Heritage Educational Courses

Heritage Lincolnshire have a number of courses available some of which are free to first time attendees and may be of interest to our members. Click here for a full list…

We have several held in Louth, as well as others in Lincoln at the new Heritage Skills Centre.
The courses cover a wide range of topics, from architecture, history and archaeology to hands-on crafts like spinning and stone masonry.
What’s more, most courses are free if you haven’t already taken a course already
this year. Contact details: Tel. 01529 461499 https://www.heritagelincolnshire.org/learn

Ian Marshman
Education & Engagement Officer
Heritage Lincolnshire
The Old School, Cameron Street, Heckington NG34 9RW

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Christmas Lunch



Friday 15th December 12pm for 12.30pm

(please do not arrive at the venue before 11.30am)

Starter, Main Course, Dessert & Tea/Coffee and
Homemade Mincemeat Treat for £19.50 pp
Payment by cash or cheque
Please contact Linda Brighton on
01673 843925/07762385929/lindabrighton1@hotmail.co.uk
for menu choices and to book or see Linda at the Christmas Table at November’s General Meeting (9th November)

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Terry answers the Call of the Wild

West Wolds member Terry Francis has one of his digital photographs included on the 2018 BBC Countryfile Calendar.  OK, not on the front page, but in the collage of Highly Commended images which are included on the newly published Calendar.  Well done, Terry!

Speaking of calendars, our Digital Photography group has produced its own 2018 U3A Calendar, and copies will be available to look at and order at this year’s November Meeting and AGM, when a selection of other groups will also be showing members what they get up to.  Make sure you attend this important meeting.

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Life as a Foreign Correspondent – Nick Louth

Nick is currently a freelance writer but back in the ‘80s, he worked for Reuters, the international news agency with a strong reputation for reliability, accuracy, speed and exclusivity. After working in London, he was transferred to the Amsterdam office however, the Netherlands is not a country renown for being a hot bed of political extremism, social intolerance, military unrest or religious persecution nevertheless, he divulged several amusing anecdotes of events which occurred on his ‘watch’ whilst over there.
He was very keen to emphasise the need for a journalist to be prepared at all times and, take advantage of every situation that arises including attempting to predict every possible eventuality. An example of this was the upholding of records on more elderly prominent statesmen, luminaries and VIPs and, on the premise that they would eventually die, each person would have an obituary file at the ready which was regularly updated.
It is apparently common for a professional journalist to prewrite two stories on a particular subject so both sides of an argument are represented. The eventual story released is based on the outcome or final result, so for example, the Brexit referendum would have had a winning story and a losing story already prepared. Nick also stressed the need to ensure that all facts were accurate and truthful as some ‘breaking news’ can have major implications on the rise or fall of the commodity/stock market.
Competition to be the first to break the news is immense so, opportunism and being resourceful are necessary traits and Nick obviously has them in abundance. During his twelve years as a foreign correspondent, he interviewed some very powerful executives and gained their trust including the likes of Bill Gates. The world’s newspapers regularly published his articles and his reputation spread far and wide. He is quick to affirm however, that journalism is not just all about having long, lazy, boozy lunches; sometimes it involves deliberately putting yourself in dangerous situations and travelling around the world in order to be in the right place at the right time. Neither of these make it easy to maintain a stable home life so, he eventually gave it all up, settled in Lincolnshire and is now a best-selling and critically acclaimed writer of thrillers.

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An Evening with the Upstart Crow

Our most recent visit to the lovely Louth Riverhead Theatre found us for the first time sitting in the Studio, just as comfortable as the main auditorium but very intimate indeed – the players were almost standing on the toes of those in the front row!

‘The Shakespeare Revue’ was the evening’s entertainment, billed as songs and sketches by names including Alan Bennett, the Monty Python team, Victoria Wood, Noel Coward (a diverse range of talent!) and more.  The resultant sketches, monologues and even pantomime style songs were a witty combination of the works of the Bard of Avon and these latter day writers – many a laugh came from the audience, and one has to admire the ability of the Louth Playgoers team to remember so many lines.  What a tour de force!

For me, it brought back many memories of English Literature studies all those very many years ago, but this was so very much more humorous and enjoyable.  Well done to the performers for a great evening which left us chuckling and looking forward to the next Monday’s final edition of the Upstart Crow himself.  Like the Chairman’s comments on the scarcity of members visiting Lincoln Uni’s Open Day recently, why do so few of our members join in our entertaining visits to the theatre?  You invariably miss out on a treat.

