Our July meeting took us to the garden of Stan and Pam Steer. In the knowledge that Pam has won the cup for the most points gained at the U3A Horticultural Show for the past three years, we knew we were in for something special. When our hosts purchased the plot they were advised to forget the garden because nothing would grow in the heavy clay soil. How amazed the neighbour must be to see this verdant corner of the cul-de-sac. Much hard work, compost and chicken manure has produced a beautiful garden.
Shed and Pond
The clematis was in full flower and the flower bed, full of alstroemeria, was charming, with the delicate colouration of the flowers, such a pity it is to go to be replaced by a Dahlia bed! I cannot describe this garden without making reference to Stan’s Dahlias. Exquisite, the care and devotion taken has certainly been worthwhile. One has a Japanese name which one of our group was able to translate to Messenger from the Moon – it certainly was out of this world.
The fish in the pond have certainly grown since the group’s last visit and certainly drew everyone’s attention. Along the wall of the bungalow stood pots of Chrysanthemums too early as yet for blooms but the autumn I am sure will see some stunning flowers. The weather this year has been challenging for gardeners but that was not apparent from this garden except perhaps for the lawn! A lovely afternoon spent in a beautiful garden.
The planned demolition of parts of Neyland Athletic Club is imminent. Whilst this is ongoing it is difficult for us to use this as a venue for our activities. The Pembrokeshire U3A Monthly Meeting, scheduled for April 5th, is therefore cancelled. Joe Rielly’s talk on Redundant Churches will be rescheduled for later in the year.
Group Leaders who have meetings at NAC during the week commencing 2 April should also postpone, or find temporary venues until the NAC becomes available again.
We are monitoring the situation, and we shall let you know when the venue is available again.
Should you wish to attend please tick your menu choices noting each person’s choice and return the Menu and Booking Form to Penny Thomas, 12 Kensington Gardens, Haverfordwest SA61 2RL together with a cheque made payable to Pembrokeshire U3A by Monday 8th January 2018.
On Wednesday, 6th September the Wales Table Tennis Association director of competitions, Phil Avery, organised the inaugural U3A National Championships at the Welsh Institute of Sport, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.
The Pembrokeshire U3A entered six teams in the event competing against teams from Porthmadog, Cowbridge and Bridgend. In the morning session the teams were allocated to four groups, and played a best-of-three match against the other teams in the group.
Pembrokeshire U3A Table Tennis Team
In the afternoon the teams were allocated to further groups depending on their position in the morning. So, Pembrokeshire players Gaynor Evans and Graham George, and Penny Tighe and Chris Harris, having won their group were in the first-place play-off.
Sylvie Lloyd and Tony Tiffen, Wendy George and Chris Clark, and Wendy Perrott and Jane Dunbar were in the fifth-place play-off. The afternoon session was played in a similar round-robin format.
There was a fine demonstration of table tennis skill throughout the day despite a few creaking joints and aching bones. Pembrokeshire’s Gaynor Evans and Graham George were declared 2017 champions and Pembrokeshire took 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th places to make it a very successful and worthwhile day.
We look forward to meeting again in 2018, and hope that more Welsh U3A groups will enter teams. Certainly, Pembrokeshire U3A Table Tennis has made friends with the other teams represented and will pursue contacts during the coming months.
Our speaker for the first monthly meeting after our August break, David Wilson, who would have given us a digitally produced tour of Pembrokeshire, was unable to attend. However, at very short notice our member Frank Harbud gave a most interesting talk about the London Docks.
Frank Showing a Typical East End Docker
Frank certainly knew his subject and with projected photographs he gave us a brief history going back to pre-war days when the docks were a hive of industry and provided jobs for the many who lived in the surrounding areas. Much of this country’s food was passed through the docks, from nutmegs to bananas together with a large quantity of cigars, cigarettes and alcohol, and not forgetting vast quantities of timber. To Frank the epitome of an East End Docker is that depicted in the photo sporting a flat cap with a carcass on his shoulder.
As shipping changed and the move was made to containers, the Docks disappeared and became luxury apartments – Canary Wharf is one example, and one is now the City Airport. How quickly we forget and it was good to be reminded of how life used to be. A great talk.
