Ukulele Band Up and Coming Gigs

Our Ukulele Band have a number of gigs coming up before Christmas – see below. If you wish to attend any of the public events please contact one of the group members on the Group web page for more details.

23rd Nov Howson’s Care & Residential Home Willingham By Stow DN21 5JU
24th Nov  Auction Shed Market Rasen  Christmas Market
1st Dec  Wragby Town Hall   Variety Show
5th Dec  Ludford Village Hall  Private W.I. party
9th Dec  Wragby Methodist Chapel  Christmas Theme
10th Dec  Waterloo House Care Home
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IT Workshop

The next session will be Tuesday 27th November at 10 am. If you wish to attend please contact me with details of issue you would like help with.
Best wishes
Steve (

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2018 AGM

An AGM is ostensibly a formal meeting and, whilst it may not be the most exciting way to spend a morning, it is a constitutional requirement. It was therefore pleasing to note that a fair proportion of the membership had made the effort to attend however, for those of you who presumably couldn’t be bothered, it was your loss because, our Chairman and his committee made a huge effort to ‘spice’ things up for us this year. Whilst the main business on the agenda is a necessary chore, it was undertaken with relative speed and bonhomie so no, it wasn’t boring and tedious but informative and affable.

We are extremely lucky to have a Chair who takes his role very seriously yet conducts our monthly meetings with wit and humour so, this AGM was also relaxed, light-hearted and uncomplicated. His report was informative without going too deeply into detail and gave an optimistic look at organisational activities and initiatives which included examples of our successes and achievements over the year. This was followed by the treasurer’s report which confirmed the accounts are in order and meet all necessary requirements. The members voted to agree to retain our existing object clause and the election of the committee was accepted. Steve singled out a number of members for special praise and presented gifts to the three retiring committee members; and so the official business was concluded swiftly and professionally.

Under the leadership of our competent Chair Steve McCarthy, we have a lively, effective and motivated committee with a good sense of humour and, to reward us for sitting through the obligatory AGM agenda, they organised a communal activity afterwards. This proved to be an excellent way for members to widen their social circle and get the ‘old grey matter’ working as tables of six or less put their heads together to work out a picture puzzle and answer a general knowledge quiz. Unbelievably, three teams recorded identical scores so, to decide the winner, a tie breaking question revealed the victorious table who were each given a gift voucher. This was an extremely novel way to close an AGM and a most enjoyable one so well done everybody.

Although by necessity, Annual General Meetings are formal affairs where Is need to be dotted and Ts crossed, our meeting today was friendly, relaxed and actually fun so, for those of you who failed to attend your U3A AGM this year because you thought it would be ‘boring, dull and/or a waste of time, think again and support your branch by turning up next year.


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Members Escape Blood Feeding Flower

Tuesday 6th November saw a dozen members at Louth Riverhead Theatre, to sit through an evening in the Little Shop of Horrors .. the story of a Skid Row florist’s shop where a new cross breed of plant becomes a source of fortune for the owner, Mr Mushnik.  But at what a price!  It grew and it grew and it wanted BLOOD!  Eventually the stream of victims caused the distraught florist’s assistant to accept the fact that he had no future in flowers, except as a victim of his voracious offspring.

Well acted by Louth Playgoers, and with a live orchestra and all the performers singing as well as speaking, it was a great evening’s entertainment, and we were glad to escape from not just the theatre, but also the bloody maw of the dreaded plant. Ugh ..!

Future shows at this lovely theatre, and for which we have tickets on hold, are as shown in the Visits Programme for 2019:

February 13          Alfie (by Bill Naughton)

March 13               Diary of Anne Frank (adapted from the famous book)

April 10                  Loot (by Joe Orton)

May 15                    Oklahoma (by Rodgers & Hammerstein)

Come and join us!

