The first Solo group gathering met on Friday 17th March at the New Life Church, everyone mixed well and lots of suggestions and ideas were made for future meetings, the next is Friday 21st April at 2.00 p.m. and we are still hoping for more new members.
Every-One is a Lincolnshire based enterprise and registered charity, that aims to work inclusively with everyone, to ensure that every one individual, is at the centre of their own wellbeing. We do that by developing and delivering a range of person-centred services and projects that work towards ‘making wellbeing personal’.
Good News, I am going to start a new mixed group of embroiderers and cross stitchers as there is a cross over of interest, for both experienced stitchers and non-experienced stitchers, who want to start a new exciting hobby, as both the existing Cross Stitch and Embroidery 1 Groups are full.
The Cross Stitch/Embroiderers Group will meet at my home in Faldingworth on the first and fourth Tuesday of the month, from 1.30 p.m. – 3.30 p.m. First meeting to take place Tuesday 4th May, when I will supply some off cut fabric, needles and thread for beginners to have a taster session, learning some basic stitches. More experienced members can bring along any piece of work they are currently doing or something they are going to start and enjoy an afternoon with like minded people.
There will be some expenditure for the group depending on what items they want to make. To keep costs down, free embroidery/cross stitch charts and artwork can be downloaded. Some fabrics can be recycled. My old curtains have been transformed into 2 new cushions.
Please come along for a chat or sign up at the April General Meeting as I will be show-casing some of the items I have made over the years to illustrate what can be achieved. If you can’t make it in person then phone or email me to book a place.
Colin Deeley works for the National Trust and gave a very detailed history of Southwell Workhouse. I had no idea that looking after the poor became a national social issue during the reign of Elizabeth 1st and that it continued until well into the twentieth century.
Elizabeth recognised that poverty was a big problem throughout the country so she brought in the Old Poor Law which forced parishes to provide for their destitute parishioners. As a consequence, coal, food and clothing was supplied to the very poor with the money being provided by the parish ratepayers. By 1775 however, three years of bad harvests had taken its toll, and the price of a loaf of bread had risen to 1 shilling (or £4 in today’s money). This massive rise in costs ultimately resulted in a very, very long queue of paupers needing weekly handouts.
To try and ease the burden on his rate paying parishioners, the Rev John, Thomas Becher of Southwell came up with the idea for his local parishes to combine their funds and build a workhouse which could then house, feed and clothe the destitute in exchange for their labour. The building, which was partly designed by Becher himself, was completed in 1808 to house 84 people.
By 1824, it was decided there was a need to build a larger workhouse; this was originally called the Thurgarton Hundred Incorporated Workhouse but, it was later changed to the Southwell Union Workhouse. Its design and plan was included in Becher’s paper entitled The Antipauper System which he wrote in 1828; this paper was so well received that it eventually resulted in the government bringing in the Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834 and building Workhouses around the country.
Belcher’s view was that the Workhouse should only be available to the truly destitute as its regime would be harsh. In exchange for being fed and housed in segregated areas, inmates had to wear a uniform and, all those deemed to be able- bodied were expected to undertake hard manual labour. The building could house up to 158 inmates at any one time comprising men, women and children; the inmates were ‘looked after’ by the Master and Matron who were ably assisted by a clerk, a chaplain, a medical officer and a school teacher. All the staff were employed by a board of 62 Guardians who also made the rules and set the regulations.
The men were expected to work every day in the 6-acre gardens growing fruit and vegetables to supply the kitchen; any ‘excess’ they grew was sold to the public and the money used by the Master to provide the men with ‘little extras’. Able bodied men were also expected to undertake additional work which included crushing stones for road building and oakum picking. Although both of these jobs generated additional income for the Workhouse, they were hard and tedious so it was not uncommon for some men to occasionally rebel. When this happened, the miscreant was put in the refractory as punishment because this also happened to house any dead inmates who were awaiting removal.
Needless to say, bad behaviour did not occur very often and why would it when the inmates were being fed, clothed and housed for free?.
Female inmates were expected to undertake daily jobs including cooking, cleaning and sewing; they also worked in the laundry where they could earn money by ‘doing’ the laundry of ‘outsiders’. The money they ‘earned’ was used by the Master to provide additional ‘perks’ for them in the way of food usually.
