Spire U3A met at The Memorial Hall, Harnham on February 14th. The hall was full for an excellent talk given by Ann Seviour about the New Forest Verders. Her French surname was the first explanation she gave us. Apparently her family name comes from French weavers who settled in the area centuries ago.
Ann as a Verderer was able to tell many a tale of her involvement with the ponies, often called the Architects of the New Forest as without them grazing, the heath land would turn to scrub and woodland. She warned never to feed the horses or get too near as accidents can happen, pointing out they are after all a wild heard. Some years are better than others for breeding ponies and these days the stallions are strictly controlled so that the quality of the stock is maintained.
Apparently when the ponies stand in the road and will not budge the best one can do is wind down the window and bang the side of the door yelling 'Gee out of it' and they will move, if you are lucky!
Ann's talk was illustrated with slides showing all aspects of her work with the ponies and her humerous way of giving her talk made for a delightful mornings entertainment.
There were a few notices given out. One of the most important being the archaeological dig has been changed to March 3rd.
All details are on the U3A Website or in the Library. For membership information please contact 01722 321731
The next meeting is on March 14th and will be about the work of the Samaritans.