Pembrokeshire U3A held a Monthly Meeting at Haverfordwest Cricket Club on the morning of Thursday 3rd March. Some 43 members took part, many meeting friends and colleagues for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID infection.
Jan Manning, Chair of Pembrokeshire U3A, welcomed everyone and outlined some of the events planned to celebrate thirty years of the U3A movement’s activities here in Pembokeshire.
With the current conflict in Ukraine on everyone’s mind members suggested the we held a collection to support help to the victims of the invasion. There was an enthusiastic response and a collection of £233 quickly accumulated.
The meeting concluded with an entertaining talk by Derek Church on his newly discovered family history. Lock-down gave him the opportunity to set about researching his ancestry, and the result was finding previously unknown relatives in all parts of the UK and the world, together with many a funny and touching stories to go into his family story.
Half a dozen members of the U3A Natural History Group were blessed with a sunny day sandwiched between two very wet ones when they met at Abercastle on Wednesday 29th September to seek out grey seal pups along our coastline. A Natural History highlight of our county famous nationally.
Members Pete and Carol Hall shared their wealth of fascinating knowledge about seals gathered working at a local seal rescue centre as they led us along the coast path to look down on the secluded beaches shielded by high cliffs where our mother seals come in late summer and early autumn to have their pups. We were rewarded by the sight of about a dozen pups, and in some cases their mothers guarding and in one case feeding them. We also got the “once over” as we set off from a bull seal, cruising in Abercastle Harbour near the nursery beaches in the hope of fathering next year’s pups. Female seals mate soon after giving birth.
After being enthralled by the seal spectacle, on the way back our group visited the 5,000-year-old Neolithic Carreg Samson Dolmen, in a scenic spot overlooking the coast. Some then sat down on the grass by the sea in the sunshine to enjoy a picnic, nicely rounding off what was generally seen as a most worthwhile morning.
The Natural History Group will be going out for at least one more outdoor activity at the end of October. All U3Aers welcome!
Interested: contact the Group Leader: email@example.com
Natural History Group Leader.
Pic 1 Pete enthrals us with his knowledge of seals.
Pic 2 A bull seal keeps an eye on us
Pic 3 Off we go!
Pic 4: Seal Beach
Pic 5: Mother and Baby
Pic 6: Carreg Samson dolmen
(Thanks to Myles Huthwaite for pics 4 and 5)
Indoor Bowls has re started but at a new start time of 9.15am to start bowling at 9.30am, this is to allow cleaning to take place before the next session ( Covid 19 precautions).
The session started with a minutes silence to allow bowlers to pay their last respects to
Margaret Lloyd who sadly passed away during lock-down.
The days remain the same Monday, Wednesday & Friday but time is now 9.15am
We are only allowed a maximum of 16 players per session so if you wish to attend a session you will need to ring me THE DAY BEFORE ON :- 01646 663623 to book in. It will be on a first come first served basis.
Everyone agreed it was great to be back playing again as we had all missed the social and exercise elements of the game.
Below a few photos of the resumption of play.
Stay safeJohn Hodge
Group leader U3A Indoor Bowls Group.
Today we were all impressed by the address by Mrs Katie Macro, who is the Community Co-ordinator for our Air Ambulance Service Charity and works from the head office in Llanelli.
Our Air Ambulance Service covers the whole of Wales from 8am-8pm every day. Last year they covered 3,600 missions. Since 2001 they have operated 34,211 missions and 20% were in S & W Wales. (Sounds like the missions that Spitfires & Mosquitoes completed in WW2). They work closely with the other emergency services and it costs about £6.5 million a year to keep one fully equipped and operational. The aim is to have a 24 hour service, and this would be possible but would need an additional injection of about £6m.
There are 5 Helicopters in all – the H145 Airbus which can travel at 150 mph and which is fully equipped for emergency transfer to the nearest appropriate hospital and which can include a NHS doctor and also H135 which is especially equipped for children and young people, pregnant mums with problems etc. There have been occasions where the patient has been in Theatre before the family could arrive.
What is most impressive is that the helicopters can reach everyone in Wales, after take off time, in 20 minutes. All they need is a site about the size of a tennis court to land – which we know all about at Withybush Hospital.
Katie illustrated the help they were able to give for a 4yr old boy who had two hours to be taken to London for an emergency liver transplant, and who received the surgery far quicker from any one here could get to London, and also for someone who had driven off a cliff at St Davids. (I am still puzzling about this one!)
Katie is charged with Community Fund Raising and welcomes volunteers and fund raising events to help with the running of the Wales Air Ambulance Service. She can be contacted on e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07817 961 207.
The Chairman thanked Katie for joining us and presented her with a voluntary collection of £120.15p from our members towards her fundraising
Carol Matthews (helped by Bob) talks about Growing up in Merlin’s Bridge
In 2010 when Bob & I were planning our move back to Pembrokeshire our friends in Owlsmoor were intrigued by our address i.e. Merlin’s Bridge. Although growing up here I’d never given it a thought but after arriving here we began looking into the meaning which we discovered had nothing whatsoever to do with a wizard but was just a derivation of ‘Maudlin.’ We also started looking at the old postcards which my parents had inherited from my great aunts – they were my maternal grandmother’s sisters who had been ‘in service’ all their lives & as I said if my Great Aunt Polly had been alive today she would have been constantly on social media because she was a prolific sender of postcards & therefore also received many postcards! Many of these were views throughout Pembrokeshire which inspired us to go out & try & take the exact modern day views – not always easy as trees had grown up or access was barred due to buildings etc. However, it seems that we all enjoy nostalgia & we still have more postcards to match up with today’s views so when we have time we could possibly do another ‘Memories of Pembrokeshire’!