Morpeth & District

News Items


Morpeth & District U3A

NEWSLETTER August 2020


Greetings to all our members from the Morpeth U3A committee. We hope that our members have avoided the coronavirus and its consequences.

Future Meetings

We hope to resume our monthly general meetings in January 2021, and to hold our belated Annual General Meeting on this date. These future plans have been made in good faith and will be subject to the vagaries of the pandemic and the subsequent health legislation.
We are disappointed to have cancelled so many speakers and events. Apologies to all group leaders and members, who have had their activities and plans restricted.

A note from the Treasurer

The accounts for the year ended 31st March 2020 have been completed and signed off by the Independent Examiner.
They show receipts of £6,961.06 for the year and payments of £6,279.35, giving a surplus of £681.71. The bank balance on 31st March 2020 was £4,887.14.
If any member wishes to see a copy of the accounts, please contact the Treasurer, Geoff Morgan .

Membership Renewal
We will undertake membership renewal in January when we hope to return to our normal activities. We will discuss subscriptions at the Annual General Meeting.


Advice for Restarting Groups, dated 7 August.
This document has been emailed to all group leaders and is available on the National website under the heading of “Advice”.

Walking Groups

This is one area where previous activities may resume. The guidance for walking groups is contained in the U3A “Advice for Restarting Interest Groups” dated 7 August. The number of people in a walking group is limited to six; they are required to travel in separate cars, and maintain social distancing of 1 metre plus. Each walking group is required to complete a “General U3A Risk Assessment Checklist in Covid-19” reference: U3A-KMS-FRM-016 to ensure compliance with U3A insurance regulations.
We are aware of a difference in interpretation of regulations by the Ramblers, we have requested clarification from the U3A central body and will inform group leaders when further information is received.

Art Appreciation – Chris Tipple: No date can be set for a resumption of our Morpeth Group at the present time. However I have converted some presentations I used to give "live" for charity into on line versions. So far I have completed 12 [4are PowerPoint presentations with slides and text and 8 have slides, text and music] so I am only about a third of the way through.! They are on a variety of topics including art, history and classical music and are aimed at a general, rather than a specialist audience. These already go to the art and music appreciation groups but it is possible other members of our u3a would be interested in receiving them and ,if so , they should contact me.

Art Group – Cuthbert Regan: Although our venue remains closed we are adapting to 'Working From Home' ! Some of us are more enterprising , updating our skills via TV, online lessons or texting interesting scenes to draw and paint. We are in contact via 'phone, email and occasional but very enjoyable chance encounters when out shopping . I'm pleased to say our capacity to chat and joke is undiminished.

Craft Group 1 – Jennifer Sinton: The group leader has contacted the members by telephone. We never met even in the good times during the school holidays as the Sun Inn was very busy during holiday time.
I did mention starting up again in September but they seemed to want to wait and see. Possibly we will have to meet outdoors in the garden.
(Edit : this will be subject to Covid-19 regulations in place at the time of start-up.)

Craft Group 2 – Margaret Selfridge: At the moment the second craft group is not meeting and as far as I know everyone has been doing their own thing.

Digital Photography 1 – Watson Warren: This has been latterly a small Group with five members. However I have decided that I want to stand down from the Group. This has left the other members with a problem of whether or not they carry on. If anybody would like to take over as group leader please let Watson know.

5 Mile walkers – Eileen Harber: Eileen will get in touch with group members (or you can always call her) about the walking group and possible September re-start (subject to Covid-19 regulations in place at the time of the restart)

Jazz Appreciation – James Poore: The Morpeth U3A Jazz Appreciation Group has kept in touch primarily through occasional phone calls since lockdown began. Although there is a wide geographical spread within the group, two members (and spouses) have managed to share a (necessarily brief) garden visit where CDs and books were exchanged. James, our convenor and host, has not been in good health for a while and has recently had surgery, from which he is recovering well, to date. In consequence, we may have a more creative response to the situation through one of the video platforms such as Facetime, Zoom, etc.(as suggested by our oldest member, Joy, who was 97 in July!). Congratulations to her on both counts.

Quiz group – Chris Tipple: Several members have circulated on line quizzes and I continue to circulate a weekly local history quiz on line, provided by a colleague from Mid Northumberland u3a.
After consultation the regional quiz league [won this year by Whitley Bay] has been wound up. It was thought a fresh start was best, as and when this becomes possible. The trophy was therefore awarded to Newcastle [5 wins and 2 tied wins] with Whitley Bay runners up [4 wins and 1 tied win] during the life of the competition.
There is no date for resumption of the Morpeth group at the present time.

Other news

Sue Davidson has taken over Reading Group 4. Thanks to Sue and Jennifer Cryer who was the previous group leader.

Valerie McAllister has stepped down as Travel Group leader. If anybody would be interested in taking over the role as group leader (though I don’t foresee much travel at present) please get in touch with me. Thanks to Valerie for all her past hard work organising trips for our members.
Sarah Howells

Committee Members

We are urgently seeking new committee members. Several members are retiring from the committee this year after serving for many years, input from new members will continue our successful history and bring new ideas to the table. Life after Covid-19 may bring subtle changes in ideas and interests but without new blood, the future of our U3A is under threat! Your U3A needs you!!

The vacancies are : Chairman, Vice Chairman, Business Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Beacon Administrator and Website Manager (the latter two posts could possibly be combined by somebody with good IT skills). If you would like to find out more about these vacancies please contact Neil McCole.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the founding of Morpeth U3A.

Morpeth & District U3A


Greetings to you from your U3A committee.

We hope that our members have avoided the coronavirus and its consequences. This email is intended as an update on our current plans.Future Newsletters will be issued when circumstances change.

Future Meetings
We have had to cancel the Strawberry Tea at Storey Park planned for Tuesday, 7 July 2020.
On our wish list we hope that we may resume our monthly meetings in September.

Each month the current newsletter will be added to our website and emailed to members.


Courtesy of Ponteland U3A newsletter, we have information regarding Borrowbox, which allows you to access ebooks in Northumberland Libraries.

1. Download “Bolinda Borrowbox” from your app store
2. Log onto
3. Click “Northumberland Libraries Website”
4. Choose “online system”
5. Scroll down to “Access digital Library 24/7”
6. Click “visit Borrowbox”
7. Enter your “Library membership number”
8. If you have not used the library online before and do not have a pin number; click on “forgot your password; then follow the instructions.
You can download and borrow books for 3 weeks onto your IPad or tablet.

The U3A national organisation is planning a national promotional day for the U3A in October, with a motto of Learn, Laugh and Live.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the founding of Morpeth U3A.

Neil McCole – Chairman