Wednesday, 11 March 2020

‘Introduction to Photography’ course for FREE

This site may be use to you. Check it out.
Karl Taylor Education free photography course:

Plaque unveiling


  • The plaque to Herbert Ponting will be unveiled at 4pm on Saturday March 21st, at the location of his birthplace, 21 Oatmeal Row in Salisbury Market Place. 
  • The unveiling will be carried out by Wendy Searle, who recently completed a solo expedition to ski unaided, dragging a sledge carrying her supplies and tent, over 700 miles from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole. 
  • It will be followed by tea. All are welcome at the unveiling but there are limited places for tea, which will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If you would like to attend, please contact Janet Patch, 01722 330096,

Film show at St John's Place, Lower Bemerton

The Civic Society and the Bemerton Film Society will be showing The Great White Silence, filmed by Ponting, on March 18th. He recorded almost every aspect of the 1910 expedition – the scientific work, life in camp, the local wildlife, the preparations for the assault on the Pole – and edited his footage into this remarkable feature, complete with vivid tinting and toning. The alien beauty of the landscape is brought dramatically to life and the challenges facing the expedition revealed in brilliant detail.

For this event there is one admission charge of £6 for all - payment at the door. Non-alcoholic beverages will be available at 50p, or a glass of wine for £2.

The doors will open at 6.00pm, with the film starting at 6.30, and ending at about 8.25. Some parking is available opposite the church, in the small car park and on the road. The address is Lower Road, Bemerton, Salisbury SP2 9NT.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Coronavirus Advice

If a member has returned from one of the areas identified by the government and has any of the symptoms identified on the government website they should not hold interest groups in their own homes, or attend interest groups or attend monthly meetings until they have followed the NHS advice provided after calling 111.
If a U3A finds that a member has contracted coronavirus, please let the Trust know immediately.
The members of interest groups that any member with coronavirus has attended should all call 111 to ask for advice.
The monthly meeting should be cancelled for that month (and possibly longer) until the spread of the virus has been assessed.
In general a U3A may consider other precautions such as using hand sanitiser gel in interest groups and monthly meetings and reducing physical contact such as shaking hands until further information becomes available.

Sunday, 9 February 2020


Spire U3A Salisbury

February 2020

From The Editors Desk
This Newsletter is produced by Peter Read this month since Zelah is indisposed. I have produced a copy before so I know what to do. But it would be brilliant if someone in Spire U3A could take over this task. I have quite lot to do already I think.
Now the editor usually tells you the sort of weather you have just experienced. I will not both with that. Instead I will strive to add content and squeeze it all in. And I hope the content will be of interest to you.
There is a part about the Geology group to which you most welcome to join. Stuart has clearly planned well ahead. Unlike my groups which get there by the skin of my teeth.
Last Friday 7th Feb I had precious little idea of what was going to happen. But my ‘students’ came up trumps by showing us their homework. So for instance Roger Ellway had a super 3 minute Audio Visual show about the use of a free program called Fotosketcher. In this he showed the original photograph which the cleverly merged into an image processed in Fotosketcher. The results are quite artistic but it does need the operator to know what that means. We then looked at the Fotosketcher Blog. This has the latest news on this program and many examples of its use.
Also included is a page about a trip to the British Museum organised by another U3A. Well worth while if only to get a day in London.
My sister also belongs to Saxmundham U3A and one of her groups is short story writing. So I have included one of her interesting stories. How she does this is beyond me. She has always be enigmatic. She now has an OU Degree even.


Through our lives change has happened and we have embraced all. But as we get older we resist changes preferring the old comfortable ways. There is not much point in learning new things.
ONWARD group is my small attempt to hold back this tendency. We shall be actively looking for Change. Looking for something different and novel.
There are many tools to help us on the Internet and we will make full use of these.
The technicalities of modern life is daunting to many of us and this also something I want to tackle.
Peter Read 501218

Geology Group Programme to June 2020

February 18th Field Trip. City Wall (Exeter Street Section) followed by Cathedral Tour, led by Phil Whitemore. Meet at No.20 at 10.00 or by Video Display in the Cathedral Cloisters, at 10.45. Ending with lunch in the Refectory around 12 noon. (A table will be reserved for us.)

