You can read our latest news letter by clicking here: September Chester Times
(once you have read it press the back button (often a left arrow) on your browser to return here). Previous editions can be found in the Links (on right or at bottom of the page).
Our latest Treasure Trail was launched on 27th August. It starts near the old Shot Tower (by Waitrose) and takes you on a fascinating walk round parts of Chester. Follow this link to the Treasure Trails page where there is a downloadable file of instructions.
Explore the Tidal Dee is a new short programme launching later this year. On Fridays from 10th September to 17th December it will cover
• Geology and geography of a shifting river
• Canalisation and land reclamation
• The natural world of the Dee: Burton Mere to the Point of Ayr
• Leisure along the Dee: Coastal paths and sites to visit
• Cultural and historical links: Chester, Basingwerk/Greenfield Valley and Parkgate
• The heritage of the Dee: mining, shipbuilding, salmon, cheese, steel, and aircraft
Click this link to see the information sheet & register Explore the Tidal Dee.
Chester Times our new bigger, better, more colourful monthly news letter is now here! The May edition has lots of new sections bringing it to 10 pages of interesting reading. We would love to hear your comments on it, send them by clicking here > Chester Times feedback.
Treasure Hunt Winners - The winners of our Easter Treasure Hunt are Mike & Pat Pollard who completed the course with all photos correct in record time! Congratulations to them and here is a photo of Mike receiving the chocolate Easter egg prize. For anyone who didn't get the correct answers there is a hints sheet, which can be emailed out to anyone who wants it (email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask).
Coming up for Easter - a Walk/Historical Tour/Treasure Hunt. You will be able to do one, two, or all three at the same time, and if you can't get around the route in person you can even do it online, or just read through the tour and learn some interesting historical snippets. So drag those grandchildren out to look for the hidden treasures around our beautiful city, or go with a friend. The whole 3 mile circular route is outdoors, and can be done in easy stages (or all at once if you get carried away). So look out for the All Members Email on 1st April!
Can you pick them out and read of their experiences?
u3a National Events online - There is a good programme of online events which you can access via the national website u3a.org.uk and go to the events page. This link > u3a online events will take you straight there.
It is changing all the time so check it out regularly.
Pickleball Group move outside to keep playing during Covid-19 restrictions. They play on an outside court at Westminster Park rather than indoors at the Northgate Arena. See the Pickleball page for info on how to join them.
New Guidance for group activities was produced by U3A National Office on 23rd October. There is now a table which sets out the possibilities for each tier of restrictions. Click the link to go straight to the document.
Many thanks to Kay Lunt - Our long standing Groups Liaison Officer was going to stand down at the AGM in November but with all the Covid turmoil has handed over the baton a few months early. We all would like to pass on our thanks to Kay for the amazing service she has given Chester U3A helping so many groups get started over the years and in aiding group coordinators keep our ninety groups going. But don't worry Jazz Appreciation & Knitting group members, Kay is continuing to coordinate your groups.
Art Appreciation via Zoom - Our Art Appreciation 2 group are holding their meetings via Zoom and have made a short 9 minute video to give a taste of what it is like. You can see it on their web page. We think you will be impressed. You can contact the coordinator to see about joining the group on the Art Appreciation 2 page.
Home is Where the Art Is - One
of our members Alison Lingfield appears in this BBC One show at 3:45pm on 24th July. As she told us - 'The show is hosted by Nick Knowles and three artists come into the buyers home and design a piece of art based on individual briefs. I wanted a piece to celebrate my tenth anniversary with the chorus I sing with.'
Online talks a hit! Some of the feedback we have received:
- "I have enjoyed very much the 2 talks online so far. What an option ! - to stop half way to have a coffee and then continue with the rest of the talk as well as be able to go back to have something repeated or as in the case of the medieval art talk to go back to see an earlier slide/picture. Thanks a lot. I can see how much time you are spending on organising things for the members." Ben John.
- "I have watched this talk now and thank you very much for arranging it. I enjoyed it especially as the speaker had very clear voice and there were also captions so I did not miss anything. I often do not go to the Tuesday talks as it is a struggle for me to hear but this online is a pleasure. I look forward to the June talk." Nora Clewes.
- "Thank you for organising that, Sue. I have always enjoyed Jim Holmes’ talks and have put off this morning’s chores (!) to watch this one. It didn’t disappoint." Eileen Warren.
- "What a wonderful resource! I thoroughly enjoyed the Mongolian video and look forward to the next one. It would be wonderful if this could be extended for the odd talk in the future for those who cannot attend the monthly meetings." Maureen Boulton.
Members enjoyed the specially commissioned video talk that replaced the May 2020 monthly meeting. We could all watch Jim Holmes talk on the Mongolian Altai on-line. The landscapes were breathtaking and the stories of peoples nomadic lives intriguing. We saw how the United Nations Children's Fund is helping remote communities with a serious education shortage and learn how difficult it is to reach the very far west of this vast country. Visit remote communities that hunt with eagles and drink tea with camels' milk, then travel with herders as they prepare to move to spring pastures, and see how the schools follow them.
