Isle of Man


The U3A Isle of Man meets on the third Thursday of every month at 2pm in St John's Mill. This is an opportunity to listen to a variety of speakers, meet fellow members, find out more about special interest groups, meet group co-ordinators and find out about new groups and events. You will find the dates and details of the speakers for 2018 in the list below. All the meetings are held at St John's Mill - just past the Tynwald Mills shops on the left. You can either park in the shops car park and walk or use the car park off the Poortown Road and walk from there. There is limited disabled car parking outside the Mill. There is a charge of £1 to attend.

If you are interested in the U3A but not yet a member, attending a Network Meeting is the ideal introduction. The Groups Co-ordinator will be able to explain what groups are running and how to join them. Membership for the year ending 31st March 2019 is just £15, and will remain at £15 for the 2019/2020 year.

Network Meetings 2019

June 20th Chris Hobdell Archibald Knox
July 18th Peter Kelly A Victorian holiday in the IOM
August 15th Visit to the Manx Military and Aircraft Museum

Events/Visits 2019

There were two successful visits to the Calf on May 20th and 23rd. The weather smiled on both of them (as you can see from the photos - right), and everyone enjoyed the day.

We held a successful AGM on Thursday 16th May, we had just enough members present to make a quorum.
The following nominated Committee Members were approved:-

Irene Jaques - Chair
Kim Corlett - Secretary
Margaret Marsland - Treasurer
Brenda Cubbon - Vice Chair
Ian Yates
Les Cunliffe
Sue Madigan
John Wardle

As we have fewer Committee members than usual, we would really appreciate some extra help. Even if you don't join the Committee, you could help out with individual events. Go on, give it a try - you never know, you might enjoy it!

Sue King's talk at the April meeting gave us a picture of how the circus began and developed, as well as the circuses that visited and those that established themselves in the Isle of Man. Not an American invention, but displays and lessons given by cavalry officers on their return from the Napoleonic wars, which became very popular. Clowns, tumblers (acrobats) and aerial acts followed on later. In the Island's tourist heyday, there was a ready market of visitors (and locals) for this exciting entertainment which saw various venues around Douglas. One visiting circus had to charter an entire Steam Packet boat for the crossing! However, although we have just had a brief visit from Gandey's Circus, the only reminder left of the Island's own circus heritage is Bank's Circus down near the Sea Terminal. A surprising and informative talk.

March's meeting was really interesting. Navigator Finlo Williams told us all about the Island's Search and Rescue Dogs - how they now have three complete teams. Each team consists of a navigator, a handler and a dog. Two of the dogs are trained to air scent (looking for any human scent) and the newest dog Ruby is trained to trail scent (looking for a particular human). The members of the organisation periodically train with UK search and rescue teams and helicopters, but don't have much call to locate lost people on the Island. The majority of their work is searching for missing vulnerable people, which can be more difficult if the person doesn't want to be found. A very important and worthwhile organisation.

February's meeting was almost a workshop. Sandy Moore and her two assistant volunteers (one of whom was small, round and prickly!) showed us how to encourage, feed, house and protect hedgehogs in our gardens. With the help of flash cards distributed round the audience she had all sorts of helpful information, including the dangers of crisp bags and plastics. We were then able to meet our subject, who was gently circulated round, snug in his lined basket. Marshall (yes I know, not the first name you would think of for a hedgehog - but chosen by his foster carer) showed no signs of stress or fright and seemed to be just as curious about us. His next task was to set about putting on more weight so that he can be safely released later in the year.

We had an excellent start to the year, with January's talk by Lynn Owens about Emily Pankhurst's Manx born mother Sophia Goulden really informative. It is a subject that really needs a higher profile. The Isle of Man should be proud of the fact that it brought in women's suffrage so much earlier than the UK (albeit as a result of our legislation referring to a "person", without specifying a gender!) We wish the Friends Group all the best in their fund-raising efforts for a commemorative statue of Sophia.

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