Newsletter No 98

May 2015


From The Editors Desk

Welcome to the new year of U3A.

The weather has been somewhat challenging of recent week, with varying amounts of rain, hail sunshine and wind. I was having tea with a friend one afternoon, when to my horror I saw my greenhouse sail past the window! Luckily my friend was able to help me to reinstate it. I still have tubs of bulbs coming up and providing some welcome colour and my much neglected garden is now beginning to look like a garden and not a builders yard.

The AGM held last month was well attended and the Committee welcomed several new members.

Ayesha and Aslaug were re-elected as Chairman and Secretary. Ayesha reminded us that this would be her last year as Chairman. John Holt has taken on the roll of Speakers Secretary, Judy Jeffery that of Group Co-ordinator, Sue Robertson will be Safety Officer and Stuart Robson has taken over the role of Treasurer. The remainder of the Committee were re-elected en bloc.. We wish them all well in their new roles.

The new members welcome meeting and lunch was held in April and was well attended. We were grateful to Phyllis Bubb for attending and giving an interesting talk on the History of Spire U3A. Stuart put out an appeal for new groups as we have lost several but not gained many new ones.
Please pass any ideas for new groups to a member of the committee and especially any offers of help to run them.

Items for the Newsletter would also be welcomed, be they serious or humourous.

My very grateful thanks to Peter Read for his help with the Newsletter this month, due to my ill-health and the problems with technology that abound in my house.

Zelah Bysouth 01722 330307 zjbb@btinternet,com

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New Members

We are pleased to welcome

Mrs Sandra Pittman, Mrs Margot Jackson, Mr Brian
Abel and

Mrs Mary Robson to Spire U3A

News from the Groups, May 2015

Joint U3A Archaeology Group

The programme for the next three months is as follows:

Tuesday 12 May – Talk by David Whetton on Dating Archaeology plus discussion of administrative matters to put the group on a firm basis. To take place in Salisbury Museum Lecture Hall at 10.30 a.m., coffee and biscuits available from 10.10 a.m.

Tuesday 9 June – Visit to Martin Green’s Down Farm on Cranborne Chase, Details to be circulated later.

Tuesday 14 July – Wiltshire County Archaeologist Melanie Pomeroy- Kellinger will give an overview of what is happening in Wiltshire. In Salisbury Museum, details as above.

Please could you put this information on your websites and in your newsletters.
Elisabeth Richmond - Salisbury &
District U3A

Tea Dance Group

That the annual fee is £15 which allows a total of 18 meetings in all. In the winter months they can go to lessons if they want at St Georges hall with Chris Benton of Salisbury U3A. They start on the 2nd Oct.

The lessons run on a Friday alternate weeks to the tea dance. So that what you learn one week you can practice the next.
Eileen Forder

A Spire Art Group Dispossessed.

Fellow members of SPIRE may be aware of me as the person who, for over a year now, has been running a group in Drawing – Tuition for our chapter of U3A in my own rented art workshop in Harnham. I hope it is appropriate to use these pages to ask Spire colleagues for a moment of their attention.

In the autumn, immediately after the Salisbury Art Trail week in October 2015, I shall be losing my workshop space (at “Print Obsession”, 29 Harnham Road, opposite the Rose and Crown Hotel).

This is a severe blow to an artist who is still needing that space to continue his teaching of the Spire group, to make some new art, and to store all the work previously done in his lifetime.

Does any Spire member have, or know a friend who has, some accessible workshop space where he could continue to teach this group, and/or store existing work and create new?
Would it be of interest to suggest that such facilities might even be paid for in art work if that is preferred to cash?

If you can solve my problem, even just in the storage aspect, may I ask you to phone me on 01722.331972, or email christopherbr@waitrose.com? Christopher Browne.


Harnham Day Centre

Harnham Day Centre has vacancies for guests on Mondays and/or Thursdays. Suitable for any who are lonely or with limited mobility wanting a little stimulation to socialise, play games and enjoy a nutritious meal. Transport can be arranged".

Harnham Day Centre meets at about 9.30 am until 2.45 pm (depending upon transport availability).

We can take another four or five guests.

We meet in Brympton Lounge, (Gawthorne Drive between Folkestone Road and Hollows Close).

The committee/trustees meetings are arranged to suit attendees availability.

We need also a secretary for the committee/trustees meetings, usually 4 a year". In the first instance reply to Brian Mould (U3A) 01722 335443.

Smiling is Infectious

Smiling is infectious

Smiling is infectious

You catch it like the flu

When someone smiled at me today

I started smiling too

I walked around the corner

And someone saw nie grin

When he smiled I realised

I had passed it on to him

I thought about the smile

And then realised its worth

A single smile like mine

Could travel round the earth

So if you feel a smile begin

Don't leave it undetected

Start an epidemic

And get the world infected.

C U B A – Island in Transition by Sarah Buttershaw

Recently there has been a momentous meeting between President Obama and Raold Castro.

Cuba is the largest island measuring 700 miles long and 20 miles wide. Haiti is the nearest land with Cayman Islands and Jamaica to the south and the treacherous Straits of Florida to the north.

The most important products are Cigars, Tobacco and Rum. Factories at Havanna.

From Tobacco come cigars and from Sugar Cane: molasses, rum and cattle feed. They were introduced to Cuba by the Spanish.

