Members' Home Page



Dear friends,

Perhaps it’s the normal seasonal change in the quality of the light, perhaps it’s the growing confidence that with mass vaccination we stand a chance at last of minimising the appalling effects of Covid19, but I feel I can detect a lightening of the atmosphere that has been so gloomy for so long. Let’s hope this is the case. It is deeply gratifying that so many members have found comfort and stimulation during these grim times by continuing to interact through their groups. Building on the skills that have been honed during lockdown we held our first Zoom monthly meeting in February. This was a success and about 80 members joined in. Our Speakers Secretary, Nick Vernon, has arranged more Zoom meetings for the coming months - something to look forward to.

By now you should all be aware that our A.G.M., originally scheduled for March 9th has been rescheduled for June 8th. The agenda for this, the minutes of last year’s A.G.M., the treasurer’s report and a nomination form for the committee will be found at AGM details and nomination form. This gives you a chance to familiarise yourselves in good time as the new timetable for newsletters of four times a year means that the next one will not give you enough notice about the event. At the A.G.M. I shall be resigning the chairmanship after three enjoyable years, as will our Membership Secretary, Lianne Hill, who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep our u3a up to date. Richard Costard, our vice-chair has needed to resign through ill health. We send him every good wish for the future.

Obviously we are looking for members to fill these posts or simply to come and join the eight of us on the committee. We would really welcome some new people getting involved in running our u3a. Do please fill in the accompanying form or inform any committee member if you would like to do so. Winchester u3a cannot continue without officers. I remind you of that old story. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

We hope that by June enough confidence will have been generated by the mass vaccination to be able to hold a physical A.G.M. Should we have to re-think and use Zoom we will let you know as soon as possible so please keep visiting the website for updates. If you know of members without internet access it would be a kindness to keep them informed of developments please.

You may have noticed that I have used ‘u3a’ throughout this letter. National have decided that the lower case u3a sends out a more modern message promoting the organisation to the outside world. I am sure you will be relieved to know that we had not lashed out funds on expensive stationery with the ‘old’ logo.

We all await developments so stay cheerful and enjoy the approaching Spring.

Freda Bates Chairman





u3a Headquarters have teamed up with Barclays Digital Eagles to provide a week of online training for u3a members, beginning on 19 April.

See below for the title and dates of each session and click the button for more detail.

Register here.

u3a Internet Basics

Monday 19 April, 10am – 11.30.


u3a Digital Safety

Tuesday 20 April, 10am-11.30 or Tuesday 20 April, 1.30pm-3


u3a Online Entertainment

Wednesday 21 April 20, 10am-11.30


u3a Alternative Ways to Bank

Thursday 22 April 10:00-11.30 or Thursday 22 April 1.30pm-3


An Introduction to Digital Wings

Friday, 23 April 10:00-11.30


Barclays Eagles Sessions Full Details


Maths Events ➖➕✖➗

We have two Maths events coming up for maths loving u3a members.

Join our Maths Problems and Puzzles event on 22 April and Maths Activities and Games on 29 April.

See all our events on the events page of our website, which we are adding to and updating all the time.


Run for the World

We have an exciting opportunity for you to support the u3a movement while keeping fit.

The Third Age Trust has partnered with Run for the World - an organisation which hosts virtual running events They have monthly events and 'Open' events that you can compete in your own time.

We are one of two charities that Run for the World are donating part of their profits to. You can see how much money is being raised and find out more on their website.







A nomination form is available for members wishing to stand as Committee members



1. Welcome

2. Apologies

3. Minutes of the AGM held on 10th March 2020

4. Matters arising from the Minutes

5. Chairman’s report

6. Treasurer’s report and accounts

7. Membership subscriptions

8. Election of committee for 2021-2022

9. Any other business

10. Date of next AGM – Tuesday 8th March 2022.




APOLOGIES: Clive and Jackie Boot, Richard Leyton

MINUTES of A.G.M. held on March 12th 2019 were accepted


CHAIRMAN’S REPORT A copy is on the website and in the newsletter

TREASURER’S REPORT: Vernon Tottle had circulated the accounts on the website and in the room. Subscription of £8 was to remain unchanged. They accounts were accepted nem. con. A vote of thanks was proposed to Diane Franklin of Hamble Valley U3A for her work as Independent Financial Examiner. An I.F.E. for the coming year would be appointed as soon as possible.

COMMITTEE ELECTION: Sylvia Leyton was standing down as Subscriptions Secretary. Julia Whitburn, Lianne Hill, Nick Vernon, Barrie Brinkman and Vernon Tottle were all prepared to serve another year and were unanimously elected to remain in place. Freda Bates was given permission to remain in office for a third year as chairman. Richard Costard was elected as Vice Chairman and David Boddy as Secretary.

In the chairman’s report a vote of thanks had been given to Sylvia Leyton and Rose and Steve Saunders (standing down as tea rota organisers) for their hard work over several years, while Judy Smith and Sheila Ayling had also been welcomed and thanked for taking on the role of Newsletter Editors.

