News & Group Updates

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Stop Press Have you purchased your tickets yet for the Barn Dance on 28 April.

Please click Barn Dance above for more information

Message from the Chair

Hello everyone, I am Maggie Conu and I am now Chair of Cheltenham U3A. Lynne Macedo has agreed to support me by taking on Vice Chair. We will be very pleased to hear from our members whether it is praise or moans, especially if it is constructive and we can learn from the information.

I would like to thank David Siddons who has been your chair for the past year for his commitment and the hard work he has put in to make Cheltenham U3A continue so well, giving up holidays and missing his groups. I would also like to thank John Hurl, Martin Pettit and Ann Tandy who have all come to the end of their time on the Committee. They have worked tirelessly for the benefit of our members.

The Fire Service has sent me an apology for not turning up at our AGM. They had a call out to a nasty car crash and of course, that must come first. They have offered to fix another date when we hope for better luck.

We have good news about our Summer Party. This year it will be on August 14th and will be a picnic in the park. We hope you will come with your friends and have a great time with good entertainment. We will need volunteers to help us organise the event. Please contact Di Kyte if you are willing to help.
A provisional date of 17th July has been booked at St. Matthews for the new members meeting. I have been asked why existing members cannot come and find out about our groups. There is no reason. You are all welcome. We will continue the format of group leaders being available for members to talk to.
Please remember that the door charge for our monthly talk at St. Matthews will be going up to £2 this month.

There are a number of exciting things happening over the next few months, including a new website which will have a private members area. There is a possibility that we can provide funding for training of potential group leaders. If any member is interested, they should contact me with details of the course, cost and what U3A will gain from this training. Then the committee will consider it. This could lead to a new group or enhanced training for existing group leaders.
We will continue with the group visits which are bringing in some very useful information for us, and it is lovely to meet our members. We have now covered many of the groups, with just a few more to visit.

Maggie Conu


Astronomy Group

I am wondering if there would be any interest in forming an Astronomy Group? This could be an introduction to astronomy and follow any number of avenues of interest: e.g. the history of astronomy, the science supporting it or, simply, ‘exploring the universe’.

There could be a mixture of observational and theoretical astronomy which would reflect members’ interests. There are a number of more ‘formal’ courses for beginners, run by the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Liverpool John Moores, that we could tap into, as well as the GCSE Astronomy course text. Any of these would give the group structure and focus, with room to explore individual interests too. For those who wished to be involved in observing the night sky with binoculars or telescopes, there may be opportunities to do so. There are many books and magazines that we could consult to inform our endeavours.

There is an online U3A course in astronomy too, if people wished to combine the two.

Thank you

Please contact Edward Trezise - details in May/June newsletter

Model Railway Group

I had a Hornby ‘00’ in my first age. Then came my second age, and it disappeared into a box whilst I worked. Now in my third age cups, I find I want to return to a model railway or even two . . . for perhaps just a layout, perhaps some scenery modelling, perhaps some automation,
or . . .

Is there anyone out there who might have a similar interest? I have no idea how we might achieve it, but it would be worth getting together to try? Drop me an email.

David Siddons

Music Appreciation

The existing Music Appreciation Group 2 has been meeting on the second Wednesday morning of the month for about fifteen years, usually at the home of one of the members. The venue has tended to limit the number of seats available, currently at twelve. This has meant that possible new members have been included on a waiting list and invited to fill a vacant seat at short notice. This is not satisfactory and I am considering starting another group if there is enough interest. I would suggest meeting on the third Wednesday morning, venue to be decided.
The format of the meeting is to listen to CDs selected by either myself or members of the group. Programme notes are provided, with information on the music/composer/performer.
If you would like further information, please contact me David Isher - details in May/June Newsletter


Computing Skills: assistance and tutors required

The group would welcome any assistance from U3A members who have a working knowledge of ipads and iphones to supplement our merry band of “tutors” to help our “students”. If you would like to know more, please kindly contact me.
Also remember: if technology is getting you down and you need help with those annoying little “difficulties” with a new computer, tablet or phone as a beginner, or perhaps just need assistance to go a bit further with your skills, our group is here waiting to hear from you.
This group meets by arrangement (through myself), but usually on the afternoon of the first Monday of the month at 2.30, for about an hour. Please contact me, either by leaving a message on my answer phone if I am not around, or by emailing Jo Stock - details in May/June newsletter

On U3A open meeting days there is also a helpdesk in the coffee area.


New Canasta Group

Roberta Rastrick has agreed to hold an inaugural meeting for a prospective
Canasta group at her house in Cheltenham. When we know how many
members are interested we can plan a way forward. If you would like to play
Canasta or learn to play, please email Roberta - details in latest Newsletter. She will then let everyone know where she
lives, and the date and time of the meeting.



Recycling Corks

Ken Sheather, leader for the Wine Group, has joined a U.K. charity that recycles natural corks,
reworks them into products for sale and donates funds to various charities worldwide to provide fresh water to communities.
Cork does not disintegrate; it just contributes to landfill.
If you can help by saving your corks, please contact Ken and bring them to an Open Meeting for collection.
Remember that screw caps can be recycled via the can bank.
The charity also collects the wire cages and caps from all sparkling wines.

Recycling Corks

Email Ken Sheather