West Pennine Villages

February newsletter

We are more than halfway through February already.
Despite Ciara and Dennis trying to blow us into March, your U3A’s future is certainly looking sunny with lots of activities an trips on the agenda.


A trip to the bowling alley

Come bowling

Hopefully you have all seen the email re the Bowling trip to the new Bowling Alley in Chorley next month – March 19. Menna would like to know what interest there is in the trip. If you fancy a few games, please send a message by clicking on the link on the Social Group page of our website at http://westpenninevillagesu3a.org.uk or by signing the list at the drop-in sessions on Wednesdays from 10am to noon at the Sports and Social Club.

Thinking a little ahead, we are urging all our members to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean March 20th - April 13th.
Great British Clean Up
We hope to get involved with this national event. Our chairman, Ann has been in touch with Chorley Council and it looks likely that we can litter pick the A674 from the top of Withnell Fold to the Hoghton Arms roundabout. The council will provide equipment. We will pick a date at our next committee meeting which we will circulate to all members and hope to have your support in this worthwhile venture.

We also want to make sure everyone knows what a fantastic U3A we are during National U3A day on June 3. It is a chance to promote and celebrate our U3A. If you have read your latest copy of the U3A magazine you will see lots of ideas from other U3A’s about what they plan to do. So, put on your thinking caps and let’s come up with an original idea to put West Pennine Villages U3A firmly on the map!

In Lancashire we are blessed with amazing historic places to visit and on the agenda for our social outings is a trip to Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley. Menna is organising a trip which includes a tour of the College and entry to the fascinating museum.
The date is Thursday, May 28. Tours last about an hour and fifteen minutes.
Please note: Due to the nature of a Grade I listed building, no disabled access is provided and the tour route incorporates access to different levels using stairs with limited seating available. If you are interested contact Menna through the Social Groups on the website.

Group updates

Meanwhile your groups are having a fabulous time.

Folk Dancing

Great fun had by all at our first Folk Dance session. Folk dancing
We mostly managed to work out who was ‘the man’ and who ‘the woman’ and swing our partners in the same direction!
Lots of room for more if you want to join us at 10.00 on Tuesdays at Withnell Fold!

Family History

Since Christmas we have had family trees being taken back into the early 18th Century, ancestors changing their surnames and contact made with other family historians researching in this country and abroad.
One member of the group has recently received DNA test results and is now contacting new relatives.

Pilates and Dancercise

Pilates and Dancercise are going well. Class members are making good progress and it’s great that there’s a good number of men taking part. Newcomers are still welcome to come along and give it a try as there are some spaces available.


We had a very interesting and sometimes moving reading of Love poetry at our last session and our next theme will be SPRING!


We were lucky enough to have our first outdoor drawing session this month - admittedly before the storms hit us – and are looking forward to many more as the weather improves [we live in hope].


We have sown our first seeds and are watching their germination with interest. We have an impending visit to Bank Hall in Bretherton to look at their snowdrop display- it promises to be muddy!

Hedgerow Weaving

A dozen of us have completed three three-hour sessions; wrestled with unruly withies and colourful dogwood, buckthorn, field maple, ash, ivy . . . all gleaned from hedges, gardens or wasteland. We incorporated some farmed willow (dried) that had to be soaked to make it pliable. Soon the sap will be rising - we envisage further sessions when we can utilise next winter’s prunings.

Speaker's Meeting

March's speaker’s meeting is on Wednesday, March 4 at 11am – after the regular drop-in session. Dr David Hunt the South Ribble Museum Curator will give an illustrated talk on Local History from a Balloon, featuring local areas.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t joined a group yet, check out the website at http://westpenninevillagesu3a.org.uk and click on the Groups link, or go to the Calendar to see when and where the groups are held.
Better still, if there’s nothing you fancy, why not suggest a group and we’ll see what we can do.
The U3A ethos is one of fun learning. There's no one judging you, there are no tests, but there's lots of fascinating things to do and some great people to meet.
Keep an eye on the website at http://westpenninevillagesu3a.org.uk for all the latest news, groups and meetings – or perhaps to send a message.