March 17th Indoor Study Session 10.00 to 12 noon. The Cretaceous Period, to include Chalk and Flint formation. Local geology. Practical work with stereo microscopes.
April 21st Field Trip. Harnham Chalk Pit and other local chalk exposures. Meet at No.20 at 10.00.
May 19th Indoor Study Session 10.00 to 12 noon. Minerals. General study to include classification systems. Followed by practical work - hardness testing per Mohs' Hardness Scale and other methods to assist identification - i.e. streak colour, flame tests and specific gravity measurement.
June 16th Field Trip. West Somerset coast at East Quantoxhead,
reached via Sandstone Quarry near Williton. Meet at No.20 at
08.00 for 08.30 departure.

Country House Visiting

Some years ago Spire boasted three separate groups that visited the many country houses within striking distance of Salisbury. They were very popular but after a while all the members then had seen them all. Now is the time for a revival of this concept.
Pertinent to which I had an email about a country house nearby that want us to visit. Below is their request.

I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch, I noticed on your website that you arrange outings and group visits for your U3A members and I thought Avington Park might be of interest to you.
Avington Park is a privatly owned statley home in Hampshire, located 5 miles from Winchester in the beautiful Itchen Valley. Described by William Cobbett as “one of the prettiest places in the County”.
The house is first mentioned in the Domesday Book with a fascinating history, playing host to Charles II and George IV. The house boasts wonderful rooms the beautifully painted Main Hall, the Library overlooking the south lawns, adjoining and leading onto a unique pair of Conservatories, the old Dining Room and the Ballroom upstairs with a magnificent gold plasterwork ceiling and painted panels yet Avington retains the atmosphere and warmth of a family home.

We welcome groups throughout the year by appoinment and can tailor the catering to suit your time of visit and budget. Please find attached further information.
If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Kind regards, Amy Avington Park, Winchester
Hampshire, SO21 1DB 01962 779 260

So if you want an interesting way of spending a day in the company of like minded folk then all you need to do is talk to a Committee member and they will make a signing on form. All you need to do is to get together with signed up members and decide which house to visit and the dates to do this. Being a member of National Trust or English Heritage helps. PR

Georgina and the Scratch
By Sue Thompson
Georgina stood staring at the mark, she was shaking with anger and felt very hurt. Her lovely new car, her prized possession was scarred and no longer perfect. She took her phone from her pocket and make a call.
“Hello Ted, its Georgina Parker here.”
“Yes I’m fine, how are you?”

“Well not actually I’m not fine, I’m furious. I’m living in Mum and Dad’s house now and my car has been vandalised.
Ted replied he was sorry to hear that, he asked a few more questions and then said he would be round immediately.
Ted Jones, had been her dad’s detective Sergeant and for many years had been almost part of their family. She had had an enormous crush on for most of her teenage years, he had never shown any signs of noticing her. Georgina had met up with him at the funeral, were she was pleased to note his promotion to detective chief inspector.
Georgina, after looking up and down the road several times and stroking her poor scarred car, went back up the front path and into her front door.
Over the road her irate neighbour watched from behind some very fancy net curtains.
Half an hour later Georgina’s doorbell rang and she opened the door to a young man, dressed smartly in a dark grey suit with a white shirt and a very flamboyant
”Hello Georgina, nice to see you again, even if the circumstances are distressing”
“Yes, it's lovely to see you too Ted. Come in, or do you want to see the damage first?"
"No, I think I need to have a chat first, any coffee or tea on the go" Ted smiled and Georgina felt a pang, he reminded her of times when her life was exciting, everything was new and she had felt safe and protected by family.
Georgina led the way into the kitchen at the back of the house and offered him tea or coffee. He asked for coffee and while she was making it, Ted
was wandering round the house making the odd comment about the alterations she had made.
"You haven't changed it much,” he said,” I still get the same cosy family feeling here, I used to love it when your mum made me stay for supper after I had driven your dad home. She was lovely, your mum."
Coffee made and packet of biscuits opened the two of them sat at the kitchen table and ted got out his notebook.
“What is the nature of the vandalism, Georgina?” he asked.
“There is a big white mark down the side of my new car. It’s parked outside on the road. I had to leave it there because of the builders had parked the skip right across the driveway.”
"Have you any idea who might have done this?”
"Take your pick “she said “there is a man over the road who came over yesterday and wanted me to move the skip, he really told me off, said his wife couldn’t get her car out. Then there is my friend Beth who was almost green with envy when she saw
the car, but I very much doubt its her, she is too nice to think of doing anything so spiteful. My boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend is known to exact revenge on you if you get in her way and then there are the yobs who were messing about in the skip and I had to tell them off, they did get quite abusive. So you see a lot to choose from"
"Hmmm yes there are. Who shall we start with?"
Georgina replied that the man over the road was probably the easiest because he was nearby. So the two of them finished their coffee and went out the front door. Walking around the car Ted wandered around to the driver’s side to check the damage.
The mark was about a quarter of an inch wide and looked sticky, Ted touched it gently with his forefinger, the mark smudged, he rubbed harder and it faded. Taking out his handkerchief he rubbed at the mark, it disappeared! He rubbed a bit more with his finger and sniffed it, frowning he turned to Georgina and said.
“I might be wrong, but I think this is toothpaste!”

