Exciting New Event


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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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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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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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West Wolds Expeditionary Force Safely Home.

Our force of fourteen members undertook a weekend expedition to foreign parts, seeking suitable natives for missionary purposes.  Very tall Netherlanders were encountered, but did not prove too hostile, even as they gazed down upon us. Very small  persons were also encountered, in very large quantities, but were tamed without too much trouble.  They cherished a love of a small weapon held at arm’s length on the end of a stick, and appeared to gain much amusement from looking at these objects …  presumably some quaint oriental fetish?  Reuters report that these persons are being found in ever growing numbers all across the Continent, and were also encountered on the ferry returning to England.

Boarding Ijsselmeer boat at Medemblik

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Tales of a Lorry Driver

It’s been a while since we had such an animated, vibrant and hilarious speaker as Len. The time raced by as he entertained us with his ‘behind the scenes’ tales and anecdotes of his days whilst driving delivery lorries for Smedley’s of Wisbech and then as a self-employed furniture remover.
After driving a mobile shop for his parents grocery business, he quit to realise his dream of being a lorry driver, satisfy his love of the smell of diesel and the A1 and, dispel his father’s somewhat warped opinion that all lorry drivers were thieves, liars and womanisers !!!
He recounted several humorous incidents in which he was involved whilst delivering for Smedley’s including the eventful day he tried to deliver six cases of peas to a Tesco store. Unfortunately for him, his days were numbered and in 1971 he was made redundant however, ever the entrepreneur, he bought a van and started up a business delivering fresh flowers from Spalding to Brighton market. Whilst doing this, he was often asked to pick up and/or deliver furniture so, spotting a gap in the market, he set up his own removal company.
Once again, Len shared funny story after funny story of incidents which occurred whilst he was removing furniture including getting his lorry stuck under a bridge, being conned by a bogus Naval officer and finding a collection of risque photographs in a piano. Having built up a very successful removals and storage business, Len eventually retired after thirty-three years however, this was very short-lived as, after four days, he bought a minibus and set up a travel firm. Fourteen years later, he retired for the second time and is now a stand in school bus driver when not collecting and building with meccano.
Len doesn’t drink or smoke, has successfully beaten bowel cancer and has never won an award however, he’s very, very proud of the knitted medal he was given by an 86 year old customer and held it up for us all to see. His zest for life is infectious and his tales were truly captivating.

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Lincoln University – Help Required

University of Lincoln are looking for more people who are living with Diabetes who would be happy to give a short talk to some of their Pharmacy students about their experience. Students will be keen to hear about your diagnosis, what treatment plans were put in place and some information about your ongoing medical care.
Two dates are available as follows:
Tuesday 17th April
2-5pm or
Thursday 19th April
Reimbursements and car parking will be provided
If this is of interest to you or someone you know and you would like to find out more then please contact our Participation Worker:
Lucy Picksley on Tel: 01522 886251 or Email: lpicksley@lincoln.ac.uk

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Golf Taster Event

A merry band of 9 arrived at Market Rasen Golf Course on 2nd April ready to work off the excesses of Easter on the driving range. The golf pro Dan greeted us with hot drinks then explained in clear and simple terms the basics of hitting a ball with a club.
Once we had grasped the theory we had a masterclass in the correct grip, given a basket of balls and were put to practising what we had been shown.
Some participants quickly showed a talent for getting both lift and distance, some admitted previous experience, and others started slowly but progressed nicely with repeated practice and Dans 1:1 coaching during the session.
Despite varying levels of success, the group all enjoyed themselves, declared the morning good fun and we all had a laugh.
Dan was a very good coach, had a sense of humour and could explain things very clearly and gave us novices confidence with his encouraging manner.
Details of Dans lessons will be at the General Meeting for those interested.

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Cultural Visit to Halifax.

It started out a mizzly sort of day. Thankfully all of the 26 who were attending arrived well on time and we set off on the 2 hour journey to Halifax. As we arrived it was raining gently but thankfully it ceased as we broke into two groups and started our tour of the Piece Hall.  Our guide, Peter, was very informative and tried his best to keep us out of the wind as he regaled us with information about the manufacture of cloth, its importance to Halifax as a developing town and the history behind the hall.

