Whickham & District


Here you will find reports about recent events that have happened in Whickham and District U3A

Outing to Seahouses and Holy Island

Out & About trip Wednesday 7th August:

Despite a gloomy forecast, 24 members of Whickham and District U3A set off for a trip with Thirlwell’s coaches to Seahouses and Holy Island on Wednesday 7th August.
Arriving in Seahouses for a much needed coffee, there was plenty of time to explore the many gift shops and indulge in some fish & chips before we set off for Holy Island.
The weather continued to be favourable and groups explored such diverse areas as the castle and Gertrude Jekyll garden, the Priory and Island visitors centre and the Mead distillery. The weather broke as we headed back to the coach and we made good progress back to Whickham. A most enjoyable day.

Annual Strawberry Tea

What a great response......nearly 80 people attended the annual Strawberry Tea held on 10th July 2019 in St. Mary's Centre, Whickham. Strawberry tarts ( apparently they were the best ones people had enjoyed for a few years ) were provided as well as coffee/tea/juice. The members were entertained by Al Ritchie. He started singing songs from the 60's. Members were up dancing. Then a surprise he brought out 'Alfie'. Alfie and Al Ritchie performed a ventriloquist act.( See the Welcome Page for more photos) It was good, a bit of humour thrown in for good measure. To finish off with there were more songs such as Elvis, Everly Brothers.

The Beacon Stocksfield

What a great time by all was had on Wednesday 19th June 2019. Over 30 people from Whickham and District U3A visited The Beacon, one of over 3,500 private gardens that are opened to the public through the National Garden Scheme. Pat Hodgson OBE gave a talk to the Whickham U3A Group a few months ago and it was arranged that we visited her lovely garden and had afternoon tea. It was touch and go, as the weather forecast was rain, rain and more rain, but the sun shone...Hurray It was also a special occasion as one of the husbands of our members was 80 years old on that actual day. Pat provided a birthday cake and in her usual flamboyant way sang Happy Birthday impersonating Marilyn Monroe....what a fantastic time. Pat opens her garden through out the year, but will if there are an arranged number of visitors open it up for that specific group. All the proceeds go to the NSPCC and Whickham and District U3A contributed £440 towards the funds. CONGRATULATIONS ALL

Creative writing workshops in Conjunction with Arts Diamonds

What a success these two workshops, held at the beginning of June 2019, turned out to be. There were seven of us working with a local writer called Ellen Phethean. Didn't matter if you'd never attempted creative writing before, it was a case of 'have a go'. We met in Whickham Library and each session was for 2 hours...the time just flew. So successful more dates are to be arranged for the Autumn.
Some comments from members Totally enjoyable! Sharing thoughts and ideas which usually I keep written. Thoroughly enjoyed the creative writing course, long may it continue. I have thoroughly enjoyed these two sessions. Ellen cleverly drew out our thoughts and memories came flooding back.

First Aid with the Red Cross

First Aid training in conjunction with the Red Cross was held in the function room of the Crown in Whickham on Tuesday 28th May 2019. We explored how to provide first aid for people with broken bones, a heart attack,a stroke and also learnt how to give CPR and use a defibrillator. It was a practical session so all that wanted to could have a go!!!
Some comments from our members 'Good course everyone should attend' 'Have learnt so much in a 'common sense' presentation' Very clear delivery which gave confidence'.

Coffee Morning Wednesday May 22nd May

Catherine Butcher who works for an organisation called VOICE who work with researchers at Newcastle University came to our coffee morning for an informal chat about ways in which the public, health and social care and private businesses can work together with researchers to find out what matters most to people in later life. This enables the professionals to develop products and services that will enable people to stay healthy. Whickham and District U3A who have already completed a workshop for Catherine on loneliness and isolation wil in the near future have the opportunity to assist with other workshops. WATCH THIS SPACE

News from our Feel Good Group

A bus full of our members from the Feel Good Group went to North Berwick for the day on Friday May 24th. The weather was fine but a bit windy. Everyone had a good time.

Networking with Dunston U3A

On Tuesday May 21st 2019 a workshop called Working with Sea Glass was held at Bensham Grove Community Centre. There were 15 eager participants, but all a bit anxious as we didn't know what we were letting ourselves in to. It was a great workshop. The tutor called Jan provided all the materials ...there was so much to choose from. Then it was left up to our imaginations as to what we designed and materials we used to produce work of art.At least we thought it was. Everyone was pleased with their efforts and said what a relaxing time and that 'it was great'.

News from our Out and About Group

On Tuesday 7th May a much depleted “Out n About “ group set off from Whickham.
It was not an optimistic outlook as rain was forecast, and there was a chilly wind. Never the less the group had high hopes for the visit to Newbiggin on Sea . Sure enough the sun came out as we arrived, so we took advantage of the warmth and had a stroll along the promenade, viewing the “Couples” sculptures both out to sea, and the smaller versions by the footpath. We also noted the many ceramic tiles along the way.
After a reviving cup of coffee, and cheese scone, we headed to the church on the promontory. Sadly it was closed, but we passed an interesting half hour looking at the gravestones. Following the heritage trail into the town, we enjoyed yet more sunshine, though the wind continued to chill.
A brief stop at Boundary Mills, with another cuppa (and cake!) before continuing back to Whickham. A most enjoyable day.

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