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Lincoln University LiGHTS Event

A car full of members went to visit Lincoln University for the Lights research open day. It was disappointing that out of 330 members only 4 other people wanted to attend a free event.

It was largely aimed at school children so we were advised to turn up after 1 pm when the schools would be leaving. Some of the “attractions” were overblown and a little disappointing. I did like the two lecturers who were demonstrating 3D scanning and printing. They did haven’t a printer on show. I challenged them to scan my face which they amusingly did, unfortunately the scanner cannot cope with a beard or moustache so it loses a lot in translation. Maybe a death mask?

This external booth was demonstrating the way people became astronauts and the work that took place on the International Space Station.

Unfortunately we didn’t see the end because it was 6pm and time to leave. We made our way back to the car and headed for home.

As an overall showcase for the university there is room for improvement but it was a worthwhile afternoon.

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University Help Required

Lincoln University are looking for people who are living with or caring for someone with Cancer who would be happy to give a short talk to some of our Pharmacy students about their experience.

Click here to see full details…

Students will be keen to hear about your diagnosis, what treatment plans were put in place and some information about your ongoing medical care.
Friday 3rd November
10 – 1 pm
Joseph Banks Laboratories
University of Lincoln
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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NEC & National Office Appeal

Image result for researchAre you interested in and involved in research?

If so, we would love you to come to a meeting taking place at Carrs Lane Conference Centre, Birmingham at 11am on Friday 10th November 2017.  The purpose of the meeting is for the NEC and the National Office to discover what is happening in the U3A research field, to listen to discussion and ideas and to assist in facilitating all aspects of U3A research to go forward.

If you wish to attend please contact the National U3A Chairman Pam Jones (pam.jones@u3a.org.uk).   An agenda and directions will be sent out in due course. Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

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Lincoln University Seeks Help

Lincoln University are looking for people who are living with or caring for someone with Parkinsons or Dementia who would be happy to give a short talk to some of our 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.

Monday 27th November
2 – 5pm
Joseph Banks Laboratories
University of Lincoln
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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U3A 2018 Diaries

The U3A 2018 Diaries have arrived. They will be on sale at the October General Meeting. The diaries are priced at £3. The cover colour this year is “French Blue” They will be available on a first come first served basis, however, I will order more if necessary.

David Oliver – WW U3A Business Secretary.

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Sheffield Assay Office and Cutlers’ Hall

A straightforward journey into Sheffield and before we knew it we were getting off the coach at the Assay Office where we were greeted by Emma the Librarian. We had coffee and then a tour of the library before being given a short presentation on the history of hallmarking and how the Sheffield Office was created.

We were then taken down to the work area where thousands of items of jewellery – gold, silver, platinum and palladium were being hallmarked every day. Due to the value of the items it is very secure and we had to walk through a metal detector before being allowed in.

There were low power x-ray machines and other equipment to analyse the different items so they could be hallmarked depending on their quality. Although a lot of the work was high tech there were some tasks that appeared to be very tedious for example stamping a 9ct gold mark on hundreds of items by hand. Some pieces of jewellery are so delicate that these are laser marked rather than stamped.

After our tour we were whisked off to the city centre where we were dropped off at the Winter Gardens for lunch (baked potato or soup). After lunch we were free to wander around the art galleries within the Winter Gardens. Unfortunately two out of the four galleries were closed for a change of exhibits however the artwork presented by university students was thought provoking and interesting.

A wet walk around the city centre, including a look inside the cathedral and then a tour of Cutlers’ Hall. The Cutler’s Company is a guild which holds the rights to the phrase “Made in Sheffield” and this can only be used by tableware makers in an area around Sheffield. For those pedants amongst we were pleased to learn that cutlery only refers to items with a cutting edge – forks and spoons are flatware. Who knew that? The building is truly magnificent with chandeliers and wall panelling from famous liners (sister ships to the Titanic). We finished the tour with coffee and cookies before heading home in the rain.

A special thank you to Brian who guided us through the tours and made sure we didn’t get lost in the city centre.

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To Bee or Not To Bee?