The children of the Workhouse were completely segregated from their parents and never allowed to see or speak to them. They were housed in a school room which not only had desks and chairs but also included their beds; it was not uncommon for five children to sleep in one bed sideways on. In the Southwell Workhouse, the children were also taught how to make shoes so they even had a trade they could use in the Workhouse or outside if and when they were ever released.
The inmates’ dormitories were allocated on the second floor of each wing; men on one side and women on the other however, the staff were provided with their own private self-contained accommodation on the top floor of the main building. From here they could look out on the extensive grounds or the inmates when they were ‘exercising’ in the yard. They could also eat what they wanted, when they wanted; the inmates on the other hand, had a very strict timetable and a set menu. Men received more food than the women with meat only being served twice a week, occasionally though, the Master would use the extra money the inmates raised by supplementing the quality and quantity of their diet.
On the whole, life in the Workhouse was regimented, intentionally kept dull,monotonous and stricktly controlled because Becher aimed for moral improvement in the inmates. His view was that making idle folk do hard work would convert them to a more upright lifestyle yet, these inmates had no reason not to comply when everything they needed was being provided so why wouldn’t they do as they were told?
Over the years, Southwell Workhouse was extended and improved upon. In addition to the staff quarters being on the top floor there was also an infirmary with 6 beds plus one for a nurse. In 1913, a garage was built to house two cars plus a stable block to accommodate the Guardians horses, and in 1926, a mortuary was added. Also, in this year a hospital was built to provide services which could not be carried out in the infirmary.
On April 1st 1930, more than 650 Workhouses including Southwell were disbanded and handed over to the local council. All the children were placed in foster homes and Southwell Workhouse was given a new name. When the NHS was created in 1948, the building was partly converted and provided temporary accommodation for the homeless until 1976. In the 1980’s, it became a residential home for the elderly however, by 1997, Southwell Workhouse was going to be converted into flats when the National Trust stepped in and bought it; it is now one of the best-preserved examples of a Workhouse in the country.
This summer the Wolds Outdoor Festival will be returning for its second year. South Ormsby Estate in the Wolds will be hosting the launch event Open Weekend on 20th and 21st May. The event aims to draw in about 2000 visitors on the day.
As an organisation West Wolds U3A has been invited to be there on Saturday 20th to showcase both the U3A movement and also our own range of activities and groups. Already a number of groups have come up with suggestions for how they would like to do this.
What we are looking for is some support from the wider membership, group convenors and volunteers to help showcase our wonderful organisation. We want to reach out to people who may not know that we exist.
I am asking you to see whether you would be willing to offer your help on the day to talk to people who pass by our stand, to possibly put on a small activity as a taster session during the day. Your group might even want to put on an activity during the three weeks of the festival itself. Even if you can’t be there yourself, you might have a small gazebo or garden furniture we could use on our pitch on the 20th May.
On the Launch Day itself you’d not be expected to be there all day. You’d have some time to enjoy the event yourself. You’d be supported by our wonderful committee and other brilliant volunteers.
If this is something that you believe you could help with then please contact me so we could discuss it further. Please don’t think your group doesn’t belong in the outdoors; don’t forget that many of our groups did exactly that during the Pandemic.
Could there be a more perfect time to take up something new? Could there be a more perfect place to try it than the beautiful setting of Tealby Bowls Club nestled on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds?
Make new friends, improve your fitness and enjoy the fun of some gentle competition, if that’s your thing, (no worries if not) – what’s not to love? We know you’ll be surprised at how much you enjoy it!
We are eager to meet you so bring yourself along, bring your friends, work colleagues & neighbours along, bring your WI group along, or just come alone.
All you need is a pair of flat-soled shoes or trainers and you are ready to go: we’ll do all the rest. We look forward to meeting you soon.
We are holding 2 Open days – April 15th and 16th from 10.30am – 4.30pm. No prebooking needed, just turn up
Refreshments & biscuits are included – Free parking.
