The Lane Theatre has been our home for our monthly General Meeting for several years.
You will be welcome to come along from 10.30am, when there is an opportunity to chat over a cup of tea/coffee (50p charge) before the meeting starts at 11am. Car parking is available, and there are bus services from Newquay town centre to just beyond the Kings Head pub, where you then cross the road and take the first turning right (signposted) 100yds to the theatre.
We welcome prospective members to our monthly general meetings as a visitor, when there is a nominal donation of £1.50. You are also welcome to try a free 'taster' session with any of our Interest Groups.
For anyone interested in joining the Newquay U3A the annual subscription runs from April to April and is currently £15. If you join mid-year a half-yearly subscription becomes due.
If you are a speaker who would like to speak at one of our monthly meetings, please email the Programme Secretary.
NEWQUAY U3A GENERAL MEETINGS PROGRAMME FOR 2018/2019
Speakers may be subject to change nearer the dates.
|10/04/2018||Len Sheppard||Old Cornwall Society|
|08/05/2018||No Speaker||Annual General Meeting|
|12/06/2018||Mike Bearcroft||Variety has been the Spice of My Life|
|10/07/2018||Ian Barclay||A History of Cartoons|
|11/09/2018||Group Leaders||Interest Groups Update|
|09/10/2018||Rosie Woodman||Cornwall Refuge Trust|
|13/11/2018||Clint Hosking||Geevor Tin Mine|
|11/12/2018||No Speaker||Christmas Social Gathering|
|08/01/2019||Adam Pearson||Hypnotherapist "Use Your Brain"|
|12/02/2019||Andy Bellamy||Blood Bikes Charitable Organisation|
|12/03/2019||Des Prouse||Goonhilly: a Tale of Two Half-Centuries|
|09/04/2019||Peter Auger||Experiences of a Head Gardener|
|14/05/2019||No Speaker||Annual General Meeting|
|11/06/2019||John Peter Santi||Gweek Seal Sanctuary|
|09/07/2019||Kyle Reed and Jenny Hindson||Newquay Community Orchard|
|10/09/2019||Group Leaders||Interest Groups Update|
|08/10/2019||Brian Freeland||George Bernard Shaw “Playing the Clown”|
|12/11/2019||Richard Pierce||Lions, Elephants, Sharks Conservationist|
|10/12/2019||No Speaker||Christmas Social Gathering|
Below are summaries of the speakers' talks that we have had during 2018 and 2019
General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 9th April 2019
Our Speaker was John Peter Santi from Gweek Seal Sanctuary
John Peter, known as JP, told us that the seal sanctuary started in 1958, all due to a man called Ken Jones who rescued a seal called Cindy. He went on to rescue more seals, keeping them in his back garden swimming pool, until the sanctuary opened in Gweek in 1975.
There are two types of seals: Grey Seals (Atlantic Seals) and Common Seals (Harbour Seals). Most of the seals we see around Cornwall are Grey Seals as Common Seals do not like rocky coastlines. Cornwall coast has about 40% of the UK population of Grey Seals, with their pups being born between September and March.
Gweek Seal Sanctuary is now owned by the Sealife Trust. They rescue seal pups suffering from malnourishment and dehydration after separation from their mothers, and seals suffering from plastic pollution, from entanglement in fishing nets and other objects, from propeller damage or even from a seal stampede due to humans getting too close. In 2018 they rescued 89 pups separated from their mothers, the largest number ever, probably due to the number of storms we had caused by climate change. During that time they reached their capacity twice. When at capacity seals can be moved on to other sanctuaries.
JP told us that some seals can never be released back into the wild due to blindness or other injuries. Gweek have several permanent residents, their oldest male being 40 and their oldest female being 44 years old. In the wild a seal’s life expectancy is about 30 years.
Shirley thanked JP for his extremely interesting talk, which had prompted more questions from our U3A audience than anyone else’s talk ever had, and said she hoped it would prompt people to visit Gweek Sanctuary.
