Spalding & District

Notices & Reports

As most of you will know, Mel Gordon has stood down as editor of the News and Views Magazine and also resigned from the Committee. This leaves two positions to be filled, if anybody feels that they could take on either post please contact Margaret Crossgrill via the contact page.

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Needlecraft News
Needlework The two needlecraft groups joined together for their January meeting and met in the Moulton Community Centre and were pleased to receive a special visitor.
Sheelagh Crosby had been a previous member of our U3A Group and was extremely interested in embroidery and tapestry. Sheelagh had passed away and her daughter Julie Buckingham-Jones joined the meeting to share memories of her mother and to kindly donate needlecraft items, embroidery silks, tapestry thread etc. from her mothers’ collection. A photo showed an example of Sheelagh’s impressive work in the re-upholstery of a beautiful wooden chair, which is now a family heirloom.
The Groups meet to share their enjoyment of needlecraft and at this meeting the members were quietly working on tapestry, knitting, embroidery, cross stitch, patchwork and applique work, with the opportunity to catch up with, and to offer advice, to each other, over a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits.
If you wish to know more about these friendly groups please contact Sheila Field, Groups Coordinator, via the Contact page.
They would be pleased to hear from anyone with an interest in anything which involves “Needles”
A small selection of the ladies’ handiwork - applique table runner and cushion cover, knitted scarf, sampler, kingfisher embroidery, cross stitch hedgehog and cottage, the start of a detailed tapestry depicting penguins, and in readiness for next Christmas, a decorated felt Christmas tree.

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Indoor bowling will commence on Monday 29th April at 10.00 at the Castle Sports Centre, the cost will be £1.60 per person per week. Please contact Sheila Field via the Contact Page or register at the February, March or April Monthly Meeting.
Requirements are smooth, flat soled shoes or socks, there will be coaches available for novice bowlers and woods for use. Novices will be required to contact Ian McCallum by the previous Sunday to state that they will be attending so that the correct number of coaches can be arranged.

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Buzz at U3A Meeting

Sue jakemanJ Sue Jakeman (The Bee Lady) was the guest speaker at the Spalding and District U3A where she gave an interesting and informative talk about all things Bee. As a former bee keeper herself Sue was able to explain the yearly cycle of the hive, the different types of bee and their roles within the hive. This was enhanced by her being dressed in a full bee keeper outfit and having an (empty) hive on the desk. Numerous pieces of equipment were on display and passed amongst the members which made her talk easy to follow. Lots of questions were asked and Sue stressed how important bees are and the fact that their numbers are in decline, she wanted to encourage more people to take up bee keeping, with courses and on-going support available. I think we all came away with a better understanding of the life of the bee and would recognise the difference between the honey and bumble bee as they buzz around our gardens. The meeting ended with tea and biscuits giving everyone a chance to chat to and meet new friends.
The U3A gives anyone in their ‘third age’ the chance to pursue their interests and make new friends once they are retired or semi- retired. Annual membership gives access to monthly meetings, outings and over 40 interest groups. See our website for more details: u3asites.org.uk/spalding

Steve Field

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Twelve Days of Chrimbo The December Monthly Meeting saw a large gathering of members enjoying some excellent entertainment directed and arranged by Jon Healey. Peppermint Junction Peppermint Junction performed three country style ballads during which it was good to see Dick back behind his drums. Ian then amused? with anecdotes of his career before joining the U3A. Bev had us spellbound with balloon sculpting and bewildering magic. Bev weaves her magic The stage show was finished by a rearranged and reworded rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas by energetic members of the branch.
Well done to all who took part. Twelve Days of Chrimbo
Margaret then announced that the beverages and food where ready and who said that we more elderly cannot still move very fast?
Very Merry Christmas and a Great 2019 to all members from the Entertainers.

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A chilly and miserable morning in early December saw 17 members of the Strollers and December Walkers Happy Wanders assemble at the Castle Sports Centre for our annual joint walk. The walk took us up one side of the Welland, across at the Twin Bridge to the other and up to the sluice gates where the Coronation Channel starts. Continuing down the drain side to Albert Street and Back to the Sports Centre, approximately two miles. We saw herons, mallards, turns and various other wild life luckily the rain holding off for most of the time.
Back at the Centre, Ricky had prepared a very good meal for us and we all wished each other Seasons Greeting a looking forward to 2019.

