Spire University of the Third Age

Newsletter No 83
Autumn/ Christmas Edition

Christmas in Harnham                                                                                              Peter Read


From The Publicity Office
Welcome to the Autumn/Christmas Issue of our Newsletter
As seems to be the norm these days, this year has again passed in a flash and many of the things that I planned to do are still on my ‘To Do’ list. However the very variable weather did not help, nor the several ‘ills’ that have befallen me this year! However lots of things were accomplished and hopefully I will catch up in due course.
We have had some really good speakers of late, the last two being Hugh Abel on The Studio Theatre and Robert Wright on Canal Boat Painting.
The work that has gone into the raising funds building and promoting the new Studio Theatre are prolific and to be greatly admired and the end result something of which to be proud and another good facility for Salisbury.
The Canal Boat painting too was inspirational and many of us were itching to try out the techniques demonstrated on slides. It all looked quite simple when Robert did it, but of course is a little more difficult in practice. The history of the use of Canal Boats was most interesting as was the development of the decorative but primitive art.
Having taken a bunch of teenagers for a long weekend on one of them along the Kennet and Avon Canal from Bristol to Bath and then up the flight of locks to the viaduct was wonderful and a long weekend felt like a fortnight with the leisurely pace of life. It also kept the teenagers interested and busy with the opening of all the locks.
The next meeting will be the Christmas Coffee Morning and tickets are on sale from Jackie Munday at £3.50. There will also be displays from the various groups available.

This month we are pleased to welcome new members Mrs Betty Hastings ,Mr Ronald Musselwhite, Mr Ronald Martin, Mrs Jacqueline Thompson, Mr Thomas Marshfield and Mrs Penelope Hardisty.
With best Wishes to you all for the coming all too fast Christmas and New Year.
Zelah Bysouth

As you are aware, the parking spaces available at the Hall are not over generous. May we suggest that if you are ‘hale and hearty’ it would be appreciated if you could park at the Cricket Field, just over 500 yds from the Hall. The parking in the spaces that are available are generally very randomly parked. The Committee would be grateful if you could park with the utmost consideration for others and the space available. Please park at an angle with just enough room for the driver to get out- if necessary ‘unloading’ passenger first. The few spaces alongside the hall are for speakers etc. and should not be used.
Thank you for you anticipated co-operation.

  Autumn at Stourhead                                               Eileen Forder

First Impressions - by new member Pat Campbell

My wife and I joined Spire u3a on the 9th July 2012 and have always been made to feel welcome from the very outset. So far we have attended three general meeting with two very good presentations to date.The fourth meeting was a one off ‘New Members Coffee Morning’ held on the 17th September at the normal venue and was very well attended. After a friendly greeting and a cup of tea/coffee the programme opened with a digital presentation, which could have benefitted by updating the information to the current year’s activities. Afterwards members were invited to sit round in a circle where members of the Committee explained their individual roles. This was very informative and really useful.
One of the new members complained about the lack of visual Group information and expressed concern that this particular u3a majored in communicating electronically. Previous branches he had belonged to had used boards to disseminate news. It was explained that boards were on display at the back of the hall at general meetings, which we have seen.
On reflection one can’t help but remember growing up in the years after WW2 in a large town not so very many miles from Salisbury. We lived in a working class area where people shared telephone lines, where there were very few cars, a mangle was the norm rather than a washing machine, refrigerators weren’t common and a T.V. was tiny, black and white and an absolute luxury. Times have changed.
We got our first computer on retiring early in 1994 but were so scared of it that we didn’t dare open the box it came in for three months. Eventually we joined an Adult Education programme at Southampton University lasting 10 weeks entitled ‘Computing for the Terrified’. If I remember correctly it was relatively expensive and required that you completed some fairly fierce home assignments for which you received credits for future examinations. 
It seems to us that u3a has taken the place of such courses without anything like the pressure exerted on the individual to take an examination at the end of it. You do have to wonder at the rationale of a 65+ year old having such a certificate. Maybe it could possibly be used to decorate the smallest room in the house? It takes a real leap into the unknown to imagine that any of us would want to use it in composing a C.V.
The point really of all of this is to thank our Committee for their hard work and possibly to encourage people to sign up for the varied computer courses advertised within the Salisbury u3a’s – it’s never too late to learn and we can assure you there is a great deal of benefit to being computer literate. Remember the Company that manufactured and sold horse brasses didn’t do so well when motor cars became the normal mode of transport!!!
Patrick Campbell

An Appeal for your help

SALISBURY SAMARITANS are looking for more volunteers.

In particular, they would like to recruit volunteers who would be willing to support callers during the night hours between 10pm-1am and 1am-7am. This is the time when the need is the greatest, as Samaritans are the only helpline available at that time. This may be particularly convenient for active retired people. The requirement is 18 hours every five weeks.If you are interested in finding out more, please phone:05603-120-206 or email recruitment@samaritansofsalisbury.org.uk
(Normal Samaritan duty involves a 3 hour daytime shift every week, and one night duty every 5 weeks. If you feel this may suit you better, please contact Salisbury Samaritans as above.)

A Reminder of New Groups


 Group Leader:  Mrs Thelma Cooper     Contact Phone:    01722 744248
                 Note:   Mrs Cooper is experienced as a book illustrator

 2.  PLAYING CHAMBER MUSIC  ( Flute Duets, Trios, Quartets etc. )

 Note This is intended for players with their own instrument and of any ability.
                Group Leader:          Mrs Alison Dawson Contact Phone: 01722 415957
                 Note:                Mrs Dawson is a non-professional enthusiast


       Group Leader: Mr Christopher Butlin Contact Phone 01722 329939
      Note: Mr Butlin has experience in building and maintaining computers

4.   OPERA GROUPs   We have two thriving opera  groups and Jack Shore has a waiting list.

    Setting up such a group is the easiest thing to do and running the group does not take a lot of work.  I have found most group members get a lot out of the experience, even those who drift off come back for more .  If there is someone willing to start up group 3 please  get in touch with me, Pat Crossland, on 01722 333401

Are you aware?
Do you have problems with PIN numbers? Are you aware that you can get a Chip and sign card? Information on this can be obtained from

  November Sudoku

From Peter’s Album

                      Field Patterns Exmoor                                                          Peter  Read

November Solution 

  I am a Nobody. Nobody is perfect. Therefore I am perfect!

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