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On 5th May, in conjunction with Neyland Twinning Committee and led by Bill McGarvie – chairman of that committee and U3A member, 18 members of the U3A Neyland table tennis group travelled to Sanguinet 60 miles or so from Bordeaux.
We are grateful to the Pembrokeshire U3A Committee who granted us £100 towards the cost of transport to and from Bristol Airport. The trip was largely self-financed but a number of fund-raising initiatives raised sufficient money to allow us to show our appreciation for the hospitality of our French hosts.
We were met at Bordeaux by members of the Sanguinet Table Tennis Club, and taken in 2 minibuses to Les Grand Pins camping site which is situated on Lac Du Sanguinet. Sanguinet is situated in Les Landes region of Aquitaine, and it is a resort which has an off-season population of 5000 which rises to 100000 in summer. The landscape is generally flat, and it is an agricultural area with enormous fields. There was a bank-holiday weekend while we were there which meant the town became a little busier: other than that it was very quiet.
We had to find our own breakfasts but otherwise all meals, apart from one day, were provided including an aperitif with nibbles at 6 o’clock each day. Apart from eating (and drinking) our hosts had prepared a full programme to entertain us; they even arranged for us to be in a Spanish restaurant when the outcome of the French presidential election was announced (to a mixed reception).
We visited the Musee d’Hydravion (seaplanes), of which the French were pioneers, and were given a guided tour by a young German lady who spoke interesting English which we had to supplement with our interesting French. It was fascinating to see the development of the seaplane of which there has been an incredible number of models over the years.
On one day we were taken to Le Pyla Dune an absolutely stunning natural phenomenon near the coast. It is a pile of sand (a dune) about a mile and a half long that just rises out of an otherwise flat landscape. In one place there are steps provided to get to the top, and the views are stunning. After this we paid a short visit to Arcachon which is a very up-market resort.
We were also given a lesson in petanque by the retired gentlemen of Sanguinet, and they certainly showed us what daily practice of an activity can do.
We also managed a lot of games of table tennis including a session with the up-and-coming youngsters of the Biscarosse club who gave us a real run for our money. We were also treated to an exhibition match by the team members of both Sanguinet and Biscarosse which included a 13 year old girl who is phenomenal and has national team potential.
We were transported very efficiently by a team of volunteers from the Sanguinet club with the added bonus that a number of ladies of the group fell for the charms of a young man called Thibault, the son of the club’s president, Natalie.
Thanks to the efforts of the members of both the Sanguiinet and Biscarosse clubs but particularly because of the hard work of Bill and his wife, Joyce, we had an absolutely wonderful time.
FAO knitting group.
At the coffee morning on Wednesday 18th January (10.30am) we are launching our Community Knitting Project!
St Clement\’s Hall, Neyland.
Our aim is to Knit the Bible!
If you are a knitter and would like to be involved please come to the coffee morning.
If you can’t make it but would still like to help please phone Sylvia on 01646 602234.
Needles, wool, and patterns will be supplied but donations are welcome!
MESSAGE FROM BOB LINEKER: By request, the Mah-Jong group will, from June onwards, be meeting twice a month, at 14.00 on the first and third Friday of each month at Mastlebridge Hall. Members can sign up for both or either of the two sessions.
For information contact Bob Lineker
By popular demand we are continuing our theme of Artists We Have Never Heard Of! All meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at Merlin’s Bridge Hall. We start at 10-45 but if you would like to join us for a cup of tea and a biscuit first please come at 10-20. Everybody is welcome and no prior knowledge of art or the artists is needed.
Group leader: Penny Reed 01437 454337
Wednesday 4th November
Ben Langlands & Nikki Bell
Wednesday 7th October
Frida Kahlo – A Mexican artist best known for her self portraits.
Wednesday 2nd September
R B Ktaj – An American artist who spent much of his life in England. Known for his brilliant draughtsmanship and “fierce intelligence”
– Saturday 12 September 2015 Low Tide at Fishguard 14.10 BST
Meet at 10.30 am outside the Sloop Inn at Porthgain SM815326
In the morning we will look at the 19th C. harbour facilities for loading crushed stone and then walk along the coast path to Penclegyr where there are disused quarries in a large dolerite intrusion. The Ordovician slates are well displayed in the Porth Ffynnon inlet.
