A New Page for Changing Times

This page is intended for the exchange of information of all kinds, certainly not just about corona virus.
All members are invited to send in anything that might help our members in the current situation, be it practical, amusing, interesting or request for help of some kind. Members are reminded that the information can be seen by anyone in the world!

There is a maximum of 25 photos allowed per page so you will notice that in some cases photos are deleted or moved before the associated text is deleted. Some 'Craft' photos have been moved to the Craft page and others have been moved to a new Rainbows page.

Contact me or send in your information by clicking here: Today

On 16 May Margaret Welsh posed the question:
"What will Wessington U3A look like at the end of this pandemic?"
As intended, this resulted in thoughts and ideas being sent in by our members. Rather than have these 'lost' as other pieces and photos appear on this page, they are now being retained on the Comments page. Please look at the Comments page to ensure that you are keeping up to date with the discussion.

Latest Information/Articles are at the Top

Start of Today page



And this is what has kept Wendy Eggerton busy through lock down ...photo taken by her son and made into jigsaw.
Margaret Welsh


Forget Zoom, WhatsApp and all that for now....I suggest a picnic in July, on the day and time of our normal meeting. The venue would be the expanse of grass near Worm Hill. From The Biddick Pub, Up Wormhill Terrace, past the original houses to the higher end of the terrace. There the land opens up to a massive green belt. We would have to bring our own chairs, our own food, and our own drink.
Our street did this on VE day (we have a greenbelt) and it worked perfectly, we had a great time. The chairs were placed at a safe social distance away from one another, we all enjoyed a picnic and could walk around chatting, as well as sitting. We all know to keep a safe distance, and it is still easy to have conversation and laughs practising social distancing. It would be great, but we would have to insist one one rule:

Nobody is allowed to visit anyone's house to use their toilet. Many of our members live in this area and this would be unfair and unacceptable during the pandemic. anyone needing the loo would just have to go home. So what do people think? Should we have a summer Lockdown Picnic? I'm sure the club wouldn't mind us using the car park.

Angela Burn, 23/5/20


In answer to Margaret's comments on the Today page, I can't imagine how the U3A would be with social distancing. I have tried Zoom sessions with other groups and it would be a way of staying in touch, in the short term, if everyone has the technology.

The WhatsApp Craft group is working very well with about 10 members. Everyone is very supportive, but doing it with a big group might mean we'd be up all night reading the messages. I don't use Facebook much but would be willing to try.

Linda Willis, 22/5/20


The Craft group would like to invite anyone who would also like to have fun with this next challenge:

To design and make a bookmark showing something(s) that you have enjoyed or that have given you comfort over lockdown. It can be on any material including paper or fabric or could be woven, knitted or crocheted. Really, any way you would enjoy making it.

We would love it if you could take a photo and send it to Peter Barnett who kindly puts things on the Today or Craft group page for us. Hopefully at some point we can have a display of lockdown crafts but photos would be great until then.
This is a fun project and although there are some very talented crafters in our U3A remember this is not a competition but a sharing of interests and positive lockdown experiences project.

Susan Irving, 22/5/20


A radical thought or two:

  • I like the idea of a Facebook page because it can provide a simple instant response to questions, ideas as long as it is well marshalled...call the sheriff!
  • There may be a danger that if most groups are going to 'Zoom' that the 'spirit' of Wessington may be lost or misplaced...they may become 'exclusive' unless other members have feedback in one form or another.
  • In the long term that may provoke some thought on monthly meetings? Could you see two meetings a month, or as suggested previously two half meetings using lounge and hall for half the members at a time, dependent on social distancing? I’m sure this will reduce in time although we may still have to mask up. Obviously business could be shared as well as feedback from groups, but would a speaker be necessary if we are all finding motivation on line? Of course that may change when this crisis eases so meetings become an opportunity for socialising...coffee, cake ...chat!
  • Just wonderIng about members not on-line and whether they have been included in this thought process?
  • One further thought concerning U3A Day in October … have U3As been asked for opinions on whether this is a good idea or maybe delay until 2021? Given none of us know what Wessington U3A will look like how can we then be in a position to invite others to join? Just asking ....

