Saturday, 31 December 2011


Along with more Internet links that can prove useful for Group Leaders and others can be found in the U3A Signpost. Below is extracted one recent item.
All Groups:
The web is absolutely stuffed with fascinating educational videos on every subject imaginable. No Internet connection where you meet? No matter - these videos are easily downloaded to a laptop to be played back and projected later onto a screen or a convenient wall.

The software to do this is 'Replay Media Catcher' and in the opinion of this writer every local group should have it as well as the digital projector that turns every home or hall into a private cinema. Both software and hardware are well worth the purchase price.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Spire Christmas Party

There is now a picture report of this party. Click HERE to see it.
At the bottom of the screen are 3 controls. The middle one will start the slideshow.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Angels in the Height

In the U3A News issue 96 Autumn 2011 on page 66 I noticed that one of our members has had a book published.
Audrey has been a member of Spire U3A for a few years now. But we did not know we had such talent. Congratulations Audrey.
Her book costs only £1.40.
It is a six minute Christmas sketch suitable for boys and girls aged 7 upwards. Eleven speaking parts, nine of which range from 5 to 7 lines. The entire cast are angels and the two main characters have 18 lines of dialogue each. The setting is an angel choir practice immediately before the first Christmas.

Monday, 21 November 2011

U3A Videos can now be seen on YouTube.
There are 5 short videos that show how Subjects are dealt with across the UK.
They are well worth watching.
  1. Video 1
  2. Video 2
  3. Video 3
  4. Video 4
  5. Video 5

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Making Your Own Web Site for FREE.

I still have spaces on this course and it is not too late to start.
The next session is on the 21st October at 10am until noon.
The next after this is 18th Nov and then every 4 weeks [not month].
Give me a call on 01722 501 218
Peter Read

Sci -Tech programme

Our programme is now complete. The next talk is on Experimental Aircraft by Alan Goodes.
This is on 31stOct at 10am in the Harnham Memorial Hall.
No need to sign on. Just come.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cafe Scientifique Talk Tuesday 11th Oct

Just an early reminder that our next meeting is on Tuesday 11th October. This is because the Stonehenge Enquiry is being held in the Rugby Club.

This will be Prof Chris Rhodes second visit to Salisbury Café Scientifique and he will be asking
"What Happens When we Run Out of Oil?".

Professor Chris Rhodes is Director of Fresh-lands Environmental Actions and is based in Reading.

He has written numerous scientific articles and recently published his first novel (, a black comedy on the disintegration of the British university system. The subject of the talk is of course highly topical and will remain so as cheap oil reserves become relentlessly depleted, changing the face of
the modern world.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Sci -Tech programme

Our programme is now almost complete.
You can see what is on on the 26th September and other talks by clicking HERE.
Just drop by at Monday 26th at 10am at the Harnham Memorial Hall.
It will cost you just £1 entry.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Wings Over Stonehenge 17 Sept 2011

Both these events are organised by the National Trust.

From 11am to 1pm there will be walk to commemorate the death of Lt Reginald Cammell. He suffered the first fatal military aeroplane accident. A look at aviation from 1910 to 1914.

In the evening from 4.30pm to 7.30pm there will be a photography walk around the Stonehenge landscape.

Booking essential. Phone 01980 664780

Monday, 8 August 2011

Two New Courses

I am starting two new groups next month. Anyone can join me from any U3A if they wish.

  1. Digital Imaging from the Start will start on Friday 2nd September 2011 at 10am.
  2. Design Your Own Web Site for FREE starts Friday 23rd September 2011 at 10am.
The venue is 12 Chiselbury Grove and each course will last as long as needed.
Just ring up on 01722 501 218 to secure a place or email me on

Friday, 22 July 2011

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The City Council is delighted to bring to Salisbury the nationally and internationally acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, which showcases the very best in Wildlife Photography from across the globe. It is an international leader in the artistic representation of the natural world and a competition that photographers worldwide aspire to.

The exhibition, which is organised by The Natural History Museum in London, will run from 20 July – 17 August in the stunning setting of the Banqueting Hall within Salisbury Guildhall.

