Shipston-on-Stour Area



UPDATE July 2021

Doubtless we are all now resigned to the fact that various Covid restrictions have still not been lifted, and the so-called ‘freedom day’ of 21 June has been and gone. However, the national vaccination programme is progressing apace and we will all have cause for celebration when finally the constraints on our lives come to an end.

Please take special note of our Annual General Meeting taking place this month, details of which are below. We urge all members to participate to ensure a satisfactory quorum in order that our AGM is able to go ahead.


Last year, during the coronavirus crisis, we held our Annual General Meeting by correspondence to avoid a physical meeting of members and the unnecessary risks which that would involve. We are doing the same again this year. This enables us to complete the process in a timely manner and still allows members to have their say in how the u3a continues to be run during the coming year.

Every Shipston-on-Stour Area u3a member will be presented with the annual accounts and reports from the Chair. They will be given an opportunity to vote to accept proposals. These will be sent out in early July to give each member time to be able to consider them and vote to approve them before the end of July. Members who do not use email will receive a hard copy and a voting form.

The voting will be closed, and the results counted on the date set for our ‘virtual’ AGM – the 30th July 2021. In order to comply with the Charity Commission’s requirements for a quorum, we will need a minimum of 20% of our current members to take part in this process; it will be entirely anonymous and will take no longer than a few minutes of your time to vote online or by post. Instructions will be sent out to you in early July. We very much hope for your cooperation in this exercise.

You will also be able to vote to approve the appointment of the retiring Executive Committee to become the new Executive Committee. However, if you would like to nominate yourself or another to stand, then please use the form that was recently sent to you. We welcome any member to assist in running the activities of the Shipston-on-Stour Area u3a. Furthermore, if you have any ideas you would like to propose for the u3a, the AGM is the ideal opportunity to do so. Please use the ‘motion’ form that was sent to you. Please note that the secretary must have received nomination and motion forms by 30th June 2021, otherwise they will not be included in the AGM process.


The first ever u3a Day was launched on 2 June when thousands of members took part across the movement. Click here to read the message from National u3a

Click here to read the June edition of the National u3a Newsletter

Your Committee is planning a u3a Re-launch Coffee Morning from 10.30 on Tuesday 31st August at the Townsend Hall. This will be open to members and non-members, and will offer a chance for everyone to meet the committee, to get together again, and to find out about Interest Groups. There will be plenty of local publicity about this event and we look forward to a successful time as we re-emerge after 18 months.

A very warm welcome the following new members of Shipston on Stour Area u3a:
Erica Carwardine, Andrew Dow, Miriam Dow, Jane Hale, Helen Keayes, John Keayes


If you are interested in joining a group, whether currently active or not, will you please make contact with the leader via

• Ancient Greek - via Zoom.
• Art Appreciation – via weekly email.
• Book Group - via Zoom. The book this month is The Other Bennet Girl by Janice Hadlow.
• Current Affairs - via Zoom.
• Garden Visits Group - Wednesday 7th July at 11 am. A visit to Bourton House Garden, Bourton on the Hill has been arranged. Although it is quite a small garden, it has lots of interest. There is a lovely café which is in a barn and also seating outside weather permitting. Cost is £7 per person. If you are interested in this visit, please contact Shirley Wynn
• Latin - via Zoom.
• Mindfulness and Meditation - via Zoom.
• Orchestra - via Zoom on last Tuesday of each month.
• Spanish conversation – now meeting indoors Tuesday mornings
• Painting and Drawing – In their June Zoom meeting the group decided to have a break until September but with a couple of suggestions of projects for the summer: to paint a day or night sky; an ocean wave. Last month’s suggestions can be added to the list: an unusual plant /weed; your eye and eyebrow (try observing from real life); a piece of jewellery, electrical appliance plugs/sockets/gadgets/computers. Completed projects to be forwarded to Jean to share with the group. Any member who fancies ‘having a go’ should feel free to join them.

• Playreading via Zoom on Friday afternoons monthly. In July, members will be reading Agatha Christie’s play Spider’s Web.
• Table Tennis has commenced in the Townsend Hall. Anyone interested in joining this group please contact Dave Pettit
• The Walking Group has recommenced on the first Thursday of the month. If you wish to join the group please contact Group Leader Jim Saxton
• Walking from Shipston Group is now meeting only on Wednesdays. If you wish to join, please contact Thérèse Woodward.

. Wine Appreciation Group: Zoom meetings on the 4th Thursday in the month at 5:30 pm. lasting between 1-1 ½ hour. Each meeting has a theme. Each participant/couple will need to purchase a suitable bottle/half bottle of wine ready for the event and is encouraged to do some research on the wine and be prepared to describe the wine in terms of: Where does the wine come from; Who created the wine; What do you think of the wine; How pleasant is it; Is it a quaffing wine or a food wine; Should you have kept it longer, did you decant it; How did you rate it (out of 10) and would you buy it again; is it value for money?… no fancy words! The theme for July 22 meeting is any white wine from Burgundy. If anyone is interested in joining this group and has not already expressed an interest, please contact Geoff Olsson
Please note: Numbers for Groups meeting indoors are still limited to 6 under the current national guidelines. Members must contact the Group Leader to see if they can join the group.
Will groups please contact Lynne Richardson if changes are made to their plans in any way.

Leaders of groups are encouraged to make more use of our website and let Christine know via what they are currently doing with their Groups. Putting this on the website will be really valuable to anyone new to the area or anyone thinking of joining u3a.

We are still looking for volunteers for leaders to come forward for the 'dormant' groups, without leaders. This does not have to be a long term commitment but as a short term way to keep those group members informed of any developments etc. Please contact Lynne if you want to help out. Groups currently without a leader include Amblers and Photography.

Bernard Lockett, who was the speaker on G&S at a recent Shipston u3a Monthly Meeting, has sent this message. “It was my pleasure to give a G&S talk to your u3a and I thought your members might be interested to know that the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company are to present two concerts at the Malvern Theatre on 11 September 2021 at 2.30 and 7.30 pm. Tickets from £30”

Following the long break because of Covid lockdown restrictions, the Lions monthly film evenings have recommenced. The next film will be shown on Friday 23 July, 2021 at 7.30 pm. It is the 2020 film Love Sarah starring Celia Imrie and Rupert Penry Jones. (A young woman wishes to fulfil her mother’s dream of opening her own bakery in Notting Hill and to do this she enlists the help of an old friend and her grandma.) Socially distanced seats. Advance tickets £5 available from A Clarke Electrical, 27 High Street, Shipston on Stour.

I would welcome members’ ideas and contributions for the monthly UPDATE newsletter. In particular, news from the groups is always of interest

Jackie Finlay (Editor)