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Well dear friends I must admit I have been struggling to prepare this letter to you all. I always try to write to you in a positive way but at the moment with the new lockdown in place it hasn’t been easy.

This time last year your committee had plans in place for a festive celebration as Christmas approached. Some kind of entertainment, perhaps a short quiz and certainly mince pies and Christmas cake were going to make the December monthly meeting an enjoyable event. And so it turned out to be as three talented members performed songs and readings for our delight, Julia’s quiz taxed our little grey cells and the tea went down a treat.

With no monthly meetings since March this December is looking a bit bleak. However I feel that our groups will manage to share some festive fun - the railway group, of which I am a member, are certainly planning a Zoom quiz and who knows what rare delights are being prepared by other groups. Very many of you have been meeting virtually for a while now and even I have had to admit rather grudgingly that Zoom has its uses.

The virus has robbed us of many certainties and especially the joy of planning our annual gatherings and gift giving but some certainties it will not steal from us - the comfort of memories and the love of family and friends. So in the words of Tiny Tim ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ and from me DONEC OBVIAM ITERUM (a brainteaser perhaps to put you in a festive mood?)

Freda Bates Chairman





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





At the moment all meetings have been suspended due to government recommendations, but we do plan to resume a programme of monthly meetings in the Littleton Hall in 2021 when this is permitted and it’s safe to do so.

In the meantime if you would support the idea of on-line video meetings, please see the item in “RECENT NEWS” called “Monthly meetings - on-line now?” on this home page, and send an email to if you’re interested.””.





Hyde banner 6 002

The Committee are organising the Hyde900 Community Archaeological Dig for 2020.

The Committee have worked really hard to make sure that it is complying with the COVID-19 guidance and have managed to get the go-ahead for the Hyde dig which takes place 22 – 25 October 2020. The trenches will be in people’s gardens and we are limiting the number of people (including organisers) in each garden to 6. Masks will be worn, we are complying with track and trace, distancing will be observed and the event is totally outside.

So we are delighted that we are able to go ahead and offer people the chance to be involved in a real archaeological dig in Winchester on the site of the Hyde Abbey. We are anticipating some fascinating finds. No experience is necessary – we have dig supervisors who are expert archaeologists and will support the community diggers. There is also the option of sieving finds or processing finds etc. for people who may prefer not to climb into the archaeological trenches! Anyone who has questions can contact us.

Tickets cost £12 (discounts for Hyde900 members) and can you please pass these details onto to your members – in particular the Local History Groups. Tickets are available at

Caroline Blatchford is very happy to provide more details or answer questions if that would be helpful. Please call her on 07850 135138 or email .





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




The National U3A Virtual Annual General Meeting will take place on 29th September 2020. If you wish to have more information, please go to the U3A website, where you will find the AGM features on the front page, with a link telling you how to join the meeting.

Best wishes

David Boddy





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.




Before Lockdown I had arranged for our Quester Group to have a ‘front-of-house’ and ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of John Lewis. Obviously this didn’t go ahead but now John Lewis have written to me with news of a new service allowing people to shop and get advice on products from the comfort of their own home. This may be helpful to any of our U3A Members who are still shielding or may feel nervous about going into the Southampton store.

Apparently there is no extra cost and no minimum spend and appointments are bookable on their Experiences website via When booking select Partner 1 at checkout in order to book with Southampton – the appointment being taken by Brian or Beccy. Another useful contact point is email; and telephone 02380 216326.

Hope this is helpful for any of you who may be missing a regular big store visit. With luck our Quester Group may be able to witness this service in store sometime during 2021.

Clive Boot



National U3A High Street Project

As Secretary of Winchester U3A I am coordinating our response to a request from National U3A about their 'High Street Project'. Essentially they are hoping that 5-10 volunteers from several U3As will spend perhaps a couple of hours surveying one or more shopping streets during September.

The document from Roger Cox is available. If you are interested, please read that, as it explains what volunteers would be expected to do. (You will see in that document my role is described as 'Project Leader' which sounds a bit grand, but never mind - that is me.)

To anticipate some questions you may have:

  • which streets in Winchester we survey will depend on how many pairs of members volunteer, and their preferences - for example part of the High Street, all of Parchment Street, or something else;
  • if one member of each pair could please contact me by Friday 21st August with both of their names and email addresses, I will then send them a link to an online volunteer registration form which they should return to Peter Cox (who co-ordinates the national project) by the end of August;
  • please indicate your pair's preferred street (or part of), to try and avoid duplication;
  • the document refers to this as capturing the 'pre-pandemic' state of a street. Clearly that is a bit late now, but in practical terms there has been very little change to shopfronts etc since March, so it does not materially affect the story. If you were to come across an example where you know something has changed, then you would record that as best you can.

Please also ask me any questions that I have not anticipated.

Bob Boddy




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





Would you like to be part of a big, responsible research group, reporting about the spread of the virus?

You will need a smartphone or a tablet (for example an iPhone or an iPad or Samsung or other equivalent product). A laptop probably is not suitable.

COVID symptom tracker is an app for Android and iOS systems.

A research programme led by Dr Tim Spector of Kings College London together with Guys and St Thomas’s Hospitals in partnership with Zoe Global, a health systems company, invites us to tell the app every day how we are feeling and thus have a picture of millions of people all across our country. So far between 2.5 and 3 million of us log on every day for a few seconds to report. They especially want people over 70 to be in this programme.

When I registered it asked me about my age, sex, ethnicity, health questions etc so they can use the data sensibly but each day they just ask how we are feeling so it’s really quick.

In addition you get access to the results, so each day they show the daily trends of infections over the past month with a map of where the cases are, with % figures estimated of the local population by region.

The app is available on the Apple App Store and Android equivalent at no cost. It’s called COVID symptom tracker.

If you’d like to contribute to a big and responsible data base, perhaps it might inspire government to make timely and sensible decisions on how to get us out of this horrible mess.

Nick Vernon




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




Those of you good at downloading apps may find taking part in this research a worthwhile use of some of our unexpected free time.

Go to .

Freda Bates Chairman




The following message was sent to all Group Leaders on 17th March:-

Dear Group Leader,

With the best interests of all our members at heart the committee have decided to cancel the April and May monthly meetings and re-schedule the speakers. This message will be put on the website. We will make every effort to keep you informed about developments for subsequent months.

We are relying on group leaders to pass on this information as not all our members use the internet. Given the diversity of our groups, their members and their venues we ask group leaders to consult with their members and make a decision to meet or not on this basis. A possible outcome of this projected lockdown is depression and feelings of loneliness and isolation. Please keep up everyone’s morale with phone calls and emails etc as much as you can. Already the brighter light and welcome spring flowers are helping to lift our spirits until, in the words of Vera Lynn, “We’ll meet again!” and not before too long I hope,

Freda, your chairman.