Spalding & District

Notices & Reports

The formation meeting for the proposed Aviation Group will be held on Wednesday 26th September. We will discuss what is the purpose, how it will run and where and when it will be held. For further details contact Sheila Fieldvia the Contact page.

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Walking Netball Last Friday 14 members of our U3A gathered at the Castle Sports Centre to start our newest venture Walking Netball
. We were under the guidance of Louise Key from England Netball who provided us with the bibs and balls. Within a few minutes these mild-mannered ladies turned in to the most competitive bunch you will ever meet. It didn’t deter them that they couldn’t run or jump, everyone went hell for leather to get that ball in the net. Laughter was the other main ingredient and this all combined to making the one-hour session the best yet. If you feel you would like to join us then come along this Friday 1pm in comfortable clothing and sensible footwear and have a go. More information from Sheila Field

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Caddington Hedgehogs Monthly Meeting for September heard an interesting talk by ? about her work / hobby of rescuing, treating and rehabilitating hedgehogs. She explained how she got into it, how she treats various ailments and some facinating case studies. A most enjoyable talk.

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How many of you have ever ventured to King’s Lynn – no, not for a boring expedition to shop – but to discover some of the history of the town?

If you have never walked around the cobbled backstreets of the town, explored the magnificent houses inhabited by the merchants, or discovered where sailors were press ganged into work I recommend you spend a day or so to find the answers to the following questions:- Why was the town originally called Linn?

What else was it called, and why, before it adopted its present name? Name the church in the Saturday market place…… and where did the monks live? Which famous explorer has a statue by the Customs House (Clue: He attended the same Grammar School as me but not at the same time nor in the same building!)

What geographical factor contributed to the wealth of Kings Lynn from the twelfth century onwards? What was the Hanseatic League? Who was Thomas Thoresby? Which building stands next to the Town Hall……and why? Which parts of Kings Lynn are divided by the Purfleet?

The answers to these and many other questions were explained to us by our excellent guides Alison and Noel. I fully recommend you book a guided tour with them to discover these answers and many more.

Ken Bush

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Wine Trip In August the wine & cheese group went on their annual vineyard visit this year it was to Chilford Hall, near Cambridge it is one of the oldest vineyards in England set out over 20 acres in 1972 by Sam Alper. As well as a tour of the vines & winery we tasted 3 whites 1 rose & 1 sparkling wine followed by a two course lunch.
Eric Maltby

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On a warm but wet afternoon of Monday 13th August 2018, the Garden Group visited the Seed Co-operative at Gosberton Bank Nursery, Gosberton. This is the only UK community owned seed company growing and selling organic open pollinated seed in the UK.
We had a very interesting talk and tour by co-owners David and Kate, who showed us around the 24 acre site, including their own reservoir, 2 1/2 acres under glass and the open fields where they grow vegetables, herbs and flowers for their seeds. Also the various machinery used to harvest, sort and dry the seeds ready for packaging. It's very labour intensive and they have many people, from various countries helping out, some on research visits. We saw three volunteers hand removing seeds from beef tomatoes, a messy and painstaking task.
At the end of a extremely enjoyable visit there was a welcome cup of tea or coffee, biscuits, a catalogue and a large beef tomato, named Red Brandy Wine, to take home.

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On a sultry hot day in July, 54 of our members joined the Out and About group organised by Ken Bush for a visit to the International Bomber Command Memorial (IBCC) outside Lincoln. The IBCC is a world-class facility to serve as a point for recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for Bomber Command. Providing the most comprehensive record of the Command in the world, the IBCC ensures that generations to come can learn of their vital role in protecting the freedom we enjoy today.

Members were split into three groups of 18 and visited the memorial’s exhibits of bombing during WW11 which included some very moving recollections by actual participants portrayed on film followed by an intuitive talk by a guide and a visit to the Spire memorial where we learned that a total of 57,861 members of the RAF, all volunteers and drawn from the British Empire and Commonwealth together with many other countries gave their lives during the conflict. This was largest death toll of any unit in the British armed forces. The Walls of Names at the IBCC carry the names of all the men and women who lost their lives whilst serving Bomber Command in the Second World War. The oldest fatality was 60 and the youngest an air cadet of just 14 years.

The Spire (pictured right) is 102 feet tall. We were told that this is exactly the wingspan of a Lancaster bomber which flew these perilous missions from RAF bases across Lincolnshire.


Fire Fighter kevin LITTLE AND LARGEFire Fighter Kathy

After two visits to Lincolnshire Fire Stations why did they pick one of the largest members and one of the smallest to dress up?