Lunch at the Sloop Inn or bring a packed lunch.
In the afternoon we drive to Abereiddi and examine the shales containing ‘tuning fork’ graptolites. Then walk over to Trwyncastell headland where the Llanrian volcanics outcrop.
Finish by 3.30pm
John Downes 01646 683034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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A possible New gardening group
Potential Name of the Group – “A little bit of gardening“
To enable us, and possibly those we care for, to enjoy gardening into old age
Meetings, monthly or once per season, to share our gardening experiences, ideas and techniques e.g. Pruning, propagation, weeds, coping strategies as we age, exchange plants/seeds etc
At our house; Mavis and John Roberts.
7, Charles Rd
Leaving Pembroke for Tenby, pass Jewsons on Upper Lamphey Rd. In about 200yards turn left into Croeso Rd and immediately left into Charles Rd. We are the fourth bungalow on the left. Park on our drive or the roadway.
Possible subsequent venues
- Local Garden Centres
- Other members’ gardens
- Blackbird Haven
Mob 07970930476, email email@example.com
First Meeting on Friday June 5th
As requested, we will have two separate groups on this day-10.00-12.00 and 14.00- 16.00
Geology Field Trip
U3A Geological Field Trip to Manorbier and Lydstep Point
Saturday 11 July 2015 Low Tide 8.52 Meet at 10.30 am in the beach car park at Manorbier [SS063976]
In the morning we will walk along the coast path on the east side of Manorbier Bay as far as Rook’s Cave. We will be looking at the features of the Old Red Sandstone including volcanic tuff bands and calcrete formations.
Pub lunch in Lydstep or bring a packed lunch.
In the afternoon we start at the NT car park on the Lydstep headland [SS088977] and walk around the headland examining the Carboniferous Limestone including the spectacular Lydstep Hole and the Gash Breccia at Whitesheet Rock. Finish by 3.30pm
John Downes 01646 683034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Geology at Merlin’s Bridge.
Wed. July 8th Fossils (3) Bivalves and Brachiopods.
Gloria Droy and Anne Church would like to start a new group with people who are keen to get to know some classical plays.
We would do this by reading them aloud (group members taking various roles), and possibly discussing the themes and ideas during tea afterwards.
The group would meet on Thursday afternoons in Haverfordwest. Penny Thomas has kindly offered her home as our meeting place. Sessions could last one and a half hours and we could start with an ‘easy’ Shakespeare, i.e. Romeo and Juliet, and progress from there.
Please could you telephone Anne Church on 01646 697792 or Gloria Droy on 01348 831467 to register your interest.
U3A Geological Field Trip to Nolton Haven and Broad Haven
Saturday 2 May 2015 Low Tide 12.24 pm. Meet at 10.30 am in the car park at Nolton Haven [SM860186]
In the morning we will follow the coastal path from Nolton Haven to Rickets Head to view the Coal Measure cyclothems. The distance is about 1 km and easy walking after climbing the path out of Nolton Haven.
Pub lunch at the Mariner’s Inn in Nolton Haven; or bring a packed lunch and sit on the beach.
In the afternoon we proceed along the coast road to the car park at Haroldston Chins [SM863163] to look at the landslip feature overlooking Druidston Haven. Then onwards to Broad Haven. There is a large car park on the north side of the village at SM863140. We plan to walk along the beach past Emmet Rock to view the Variscan folds in the Coal Measures and also examine the Sleekstone monocline. Finish by 3.30 pm.
Instead of being “funny for money” why not start growing for showing or for eating and for the beauty of your garden or just because it’s such a wonderful thing to do!
Please look forward to and participate in the U3A Horticultural Show on Saturday 1st August 2015 at the Neyland Athletic Club. Entry on the day.
