Spire University of the Third Age 
March 2005

Returning from a winter break in Madeira where there were lots of flowers and shrubs in bloom, it was good to be welcomed back by our own spring flowers. However, as I write this it is obvious that we did not escape the British winter!
I am looking forward to our April meeting when we will hear about and see the work of our Groups who have been very active this past year.
It appears that combined U3A Groups are very popular and it is good that we promote this cooperation. Last week Eric and I were honoured to be invited to meet the Chief Nursing Officer from the Department of Health when she paid a visit to Salisbury District Hospital looking particularly at patient/public involvement, which was what our Health Care Research Group was set up for. She was very interested in U3A involvement and wondered whether the idea could be promoted nationally.
With the vast experience of our members we can make a big contribution in lots of ways and it is good exercise for the “grey matter” which is the whole purpose of the U3A.
To all of you I say, “Keep up the good work”. Anne Gould


Welcome to New Members
Florisa and Dennis Callaway Charles Shavren


Garden Group
The group has now organised another year of visits that are open to all Spire members, each visit will start by meeting at the ticket office. Diana More is the leader and has arranged all visits to be on the Wednesday following our U3A coffee morning (held the second Monday each month). This enables her to announce the details as a reminder to all members during the meeting.
The first visit will be on March 16
th at Hilliers, Romsey.

Photography Forays
This course will start on March 25
th at 2pm at 12 Chiselbury Grove. It will be a planning meeting for all who wish to learn about taking successful pictures Digital or Film. Future meetings will be out and about with your camera and will take place every four weeks during the summer. Please fill in your name and address at the back of the hall during the March meeting so we know how many to expect or ring 501218.
Exploring the Countryside Group Leader Pauline Wade.
It is difficult to get started because I have missed rather more walks than I care to just lately. This at least makes me realise how much it means too me to get out into the countryside in this way at regular intervals. Although one can hardly complain of air quality in Salisbury there is just something different about the feeling of open sky and space, especially towards the west of the city, that is so refreshing to the spirit.
We have gained a few more members and numbers are hovering round our limit of fifteen, though average attendance is probably more like twelve, which is an excellent mix of friends to walk with.
The Christmas lunch was at the Bull in Downton, a warm and comfortable venue after a walk in a light rain followed by an hour of bright sunshine. I regret particularly missing the walk through Grovely on Armistice Day, bright clear weather.
Thanks again to Pauline for being such a brilliant group leader.
Iris Finn December 2004

Science & Technology Group
by Roger Kent.
Open to all U3A Members in Salisbury, on the 26th April 2005.

A Visit to Roger's Farm at Odstock, where we will see how his farm affects the environment. We will travel round the farm in a trailer on the back of one of his tractors and will also be visiting the SSSI sight of Clearbury.
Go up past the Yew Tree Inn on the Nunton Road to the farm entrance (GR 145246) where we will meet at 10 AM. Ample parking is available.

We will finish at the Yew Tree Inn at NOON.
Map of Venue here


  • Nelson
  • : Order the signal, Hardy.”
  • Hardy
  • : “Aye, aye sir.”
  • Nelson
  • : “Hold on, that's not what I dictated to the signal officer. What's the meaning of this?”
  • Hardy
  • : “Sorry sir?”
  • Nelson
  • (reading aloud): “England expects every person to do his duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability”. 'What gobbledygook is this?”
  • Hardy
  • : “Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”
  • Nelson
  • : “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”
  • Hardy
  • : “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have been designated smoke-free working environments.”
  • Nelson
  • : “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle.”
  • Hardy
  • : “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It's part of the Government's policy on binge drinking.”
  • Nelson
  • : “Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it. Full speed ahead then.”
  • Hardy
  • : “I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water.”
  • Nelson
  • : “Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest please.”
  • Hardy
  • : “That won't be possible, sir.”
  • Nelson
  • : “What?”
  • Hardy
  • : “Health and safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness. And they said that rope ladder doesn't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until proper scaffolding can be erected.”
  • Nelson
  • ”Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy.”
  • Hardy
  • : “He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle Admiral.”
  • Nelson
  • “Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd.”
  • Hardy
  • “Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier free environment for the differently abled.”
  • Nelson
  • : “Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.”
  • Hardy
  • : “Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under-represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”
  • Nelson
  • : 'Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons.”
  • Hardy
  • : “A couple of problems there too; sir. Health and safety won't let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt -haven't you seen the- adverts?”
  • Nelson
  • : “I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy.
  • Hardy
  • : “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.”
  • Nelson
  • : 'What? This is mutiny.”
  • Hardy
  • : “It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There are a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”
  • Nelson
  • : “Then how are we to sink the French and the Spanish?”
  • Hardy
  • : “Actually sir, we're not.”
  • Nelson
  • : 'We're not?”
  • Hardy
  • : “No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.”
  • Nelson
  • : “But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.”
  • Hardy
  • : “I wouldn't let the ship's diversity coordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on a disciplinary.”
  • Nelson
  • : “You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King.”
  • Hardy
  • : “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules. It could save your life”
  • Nelson
  • : “Don't tell me
    - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?”
  • Hardy
  • : “As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there's a ban on corporal punishment.”
  • Nelson
  • : 'What about sodomy?”
  • Hardy
  • : “I believe that is now legal, sir.”
  • Nelson
  • : “In that case…. kiss me, Hardy”

    Languedoc, Roussillon, France.
    Renovated village house. Sleeps 2-4 plus. 3 Bedrooms, fully fitted kitchen. Garden/Terrace. Amenities in the village. Owners live nearby
    For further information please contact ken.hayes@club-iflternet.fr
    Mr C Essex on 01722 410195


    A Real U3A Bargain. We are old but able? So is my car.
    An old Renault 5. 37000 miles, but as fit as a fiddle.
    Any offer around £800. Come and try it out.
    Anne Boutell 01722 328469

    How to Complain by Peter Read
    Have you ever had a problem with buying goods or services?

    Well I am sure we have all had problems and most of these are dealt with by going directly to the supplier. However, what do you do when this option has run its course? Well I have found a web site, which you can access on http://www.howtocomplain.com/
    This service is FREE andindependent, empowering you to get results:
    How often have you intended to complain about something but never got around to it?
    Well now you can easily and effectively:
    •        Learn about
    your rights and where to get advice and help.
    •        Submit, escalate and
    resolve complaints online.
    •        Find out
    how to complain about any issue.
    •        Share info using our
    message boards.
    It works - Over 76% of the complaints made on this website* have been resolved. 86% of these resolved with a 'satisfactory' to 'very happy' outcome! (*These statistics apply to complaint status that has been updated by users of the site.)

    This is how the site describes itself. I confess that I have not had the misfortune to try out the service this site offers.
    There is a link from the Salisbury U3A web site.

    Articles for issue 40 please, by April 21st 2005ç NB. Early
    Sheila Read. 12 Chiselbury Grove, Salisbury, SP2 8EP
    OR by E-mail: s.read.frps@ntlworld.com