Leigh & District

Crime & Punishment 1

Facilitator:Barbara Joyce07516 225608
Venue & time:Leigh Miners1pm - 3pmNow twice a month: 4th Monday and Tuesday

Update June 2020

Still closed and restricted to our social bubble so it will not be possible for us to meet for a while yet.

The topic for July was to have been unsolved cases. The cases to be looked at were Lord Lucan, which most of us will know something about. Less well known but fascinating is the 'hit man' type murder in Nairn, Scotland of Alistair Wilson. There is no real motive for the murder and it remains a mystery. Finally there was a spate of murders in London in the early 60s which became known as the Jack the Stripper murders. Again these were never solved and still attract interest and attempts to identify suspects.

Another one for the back burner!

Hope everybody is keeping well and lets hope there is some good news soon which means we can meet up again.

26th May 2020

Still socially isolated and being alert.

Today's and yesterday's topic would have been 'Celebrities Incarcerated'. We'll put it on hold until we get out of our incarceration. I hope all group members and potential group members are as well as can be expected.

Will June be a goer for our group? If it is the topic will be The Liverpool Cameo Cinema Murders but if the Miners is still closed and we are unable to meet we will put that one on ice for the future.

See you soon I hope

Barbara
8th May 2020

It looks like we will be closed for a while and when we return to normal service we will have a lot of topics prepared.

I have been sending out a few quizzes to those members of the group who are on line. It is important to keep in touch. There are many 'true crime' books, magazines and TV programmes. There are also courses on Future Learn (free) and lectures on the Gresham College website.

See you soon

Barbara
March 21st 2020

As you will be aware the pandemic has necessitated closure of the U3A groups. We have no clear idea when we will be able to be up and running again but meanwhile I hope people are keeping busy and I have a few suggestions that have come from the group members on how to keep busy. I will update this as we progress with our isolation.

There were some great recommendations regarding what to watch/do during our coronavirus incarceration.
• Gardening – our gardens will be weed free and fit for purpose when this is all over.
• Fence painting – get those fences done – you know you hate doing it but no excuses now
• Ditto shed painting – who knows that shed may have to double as an isolation block pretty soon!!
• Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. From wardrobe tops (really Shirley?) to cupboards that have not seen the light of day for a while.
• Talking of which one tidy up of a food cupboard revealed a food sell by date of 2011 – shame on you M – you know who you are!! Anyone beat this?
• Good idea to look out old craft projects that you had abandoned –find the embroidery thrown at the back of a cupboard.
• You Tube – for new craft ideas. You Tube is a good free resource. I personally put ‘You Tube UK’ in Google and then just use the search facility at the op. Head phones on and I am entertained for a long time. I also like the way that the system anticipates other things that you may be interested in based on previous searches.
• The Rise –found on Netflix. Sounds good. Netflix recommendations are great as (like Prime) there is so much to choose from that a lot of the best stuff is hard to find.
• ’14 Days in May’ – found on I Player BBC 4 – also sounds good and thought provoking.
• If you are into Genealogy and have Ancestry or Find My Past there is a scheme whereby you can assist in discovering the history of female convicts sent to Tasmania. If you are interested I can send the details to you.
• Also a good time to do some more work on your own family tree.
• Decorating – you may be able to use the excuse that you can’t risk going to B and Q but if the materials are already bought you are obliged to get stuck in
• DIY hairdressing!! If hairdressers close this will be essential but one of our members is already training for cut and colours!
• The Twelfth Man – another Netflix gem
• 24th March on Channel 5 - a programme about April Jones the young girl who was abducted and murdered in mid Wales.

ARCHIVE

Our March 2020 meetings will be held on Monday 23rd and repeated on Tuesday 24th - both meetings will start at 1pm

We will be looking at the criminal career of LEVI BELLFIELD. You will likely have heard of him as the man who abducted and murdered school girl Amanda 'Milly' Dowler. But he went on to kill two more women in West London and to seriously injure another. In addition he abused his partners and was a thoroughly nasty and vicious man.

Advance notice that our April meetings will be examining Crime in the Second World War. 27th and 28th April

February's meeting looked at an earlier war - the First World War and what happened to conscientious objectors. Thanks to Brian for an informative and very thought provoking meeting. Times have changed and it seems (with the benefit of hindsight) that these men were badly treated. Of particular interest was the story of Arthur Turtle - Tyldesley born but lived in Leigh and an imprisoned conscientious objector. Information about him is held in the Wigan Archives (currently at Leigh Library) or on line.

The calendar for the remainder of this year is below

23rd/24th March Levi Bellfield – serial killer
27th/28th April Crime in the Second World War
25th/26th May Celebrities incarcerated
22nd/23rd June The Liverpool Cameo Cinema Murders
27th/28th July Unsolved cases
24th/25th August Prison escapes
28th/29th September Illegal to legal – legislation making previously illegal activity legal
26th/27th October Murder of parents
23rd/24th November Gun law in the USA and mass shootings
December No meeting

Archive

Following our Christmas break the group met again in January when we looked at 'The Monster Butler' - Archibald Hall , also known as Roy Fontaine. He was a classic psychopath but in some ways not typical in that he only murdered people he knew, he used different 'modus operandi' for each killing, he was in his 50s when he began killing and he murdered 4 people in the company of another (non psychopath) Michael Kitto. There is a programme on You Tube called 'The Monster Butler' for those who may wish to learn more.

