Meeting our Tiger by Kathleen and Chris Barnett

Kathleen began her talk by giving us some facts and figures about the tiger population which were extremely thought provoking. In the last 100 years, 95% of tigers have been wiped out; this is mainly due to habitat loss as a result of urbanisation which has robbed them of their natural surroundings however, poaching and the demand for tiger parts as trophies, status symbols and as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine has driven the tiger to the brink of extinction with fewer than 4,000 now left in the wild.

Some years ago, the couple adopted a Siberian cross tiger called Ginny who was rescued from a squalid zoo in Belgium by the Born Free Foundation. She was taken to their wild life sanctuary in Kent where she lived with a group of other rescued tigers until 2002 when she and five other tigers were transported by air and road to a jungle enclosure sanctuary in India. Before she left this country, Kathleen and Chris went to visit Ginny in Kent and see for themselves the wonderful work of the Foundation in operation. In 2004 aged 18, Ginny sadly passed away and was buried in the forest however, for the last two years of her life, she had greatly benefitted from the warm Indian climate as well as her own space, peace and privacy.

Despite their loss, Kathleen and Chris have continued to support the Foundation by giving talks to raise awareness of its conservation activities and educational outreach programmes.

On Kathleen’s 60th birthday, there was no party to celebrate the occasion, instead, she organised a litter pick at Spurn Point to fundraise and spread the word. The couple have since adopted a Sumatran tiger called Rocky and continue to highlight some of the campaigns that the Born Free Foundation are associated with both home and abroad.

Thankfully, there are several such conservation groups working hard to save the tiger from extinction because the prospect of losing these magnificent animals within the next ten years looms large.

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June Newsletter Crossword Answers

If you want to see the answers to the Crossword Puzzle in the June Newsletter, click here…..

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Car Enthusiast Group

The Car Enthusiast Group will meet on Tuesday 24th July at 10am in the car park of The Blacksmith’s Arms Rothwell  LN7 6AZ. We will then drive over to The Old Tile Works in Barton-upon-Humber.

Anyone with an interest in cars is welcome to join us but please contact Steve McCarthy ( so that you can be informed once the route has been finalised.

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Bee Keeping Course

As a result of our enthusiastic group visit to Thornes Beehives they are offering half day beekeeping courses for £20 which will include refreshments.

The course is for up to 6 people and if there is enough interest they will put on more than one course. Currently no dates have been set but it is likely to take place before the end of August. A sign up sheet will be available at the General Meeting on Thursday 12th July and is being organised by Sharon Rupp.

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Visit to EH Thorne (Beehives) Ltd

On Tuesday 3rd July, thirty-three enquiring minds arrived at the head office of EH Thorne (Beehives) Ltd in Rand near Wragby for a conducted tour of the enterprise. Once ushered in to the restaurant area which doubled up as our lecture room, Rebecca, a fourth-generation descendant of the owner, filled us in on the background of the business. Her great grandfather Edgar Henry Thorne started up the company back in the early 20th century more or less by chance after being asked to make a beehive for the headteacher of Wragby School. From then on, he developed a keen interest in bee keeping himself and, also realised there was a ready market for manufacturing bee hives.

We watched intently as Rebecca dismantled a ‘National’ style hive and explained all the parts as she reassembled it piece by piece in front of us. We then split into two groups for our tour. Thorne’s manufacture a variety of different styles of ready assembled and flat packed beehives, the majority of which are made from Canadian redwood cedar, so our group were taken first to the timber store. From here we were escorted into a building where we were shown how the wood is cut to size and shape according to each frame type, then assembled by experienced joiners.

When you see the finished article, you really do not appreciate what skilled workmanship is involved in the making of a beehive. Not only does it require proficient woodworkers but also metal workers who manufacture all the different metal components as well as a variety of other operatives who specialise in making the interior constituents.

The company moved into its current premises some ten or eleven years ago having out grown its original building in Wragby. At Rand there is plenty of room to expand and develop; they even have an extensive ‘supermarket’ where not only beekeepers and candlemakers but also the public can browse their range of equipment and associated ‘bee’ accessories.

Thorne’s employ around 90 people and, in addition to those involved in the actual production of the beehives themselves, there are also staff who manufacture ancillary products including beeswax foundation sheets, protective clothing for beekeepers, honey extractors, smokers and many other apiary accessories; in fact they seem to make nearly every piece of equipment essential to the keeping of bees or that of the candle maker which includes hundreds of designs of silicone moulds and a spectrum of coloured candle sheets for making rolled candles. They even actually sell bees!!!

Our tour guide Rebecca was knowledgeable, passionate and justly proud of her heritage. It was fascinating to see how a beehive is created from start to finish and to know that this relatively small company situated in the back of nowhere is at the top of its profession and exporting its products around the world.  We ended our visit back in the restaurant where we started and were served a delicious selection of sandwiches and cakes. Many thanks to Sharon for organising the visit and she and Steve for their photos.