British Museum visit 24 February 2020

We have arranged a visit to London on Monday, 24 February, so that we can take advantage of the discount of £10.00 per person which the British Museum offers to Senior Citizens for admission to its special exhibitions on Monday afternoons, and wonder whether any of you would like to join us. The exhibition in question is “Troy: myth and reality” (see troy-myth-and-reality for further details). Even if you don’t want to see the exhibition, you would be welcome to come for the ride, and “do your own thing”: for instance: there is an exhibition of the treasures which were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb at the Saatchi Gallery (see for further details). We are leaving it to you to book your own tickets for the Tutankhamun exhibition, and any other events; and there are many other galleries and museums you might like to visit.
We are leaving Tesco’s (Blandford) PROMPTLY at 8 am, and expect to be dropped at the Montague Place entrance to the British Museum at about 11.30; and leave London at 4 pm. Please could you meet us at the Montague Place entrance at 3.45, so we can check that you are all there. We are also calling at the Millstream Coach Park, Salisbury, at 8.45 am to collect passengers there, so please could you let us know whether you’ll be joining the coach at Blandford or Salisbury.
The cost of TRAVEL on this excursion is based on 30 people travelling in the coach, and is £23.50 per person (it might be a bit more or a bit less depending on the number of people who come); so please DON’T send any money YET: Coach are £22.00
Entry to exhibition £10.00 Tip for the driver £1.50 Total £33.50
It is IMPERATIVE that you book in advance so that we can keep an eye on numbers; and please would you let us know whether you would like to come by 18 JANUARY: we know, from past experience, that we have to book early to take advantage of the BM’s discount for Senior Citizens.
Please would you let us know your land line, and mobile phone, telephone numbers so we can keep our contact lists up-to-date.
We regret we cannot return cheques, or refund payments; but we MIGHT be able to “sell” your place to someone else. Bridget Spiers Tel.: 01258 455081

New Members Meeting 6th Feb

A meeting to tell new members how Spire works. 10 new mem- bers were present in the luxury of the Grasmere Hotel. In addition most of the Committee were there to assist.
John Holt Chairman introduced everyone and then asked Stuart Robson Hon Treasurer to explain our costings. He gave members a new Gift Aid form to allow Spire U3A to get money from the government.
Then Peter Read Vice-chairman showed members the depths of the Spire U3A website. There many parts here that some Committee members were not fully aware of. This applied particularly to the Links to U3A sites for instance the Virtual U3A.
The Virtual U3A or vU3A is like a local U3A Group except that its activities take place on the Internet. An important target group for the vU3a is older people who are isolated through location, illness or immobility - but all are welcome. We have members from around the world.’
Click on this photograph to enlarge

Other links go to very useful places for help in things like tax, stair lifts, household quotes and some health sites.
The link to the U3A Anniversary Song with music amused members. It was even suggested that we should sing this at the start of our coffee morning meetings!