Exhibition highlights include, the much coveted title of Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year awarded to Hungarian photographer Bence Máté for his image A marvel of ants, a simple shot that captures the complexity of the behaviour of leaf-cutter ants in the Costa Rican rainforest. Máté is clearly a master of his craft with an artist’s eye. Fergus Gill from Scotland was crowned Veolia Environnement Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for the second year in a row. His image of a fieldfare, The frozen moment, was judged to be the most memorable of all the pictures by photographers aged 17 or under.

Claire Burden, said, “This is an amazing exhibition and a real coup for Salisbury, to coincide with the exhibition we are planning a series of events to complement the theme. Check out our website for details of photography workshops in conjunction with Trinity Photography and other organisations. The exhibition will certainly appeal to keen photographers and wildlife lovers alike.” 
Tickets are on sale now at
Exhibition information for visitors:
Venue: Salisbury Guildhall
Dates: 20 July – 17 August 2011
Opening times: 10am - 5pm Monday to Saturday / 10am – 4pm Sundays
Visitor enquiries: 01722 342862
Admission: Adult £3.50 / Concessions £2.50

SciTech Visit. - Butterfly walk 25th July

Just to remind members that this is happening on the 25th next Monday.

Time: 10.30am start
Place: By the Stag Inn, Charlton All Saints on the Downton road.
It has been suggested that public transport is used since the pub car park is not large and the publican may be upset.
The X3 runs twice an hour. From the bus station that is 10 past and 40 mins past the hour.
Returning from the Stag at 07 and 37 mins past the hour.
Leader: Arthur Bryant of Butterfly Conservation.
Distance: Up to 3 miles.
All weather dependent.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

U3A Partnership Projects – July 2011

U3A Partnership Projects – July 2011
(1) Archaeology of Wessex Gallery
Salisbury Museum is planning to redevelop our Early Man and Pitt Rivers galleries – which have been little changed since they were installed in the early 1980s. We have initial funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and are planning to submit a major application to the HLF later in 2011. If we are successful the new gallery will open in 2013. This will tell the story of the Salisbury area, including the Stonehenge World Heritage site, from prehistory to the arrival of the Normans in 1066. The gallery will have the following objectives:
  • We are a local museum telling an international story – visitors will understand how key events in British and world history are linked with the story of the Salisbury area;

  • People are central to the story – visitors will be invited into the lives of both ordinary and extraordinary people from Salisbury’s past;

  • The process of discovery – the gallery will offer not just a story about the past, but also how we understand the past. Visitors will be able to examine archaeological and historical evidence and will be encouraged to come to their own conclusions;

  • The story of Stonehenge, Old Sarum and Salisbury will be placed into the chronological story of the south Wiltshire area.

We would like to develop a ‘shared learning project’ with members from Salisbury’s U3A to work with the curator to select and research artefacts that will go into ‘artefact drawers’ within the gallery. These will be ‘open storage’ displays within the exhibits where we will be able to display many objects that would otherwise be hidden away. There will drawers for most historic periods throughout gallery, from the Palaeolithic through to the early medieval period.
The culmination of this project will be the displays themselves and a series of public lunchtime ‘tea and talk’s’ led by the U3A based on their research.

(2) Gallery Stewards

The new Archaeology of Wessex gallery will also need to be staffed by volunteer guides and stewards. We are also hoping to train volunteers to deliver object handling sessions based on our archaeological collections and take visitors on ‘behind the scenes’ tours.
We would like to start recruiting volunteers to undertake these activities now – as they are already part of what the museum offers to the public. Potential stewards or guides would need to under take research, have training in customer care and have an induction to the museum.

(3) Collection Documentation

Salisbury Museum has a team of volunteers who undertake the cataloguing of the collections. We are always looking for new volunteers to add to this team – particularly people who are computer literate and might have a particular interest/passion in an area of our collections. At the moment we are seeking enthusiastic and committed people to work on our costume and geology collections. The main task will be record descriptions of objects and their physical location in the museum on our Modes database.