Entry Form and Schedule available from Penny Thomas 12 Kensington Gardens, Haverfordwest SA61 2RL or email@example.com
Gardening Group visit
On a very wet and dismal afternoon the group made their first visit of the year to the garden of David and Eileen Parfitt. We gardeners are not put off by a bit of rain although the inclement weather deterred us from actually venturing into the garden which we viewed from a garden room. The garden itself was originally designed by a former owner of St Ishmaels Nurseries and the Rhos garden centre although David and Eileen, having owned the property for some eight years, are beginning to enhance it by adding their own ideas. Even in the pouring rain it was obvious much care is taken with the lawn, to say, it is manicured is not an overstatement! The impression is a garden of rooms, one the lawn and flower beds another down a flight of stone steps to a sunken area that is surrounded by beautiful stone walls in which stands a fantastic twisted willow and a huge mahonia, David feels this should be pruned but Eileen is having none of it! Beneath these two impressive plants grow clumps helleborus, otherwise known as Christmas rose, in delicate shades of pink and cream. This lovely garden also boast another “room” where Eileen grows vegetables she was, of course, the winner of first prize for her potatoes in the U3A Horticultural Show last year, there is a large potting shed adjacent to which stands a raised bed, which has the appearance of a trestle table but with a large growing area very sensible for the mature gardener! The meeting, although not a usual one, gave an opportunity for lively discussion, watch out, after a mild winter we are in for an infestation of slugs and snails needless to say much advice was offered to control the blighters, a most enjoyable afternoon with a promise of a further visit later in the year.
Sue Clark is unwell at the present time, there will be no meeting this month, 26th February.
Please check with Sue regarding the meeting scheduled for March.
The Netball group has been meeting since last Autumn and would love to have enough members to be able to play a proper game! We have been playing at The Meads Leisure Centre in Milford but in future we shall also be able to meet at the Athletic Centre in Neyland – the dates, times & venues are as follows:
Dates for the Meads (3pm)
Dates for NAC (2.30pm)
|March 11th||March 25th|
|April 8th||April 22nd|
|May 13th||May 27th|
|July 8th||July 22nd|
|August 12th||August 26th|
|September 9th||September 23rd|
|October 14th||October 28th|
|November 11th||November 25th|
All dates are Wednesdays
The cost per member at the Meads is £2.50 and at the NAC it will be 50pence. Many of us haven’t played Netball for quite a number of years & some of us have never played before but it is all good fun & wonderful exercise so if you would like to join us or if you would like further information please contact:
Linda Loam on 01437890613 or Mary George on 01646601509.
12th February Meeting of the Gardening Group to be held at 4b Cedar Court, Haven’s Head Business Park, Milford Haven at 2 p m when Mr Simon Goodenough the Curator of Horticulture at the National Botanical Gardens of Wales will give a talk. All are welcome
On a day that started with howling winds and torrential rain many of the group wondered would our visit to the garden of Anne and Derek Church be cancelled. Cancelled certainly not, that is not within the vocabulary of the gardening group and why, because as we approached the venue the rain stopped and the sun came out!!
Another lovely garden, boasting a new greenhouse in which Derek was bringing on cuttings of his bougainvillea and other plants requiring shelter from the winter weather. The old greenhouse standing all forlorn without any glass but soon to be his alpine house! A vegetable patch presently covered with cardboard atop with grass cuttings an excellent way to prepare the ground for next year’s sowings.
A lovely proportioned garden with an area of decking which sits beneath a sturdy pergola on the corner posts were climbing plants, jasmine in bud, honeysuckle in flower and a climbing rose also in bud and in November! The garden was divided by trellis again adorned by climbing plants, giving the effect of rooms such a lovely feature. Tucked by the side of the trellis stood a very healthy looking Olive Tree, with bougainvillea and olives does Derek not realise this is Pembrokeshire not the Mediterranean!
