Spire University of the Third Age


ISSUE No.55                www.salisburyu3a.org.uk                       September 2007

Archaeology Visit to look at 3000 years of Farming on Buxbury Hill, SuttonMandeville.

Seventeen members gathered off the A30 and walked up the hill on a Bronze Age path still used today as a public footpath.

It had begun as a footpath but had been developed as wheeled vehicles became available. It would also have been used to drive cattle and other stock to the markets at Chiselbury Camp on Fovant Downs.


On the top of the hill are distinct dewponds and later water reservoirs.  It is difficult to date these features as they were used over many centuries.  Travelling specialist builders would have made them, as Thatcher’s and pot menders travelled around to ply their trade.  Some however are easier to date.  One is made of bricks, which look fairly modern and has a rather rusty galvanised iron tank with an old milk churn inside. Obviously of mid 20th century origin!

There are many chalk pits, again dug over centuries, used to enrich the fields before the Victorians discovered guano, and then artificial fertilizers.

Also there are two late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age boundary ditches, probably 5 feet deep, with the brilliant white chalk piled either side to make a distinctive statement of ownership. These also made the stealing of cattle more difficult.

The changing weather system at this time meant that the lower lying land became more swampy, and as the population increased, higher ground became more desirable and fights between families and 'tribes' became more common.

There is at least one distinct lynchet, a strip of flat land caused by ploughed soil drifting down hill to the edge of the field.  This shows that the land has been worked from the earliest times perhaps even Neolithic times when 'ploughing' would have consisted of scratching with an antler pick.

The members enjoyed the beautiful views, the sunshine and a wide variety of meadow and down land flowers, which attracted butterflies and moths.

Lunch was served in Margaret's garden under the Apple tree.    

                                                                                                        Margaret McKenzie      

*The next meeting is on September 25th the Archaeology Group is visiting the Roman Glassmakers at Quarley.  Tickets for this outing are £2.50.


*Science and Technology

This group begins its new season on 24th September 2007 at 10 am in Harnham Memorial Hall with a talk on ‘Landfill & Recycling’ by Bob Bradshaw. He will be telling us about the complexities of recycling and how they cope with our rubbish.

The second lecture on October 29th is ‘The Mystery of Magnets’ by Phil Bamford concerns the effect, if any, that magnets have on our health.

For this group you do not have to join you just turn up on the day.  There is a small charge of £1 for us to be able to give a contribution to the speaker.

If you look at our web site you can see the rest of the programme and as you will see it is very varied.  From the Planets, Microwave Ovens, the Mary Rose to Blacksmithing there is certain to be something of interest for you.   We look forward to seeing you.                                                             

Peter, Chris and Laurie

* Spire organizes these meetings but 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*


A new group will be staring on October 12th.  Meetings are every four weeks, on a Friday morning from 10am to Noon and are held near the Harnham Memorial Hall. For more information contact Sheila and Peter Read on 01722 501218.


Recently I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests itself:
I decided to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I looked over at my car and decided my car needs washing.
As I started toward the garage, I noticed that there is post on the porch table that I brought up from the post box earlier.
I decide to go through the post before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk post in the rubbish can under the table and notice that the can is full.
So I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the rubbish first. 
But then I think, since I'm going to be near the post box when I take out the rubbish anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my chequebook off the table, and see that there is only one cheque left.
My extra cheques are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find a can of Coke that I had been drinking.
I'm going to look for my cheques, but first I need to push the coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.
I see that the coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye they need to be watered.
I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.
Then I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.
 I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it is on the table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. 
I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spilled on the floor. So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill, then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do. 

At the end of the day:

----the car isn't  washed,
----the bills  aren't paid,
----there is a  warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, 
----the flowers don't have enough water, 
----there is  still only 1 cheque in my chequebook,
----I can't find the remote, 
----I can't find my glasses, 
----and I don't remember what in the world I did with the car keys! Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled, because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.  Do me a favour, will you? Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember to whom it has been sent.
Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!!
Growing older is mandatory.
Growing up is optional.
Laughing at your self is therapeutic. 


We Welcome New Members

Paula Clements, Anne Baker, Kathy Waghorn, Christina and Frederick Stace, Susan and Edward Tinline, Betty and Douglas Sherry



Every single evening,

As I’m lying in my bed,

This tiny little prayer

Keeps running through my head.

God bless all my family

Wherever they may be,

Keep them warm and safe from harm

For they’re so close to me.

And God, there is one more thing

I wish that you could do:

Hope you don’t mind me asking,

Please bless my computer too.

Now I know that it’s unusual

To bless a mother board,

But listen just a second

While I explain it to you, Lord.

You see, that little metal box

Holds more than odds and ends;

Inside those small compartments

Rest many of my friends.

I know so much about them

By kindness that they give,

And this tiny scrap of metal

Takes me to where they live,

By faith is how I know them –

Much the same as you –

We share in what life brings us

And from that our friendship grew.

Please take an extra minute

From your duties up above,

To bless those in my address book

That’s filled with so much love.

Wherever else this prayer may reach

To each and every friend,

Bless each E-Mail inbox,

And bless each person who hits “send”.

When you update your Heavenly list

On your Great CD-ROM,

Bless everyone who says this prayer

Sent up to GOD.com.


                       Thanks to Maureen Davidson

Articles for Issue 56 please, by November 9th 2007

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

Email:  s.read.frps@ntlworld.com

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