Cam, Dursley & District

Members on their own (MOTO)

In the spring of 2019 we started a new group for U3A members who are on their own and want to join with others for get togethers and events. U3A MOTO groups throughout the UK offer a "helping hand" to U3A members who find themselves alone.

As the name suggests this interest group is for members who are on their own, for whatever reason.

The list of activities is chosen by the group and may include outings, meals, concerts, coffee etc. More ideas are always welcome.

The group leader is David Hinder who can be contacted via the Bluebird.

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Visit to Scott House, Slimbridge WWT 8th November 2019

Naturalist Sir Peter Scott – also artist, yachtsman, pilot, diver, wartime naval officer (who was mentioned in despatches 3 times), conservationist, and son of Scott of the Antarctic –discovered that a few rare lesser white-fronted geese wintered on the banks of the River Severn. This decided him to establish a reserve for research and education at Slimbridge. He himself designed the object of our visit for his family to live in.

Volunteers Barbara and Mario were our guides who showed us round and recounted anecdotes about the Scott family and their life there.

The house overlooks the ‘pond’, now known as Swan Lake, created so that Peter could observe the geese and swans that migrated to the reserve in large numbers each winter. He realised that all the Bewick’s swans had unique bill patterns, and he recorded them and named the individual birds, which still happens.

We went first into the kitchen – very 1950s – and saw the contents of the cupboards, with the personal touch of a post-it note instructing the cook what to feed the children and the dog. The next room along was the dining room with some of Peter’s paintings, and trophies that he had won for various sporting activities. The third room was the office where Philippa, his wife, acted as secretary, fundraiser and administrator, for although they were high profile they still had to make a living, and earned money from Peter’s paintings, writings, lectures and travels. Philippa herself was an excellent photographer, and helped Peter with recording wildlife.

The sitting room was a large comfortable room with Peter’s study at the far end. Its main feature was the huge picture window overlooking the lake (now much larger than the original pond), with Peter’s easel where he painted so many of his pictures. His three children, and any visitors, were not allowed to move near the window in case they disturbed the birds, and had to crawl past it! His books and diaries, and a valued telescope that had belonged to ornithologist Thomas Bewick, were left as they had been when he lived there. The walls displayed many of his paintings, including his designs of the panda logo for the World Wildlife Fund, and two Bewick’s swans in flight, the logo for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

Peter died in 1989, shortly before his 80th birthday, but his legacy lives on in the 10 WWT reserves now established around the British Isles, and also in his concerns about the damage to the natural world which he raised long ago and which are now being proven correct.

After refreshment in the Kingfisher Restaurant half of the group went to the warm Peng Observatory to see the spectacle of ducks, geese and swans receiving their evening grain feed. The morning feed had included 2 Bewick’s swans, 198 Tufted duck, 91 Shelduck, 67 Pintail and 80 Pochard, and I imagine the evening feed numbers were not much different. A spectacle indeed.

Anyone may book a visit to see the house; if you are a WWT member there is no charge, although a donation is requested for future work on the house. Otherwise the normal entrance charge to the reserve is applicable.

Thanks to David Hinder for arranging this visit after a suggestion by Mary George

Report by Anne Nuttall
Photos by David Hinder

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It was a very dark moonlit night, when six intrepid U3A would be detectives from the MOTO group descended on The Gables hotel for a Murder Mystery evening. What was to happen? We had to put our investigative skills to the test and enjoyed an evening of murder, and intrigue courtesy of Murder Mystery Productions. The story unfolds during a three course Christmas dinner, and it was up to us to work out whodunit by questioning the characters and examining the clues. The mystery was just hard enough that it was challenging, but not impossible. We learnt by the end that all the characters apart from the murdered (who incidentally we also interviewed!!!), were complete liars. Not only did we have to find out who committed the murder, but also how was the murder committed and why.

The evening was great fun, everyone interacted freely, and there was never a lull in conversation. It turned out what brilliant sleuths we were, particularly Grace Pink. We came fourth out of ten teams even though we had the smallest group, so didn't embarrass U3A too much.

The staff at The Gables were friendly and well organized, food was efficiently served during the event. I can highly recommend a good murder for a social get together!

Jacky Ling

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MATEY!!

With the Corona virus rampant, all events have been cancelled or postponed. However, in their place we are offering 'MATEY' which stands for MOTO Activities Through Emails - Yes!'
This is a member-led initiative which comprises an email each day, packed with members' contributions, anecdotes, pictures, information, jokes, quizzes - whatever you wish to include, so if you haven't joined MOTO yet, join now to receive this incredible service. FREE whilst the lockdown lasts!

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

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More Group Pages
Acoustic guitar Archaeology
Architecture Art Appreciation Group
Badminton Bookends
Bookworms Bridge Group
Chapter IV Book Group Church Explorers
Concert Group Craft & Textile Group
Cycling Family History
Fifth Amendment Book Group First Editions Book Group
Folk Dancing Group Foodie Supper Club
French Group French Intermediate Group
Gardening Group Geology
Historic Places Information Technology Help
Kurling Local Flora Group
Lunch Club Mahjong
Members on their own (MOTO) Modern Greek
Natural History Play Reading
Poetry 1 Poetry 2
Recorder Science & Engineering
Scrabble Skittles Friday
Skittles Monday Spanish Group
Table Tennis Table tennis too
Tennis Group The Third Page book group
Theatre Group Travel
Walking Groups Wine Appreciation
Wine Appreciation - Wotton Writers Workshop
Writing For Pleasure