Anne and Derek have lived at the property for three years and inherited a garden that suffered from lack of attention but which has some magnificent hydrangeas when in flower they are blue in colour but now, in their winter foliage, a deep red wonderful for Christmas decorations. Around the boundaries of the garden there are masses of Mucari (grape Hyacinths) which must be a sight to behold in the spring. Derek is currently building a rock garden using impressive deep red rock which had been excavated from with Milford Docks during the work being undertaken to replace the lock gates they certainly were large rocks. Derek and Anne describe their garden as “work in progress” but isn’t every garden?
A most enjoyable afternoon with the delights of the garden and time spent working out the programme for next year to include the 2015 Horticultural Show make a note for your diaries Saturday 8th August. Before embarking upon our tour of the garden Anne produced a silver cup won at the Hakin Garden Show, well done Anne
Penny Thomas (16th October 2014)
Geology (Update) – John Downes takes over from Graham
We had a cosy tutorial this morning with 5 of us. Our next meeting should be on Wednesday 8th October at 10 30am at Merlins Bridge Community Centre when we will be looking at Sedimentary rocks in hand specimen.
John Downes: 01646 683034 firstname.lastname@example.org
Possible New Group – Netball
A number of ladies have expressed an interest in playing netball. A venue has been looked into and at the moment there is a possibility of playing in Milford on a Wednesday afternoon between 3.00pm.-4.00pm.
This would also incur a charge of somewhere in the region of £2 per head, dependant on numbers.
If you are interested please contact one of the following-
Dawn Payne – mob. 7794903943
Carol Matthews – 01348 768048 email –email@example.com (please note that I am away until 25th September)
Gardens of Falmouth
There will be a 4 day trip to visit gardens in Cornwall, commencing on 10th April 2015.
The gardens in Cornwall are at their most spectacular in April with its exotic tree ferns, rhododendrons magnolias, camellias and many more unusual plants from the slopes of the Himalayas. Together with the warm climate of Cornwall makes this a wonderful weekend away.
Day 1 Friday
Depart Fishguard – pick-up in Haverfordwest Milford Haven, Steynton, Neyland, Pembroke, Milton, Tenby and Kilgetty. Arriving last afternoon in Falmouth for Dinner
Day 2 Saturday
Trebah Garden This is an important garden with many rare plant. Exotic waterside plants, streams cascading over waterfalls, towering rhododendrons of scarlet and pastel shades. National Trust Glendurgan Gardens 26 Acre garden has glorious spring displays of Magnolias, Rhododendrons, primroses, bluebells and many other spring flowers
Day 3 Sunday
Caerhays Castle Garden A thrilling place for a springtime woodland walk. Caerhays hold the national collection of Magnolias. National Trust Trelissick An early 20th century garden of some 30 acres. Rhododendrons, Camellias and extensive woods with Foxgloves
Day 4 Monday
Return Home via National Trust Killerington, Devon 21 acre garden of trees and Mediterranean plants. In spring the Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Magnolias are remarkable.
Hotel 3* Penmere Manor Best Western Falmouth Set in 5 acres on the outskirts of Falmouth with a good range of facilities including leisure complex.
National Trust Members £313. Sharing half board Non Members £337. Sharing half board 4 single rooms available without supplement after £30.00 per night so if you want a single room be quick!! Tour arranged by CJB Garden Tours Chris and Marilyn Barrington 33 Glebelands Johnston Haverfordwest SA62 3PW
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On 10th July the gardening group met in glorious sunshine (of course) in the garden of Colin Hankinson. Colin had expressed concern that his garden may not be worthy of a visit especially should it rain. Well, of course, it didn’t rain and his garden, well, absolutely fantastic. Colin and his late wife moved into the bungalow in 1989, giving him a blank canvas upon which to work he has done so with much thought and careful planning. The plot is wide with large lawns front and back. The front garden is an absolute riot of colour with French Marigolds and boldly coloured Petunias. The marigolds are also in the rear garden atop a large raised bed which also has a water feature and a spread of brightly coloured California Poppies. When questioned as to the origins of said marigolds our host advised they were from seed purchased in a well known supermarket (not one beginning with a T or M but, yes, you have it, an L). I sense many of us will be making a visit next year to said German supplier of all things! To one side, the lawn gives way to vegetables grown in neat rows cut into the grass the most impressive being the runner beans which were fairly dripping with beans this row being sandwiched between rows of blackcurrant bushes and lettuces the latter being interspersed with forget-me-knots. On the patio there are pots containing Hostas, all looking great with not a hole in sight, together with pots of herbs sited close to the kitchen door, how sensible! This garden has left many of us thinking a bit of re-organisation in our own plots wouldn’t go amiss! I am full of hope that the forthcoming Horticultural Show will be a presentation of the fruits of the gardening groups labours so please do join us on 16th August. You will not be disappointed.