Sunday, 10 July 2011

SciTech Visit. - Butterfly walk 25th July

Don't forget anyone is welcome to come on our short walk on Monday 25th July starting at 10.00am from the Stag Inn, Charlton All Saints.
I hope to see you there.
Meanwhile from the the 16th to the 31st of July is the big butterfly count.
The big butterfly count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and an impressive 10,000 people took part, counting 210,000 butterflies and day-flying moths across the nation. We hope that many more people will join this year's big butterfly count (16th-31st July 2011).
To take part simply note down the butterflies you see during a 15 minute period and email the result.
See for more details.

Monday, 13 June 2011

St Francis Hall FIRE

Dear Members

There has been a serious fire at St Francis Hall on Friday putting it out of action for a year. The roof has collapsed at the rear of the building and there is smoke and water damage throughout the hall, although from the car park you cannot see evidence of damage.

I'm pleased to report there were no casualties.

The vicar has said we can definitely use the church for our Coffee Morning this coming Wednesday. We may also be able to use the church over the coming months but that decision will come out of a meeting of the church management this weekend.

Keith Blake and I have visited the hall where the fire service allowed us to recover our sound equipment and noticeboard; although they may be smoke damaged.

Tony Munday has kindly volunteered to resurrect his sign directing people to the church for the Coffee Morning.

I will keep you aware of developments.

Gordon Pardy

Sunday, 12 June 2011

SciTech Visit. - Butterfly walk

Please note that we had the wrong date listed on the web site for this walk. It is on Monday 25th July and not the 29th.
Also note that the time to start has shifted to 10.30am from 10.00am at the request of the leader of the walk Arthur Bryant.
Meet at the Stag Inn, Charlton All Saints. Get there by bus if you can please.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Re Bletchley Park Visit by Sarum U3A 6th June

A super day was had by all who went.  This is a Montage made from photos taken by Peter Read [Spire] and assembled as demonstration at the Digital Imaging class for beginners.

Friday, 3 June 2011

CLA Licence

Group Leaders may not realise that the U3A has this agreement. But the Copyright laws still apply. So care must still be taken if you wish to copy any image even for educational reasons. Always ask the image owners for permission to copy their work.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

History Centre Visit by Sarum U3A

A photo report of this splendid visit on the 9th May can be seen HERE.
We thank Christine Perry for her hard work in organizing the day.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Recorder Course in France

Sunday 28th August until Sunday 5th August

At Villdaubon, Normandy

For players of elementary +/intermediate standard

Cost for full board and tuition £430

Travel possibilities: drive or car-share on the ferry from Poole, Portsmouth or Dover

Contact: Lorraine Curtis, 39 Monks Road, Winchester SO237EQ


Phone 01962 863361

Tuesday, 5 April 2011



Joint Event between our three U3As

Thursday 30 June 2011
Following the success of the joint ‘crafty lunch’ last year, Salisbury & District U3As have arranged to visit Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum (opposite the Cathedral) to see this exhibition of 44 well-known pictures by John Constable. They are of Salisbury, The Close and Weymouth, and are in pen and ink, pencil and oil, and have been assembled from different sources including The Tate.

The itinerary for the day includes a private viewing for members who can choose (subject to numbers being allocated) whether they join the 10.30, the 11.30, or 2.00pm View.

Ayesha Nickol
01722 334547

Monday, 4 April 2011

Monitor Aoc 24 Inch widescreen 2436Swa

Still under guarantee until mid September 2011
It is now surplus to our needs.
It is in as NEW condition and is a lovely monitor.
Ideal if you want a full HD screen [1920 x 1080 pixels]
It is in its original box together with all the necessary leads and wires.
It has its stand too.
Also the CD with User Guide, Driver and i-Menu software.
£100 ono.
Contact Peter Read on 01722 501 218 or email

Friday, 11 March 2011


The 2011 CROQUET season will take place on Wednesdays from April 6th to September 28th inclusive.  Please assemble at the croquet ‘lawn’ on the South Wilts Sports ground near Skew Bridge in Wilton Road from 1.30 pm.  The cost, payable in cash, is £10 to join for the season and £1 each time you play.  We play golf croquet, not association croquet.  Coffee, tea and snacks may be purchased from the bar at the Golf Centre and we can use the facilities there.

If you would like to attend as a visitor (once per season), from Sarum, Salisbury or Spire U3As, and see if you want to join, please come and pay £1 on the day.