STROLLERS HOLBEACH WALK 2018 Strollers at Holbeach Fire Station

On a glorious sunny Tuesday morning, 7th August 2018, fifteen members of The U3A Strollers Group, set out to stroll around and discover the delights of historic Holbeach Town.
Setting off from Holbeach Public Car Park we saw many varied properties, some with Grade II listing. Taking in some of the history of Holbeach, even finding that there is a hill in Holbeach at the Traffic Light crossing.
Stopping at the Community Fire Station we had a very interesting talk and tour by Steve, one of the Crew Managers. One of our number even trying on all the uniform firemen have to wear.
After the Fire Station we finished at Laddies Ice Cream Shop enjoying a well deserved ice cream to end our stroll.


Indoor Bowls

The Indoor Bowls finished on the 20th August, and we had another successful year. As usual I have to thank Fred Hurst, Dave Staples and Ken Challans for arranging the games and teaching our new bowlers. I have to give a huge thanks to Pat Dunne who took over the register and money collecting when Eve had to give up when I became ill, also to John Little who helped out Pat.

Sadly I will not be able to run the U3A bowls next year, if there is anyone who is interested in running the bowls please contact me.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the bowls over the last 12 years.

Dick Agate
I for one and I am sure many other 'bowlers' would wish to offer sincere thanks to Eve and Dick for introducing us to the delight of indoor bowls over the last twelve years. let us hope that it goes on for many more years.


Every show has a story “ Johnny Walkers "
Members of Spalding U3A were greatly entertained by the speaker at their August monthly meeting. Johnny Walkers from Taylors Bulbs spoke about preparing daffodil bulbs so they are flowering ready to exhibit at the various horticultural shows, a particular challenge when preparing for Chelsea in May.
We were reminded that the UK grow more daffodil bulbs than the rest of the world put together. This includes around 1000 acres for daffodils for the chemical galantamine, used in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer\'s disease.
The daffodil bulbs undergo a strict temperature regime to ensure the flowers are ‘show ready’ on the day. 80 varieties are chosen for Chelsea – they must be eye catching of course in a mix of colours and include some fragranced and double varieties. 150 bulbs of each are planted. From this the 100 best stems are picked – many flower stems fail to make the grade at this stage. Over the course of the Chelsea Flower Show week, stems will be replaced twice to ensure a pristine display all week. At this year’s Chelsea Show the display was awarded a Gold Medal – the 25th such achieved and a testament to the skill needed to maintain this high standard.

Rosemary McClements


In August the wine & cheese group went on their annual vineyard visit this year it was to Chilford Hall, near Cambridge it is one of the oldest vineyards in England set out over 20 acres in 1972 by Sam Alper. As well as a tour of the vines & winery we tasted 3 whites 1 rose & 1 sparkling wine followed by a two course lunch.
Eric Maltby
Wine & Appreciation Group


Medieval Spalding Project

Since January of this year, the U3A History Group has been running the Medieval Spalding Project. The aim of the project is to improve the understanding of this important period in the history of the town and to share this knowledge as widely as possible. The intention is, by the end of the year, to produce A Guide to Medieval Spalding working with other local organisations such as Spalding Gentlemen’s Society and Ayscoughfee Hall.

As part of the project, we participated in the “Festival of Archaeology” held at Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding on 28 and 29 July. Our stall illustrated some of the research carried out to date and attracted much interest from more than 600 visitors. It also attracted a number of potential new U3A members. If you would like to know more about the project or to be involved, please contact the Group Co-ordinator, Margaret Crossgrill.



On the next evening, 18th July, the Joint Photography Groups also held a garden Party in the Honours garden. Members and spouses brought food and drink towards a terrific buffet, a good chin wag was engaged in. Then thanks were expressed to Margaret for her tremendous efforts in running the groups plus also thanks to Pat and Ron for the use use of the garden and gazebo.


Wine and Cheese Wine 2 WINE & CHEESE APPRECIATION Wine 2

On 17th July members of the Wine and Cheese Appreciation Group met at Pat and Ron Honours garden for a Summer garden Party, This was enjoyed by all and thanks were expressed to Eric Maltby for his work in organising the group activity. Thanks also went to Pat and Ron for the use of their garden and to Ken Bush for the use of his gazebo.


Owl Red Kite Seriema Laughing Kookaburra



Following a very successful talk at our March monthly meeting a number of us decided we would like to see some of the wonderful birds Mark Birdsall has at his Owl Centre in Spalding. He agreed to put on a private flying display for us so on Friday the 13th July 2018 thirty six of us took up his offer.

We marvelled at his dedication, knowledge and passion as he put TAFARI a Mackinders Owl, RUSTY the Red Kite, ROCKO the Laughing Kookaburra and COCO the Red Leg Seriema through their paces.

Our time literally just flew by and we realised just how lucky we were to have this facility so local to us. It made for a very enjoyable U3A Outing.
Bernice Adcock