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13th September 2020 Katie Scott Katie Scott. Hia everyone. I have to admit, I have only today (September 13th) thought of looking on the U3A website. This was prompted by an email from Clive reminding folk to vote in the AGM (Help, I cannot find what I am supposed to do..) Then I found the discussion about locking down, or not, with interesting comments by several people. That was in May I think. Well, I wonder what those promoting that we do go out and about think now? Schools are just reopening fully. Universities are going back. We have the 'Rule of Six' beginning tomorrow. And this means, I think, I can meet with 6 of us in your house today, another 6 tomorrow in my house, and another 6 the day after in someone else's, and so on. This seems so ludicrous that I am sure I have this wrong. (I am getting very confused, I admit). Anyhow, just wanted to 'reach out' as the Four Tops would have said. Is everyone ok? Love Katie xx
16 July 2020. Ian Webb Ian Webb. I have given myself a project during lockdown, not that I didn’t find lots to do. It has been an interesting journey. During the nearly 40 years I have lived in Thropton I have gained a strong relationship with Simonside and it has gradually dawned on me that Simonside perhaps was the most northerly summit of the Pennines. What I discovered is that there is no definitive northern limit to the Pennine Chain. In the attached paper I have set out my contention that Simonside is indeed the most northerly summit of the Pennine If you click the blue link you can read it in full. I hope you feel free to comment on this paper by putting them on this page. If you would like to comment confidentially please say so otherwise I would be delighted that it appear on this page. All comments would be appreciated
13 June. 2020. Ian Webb As I have mentioned before I have taken advantage of joining adjacent U3A ‘s Groups and have been attending Wooler’s Philosophy. Group. This is operated on a.similar basis to our Discussion Group. Well on Tuesday we held our usual. Meeting using Zoom. Considering we are all novices it worked well and was very enjoyable.. Any one else using our neighbouring. U3A. Groups let us know on this page.
4 June 2020. Ian Webb This is my “lock down” beard which has had mixed reviews. But it has gone now! This is not the only thing I have been doing. The Photography Group kindly allowed me to sit in on there regular meeting on Zoom. This was fascinating as they were operating with showing each other their subject photographs of the month as usual. A really good example to us all.

Remarkably this page had the most number of hits during May. Why don’t you add something and keep it going

