Charity Ref. 400/379/98


August 11th 2003

SPIRE U3A met at the Memorial Hall, Harnham on the 12th August, on a very hot day, which along with the holiday period, kept the number of members attending unusually low.

The chairman gave out various notices and was pleased to announce that an auditor had been found to do the accounts next year.   A return trip with the Bath U3A was hard to arrange whilst a lot of members were on holiday so it was decided to fix a date for next year.

The speaker was changed at short notice and Hugh Thomas, one of the members, brought his talk forward, from next year, to tell us about being a Blue Badge Guide.   Having started 25 years ago he had also been involved in training guides.  They had to learn the skills of the courier and be a good explainer as well as an actor and nursemaid.

Working for tour operators early on made it easier for him to be selective instead of taking on anything to keep going; work, as a guide does not come easily.

Various things can happen unexpectedly, such as when a train failed to stop and the tour had to be rushed ahead by coach to catch up with the itinery.  A translator can take much longer to say something, which in English is quite short.  Sometimes tourists, perhaps from Outer Mongolia, can be surprisingly knowledgeable while others have difficulty in, what is simple to us, such as the numbering of the centuries.

Hugh told us that there is great satisfaction after a good day knowing the pleasure you have given the tourists.  Certainly we all enjoyed his talk and hearing his experiences.

The next meeting is on September 8th when Iain Perry will talk about ‘Dian Fossey’s Gorillas’

For membership information please contact the membership secretary (details in the U3A folder in the Reference Library).


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