Membership Renewal

This is a reminder that membership of West Wolds U3A is due for renewal at the beginning of September. 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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Birds of Prey with Derek Tindall

Derek explained that he has been a practicing Falconer for over thirty years and has his own business showing his birds up and down the country at shows, clubs and to different organisations including care homes where they are very popular with dementia patients. He first became hooked when he was a plumber and a customer introduced him to a variety of birds of prey and allowed him to fly a Kestral; the rest as they say is history.

The first bird Derek brought out was a Harris Hawk which is native to North and South America. With bold markings of dark brown, chestnut red and white, they have the longest legs of any bird of prey. In the wild, these birds usually hunt in groups of 6 or 8 and are very intelligent so they work as a team to catch rabbits, snakes and prairie dogs. The Harris Hawk’s social nature and relative ease with humans makes it very popular with falconers.

Falconry was originally the art of using a bird of prey for catching food for the table and could be practiced anywhere by anyone however, when the Normans privatised the land, it was restricted to the upper classes. The gentry and especially kings would regularly go out for a day’s hunting, but it went into decline with the invention of gunpowder. By the beginning of the 20th century, falconry was almost extinct in Britain but it has gradually gained in popularity and is now recognised as a field sport.

The next bird to make an appearance was a Falcon. Usually dark brown or grey overall with white, yellow and black markings, they are characterised by a bullet shaped aerodynamic body, a hooked beak, pointed wings and sharp, strong talons. Falcons are diurnal so they hunt during daylight hours and have excellent eyesight; they can spot, chase and kill their prey quietly and efficiently with their beaks. Falcons are carnivores and feed on rodents, frogs, rats, small reptiles, bats and birds and probably originated in the Middle East; Arabs are renown for putting a hood on their bird for decorative purposes.

Following the Falcon came the African Spotted Eagle Owl. Originally from South Africa where it eats insects, it is known as a light eyed owl because it can see quite well in the daytime. Its ear tufts are actually an extension of its eyebrows and it can turn its neck 275 degrees because it has extra vertebrae in its spine.

The Little Owl aroused the ‘ahhh’ factor in the audience because of its petite size. It is the smallest owl to be found in Britain and was only introduced in the 19th century. It successfully colonised England and Wales because it filled the empty niche in our countryside for a largely insectivorous small bird of prey. Like most owls, they are noisy birds with a wide variety of calls and they can often be seen and heard during the day however, they are most active between dawn and dusk.

Next up was the White Faced Scops Owl which is native to the scrub desert fringes of the Sahara to the arid south western coastal region of Africa. In common with other small owls, this one is also nocturnal and largely insectivorous although it will take small birds, rodents and other mammals. Its call reflects the fact that it is related to the American Screech Owl.

The final bird to adorn Derek’s arm was the instantly recognisable Barn Owl.  Known for its eerie screeching and hissing noises, the Barn Owl has specially adapted characteristics such as large eyes which enable it to literally see movement in total darkness, super sensitive hearing, super soft feathers allowing it to fly almost silently and long legs and talons to grab its favourite small mammals from the long grass.

Derek actively promotes his love of Birds of Prey and his demonstration enabled a few of us to interact with them but all of us to get a better understanding of their nature, their history and how he works with them today.

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Weekend in Co. Durham.

We recently enjoyed a weekend staying at the Honest Lawyer hotel near Durham, where we were well fed and watered.  Our visits were to Ushaw Hall, Beamish Museum and Kynren, an ‘Epic Tale of England,’ probably the highlight of the weekend.

For a photographic report of what we saw, go to the website’s Gallery, and look at Visits & Trips 2019.

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Sheila Robinson’s Wing Walk

Last year Sheila Robinson did a Parachute Jump for her 80th Birthday in aid of a charity, this year she decided to go one better and do a Wing Walk in aid of the St Barnabas Hospice Care Support on Sunday 8th September.

