Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Friends of the Harnham Water Meadows Trust: Open events during winter and spring, 2011

The Friends of Harnham Water Meadows Trust is pleased to announce its programme of open events between January and May 2011. Children are always welcome, but for safety they should be supervised. No dogs please as the meadows are farmland.
Public demonstrations of ‘drowning’. Water meadows are traditionally irrigated (‘drowned’) during the winter and early spring, this brings forward the ‘early bite’ of grass for livestock. The Harnham Water Meadows Trust is proud of its restoration programme that has been funded by the Friends, the former Salisbury District Council and the Environment Agency and assisted by many volunteers. We are now able to drown key areas, all accessible from Town Path.
The demonstrations are planned for:
Saturday 8th January
Saturday 29th January
Saturday 5th February and
Saturday 12th February
On each occasion, meet 10.00am at Rose Cottage, the programme takes about 1hr 30 min. Admission is free, there will be an invitation to make a donation to the Trust at the end, and light refreshments in the cottage from 11.30am. Natural circumstances may cause cancellation at short notice. Teachers are especially welcome, but there will be other opportunities to demonstrate drowning to school parties.
Demonstrations Saturday 26th February through to Saturday 12th March. Demonstrations may be arranged by appointment for schools and community groups. We invite a donation to the Trust, based on a minimum of £1 per pupil.
Spring Open Day Saturday 26th March. Come to Rose Cottage between 10.30am and 4.00pm. For the Friends this is the herald of spring. Admission is free, a sale of publications and light refreshments are available.  Guided walks at 11.00am and 2.30pm (£2.50 for adults; under 16s free).
Family Environment Event Saturday 7th May. Rose Cottage is open between 2.00pm and 5.00pm (admission £1, under 16s free). There is a guided walk at 2.30pm (£2.50 for adults; under 16s free). We invite a range of local environmental organisations, there are events for children.
Summer open days and walks on the meadows. These were successful during 2010 and a programme will be announced later.

          Hadrian Cook, November 2010

Friday, 22 October 2010

For Sale

One ‘EPSON perfection 1650’ scanner complete with leads.
Computer mouse, one new and another new one still in unopened pack.
A variety of computer leads.
Collection of above in return for a donation to ‘SALISBURY TRUST FOR THE HOMELESS’.
For further details please contact Phyllis Babb, 
 01722 504017

Sci-Tech Meeting on Monday 25th October changed

Our speaker is unable to be with us on Monday because of a bereavement in his family.  So at the last moment we have managed to get another speaker.
So at great expense we shall present Colin Macklin who will give us a talk on the fundamentals of Meteorology or how the weather works.
Ted Mustard's talk is postponed until later in the season. Date not fixed as yet.
See the web page HERE

Monday, 4 October 2010

SciTech Programme now on line

The programme for this season is now available HERE
You will notice that there are several gaps.  These will be filled as soon as we can get speakers to agree to come.
There are now four of us working on the programme.  They are Aslaug Abbott, Janet Pangelly and John Wheeler plus me Peter Read.  I am very grateful that they volunteered to assist me.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Spire U3A Recorder Group - for Fun and Improvement!

Between now and the Group Displays/Christmas Party on 13th December at the Memorial Hall, we will be busy trying out some carols. So our Recorder Group display will feature real live music! Meeting dates are as previously advertised except for the November meeting, which has been moved from 24th to 17th. These are all Wednesdays at 2pm and are :- October 20th, November 17th and December 1st.

Starting in January 2011 we will meet on the third Wednesday of each month, same time, same place.

We still have room for a few more players - alto, tenor and bass recorder players would be especially welcome!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Devizes History Web Site

Photo by Alan Carter [copyright]

If you have any interest in Devizes then the Devizes Heritage web site is the very best place to start.

It has been written by a Devizes U3A member Alan Carter who kindly gave us a super talk about the Chemicals Around Us for the Sci-Tech Group.

Of particular interest is the page about the Castle that is sadly very private. But the whole of Devizes town is shaped by the castle as it was.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Short Video on Cholesterol

Following on from the Sci-Tech talk on Chemicals Around Us here is a clip from the http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com/search/label/Cholesterol
There are 6 articles on Statins that are worth pursuing.  These are accessed by clicking on the Cholesterol link on the left side column.