Need more information? Please text or call: Roy – 07308 026364 Jim – 07903 686009
Click here to see the March 2023 newsletter for our Spanish groups. With some cold weather looming, why not grab a warm cuppa and settle down to a good read. There’s plenty to enjoy even if you’re not a Spanish speaker.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I saw the title of today’s speaker’s talk as science is not my ‘thing’ however, when Dr Vicki Dennison walked in dressed as I imagined an explorer would with a heavily laden rucksack on her back and an Australian type hat pulled down over her ears, the word extrovert sprang to mind and immediately attracted my attention. My smile grew even bigger as she ‘filled us in’ on her career path whilst donning the traditional ‘white coat’ as worn by all those involved in science and medicine. And then the experiments began !!
If there is such a thing as a mad female professor then Vicki would definitely fit the bill because she never stands still, constantly waves her arms around, yet keeps your full attention as she pulls things out of her rucksack or her white-coat pockets and literally helped us experience the magic of science. Her first captivating experiment was to make fire using a plunger and some cotton wool. I have no idea what the scientific terms are for what she did but she did it twice and made several members of the audience gasp in surprise whilst others raised their eyebrows in disbelief.
Whilst we’re all still contemplating how she did the first experiment, Dr D is rummaging in her rucksack for some wire wool and a glass bowl and delving into her white-coat pocket for a battery. So what on earth is this all about as she places the wire wool in the bowl then waves the battery over it and suddenly it’s all alight. What is going on? Again she explains all the scientific facts about why and how this happened but I am still in awe of how a battery can set a handfull of wire wool alight. I felt like a kid again and thought what fun it would be to try this out at home with my brillo pads!!
Vicki’s love of science is bewitching and her next experiment (although the word trick now springs to mind) involved the spreading of Marmite over a white paper plate ( both of which she needless to say, retrieved from her copious rucksack) as she talked about the merits of reflection, refraction and absorption of light. Again, the technicalities of what this is and why it happens was completely lost on me but definitely not on many members of the audience who were quick to answer her questions about these three different aspects of light and marvel at the consequences.
With the image of a paper plate smeared in Marmite still in my mind, Vicki is waving her arms about again and now talking about the Venturi effect. She asked the audience whether they were au fait with this and to my amazement, several members were nodding their heads. Sadly for me, her scientific explanation was incomprehensible however, when it was likened to the method used by a Dyson hoover I was almost on her wavelength again. To explain it visually, Vicki had a super long plastic bag which somehow filled with air even though she wasn’t really blowing in it??? However that happened, it was pretty impressive and another perfect example of the magic of science.
Dr D’s penultimate experiment/trick involved a plastic pipe and a copper pipe (both retrieved from her rucksack of course) and some very strong magnets which she found in one of her white-coat pockets. Now even I knew that the magnets would not ‘stick’ to the outside of either of these two types of pipes as she duly demonstrated however, when she dropped the magnets into each pipe, they did not fall to the bottom !! Needless to say, this phenomenom drew the odd gasp from members of the audience as Vicki then went on to explain that as the magnets were dropping, they were generating an electrical current thus making them ‘stick’ to the pipes. She likened this action to a similar one used in a lift and, whilst the technicalities went over my head once again, there were many nodding heads and grunts of understanding by audience members.
With time running out, Dr D’s final experiment/trick involved the use of something known as D30. Whilst Vicki likened it to playdough in constitution, it actually offers the thinnest and most advanced protection yet against impact. Its chemical composition is completely secret but its use in sports and motorcycle gear and protective cases for consumer electronics including phones, industrial workwear and military protection is very well recognised and highly sought after. To prove just how effective it is, Vicki asked a member of the audience to put her hand on the table; when the fingers had been covered in D30, Dr D took a mallet and hit the fingers very hard. While the audience winced at the impact, the lady didn’t because her fingers had been completely protected by the D30. Just to prove the point, Vicki then repeated it with her own fingers covered in this flexible material which then again totally absorbed the shock of the mallet hitting her fingers.
Without a doubt, Dr D did exactly what the title of her presentation said it would and made us all experience the magic of science in a very lively and entertaining way.The variety of the experiments or tricks she demonstrated definitely brought the wow factor to us all regardless of our scientific knowledge or understanding and made for a very fun and interesting morning.
Annual membership fee is only £18/annum or £34 for couples. You can try before you buy -i.e. attend a couple of u3a events , so you don't have to commit straight away. Membership Form and details here Come along to one of our General Meetings and find out what's on offer - every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Festival Hall
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