The Grade I listed building is absolutely unique. It is the sole survivor of the great eighteenth century northern cloth halls, a class of buildings which embodied the vital and dominant importance of the trade in hand woven textiles to the pre-industrial economy of the West Riding of Yorkshire, from the Middle Ages through to the early nineteenth century.

Dating from 1779, when it was built as a Cloth Hall for the trading of “pieces” of cloth (a 30 yard length of woven woollen fabric produced on a handloom). The Piece Hall was the most ambitious and prestigious of its type and now stands in splendid isolation as the only remaining example. It is one of Britain’s most outstanding Georgian buildings.

In an ambitious and exciting new chapter, The Piece Hall has been re-imagined as a new cultural and commercial centre having recently undergone a £19 million conservation and transformation programme, incorporating a visitors’ centre, shops, eateries and other businesses.

After our tour many of us headed for some warmth and refreshment and there were numerous establishments within the hall and surrounding town.

By 2pm we all met outside the Victoria Theatre for a performance of Swan Lake by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia.

As the promotion material stated, “The greatest romantic ballet of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score”. I think we all thoroughly enjoyed the performance not only of the ballet company but also the orchestra which accompanied them.

As we boarded our bus and made our way home the sun was shining on the picturesque dales. There were comments on the physical prowess of the dancers and Brian noted that perhaps Dawn may be thinking of introducing some new moves into Keep Fit group.

I think myself and others really enjoyed the social, architectural and cultural aspects of this visit. Thanks to Brian for once again for producing a Grand Day out.

Lucie Kew.

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Important News Flash!

A block booking of tickets has been made at LOUTH RIVERHEAD THEATRE, Victoria Rd, LN11 0BX,  on THURSDAY 03 MAY to see SWINGERS (previously known as Orgasm).  Price £10.00 per person.  7.30pm.

Apparently a bit cheeky!! So possibly not for the less open minded members?  Travel by car (own or share) and keys may be swopped at the theatre ….

Contact me asap to get your name on the list for a place, and pay me (not West Wolds U3A if writing a cheque) at April Monthly Meeting, or when you see me.

Brian. 01472 852273 or briandgill@btinternet.com.

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Spire Handmade Chocolates – Lindsay Gardner

Image result for spires chocolatesLindsay set up her business as a chocolatier in her home kitchen in 2012 with help from The Prince’s Trust. Since then, her business has gone from strength to strength and just recently, she has moved into The Chocolate Studio alongside Duffy’s Chocolates in Humberston. Here she has more space to work and, not only sell her delicious products, but also run classes and workshops for lovers of chocolate.

A chocolatier buys chocolate as an ingredient whereas a chocolate maker such as Duffy, makes chocolate from scratch. All chocolate is made from cocoa beans which are handpicked and carefully roasted to bring out their flavour; they are then broken into small pieces (nibs) and added to a granite grinder. Over the next couple of days, additional ingredients are added to the grinder until the liquid chocolate is ready to be poured into moulds.
As a chocolatier, Lindsay receives her chocolate as buttons which are easy to melt in air heated tanks for about 12 hours. It is then tempered or reformed to the right consistency until the structure becomes shiny, will snap easily and pour smoothly. Using freeze-dried fruit, she can create up to eight different flavours which are then piped into chocolate moulds and left to cool; the result, is filled chocolates with a flavoured centre. Lindsay has recently added to her repertoire and designed moulds in the shape of an alpaca and a polar bear which are also proving to be very popular.

Not only was this talk most interesting to listen to but, it was also a feast for the eyes and the taste buds as Lindsay passed round samples for us to look at and savour. In addition, she adorned her display table with a selection of her lovely wares which could be purchased.

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Valuation Event

A number of our members met today bringing a variety of bags, boxes and parcels with the sole intention of having family heirlooms valued by two professional auctioneers.
The valuers were kept busy from just before 10 am until the final keepsake had been valued just after 1.30 pm.
The items ranged from fob watches to oil paintings and everything in between. Despite some people having a long wait to be seen everyone took the time to catch up with friends. The whole event was helped along by the tea, coffee and cakes supplied by an enthusiastic team.

We are grateful to Sharon Rupp for all her organising skills and the sleepless nights she experienced worrying that it would turn out OK. We shouldn’t forget that these events don’t just happen – they take effort, commitment and dedication. Thank you Sharon!

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Details below of two exhibitions this year which may well be of interest to many of you.

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