Margaret Welsh, 21/5/20


For the attention of David Olusoga groupies:
Tuesday 9pm BBC 2 A House Through Time from Bristol ...the story of the slave trade...
Let’s remember listening to him at Sage on a Friday evening , Sage on Saturday morning and Redhills on Monday evening.
What a weekend ! Happy memories!
Margaret Welsh, 20/5/20


I shouldn’t admit this out loud but Jean’s what’s odd about these words riddle which she got out of a cracker has been driving me mad. I knew it had something to do with the order of the letters but I couldn’t just get to it. So I did what all sensible, and lazy ,people do - I Googled it and now I know
Jean Scott, 20th May 2020


Reading Group - update
This group hope to be 'Zooming' soon. If you are not already a member of the Reading Group then contact Jean Scott for more information.


I am looking for responses re a Facebook page for Wessington U3A. For members only. Just a thought. The today page is a good idea but a bit static. Something more instant might be useful in our current situation.

Anne Phillipson 19 May 2020


Several of us, I know, listened to Prof Oxford on Friday Radio 4 on the 1918 pandemic. As expected he was erudite, informed and wide ranging. The prog can be heard on catch up and there are two further editions to come, presumanly next two Fridays at 11am.

In other news a post I put on Washington face book about Jordan's phone app attracted 200 likes and a lot of comment and even, in these times of extra leisure for some, quite a few who not only say they are doing the walk but actually are doing it and sending photos to prove it. A lady called Tracy seems likely to be the first to tick off all 100. There are obsessives everywhere, eh? And the Evening Chronicle reckons it's goona get in touch with Jordan for his story. I may have neglected to mention they'd already covered it.

Peter Welsh, 17/5/20


VE Bridge VE Board VE Name VE Garden

75th Anniversary of VE Day : views from the bottom of Worm Hill.

Peter and Margaret Welsh, 17/5/20


Dog Walk 3

Dog walk 3. Over the peak and all downhill from here.
Paul Irving


At Durham Western Front Conference in 2018 we had Professor John Oxford, a leading virologist (and a wonderful dinner companion) as one of our speakers. He gave a brilliant and fascinating talk about the flu pandemic of 1918 and mentioned that another pandemic would not be far away. If you happen to be interested he's on Radio 4 at 11.00am on Friday of this week.

Hope everyone is well. Stay alert, we need lerts for when we get back together, a state of lertlessness is a bad state

Pete Welsh, 14/5/20


I’ve spent some time looking round the site for the first time in quite a few days and I’m very impressed.

I did Lyn’s flower quiz, I linked my phone WhatsApp to my iPad, and I made a note of the advice about online scams. I have tried to keep up with the crosswords but it does make my brain hurt, I haven’t given up yet.

On the scam front, I did get a message from Netflix saying I hadn’t paid my subscription and my membership would cease. I ignored it and reported it as a scam. Got another message, ignored that too. Then I did indeed lose access to Netflix, there had been a mix up and I hadn’t paid and had to start a new account. Foolishness, and I wasted lots of time trying to insist I had paid. Doh!

Jean Scott, 13th May 2020


I thought I’d send my latest craft group elephant challenge. I’ve called him VElmer. Only people with access to young kids books may get the Elmer the elephant reference. He's made of old milk bottles, and there is a U3A link as I learnt how to do it on a visit to the Springwell recycling plant.
Sue Irving, 8/5/20


A number of activities have been taking place in the Welsh household and immediate area during ‘lock down.’

Peter has made a podcast for the Western Front Association based on research of Washington men in The Great War. It will be available June /July. Presently he is working his way through the Absent Voters lists of everyone in Washington including some women for 1918 election. These are available through the website with the help of Lancastrianne and Gavin ....thank you.