The formal meeting ended at 14.30 and continued with the usual monthly talk.

NEXT A.G.M ON JUNE 8TH 2021 BY ZOOM 13.45 F0R 14.00 START

David Boddy Secretary




1) Monthly General Meetings

As we can’t get back into the Littleton Hall just yet, we have decided to have general meetings on-line (using the Zoom platform), the first to be held on Tuesday 9th February followed by the second on Tuesday 9th March, both in the afternoon. We already have a list of everyone who has expressed interest in these on-line meetings and we are in contact with all these members by email. If you haven’t told us of your interest and would like to join in, please send an email to

2) The A.G.M. of our Winchester U3A

This is currently scheduled for March 9th 2021.

Now that we are being offered vaccination protection against Covid 19 it would be ideal to have our A.G.M. in person.

However, to give time for confidence to grow in the safety of meeting for such an event, we propose postponing the A.G.M. until June 8th, 2021. Minutes of the 2020 A.G.M., the accounts for 2020 and the agenda for the 2021 meeting will be available on the website and in the March newsletter

3) New chairman needed

I have had the privilege and the pleasure of serving as your chairman for three years now and would like to hand over to someone else at the 2021 A.G.M. After this long period of on-off lockdowns when freedom returns we want our U3A to be reinvigorated. New people always bring new ideas and we would really welcome members coming forward to join the committee before or at the A.G.M. to share the responsibility of running our U3A. Most of all we urgently need a new chairman. So please think about what you might be able to do to help.

4) New Membership Secretary needed

Our Membership Secretary, Lianne Hill, is also resigning after several years of stalwart service so there is another post to fill.

Please consider joining us on the committee and having your say in our future. If you do wish to offer help it’s easy to get in touch with me or any of the committee - email addresses all in the newsletter - and we can talk it over.

Freda Bates, Chairman of Winchester U3A





It is possible to use zoom for longer than 40 minutes without incurring costs.

The only inconvenience is that after 40 minutes the zoom call ends but everyone can connect again to have another 40 minutes.

The procedure to follow is as follows:-

  1. Use a laptop to set up the zoom session.
  2. Set the meeting up as 'Recurring Meeting' (This has no time included)
  3. In the configuration ensure that ‘Waiting' is not set. (This allows attendees to join even if the Host is not available. This allows meeting to still take place without the Host).
  4. In the configuration set ‘Video’ ON for both Host and Participants.
  5. In advanced options set ON 'Allow participants to join any time'.
  6. Instead of setting up each attendee in the normal zoom way generate a manual email to all your attendees. In the email copy and paste the link for the zoom meeting. Include in the email your agreed day of the week and time for your meetings.
  7. When each attendee uses the link they automatically join the meeting.
  8. When the zoom meeting 40 minute limit automatically ends the meeting, each attendee should go back and use the zoom link in the email to join a new meeting.

Barrie Brinkman





We’ve had monthly meetings on line using the Zoom platform for some months now, with more members attending than we used to see in the Littleton Hall.

We have another meeting on Zoom on Tuesday 13th July when our speaker will talk on the subject “Japan, bowing to tradition”: As usual it’s expected to start at 2.30 and last just over an hour including questions etc.

We don’t usually have a meeting in August, and we are waiting to see about the Littleton Hall reopening, so we might have the September meeting in the Hall or on line. We will see how things develop.

Nick Vernon

Speakers Secretary






By: Arnaldo Liechtenstein, physician.

Whenever I teach clinical medicine to students in the fourth year of medicine, I ask the following question: What are the causes of mental confusion in the elderly?

Some offer: "Tumors in the head". I answer: No! Others suggest: "Early symptoms of Alzheimer's". I answer again: No! With each rejection of their answers, their responses dry up. And they are even more open mouthed when I list the three most common causes: - uncontrolled diabetes; - urinary infection; - dehydration It may sound like a joke, but it isn't. People over 60 constantly stop feeling thirsty and consequently stop drinking fluids. When no one is around to remind them to drink fluids, they quickly dehydrate. Dehydration is severe and affects the entire body. It may cause abrupt mental confusion, a drop in blood pressure, increased heart palpitations, angina (chest pain), coma and even death. *This habit of forgetting to drink fluids begins at age 60, when we have just over 50% of the water we should have in our bodies. People over 60 have a lower water reserve. This is part of the natural aging process.* But there are more complications. Although they are dehydrated, they don't feel like drinking water, because their internal balance mechanisms don't work very well. *Conclusion:* People over 60 years old dehydrate easily, not only because they have a smaller water supply, but also because they do not feel the lack of water in the body. Although people over 60 may look healthy, the performance of reactions and chemical functions can damage their entire body.


1) If you are over 60 get into the habit of drinking liquids*. Liquids include water, juices, teas, coconut water, milk, soups and water-rich fruits, such as watermelon, melon, peaches and pineapple; Orange and tangerine also work. The important thing is that, every two hours, you must drink some liquid. Remember this!

