Persistence is a great thing in this life. I do not possess much of this quality and as I have just reached the age of 73 I do not believe I can now hope for any dramatic change.  However, nearly finishing the puzzle set in the last Newsletter has led me to submit my result because I cannot believe that part of a primate's leg is ape knee, though a penny has to be the answer. (Besides, about 3 years ago I did win a bottle of wine from the man who came and gave us a talk about Tesco's and that was for getting the answer nearly right!)  

 I usually respond to number puzzles, so the crosswords with letters represented by numbers and in the last year ‘sudoku' succeed in distracting me from time to time, and these I usually manage to finish.  Normal crosswords I find difficult to start, easier to finish so long as they are not too demanding.  This kind of puzzle are good for taking ones mind away from everyday worries which can dominate our thinking, even if it is for only half an hour.

Many years ago I became certain that I would win a particular prize with my entry for a definition of a traffic-jam, which was "preserve the status quo". I was so amazingly pleased with this and so furious when my gem wasn't acknowledged in any way that a) I have never forgotten it and b) never gone in for any newspaper competitions again.

I could think of many other personal examples of my lack of persistence but perhaps to stop at this point is both a further illustration and a good idea.                                                                     from In's Finn

The January Quiz

This quiz obviously appealed to quite a few people and I was pleased to get three articles from it.  There is another quiz from Mark and Margot Wilson with their entry but I thought I would keep that for later in the year. The winner was Pat Crossland who was the first to post me the correct answers with the article about the Café Scientifique.

In's Finn sent the article below

The three clues that gave the most problems were:-

        Part of a primate's leg.   This was A-peKnee or a penny, 1d

Sun Moon & Pluto.        Three Far Things or three farthings, 3/4

        Unwell sea creature.       Sick Squid or six quid, £6


Archaeology Group

At the January meeting Margaret McKenzie gave a most interesting talk on the Salisbury Hoard, an unsolved mystery.  Shall we ever know?

The meeting was well attended and it is hoped this will continue as many hands and feet will be appreciated in the summer months for the surveying of all of Old Sarum which is what Mark Corney has long hoped for.

The February talk was given by John Parrett on Bulgaria, its beauty, history and archaeology. There are some curious and fascinating places to visit.  His talk certainly made members wish to visit the country one day.

The meeting on March 21st in Harnham Memorial Hall starts as usual at 10.30am.  The talk by Jane Harcourt from Lacock is about the recent excavations at the Abbey.   

Anne Boutelle

Science and Technology Group

The February meeting was well attended and was on the topic of Air Traffic Control given by Steve Oakes. We learnt about his time at Boscombe and training at West Drayton.  He handed each of us a small slip of paper and explained that all the numbers and letters were about one plane that passed through the air space he controlled while on duty at Swanwick the day before.  He explained the lettering and numbers that gave him an amazing amount of information.  While a plane is in his area Steve is in control of the pilot.  Heathrow is controlled from Swanwick so we could see how intensive the work must be. He answered many questions from members but in the end had to rush off for his next session.

                The next meeting is on March 27th in the Memorial Hall at 10am, and is entitled Our Heritage Coast, when Annette Harris will be giving a lecture on the geology of the Jurassic World Heritage Coast including a Power Point show.  An audio-visual made by Roger Holman, a keen photographer from Wimborne will also add to an excellent meeting.

                The following meeting is on April 24th on Ecology, with a trip out to Langford Lakes where Chris Riley of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will give a talk and tour of the Nature Reserve from a scientific viewpoint.

Please find your own way there for 10am.

For any new members it should be pointed out that both the above groups and the Health Care Research Group are open to all members and you do not have to sign up to join these three groups.  Just turn up at the stated date and time.   Members from Salisbury and Sarum U3As also attend.


By Pat Crossland

Held at the Arts Centre on 10th January the first meeting was extremely well attended.  I looked for other U3A members but did not recognise anyone.  These meetings start at 7 for 7.30pm

The first session dealt with the moral maze of biology.  The principal speaker, John Bryant, is Professor of Microbiology at Exeter University.

The idea of the ‘Café' is that the public sits at tables and discusses set topics and after an interval for more drinks there is open discussion. We were introduced to the idea that scientists must consider the ethical implications of what they do. In the process we considered stem cell research and the use of animals in research.

I wouldn't say the debate got heated or even lively but everyone who wanted a say had the opportunity, and not surprisingly there was a fair smattering of scientists and engineers in the audience.

The next months topic on 7th February was ‘Plastic Brains and Microchip Nerves' and on

7th March the topic was ‘Hazard, risk and uncertainty. How worried should we be?'

To find out more go to


Unfortunately the publication of this newsletter did not coincide with Pat's information and I have therefore included the next two meetings she gave me for you to get the idea of the Café's format.  She did give an address ane the Library and the Arts Centre would be pleased to give you future subjects and dates. 

  The Editor

OR by E-mail:

Spire University of the Third Age


ISSUE No.45        MARCH 2006

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Spring is on its way and so is the spring-cleaning.  I do not hear mention of this event of which I was led to believe, as a young housewife, was mandatory!  No doubt I am showing my age.  Does anyone hear their young families talking of this ritual?

One such event however does occur in our U3A about this time and that is the AGM in April. It is a time when members can start afresh by joining another group to widen their interests.  Some may help start a group by finding others with the same interests.

Peter Laslett, the founder of the U3A stated that “Those who teach shall also learn.  Those who learn shall also teach”.

Leaders who have taken this to heart, and formed groups, know how true this is and will be at the AGM on April 10th showing or talking about their groups and plans for the coming year. They will be on hand to answer your questions.

This year we are returning to organising informal coffee mornings at a member’s house for the latest new members.  Numbers are kept small as they are in private houses but we will try to do one in April and another in September. In the past they have proved very helpful to explain the workings of the U3A and at the same time we learn the needs of members and hopefully can act on this information.

A warm welcome to the following new members

Gillian Round         Suzanne Howden              Dorothy Minney,

Beryl Clayton              Ann Brierley                 Beryl Howard

Frank Lambert and Chrystabel Lambert








































































Silly Signs

Quicksand.  Any person passing this point will be drowned by order of the District Council.

We exchange anything, bicycles, washing machines etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain. (outside a second-hand shop)

Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with a round bottom for efficient beating. (in a kitchen shop)


Articles for issue 46  please, by May 1st 2006

Sheila Read. 12 Chiselbury Grove, Salisbury, SP2 8EP



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