The group is visiting Picton Castle on Thursday 13th September. Entrance cost will be £7.00 which includes a tour of the Castle. If you wish to join us please contact me on 01437 766775 or email@example.com. Some of the group may wish to have lunch at Maria’s Café and I shall have a menu available to enable meals to be pre-booked and for this reason we will meet in the car park at 12 noon.
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.
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.
12th July 2018
1. Entrants must be U3A members.
2. Exhibits must be staged from 8.30 to 10.20.
3. Entrants may submit only 2 entries per class.
4. Entrants must provide their own containers (vases etc.)
5. No exhibits may be removed before 4 pm.
6. The Judge’s decision is final.
7. The committee accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss or accident.
Penny Thomas 01437 766775 firstname.lastname@example.org
Entry Forms can be downloaded here CLICK HERE
This might interest U3A members!
This group now meets EVERY Tuesday, 10.30 to 11.30 at Neyland Athletic Club.
Firstly a huge thank you to everyone who came to Cardiff, smiled their way through 8+ hours of an extremely hot and stuffy Jubilee Hall and played magnificently.
This year the competition was open to teams from England, was very much bigger and we met with a lot of serious and dedicated league players. There were 34 teams and everyone played an average of 9 matches. Overall we took 7th place (Gaynor Evans & Tony Tiffen) and 9th place (Chris Harries and myself), and the trophy for Group 4 went to Pauline Tiffen & Geraint Williams. John Healey partnered Pat Mason who kept going even though still recovering from an injured wrist, and Ray Lockyer was partnered by Margaret Carter, our newest member. All of them did us proud.
Receiving their trophy from Ron Davies board director of Table Tennis Wales,
Pauline Tiffen and Geraint Williams
The Sophia Gardens cafeteria provided very good breakfasts and lunches. Thanks go to Chris who organised a Portuguese meal on Monday night, and to Gaynor who took us back to last year’s Italian restaurant on Tuesday – both excellent meals. Thanks also to Muriel who was unable to play but stayed with us all day and gave help and encouragement. Last but not least we owe thanks to Phil Avery who gave the time and effort to organise the competition.
This month, Simon Hancock, social historian and curator of Haverfordwest Town Museum, shares his fascinating research into witchcraft in seventeenth-century Pembrokeshire.
When we think of witches and witchcraft there is an almost instinctive mind picture of an isolated, warty old woman, invariably accompanied by a pet cat. This stereotype is culled from popular literature, folk and fairy tales. Our knowledge of witchcraft prosecutions is dominated by the person of Matthew Hopkins, ‘Witchfinder General’ in East Anglia during the English Civil Wars and even more so by the Salem witch trials at Salem in Massachusetts in 1692. Witchcraft accusations tell us a lot about the role of women in society, male attitudes and forms of control, relationships within communities and how local conflicts were resolved.
Simon’s is interest was awakened by reading Richard Suggett’s excellent book A History of Magic and Witchcraft in Wales, published in 2008, in which he mentions a number of local cases. This prompted Simon to consult the actual court papers of the Great Sessions which heard such cases.
Across England and Wales between 300 to 1,000 people were executed for witchcraft, the great majority of whom were women, although in Wales prosecutions were rare. Most accusations, when they were made, were thrown out by grand juries. There were five executions for witchcraft in Wales, the last being at Anglesey in 1655. There were no executions in Pembrokeshire but around half a dozen cases are mentioned. Perhaps the most interesting appear during the final flourish of witchcraft accusations in the 1690s.
The earliest known case dates from 1607 when Katherine Lewis, the wife of Thomas Bowen of Tenby, labourer, was suspected of bewitching some pigs at Gumfreston. Two sows ran about ‘in a most strange manner’ and lost their litters. Witchcraft was part of the mental furniture and viewed the supernatural, cursing, charms, cunning folk and belief in diabolical forces as part of everyday life. Quakers were initially suspected of associations with witchcraft. In 1668 at Haverfordwest, Hugh Lloyd had become ‘distracted’, saying the Quakers had enchanted him and that Quaker women were ‘inchanted Devills’.
Perhaps the most interesting local case of witchcraft accusation occurs in that of Olly (Olivia Powell) of Loveston in 1693. A whole list of calamities supposedly followed in her wake, including the destruction of a rick of hay, sows sickening and poultry suddenly expiring. When one man refused to give her ‘coals’ (an interesting reference to local mining) he soon developed unexplainable pain in his legs. Other Pembrokeshire cases include a cattle thief who met a man with horns who induced him to steal at Narberth fair in 1612, and a cunning man or conjurer at Llanychaer in 1693.