2) Alert for family members: constantly offer fluids to people over 60. At the same time, observe them. If you realize that they are rejecting liquids and, from one day to the next, they are irritable, breathless or display a lack of attention, these are almost certainly recurrent symptoms of dehydration.

Arnaldo Liechtenstein, physician, is a general practitioner at Hospita das Clínicas and a collaborating professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo.





Latest Covid-19 Advice and Guidance

Following updated government and NHS guidance (14 September 2020)

please find below the guidance as it relates to u3a..


Advice for U3As in England




U3A Headquarters have generated a video to explain how insurance is affected by COVID-19 and resuming Group activities. This will be particulary useful for Group Leaders.

The link to the video is




With the Covid-19 restrictions likely to be in place in some form for a while, we don’t expect to get back into the Littleton Hall just yet.

In the August newsletter, and on the website at the same time, we asked you if you might be interested to have monthly meetings on line for the time being. There were not enough members expressing interest to justify it then, but as the weeks have rolled by, we wonder if more members might be interested now?

How would it work?

First we’d establish a list of those members who might like to join a meeting in principle, let’s call this “the group”.

For a meeting we would have a speaker who would talk to us live for about 45 minutes, and then take questions just as in one of our meetings we used to have in the Littleton Hall. Probably this would use the Zoom system with which by now many of you will be familiar. The meetings would be on our usual Tuesday once each month.

I would then email to members of “the group” with details of the speaker, the subject, and the timing and you would let me know if you would like to join in that meeting. A day or two before the meeting I would send you a “link” in an email, you would click on that link a few minutes before the meeting time, and join in.

To make this work and to be worthwhile, we do need enough members to express interest in this idea.

If you support this idea, and would like us to start work on a programme of speakers on line, please send me an email to

Just tell me if you’d like to join in this programme, in principle.

I will let you know how the response is and keep you up to date with progress.

I look forward to hearing from interested members. (Of course we intend to restart a full programme of talks in the Littleton Hall when we can). If you’d like to ask anything about this idea you can phone me on 07714 768398.

Nick Vernon

P.S. Later on, if you would like tips on using Zoom, we can probably help.




We regret to inform you that there will be no August newsletter. In view of the continuing difficult situation and their own considerable commitments the editors are struggling to find relevant material. The committee have agreed to a trial period during which the newsletter will be sent out quarterly. The next edition is scheduled for September with copy deadline the 20th August, followed by December with copy deadline November 20th and so on. Please don’t stop submitting items of interest to the editors as usual.

From now on our website will therefore continue as the prime source of information about any matters concerning Winchester U3A.

However there are still a considerable number of members with no internet access so we rely on those of you who have, in the true spirit of the U3A, to update such members that you know about with any relevant information to be found on our website.

Freda Bates





ISOLATION PLAN - Literally written on the back of an envelope, but it was a big one!

There’s a cupboard on the landing – floor to ceiling, chock-a-block
With boxes, bags and packages, all bulging with a stock
Of ‘that might come in handy’, ‘that’s quite nice’ and souvenirs
Of inefficient storing over more than forty years.
It needs a clear out and I am quite ready now that I’m
At home in isolation, and at last I have the time.

But first perhaps the larder and that aging flour that begs
To become a cake with Stork and those two also aging eggs.
The icing sugar’s not too hard, and even I might find
That half a tub of cherries that last Christmas left behind.
I’ll make it, then for clearing I’ll be absolutely free,
But maybe I’ll just taste it with a lovely cup of tea.

Then I’ll have to pass the wardrobe, so much sorting needed there,
All those much loved dresses from my past, I’m now too big to wear.
Did I really buy a sweater of that ghastly shade of puce
For which not even charities could find financial use?
But I’ll bag and sort my choices from disasters to the best
Then start upon that cupboard after just a little rest.

But bags suggest the bookshelves and the chance for getting rid
Of the ‘must reads’ that I didn’t, and some lowbrow stuff I did.
Oh, and there’s dear Georgette Heyer, read until she fell apart,
For while masterpieces stretched my mind, her humour warmed my heart.
I’ll just take another look at her, it isn’t much to ask.
Then, inspired I’ll face that cupboard and be ready for the task.

But now the sun’s come out, and so I really shouldn’t miss
Some time out in the garden, and not stay indoors like this,
When dead heading and some planting are the things the garden needs,
And keeping down the moss, the slugs and strong assorted weeds,
For, whatever lurks behind that cupboard door, this truth I know
Though rubbish seems to gather, unlike weeds it doesn’t grow.

So, writing now I wonder what will happen through the year.
. Will I be well and free or still be isolated here?
And, if I am, will I be wise, not fritter life away,
But work and learn and stay in touch with people every day?
Whatever I achieve though, I’m afraid there still will be
A landing cupboard chock-a-block just waiting there for me.

Heather Riley sometime member of the Worthies WI March 2020