In 1913 Edgar Henry Thorne, a Wragby carpenter, was asked by local schoolmaster Mr. Mumby to make him a beehive.  So began the business of E.H.Thorne (Beehives) Ltd. which to this day thrives at Wragby, albeit now located in much larger premises at the aptly named Beehive Industrial Estate, at Rand.  The original wooden office and showroom is now sited in the grounds of the modern premises, as a museum to the company’s humble beginnings.

Our gardening guru Mary had arranged for a group to tour the premises and to see just what was now made there.  And it’s not just beehives!  Whilst modern machinery saws the cedar wood (Canadian and British), and cuts the sections of beehives to shape, older equipment melts beeswax and produces sheets of this which go to candle makers across the country.  The shop sells everything that beekeepers need to care for their creatures, and to make honey.

We were initially given an introductory talk by Rebecca Thorne, in the restaurant where we had lunched, and then after answering questions from us, she led everyone out to meet her father, and we split into two groups to make the tour, which included ladies stitching the beekeepers suits which they sell (the ladies will also make or alter your curtains!), as well as watching other ladies thread heated wire through beeswax sheets which would go into the hives.

All in all, a very unusual afternoon, and the shop and restaurant are open to anyone to call in and visit whenever you fancy.  Thanks Mary.

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Newsletter Crossword Solution

For those of you who would like the answers to the newsletter crossword click here… If you would like to see another crossword in the newsletter then please contact magazine@westwoldsu3a.org

For further information on online crosswords go to:


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Visit to Cote Hill Cheese, Osgodby

It was a typically British wet day when we all met at Cote Hill Farm in Osgodby for a tour of the now well-known cheese producing business run by Mary and Michael Davenport. We were made very welcome by Michael and, after donning the obligatory blue plastic shoe covers and mop hat, we followed him into their ‘factory’.
Because of the layout of the buildings, Michael explained that we would be seeing the whole process in reverse order so our first viewing was of the cheese being French wrapped in waxed paper ready for distribution. As we followed Michael, his wife Mary, their son Joe and several others were soon visible through the large glass windows which allow a clear view of what is happening in the different rooms. The unpasteurised milk (so it retains its natural flora and enzymes) is filtered straight into the cheese vats where vegetarian rennet and a starter culture is added. Once stirred together, it is left to coagulate and the resultant curd is cut to release the whey. Mary was seen executing this then transferring the curds into containers where it was allowed to settle. As we moved through the building, we saw the set cheeses being washed in brine or waxed red or yellow then stacked on shelves where they are regularly turned. At two weeks old, the Cote Hill Blue are pierced by hand with a needle to allow air to get in and form the blue mould and after 8 weeks it is fully mature.

From the ‘factory’ we moved to the milking parlour which is Michael’s domain. Around 70ish mixed breed cows are milked here twice a day starting at 6:30am. About a third of the 500,000 litres or so of the milk produced annually or 800 litres a day, is used for cheese production with the rest collected by two major dairy companies. Needless to say, the cows were back out in the field by the time we got to the parlour but the process and equipment was carefully explained whilst the crew yard outside was being ‘mucked out’ by machinery.
Back in the assembly room, the kettle had boiled and the table was laid with plum bread, biscuits and plates containing a selection of cheeses for our delectation. Michael gave us a potted history of the business and Cote Hill Farm which has been home to the Davenport family since 1962. His father took on the tenancy and set up an accredited dairy herd which Michael eventually took over however, by 2004, low liquid milk prices forced them to ponder diversifying or giving up. Rather than throw in the ‘milking machine’, Michael decided to go on an artisan cheese making course, cascaded his knowledge to Mary and the business was born.
Realising there was a gap in the market for a soft blue cheese, they made their first batch in 2005; it was a nail biting time as they added the penicillium roquefort (the blue mould) and then waited a month for it to mature. Fortunately, all their hard work paid off, it turned out well and, as the saying goes, the rest is history. Today the family is delighted to have no fewer than six varieties of cheese in its collection and some highly prized awards too; they also remain one of only a few farms producing a crusted soft and creamy blue cheese using unpasteurised milk. As an aside, there was cheese (and milk) available to purchase and enjoy later at home.
Well done and thank you to Sharon for organising such an interesting and most enjoyable visit and to the Davenports for the tour and their hospitality. I for one have learnt that making cheese is a complex and time-consuming business which demands close attention to detail so, congratulations to everyone at Cote Hill Farm for their hard work, vision and determination to succeed. Long may it continue. Nadia Dawson

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