Click on this link 
Short Video on Cholesterol

Friday, 24 September 2010

Sci-Tech Meetings

The first meeting is next Monday the 27th September.
The topic is
"The Chemicals Around Us"
Alan Carter

So come along at 10am to the Harnham Memorial Hall.
You do not have to book in. Just turn.
There is a small fee of £1 to cover running costs.
Peter Read

Monday, 20 September 2010

Crafty Lunch

Great fun and feasting was to be last week in Alderbury Village Hall when members from all three Salisbury U3A's partook of a Crafty Lunch.  Gordon Pardy took the trouble to photograph the event and the results of his labours can be seen HERE

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Spire Newsletter Sept 2010

This is now on line. Click the Link

Eling Mill

You may like to re-visit the gallery and report on the Village Visits Group visit to Eling Mill.  I have added an experimental video of short duration. It is fun if nothing else.
I hope John Hawkins will see this.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Wings over Stonehenge - 1910

Wings over Stonehenge - 1910 "Autumn Manoeuvres" Centenary Walks
Walk in the slipstream of pioneer aviators Captain Bertram Dickson, the actor Robbie Loraine and Lieutenant Lancelot Gibbs.  See where their Bristol Boxkites and Bleriot were based when they flew the first "aerial scouting" sorties for the Army's Autumn Manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain in 1910.  The results from these sorties galvanised the Army into ordering its first aeroplanes and led to the foundation of the Royal Flying Corps and hence the Royal Air Force.  These walks will cover how aviation developed on Larkhill from 1908 to 1914 and how military aviation "took-off" around Stonehenge from 1914 to 1918.  These walks are brought to life with contemporary photographs and maps, and include viewing the early hangars and crash sites.
Meet: by Woodhenge at 11:00 on Saturday 25 September and Sunday 26 September 2010.
Duration: About 3 hours.
Cost: £3 for NT members and £5 for non-members.
Bring: Refreshments/picnic; Walking Shoes or Boots, and Rainware if the forecast is inclement."
Places on these walks must be pre-booked either with me at my e-mail address (or 01722 782380) or at stonehenge@nationaltrust.org.uk 
Regards, Ted Mustard
Ted will be one of our speakers for the Sci-Tech Group on 25th October 2010.  His talk concerns Aviation History.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Joint Groups

The Joint Groups page has been modified to show other activities that have been only accessible in a rather obscure way.  Now timetables can be seen by Digital Imagers and Web Site Makers. Check HERE

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Science & Technology Group Help

This group will cease to exist in the coming season unless someone volunteers to assist me. I need help with ideas for subjects and lecturers. I need help in contacting such lecturers. The first talk should be on the 27th September so there is not a lot of time.
If you wish for this group to continue then contact me immediately.
Tel: 01722 501 218
E mail: peterjread@ntlworld.com
Thank you.
Peter Read

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sarum August Meeting Report

This has now been posted on our web site HERE
All about North Americans Indians and their way of life.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Spire Recorder Playing Group

The next meetings are as follows:-
August 25th., September 29th., October 20th., November 24th. and December 1st. 
These dates are all Wednesdays, 2 for 2.30.
The last two are close together to allow extra practice for carols which we may perform (informally) at the Christmas Party/Group Displays on December 13th.
All this information is also on the website on the Groups page for Spire U3A and click on the Timetable.
See it here http://www.salisburyu3a.org.uk/SPIRE/spirerecorder.html

Friday, 13 August 2010

Spire U3A Tea Dance Group

  • This group will start on Friday 10th Sept 2010 from 2.30pm until 4.30pm.
  • They will be held in the Harnham Memorial Hall.
  • They will be held every 2nd Friday in the month.
  • This is FREE.

Friday, 16 July 2010

My Last Song

Dear Peter,

I am writing to groups of the University of the Third Age to bring to your members’ attention the newly launched website, My Last Song.

Its purpose is encourage people to address the issues they and their loved ones will face in the latter years of their lives in a positive and supportive way.

It also provides an online Vault in which people can store the information that will be required by their close family and executors. They can also store their individual details, life stories, photographs, scrapbook pages, achievements and activities so that future generations have an accurate insight of their unique lives and times.

I would be grateful if you could forward this email or bring it to your members’ attention in an appropriate manner.