U3A Geological Field Excursion to the Green Bridge of Wales and West Angle Bay
Leader: John Downes Saturday 14 June. Meet at 10.30am. Low Tide 14.03 hrs BST
Meet at 10.30am at the Stack Rocks car park [SR926946]. This is a free car park on MOD land. Travelling from Pembroke on the B4319 turn left just west of Merrion army barracks on to a lane signposted to Stack Rocks. In the morning we will walk along the cliffs from the Green Bridge of Wales towards Bullslaughter Bay, looking at the geomorphology and structure of the Carboniferous limestone. We will also examine the ‘gash breccia’, a deposit which is unique to Pembrokeshire! Lunch in Angle at the Hibernian Inn. In the afternoon we visit West Angle Bay to get hands on the limestone looking for brachiopod shells and trace fossils and getting close up to a thrust fault! The walking is not too strenuous but can be a bit rough in parts .Members are reminded that they attend field trips at their own risk and to take all necessary precautions e. g. stout walking boots, warm waterproof clothing, and a walking stick or poles. The group must stay together and anyone wishing to leave early must inform the leader if they wish to leave the group. Contact: John Downes 01646 683034 firstname.lastname@example.org Graham Goodeve: 01437 741716 email@example.com
Spring at Roch Mill
As the gardening group fast approaches its first birthday we revisited, on 9th May, Roch Mill. Our last visit took place in October of last year after a long dry summer. As we approached Roch the mist came down but did our hearts sink not a bit of it, as readers of articles about our visits will know the sun always shines on the group, alright it took a little while but it did shine. Roch Mill is so much more than a garden, with its fully functioning water mill, a source of fascination for the ladies but for the men a feat of engineering not to be dismissed as a nice feature. Approaching the property just before the bridge that spans Brandy Brook ones senses an oasis of calm although I suspect Pat doesn’t feel quite that way when getting stuck into the weeding, a never ending job. There are many Acers, my particular favourite is the Acer Palmatum with its stunning crimson foliage, looked splendid. In the distance, could be seen, in full flower, glorious Rhododendrons in shades of deep pink to a paler version a real blousy crowd pleaser. In the more shaded parts of the garden bluebells are growing amongst the grass so lovely to see in such a natural setting. Having just experienced one of the wettest winters on record, there was considerably more water in the small streams which criss-cross the grounds the waterfall at the rear of the property this time was cascading over the rocks rather than a gentle trickle. A lovely sheltered corner where I was amazed to see Hostas with the flower spikes appearing and felt quite envious when told this is where on a sunny morning breakfast is taken by our hosts. For those of you who wish to know more about Roch Mill do go on line to www.rochmill.co.uk. Finally please support Roch Village in their annual duck race (although I understand the word annual came as a surprise to our hosts) to be held on Sunday 25 May promises to be a real fun time. Next meeting is on 12 June at Egerton House, New Wells Road, Hill Mountain, Houghton SA73 1NG the time please note is 2.30 pm
We are off to Aberglasney on 11th September the cost is £10.00 per person please let me know as soon as possible if you wish to join us and why would you not when we can guarantee a great day out with sunshine!! Tel: 01437 766775 or firstname.lastname@example.org Penny Thomas
New T’ai Chi class
A new T’ai Chi class takes place every Tuesday morning at Llangwm Community Centre. The centre is booked from 9.30 a.m. to 12 noon. There are no terms and students pay £2.00 towards the hire fee when they attend. Currently the class runs from 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. or runs on a bit if the students want to stay longer. If several new students preferred they could come for 10.30 a.m. and the beginner’s class could then run until 11.30 a.m. Another class on another day is also possible if sufficient interest is shown. According to the tradition of Chinese medicine T’ai Chi is preventative medicine. In the same way as Chi Kung, Shiatsu and acupuncture it clears blockages in the meridian along which Chi (The power behind the