Any enquiries please to:-

Margaret White

01722 320806 or

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Tutorials for computer users - FREE

Genuinely free excellent lessons, including excellent video tutorials. Subjects so far include computer programs (eg Facebook, Computer Basics, Powerpoint, Office, Excel etc) Reading and Maths – more to come. (thank you Jim Hales, Australia).

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

U3A Sci-Tech Seminar at Abergavenny

There is still just time to book into this 3 day Seminar. I have just booked in and am willing to share transport. Peter Read
See their web site HERE for more details.
The Provisional Programme is below

U3A Science, Technology and Society Network Seminar, Abergavenny,15th-18th August 2011 
Programme 22 February 2011

Day/Date Time Event
15th Aug
8am Breakfast for those arriving
on Sunday – free morning
1-2pm Register for the Seminar
2pm Gather in Seminar Room for refreshments
2.15pm Seminar opens. Introductions, administration, programme 
and safety advice
2.45-3.45pm Norman Tapster
“Travel and Geology 
of Iceland”
3.45pm Refreshments
4-5pm Gerry Machin
“Look to the Stars”
6pm Dinner
7.15pm Social Evening at 
the Centre

16th Aug
8am Breakfast
9.15-10.15am Geoff Prichard “Plastics 
from Charles I to 
Charles III”
10.15am Refreshments
10.30-11.30 Chris Woolston
“Isaac Newton”
12 noon Visit to St Fagin’s Natural 
History Museum 
near Cardiff
4-5pm approx Return from visit             
6pm Dinner
7.15-8.15pm David Walter “Fractal Art”

17th Aug

8am Breakfast
9.15-10.15am Pete Leigh “Semiconductors”
10.15am Refreshments
10.30-11.30am John Marriage “The Science 
of Photography”
12 noon Visit to Bristol Science Museum
4-5pm approx Return from visit
6pm Dinner
7.15-8.15pm Come Fly With Me    
Presented by John Livingston   
8.30pm Continue the aerodynamics 
over drinks

18th Aug
8am Breakfast
9.15-10.15am ?????
10.15am Refreshments
10.30-11.30am Derek Bissell “Music and Maths”
11.30am Final comments and farewells
12 noon Buffet lunch and depart

VISITS – coach and admission are included in the seminar cost.
Lunches (except Thursday) are not included.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Battle of Roundway Down 1643

Alan Carter is organizing a major conference with the Battlefields Trust in Devizes on April 30th 2011.
There are 4 nationally important historians and an archaeologist talking. It is the Devizes Town Hall.

Basic information is attached and
a link to the conference web page is at

This information was sent to me today from Alan Carter. Alan came to the Science and Technology group meeting last September.

So for all those frustrated archaeologists here is an opportunity for an exciting weekend on the Sunday 1st May there is a Battlefield Tour.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

U3A Science, Technology and Society Network Annual Residential Seminar

Monday 15th - Thursday 18th August 2011
Ty'r Morwydd (Mulberry House) Environmental Study Centre, Abergavenny
Open to all U3A members

The seminar format is a mixture of talks, visits and socialising. Talks are at a general interest level so no specialist scientific knowledge is needed - just a general interest in the world around you. The programme starts at 2.00pm on Monday 15th and finishes after a buffet lunch on Thursday 18th August. Tuesday will include visits to the Rhondda Heritage Park and St. Fagins and Wednesday's visit will be to the new science museum at Bristol.

The full programme will be available in May or June


The half board cost is £200 per person in either single or double rooms including all visits. There will be a limited number of places for day visitors at £100 including all meals and visits


Ty'r Morwydd Environmental Centre ( is a good quality hostel rather than a hotel and has 30 single and 22 twin bedrooms on two floors. There is no lift. All rooms have washbasins but they are not en-suite. There is a well-equipped shower and toilet room near the bedrooms on each of the first floor (female) and second floors (male) and an additional unisex toilet on each floor. There are also toilets on the ground floor.

The dining and seminar rooms are on the ground floor. Please note that most of the single rooms are on the second floor (male shower room). Those who have particular problems with stairs should state this and ask for a first-floor room but it cannot be guaranteed.