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Lysander The newly formed Aviation Group held their first outing to The Shuttleworth Collection in November. A chilly but dry morning saw twenty five of us meeting in the visitor centre where our guides split us into two groups. Jim Box & Pete Balmbro proved to be knowledgeable, dedicated and amusing guides who imparted much information and history of almost every aircraft in the collection so many thanks to Box Triplane them.
We then enjoyed a very good lunch and dispersed to either retrace some of our steps through the hangers or head for home.
An excellent day was enjoyed by all of us and we look forward to further days out in the New Year.

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November Walk Happy Wanderer’s November Walk 2018.

Yes, we’re well wrapped up but the weather proved not to be as bad as forecast for our walk from Harlaxton to Denton reservoir and return via the village of Denton.
The church at Denton (pictured) is built from the golden coloured ironstone, mined locally and dates from the 13th century.
Much other history was evident on this walk including the Grantham Canal built in 1797 and which was reasonably prosperous until the coming of the railways. The Great Northern railway took it over in 1861 and thereafter it was allowed to decline. Denton reservoir holds 61 million gallons of water and was built to supply the canal. The water didn’t look very deep but we took care not to find out as we followed footpaths made slippery by the previous day’s torrential rain.
We had lunch at The Gregory Arms, opposite the gates of Harlaxton Manor with its impressive driveway. The manor was completed in 1837 for George de Ligne Gregory – hence the name of the pub/restaurant.
I had been introduced to this walk by Hugh Marrows and he kindly provided the walk details and a map to guide us. We wish Hugh and Marilyn much happiness in their new home outside Leeds – I understand that within 5 minutes they can access a path leading into the Yorkshire National Park – fantastic and hills too!
Rosemary McClements

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Alternative Garden Group ALTERNATIVE GARDENING GROUP
October found members visiting Tim Wyman's garden known locally as Surfleet Park. A lot of us had been through the park with walking groups and photography but knew very little about it. Tim took us around and showed us his projects and ambitions for the future as well as explaining how and why the garden has evolved. many thanks Tim for a most informative walk through your creation.
In November we visited the Neame Lea factory on Horseshoe Road Spalding to learn about how the nursery helps supply most of the larger supermarket chains with pot plants. We saw 250,000 poinsettias being readied for Christmas and also tulip bulbs being forced for early 2019 sales. The future plans were also explained and a good day was had by all.

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HW - October walk HAPPY WANDERERS OCTOBER WALK
First things first, as this is my first walk report since becoming joint leader I would like to thank Hugh, my predecessor, for all his hard work and excellent leadership during his tenure. Hugh who is moving from the area will be a big loss to the group and we wish him and Marilyn all our best wishes for the future.
The October walk saw us set off from the small village of Irnham situated to the north west of Bourne.
Irnham is mentioned in the doomsday book and consists of a number of lovely stone buildings as well as the very impressive Elizabethan Irnham Hall and St Andrews Church which houses a replica of a 14th century psalter (Medieval prayer book). This was a strong catholic area highlighted by the discovery of two priest holes hidden within the walls of the hall.
The walk started at the Griffin Inn and we very quickly climbed a small hill which then revealed far reaching views over Lincolnshire. After making our way through a couple of fields and a small group of trees we went into the first of two fields that contained cows. We continued to walk in fields, some road and tracks making the total distance approximately 4.5 miles and we were rewarded with good views and great weather the whole time. When we got back to the village some of us made a worthwhile visit to the church while others went on to the inn where we all enjoyed a lunch. It was nice to have a good turnout and welcome members that don’t manage to come so often.
Steve Field

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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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OUT & ABOUT VISIT FOR AUGUST
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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Seed Cooperative GARDEN GROUP VISIT TO THE SEED COOPERATIVE
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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OUT & ABOUT ”BOMBER COMMAND" IBCC Spire

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.

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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?

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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.

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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
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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.

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Every show has a story “ Johnny Walkers "
Taylors
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

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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

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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.

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Photography 3 PHOTOGRAPHY GROUPS GARDEN PARTY

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.

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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.

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Owl Red Kite Seriema Laughing Kookaburra

PRIVATE FLYING DISPLAY

BAYTREE OWL & WILDLIFE CENTRE

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