universe) flows through the human body. From a Western point of view it is an excellent method of exercise which does not put a strain on the cardio-vascular system. It is particularly helpful for those with joint, back or leg problems. Basically it teaches the body how to move properly, improving coordination and balance, strengthening sinews and promoting flexibility. The teacher, Vincent Jones (a U3A member) has practiced martial arts for fifty five years and has been a T’ai Chi teacher for thirty five years. Vincent is one of the original members of the T’ai Chi union of Great Britain and for a number of years assessed the competence of those who wished to become registered T’ai Chi teachers. The current class, of course, is solely for health, relaxation and exercise. Great care is taken to ensure that students do only what their body allows and is comfortable with. With a competent teacher and a diligent student who practices for ten minutes or so a day the form should be learnt in approximately three months. Hopefully, you then spend the rest of your life perfecting it. Vincent would happily teach Push Hands and the eight other forms that he knows to those who wanted to take the art further. If anyone wants further information they can ‘phone Vincent on 07896719478
“UPDATE” International Folk Dance Group (19th January)
Sue Clark has been involved with teaching International Folk Dance for some 40 years and would like to pass her knowledge and experience on to others, with everyone having a lot of laughter and fun along the way. We include dances from around the world covering around fifty countries or ethnic regions. No ’partner’ needed! Sue may be contacted on 01437 710261, please give her a ring for further information. The group held their first meeting at Neyland Athletic Club on the 9th January at 11.00am. It has been decided to meet TWICE a month on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays starting at 11.00am.
NEW GROUP – Cribbage!
Forget about television how about a good old game of cards. Interest has been expressed by some of our members in forming a cribbage group all are welcome from those who remember the scoring fifteen two, fifteen four and one for his nob etc. to absolute beginners. It is proposed that we gather on the first and third Monday of each month at 12 Kensington Gardens, Haverfordwest SA61 2RL. The first meeting would be Monday 6th January at 2.30 if you fancy coming please contact Penny Thomas CLICK HERE!
Maths Group (8th December 2013)
I guess many groups have a natural lifespan, and falling membership suggests the end of the life of the maths group. I’d like to thank all the past and present members for their support and for the fun we’ve had, then let maths die gracefully and take take a Buddhist view by planning its second incarnation. We discussed several ideas for a Spring re-incarnation, and the one which found most favour should appeal to those who find today’s GCSEs, perhaps being done by grandchildren, unrecognisable. The plan would be to work through a current text with the aim of finding and exploring connections with what we did in school. If this proves rewarding we could move on to do a similar thing with A-level. Here are three other ideas for the future: 1. When the group started one of our earliest activities was to tackle a variety of recreational puzzles, some as one-offs, others with a connecting theme, some leading to mathematically significant ideas. We could continue with this, or make it a bit more structured by studying a particular book in more depth. There is a vast ‘puzzles’ literature available. 2. Andrew Holt, the national U3A maths co-ordinator, has given me a list of DVDs and other resources with a maths theme. I’ll investigate whether any of these look promising. 3. I have a dream, not as spectacular perhaps as Martin Luther King’s, that the idea of Einstein’s Special Theory Of Relativity could be appreciated by many more people. What is meant by space and time being relative? Why do moving clocks go slow? Why does the length of an object depend upon its speed? And why does E=mc2 ? Contrary to popular belief the maths required for all this need not go beyond O-level algebra. The hard bit is not the maths but the thinking and a willingness to rethink things previously regarded as obvious. Please get in touch if you could be tempted by any of the above. John Bayliss 01437 731103