This time last year my husband Colin and I visited the combined Art Group’s Exhibition for the first time and found myself amazed at the artistic talent within our U3A. Needless to say, this has now become a permanent fixture in my diary! Yesterday off to Carew we went, much easier to locate this year, with banners and signs indicating the location of the U3A Exhibition. Again, I was taken aback by the paintings, almost every subject you could think of was reproduced in watercolour, pastels or pencil.
I enquired of Jan Hope, who sat at the welcoming desk, whether I might take some photographs. She hesitantly explained that in the past this has been done in order to enlarge the result and not to make a purchase. Quickly I explained it was for the Newsletter, although, my offerings do not reflect adequately the amount of work and attention to detail undertaken to produce such paintings.
There is a wealth of talent within these groups which should be seen. If you miss the exhibition this year, do try and make a visit in 2018. In addition to viewing the exhibits, tea/coffee is served in bone china cups with a choice of scrumptious looking cakes. Whilst making our visit we enjoyed a chat with other members. It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning. Well done to all those involved.
For what seemed to be weeks, members of the Gardening Group have been complaining about the weather conditions: wind and rain and heat. The latter two great for growing but the wind can lead to disaster!
As I walked through the door leading into the hall at the NAC I was faced with many empty tables. What could I expect, in the way of entries? Not very much if I was to believe the cry of “I won’t have anything for the show”. I think they were misleading me; the hall was full to capacity. Three or four times I needed to plead for extra tables, two even came from the red room!
The Flower Section
There was such an array of beautiful flowers, scrumptious looking vegetables and very appetising fruit scones and preserves. Fantastic, why did I doubt? It was delightful to receive entries from ‘first timers’. I hope they catch the bug. Returning to the hall after judging had taken place to find you have a certificate against your entry is just the best feeling, especially when it was unexpected. There were fifty entries more this year than last, so my powers of persuasion worked.Our overall winner with the most number of points was, for the third year in succession, Pam Steer, with Ifor Swales a close second. Best exhibit in the flower section with her amazing vase of flowers was Ruth Poole. In the preserve section Viv Scale was awarded Best Exhibit for her delicious mango chutney and with some modesty I have to reveal I had the best exhibit in the vegetable and fruit section for my runner beans!
When the show opened at 2.00pm there was a goodly flow of visitors (thank you for your support) who enjoyed a good look at the exhibits, a cup of tea and in some cases a piece of cake or a biscuit, with much chatter. With a sigh of relief we shall now start planning for next year!
In July, The Garden Group North met at Hilton Court Gardens, Roch where, before setting off to the gardens, we enjoyed lunch in the Gardeners Rest eatery.
As with all gardens the extensive grounds had changed considerably since my last visit. The lake, which is the focal point, looked beautiful with the many water lilies in bloom; obviously there are fish because we spotted a heron sitting patiently on the bank waiting for his lunch.
A stroll round the lake
Essentially the garden is one of tree and shrubs but there has been an introduction of some herbaceous plants adding some colour to an otherwise very green look. As we strolled around the lake we came upon Badger’s Hall a great addition for the children or even for some adults although some were not up to the challenge but they gave it their best shot!
Colin tries his best!
Before returning to the café for afternoon tea (the Garden Group really doesn’t spend all its time eating and drinking) we came across another feature which one or two of us could not resist as you will see from the photographs. The weather was kind to us with sunshine and a gentle breeze – indeed, a lovely meeting.
Penny on the swing
Please remember that our horticultural show which takes place the Neyland Athletic Centre, entries are on the day and an entry from and Schedule may be found on the website or alternatively contract me on 01437 766775 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There are spaces available on the trip to Dyffryn Gardens, near Cowbridge why not join us it is a National Trust property with beautiful gardens and an arboretum and well worth a visit.
It is always a pleasure when the speaker is one of our membership. In July, Philip and Marcia Whitehead related the story of their American trip – undertaken to visit those friends who were unable to attend their wedding earlier in the year.
Marcia was concerned that we might think we would just be seeing their holiday photographs, but no – with the aid of bullet points she had prepared, and Philip operating the technology, we travelled from one side of America to the other taking in the Grand Canyon. Here we did have some splendid photographs!
With a temperature range from 4 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit this presented a challenge from the clothing point of view and a large quantity of luggage, but our intrepid travellers coped, well Marcia maybe!
Upon entering the hall Marcia handed each member a slip of paper in order that they might guess the number of miles travelled – the competition was won by Ann Hyslop. A very interesting and informative talk.