Wednesday, 15 January 2020


9:15 Coffee available in Ellis Theatre Foyer
09:30 Welcome Memorial Hall
09:45 Climate Change – is it really real? Penny Tranter, Meteorological Office
Global ‘Climate Change' has created global concern. In this presentation we will look at: the causes, projected impacts, possible steps for mitigation and the need for greater understanding of climate change and greater global awareness of the issue.
10:45 Coffee Ellis Theatre Foyer
11:05 Fusion Power. Within our grasp? Robin Stafford Allen formerly Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
The world energy issue will be covered and then I will move on to showing what nuclear fusion is (power generation free from CO2 and nuclear waste) and how it is being researched using the machines in UK (JET) and the latest machine in France (ITER). I will endeavour to show the progress toward putting fusion generated electricity onto the grid within our lifetime
12:05 Buffet Lunch Adderley Room
13:30 The Circular Carbon Economy Professor Peter Edwards FRS, University of Oxford
Carbon will continue as a necessary component for our energy future – but – only with its continued use in a sustainable and circular manner. Our Carbon Economy must therefore become a closed loop, Circular Carbon Economy. The Circular Carbon Economy is the route to a world economy that is both restorative and regenerative
14:30 Societal Perceptions of Climate Change and Support for Low Carbon Lifestyles Dr Katharine Steentjes, University of Cardiff
The challenge set out by international agreements, to keep global warming to below 2°C, will require drastic changes to our lifestyles. This talk will examine current shifts in public perception and look at what motivates behaviour change. The aim being to understand psychological barriers and motivations to embrace low carbon lifestyles on both individual and a societal levels.
15 30 Closing Words; Tea Ellis Theatre Foyer
16:00 Departure
Penny Tranter
Penny Tranter is currently a Met Office Advisor working in Southwest England and is involved in providing professional meteorological and climate advice, primarily on severe weather, to emergency responders and planners. Penny has worked in the Met Office for over 35 years originally as a professional weather forecaster. Previous roles have included: national and international BBC weather presenter between 1992 and 2008, Meteorology Training Manager at the Met Office College 2008 to 2011 and a member of the successful official Met Office weather forecasting team for the sailing events in Weymouth during the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
Penny is a Chartered Meteorologist and a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. She enjoys sailing, powerboat instructing, swimming, walking, cinema, theatre, watching tennis, Bath and 6 Nations Rugby, and girlie weekends.
Climate Change – is it really real?
Global Climate Change is a major concern of the world today, and the foremost environmental problem of the 21st century. Climate is the weather averaged over a long period of time, usually 20 or 30 years; Climate Change refers to an increase in average global temperatures. Natural events and increasingly human activities are believed to be the source of the increase in average global temperatures, caused primarily by increases in “greenhouse” gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Human activities having caused most of the recent world warming by releasing such greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Although it is difficult to connect specific weather events to Climate Change, increases in global temperatures are predicted to cause broader changes, including glacial retreat, arctic shrinkage, worldwide sea level rise and changes to climates across the world. Climate Change is an emerging threat on a global scale, including to public health, agriculture, infrastructure, unsustainable communities, businesses and economies. Thus, global ‘Climate Change' has created global concern. In this presentation we will look at: the causes, projected impacts, possible steps for mitigation and the need for greater understanding of climate change and greater global awareness of the issue.