Her family and plenty of friends from the U3A were there to see her strapped to the wing of a biplane and taken up for a 10 minute flight around Wickenby Airfield, two friends had even flown down from Sheffield in their own plane to watch. She even managed to do some dance moves as she was brought in to land, and afterwards she said it was amazing. She is one gutsy lady.

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Chair Yoga Group

Chair Yoga is starting again on Monday 14th October, Festival Hall, start at ten o’clock.

A gentle mindful form of exercise, to develop holistic health, flexible joints and healthy body. A calm peaceful mind and emotional stability.
Centering the body, breathing exercises, asana refinement all on the chair.

Wear comfortable clothes. No experience necessary, come along and give it a try you may enjoy yourself.

Yoga helps reduce swelling in joints and will increase joint mobility and strength, improve balance and stability.
Reduces the chances of having a fall, improve cardiovascular health. Aids digestion and elimination, improves sleep and helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Sue is a retired qualified nurse with many years experience working in hospital and the community.

For further details email Sue Normandale –

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Woodhall Spa Golf Lessons

You may recall seeing an ad on our website inviting West Wolds members to join Horncastle u3a members at Woodhall Spa Golf Club for lessons?

Our Cath Whelan took up the offer and won the little match they had and here’s a pic of her with the trophy!

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Ground Force – U3A Style!

On Monday, 19th. August, 19 members of the Gardening Group arrived at the home of Mary, and the late Roger, Howes, in Middle Rasen.
Mary and Roger bought this property with the intention of spending a great deal of time, ‘doing it up’. This included undertaking a huge amount of work on the land. However, plans had to be changed as Roger’s health deteriorated.
We concentrated on the large areas around a part of the house and followed a list of jobs that Mary had prepared for us.
Throughout the day, from 9.30am until 6pm, we attacked the widespread wilderness with great enthusiasm, swapping jobs as the day progressed.
Some people stayed for an hour or so; some stayed all day.
The entire day was an amazing experience, being able to help someone so popular, getting exercise, being outside and chatting together with other members, some of whom had not met each other before.
Mary provided a constant stream of coffee and tea and Marguerite had baked some lovely scones and a lemon cake.
We made quite a difference to the areas we worked on and everyone seemed very pleased that they had done a worthwhile day’s work.
Hopefully, there will be another date in the future…

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Bridgewater Glass Trophy Tournament at Tealby Bowls Club Open Day

West Wolds U3A members Cathy Whelan and Keith Standen were runners up in the Bridgewater Glass Trophy Tournament at Tealby Bowls Club Open Day on 1st September-congratulations!

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Rifle Shooting Session 2

On 3rd September Sharon arranged a second session at the Rifle Shooting Club in Market Rasen. Tim and Keith of the club gave our members a morning to remember and they especially enjoyed the machine gun!

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Bubblecar Museum

On Saturday, August 17th members of the Car Enthusiast’s Club left Willingham Woods and travelled to visit The Bubblecar Museum at Langrick. The journey took us through Horncastle and lasted 45 minutes.

On arrival we had refreshments before going through into the museum. For a minimal charge we viewed the large collection of immaculately preserved microcars of all descriptions. Many vehicles were displayed within period-related scenes and many members recognised household items and children’s games from their own past! We used a very detailed programme to identify each vehicle.

There was also a huge collection of miniature vehicles on display, along with old posters and many motorcycles and tricycles on the upper floor.

The museum offers rides out in the Bubblecars and is certainly worth a visit.

Most members made the short journey to have a pleasant lunch at The Bluebell Inn at Tattershall Thorpe, which has a strong history associated with The Dambusters.

Chrissie Larkin

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Ukulele Band – New Members

The band is looking for new members! We are a non-auditioning band, all that is required is a desire to play the ukulele. All U3A members are welcomed – from beginners to seasoned musicians.

Sound Engineer – We are also looking for a person to assist with our PA equipment. If you have experience or an interest in sound engineering and would like to join the band, we would love to hear from you.