General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 9th April 2019
Speaker: Peter Auger - "Experiences of a Head Gardener"
Peter Auger, aided by his slide show assistant Peter, took us through photos taken during his time working as a Head Gardener. He started his horticultural training when he was 15 or 16, growing food and flowers under glass before being drawn to working in historic gardens. His first experience of working “in service” was for the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace, 90 acres of garden “grandeur”. Later he worked for Lord and Lady Faringdon at Buscot Park which, in contrast, consisted of 120 acres of horticultural gardens. Peter gave us some amusing insight into what it was like working for gentry and how he dealt with their foibles. His slide show demonstrated that his management of the gardens was an absolute credit to him.
General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 12th March 2019
Speaker: Des Prowse - Goonhilly: "A Tale of Two Half-centuries"
Des Prouse talked to the accompaniment of a lengthy slide show, telling us all about Goonhilly and their involvement with the first TV transatlantic TV broadcast in 1962 via Telstar, along with various other “firsts”, such as the first colour TV transmission from USA via Goonhilly and on to the BBC in London in 1968. He described the various different satellite dishes (or antennas) on their site and how they work to link up with the satellites orbiting the Earth.
Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd is the company that acquired the famous Goonhilly satellite station from BT in 2014. Founded by entrepreneur and satellite communications engineer, Ian Jones, the company was formed in order to realise the huge potential at the site. With a vision to create a multi-faceted space hub, Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd is forging ahead in a number of commercial and scientific endeavours. Unfortunately his time was running out but Des ended up by answering a couple of questions from the audience.
General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 12th February 2019
Speaker: Andy Bellamy from Cornwall Blood Bikes
Andy, a local man from Mawgan Porth, told us all about the very valuable work done by their motorcyclists taxiing blood, drugs, stem cells, human fluids, breast milk and other medical products and equipment needed by the NHS around the county, even as far as Bristol, within a 4 hour timescale.
Cornwall Blood Bikes is a charitable organisation which started in 2015, initially funded by a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Their current fleet of 11 BMW R1200RT police spec motorbikes is made up of new and second hand bikes which knock up between 90k-100k miles per year, funded by donations from the public with no cost at all to the NHS, so they rely heavily on fundraising.
the bikes manage to transport their valuable packages to their destinations speedily, they are not classified as emergency vehicles and are not allowed to use sirens or the blue lights on the bikes and they have no exemption from speed limits. However, with their distinctive colours, usually vehicles see them approaching and pull over to let the bikes by, thinking that they are something to do with the police. Urgent cases would however get a police escort.
The bikers, who all have to undergo an advanced motorcycle test at £1300 per rider, work from 5pm until 7am on weekdays and 24 hours per day at weekends. Running costs are about £500 per month per bike, i.e. about £54k p.a., meaning that they need constant funding from the public. There is no age limit for the riders. Most riders are over 50 and their oldest is 84. They currently have two lady bikers in the team.
As well as the bikers, the organisation needs coordinators, both male and female, who work from home taking calls and organising the riders' duties. Fundraisers are also needed to go to supermarkets and special events to help raise more money for the organisation.
Andy ended up by answering several questions from the audience, who gave him a good round of applause.
General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 8th January 2019
Speaker: Adam Pearson from Newquay Hypnotherapy.
In this instance USE stands for Understand, See and Enjoy, which Adam took us through step by step using diagrams he drew on a whiteboard. In the first section Adam drew a brain and explained in layman’s terms what each section’s functions were. He demonstrated how we store stressful and negative thoughts in a “bucket” in the brain, which needs emptying during sleep, to enable us to deal with life more calmly and positively. His advice on how to banish worrying thoughts that keep us awake at night was to think about three good things that have happened during the day, or to visualise yourself in a nice peaceful place.
Adam then asked us to talk to our neighbour about our dreams for a few minutes. The final section of his talk was advice on how to enjoy our brains, advising us to be interactive, active and think pleasant and positive thoughts. All in all it was an interesting talk and several questions were asked by our members at the end.