There are a limited number of day places. To arrange alternative accommodation contact Abergavenny Tourist Information on 01873 853254 (Web site

The meals are very good and mostly 'help yourself to as much as you want'. Our first meal will be an evening meal on Monday 15th. Thereafter the price includes cooked breakfast, evening meal, coffee/tea for the breaks when we are working at the Centre. There will also be a buffet lunch before we depart on Thursday.

Please advise us if you have special dietary requirements.

Sunday 14th August
We have arranged for rooms to be available on Sunday night 14th August at an additional cost of £25 including an excellent breakfast.

Bookings now being taken
Numbers are limited so book early to secure your place. Send a deposit of £100 (resident) or £50 (day) to secure your place. Balance due by 15th June

Organised by members of the U3A Science, Technology and Society Network:
  • Jo Livingston (speakers - 01322 440 539), 
  • Elsie Denham (bookings & general admin - 0191 521 2760) and 
  • Reg Thirkettle (visits).
General questions about the seminar can be addressed to either Jo or Elsie. Please address all enquiries to the organisers: The Third Age Trust, the Ty'r Morwydd Centre, and the Abergavenny U3A are all supportive of the Seminar but unable to answer queries.
Full joining details will be sent out in June/July.
Correspondence will be by email but if you want postal acknowledgments, please send an sae.
Web site:

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Tea Dances

Tea Dances
Are held in the Harnham Memorial Hall the 2nd Friday in the month 2.30 - 4.30 pm.
Contact Eileen Forder on 01722 333405

Friday, 14 January 2011

Wiltshire Community Health Services

Wiltshire Community Health Services. Here is a document outling how these services are to be transformed.  Click HERE to read all about it.

Light Reflections

Spire U3A had a talk about Butterflies recently.   As a follow up Brian Dicker sent us this information that may shed light on butterflies wings.
Professor Alan Miller will talk about Optoelectonics and how it has become a well established and pervasive technology, combining the basic physics of electrons and photons. These particles have some remarkable properties that can be combined in a plethora of ways to create photonic devices.

How is it possible to create pulses of laser light on the timescale of a few femto seconds and how can these pulses be used to monitor the physics of electrons in semiconductor layers on the dimension of a few nanometers?

This talk will address the physics of the ultrasmall and the ultrafast in the context of nanostructured semiconductors and ultrashort pulse lasers. Research combining these areas of technology will be illustrated by personal observations from a career that has included research in universities on both sides of the Atlantic, as a government scientist, and as a senior manager with responsibility for research and knowledge transfer in two UK research intensive universities.

Coffee available from 19:00, talk starts at 19:30.

Attendance is free but please reserve tickets by emailing
Tue, 18 Jan 2011  19:30
St John’s suite, Mercure White Hart Hotel, 1 St John Street, Salisbury, SP1 2SD

Monday, 10 January 2011


Following the fascinating Butterfly talk on 11th January by Brian Dicker you may like to explore some of the links on the BBC site. If so click HERE

The Sci-Tech Group have arranged to go on a Butterfly walk on 29th July starting from the Stag Inn, Charlton All Saints at 10.00am. 3 miles on the downland.  Led by Arthur Bryant.
For more detail see the programme HERE or for those on dial up or if you wish to print the programme HERE

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Calendar 2012 Competition

To celebrate The Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts 50th anniversary we are offering everyone the opportunity to put forward a photo for our 2012 anniversary calendar. The theme is ‘Wild Wiltshire’ and we want your best wildlife and landscape photos to show off our county and its wonderful wildlife throughout the year.  The calendar will be sold across the county and online and should be available from the end of May 2011.  We invite you to send your photographs to or to Anniversary Calendar 2012 at the Trust.   Please include your name, contact number or email, and the location of where the image was taken.  Remember all photos must have been taken in Wiltshire and we are unable to return hard copies.  Make use of the dark evenings to go through your photo collections or get out there and click your way into our anniversary celebration.  Closing date for entries is 11th February and we will notify winners by the end of February.  We look forward to seeing your entries.

Keely Everson

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has 18,500 members and manages 37 nature reserves in Wiltshire.
The Trust also endeavours to lead by example in the protection of the environment. Visit our
website at