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.
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
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
Saturday 12th April. Leader John Downes
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.
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