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This event has been running for two or three years now, and is highly praised by those who have seen it, including some of our own members. It takes place outdoors, at Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, on certain dates in August and September.

It is an outdoors, evening, 90 minutes long spectacle celebrating the history and events of England.  There is a video on their website.

PC Coach Holidays have a visit running on Saturday 1st/Sunday 2 September. Public cost £189 pp, U3A members cost £179 pp for a MINIMUM of ten persons.  If you want to take advantage of this offer, please email me initially, and then if we have sufficient numbers, I will pass your details on to PC Coach Holidays at Louth, and they will contact you directly to make the booking.  This must be done NO LATER than next Friday 13th July.

The trip is by coach to Durham, free time there, evening visit to the show, overnight dinner, bed & breakfast, Sunday visit to Beamish Living Museum, and return mid afternoon.

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From Curate to Cavalry by Terry Brighton

Terry introduced himself as a writer and military historian however, on leaving university as a long haired 20 something in the late 60s, he was ordained and took up his first position as curate of St Martin’s in Hereford. As an Anglican priest, he often stood in for his ‘boss’ who was also chaplain to the SAS whose HQ was in Hereford. Being of a similar age to many of the army lads, he drank with them, conducted their marriages, baptised their children and sadly had to bury those killed in the line of duty; it was whilst here that he developed an interest in military history.

After three and a half years, Terry left Hereford to take up the post of curate at St John’s in Spalding and, under the guidance of a very wise and learned parish priest, he developed a penchant for whisky and the realisation that he was unable to sing. Despite, receiving singing lessons, it was eventually acknowledged by those in authority that he was totally incapable of performing the Sung Eucharist in Church. During his time in Spalding, Terry also suffered personal tragedy and had to conduct the funeral service of his own prematurely born twin daughters.

From Spalding, Terry was ‘posted’ to Grantham and specifically the Earlsfield estate where his aptitude for administering pastoral care was in great demand however, by now it was the late 70s and he had become so disenchanted with Church politics that he resigned. The term ‘God moves in mysterious ways’ now comes to mind as coincidentally, the position of curator of the regimental museum at Belvoir Castle became vacant; he applied for it and was successful. With exclusive access to these archives, Terry wrote his first book about the last full cavalry charge made by the British army however, he is best known for writing Hell Riders which is based on eye witness accounts from those who actually took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade. His third tome features the relationships between Patton, Montgomery and Rommel and he is currently writing a novel set in the Crimean War.

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Oh deer, what a good idea this was.

This month’s half day visit arranged by Sharon took fifteen of us to the Stourton Estates, near Baumber, and proved to be an eye opener for every one of us!  Owned by Antony & Helen Strawson, he personally took us on a tour of the farmlands, with frequent stops to explain the forestry programme which they followed, producing timber from a range of trees for a range of purposes, as well as mulch, chippings etc for the garden.  Diversification has seen them fence off large areas of fields to allow the development of herds of red deer, the highlight of the tour.  As we were there in the afternoon, the stags had taken off to the furthest corner of their field, to get some shelter against the trees, as they don’t care for the heat of the sun.  Even 1200mm of lens didn’t show them up very well, but it was a different matter with their ladies!  When we arrived in the field (the site of a deserted medieval village, no less!) where they were currently grazing, the sight of our tractor and trailer brought them at a gallop to our side.  They posed carefully for us, whilst we learned about their lifestyle, outdoors as much as possible, whilst they gained in weight, and aged happily.  On to stop at the nursery field, where those ladies who had been visited by the stags were enjoying the afternoon sunshine.  The latest arrival was admired from a respectful distance! The afternoon ended with tea and excellent cake enjoyed sat out in the grassy events area.

The adjacent Baumber Walled Garden was also unknown to most of us, and looks like being a necessary visit for the Gardening Group!

A very interesting, relaxing and unusual afternoon visit.  More members could have been accommodated, and you missed a treat.  Many thanks Sharon.

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General Data Protection Regulation

You cannot fail to have noticed all the noise about the new General Data Protection Regulation and no doubt you have been bombarded by emails from organisations, some you didn’t even know existed, concerning your data. We haven’t changed how we handle the information we hold about you – we’ve always respected your privacy and made sure that the information we have is kept as securely as possible.

Below are links to our new Privacy and Data Protection policies as required by law. In brief we hold your information securely; we only share it with HMRC for Gift Aid purposes and with National U3A for delivery of their publications; we update your information annually or whenever you inform us of changes; and we hold financial information for six years (Charities Commission and HMRC requirement).

