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Spire University of the Third Age



ISSUE No. 67 www.salisburyu3a.org.uk DECEMBER 2009


TREASURER Shirley Reeves 01722 501 130
SECRETARY Jenny Watmore 01722 330 078
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY Jackie Mundy 01722 321 731
GROUP C0-ORDINATOR Bernard Crossland 01722 333 401
PUBLICITY SECRETARY Joanna Woodd 01722 323 447
SPEAKERS SECRETARY Margaret McKenzie 01722 714 685
COMMITTEE MEMBERS Judy Jeffrey 01425 652 124
Mike Ritchley 01722 331 719
WEB GURU Peter Read 01722 501 218
COFFEE ROTA Eileen Forder 01722 333 405


We still have no chairman, though there is some movement and considerations taking place, and I am hopeful that at the next meeting your committee will be able to give you some good news.

A NEW MEMBER who is welcomed

Mrs Sylvia Gilbert, and we now have a waiting list.

Note to all course leaders
Please could you let me have interesting news about the courses you are providing, so current and new members are able to make informed decisions. Some of our members are unable to attend all of our monthly meetings, so are dependent on either information on our website, or in the newsletter, and as paid up members they are entitled to this.

RECORDER GROUP Please note there is now a record group which started in October, it is ‘playing for fun’, and new members are be very welcome; and though not for beginners, you don’t need to be an expert. Details are in the schedule

BUT should you be a beginner, there is a group organised by Chris Dixon in the Salisbury U3A.


In October Ruth Newman came and enlightened us further about Salisbury’s past. She took us on a journey starting from Old Sarum as an Iron-Age hill-fort in the 6th century, the sanctuary it offered to fleeing inhabitants of Wilton in the 11th century, the potential realised by the Normans; until finally the Cathedral falling into disrepair was transferred to its present position in the 12 century. With the aid of slides we saw the reasons for the grid pattern being used as the most efficient way of dividing the land, and maximising the street frontage. The relationships between the bishops, citizens and monarchs appear to have been a matter of constant negations, including rents due, the cities defences, and regulation of industry and trade. We heard about numerous businesses including ‘Banks’ the well known English violin makers, and saw examples of ‘mathematical tiles’, to simulate bricks, which can still be seen today in St Ann’s Street. At the end we realised how fortunate we all are to still benefit from the vision of those early developers, such as Bishop Poore , with the Cathedral and town co-existing and the religious and secular interdependent, but with the great advantage of the clearance of the slums and open sewage systems running down the streets.

In November Phil with Joan and Richard from the Local Wildlife Rescue Fund came and shared with us some of their very dedicated work and love rescuing vulnerable and damaged birds and animals. Phil started the centre in Winterslow 22 years ago, initially taking the creatures into his own home. Their aim is to treat the animals appropriately and return them to the own habitation, and so far this year 121 have been returned to the wild. Previously there were 179 centres in England, but due to lack of funds there are only 70 left today. Joan joined the team to raise funds for the work, and all income goes to the treatment and up-keep of the animals, as these three people are all dedicated volunteers. Charlie, a very friendly owl was taken round the room, for us all to see and stroke. He demonstrated the huge range of movement of an owl’s neck, as if on a spiral spring. Whenever Phil turned his head round 180 degrees, it immediately whizzed around so he could see Phil again. There was real rapport between Phil and this bird, who had suffered a broken wing and remains unable to fly. We heard of several amusing and some outrageous incidents, such as a 999 call initially to the police, who passed it on to the Animal Rescue team. A lady was desperate to use her toilet, but there was a spider in her bathroom, could someone please remove it! Or another 999 call, a certain lady was immobilised as there was a snake in her pathway, and she had been informed that if she should run, it would chase her. Phil and colleagues arrived and seeing it was only a harmless grass snake, told her it was quite safe to turn around, upon which he soon saw that she was topless! We met other visitors, Lady, a barn owl, and a tiny 16 year old owl who could be more vicious, and finally a fox, behaving like a dog was introduced to us all. He had a wonderful brush, and we learnt that they like water, are excellent swimmers with their webbed feed, and this one had been trained not to go after chickens, or fish, and even played with the cat!

During the last two weeks 7 creatures have been released back to the wild.

For information, anyone can have an owl now, as the licence law has been revoked, this is not necessary good news for owls.

