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2016 AGM & Christmas Miscellany

A collections of photographs of our meeting today (1st December 2016).
(FULL REPORT TO FOLLOW- Please allow a minute or so for the slideshow to download if you have a slow connection)

Apologies for Sue and Jeff McCarthy that I failed to get a photo of their presentation!


AVOIDING SCAMS – A timely warning to U3A members

Sandra McSparron, Pembrokeshire County Council and her police colleague from Milford Haven gave over seventy members present  timely advice on dealing with the wide range of “scams” targeting older citizens here in Pembrokeshire.  While hammering home the adage

“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”

The main types of scams they featured were:
1: Doorstep scams
2: Telephone scams
3: Text message scams
4: Internet scams

Each year many people fall victim to fraudsters, intent on stealing their personal and financial information, and conning them out of their cash.  The fraudsters sound convincing, professional and many claim to represent a business you know, for example your bank.  They may try to pressure you into acting quickly, either because they want to trick you into believing you will miss a golden opportunity to make money or that you will suffer some sort of loss if you fail to act.  It only takes a single response to be inundated with many different scams as the scammers sell you details.  Other scammers, equally victimising older people are those knock on doors to offer building work.

Geoff Winterman


Gardening Group (North) – September Meeting

Gardening Group North


The September meeting of the group took place on the 8th in the garden of Sue George who lives on Honeyborough Green.  Those who follow the groups’ exploits will know we visit some very diverse gardens each having its own element to please the most discerning gardener.  Having seen Sue’s entries in the Horticultural Show I knew she had a mixed garden, some flowers and vegetables, however, what a delight awaited us.  The ground rises away from the house, another immaculate lawn surrounds a flower bed with herbaceous plants, borders run along the side and rear boundaries beyond which is open countryside.  The garden also has a vegetable growing area, it was interesting to see a row of beans to include the Barlotta variety which looks cheerful with its flat pods splashed with red which disappears  when cooked, this may either be treated as a French bean or when mature the beans are used as a flageolet type, multi-purpose for the small garden!  The garden is bursting with plants, a lovely Evening Primrose grows in the border and is striking with its’ pale yellow flower heads.  Closer to the house are mature apple trees absolutely laden with fruit, not only did we leave with memories of a lovely afternoon spent in a charming garden where we sat in the sunshine but, for some, with a bag of apples!

Penny Thomas   8th September 2016

“Good Bye Pembrokeshire U3A”

After 13 Years of leading Exercise Groups Gloria Droy is moving to Wiltshire

and Ken the Tea Monitor is going too!

Gloria’s leaving; won’t be back.
Keep on exercising, stay on track!
Stand up tall and stretch that spine
Bend down low and you’ll be fine.
Curve to the left,
curve to the right,
Stand on tippy toes,
Reach for the light
Keep on going,
Don’t be a quitter
Lose that tum ………..and you’ll be fitter!

Sorry to leave…………. Love you all Gloria  xxx



On Friday 24th of June  a very pleasant evening at the Allt yr Afon Restaurant in Wolfscastle was enjoyed by thirty four U3A Members. The choice and quality of the food was first class, and judging by the comments, enjoyed by all.

Penny Thomas did the excellent job of organising the evening. On our behalf Ken Evans thanked Penny for her hard work and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.”

Photos: Mary Morris and Bob Matthews

Gardening Group North Visit Aberglasney,

                                                                        Photos: Colin Hankinson, Ben Goodman & Geoff Winterman

This month’s meeting found members of the Group, plus others, on their way to Aberglasney, inspired by the talk in February, given by Joseph Atkins the Head Gardener.  The weather promised fine as we set out by coach arriving some twenty minutes before Joseph’s guided tour of the gardens.   We followed him, pausing here and there to admire his Hellebores and Trilliums (commonly known as Wood Lily) about which he had spoken, at length   in February obviously a favourite but not to all tastes!

Much of the box hedging has now been removed, to be replaced with a variety of Ilex, which has a similar look but does not suffer with box blight.  This is a garden of such variety, with large shaded areas abundant with Hellebores and Cyclamen, although the latter, are no longer in flowers and beds full of various shrubs and the odd magnificent magnolia.   A large flower bed overlooking the ornamental pond a mass of yellow tulips of various varieties inter planted with wallflowers although these have yet to come into bloom.  This area certainly had the wow factor! Joseph the Head Gardener confessed to disliking the colour yellow in the garden!  Our tour took approximately one and a half hours. As we approached the final corner, the sunken garden, planted with many deep orange tulips, spots of rain became apparent.

We headed for refreshments where we sat for almost an hour and watched the hail and heavy rain wondering when we would be able to leave the shelter and enjoy those parts of the garden we had not already seen, such as the vegetable garden and woodland area.  But soon the clouds cleared and the sun appeared as did we all from various areas.  The vegetable garden, yet to be in a productive state was neatly set out in diagonal rows (that’s a new twist) tripods of cane with young sweet pea plants at the base, and rows of broad beans, already in flower!  The woodland area so pretty again Hellebores in abundance and wild garlic just about ready to burst into flower.  Despite the dramatic weather and  overhead jets, the day was enjoyed, the weary travellers arriving home in time for tea!

Penny Thomas  14th April 2016

Indoor Bowls Group visit Llanelli

On Friday 4th March three hopeful teams of bowlers set forth for the annual match against Llanelli together with a team of reserves.  Pembrokeshire have won the shield for two years in a row.  Could be we make it a third?  There was much excitement on the coach and optimism that we could do it!

Whilst two of Pembrokeshire teams achieved convincing wins the aggregate score saw the shield pass into the hand of Llanelli.  Our reserve team also won but one of our players took part as a member of Llanelli’s team for half the match!  The match was played with the usual good humour and it felt as though it was a meeting of long term friends which, indeed, it was, an excellent lunch followed with much chat and laughter.  We look forward to the return match in 2017.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Meeting 3rd March 2016

This month there were two speakers from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Dave Wilkinson and Rob John.  They duly arrived bright and early but possibly not expecting the type of audience they found.  Dave spoke about ‘Pension Wise’ which is a part of the CAB but unfortunately the information provided was rather too late for many of us – but interesting nonetheless his colleague Rob had a considerable amount of information on how we could reduce our utility bills. Sadly the attempt to go “live” using a member’s bill failed due a technological fault.  However, I am sure many of us who have been with the same energy provider for “donkey’s years” may think about engaging in a check to see whether we could save ourselves a bob or two!  For those whose energy is provided by oil there was little Rob could do to assist but he was a willing listener.

Penny Thomas

General Meeting 4th February 2016

“My Life in Prison” A talk by Brian Ducker, about his life in the Prison Service.

Brian has been a Prison Officer in many prisons, starting with Strangeways and ending in Bristol.

Brian Ducker a former prison officer gave us an insight into life “behind bars”.  Brian worked in the prison service for over 30 years.  For those of us who remembered the television programme, “Porridge” with the late Ronnie Barker in the role of Norman Stanley Fletcher, he was the prison officer Mr Mackay personified.  If something untoward was going on he knew about it!  Brian explained his role was simply to ensure that none of his guests escaped, but when he advised as to the daily menu and particularly that for Christmas and Boxing Days one wondered why on earth they would wish to escape.

Laughter occurred when Joe Reilly, leader of  the Architecture & Design and Woodwork groups indicated he had been inside Parkhurst Prison ……. quickly clarifying it was in a building capacity and not as an inmate!  A most interesting talk and one which will surely generate quite a lot debate about our penal system.

Penny Thomas