The last indictment for witchcraft in Wales occurred at Haverfordwest in 1699. Dorcas Heddin, a native of Cambridgeshire, was accused of bewitching sailors on a ship which was bound for Virginia. The Devil appeared to her in the image of a black man and demanded three drops of her blood. He offered to founder the vessel but Dorcas only wanted the two men who had short rationed her to be struck down with sickness. The examinations of Dorcas and Olly Powell were heard at Haverfordwest Castle, so the medieval structure was still being used officially on the cusp of the eighteenth century.
Based on Simon Hancock’s talk and an article in the Western Telegraph 13th August 2014
Friday 11th May at Neyland Athletic Club.
Organised ably by Peter & Ann Brown
Another fine turnout equalling last year’s record attendance saw 19 teams compete at Neyland in our annual General Knowledge Quiz on Friday. 15 teams from our own U3A were joined by 3 from Narberth U3A & 1 from Preseli U3A to scrap it out over 9 rounds of questions. After last year’s very close finish, this time our own “The Amnesiacs” (Helen & Peter Kift, & Wendy Symonds) seized the lead in round one & kept it throughout to win with an impressive 104 points out of a possible 120, holding off the “Narberth Nerds” in 2nd place with 99, & Preseli’s “Fishguard Fencibles” in 3rd with 96. “Densa” (Anne & Derek Church, Marcia Whitehead, & Geoff Winterman) finished 4th, Narberth’s second team 5th, & “The Newbies” (Daphne & Graham Morgan, Alan Colley, & Paul Williams) 6th……….. Peter Brown
Winning Team – The “Amnesiacs” Featuring Helen & Peter Kift together with Wendy Symonds. Our Chair Penny Thomas & organiser Peter Brown congratulate the winners.
Some of the 19 teams taking part can been seen below!
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.
‘Samaritans’ is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline. Leo and Gil from the Haverfordwest branch gave us an informative talk about the wonderful and important work that they do.
Samaritans began in 1953 in London, founded by a vicar called Chad Varah. Throughout his career Chad had offered counselling to his parishioners, and wanted to do something more specific to help people struggling to cope and possibly contemplating suicide.
The initial idea for Samaritans came from the first funeral Chad conducted early on in his career: a girl aged 14 had started her period, but having no one to talk to believed that she had a sexually transmitted disease and took her own life.
Chad was immensely moved by this senseless loss of life, “I might have dedicated myself to suicide prevention then and there, providing a network of people you could ‘ask’ about anything, however embarrassing, but I didn’t come to that until later”.
When Chad was offered charge of the parish of St Stephen in the summer of 1953 he knew that the time was right for him to launch what he called a “999 for the suicidal”. He was, in his own words, “a man willing to listen, with a base and an emergency telephone”.
The first call to the new service was made on 2nd November 1953 and this date is recognised as Samaritans’ official birthday.
Chad knew he would need to get word out about the service. Luckily he wrote and illustrated articles for children’s comics, so he knew many of the journalists who worked on national newspapers. The service received lots of press coverage and on December 7th, 1953 the Daily Mirror coined the term “Telephone Good Samaritans” and although Samaritans is not a religious organisation, the name has stuck and become synonymous with the idea of people being there for others struggling to cope.
The newspaper coverage worked and Chad received many callers wanting support both on the phone and face to face, as well as people wanting to help as volunteers. Initially the volunteers’ duties were to sit with the callers whilst they waited for their appointment, offering them someone to chat to, but it soon became clear that their role was much more central to the service. Often, the callers would pour out their problems to volunteers and many felt no need to speak to Chad afterwards.
The simple act of listening and offering non-judgmental support was enough for most callers, and Chad realised the power of the service was in providing a safe space so people could talk and be listened to, without judgment.
Publicity for the London-based service created a lot of interest elsewhere in the UK and as a consequence several more Samaritans centres were set up in the following years – the second being Samaritans in Edinburgh which took its first call on 1st June 1959. There are now 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
In February 1954, Chad officially handed over the task of supporting the callers to the volunteers, and Samaritans as we know it today was born. Samaritans service today still operates on Chad’s guiding principles of confidential, non-judgmental support.