Newsletter No 89
November 2013
Not Snow! Peters Infrared Cathedral View.

From the Editors Desk

Well so far a very soggy autumn and strangely warm for the time of year, hopefully cutting down the heating bills.
As usual, we have had some really good coffee morning speakers with Ros Liddington on the Russian Connection at Wilton House and the Life of the Hive with Fred Swift and more to come with this month Dr Lucille Campey and Wiltshire Emigration to Canada in 19th Century. The next meeting will be the Christmas one. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, be sure to see Jacky as soon as possible as they are limited in number.
I cannot believe it is the time of year already, this year seems to have gone twice as fast as usual and my TO DO list still getting longer rather than shorter, although I have to boast a little that my Christmas present buying is well advanced
I have been tempted to join Peter Reads new Family History Group and spent more time that I should looking up details of my grandfathers’ family. For some reason this has proved to be quite a challenge in the family as they are back to 1066(although unconfirmed from 1466) with other parts of the family tree. Part of the problem is the habit of naming the children with the same names as the parents, grandparents and other family. It is extremely interesting and terribly addictive!
We were very pleased to welcome the members of the Spire Group, who have joined in the last year at the Memorial Hall on 21st October- a very wet and windy day, so well done to those who were able to attend.

This month we welcome Mrs Rachel Tapp, Mrs Linda Oliver, Mrs Caroline Cook, Mrs Maureen Lines, Mr Terry and Mrs Sue Waldron and  Miss Laraine Marriott.

This month we are concentrating on Groups.

If you know that some of the people mentioned, no longer run a particular Group or that the group has closed. Please make Stuart Robson aware.
One of our newer members, Ian Hobday has offered to start a Computer Group concentrating on Laptops and Tablets. Please let him or one of the Committee know if you are interested.
If you have a subject you would like to pursue and there is not a group for that, could you start one? Certainly let Stuart know that you have such an interest.


November Sudoku - Medium

An alternative view of the Cathedral!     Zelah Bysouth



email address




Conversational French

Ron Moore


Family History- beginners

Mike Kirby


Family History- Advanced

Peter Read


Playing Simple Music

Malcolm Simmonds


Science and Technology

P Read, J Pengelley, A Abbott, J Wheeler



Christine Hill





A Good Read

Glenda Scott





Book Club

Stella Tobi


Self-help Watercolour

Rita Johnston

johnston.rita@ talk21.com


Mary Poynting


Wine Appreciation

Frank Woodward


Knit & Natter

Joan Simmonds


Recorder playing for fun and Improvement

Stuart Robson


History of Music

Stella Tobi





Art Appreciation

Christopher Browne


Poetry Reading

Beryl Paton


Theatre Group

Yvonne Watts


Walking- Exploring the Countryside

Cohn Seago


Opera Group

Pat Crossland





Digital Imaging - Beginners

Sheila & Peter Read


Digital Imaging - Advanced

Sheila & Peter Read


Using your Camera (summer only)

Sheila & Peter Read


Tea Dance

Eileen Forder





Scrabble for Singles

Ann Boutell


Various days



Ladies that Lunch

Sue Cook


Playing Chamber Music

Alison Dawson


Other Groups



U3A Choir

David Davies


If there is no email address please contact Stuart Robson 01722 334310/stuart. robson6@internet.com
or Zelah Bysouth 01722 330307 /  zjbp@btinternet.com

The Pros & Cons of GM Crops

On the morning of the great 2013 storm 20 U3A members from all three U3A groups gathered on the now sunny day to listen to Sylvia Parrett give her talk about GM crops.
This was originally known as Genetic Engineering but this was quickly altered to the more acceptable name.  When in the 1980s GM crops such as tomatoes were made into sauces and put on the shelves of supermarkets they sold very well. Only after certain organisations said how dangerous these GM crops were that they vanished from the shelves. They have never returned. Moreover no GM crops are grown in the whole of Europe apart from a special potato used for paper making.
Sylvia then went on to describe how GM crops are engineered. This involved a donor and a receiver crop. The donor crop would have a desired characteristic lacking in receiver crop such as aphid resistance or disease tolerance or greater yield.  The donor tissue was mashed up and added to a dissolved bacterium. This was introduced into another bacterium and then into the receiver crop. With luck a new plant was produced.
This process is just a step up from the natural processes in nature that happen all the time where species to species mutations occur and more rarely genus to genus mutations. Man has been using this natural tendency for generations to get larger or sweeter crops with no ill effects.
The GM technique enables man to mix species or genera that normally would not be possible.
There have been no reported bad effects on humans since the advent of GM and where they are grown, in the USA for instance, less sprays have been used. This has lead in time to more biodiversity locally unlike the situation in Britain.
Checking the pros and cons gives the idea that as with most new technologies some GM crops can be superb but there are also drawbacks. The industry is young and will improve in time and cost will reduce. This should lead to improved nutrition in developing countries.
An excellent discussion followed Sylvia's talk that was very stimulating.
Peter Read

November Sudoku Solution


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