Robin Stafford Allen
Robin has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, he also has an MSc in Bioengineering. He started professional life in the motor industry at Vauxhall/Bedford in Luton. Then worked for several years on the engineering of the first generation of MRI magnets and cryostats with Oxford Magnet Technology.
He joined Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE)in 1992, and worked in Cryogenics and in the Heating and Fuelling of plasmas. He spent a sabbatical six years as Director of Engineering for a small company on the Culham site designing and constructing a large 1-metre-bore special superconducting magnet for the AMS-2 experiment (a mass-spectrometer) which was launched on the penultimate Shuttle flight to the International Space Station. Until retirement four years ago he worked full time at CCFE on the mechanical engineering of the plasma-heating equipment for the ITER machine, and the British fusion research effort MAST machine.
He works part time for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and lectures part-time on Engineering at Oxford Brookes University.
Fusion Power. Within our grasp?
The world population is growing at an astounding rate, the standard of living is also rising, consequently the demand for energy is rising faster than the population growth rate. Currently the vast majority of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels. Reserves of these are finite; their contribution to Global Warming means we may face a serious food shortage, severe weather variations and loss of land mass if the climate changes radically.
Renewable energy sources provide only a few percent of the energy for the world and almost all renewable, with the exception of hydroelectric power, are “in addition” to power stations and not “ instead of” power stations and cannot be relied upon for “base-load” energy supply continuously.
Nuclear fission has contributed a significant amount to the base-load supply, but there are issues with this technology. Consequently Nuclear fusion, the process that powers the sun where hydrogen is transmuted to helium releasing energy in the process, is being examined.
Professor Peter Edwards FRS
Peter Edwards is professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Oxford University and a core member of Oxford Energy ( and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. He is the recipient of the Corday-Morgan Medal (1985), the Tilden Lectureship (1993–94) and Liversidge Award (1999) of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was awarded the 2003 Hughes Medal of the Royal Society for his distinguished work as a solid state chemist. In the spring of 2012 he was elected International Member of the American Philosophical Society; one of only four people from the UK in that year to be awarded this honour across all subjects and disciplines. He was elected as a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.
The Circular Carbon Economy
The United Nations Environment Programme finds that global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels will reach 41 gigatonnes by 2040 – well above the 19 gigatonnes needed to keep global warming below 2°C. Curbing greenhouse gas emissions will only be solved by strong international collaborations with big fossil-fuel users and producers, notably China, the USA, India, and the Middle East. In this talk, I will outline our vision that carbon will continue as a necessary component for our energy future – but – only with its continued use in a sustainable and circular manner. Our Carbon Economy must therefore become a closed loop, Circular Carbon Economy
Major components to the Circular Carbon Economy will centre on :
  1. Transforming the greenhouse gas emitters; carbon dioxide and methane into valuable products;
  2. Stripping hydrogen from natural hydrocarbon fuels to produce carbon-free, “Green Hydrogen
  3. Converting carbon dioxide directly from flue gas emissions of power stations to fuels, high-value chemicals and electricity;
  4. Converting nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water to safe and sustainable energy stores;
  5. Deconstructing plastic waste to its constituent building blocks.
The Circular Carbon Economy presents the biggest opportunity for academia, industry, business and governments to make a positive impact on our planet. It is also the route to a world economy that is both restorative and regenerative.
Dr Katharine Steentjes
Katharine Steentjes is a Social Psychologist and currently works for the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations
at Cardiff University. She has worked on several international research projects examining public perceptions of environmental risks (such as climate change), policy strategies, energy solutions and psychological factors underlying these views. Katharine’s particular research interest concerns social normative processes surrounding climate change, how norms are communicated interpersonally and how society (might) shift towards more sustainable lifestyles. Having a focus on communicating research findings to wider audiences, Katharine has been involved in public engagement events, recommendation reports, launch events and policy briefings.
Societal perceptions of climate change and support for low carbon lifestyles
This talk will provide insights into public understandings of climate change and support for related solutions. The challenge set out by international agreements to keep global warming to below 2°C, will require drastic changes to our lifestyles. Recent public perception data shows that public concern about climate change has increased and the issues has gained prominence in the public discourse.
This talk will outline theories and empirical evidence around these current shifts in public perception and will also look at motivators of behaviour change. Thereby, we will aim to understand psychological barriers as well as motivators to embrace low carbon lifestyles on an individual level and on a societal level.
Joining Arrangements
Marlborough College is located on the A4 on the Western edge of Marlborough (postcode SN8 1PA). Parking (at no charge) is available on the Water Meadows pitch (see attached map) which is accessible through the gate (no 4) adjacent to the Memorial Hall and will be marked by a U3A ‘flag’.
Refreshments and Lunch
Coffee is available from 09:15 in the Ellis Theatre Foyer (No. 31 on the map) The formal events will begin at 09:30 in the Memorial Hall (No. 50)
Morning coffee break is from 10:45 to 11:05 again in the Ellis Theatre Foyer
Lunch will be from 12:05 to 1:30. Regrettably the space for buffet lunch at the College is limited to 110 people because of space restrictions (the College will be in full operation on May 5th) and places will be distributed on a first come – first served basis. You may opt not take the lunch in which case the fee is reduced by £5 and if all places for lunch are filled and you cannot be accommodated the £5 reduction will be applied too. (Marlborough College is generously subsidising all refreshments) Marlborough Town Centre is two minutes’ walk from the College and there are numerous places available for lunch from light (Food Gallery; Polly’s) to substantial (Rick Stein; Dan’s at the Crown). Please note that eating and drinking in the Memorial Hall is not allowed and attendees are requested not to wander about the College apart from between the Memorial Hall and the Ellis theatre.
After the last session and some closing words, tea and cake will be available in the Ellis Theatre Foyer from 3:30.
Please complete and return the accompanying Registration Form if you wish to attend the meeting.

U3A name and membership number
Phone or mobile number
Lunch Option
No Lunch Option (£5 fee reduction)
Dietary requirements (if any)
Mobility requirements (if any)
Payment (Bank transfer preferred)
Select one
Bank Transfer
Details Below
Details Below
Fee; £20.00 per person (U3A members only), fee includes attendance, car parking, coffee/tea and lunch. Subtract £5 if not taking Marlborough College provided lunch
Deadline for receipt of payment and booking forms is 17th April 2020.
Bank transfer to ‘U3A in Kennet’ Sort Code, 30-92-63 Account No. 42720960. Please use SID ‘your surname’ as the payment reference and email your registration form to
Cheque payment to ‘U3A in Kennet’ and send it along with your registration form to
Treasurer, U3A in Kennet
Westview Cottage
Lockeridge, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 4EQ