usually meet up at the start so that people on their own can team up with other members, and we often stop for light refreshments and a chat. Lifts can be arranged and we share petrol costs.
If you would like to join or to have more information about the programme, please contact me on 01722-338-145. Margaret Hooper (Group Leader)

We now run two Photography groups; one is our original Guinea-pig group who really run it for us! On alternative Fridays we have two Digital Imaging Groups, a number of members of which are from Sarum U3A. In the spring we possibly will be starting a new group as a small waiting list is developing. If Christmas has brought you a new Digital Camera and you want to print your own images or have a computer and want to print any of your photographs you have in stock, do contact us and we can add your name to the list. It's only about 324 days to Christmas and you could print your own cards!
Hopefully there will be an on-line U3A inter-active course by the autumn, available for all U3A's in the UK and Australia. How do we know? Well we are writing it and we have been given till June. That is why we use the word.


Sheila and Peter Read

An Associated Press despatch carried in The Gazette, Montreal, on 23 December was noticed by Alan D Gray and Marc Picard:
"A Quebec man was awarded a Carnegie Medal for bravery yesterday for saving two friends by fighting off a polar bear that was mauling them with a pocket knife two years ago on Baffin Island".
It's rough when they come armed as well as dangerous.

All that glisters…
…. may not turn out to be gold. Nor, when you are digging up old history, may it come up smelling of roses, but everything will prove extremely interesting . Last Spring I was being driven around the fields in Fovant where, in 1914-1919 vast military camps had been built. I was particularly investigating the Army Hospital that had been here but I was not allowed on Hospital Field because of the newly sown crop. In the farthest corner a concrete and brick structure was pointed out to me. "It kept breaking the plough shares," I was told " but when we tried to break it up with sledge hammers we couldn't. So we dug it out and rolled it to the side of the field out of the way. It has been there ever since. When the harvest is done I'll take you in to see it".
Never has a growing crop been watched so eagerly. I took binoculars and gazed at the mystery object. Finally, the seasons did roll round and the harvest happened. At last I could get to see 'It'! Photos, measurements, speculation, advice from all sorts of experts including Wessex Archaeology. So, what if it did turn out to be an example of early 20
century drain inspection chamber! It is a prime example of a drain inspection chamber. The fact that all the camps would have had several and there were dozens of camps in Fovant in the Great War and there must be ever so many still buried under the fields not interfering with the ploughshares. This one is on top of the ground to be seen by all, and it is in our Hospital Field.
I do love historical research whatever the outcome
Local History Group M. A. McKenzie

It is now the law that all National Health Service Trusts must consult the public. This process is called Public and Patient Involvement (PPI). Through your chairman and myself, who are members of the Salisbury Health Care Trust's PPI Steering Group, the Trust has invited Salisbury U3As to participate.
As I am also involved in many other hospital public/patient activities I have offered to lead a Salisbury combined U3A Health Care Research Group. Since announcing this at the last meeting the response from Spire U3A members has been most encouraging and I am now waiting to hear from the other Salisbury U3As before arranging our first meeting. This will probably be in February after an event being staged on the subject at Salisbury Hospital, to which our new group members have been invited.
The objects of the group will be to ( 1 ) act as a medium for the collection of patient's views and problems to be drawn to the attention of the Health Authority and ( 2 ) to obtain information about local health care developments to be passed on to U3A members. It should give us an opportunity to make our voices heard!
Eric Gould

Catherine Carey Dorrit Grater Maureen Hinton
Jennifer and Norman Bake and Nichola Plaisant

We are holding another special coffee morning this January for new members when they can here all about Spire U3A, your invitation will be out now. Please do ask any committee member any questions you may have --- you do not have to be a new member!

Articles for issue 33 please, by February 28th 2004
Sheila Read
E-mail: s.read.frps@ntlworld.com