And is there any truth in the rumour that an alligator may be living in the Avon, near the bottom of Ted Heath’s old home, perhaps!

There is always something new to learn, and we are extremely fortunate to have such excellent and interesting speakers to come and share with us their knowledge and interests.


January Spire FM

February Ron and Mayra Glover Ups and Downs of Belgium Canals


Subject details Times & Venue Contact details


Canasta 2 - 4 pm various Mon Tom Ridout

56 Barnard St 01722 322 917

Computer help 10 – 12 3rd Mon L Irons

Howstean, Portland Ave 01722 325 307

Conversational French 10 am weekly Ron Moore in members’ homes 01722 505 663

Family History for beginners 2.0 pm fortnightly Sept 7th for 8 weeks Mike Kirby

27 Downsway 01722 330 123

Mah Jong ( Basic) 2.0 pm weekly Jane Davis

in members’ homes 01722 326 579

Opera for Beginners 2.0 pm last Mon Pat Crossland

12/14 St Edmunds Church St 01722 333 401

Playing simple music 2.30 pm 1st Mon Malcolm Simmons

2 Upper St, Harnham 01722 335 199

Science & Tech 10 am last Mon. Christopher Penfold

Harnham Memorial Hall 01722 325 220

just turn up Peter Read - 01722 501 218


A good Read 2.30 pm 2nd Tues Glenda Scott Members’ homes 01722 327 150

Archaeology 10.30 am last Tues Margaret McKenzie Harnham Memorial Hall 01722 714 685

Play reading 2 – 4 pm 3rd Tues Margaret Shore 60 St Anne St 01722 334 848


German 2.0 pm fortnightly Mary Poyton

20 Berkshire Road 01722 334 341

19 & 20th Cen. Literature 10.00 am 1st Wed Stella Tobi

Mill Rd 01722 335 891

Recorder, Playing for Fun 2.00pm Monthly Stuart Robson

20 St Clair Road 01722 334 310

Self-help Watercolour 10 – 12 weekly Rita Johnston

St George’s Church Hall, Harnham 01722 339 547

Wine Appreciation 2.30pm monthly Frank Woodward

16 Water Ditchampton 01722 744 214


Art Appreciation 2 pm 2nd Thurs Mervyn Scamell Roselands, Laverstock Park 01722 322 944

Bookworms 10 – 12 1st Thurs Anne Blake Yew Tree House, Charlton All Saints 01722 511 743

Chess for fun 10 – 2 weekly Betty Dunne 466 Devies Rd 01722 333 588

Exploring the Countryside monthly on Thurs. Colin Seago (walking) after the General meeting 01725 510 630

Mobile Phone help 10 – 12 1st Thurs Aslang Abbott 12 Chiselbury Grove 01722 716 995

Opera 2.0 pm 1st Thurs Sept – May Jack Shore 32 Bouverie Av. 01722 334 848

Poetry Reading 2.30 pm 3rd Thurs Beryl Paton Members’ Homes 01722 714 343

Theatre Group 2.30 pm monthly Yvonne Watts Playhouse 01722 329 234


Digital Imaging 10 – 12 weekly 11th Sept Sheila & Peter Read Beginners 12 Chiselbury Grove 01722 501 218

Digital Imaging 10 – 12 weekly Shelia & Peter Read Advanced (full) 12 Chiselbury Grove 01722 501 218  Extra (full)

Watercolour Painting 2 – 4 pm weekly, Sally Jermy 12 weeks starting 25th Sept Harnham Scout Hut .


Scrabble for singles 2 – 4pm weekly Anne Boutell Members’ homes 01722 328 469

Various days Monthly, held in various places

Historic Buildings 12 noon Stella Tobi 01722 335 891

Ladies who lunch 12 – 2pm Judy Jeffrey 01425 652 124

Looking at Country Houses full day Jim Dunstone 01980 622 747

Sister Cities TBA Jan Cardy . 01722 339 791

Opera News (contact the secretary Jenny for more information) Welsh National Opera at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton Tickets £34.00 24th March 2010 Tosca

Cruising 2010 Baltic Cruise on Fred Olsen vessel Balmoral, Cost £1,129 visiting St Petersbourg, Stockholm and Copenhagen. 12 night and 13 days Dept Dover 20th June 2010, returning 2nd July

Payments for all above outings - cheques to Salisbury U3A and a separate cheque for each event please.