Best wishes,

Paul Hensby
Executive Director


020 8670 5060
077 8534 2667

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Making Your Own Website

Everyone who has an email address can also roam the Internet. But are you aware that you are also paying for web space?  This can be used to good effect by designing your own web page or site to show the world your ideas.
So why not use this 'free' resource?
Or perhaps you do already and would like to go further.
To this end I hope to run a class called 'Making Your Own Website'
I hope to show you how easy this is. All you need to do to make a web site is plain English.
Also we could explore other avenues to get things on the Internet such as Blogger and Flickr.
Let me know if you are interested.
I would run this on a Friday morning for 2 hours. Start on 24th September 2010.
Contact me Peter Read on 01722 501218
or by

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

BURSLEDON BRICKWORKS visit Thursday 1st July 2010

Sci-Tech Visit to the Brickworks is all set to go on the 1st of July.  Please note this is a Thursday not a Monday.
We should meet at 10am when we shall get some refreshments after paying the extra entry cost.  This should be £3 for most of you [some have already confused me by paying the £5].
Then an introduction before a guided tour and brickmaking demo – probably need to split the group into 2 or 3.
Bring sandwiches for lunch.  There are picnic tables.  There is also a cafe on site. Additionally there is a pub not far away. By this there is the River Hamble.  Here there is a lovely walk you may like to take after lunch if you wish.
The nearby Windmill is sadly not open on a Thursday.

Those of you who have not given me your £2 deposit yet I shall be grateful to receive it soon.
It will be a great day out.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Changes to Newsletter and Membership Cards

S P I R E U 3 A

Please note:

Your Vice Chairman, Andy Poole’s phone number is 07767 623 957

The following amendments need to be made to the groups offered:-

Mondays Science & Technology is lead by Peter Read 01722 501 218; Christopher Penfold 01722 325 220; Laurie Irons 01722 325 307

Tuesdays There is no longer the archaeology group

Wednesdays Please add

History of Music to be led by Stella Tobi at 17 Churchfield Road from 2.30 – 4.30pm starting in September held monthly on the fourth Wednesday until May 2011

Thursdays Mobile Phones led by Aslaug Abbott tel:- 01722 7126 995 is going to be held in members homes.

Exploring the Countryside led by Colin Seago tel:- 01722 510 630 is held monthly, the group is full, but it is worth phoning, as there may be the odd space.

Recording Playing for fun and Improvement meets monthly at 20 St Clair Rd.
Led by Stuart Robson tel:-01722 334 310,

Fridays Water Colour Painting held on Fridays in led by Sally Jermy 01722 333 613

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Next Science and Technology talk is on the 26th April at Harnham Memorial Hall 10am

"Plagues in past millenia; biowarfare in the past century; letters, drums and heroin in the present century; redevelopment sites and heavy metal bands; mice, cows, elephants and (of course) humans.
Dr Peter Turnbull toxin ANTHRAX – a kaleidoscopic zoonosis

Sunday, 28 March 2010

On Being a Subject Network Co-ordinator

I have been a Subject Network Co-ordinator for about 8 years now and have found the experience very pleasant. The job of the SNC is to help other members of U3As anywhere in the country either to set up a local group or give ideas and help for existing groups.

For U3As wishing to set up a group the first contact is usually head office. Here they hold Start Up leaflets on most topics. These they will send for free.

The second thing to do is to contact the relevant SNC directly and to this end the contact details are printed in every issue of the U3A News. They will have other helpful material such as Newsletters with content gleaned from other people in the Subject Network. In my case I have not written Newsletters since my subject of Photography does not easily lend itself to this except for stories and perhaps images from network members. Instead I have attached a web site of my own to the main U3A site. This contains everything you need to run a group. There is content from members of my network here with links to their sites or pages directly on my site.

Some SNCs organise Study Days where members gather to discuss ideas and learn new methods for teaching their own U3A group. Look out for these in the U3A News.

There are other SNCs who organise conferences or seminars that can last several days. Such a one is the Science and Technology network who for the past 8 years have had an annual gathering in Abergavenny. Talks on a wide range of topics are given by members of the U3A. Also included in the 4 day conference are trips to sites of interest. Having been to this conference a few times I have now also been to see the SS Great Britain, the Big Pit, Cardiff Art Gallery, the Mappa Mundi in Hereford cathedral, St Fagans Museum of Welsh Rural Life and the underside of the new Severn Bridge.

Thus each SNC runs their Network as they wish. The minimum requirement is to produce a Start Up leaflet. I have written a Start Up Leaflet for Photography but as I said earlier I amplified this idea with my web site. This system has the advantage that I can rapidly add or modify the site. Because Sheila and I run local Digital Imaging classes we are always producing new techniques for our students and these ideas are added.

So the message is that if you need a group locally and it does not exist or is full you can start one yourself. If you have no idea how to go about setting one up then contact head office and the relevant SNC.

Help is also available from the U3A Resources Centre and from Sources magazine.

Remember that expertise in your subject is not needed in most topics. No qualifications are required - just your enthusiasm. Members will be very grateful.

