Spire University of the Third Age


ISSUE No.  63                     www.salisburyu3a.org.uk            JANUARY 2009

       Seasonal Entertainment Including
         Christmas Quiz and Pantomime
Folk Songs
Buffet Lunch

The last meeting of the year is on the 8th December when Spire U3A starts the seasonal celebrations with our Christmas Party.  Tickets are £6 and are available at the November meeting.
We have to book food in advance so please make sure you have a ticket or contact Jackie Mundy as soon as possible.

Welcome to New Members
Norah Ash    Laura Eastwood    Lynnette Lewis    Carol Baker
Patricia Abrahams Nunns     Betty Beer    Rosemary Lowe
Jane Musselwhite    Janet Pengelly    Janet Cardy

Memorial Hall Renovations
The work that you have seen going on has fallen behind schedule.  We are likely to have less than the full use of the Hall for some time, so I hope that you will bear with the continuing inconvenience.  The Chairman of the Hall Trust, who is one of our members, is letting us know regularly how things are going.                                                           John Wort. Chairman


As you will now know the committee have arranged that the U3A News will be posted direct to all members.  It is published in January, April, June and October and the U3A Sources is published quarterly.  It is interesting to see the news from other U3A’s in the country and the groups they have set up.  Maybe you may be inspired to start something similar.  Our groups after all are raison d’etre.                                                                    Editor

Poetry Group

The poetry group meets monthly, in the houses of any of its, members who have a big enough room, on the third Thursday of each month at 2.30pm.
We presently have 10 members (if we all turn up) but could squeeze in a couple more if new U3A members are interested in joining us.
We are a diverse, but very ordinary, group of people. One or two of us write some poetry, but mostly we simply enjoy reading it, hearing it read aloud and then discussing the poems and the poets – and learning from each other. Discussions can range far and wide and cover all sorts of topics!
Each month we decide where to meet the following month and what kind of poems we will read. Sometimes we choose a subject; recent ones have included “Love”, “Views and Vistas” and “Blue”. Sometimes we choose one or more poets; October saw us reading poems by Robert Browning and Maya Angelou.
Meetings last for a couple of hours and finish with tea and biscuits – and more discussion!
For details of November’s venue and subject (undecided at the time of writing this), please contact Beryl Paton.
                            Phone: 01722 714343, Email beryl.paton@tiscali.co.uk


Book Readers
Stella Tobie has spaces available on her 19th and 20th Century Literature reading group.                                                           Ring: 01722 335891


*Archaeology Group

25th November.  Aileen Fox will talk on Eminent Archaeologist in the South of England.
The first meeting in 2009 will be in February.

*Science & Technology

26th January.  Alternative Medicine – talk by Les Rose

23rd February.  Forensic Archaeology – talk by Paul Cheetham

*Spire organises 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*



In September we visited Glastonbury to learn about the Lake Villages discovered in this area at the beginning of the 20th century.  As we all know, much of Somerset was covered in water in early days so it is understandable that any small piece of raised ground was used for living on, some permanently and some as ‘summer camps’.  Neolithic people utilised the rich sources of food to be found in the waters and swamps, and their early sites were enhanced and developed by Iron Age people in the late BC years.
2We began our studies by visiting the Peat Moors Centre at Westhay just 5 miles west of Glastonbury.  Opening times for this fascinating museum are limited so it is best to ring and make arrangements.  It is well worth paying a little extra for a guided tour, as Eddie Wills is expert in his subject and will explain what there is to see. 
34There are several replicas of the ingenious trackways made and used by Neolithic man to walk on the water, which made up so much of their environment.  Remnants of these have been found during peat digging.  The most famous of these is the Sweet Track discovered by Mr Sweet in the 1970s.  There is also a replica of the dug out canoe that was found and now lies in the Lake Villages Museum in Glastonbury.  Round Houses have been built on the site of an earlier village.  As the weather was a bit wet and cold we were delighted to be able to have our lunch by the fire in one of these houses.
Then we visited the Lake Villages Museum in Glastonbury High Street were we learned the story of the villages and the discovery of them in the 20th century.  We saw some of the artefacts recovered during the two main archaeological digs undertaken, as well as the original dug out canoe.
We heartily recommend a visit if you have not seen these fascinating sites.
                                                                                      Margaret McKenzie
There is also a Photo Report in the Archaeological section of this web site HERE


“Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right. (Bet you tried this out mentally, didn't you?)
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".  Check the dictionary
Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet. (Now, you KNOW you're going to try this out for accuracy, right?)
The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes). (Yep, I knew you were going to "do" this one.)
There are only four words in the English language, which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.   Again, check the dictionary. 
There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious." (Yes, admit it, you are going to say a e i o u)
TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard. (All you typists are going to test this out
A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. (Some days that's about what my memory span is).
A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
A snail can sleep for three years. (I know some people that could do this too!)
Almonds are a member of the peach family. 
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
Babies are born without kneecaps.  They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age. (I bet you you're checking your grandchild's knee right now). 
February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
Leonardo De Vinci invented the scissors.
Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!
Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. (Good thing he did that).
The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.
There are more chickens than people in the world. 
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance. 
Women blink nearly twice as much as men.                          And now you know everything! 

Articles for Issue 63 please, by January 4th 2009
Sheila Read, 12 Chiselbury Grove, Salisbury. SP2 8EP
Email:  s.read.frps@ntlworld.com

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