Alford u3a have kindly invited us to watch their Speaker on Thursday but you need to register TODAY with Janet Groome on 07397175346 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Curtain up 10.45am Talk starts at 11am Speaker Steve Short
Britain’s Most Loved Double Act – Morecambe and Wise
Using photographs and video clips Steve Short will bring to life the story of how these two great comedians met to become Britain’s most loved double act. First appearing in 1954 with rather poor reviews they returned two years later and appeared in a series of massively popular television shows over the next twenty years.
By 1976 they were awarded OBEs, with their partnership lasting until 1984 when Eric Morecambe sadly died.
Scunthorpe continue to invite us to their Speaker sessions. Their next event is on Friday 23rd April at 1.30pm and features Keith Hanson who we had in 2019. Keith gives various talks on the subject of the Tower of London.
Our April Online Speaker is on Thursday 8th at 10.30am and entitled ‘Mad, Bad & Dangerous’:
This talk is about military ideas, inventions and operations that in one way or another, failed to make the grade. Incompetence, haste and wishful thinking have all played their part, in some of the most scandalous failures in military history. Broad in scope, ‘Mad, Bad & Dangerous’, by Tim Barney, discusses a variety of blunders and breakdowns on land, at sea and in the air. Talk length – 37 minutes.
Please find below the registration link. Once you have registered, Mirthy will send the invitation to use on the day.
Talk, Eat, Drink (TED) in East Lindsey is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund under its Ageing Better programme. The TED Programme tries to identify the good provisions that are delivered through existing groups and facilities and helps to develop and promote them. This is achieved through the involvement of over 50s and local organisations.
They are currently working with a member of the community to raise awareness and provide support to people who are ‘Ageing Without Children’ and are holding an online event to Launch their work and the new virtual support group that will start on the 20th of April. In addition they have also created an information page on our TED Ageing Better website, with information and a link to a radio interview that we did on Radio Lincolnshire recently.
I have to admit that I had no idea what a lighterman was before this talk although on reflection, there were times in my youth when I witnessed them in operation on the Thames without any thought for their occupation. For those of you who were unable to see David Lewis’s presentation, a lighterman is a worker who operates a flat bottomed barge or ‘lighter’ which transports products up and down the river to and from quays, docks, wharves and riverside factories. Originally, a ‘lighter’ was created because it could load and unload products from a vessel which was too large or unable to moor at a dock or key side; the name is believed to have come from the now very old fashioned and underused phrase ‘to alight’ meaning to exit, leave or depart.
David’s exposition set the historical background and interspersed it with an audio testimony from 96 year old Laurie Dews who personally made the challenging return journey along the river Ouse from Selby’s seed mills to Hull docks in the 1930s up until the late 1980s. Laurie’s vivid memories gave us a first hand insight into the work involved in the job which he learned from his father before him. For hundreds of years, generations of families have worked as lightermen along our rivers and, not only were they highly skilled, tough and resourceful, but they required an intimate knowledge of the river’s shifting currents and tides to minimise delays and find the fastest course as well as a lot of muscle power to operate the paddles or oars which steered the unpowered craft to prevent it running aground or hitting a bridge support.
The role of the lighterman has remained essentially unchanged over the years however, their numbers have seriously depleted as changes in shipping technology rendered them largely obsolete along some river routes. Between them, David and Laurie explained the intricacies and risks involved in unloading seed from a chute or heavy sacks and bags from a board via a crane or derrick straight into the lighter’s hold. Every lighter had a lighterman who rowed or punted and a ‘boy’ to assist him however, the introduction of powered tug boats enabled the lighters to be towed in multiples of four or in a single convoy depending on the width of the river.
Manoeuvering a ‘lighter’ is no easy task and can be dangerous as the lighterman has to walk up and down the perilously narrow ledges along the sides carrying enormous ropes and pulleys to attach and reattach
them so the tug can pull them in different directions to achieve the desired position. There is very little margin for error and, at 100ft long and 17ft wide, a 200 ton loaded lighter is only six inches above the water level so dexterity in handling boats is a prerequisite of being a lighterman.
By the 1980s, it was cheaper and quicker to use lorries to transport products rather than sail lighters up and down the river Ouse between Selby and Hull. As a consequence, the use of lighters eventually stopped altogether on this route leaving the many once bustling wharves and jetties to fall into disuse and disrepair. All in all, this was an enlightening presentation about the role of a lighterman and the essential but almost unrecognised job he performed under extremely difficult conditions.
Scunthorpe U3A have kindly invited West Wolds Members to join them for their next 3 online Speakers, details below. Put the date in your diary and look out for the invitation link nearer the date to join.
March 26th will be Brian Fernly who hails from Exeter. Brian is involved with the South West Aviation Heritage group and will tell us a story about a famous US serviceman.
Growing up during the great depression Joe Byerle (pronounced buy early) might have been a renown international athlete had the war not have intervened. He joined the famous 101st Airborne and flew from Exeter to France on D-Day. He’d been there before on a secret mission, making him the first US paratrooper to set foot in occupied Europe. Unfortunately, his campaign didn’t last long before he was captured by the Germans. That’s when the story really starts, with escapes from prison camps, interrogation by the Gestapo and eventually fighting with a Russian tank group. Joe’s story is uplifting and shows what a human being is capable of with the will and determination to survive.
April23rd Keith Hanson who will give us an illustrated presentation of the Tower of London.
Our speaker for May28th will be John Hope. His talk is called “Extra Time”
A personal story of how John & his wife survived the Tsunami of 2004 whilst in Sri Lanka. including the escape and what happened next. The latter includes a return to the country, providing employment but also to encourage overseas investment in order to help local people. It also explains how they overcame problems in operating in the country but then faced further challenges.
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