10 May 2020. Ros Hoskin. In 1968 the disciplines of virology and epidemiology were in their infancy. Had they been as advanced as they are now I believe the decision would have been taken to 'lock-down' the country and 80,000+ people would not have died. Similarly in 1918/9 when Spanish Flu killed 220,000+ in the UK. That is conjecture however, what is fact is that more people died in the second wave of both those pandemics than in the first. This is the risk now. There are too many unknowns to make populist decisions - why are a disproportionate number of BAME men and women dying of C19? Why are children and adolescents testing positive for C19 but presenting with a range of symptoms quite unlike those in adults? Why are men particularly at risk of death from multiple organ failure? Covid-19 is a terrible disease which has resulted in some wonderful acts of selflessness and altruism. Sadly it has also brought out the worst in others. When we can eventually resume some kind of 'normal' life I hope our grandchildren will be proud of the way we have behaved and will continue to argue for a kinder, gentler society based less on monetary value and more on the value of all human life.
4 May 2020. John Lewis. The major reason for the lock-down is clear. The services could nowhere near cope with the morbidity and mortality that would have resulted from giving the virus free rein. Our society (not just the NHS) would have been overwhelmed. That has not changed, so simply relaxing the lock-down for everybody is not an option. I want to ensure that we leave the world in the best possible state for future generations. If that means that I have to be in isolation for some time yet, then so be it. Maybe the young can be unlocked soon. For many of them the risk posed by the virus is no greater than many risks they already accept as part of normal living. Whether you like it or not, for those of us over 70 the risks are much higher even if we are fully fit. We are the major source of the excess morbidity and mortality that would result from full exposure to COVID-19. Hence it makes sense to consider different degrees of release from lock-down for different age groups. This is not simply a question of being allowed to make make your own choice about the risks you are prepared to accept. Your choices affect other people. Crash helmets and seat-belts appear to be a personal decision about your own risk, but a disabled person has huge consequences for their family and society. Not to mention the use of NHS resources. How much more is this true of COVID-19, where your acceptance of risk may lead to other people dying.
3 May 2020. Pauline Wilson. This topic could be the subject of our annual debate whenever we can have it in 2021. The debate may well be tempered by the benefits of hind sight!
3 May 2020 Duncan Elson Duncan Elson. I agree with both Dyan and Julia. I am now my families most senior citizen. I certainly do not want to shuffle off before my time but I do not want my children and grandchildren paying to keep me alive past my sell-by date. So I think we need and have needed for some time, a sensible debate on what value we put on life. I don't mean value in cash but the value in what the community loses/sacrifices to keep life going at all costs. However, I don't think now is the right time for such a debate. Let us all stay safe and look after each other. And most important keep smiling.
3 May 2020 Julia Wood Julia Wood. Dyan, we all want to return to normal life as soon as it is safe for EVERYONE to do so . This means that we have to be altruistic as our behaviours affect us all. Every individual has the potential to spread the virus so please consider this. It isnâ?Tt just about you.
3 May 2020 Dyan Davison. There have been two (at least) nasty viruses which have attacked our ( UK) population in my lifetime . The one in 1968 (So called Hong Kong flu ) apparently killed 80,000 people. We did not shut everyone down and go into a panic and we all hugged and kissed and what have you. I am wondering if it was the lack of social media, email , the web etc etc which has fuelled all of this. I understand that many people are scared , don't want to go back to normal and so on. Whilst we don't want anyone to die unnecessarily , there are those with other than non Covid related illnesses and requiring operations who will die if we don't change what we are doing and the economy will go down the pan putting people out of work . although we may have some (temporary) economic measures in place, these cannot continue indefinitely otherwise our grandchildren will be in hock for the rest of their lives. Whilst this opinion might be controversial I believe it to be a fact. Pharma is looking hard for a vaccine ( which will take at least eighteen months if it ever arrives ) and other stuff is ongoing such as using plasma from those who have had the virus. In my opinion it's useless looking towards experts as there are as many opinions as there are experts. I would like to return to normal life and get on with it. I don think the government has the right to confine me. After all it is my life which maybe at risk. Most people are capable of using common sense and can also make their own decisions regarding self isolating. They can stay in if they want to. I am in my 70s and pure mathematics tell me I have less than ten years left. I love my home but I don't want to spend the rest of my life confined to it and I don't want to leave a load if debt for my grandchildren's generation to have to pay . That's my opinion.
3 May 2020 Ian Webb Ian Webb Julia, thanks for your message. I have been thinking on similar lines. I thought individual groups might think hard at how to continue but there was not a huge response. Your initiative with the Vegan and Vege Group persuaded Valerie Apted to do something similar for Food and Drink, and now we have recipes on the Website. I thought Photography, Creative Writing were strong possibilities and I have ideas for Art Appreciation. I drew attention of members to our “social media”, our Facebook site, and this page, Post Box.. I thought it was two ways of keeping up a dialogue between Members. I have to admit these have never been used let alone a success. I have been living in hopes of using Zoom which obviously has potential. It seems Skype may be an adequate alternative and I have had some experience of using video Messenger within the Family. So I come to the point, I woke up this morning and thought Discussion Group are half the way there, we have a programme of topics and a willingness to “discuss”. We just need a willingness not to be frightened by the technology. I am going to progress this and we could use your initiative as the first topic. Are you game? We have a U3A power house of Members in the Discussion Group so I am hopeful. I have reminded myself that at the the height of World War 2 the Beveridge Report prepared the way for the Welfare State, so we could move forward at the end of the War.
1 May 2020 Julia Wood Julia Wood We all will be thinking about how we manage social contact when lockdown is lifted. Should we, as U3A members, be opening this up for discussion so we all have an opportunity to put our thoughts together. I suspect that lifting of lockdown will come with continued social distancing, most probably with mask wearing in public spaces. I would like to put forward that social hugging & hand shaking is off limits for a very long time, possible years, as the threat of viruses will not go away. The U3A is an ageing, & therefore potentially vulnerable, community so it is vital that we have discussions now before we return to ‘normal’. What do you think and/or suggest.
17 September 2019 Ian Webb U3A may be the biggest “club” in the UK and one of the many good things is that we can plug into other local U3A’s. Anne and I had a very unusual and hilarious visit to the History Group in Newcastle. We also shared a visit of the Gardening Group of Criccieth U3A to a friends sculpture garden. I have been a member of the Philosophy Group of Wooler U3A for a number of months now. This is really a good addition to our own U3A. It is interesting to note the difference in emphasis. The balance in favour of women is notable. Our own balance is roughly one third men two thirds women.

Share your experiences of other U3A’s on this page.

6 May 2019 Ian at Chamonix The Discussion Group as usual had a excellent topic on how we can be green. We could have got really depressed but we did look at positives. For example we discovered that not only does Keilder Resevoir produce hydro-electricity but it is the biggest producer of hydro-electricity in England! To be more specific it saves 8,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year compared to fossil fuel based methods of generation. Northumberland must be one of the lowest net carbon emitting areas in England.

“Not many people know that.” Comment on this if you like by clicking on Post Box.

