Spire University of the Third Age


ISSUE No.52                www.salisburyu3a.org.uk                       May 2007


At the AGM on April 16th Chris Penfold stepped down as Chairman.  We would all thank him for all the work he has done over the past two years.  He is not remaining on the committee but is still involved with the Science and Technology Group as well as joining in other activities so we will be seeing him regularly.


At the May meeting the programme for the next year will be available for those who have paid their subscription.  The list of coffee morning speakers for the year and the committee members and contact numbers are there as usual as is your membership number.  This year you will need that number, as it will go onto the Group Leaders list when you join a group. The Headquarters of the U3A have pointed out that this is essential for insurance purposes.


  If all goes according to plan, the committee members will be sporting new visible badges.  If you have any queries do not hesitate to ask.

Don’t forget that information about Spire and the other two Salisbury U3As is available in the Reference Library and on the Website. 

Welcome to New Members

   Rachel Davies     Richard Hemming     Ann Mouland        Anne Whittle

                Roy and Maureen Stowe                 Charles and Sheila Rolfe


Murphy’s Technology Laws

The only perfect science is hindsight.

When all else fails, read the instructions.

After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.

A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.

To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.

If you can’t understand it, it is intuitively obvious

If it’s not in the computer, it doesn’t exist.

All’s well that ends.



*The Science & Technology group visited the Cathedral Workshops on 26th March 2007 and we were privileged to be shown both workshops.

          The first area we saw was the Stained Glass workshop.  Sam Kelly explained how this operated. They do a lot of restoration of old windows where the lead may have become leaky. They take the window apart and replace the H shaped lead strips and any glass that has been too badly broken to mend.  Broken glass can be mended by joining the parts with copper strips.  The lead parts are finally soldered using a gas-powered soldering iron because this has a lot of thermal capacity.

          Then we went round the Stone Mason's area starting with the raw material i.e. blocks of hewn stone.  This is checked for faults and quite a large percentage is discarded.  Next the cutting shop which has an enormous circular water-cooled blade.  Here the blocks are cut to an approximate size for each design.

          Then we assembled in the drawing office to see how a carved block is first drawn.  Then later these drawings, on plastic film, are used to transfer the design to the blocks.  It was fascinating to see how easy it seemed to use hammer and chisel to carve the stone.  It is soft when new.  Some of our members even had a go.

          To see pictures of the workshops, have a look at the Spire U3A web site HERE     Peter Read


*The Science & Technology Group had another very interesting illustrated lecture on 26th February on molecular modelling. The speaker was Phil Copley, Senior Chemistry Master at Bishop Wordworth's School.

He was able to show the structures of elements and chemical compounds with Molimods. These are cherry sized coloured plastic balls with as many connecting sockets as the element has valency.  For example carbon has four, which joined to four hydrogen atoms each with one connection gives a molecule of methane (north sea gas).

If this sounds dry and boring he blew soap bubbles of a mixture of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen from a syringe onto a U3A members hand, applied a match and the gasses exploded with a loud crack.

He also introduced a piece of metallic sodium into a flask of chlorine gas. White smoke from the ensuing fire, we were assured, was sodium chloride or common salt, though with chlorine gas wafting round Harnham Memorial Hall we were not invited to taste it.                                                              

The thirty people in the audience enjoyed a power point presentation that showed just how good this method is for lectures.                         Christopher Penfold



Peter Read (01722 501218) holds our projector available for use by any group.


*Spire organises these meetings and members from the other Salisbury U3As are invited. There is no need to have your name down to attend. Just turn up on the day, usually in the Memorial Hall, Harnham unless otherwise stated*

Group Presentations


Well done Groups, the Presentation on Monday March 12th   was both interesting and inviting!  With very little time for preparation you all managed to create fascinating displays.

I enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions and admire the expertise and skills of Group Leaders and their pupils.  We are very fortunate to be able to enjoy the “pooled” talents of the Group Leaders and to try out play reading, poetry, or music, or go on a “dig” with the Archaeology group.

We could dabble with paints; learn about the history we overlooked at school or local history down the road, and the possibility of learning a foreign language, German sounds fun!  How about embroidering a Sampler to be enjoyed in 100 years’ time on the Antiques Roadshow!

I found the Wine Appreciation Group very appealing, followed by a good Ramble or perhaps a Good Read.  We must not forget the opportunity to visit a Country House and some Art Appreciation at the same time.  I can see I should need some Computer Help following my efforts with Using a Camera and Digital Imaging, as too with exploring Family History.

 It’s certain I wont have much time for housework but also certain I will never be bored or lack company.

Thank you all who organise the Groups, long may you continue to entertain and inspire us!                                

                                                                                           Maureen Hughes




1The trust runs a food centre at Elim Church. Over 13,000 attended last year and were given three days basic food and household needs.

Open from 10am to 2 pm weekdays. Volunteers are always needed.        Could you help?

Some people give a regular time commitment, many others help when they can.                               

We value your support whether you can give us several days a week or a free hour each year.

Volunteers have contributed hugely to the work of The Trussell Trust.   

If you want to get involved why not join us?

Find out more by ringing Jeremy on 01722 411244





Petrol Lawnmower ‘Laser’ by Mountfield..             

In good working order.             

Middle St., West Harnham. £50                      

Ring: 01722 320189



One day, a man came home and was greeted by his wife dressed in a very sexy nightie.  “Tie me up” she purred “and you can do anything you want”

So he tied her up and went golfing.


Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is a husband.

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly he burst into the kitchen.

“CAREFUL" he said, "CAREFUL!  Put in some more butter!  Oh my god!  You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW!  We need more butter.

Oh my GOD! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER?  They're going to STICK.  Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL!

  You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them!                   

Hurry up!  Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don’t forget to salt them.  You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT!  THE SALT!"

The wife stared at him. "What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"

The husband calmly replied. "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."                                          Thanks to Bill Pond for these. 



Articles for Issue 53 please, by July 1st 2007

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

Email:  s.read.frps@ntlworld.com


Return to Home Page