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U3A Calendar for 2019

Our very own 2019 Calendar produced by the Digital Photography group is now available to view, and for you to order copies for friends at home and abroad, as well as for yourself. The layout is now larger and has more space for your notes and appointments.  The next General Meeting on Thursday 8th November is the last date for orders to be taken, for December delivery.  At a bargain price of just £5.00 each, this is a work of art not to be missed, with a range of choice photographs guaranteed to delight you!

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Festive Foto Fun For All

For a little light festive relief, our December issue of your Newsletter will carry a special selection of photographs of some of our members – taken when they were considerably younger than now!  See if you can identify your fellow members, as you doze after your Christmas pudding.

Email the photo of your choice to:

And don’t forget to include the name of this person in your message!

Thank you from your Editors.  We hope you enjoy the gallery of ‘wanted’ faces.

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Tommy Goes To War by Michael Credland

Michael Credland developed an interest in WW1 from a very early age and, over the years, has built up a formidable collection of artefacts and memorabilia, some of which he had brought along today. He is also a well-respected authority on the role of the Lincolnshire Regiment in the Great War and on war memorials and, has presented his research and expertise in various publications.

For more than 150 years, British soldiers marched into battle adorned in red coats, white cross belts and gleaming buttons and literally ‘stuck out like a sore thumb’ however, by the time of The Boer War, keeping out of sight of the long-range rifles necessitated the army trading in its iconic crimson tunics for the much less conspicuous khaki battledress. Between the end of the Boer War and the start of WW1, yet another makeover took place and Mike had three different examples of this ‘new’ uniform on display.

It was now made in hardwearing serge, a thick, woollen material died khaki green for camouflage purposes. It had two breast pockets for personal items, two smaller pockets and an internal pocket; rank was sewn onto the upper tunic sleeve. Every soldier carried his load in Patent Webbing which did not quickly deteriorate on the battlefield like leather; it comprised of a wide belt, ammunition pouches (which held 75 rounds each), and a haversack which provided a hands-free means of carrying essential personal items including cutlery, mess tins, clasp knife, razor, can opener and a variety of brushes.

British riflemen were renowned for their accuracy; this was put down to the fact that many of them came from farming stock so they were already proficient at shooting. Every soldier was trained to fire a minimum of fifteen rounds per minute using a .303inch calibre Short Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle which had a magazine of 10 rounds. Not only was this rifle very effective in the trenches, it was also far superior to anything used by other countries and, for close quarter fighting, a 17inch Wilkinson Sword bayonet was attached to the end of the rifle; although this did not prevent the rifle from being fired, it did reduce its accuracy.

Shrapnel was causing many serious head injuries and even deaths but by 1915, the Brodie helmet had been introduced. Made from steel, it greatly reduced casualties and was further improved upon in 1916 with additional safety features.

Whilst Ordinary Ranks (ORs) were issued with their uniforms, officers had to buy their own and their kit from selected military outfitters; this resulted in a variety of styles, cloth and colours. They were also required to have a pistol not a rifle and carry items including a compass, torch, fob watch, whistle and swagger stick.

In October 1914, the 17-year-old Princess Mary launched an appeal to provide every soldier with a Christmas gift. Money collected from donations was used to manufacture small boxes made of either brass (for ORs) or silver (for officers) each containing tobacco, cigarettes, a lighter, sweets or chocolate and a Christmas card and photo of the king. Mike has one of these in his collection as well as many, many other treasured and irreplaceable collectables including postcards, china mementos, badges and other items too numerous to mention in detail here.

Mike’s enthusiasm for all things associated with WW1 is infectious and his collection includes rare and very precious items. His knowledge of this period in our history is second to none and this has recently been acknowledged when he received the BEM for services to First World War heritage and remembrance. He has successfully campaigned for the restoration and/or erection of War memorials both here and abroad and, he designed the tank memorial on the Tritton Road roundabout in Lincoln. His talk was both informative and instructive and oozed his passion for the subject. He should be congratulated on his wonderful achievements and for allowing us to handle so many pieces from his extensive collection.