Gaudi Wall

A number of years ago following a trip to Barcelona I was inspired to do a ‘Gaudi’ back step...we had plenty of broken crockery both of us being rather careless. Having the time these last weeks and still being careless I decided to create flowers from broken crockery for newly painted back wall...simples! 26 currently still blooming ....

Bridge Garden
Thinking about the 75th Anniversary of VE Day we decided to make sure the ‘bridge garden’ would be at its best for May 8th .
Thank you to U3A members who have given us cuttings and plants Canada Ann, Lynn Anderson, Edith Wardlaw and Mimi ...it is a picture of mainly blue and white in support of the NHS and now with poppies ready for May 8th

I have a board with names of the 14 WW2 lads who lost their lives ready for display...each man has a Union Jack poppy named for him.

VE Day VE Name

Margaret Welsh, 7/5/20


Further to Pat's excellent article, I had a look at the Glendoick website and there is a lot of information there about how to grow Rhododendrons and how to deal with the diseases that afflict them. There's also a couple of videos about Azaleas.
Jean Barnett


Read about Plant of the Month, the Rhododendron here: Garden News May

Pat Brookes, 6/5/20


I have finished my rainbow challenge and wanted to share it with you again. Lots of coloured pencils, felt tip pens and leftover pieces of old card used during the making. Take care everyone. Happy VE 75th Anniversary for Friday... especially to those who were there!!
Hilary Miller, 6/5/20


If like me you are using WhatsApp a lot these days then you might have a problem of your phone's memory getting full. Selectively deleting things on the phone isn't very easy, but did you know that you can link your phone to your PC? This has many advantages including the added feature of being able to select several messages or photos for bulk deletion or copying to your PC. You can also use your PC's mouse and keyboard to read and write messages, which I find much more convenient. There are some details on the Did you know? page.
Peter Barnett, 4/5/20


The final part of my crossword course is now uploaded on the Crossword page under Groups. I have no idea how many of you are following this so do give me some feedback. Was it too easy? Too hard? I find crosswords are a great way to relax and to learn new things. Since this enforced isolation started my usual weekend crossword competition (in the i newspaper) has been suspended so I've taking to attempting The Listener crossword in the Saturday Times. If you feel confident do have a go at it. It will drive you mad but it's worth it.
Jean B 4.5.20


Peppa Pig
Spotted on our daily walk around Washington.
Ian & Edith Wardlaw


Lynn Kennedy has sent in a quiz to do at home. Click the link to see the pdf (which you might like to print out) then get your thinking caps on!

Spring Flowers



A couple of days ago I set a little brain teaser, which I'm sure you've all solved but just in case...The words were: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser and uneven. If you remove the first letter of each word and move it to the end, you get the same word backwards.
JB 30.4.20


Real Rainbow 1 Real Rainbow 2 Real Rainbow 3

Beautiful rainbow over Oxclose which turned an amazing pinky-lilac colour as the sun set.
Liz Corry 28/4/20



Spotted on our daily walk around Washington.
Ian and Edith Wardlaw


Here are another two suggestions for virtual garden visiting. Copy the text and paste it into your internet browser.



PB, 26/4/20


Dog Walk 2

Dog walk 2. Not quite out of the woods yet!

Paul Irving, 25/4/20


I found the first quiz organised nationally really good, also the simple yoga routine. if anyone wants a simple quiz based on sweets and chocolate I can pass on a copy.
Margaret Timothy, 24/4/20


Food Tips
Tips for Storing Food

It's not very exciting but a few people have said I should send it in as it is useful and may save a trip to the shops.
1. Wrap carrots in bubble wrap (small bubbles if possible) and keep them in the fridge. It keeps them fresh for at least a week.
2. Wrap the stalks of bananas in cling film to keep fresh. I've kept mine for a week. Or let them go brown and make a lovely Banana cake!

Photo to demonstrate. Stay safe everyone.

Linda Willis, 20/4/20