Peter Read

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Spire Family History Course

Another 8 week course for Family History for Beginners will start on Monday 6th Sept 2010 at 2:00-4:00pm
and subsequently every two weeks until Christmas.

Also this year we will run a follow-up session once a month for those who would like some help &/or support. This group will meet every second Monday 2:00-4:00pm.

For details ring Mike Kirby 01722 330123

or Les Hankinson 01722 321283
or see me at the monthly meetings

Friday, 5 March 2010

Sci-Tech page now with added changing articles

If you check on the Sci-Tech Programme you will find on the right of each event a box that has a upward rolling set of apt stories. 

Monday, 22 February 2010

BBC2 Documentary Series

BBC television is making a documentary series about attitudes to money and would like to speak to people about the role money plays in their lives.  For an informal chat please contact Tara Nolan on 020 7557 2364 or email her at tara.nolan@bbc.co.uk

ITV General Knowledge Quiz Series – The Chase

If general knowledge is your forte and you would like to be considered for the show, please email thechase@itv.com.

Bookbite Project

This is a new project led by the reading charity Booktrust which aims to inspire older people to discover or re-discover reading and creative writing. There will be a magazine containing information on books, stories, book clubs etc and a website with other useful resources www.bookbite.org.uk

Friday, 19 February 2010


Britain’s 743 U3As, and their 229,871 members are to be asked to quiz political candidates on their views about adult education, third age education and informal adult learning.

“The U3A is resolutely non-political, but it does want to see legislators who understand the benefits of adult education, and are willing to work for a better life for those in their third age” says U3A national chairman Ian Searle.

“We will never advise our members how to vote. But the answers to these questions may inform their voting behaviour.”

Mr Searle will circulate the questions to all 743 U3As in the UK, suggesting that they should be put to candidates for the local authority elections in May and those who will be standing for Parliament in next year’s general election.

He will tell them that candidates should be asked:

Do you intend to continue with the policies outlined in The Learning Revolution, especially those requiring close co-operation between local authorities and voluntary organisations?

Will inter-departmental consultation be continued so that health, pensions and education continue to work together for the benefit of older citizens?

Do you recognise the financial benefits and savings as well as the health benefits that accrue from encouraging informal adult learning ?

Do you appreciate that the allocation of funds is heavily weighted towards the young, as pointed out in Learning Through Life, and that this is not only unfair, but socially divisive?

Monday, 1 February 2010

Internet Video Capture for FREE

All Subject Groups: Have you spotted a video(s) on YOUTUBE that you could use for a talk, and need to record it? Applian Technologies 'Replay Media Capture' is completely free and will cleverly convert a YOUTUBE clip to a file you can keep on your laptop or memory-stick. See http://www.applian.com/replay-media-catcher/demo.php

French Study Groups/Art History Groups:

French Study Groups/Art History Groups:

Le CED à http://www.canal-educatif.fr/ est un projet collaboratif visant à constituer le premier patrimoine gratuit de vidéos éducatives pour les jeunes et leurs parents à domicile. Enseignants, étudiant ou expert vous pouvez y participer et jouer les passeurs de culture.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Ferndown U3A Holidays

Ferndown U3A is organising a holiday to Northern Ireland in September and South Africa in October/November.
Full details from Gina Pointing- 01202 880362  email

Two Science Events organised by the U3A

A flyer advertising the 2010 Dana Event which will take place on 24th March 2010 at the Royal Society in London.  Until last week it looked as though problems with the DANA organisation in America were such that it would not be possible to hold an event for U3A members at all this year.  However, thanks to an enormous effort by Sylvie Hammerson of EDAB, it will be taking place and as you will see from the flyer, it looks excellent.  I should be grateful if you would let your members know as soon as possible, as we have already had a lot of enquiries about it.  Details will also be available in the mailings section of our website.
2. Full programme details for ‘U3A Explores Science at the Ri’ which is on 30th March.  Tickets are going quickly so please encourage your members to book.


We plan to run another class beginning on 26th March 2010. and every 4 weeks through the summer. This will be a longer time then last year and so it will give you more time to get really aquainted with your camera and how to get the best from it.

Here we will try to show you how to control your camera for the optimum results. We ask that you bring your camera with fully charged batteries and the Instruction Book.

You can see the further dates by looking at out timetable on this link.

Contact us on 01722 501 218 or peterjread@ntlworld.com

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Salisbury Freecycle

I have put a link to the Salisbury Freecycle group on the front page.  This is a friendly and easy way of giving unwanted items to folk who need them. This is better than dumping things in the dustbin or the landfill. It costs nothing.