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U3A 2019 Diaries

The pre-ordered U3A diaries will be available for collection at  the October General Meeting

David Oliver

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West Wolds members delight Spilsby U3A

Our U3A Market Rasen Ukulele Band and our Turkish Delight Desert Dancers attended the Spilsby U3A 10th Anniversary celebrations on the 14th September. Both groups delighted the audiences with their entertainment: the Ukulele Band were gaily decorated in hats and waistcoats of many colours, and played two sets with a variety of numbers, to everyone’s delight.  Do they have any photos to display?

The Turkish Desert Dancers, likewise attractively dressed (almost!) in veils of many colours, swirling skirts and jingling jewellery, were introduced by the Sultan, Mustafa Kupoftee, and hindered by their smelly, downtrodden camel herding slave, Abdul.  Their costumes brought forth applause when they entered the Hall, and on completion of their dances, the ladies were loudly clapped and cheered as they left the stage.  They even managed to get some of the local members up to join in the veil moves at the end of the concert, much to the delight of all in the Franklin Hall.  Well done, West Wolds members, for taking your skills and entertainment out to the wider world in Lincolnshire!  Next stop the Albert Hall, London?

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The History of Dennetts Ice Cream by Robin Dennett

Dennetts Ice Cream company was started in the 1920s by Robin’s grandparents who had a dairy farm. Using milk from their herd of Lincoln reds/Friesians, Arthur and Mary Dennett sold milk by the pint along with butter and cheese and ultimately ice cream but, with no freezers in those days, it was a case of make it and sell it immediately!! As the popularity of their ice cream grew, they decided to sell the farm and concentrate on making ice cream along with their son Eric.

During WW2, Eric served in the RAF and, whilst on tour in Italy, he discovered the secret of Italian gelato so, when he took over the business in 1948, rather than just selling vanilla ice cream, he started adding Italian flavouring. By now commercial freezers were available which made it possible to store ice cream in bulk so, armed with an assortment of delicious natural flavours, he took his ice cream to sell at seaside resorts along the Lincolnshire coast. Sales skyrocketed because it was still a new concept to have flavoured ice cream, and the Company’s reputation rapidly spread.

Dennetts now sell approximately 400 litres of ice cream on a daily basis and although vanilla is still the most popular, they also offer over 30 different flavours. The milk and cream is bought in from just one dairy thereby ensuring the butter fat content always remains consistent; their range also includes frozen yoghurt and frozen sorbet.

In 1995, Dennetts opened an ice cream parlour in Lincoln’s Bailgate which is run by Robin’s wife Claire and, when his father Eric died sixteen years ago, Robin took over as the Company’s Managing Director; his mother Joan however, still likes to visit every day to ‘keep an eye on things’. Robin and Claire’s son and daughter have also now joined the Company so the family tradition will continue for a fourth generation.

Dennetts ice cream is delivered in refrigerated vans all over the County and, has won many awards over the years however, Robin maintains that the best publicity is by giving demonstrations, attending shows and word of mouth and, judging by the amount of lick smacking that could be heard after we had all chomped our way through a delicious bowlful of three different flavours, his reputation for producing excellent ice cream will be broadcast yet wider as it was indeed very yummy!!



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AGM Proposal

Details of the AGM are now available by clicking here…

At the meeting you will be asked to vote on whether we retain our existing object clause set out below in section 1 or adopt the National U3A object clause as set out in section 2.

Section 1 (Current Object Clause)

[i] to advance the education of the middle aged and older people (who are not in full time gainful employment) in the Western Wolds of Lincolnshire and its surrounding locality.
[ii] the provision of facilities for leisure time and recreational activities with the object of improving the conditions of life for the above persons in the interests of their social welfare.

Section 2 (National Executive Object Clause)

The advancement of education and, in particular, the education of older people and those who are retired from full time work, by all means including associated activities conducive to learning and personal development.