2 January 2019 Ian at Chamonix Sadly I missed Duncan Elson’s recently convened Group, Desk Top Publishing, but I have today now had the privilege of attending the second session with 5 others. What a treat; we learned how versatile these programmes are. We entered the world of the programme Serif and were introduced to creating labels and business cards right through to books publication ready for print. Throughly enjoyable opening up lots of possiblities. Thanks Duncan.
30 July 2018 Ian I had not realised what a minefield it was to decide between the spellings of convener(or}. In short it seems to be controversial. We have spelled it both ways in the U3A! I have usually spelt it with the o thinking the e was an American version. No, the Oxford Dictionary uses the e . Perversely the Cambridge Dictionary uses the o ! I think it is common usage that it is optional. But it seems originally a convener was someone who convenes a committee or body of people. A convenor has a specific use as one who assembles for an official or public purpose. In a British university (probably uniquely Cambridge) a lecturer who takes on the mantle of managing a specific course. As you can tell I love this sort of thing. Sorry! However we took a formal decision that in this U3A we would use convenor.
24 July 2018 Anonomous Convenient orchid Cooler Many uses of my facilities. We U3A people are so versatile
05 July 2017.Ian Editor More birdie stuff. It is fantastic that the post below, 2nd June, kick started an interest in a Birdwatching Group and we may have one in a very short time! Last weekend Anne and I were at Inner Farne. It was more fantastic than usual. First time we have seen Razor Bill chicks, in fact never seen as many Razor Bills. Terns, Puffins, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, an absolute feast.
02 June 2017. Ian Editor It is a pity that we have not got a Bird watching Group. But keep an eye on the website page on what the Regional Group is doing. You may be like me, love birds and like to see them around. Imagine our surprise when we we going down the A1 and suddenly we saw a flock of cranes. Yes we had the sighting verified by the RSPB!!
04 April... 2016...Ian Editor The Creative Writing Group had a mention on "Pointless" tonight. Alexander Armstrong mentioned that his Mum & Dad did creative writing together. Wow! Fame at last.
11th January 2016Malcolm Robinson (This is yet another very welcome comment on the Discussion Group's "Vision Statement"). "I have come to the conclusion that our political system, the governments that it produces, and the way that they run the country, are not fit for purpose. "Firstly, our governments, which are often in power for only 5 years, or, if longer, can't know this beforehand, cannot possibly plan long term policies. Also these policies are driven by political ideology." "Secondly, ministers in charge of extremely important departments, often have no experience of their charge. In fact, some of them have no experience of anything other than politics." Click here to read more 1
16 June 2015 Ian Editor. The Groups Bridge, Geology, Jazz, Natural History, Play Reading, and Weather have been removed from the website as they are not operating at present. This a pity as these pages get a substantial number of hits each month, showing potential interest. If you are interested in co-ordinating such a Group make yourself known through the "Contact" tab above.
15th JuneKatie Scott. Thank you to everyone who came along today (Monday 15th June) to support the Creative Writing Group's presentation. We loved performing and we received such fantasic responses from an amazing audience. Pam Molony deserves a special mention, as she brought the whole event together.
26 January 2015 Ian Editor. Alan and Averil Fendley are enjoying the sun in Sydney, Australia. Alan produced the Seasonal Quiz whch we all really enjoyed. Very many thanks Alan.
08 December 2014Averil Fendley. I am writing to thank you for all the work you do on behalf of us all. It is greatly appreciated and I am constantly impressed with your innovative efforts and expertise. Also - this message proves I can access the system!
07 December 2014Auld Bear. (this is a comment on the Discussion Group's "Vision Statement") Just took Sunday morning to read this in full. Absolutely outstanding work! What a coup to put forward what you want to see rather than carping at what you see now. I think a vast majority of peoples of the world would agree with all overriding principles and most detailed items herein. I certainly do. I think you all have done us all a major service. I trust I can send this around to folks I believe should and will read it? Hope so - it's one of the best and most constructive things I've seen in years and years. Bravo and bravo again to all of you!!!!
03 December 2014Michael Hodgson. As you no doubt know I am packing in the rothbury web after some 16 years. Its all been fun and I hope informative. Although not finalised yet it is believed that it will be taken over by Mike Todd and used to document among other things the new (old) slides of Rothbury that were acquired by a small group of interested locals.Current ideas include a virtual museum which would go some way to resolve the thorny problem of where to to locate a real heritage centre. If there is enough interest only time will tell!. I would like to thank Michael and John Rayner from Collie Dog Computers and Duncan Elson for their support over these years. Plus of course all those who provided a great deal of source material. I hope I have acknowledged them all including the parish council. (Don't mention the clock). Au Revoir,
02 December 2014 Ian Ian (site editor). Welcome to this new page which could be not only useful but fun. It is an experiment which could be exciting. We did set up a Facebook page in the past which was not a success mainly I believe because not everyone is a member and were not too sure about security. This page will ensure your details are secure, but think twice before including in your "post" telephone numbers or addresses. If you do reveal personal details you will be asked as a default if this is really your intention. Look forward to your contribution.