Category Archives: U3A Activity reports

Activity reports such as visits, events etc. attended by Pembrokeshire U3A members

U3A Horticultural Show

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!

It’s been a long day!

Monday Walkers Christmas Lunch 2015

Monday Walkers Christmas Lunch 2015 (SLIDE SHOW)

Monday 14th December 2015

Helen Lewis John hosted a Christmas Lunch at the Glen Hotel, where over fifty walkers and guests gathered to plan the 2016 programme, and then enjoy their Christmas lunch.  Wendy Proctor thanks Helen on behalf of the walking group for her continued efforts as Group Coordinator.


Photo: Colin Hankinson & Geoff Winterman

Gardening Group visit the National Botanical Garden

Gardening Group

On the morning of 10 September 40 members of the group to include 3 from Narberth U3A boarded a coach bound for The National Botanical Gardens of Wales, the last time we undertook such a trip was in January 2014.  It was decided to make this trip following a talk given by the curator Mr Simon Goodenough who indicated September was his favourite time in the garden and we could certainly see why.

Immediately, we were struck by the changes that had been made particularly to the long boarder leading up to the dome, rather than the random herbaceous plants with a multitude of colours this has now been replaced by a softer colour planting ranging  from the soft pinks of the geraniums and phlox to lavender, and on to the deeper shades of the many asters (we tend to call Michaelmas daisies) and finally tall purple verbena the feature of many dried flower arrangements a plant that appears frequently in the areas leading up to the dome.  A pathway has been laid adjacent to the boarder which takes the visitor to the rear of the plants an excellent addition.

The dome, of course, is amazing and one wonders at the feat of engineering in the construction in addition to the variety of plant is houses which we could not see unless we travelled to the far corners of the world,

The vegetable garden was spectacular with red and yellow stemmed chard, rows of runner beans, the unmistakeable tops of beetroot, turnips, swedes, wonderful red cabbages to name but a few.  Another new addition is a potager plot which combines both flowers and vegetables my particular favourite.

The sun shone all day and as we left the garden it was agreed it had been a fantastic trip

Penny Thomas  10 September 2015

South of the County U3A – Pembroke Meeting 11th May

Start Up Meeting for U3A Activities South of the Haven.

Thirty U3A members and friends attended the Monday morning meeting on 11th May in Foundry House, Pembroke, and made a very positive contribution to this venture. Several members proposed groups and offered their services to act as leaders to initiate a variety of activities.

The aim is to provide activities based south of the Haven so that they are nearer southerner’s homes. They will still participate in activities north of the Haven as they wish and northerners can cross the bridge to join in the southern activities. It benefits all by providing a wider programme.

The following activity groups are being set up and several members have expressed an interest and signed up to participate in them. They include Computing, Craft, Folk Dancing, Gardening, History, Indoor Games, Poetry, Reading, Table Tennis and Walking ( up to 4 miles). Music and Singing were also offered as possible group activities. Details of the venues, dates and times and leader contacts will be published in the next Newsletter (July & August).

Two groups will start up earlier. John Roberts entitles his Gardening group ‘A little bit of Gardening to enable us, and possibly those we care for, to enjoy gardening into old age. Meeting, monthly or once a season, will enable us to share our gardening experiences, ideas and techniques e.g. pruning, propagation, weeding, coping strategies as we age, exchange plants/seeds, etc.’ First meeting will be on Friday 5th June, 10am –noon and 2-4pm. Contact John – mobile 07970930476, email abletogrow03@gmail.com

Mavis Roberts is offering a taster session for U3A members to the proposed South Pembroke Folk Dancing Group which will aim to provide an understanding of the history of Welsh Folk Dances and hopefully enable members to learn the dances. The first session will be on Tuesday morning 1st July. Contact Mavis for details – mobile 07970930476, email abletogrow03@gmail.com

Graham Goodeve 17th May 2015.

25th Anniversary Celebration Lunch

A celebratory lunch was held to mark the 25 year Anniversary of the foundation of the Pembrokeshire U3A  at the Hotel Mariners on 18th November;  it was attended by 51 members.

An enjoyable time was tempered slightly by the absence, due to illness, of Graham and Jean Goodeve who were so instrumental in setting up the original Pembrokeshire U3A.   A toast of thanks to them was made by Bob Matthews (Acting Chairman) and our good wishes sent to them both for a speedy return to full health and U3A activities.

The members were finally entertained to a fascinating and amusing postprandial talk by Dot Hickson about her early times in TV broadcasting.

25th Anniversary Walk

A total of 28 people gathered at 10.00am in Laugharne to walk the first 5 mile leg of a figure of 8 loop. These consisted of various Pembrokeshire U3A members as well as some from Narberth and Preseli U3As.

The walk went inland along tracks, across fields and valleys where despite the distant mist, views over Gower and Caldey were visible.  Llansadurnen village and church was reached where a coffee break was taken. (see picture). After transiting more fields and a bit of roadwork near Broadway the coast was accessed after a steep descent through some trees. The track continued past Salt House farm, along the Dylan Thomas birthday walk and back into Laugharne in time for lunch near the castle.   Five members dropped out at this stage but we were joined by a further nine (total 32) for the three mile afternoon section. This track went uphill over some fields and came out further up the estuary at Delacorse where the prolific vegetable garden was admired. The opportunity was taken to use some benches near an unused campfire to have a coffee stop. After that it was a gentle stroll along the estuary, past the boathouse and back into Laugharne. To complete the day many members went to the nearby pub for some well earned refreshment.  All in all a very enjoyable day with good interaction between the people from the various sections of U3A.

