Spalding & District

Notices and Reports

RND 2 On a really blustery Red Nose day, members of our U3A RND 1 gathered outside the Red Lion
Hotel in Spalding market place to raise monies for Comic Relief, entertain the Friday shoppers and to have lots of fun!

Enthusiastic and energetic members of our fun disco dancing group gave an hour-long display, followed by music from the four piece band made up of our members.

Red wigs were kindly supplied by Claire’s Accessories, adding colour to the performers and bucket shakers.

Congratulations to Jon for organising this event and to everyone who took part. In the two hours we raised £440.01 for this worthy cause. Thank you to everyone who donated their time.

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Boozers
Several members of the Evening Dining Group combined their monthly Gourmet Evening Meal with a tour and talk about the Bluebell Microbrewery at Whaplode St. Catherines, a good night was had by all.

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Jill Picture S&D U3A Has Got Talent Monday Art Group Bev Picture
Gill Harkness, Beetroots, Bev Healey, Tulip Fever, and Pam Wood, A Dutch Tulip Field, have been selected for showing at the South Holland Open Arts Exhibition in April. The ladies are members of the Spalding and District U3A Monday Art Group. Congratulations ladies.

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King of Balloons Up Up and Away
Members at the March monthly meeting were treated to a very interesting talk by Oxfordshire historian Mark Davies on the uplifting escapades of James Sadler.
James worked in the family business as a pastry chef in Oxford in the 1700’s but with the enquiring mind of an engineer and inventor he experimented with the idea of balloon flight, when interest right across Europe was at fever pitch.
Before men, and later ladies, took to the skies the balloon “guinea pigs” were sheep a duck and a rooster.
The first manned flight was in France in 1783, undertaken by Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent d’Arlandes, but it was the Italian Vincenzo Lunardi who was the first to take to the air in England in September 1784.
Our British hero, the first Englishman to design, manufacture and fly a balloon, took off from college fields in Oxford in October 1784 – rising to 3,600 ft, travelling the four-mile journey in about 30 minutes.
This was the first of many flights, and Sadler became a celebrity overnight, but shunning the limelight he took a more scientific approach to flight and it was Sadler who created the adjustable fire in the basket which then led on to the discovery of what we now know as hydrogen.
An expensive venture, Sadler would rely on the patronage of the wealthy and would charge the public to view his balloons displayed before each flight.
Despite bumps and bruises, falling out of the basket, and once being dragged along the ground, he lived until the ripe old age of 75. Remembered not only for his aeronautical achievements he also gained the praise of Lord Nelson when he invented a new design of cannon, although with the rush to get Nelson sea bound King of all balloons it is thought the cannon was never actually used.
So little has been written or known about this remarkable man, but this is thought to stem from the fact that he was seen to be a mere pastry chef, looked down upon by his wealthy, educated Oxford neighbours. It has been a welcome introduction to a man who once landed his balloon in Sleaford.
King of all Balloons by Mark Davies

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March Strollers MARCH STROLLERS
Early March saw an intrepid bunch of members embark on a tramp around outer Gosberton. led by Hilary. We found parts not often seen in extremely good weather for the time of year especially as conversation turned to memories of this time last year and 'The Beast from the East!'
We finished off with a coffee, or two, in the Bell Inn, a good day was had by all.

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Happy Wanderers February

Feb 2 What a glorious day for a stroll by the river and that is exactly what we did. Our walk began at the Crown Inn at Surfleet, where we had pre ordered lunch. We crossed the river Glen and then the road to follow a footpath along the river bank. The path took us through a lovely private garden and then out to open countryside. Throughout the time spent along the river edge we had views of some very well-kept gardens which ran down to the river bank. When reaching the A16 we crossed the river and followed a small road to Surfleet Seas End. Crossing over the river again we followed the footpath across the front of some residential chalets and onto the golf course which makes for a pleasant section with the river to the right and golf course to the left. Feb 1 Towards the end of our walk on a small lane some of us observed a Red Kite being mobbed by some crows. We arrived back at the Crown 40 mins early and found it very busy which enabled us to sit outside, have a drink and chat in the sun (I would like to say that it was all part of the plan) and then take our seats at the arranged time for an enjoyable meal – the perfect end to our outing. It was good to welcome a new face – we always welcome new members to our group.
Steve Field

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sNOWDROPS SNOWDROPS AT WHAPLODE
On a gorgeous sunny afternoon in February, members of the Garden Group met at Whaplode Church to take the famed Snowdrop Walk, located in the churchyard. The white's of the Snowdrop's and the yellow's of the Aconites were in abundance, these flowers really herald the onset of Spring.
A leisurely stroll along the meandering pathways through the swaths of white, saw more than one variety of Snowdrop with their proud heads held high. Many photographs were taken from all sorts of angles, everyone enjoying the peace and quiet of their surroundings.
Eventually we made our way to our hosts, Pat & Ron Honour, house for afternoon tea and a mouthwatering selection of cakes. Relaxing with good food, great company and stimulating conversation, the rest of the afternoon flew by, all to soon it was time to go our separate ways.
As one member said, 'What a great way to spend an afternoon'.