Teas Together Salisbury Hospice Care Mondays 3 for 3.30 – 5.00 pm in Salisbury Methodist Hall, St Edmunds Church St. Good food, entertainment and good company with a series of themes

7th Dec at Christmas Cost £5.00 the Hospice Shop, Catherine St. Call 01722 416 353


(Under the age of 40? You won’t understand this, but this is how we lived. And we are still here to talk about it)

You could hardly see for all the snow,

Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.

Pull a chair up to the TV set,?

Good Night, Johnny,’ ‘Good Night, Dad.’

My Mum used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayonnaise on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get food poisoning.

My Mum used to defrost mince on the counter AND I use to eat it raw sometimes.

Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in icepack coolers, but I can’t remember getting sick.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the dam instead of our public pool (talk about boring).

There were no beach closures then either.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took PE.. and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top sandshoes, instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors.

I can’t recall any injuries, but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the National Anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horrible damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

Then there was the milk left in the sun for us to drink each day. Good wasn’t it?

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, play station, Nintendo, X-box or 34 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah... and where was the Benedryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played ‘king of the castle’ on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mum pulled out the 48 cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn’t sting like iodine did) and then we got our bum smacked.

Now it’s a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mum calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horrible vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn’t act up at the neighbour’s house either, because if we did, we got our bum smacked there, and then we got smacked again when we got home.

I recall ’Bluey’ Barnes from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front porch, just before he fell off. Little did his mum know that she could have owned our house. Instead she picked him up and clipped his ears for being such a dill. It was a neighbourhood run amok.

To top it off, not a single person I know had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possible have known that?

We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills that we didn’t even notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac! How did we ever survive??


Pass this to someone and remember that life’s most simple pleasures are very often the best.

With gratitude to Peter Reed for sharing this with us all

Can someone provide something equally significant for the next issue due out in March 2010??

What was it? Did you work it out?

Well here is the answer ‘a pine cone scale’


As we are approaching the festive season, I thought it important to share with you some earlier references to dinning well. ‘Douglas Jerrold said that such is the British humour for dining and giving dinners, that if London were to be destroyed by an earthquake, the Londoners would meet at a public dinner to consider the subject.’

Tennyson gives us a most appetising description of a pasty at a picnic.

“There, on a slope of orchard, Francis laid

A damask napkin wrought with horse and hound;

Brought out a dusky loaf that smelt of home,

And, half cut down, a pasty costly made,

Where quail and pigeon, lark and leveret, lay

Like fossils of rock, with golden yolks

Imbedded and injellied.”

And Mrs Beeton writes

‘It has been said, indeed, that great men, in general, are great diners. This, however, can scarcely be true of any great men but men of action; and, in that case, it would simply imply that persons of vigorous constitutions, who work hard, eat heartily; for, or course a life of action requires a vigorous constitution, even though there may be much illness, as in such cases as William 111, and our brave General Napier.

Of men of thought, it can scarcely be true that they eat so much, in a general way, though even they eat more than they are apt to suppose they do; for, as Mr Lewes observes, “nerve-tissue is very expensive.” Leaving great men of all kinds, however, to get their own dinners, let us, who are not great, look after ours. Dine we must, and we may as well dine elegantly as well as wholesomely.

Good luck with the Christmas cooking and especially if providing for those with ‘vigorous constitutions’.


Dear Member

If you are a UK taxpayer then we are able to claim Gift Aid on your annual subscription, which is considered a donation. This is at no cost to you, but will allow us to get an additional 28p for every pound you have paid. You must be paying enough tax in each year to cover the amount of tax reclaimed, and you must cancel your Declaration if you do not meet this requirement at any time.

Please contact me, the Treasurer if you have any questions.

You should keep this letter as a record of having made a Declaration.

Yours sincerely

Shirley Reeves

10 Avon Terrace



(Please note that if you stop paying enough tax to cover the Gift Aid, you must notify the withdrawal of your Declaration to the Treasurer right away)

(rev. 1 10/08)



(Charity Number 1080479)

To: The Hon. Treasurer, Spire U3A

I want the Charity to treat all donations that I have made since 1st April 2001 and all donations I make from the date of this Declaration, until I notify you otherwise, as Gift Aid donations.

Signed Date

Full name (please print)


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