The MRUB group meets on Wednesday evenings at 7pm in the St Thomas’s Church rooms, Market Rasen. For further information please contact our group leader Heather Barratt on 01673 84 9393 or by email:

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Theatre Visits Planned

The following theatre visits have now been arranged and will be available for you to book places as from the September Monthly Meeting:

Louth Riverhead Theatre:

Count Dracula           Main Theatre       £9.50        Wednesday 9 October

Strictly Movie Musicals       Studio       £13.50       Thursday 21 November

Hull New Theatre (includes coach travel):

Coppelia (Russian Ballet tour)               £51.00      Tuesday 7 January  (evening)

We Will Rock You (Queen/Ben Elton)  £58.00     Thursday 16 January  (matinee)

Theatre visits are now in the hands of Cath Whelan / Brian Ward as a joint effort.

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4.5 Mile jungle walk around North Carlton and Scampton

On Wednesday 14th August an intrepid band of 7 walkers led by our fearless leader Sharon Rupp braved the jungles around North Carlton and Scampton, at times we had to hack our way through giant maize even though it was a Public Footpath. After our exertions we had to retire to the Dambuster Inn at Scampton for a very well earned lunch which was very tasty.


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Lincoln Ghost Walks by Karen Crow

Standing before us was a tall, black cloaked woman; she had a very distinctive long, grey plait draped over one shoulder and an unnervingly solemn face, so the audience were immediately visually captivated and waiting with bated breath for her to speak.

And we were not disappointed because Karen is a very charismatic speaker, a skilled thespian and soon had us enthralled by her spine-tingling tales. Her words stimulated our imagination as we all envisaged the desperate galloping horseman of Exchequergate, too late to save his friend from a wrongful hanging; we heard the thud of  Bishop Hugh’s severed head as it rolled down the steps, stood next to the monk carrying a fishing rod and learnt the real story behind the castle’s stuffed lurcher.

For Karen, making a living from the tales of the dead started with her love of acting; she was often seen performing as a member of the Lincoln Shakespeare Company and was ‘discovered’ by Margaret Green who was the original ‘ghost lady’. That was 22 years ago however, nowadays Margaret has taken a back seat as Karen does the lion’s share of ‘ghost walking’ round ‘old’ Lincoln.  Karen’s performing talents are however, not just restricted to after dark; during the day, she is a familiar face to the people of Lincoln where she is tasked with being the town crier. Her hectic roles see her swapping her daytime green cloak for a black cloak at night as regularly as most of us change socks.

Although Karen has a huge repertoire of tales and yarns, she and her fellow walkers hear new stories every week which they work hard to verify and corroborate before including in their collection. She even lived in a cottage in Greetwell for a time which she believes was haunted and is quick to point out that “things that are happening now have been happening for years and are still happening.”

Karen has introduced thousands of people from all over the world to the city, from exploring tourists to visiting celebrities and politicians. “I’d like to think that I am an ambassador for Lincoln so I tell them about the city’s history as well as its spooky stories”. So, as the booming bells of the cathedral ring out across the cobbled square at 7pm, every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night for 51 weeks of the year,  this mysterious figure in black is waiting to lead you on a chilling encounter of things that go bump in the night but, are you brave enough to join her??

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French for Beginners @ Louth

Louth U3A are running a 1 year French course for beginners to low intermediate level (A1-A2 of the CEFR) – according to demand and levels of previous knowledge. It will be held in a central Louth venue in the autumn during the daytime. There will be 2 sessions per month each lasting 2 hours with some homework in between to consolidate learning. Actual days and times to be agreed to meet the availability of those expressing an interest.
We will be following an authentic French designed and written course book called Entre Nous which individuals will have to buy for themselves (with or without integral CDs) and pay a contribution towards the room hire for the sessions. Regular attendance is important to get the most out of this course and where absences are unavoidable, individuals should be prepared to keep up and study on their own so they don’t fall behind too far. Members of other U3As are welcome to join us. To enquire further or register interest please contact: Jackie Barnett on 01507 313141 or email:

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