Fidel Castro a prolific writer, spent some time in prison where read prodigiously.

Arawak Indians and Ciboney tribes inhabited Cuba. Arawaks dominant but when Spanish and then British invaded, they caught European diseases and became extinct. To fortify the island against piracy, the Spanish imported West African slaves. Galleons from South America loaded with gold and other precious cargo used the Cuban harbours.

1742 Cuba was conquered by Spain.

In 1763 a truce was signed between Spain and Britain. Cuba became Spanish and Florida British.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, churches are attended and Roman Catholicism is prevalent.

One thing to be noticed about Cuba is that electric wires are everywhere.

There are large black communities descended from the slaves, but considerable intermarriage leading to a 50 per cent integration.

Cubans after 400 years resented Spanish rule and remained a Spanish colony until 1898, but finally gained independence from the Spanish in 1902.

America bought land as a step towards independence, which Jose Marti fought for. He was killed in battle but became a martyr and a national hero.

Fidel Castro went to Rome and had an audience with the Pope, whom he invited to Cuba. The Pope accepted the invitation. So when he died at Easter in 2005, every flag was flown at half mast and there were five days of mourning.

Guantanamo Bay leased by America. Cubans would now like it back. Cars are American and are now used as taxis.

Fidel and Raul were the illegitimate sons of a farm worker and his mistress. Fidel was educated at a Jesuit school and read law at Havana University.

Batista was a dictator against whom Fidel and Raul fought a guerrilla war for two years. In 1956 Batista fled the country and Fidel became President.

Che Guevara was a doctor, a mercenary soldier and revered in Cuba. When Cuba became stable, he went to Angola and Bolivia, where he was executed.

In 1961 was the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs inspired by the CIA.

Fidel nationalised all land which encouraged Cuban Americans to invade Cuba. President Kennedy had not grasped the Cuban political situation.

In 1963 was the Missile Crisis as Cuba had become under Russian influence. As a consequence America put a trade embargo around the island, so that when the USSR collapsed tractors and machinery broke down and Cubans had to become totally self sufficient and this lasted for five years.

EDUCATION from 5 to 15 years is free. Literacy is 96 per cent and there are 15 pupils to one teacher. Tertiary education is dependent on motivation influenced by Marxist ideology.

HEALTH: Small communities each have a doctor and a district nurse paid for by the government. Patients go to towns or cities for more serious medical attention.

TRANSPORT tricky and slow. There are few car owners, but there are rickshaws and horses. Hitch hiking is normal. If space is available in a vehicle it is illegal not to stop, but the details of the hitch hiker are recorded by the driver. It is important for tourists not to be on the road after dark because there is no lit traffic.

LIVING CONDITIONS: the decoration is ugly. It is typical for a tobacco farmer’s house, for instance, to have no water. People sit on their verandahs.

There are RATION BOOKS for food and ration shops. People grow their own vegetables and sell the surplus on the black market.

SPORT is Chess and Dominoes. Betting is illegal.

MUSIC is everywhere.

CRIME is low, so bicycles are unlocked.

Lovely BEACHES, particularly enjoyed by Canadians.

Science & Technology Group

Report of the talk on 27th April by
Peter Read Group Leader.

The Mobile Phone
System by John

John is a Salisbury & District U3A member and a member of the team who produce the Programme of talks for the season.

On this occasion John suggested this topic in September 2014 and contacted a likely Mobile Phone company. Who said they did not do that sort of thing. So John found local mobile repair company who greed to do this. Later John sent an email to check progress and had no reply at all. On to another shop in Salisbury who after contacting with head office agreed to give us a talk. They even said that in April they give open talks to the more aged members of the public. So they would extend this to us. By March John inquired after his contact only to find he had left the company and no one else could help. By chance a man from Nokia overheard and said that he would be glad to help but he would have to contact head office. John heard no more again. This was the week before the talk was due so John decided that he would have to settle down and write the talk for us. He had some time over the weekend and produced a flip chart lecture.

This was very well done and we all learned a great deal especially John. He explained that there are several technologies needed for the system to operate and he covered six of these. They were Radio, Telephony, Transistor Chips, Touch Screens, Batteries and the Cell System.

So we learned of the history of Radio and its discovery in the 19th Century. Maxwell, Herz and Marconi were the principal engineers involved. We use two radio frequency channels on mobile phone systems one for sending and the other for receiving messages.

The Chip in the mobile phones is a modern miracle of technology. The chips contain many separate transistors. The biggest one now contains 5,000,000,000 and all must work. How do you test that?

There are two types of Touch Screen; the Resistive and the Capacitive. The former are used for ATM machines and the latter in Tablets and Smartphones because they can detect the positioning of the finger more accurately and reliably. It depends on an electric charge on your finger tip.

The Cells are a very clever way of sending information around. Each cell is small from 3 square miles down to 100 yards square [for crowded cities].
They butt up to each other rather like a honeycomb. The further from the centre your phone is the weaker the signal allowing the system to detect that you may be moving to the next cell.

The positions of the mobile phone masts can be found from the Ofcom web site. The power transmitted by these is very low typically 2 watts and thus have a negligible health hazard.

Our next talk is on the crisis facing the world on Antibiotic Resistance on the 18th May at 10 am in Harnham Memorial Hall. All are welcome. No signing up needed.


st andrews

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