A different type of topic in February. We meet on Monday 24th repeated on Tuesday 25th February at 1pm. We will look at conscientious objectors in the First World War. In 1916 conscription was introduced for the first time in Britain. The Government knew that there would be men who objected to military service on conscientious grounds. The new law took this into account and included provision for these men. However some unexpectedly refused all alternative forms of service. They were therefore criminalised and imprisoned.

This will be of interest to members interested in 20th Century history as well as criminal justice. Please feel free to join us in February. No need to book.

ARCHIVE

No meeting in December as The Miners will close during the day between Christmas and New Year. Opening again on 3rd January for the members Speaker meeting.

Our first meeting of 2020 will take place on Monday 27th January with a repeat on the next day - the 28th. Both meetings will start at 1pm and finish before 3pm.

The topic is Roy Fontaine (also known as Archibald Hall). He was a Scottish born criminal who used to move in elevated circles and often gained employment as a butler in the 1960s and 70s. His intention was to get access to the houses of wealthy and aristocratic employers and then to steal from them. In the 1970s however he also went on a killing spree and committed 5 murders in the space of a few months.

Please feel free to join us at either meeting. No need to book.

Meanwhile a very happy festive season and all the best for 2020.

Archive

The NOVEMBER 2019 meetings will be held on the Monday 25th November 2019 and repeated on the 26th. The topic is the murder of Julia Wallace. This is a murder case that scandalised and baffled Liverpool and remains unsolved 80 years on- despite her husband originally being convicted and sentenced to hang. The presentation, by one of our members, Kath, promises to be most interesting. Please join us for what will be our final meeting of 2019. No meeting in December as The Miners will be closed during the day over the Christmas period.

The January 2020 topic is Roy Fontaine (also known as The Monster Butler) - he was a jewel thief and serial killer. Dates for this meeting are 27th January repeated on 28th January 2020.

The calendar for next year is below

27th repeated 28th January The Monster Butler – Roy Fontaine – jewel thief and serial killer.
24th/25th February Conscientious Objectors in the First World War
23rd/24th March Levi Belfield – serial killer
27th/28th April Crime in the Second World War
25th/26th May Celebrities incarcerated
22nd/23rd June The Liverpool Cameo Cinema Murders
27th/28th July Unsolved cases
24th/25th August Prison escapes
28th/29th September Illegal to legal – legislation making previously illegal activity legal
26th/27th October Murder of parents
23rd/24th November Gun law in the USA and mass shootings
December No meeting

Archive

Our OCTOBER 2019 meetings will take place on October 28th and repeated on the 29th. Both meetings are held at The Miners and start at 1pm.

We will be looking at some Cold Cases. Unsolved homicides are kept open by the police and improved forensic science (particularly DNA) has resulted in old cases being solved. You are welcome to join the group and there is no need to book. it's not really like the TV programme 'Old Tricks' although some of the preliminary work is undertaken by retired officers.

The September meeting was on legislation designed to tackle new types of offences or strengthen old laws and provoked a lot of discussion and we had a good discussion. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

ARCHIVE

Our September 2019 meeting (23rd and repeated on the 24th) will look at instances where a law has been passed which made previously legal and acceptable behaviour illegal. Among other things we will look at 'upskirting', drunk driving, laws against smoking, and dangerous dogs. Some of these laws were unpopular and you may have views about the necessity for some of them.

Please join us on either day and you will be made most welcome.

I thought the good weather (after a few weeks of rain) may have reduced our numbers for the August meeting but we were very full. The presentation by Brian Joyce on Profumo reminded us all of how times have changed - although human behaviour remains the same. As somebody who was too young to understand the story in the early 60s it was very good to have it explained. Thanks to Brian for a great presentation.

PS A docu - drama about DS Fulcher (our topic a few months ago) starts on TV next week. With Martin Freeman it promises to be good.

ARCHIVE

We are running the group on August bank holiday and repeated the Day after - 26th or 27th August 2019. The topic is Profumo - the 1960s scandal. You may be able to recall the scandal - or at least the bits your parents let you read about! Please join us for this session which should prove to be an interesting one.

The July meetings were well attended in spite of the sudden onset of very hot weather. We looked at MPs who have been imprisoned and why they got themselves into trouble. It was a good meeting on both days with quite a bit of reminiscence around some of the older cases. Thanks to Brian for the presentation and to Jo for the cake on Monday - bara brith - delicious.

ARCHIVE

Our JULY 2019 meetings will examine MPS IN TROUBLE - HONOURABLE MEMBERS WHO HAVE ACTED DISHONOURABLY. This will be a presentation looking at MPs over the last 60 years who have fallen foul of the law. They come from all political persuasions and have various motivations for their actions. Join us on either MONDAY 22nd or TUESDAY 23rd JULY. The Tuesday meeting is a repeat of Monday. Both meetings start at 1pm. No need to book.