General Meeting at The Lane Theatre on Tuesday 13th November
Speaker: Clint Hosking from GEEVOR TIN MINE MUSEUM
A very personable Clint Hosking, Education Manager at Geevor Tin Mine Museum, gave us an extremely interesting talk entitled “From Rock to Tin.” Clint told us all about the origins of tin mining, which had been the main industry in Cornwall for centuries. He gave us a good insight into what it was like to be a hard working tin miner until the mine closed in 1990, due to the Tin Price Crash of 1985, after which 380 miners were put out of work. Prior to that tin mining had been very much part of the community. Women and children even as young as three used to be involved in various tasks above ground. Items of interest were passed around the audience including a very small child’s shoe and a protective bonnet worn by the women workers to protect their eyes.
General Meeting at the Lane Theatreon Tuesday 9th October 2018
Speaker: Rosie Woodman from the CORNWALL REFUGE TRUST
Rosie, a full-time paid member of CRT staff, gave us an enlightening and interesting talk about the very worthy work done by the CRT to help vulnerable male, female and transgender victims of all aspects of domestic abuse, by both male and female abusers. She explained what was entailed protecting these victims from being found by their abusive partners. After this she showed the audience three different case studies, and engaged the audience by asking whether the victims were male or female. There were lots of questions asked by the audience, who obviously found the talk interesting.
General Meeting at The Lane Theatre on Tuesday 10th July 2018
Speaker: Ian Barclay -“A History of Cartoons”
award winning lecturer and retired Professor, Ian Barclay, gave us a talk on the “History of Cartoons” ranging from Ancient Egyptian days, right through until modern times. His talk covered Hogarth’s “Gin Lane” cartoon, James Gilroy’s “Gout” cartoon, Punch cartoons, Russian Lubok art, and even cartoon strips based on “Pauline and the Matches.”
Then he brought back some memories of children’s comics such as “Boys’ Own Paper”, “Dandy”, “Beano”, “Eagle” and “Bunty”. He took us through the transformation of Disney’s “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” who gradually morphed into “Mickey Mouse” and showed us the X-rated “Fritz the Cat”. Even Shakespeare got a mention. The talk progressed to the war years and the usefulness of cartoons getting our lads to join up and our women to do men’s work while our lads were at war. Of course, saucy seaside postcards had to get a mention too.
He told us how, in our modern society, the cartoon artwork has changed somewhat. Hundreds of cartoon artists have been replaced by hundreds of computer programmers, and he demonstrated how that was done.
Ian wound up his talk showing a few cartoons for which we had to guess the punch lines. We didn’t do very well. They seemed so obvious when we were given the answers though!
Ian was well received by our U3A audience. It was a very interesting talk.
General Meeting at The Lane Theatre on Tuesday 12th June 2018
Speaker – Mike Bearcroft - "Variety has been the spice of my life"#
Born in Sheffield the day Mussolini died in 1945, Mike Bearcroft gave us an amusing talk about his very varied life, starting as a junior footballer for Sheffield United, progressing through his career in sales and marketing until taking a change in direction. Wanting to join the acting profession, he started as an extra and eventually, having earned his Equity Card, he got small speaking parts in “The Bill”, and other TV programmes. Always looking for new ideas, he then founded a Murder Mystery company and a couple of other companies in the entertainment business. Mike never lost his passion for football though, and he went on to write his thriller novel “Dangerous Score” based on his in depth knowledge of what happens in a football club.
Mike seemed to be well received by our U3A audience, judging by the laughter at some of his anecdotes. He had threatened to talk for five hours, but on advice from our committee members he actually kept his talk to 45 minutes. Mike arrived early, set up his stage with the help of the staff of the Lane Theatre and then enjoyed chatting with us members of U3A. After his talk he stayed to autograph his books which were on sale after the meeting.