Social Occasions



For our September General Meeting, several groups gave enjoyable presentations on the subject of All Around the Wrekin commencing with Latin 1 & 11 followed by Discussion, Family History, Play Reading, Prose & Poetry and closing with Singing for Fun.

There were also lovely displays from Digital Photography 2, Art Appreciation 1, Craft, Wine Tasting 2, Art and Long & Short Walks.

The following are summaries covering All Around the Wrekin from the groups' performances. Which were greatly enhanced by the technical expertise of John Bailey with Graham Higson (microphones & sound) and Roger Phillips (I.T.) however all photographs were taken at the dress rehearsal by the web site coordinator.

Latin 1 and 11 – Marilyn Higson

Latin 1 Group Latin Group II Members

The Latin groups' presentation was based on texts and illustrations being followed from the Cambridge Latin Course and appreciate the fact that the grammar and vocabulary is based on real stories – in Book 1 a family in Pompeii just before the eruption of Vesuvius, and Book 11 on the journey of a survivor from Pompeii travelling to Roman Britain and Egypt. There was a lot of humour too.

The Groups' presentation gave the two Latin groups the opportunity to work together and in doing so, to get to know each other better.

Discussion – John Boydell

Discussion Group Picture 1 Discussion Group Members Discussion Group Members 5

Discussion Group's Presentation (based on fact) - The Iron Bridge from Inception to Completion.

This was a fictional conversation (based on facts) between Thomas Addenbrooke (lawyer of Buildwas and secretary to the bridge investors group), a ferryman about to lose his livelihood, Thomas Farnolds-Pritchard (successful Midlands architect also designer of elegant mantelpieces, fireplaces and house interiors for the gentry and a young Abraham Darby the 3 , (ironmaster of
Coalbrookdale, grandson of Abraham Darby 1 , who pioneered bulk iron production using coke).

The Act of Parliament was passed in March 1776 and work began. The ironwork for the main arch was erected in 1779 and the bridge work completed and open for business by 1st January 1781. It must be noted that in 1796 there was a great flood destroying or badly damaging the bridges on the River Severn – except the new Iron Bridge.

Family History – Ann Kirby

Anne Kelly - Family History

As a group with differing experiences in family history it was decided to look into the background of three famous local people who made an impact on Wellington thereby being of interest and illustrating what can be discovered when starting to research. Hesba Stretton, William Withering & Mary Jane Slaney were chosen.

Hesba Stretton, born in Wellington became a writer of children's books with an emphasis on children living in poverty and often homeless on the streets of large towns and cities. Her most famous book, written in 1866, was 'Jessica's First Prayer' which sold nearly two million copies over the next 40 years. She wrote over 50 novels in total.

William Witherinton was also born inWellington and became a physician, qualifying in Edinburgh, working in Stafford, Birmingham and later in Portugal. He is best known for his use of the extracts of digitalis to treat some heart failure, medical uses of the foxglove flower still being used today.

Finally, Mary Jane Slaney, born in London but marrying two Shropshire men. On the death of her second husband, a publican and owner of shops selling wines & spirits in the area, she had sufficient money to purchase and then adapt and improve a house on the Holyhead Road in Wellington which still shows her taste and influence a century later. It now belongs to the National Trust.

Prose & Poetry – Pam Vincent

Poetry Picture 1

Both Prose & Poetry and the Play Reading groups were very enthusiastic about taking part in the presentation, 'All Around the Wrekin'. The Poetry group chose four poems to read, which, directly or indirectly, have close connections to the Wrekin and its environs. 'The Old Lie: Dulce et Decorum Est' was written by the young WW1 poet, Wilfred Owen, who spent his formative teenage years in Shrewsbury. 'A Shropshire Lad' by John Betjeman was written to commemorate the death of Captain Matthew Webb from Dawley, who, in 1875 was the first recorded person to swim the English Channel for sport without the use of artificial aids. 'On Wenlock Edge' shows the affection that A.E. Housman, a Worcestershire man, felt for the 'blue remembered hills' of Shropshire, whilst 'A Proud Salopian', taken from a medley of monologues and verses collected by the late Jack Insall of Ketley, celebrates the many talented people who have originated from Shropshire.

Play Reading – Pam Vincent

Pam Vincent - Play Reading Group Member

The script of 'The Shropshire Giant and the Wellington Cobbler' was written for the Play Reading group by member Diana Barnes. It re-tells the story of why the Wrekin stands just where it is. As local legend has it, it is all due to a crafty Wellington cobbler who successfully thwarted the Giant's plans of damming up the River Severn and flooding Shrewsbury. Have we any concrete evidence that this story is indeed true? Unfortunately not, but it was certainly fun to perform!

Singing for Fun – Suzanne Walker

Singing For Fun Picture 1 Singing For Fun Picture 2 Singing For Fun Picture 3 -----

The final performance of the afternoon was very entertaining renditions of well known tunes adapted to wording arranged by Diana Barnes portraying The Wrekin with “She'll be coming round The Wrekin”, “The bear went over The Wrekin”, and from the Sound of Music - “Climb up The Wrekin”.

The closing song was “All friends round The Wrekin”, the wording by W. Herbert Scott written in 1917 set to music by Edward German (from Whitchurch), initially as a rousing toast to all in Shropshire because so many men were not coming back from WW1. John Soper provided much appreciated musical accompaniment, also encouraging the audience to join in the rousing chorus, bringing the afternoon's entertainment to a close.

Dress Rehersal

Members @ Dress Rehersal Picture 1 Members @ Dress Rehersal Picture 2 Members @ Dress Rehersal Picture 3

Open Morning 2019

Shifnal Village Hall Street Map

On Tuesday, 21st May 2019 in Shifnal Village Hall, many members generously gave their time for our Open Morning. A good proportion of groups had displays of their activities on display and group leaders were on hand to answer any questions.

The morning was well attended and went extremely well with an enjoyable sociable atmosphere. The opportunity was also taken to catch up with friends and make new ones over a cup of tea or coffee accompanied by a slice (or two) from a lovely selection of delicious cakes and several visitors who came along became members.

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

1. Open Morning 2019 2. Open Morning 2019 3. Open Morning 2019 4. Open Morning 2019

Pictures by Roger Phillips.

Annual Lunch 2019

On 8th January 2019 approximately 70 members of Wrekin U3A once again enjoyed a very sociable annual lunch held for the second year at Hadley Park House, Telford. Arrangement and thanks to our Chairlady and Membership Secretary for another successful event as can be seen from the photographs shown here.

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

Annual Lunch 2019 - Photo 1 Annual Lunch 2019 - Photo 2 Annual Lunch 2019 - Photo 3