Industrial Heritage 3 group visited Bidston Lighthouse & the Observatory
on 4th March 2020. Did you know that the lighthouse on top of Bidston hill is the farthest from the sea in the world? It has a very interesting history which our guide Stephen extolled as we saw the exhibits on each floor before taking in the panoramic view from lantern room at the top. The view stretches from the Dee estuary along N Wales coast to the Great Orme & then from Formby Point south to Liverpool and the Mersey estuary. After coffee & excellent homemade cakes we moved on to the Observatory, another building with an interesting history from the domes on the roof to seismic experiments in the cellars. Some photos on this page and more description & photos on the Industrial Heritage 3 page.
Popular Science was very popular once again on 19th February 2020. After doing a sterling job of steering the Popular Science ship for around ten years, Janet Money has chosen to give up the helm. I’m sure everyone who has enjoyed the wonderful selection of talks that have been delivered in that time would wish to thank her for her guiding hand. Grateful appreciation was expressed at the start of the meeting and Janet was given a bunch of flowers as a small token of thanks. Janet has been succeeded by the team of Helen Pulford & Mal Waite who promised to do their best to follow in her footsteps – although she’s a very hard act to follow. Thankfully, there are plenty of people locally who are able and willing to assist with science-based talks.
On this occasion, around 80 people gathered in the lecture theatre at Bishop’s High School to enjoy two talks given by Chester U3A members. Each talk was excellent in its own way, featuring two experienced lecturers with different skills and styles along with two very different and yet very engaging topics. Aren’t we lucky to have such talented and generous members? Sue Foy started proceedings with a re-worked and updated version of her ‘A Life Less Plastic’ talk and presented information that was as worrying and scary as it was fascinating. She was followed by Peter Goodhew whose humorous and absorbing talk on Liquids, accompanied by paintings and everyday objects to help demonstrate certain points captured the imagination as well as the intellect. The next Popular Science meeting will be during the October Half Term. Watch out for information later in the year.
February Quiz was well attended with eleven teams puzzling over questions with a range of themes in seven rounds. Some found the St Valentines Day ones the most tricky whilst it was Leap Year events for others. Results in the March News Sheet. Photos to the right.
First Pickleball Session
This is a photo from the very first Pickleball group session, held last Monday, 9th December 2019, with 5 members in attendance. We had the Cheshire coach from England Pickleball come to give us some training and it was a an outstanding session, enjoyed by all. The next session is on the 16th when we have the NW Director of England Pickleball coming to continue the training and support for the group. The January meetings are Mondays the 6th and 13th so anyone who would like to experience this great game should come along to Northgate Arena at 9.45 to see how much fun and exercise you can have for £4! Contact Dave Smith.
Popular Science Report - Our October 2019 meeting was graced by an audience of 72. Mike Money kicked off proceedings with his talk on Fire, Food and the Evolution of Modern Humans. 23 varieties of hominids are known, of which we are the last remaining species. They underwent rapid evolution about 1.2 million years ago, resulting in flat faces, large brains, small guts, hairless bodies, upright posture and articulate speech. One theory is that this was the result of learning to cook food, which provided high quality energy with much less effort than raw food. Mike Shaw of the Sundial Society then entertained us with Why don't Sundials tell the Right Time? He explained the differences between sun time, mean solar time, mean local time, and clock time, the analemma (which describes the position of the noontime sun throughout the year), the effect of longitude and the Equation of Time. Having grasped that, we were willing to agree that a sundial telling the time at 3:15pm when the clock says 4:30pm was actually correct. A number of us went away with our own sun dial cards.
Croatia Holiday -
Our summer holiday 2019 was spent in Croatia again but in a more ancient location near Trogir. We had three outings to Mostar, with its restored medieval bridge, Krka waterfalls and Split with Dioclecian's Palace. We had a optional visit to three of the many islands along the coast. The weather was sunny on all but one day.
Some members travelled to Kent for a lovely holiday in June 2019, click here to read more and see some pictures > Kent Holiday
Thursday Concert - An appreciative audience enjoyed a splendid concert on Thursday 11th July 2019 presented by our four music groups. There were well-received performances from both ukulele groups, Singing for Pleasure and, pictured here, the Music Performing group. What a lovely way to spend Thursday morning! And what talented members we have!
New Constitution Adopted - The membership voted to adopt the new constitution at the SGM on Tuesday 2nd July 2019 which will now be sent to the Charities Commission to be registered. Thank you to all those who attended ensuring the meeting was quorate.
New U3A Facebook page - We have recently set up a Facebook page for Chester U3A. We hope you will find it interesting and informative - please give it a try. As the page grows over time, it will contain details about our events and activities to give all members a flavour of the huge range of what groups, and Chester U3A as a whole, are doing. It can be viewed via this link > Facebook. You can also add information about your own group etc. You do this by going to the ‘Create Post’ section on the page, where you can add text, photos or even videos to show what the U3A has been doing, or things that we have planned. Please ensure that information about any individual, and especially any photographs, has the approval of the people concerned. All posts have to be moderated by one of the designated administrators from Chester U3A, so it may be a couple of days before you see your item.