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A NOSE FOR TROUBLE
Medical Detection Dog at Work Despite an unpleasant February day there was a large audience at Spalding and District U3A monthly meeting. The guest speaker was Mike Money from the Medical Detection Dogs charity. Even though Mike didn’t bring any dogs he was very informative and knowledgeable leaving us with an understanding of how clever and beneficial these detection and medical alert dogs can be. Most of us have seen programmes and articles about individual dogs being paired with a person where it can detect danger signs across a range of illnesses and prevent an emergency developing. Not only do the dogs become valued family members they can save lives. They also reduce the number of paramedic call outs and hospital admissions allowing the patients to confidently lead full and happy lives. Unknown to most of us they are also used in medical test facilities where they are trained to detect the minute odours associated with many cancers and other diseases.
Steve Field

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MARY’S MEAL BACKPACK PROJECT
Marys Meals
Last Autumn I appealed to the generosity of our members to help underprivileged children in struggling countries such as Malawi.

The children there desperately need what we take for granted as basic provisions in life – food and an education. Where they can go to school, they receive a meal each day and for around £14 a child can have something to eat every school day for one year. There are at present some 1.4 million children now receiving food which they would not normally have received thanks to the Mary’s Meals charity.

However, to attend school they require basic equipment such as notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, eraser and sharpener, clothes, towel, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, spoon and ball.

They have none of these and this is where we have helped.

Thanks to some of you and people from the village I now have twenty-five backpacks filled with these items. They await collection to be transported to Glasgow from where they will be distributed to these needy youngsters.

Since the scheme started in 2005 people from schools, churches and many organisations have provided over 500000 bags and I am pleased to think that we have contributed and are included in that number.

Thank you so much for helping to bring some pleasure into the lives of these people. I can assure you these backpacks are greatly appreciated.

Ken Bush

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AVIATION Lancaster 3 GROUP OUTING TO IWM DUXFORD ON 30th JANUARY Lancaster 2
A very cold morning saw members of the group setting off for the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, when arriving it was to a three inch layer of frozen snow. Not an auspicious beginning! We met up for a coffee and scones in the cafe and then went through the Concorde 101 which was used as a test aircraft and is full of test equipment. A lot of people were surprised by the lack of space inside the aircraft but with a flight time of under three hours to new York it was not considered a long haul flight.
Most of us then sat down to an exhibit called the Lancaster Experience, Wow! A gentleman named Graham kept us enthralled of over an hour with facts and figures regarding the Avro Lancaster Bomber, Barnes Wallis and his two bombs and a mine. Tallboy and Grand Slam basically spiraled into the ground before exploding causing earthquakes to create vast devastation. He also devised the Upkeep or Bouncing Bomb which was used by 617 Squadron led by WC Guy Gibson in Operation Chastise, the Dam Busters Raid, to destroy dams in the Ruhr Valley which generated electricity to fuel the German war effort.
The raid was considered a great success in spite of the loss of 53 airmen.
We were then taken, in small parties to see for ourselves inside of a Lancaster aircraft, it must have been horrendous as the 'skin' is only .7 of a millimeter, no protection from flying shrapnel or the elements.
Graham was so Lancaster 1 enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his lancaster 4 subject that it was the highlight of the day.
The party then met up for lunch, best forgotten, then split up for longer individual looks round the rest of the exhibits.
Truly a great day out.

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HAPPY WANDERERS
Considering the temperature only climbed to about 4 degrees ----- our January meeting saw an attendance of thirteen members who walked the three-church trail around Fleet & Gedney. After using the facilities and ordering lunch at the Old Black Lion we set out and soon faced our first challenge of crossing the A17. We quickly arrived at the church of St Mary Magdalene at Gedney. This is one of a number of churches known as ‘wool churches’ which in the early 13th century benefitted from the prosperity of the thriving wool trade in the area (where have all the sheep gone?). We took time to have a look inside this impressive building, where the light flooded through the beautiful stained-glass windows and could appreciate why this church is known as the “cathedral of the fens”. From here we continued into Fleet and came to a small Baptist church which was founded in 1681 by two lay preachers who finding themselves unwelcome in Holbeach settled in Fleet. The current church was built in 1898 for the grand sum of £2,000. A short distance into the countryside saw us reach the third church strangely also named St Mary Magdalene, another large imposing building with the unusual feature of having the bell tower standing separate from the main building. The final third of our walk was on footpaths across open fields and into a small wooded area before making our return to the pub for lunch and a chat.
Steve Field

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