And that’s about it but if you really want to know what’s under the bonnet then click on the links below to read the small print…

Our Privacy Policy

Our Data Protection Policy

If you have any questions regarding our policies then please contact us using the online form. Thank you – Steve McCarthy, Chairman

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Gardening Group at Steve’s in Wragby

Thank you Steve for hosting the Gardening Group at your lovely garden in Wragby. We were all intrigued about viewing your “folly” and we were not disappointed. Thank you also to the “team” who assisted and provided the refreshments and plant too. Not the best day weather wise (although it did fit the pattern from previous years), at least it was dry.

Thanks again – “D”

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Our friends outside – encouraging wildlife into the garden by Steve Lovell

In his introduction, Steve mentioned that his background was in garden design and soft landscaping but his main claim to fame was that he once went to Sri Lanka with Anika Rice. Nowadays, he splits his time between organising nature tours, offering professional gardening services and giving talks and lectures.

Wildlife gardening is currently very much in vogue and Steve proceeded to provide some pointers as to how we could all increase the biodiversity of our garden without compromising the way it looks.

Choosing flowers which provide pollen and nectar encourages bees, butterflies and other insects whilst small trees and shrubs known for their flowers, fruit and seeds not only provide a wealth of food at varied times of the year, but also offer cover and nesting sites for birds and mammals. Adding a water feature of some kind will entice a range of amphibians, and a small log pile offers a habitat suited to a variety of more specialist minibeasts. Recreating a small meadow area with a mixture of grasses and wild flowers is a natural alternative to a labour-intensive lawn or, simply allowing patches of lawn to grow longer provides additional shelter and food for smaller mammals and birds.

Putting up bird boxes, bat boxes and making hedgehog homes is yet another great way of offering shelter to our wildlife as the more habitats you have in your garden, the greater the diversity of wildlife it will attract. The wildlife friendly gardener needs to also put in place good wildlife garden practices and should try to use natural alternatives to sprays and pesticides whenever possible.

Steve’s talk was most informative and, by following his tips and making just a few small changes to the way we manage our garden, we can make it much more ‘user friendly’ to all the creatures that call it home. The simplest way to do this is just to let nature take its course and leave things to go a teeny bit wild; this doesn’t mean your garden has to be messy, but a few weeds, dead leaves and twiggy debris will provide a variety of food and microhabitats for our wildlife all year round.

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Alpaca Visit

Homefield Alpaca Visit – 1st May 2018

Chrissy Kirk welcomed us on a sunny morning and started our visit by telling us about how she started keeping Alpacas in 2007. Originally, she showed them and weaved their fleece to make into numerous items. However, she now concentrates on running husbandry workshops and trekking; occasionally taking her best-behaved Alpaca to Care Homes and Primary Schools.
Starting off with a few males, she decided to start breeding them and bought in several ladies. Now, there are 15 at the Farm, with several babies due in June from 3 stud males. A top stud can cost £75,000 to buy but a ‘regular’ chap is about £2000. Chrissy mates the females from 2 years old, and only once every other year to allow them to fully recover their strength. The babies are weaned at approx. 7 months old.
Alpaca fleece is finer and lighter than Llama fleece; it has hollow fibres resulting in a material that is warm in winter but cool in summer. An Alpaca duvet does not need to change with the seasons as it adapts to the ambient temperature.
After an introductory talk, we were split into smaller groups and took the lead of a young male Alpaca each plus one of the dominant males and went for a walk around the paddock, observing their habits and temperament on the way. After everyone had had at least 20 minutes each, we were treated to a hot drink and array of tempting home-made cakes in the cottage. Chrissy had several examples of different fleeces and yarns as well as several beautiful products for sale in her studio and a few members were tempted.
All in all it was a very different experience, which all seemed to enjoy.

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Kew Gardens Lecture

This item has been forwarded to us by Lady Bruce-Gardyne (Horncastle U3A member and patron of the Sir Joseph Banks Society – Kew Garden founder). Please  click here… if you require further information.

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Exciting New Event


Image result for british red cross

Everyday First Aid is a new way to deliver first aid training, developed by the British Red Cross which focuses on the most important key skills to make an impact when first aid is required. The course is delivered in a way to make it easy to learn and easy to remember


Areas to be covered as time allows are:
Helping an unconscious person who is not breathing/breathing
Helping someone who is choking
Helping someone who is having or has had a heart attack
Helping someone who is having or has had a brain attack (‘stroke’)
Helping someone who is distressed
Helping someone who has a burn or scald

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Keep Fit Group

 Dawn has advised that she cannot be present on both Thursday 26th April, and Thursday 31st May, for the usual weekly Keep Fit class.  However, she does not want any slacking to occur and questions will be asked at the following week’s class as to whether you have been exercising at home ….

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