If any member has a presentation they would like to offer please contact me.You may have worked in the police, the courts or as a legal representative and have some inside knowledge. You may be interested in one particular offence or you may even have details of a local murder. Don't be shy and I can help with the technology if need be.

The June meeting was well attended and provoked some good discussion - particularly around the poll tax. A good topic which was suggested by a member of the group.

ARCHIVE

In June we will look at CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. This is peaceful protest in order to air grievances and gain political change. There are many examples and we will look (briefly) at Peterloo as it is the 200th anniversary. We will then look at the 1990 Poll Tax protests which indirectly led to the demise of Mrs Thatcher. The Kinder Scout Mass Trespass was an attempt to open rights of ways for ramblers and other countryside users. The 1915 Glasgow Rent Strike is a further example of people power attaining a change in behaviour by the powerful - in this case exploitative landlords. Finally we will look at Extinction Rebellion which has captured the imagination of masses of young people who are concerned about our environment. It promises to be a good session so please join us on either MONDAY 24th June or the repeat on TUESDAY 25th June 2019. No need to book. Meetings start at 1pm and finish before 3pm.

Police corruption was our May 2019 topic and we looked at the Metropolitan Police Pornography Squad in the 1960s and ealry 70s. Times have changed and it was agreed that the police would not (and could not) behave like they did in this day and age.

ARCHIVE

In May we will be looking at the disgraceful behaviour of The Metropolitan Police Porn Squad. In the 1960s and 70s the squad was called 'The Dirty Squad'
We will focus on the corrupt behaviour of the squad - which was rife right up to Commander level. What sort of things were the police up to, how did they get away with their behaviour and what happened to bring it to an end? You are welcome to join us on 27th My repeated on the 28th at 1pm.

There was a good attendance for the Renegades and Traitors presentation. We looked at 3 British men and one woman who had worked for Nazi Germany in the war. All interesting people but not at pleasant. One - Harold Cole - was likely to have been directly responsible for many deaths when he divulged the British escape routes out of occupied France.

Three of them broadcast for 'Germany Calling' - a radio station designed to promote Nazi propaganda. Thanks to Brian for an excellent presentation and also for Jo who provided cake on Monday

See you in May - 27th or 28th.

Please feel free to join us - each monthly topic makes sense in its own right so you can dip in and out as you think fit. Whether you attend once in a while or every month you will be made to feel most welcome and in spite of the subject the sessions are designed to be informative and enjoyable.

For more information please contact Barbara Joyce or phone 07516 225608 or 01942 517494.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • When and where does the group meet?

The group meets on the fourth Monday of each month and is repeated on the fourth Tuesday. The meeting takes place in the lounge if you choose the Monday group or upstairs if you attend on Tuesday at the Miner’s Welfare. It starts at 1pm and ends at 3pm with a short break for drinks. The notice board in the Foyer at the club will tell you which room.

  • Can I attend either group?

Yes – or even both if you wish! You can attend, for example, the Monday one month and the Tuesday the next – both sessions will look at the same topic. On months where the Monday is the bank holiday (May and August) the Tuesday group will always run but check for the Monday please.Just check the web site.

  • How many others attend?

This varies but generally about 30 – with a mix of men and women members

  • Do I need to know anything about criminology to attend?

No – just a general interest. Some of the group members have worked in prisons, police or solicitors but most are just interested in crime. If you find the group is not for you there is no compulsion to explain why - and nobody will pursue you to ask why you are not attending!

  • Do I need to prepare work for the session?

No – although any member is welcome to lead the session, and some members have read up around the topic before the session, but it is not necessary to do so.

  • Will I have to take any exams?

No. Nobody is ‘put on the spot’ to answer questions, do written work or to say anything unless they choose to. We generally enjoy a discussion around the topic and learn from each other.

  • Do I have to pay?

You will have to pay your membership to attend the groups and then £1 for room hire and refreshments

  • What kind of topics does the group look at?

So far we have looked at things like drugs and crime, alcohol, crimes in Leigh in the past, transportation to Australia, homicide, serial killers, sectarian murders and domestic abuse. Future sessions include a talk by a police officer who worked in the 60’s and 70’s, forensics, criminal profiling, cyber-crime, crime on TV and in novels and crime in Victorian times. As you can see the topics are varied and reflect the members interests! The topics can be challenging and the group is sometimes dealing with difficult issues but is not ‘heavy’.

  • Sounds ok – how do I join?

Just check the date and arrive – you will be made most welcome.

See also the Crime & Punishment 2 page for the Tuesday dates.

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More Group Pages
Art Appreciation Astronomy
Bird Watching Board Games
Book Reading & Armchair Critics Bowls
Creative Writing Crime & Punishment 1
Crime & Punishment 2 Egyptology
French iPads & Tablets
Italian Local History
Luncheon Club Maths
Mixed Crafts Musical Instruments
Oil & Acrylic Painting Play Reading
Poetry Appreciation Quilters & Needlework
Quiz Club Relaxation/Support
Scrabble Shakespeare
Singing for Fun Ukulele
Watercolour Painting Women & History