West Cheshire Rural

Talks (2021/22)

May 2022
Gill Russell gave us a fascinating glimpse into Japanese culture. Her talk ranged through the history of this interesting country with its customs and practices as well as including slides on some of the wonderful gardens, costumes, food, and scenery. Her explanation on the vagaries of Japanese language and grammar gave us all some insight into this fascinating country.

April 2022
Our speaker was David McCaddon who is an award-winning playwright and author of modern crime thriller novels. His talk "Costa del Crime, the end of an era?" looked at some of the villains from the Great Train Robbery, Security Express and the Brink Mat Robbery.

March 2022
Unfortunately the Roundhouse session due to take place this month was postponed.

February 2022
Our February talk was given by Brian Anderson, a Wirral based photographer, tutor and lecturer. Afflicted with wanderlust, for 35+ years Brian has visited over 60 nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Far East, South America and further afield in the High Arctic, the Geographic North Pole and Antarctica, to capture landscapes, wildlife and travel images. His talk introduced us to Petra, the Weddel Sea, the North Pole, Easter Island and the Galapagos Islands and was superbly illustrated with the photographs he had taken on his travels.

January 2022
The talk in January "Place Names in Landscapes; Pleasures, Pitfalls and Puzzles" was given by Julie Smalley. With a background in landscape history and archaeology, as well as being a devoted language-lover, Julie is fascinated by what place-name meanings can reveal and how it helps us picture former settlers and settlements. She examined some local place names which led to some great interactive discussions.

November 2021
Our November speaker was Kath Reynolds. Kath's talks are a reflection of her interest in people and in social history. She regards herself as a collector and sharer of stories. In advance of Christmas, Kath's talk looked at some of our Christmas traditions, celebrations, food and favourite toys! The images and objects which she displayed brought back memories for all of us of our own childhood at Christmas. It was a very fun, interactive session, enjoyed by one of our largest gatherings for some months.

October 2021
West Cheshire Rural u3a held our Open Day on 21st October at the Barbour Institute. Members and visitors joined together to celebrate 11 years of activity and friendship within the u3a. Group leaders show-cased their activities throughout the morning and were on hand to answer any questions. After a buffet lunch and a toast to mark the occasion by Gill Russell, a speaker from the Northwest Air Ambulance Service gave an interesting talk about the service they provide to our community.

September 2021
We welcomed the Rev Michael Burgess to our meeting in September. He had a terrible journey from Lyme, and arrived late after being caught in heavy traffic. However, it was worth waiting for. The talk entitled "Several Deadly Sins" was full of amusing stories and quips, but also had some reflective moments about the way society works today.

August 2021
Thirty-six members and one visitor joined our August meeting. It was lovely to see so many members and in particular our new members. We hope that you felt comfortable with the arrangements we had put in place in conjunction with the requirements of the Barbour Institute. Jean Hancox took some photographs from the day which can be found on the events page.

July 2021
Our July speaker was Dr Ian Bedford. His talk was entitled "Butterfly Gardening in a Changing Environment". He spoke about the differences between butterflies and moths, what ones we can see in the UK and what we can do to help the butterfly population thrive. As a follow up, there is a Big Butterfly Count taking place from Friday 16th July - Sunday 8th August. This is a nationwide citizen science survey aimed at helping assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world's biggest survey of butterflies. Over 111,500 citizen scientists took part in 2020, submitting 145,249 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the UK. For more information follow the link below:

June 2021
In June our speaker was Aimee Best from the Dogs Trust Charity. The Dogs Trust is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK, caring for around 15,500 stray and abandoned dogs across their rehoming centres every year. It was a very enjoyable presentation and gave an insight into the various services the Trust offers including a very important initiative The Canine Care Card Scheme. It is a free service that gives a dog owner peace of mind, knowing that Dogs Trust will care for their dog when you die should no one else be able to take care of their pet.

May 2021
In May our talk "Tiptoe Through the Tombstones", was given by Rina Tillinger. Originally from the Midwest, US, Rina Tillinger now lives in the Northwest UK. Tiptoe Through the Tombstones explores the churchyards of Cheshire in search of unusual and unforgettable inscriptions and epitaphs carved on gravestones.

April 2021
In April James Taylor gave a talk on Brilliant British Humour in the Forgotten Art of the Picture Postcard:1840-1950. Artist-drawn postcards were the most popular art form from the Edwardian era to the outbreak of World War II. They entertained, inspired, instructed, motivated, persuaded and lifted-up the spirits.

March 2021
The talk at our March meeting "Playing Out" was given by Kath Reynolds, a really engaging talk that had us all reminiscing about the games we used to play as children.

Kath worked for many years for Staffordshire and then Stoke-on-Trent Libraries. She now delivers a number of reminiscence talks which reflect a great many years of collecting stories, memories and musings from the people of Staffordshire and surrounding counties.

February 2021
At our February meeting Steve Hunter from the charity Blood Bikes gave the talk. Blood Bikes transport blood, platelets, samples, surgical instruments, platelets, samples, surgical instruments, human donor milk and many other clinical products across the UK and Eire. A really interesting talk about a very valuable service which is run entirely by volunteers.

Anne Bayliss