The committee recommends we retain our existing object clause (section 1) however this decision will be taken by members attending the AGM on Thursday 8th November at 10.30 am.

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Membership Renewal

This is a reminder that membership of West Wolds U3A is due for renewal. If you haven’t already renewed and would like to continue to be a member, please complete a Membership Form so that we have up-to-date details for you. Click here for a copy of the form for you to print, or you can pick up a paper copy at our next general meeting  in the Festival Hall, Market Rasen.

Please return the form with the annual fee of £17 per person (cheques should be payable to “West Wolds U3A”)

  • By post to Shelley Franklin, Grange Cottage, Grange Lane, North Kelsey, Market Rasen, LN7 6EZ;
  • Bring it along to a  general meeting; or
  • Hand it to your Group Co-ordinator or to any Committee Member, who will pass it to me.

Kind Regards

Shelley Franklin
Membership Secretary
West Wolds U3A

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First Aid session – Part 1.

Some 25 members recently attended a Red Cross led half day session on essential First Aid knowledge.  Arranged for us by Sharon as one of her unique experience events, the tutor was Isabel Wyatt, who travelled from Grantham to lead us through some basics of what to do when we encounter someone who needs help.  Whilst the initial need is to call for professional medical help, we can all lend assistance through better knowledge of  cardiac resuscitation, what the defibrillator can do, getting the patient comfortable, in the correct position to free the tongue and such matters.  A truly worthwhile couple of hours well spent, and the next session is scheduled to be held on 5th March next year.  Don’t miss that one!

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Harrogate & RHS Harlow Carr day trip

A new day trip has been created to take place on Friday 23rd November 2018.  Depart Tesco Market Rasen 09.45, return depart Harlow Carr c. 19.30.  Free time in Harrogate for shopping, lunch etc, then to RHS Harlow Carr to see their GLOW illuminations of the gardens.  Stroll around the gardens, lake and walks to admire the winter setting.

Full details and Booking Form available at September Monthly Meeting on Thursday 13th September.  Cost £24.00 pp RHS Members, £28.00 pp non Members.

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A Train Of Thought

On 22nd August we went for a long day out to Co. Durham, firstly to the specially built factory (in my day it was known as a ‘Works’) to see where Hitachi Rail EU is building electric and  diesel bi-mode trains for Scotrail and other UK rail franchisees – presently GWR and LNER (see how the old names are being re-born!).  At a presentation we learned about the Hitachi work ethic which has been introduced to the Geordie workforce, who have several weeks training after a long recruitment process.  Not a matter nowadays of grabbing a spanner and getting on with the assembly process.

And what a process that is!  In a huge, clean, quiet environment, men and women go about their appointed tasks of creating brand new trains, starting with body shells which arrive from Japan or Italy.  We were amazed at the miles of copper piping and electric cabling which is carefully added to each coach – then the interiors can be completed.  We even had to add overshoes to our safety footwear (all our gear can be seen in the group photo) in order to enter a completed GWR coach where we tried the seats and walked the carpeted floor towards the driver’s cab.  We won’t get into another of those!

After an excellent lunch at the County Inn in the actual old village of Newton Aycliffe, we carried on to the historic railway town of Darlington.  First off we spent an hour in the Head of Steam Museum, originally the Stockton & Darlington Railway station.  Lots of rolling stock, artifacts and displays to enjoy and absorb.  Then another highlight of the day – access to an historic carriage & wagon Works built in the mid 19th century, and where now a new build steam locomotive, an LNER design of the 1930s for heavy Scottish traffic, is being recreated by a small and highly skilled team of engineers (including a young lady from Europe).  This is traditional heavy engineering – thick steel plates, lots of heavy lifting, cutting and drilling, but with modern day refinements not available to the builders those years ago.  The original plans have even been computer scanned to allow the work to be as accurate as possible.

A tired but happy group of us returned to Market Rasen at the end of a twelve hour day, having seen much that members of the public could not see.  A U3A learning day – and enjoyable.

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