Rhodri Thompson with photos by Colin Hankinson, Rhodri and Myles Huthwaite

Pembrokeshire U3A Anniversary Quiz

Fifteen teams of four members arrived for an afternoon of brain bending mental exercise applied by Peter and Ann Brown – namely the Pembrokeshire U3A Anniversary Quiz. The teams represented the range of activity available to U3A members from table tennis to music and we were joined by teams from neighbouring U3A in Preseli and Narberth. Some prepared by having a delicious meal at the Neyland Athletics Club while others opted for a quick coffee and a chat as preparations progressed. At 2.00pm the first of nine rounds commenced and throughout the afternoon the lead changed as questions on a wide variety of subjects prepared by Peter and Ann teased out brains.

In the end the French Group lead by Colin Thomas was victorious with a final score of 109 points, closely followed by the Narberth “Know-alls” and The Pembrokeshire U3A team “Densa” (not to be muddled with “Mensa”). A stimulating and enjoyable afternoon ably hosted by Peter and Ann. A vote of thanks was proposed by the Vice-Chair of Pembrokeshire U3A, Bob Matthews.

Photos & text Geoff Winterman

Quiz 2014

U3A Geological Field Excursion to Saundersfoot and Wiseman’s Bridge

Saturday 12th April. Leader John Downesjd

John Downes, a new member of Pembrokeshire U3A and a former Earth Science Tutor at the Open University, led a Geological field trip around Wiseman’s Bridge and Saundersfoot. Some U3A members may have read his book entitled ‘Folds, Faults and Fossils: exploring the Geology of Pembrokeshire’.

We set out from the car park at Coppet Hall on the east side of Saundersfoot at about 10.30am ,walking to Wiseman’s Bridge along the old railway line (now a footpath) viewing the coal measure structures exposed on the beach, and  where we had the opportunity to examine the variety of sediments, structures and fossils exposed in the Coal Measures of the Upper Carboniferous Period of some 300 million years ago when South Pembrokeshire was a tropical swampland.  John pointed out many features and examples and answered our numerous questions.  At Wiseman’s Bridge we walked a short distance along the storm beach to look at the cross cut channels in the Lower Coal Measures and examine a coal seam and fossil plant remains.

We then lunched at Wiseman’s Bridge Inn where Graham Goodeve joined us for an hour.

In the afternoon we returned to Saundersfoot and hurried to visit the much photographed “Ladies’ Cave” Anticline to the west of the harbour before the tide came in.  Here ar ar few photos taken during a fascinating day.

jd2 jd3
jd4 JD5
JD6

A CHILLING STORY

50 U3A members attended this excellent lecture at the Torch Theatre as guests of the Pembrokeshire Earth Science Schools Trust (PESST) on Monday 18th Nov. The speaker was Dr Carrie Lear, Reader in Geology at U.C.Cardiff. Her presentation on a perspective of Climate Change had a profound message for all of us.

50 million years ago in the Eocene Times the World was a much warmer place than today. Fossil evidence shows us that the ancestors of animals we now associate with the tropics roamed in the tropical forests covering southern Britain. Forests grew in northern Siberia and Antarctica where now it is covered by Tundra and Ice Sheets. Techniques involving the examination of the detailed chemistry of microscopic single cell organisms called Foraminifera, now entombed in ocean bottom deposits, have revealed to Geologists a full record of carbon dioxide levels and temperatures over the last 50 million years. This shows that the level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide has declined causing the average World temperatures to decline by about 10C.

This decline reveals three distinct chilling periods. The first was 34 million years ago when mountain glaciation occurred in Antartica. The second some 20 million years ago when an ice cap formed over the whole of Antarctica. The third when the Pleistocene Ice Age began 2 million years ago. We (homo sapiens) are just living in one of the warmer interglacial periods of this Ice Age.

The causes of these changes in carbon dioxide and World temperature are complex, but a major factor is the effect of Plate Tectonic Movements that have left Antarctica isolated over the South Pole, while the southern continents of South America and Australia moved north, leaving an open Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica. This isolation enabled Antarctica to develop extreme cold conditions which have impacted on the climate of the rest of the World.

However, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago the level of carbon dioxide in the Atmosphere has increased and now stands at approximately 400 parts per million. The highest it has ever been before in the last 800.000 years is 300ppm. Monitoring of this level of carbon dioxide in the Atmosphere reveals that the rate of increase is accelerating which in turn is increasing Global Warming. Warmer conditions, apart from changing our weather and climate conditions, mean that glaciers and ice sheets will melt.

The Greenland and West Antarctica Ice Sheets are now unstable and melting. The quantity of water locked in these ice sheets will mean significant rises of sea level. The melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet will produce a sea level rise of 6 metres and that of West Antarctica a further 8 metres. If the East Antarctica Ice Sheet melts a further 60 metre rise of sea level will occur. This would drown those parts of Pembrokeshire below 240 feet above sea level. As for the rest of the World, coastal lowlands, major river lowlands and their cities would all be flooded completely.

The major questions for all of us are how long will it take for this to occur and have we the power and will to reverse the process?

Graham Goodeve – 19th Nov 2013