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Hello all Winchester U3A members


I thought I had better introduce myself in this first month of my having taken over from Freda, to whom we all owe a great debt of gratitude, by having remained as Chair for an extra year beyond her allotted tenure, in order to maintain the u3a in Winchester.


I am relatively new to Winchester, although not to the u3a, having arrived two years ago from Eastbourne, where I was a member of a German and Canasta group and ran a Cryptic Crossword group, which had two puzzles printed in the u3a magazine (Third Age Matters).


In this first newsletter of my tenure, I want you to be thinking about the success of the u3a which lies in the strength of its membership and the dedication of group leaders and organisers to maintain the spirit of friendship and learning that the u3a allows. Please be kind to your organisers and hosts, don’t take things for granted, and think about all the members of the Committee who are working hard to keep us afloat. Most of all, think about 2023 and my departure and whether you can get involved to help run this great idea that brings us all so much pleasure.


Bob Shemilt Chairman




It was nice to see sixty people in the Littleton Hall for the Spitfire talk, which gave us all the feeling that normality is just around the corner.


Bob Shemilt Chairman





The AGM FOR 2021/2 will be held on Tuesday 10th May, at 2.00pm, followed by a speaker. The plan is this will be held in the normal venue Littleton Hall.

The Accounts for the year have been completed and signed off by the Independent Financial Examiner and are now ready to read






1. Welcome

2. Apologies

3. Minutes of the AGM held on Zoom on 8th June 2021

4. Matters arising from the Minutes

5. Chairman’s report

6. Treasurer’s report and accounts

7. Election of committee for 2022-2023

8. Any other business

9. Date of next AGM – Tuesday 14th March 2023.


David Boddy


Winchester u3a





1. WELCOME: Freda Bates, Chairman, welcomed 69 members to the meeting.


2. APOLOGIES: Anne Bristow, Barbara and Colin Chase, Derek Crapper, Eileen Lukes, Daphme Rice, Peter and Angela Smith, Phil Waterton.


3. MINUTES of Annual General Meeting held on 10th March 2020: These were accepted.


4. MATTERS ARISING from the minutes: None.


5. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT: Freda Bates read her report to those attending. A copy was on the website and in the newsletter, but she wanted to add the welcome information that committee vacancies had been filled (see Item 8).


6. TREASURER’S REPORT AND ACCOUNTS: Vernon Tottle had published the accounts on the website and in the Newsletter. He noted that at present there was no need to increase subscriptions as our financial position is strong. He invited questions, in response to which:


  • Clive Boot asked if the committee had considered lending money to local U3As that are in a weaker financial position. Vernon replied that while this may not be legal, he would look into it if another U3A asked us for a loan;
  • Julia Whitburn questioned the timing of National U3A considering raising subscriptions by 50p, at a time when they are discontinuing some services (such as the DVD collection);
  • Marion ?? (I could not see the speaker, but thought I heard Freda say ‘Marion…’) asked what proportion of our subscription goes to National – Vernon advised that we keep £4.50 and send £3.50 to National;
  • Clive Boot asked if the Treasurer could outline the benefit of being part of U3A National – Vernon replied that he would happily reply in the next Newsletter.

As there were no further questions, the Treasurer proposed that the meeting accept the accounts, which it did unanimously.

David Smith was also thanked for his work as Independent Financial Examiner.


7. MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTION: This will remain at £8.


8. ELECTION OF COMMITTEE FOR 2021-2022: Freda Bates is standing down as Chairman, as are Julia Whitburn as Groups Secretary and Lianne Hill as Membership Secretary. Richard Costard had retired as Vice Chairman during the year on grounds of ill-health.

Nick Vernon, Barrie Brinkman, Vernon Tottle and David Boddy were all prepared to serve another year. All had been nominated and seconded, and were unanimously re-elected.

Robert Shemilt (Chairman), Freda Bates (Vice-chairman), Marion Schiesser (Membership Secretary) and John Craig (Groups Secretary) had all been proposed and nominated for the vacant roles, and were unanimously elected. Julia Whitburn had been proposed and seconded as a committee member and was unanimously elected.

In her report the Chairman had thanked Sheila Ayling and Judy Smith for their work as Newsletter Editors.

The formal meeting ended at 14.30 and continued with the usual monthly talk. NEXT A.G.M: 8th MARCH 2022 AT LITTLETON MEMORIAL HALL. DOORS OPEN 14.00 F0R 14.30 START


David Boddy






A management committee of Winchester u3a meets every two months (at the moment on Zoom) to oversee the management and finances of the branch. We always welcome members who are willing to join the committee, to help us get things done and bring their experience and wisdom to our meetings. If this is something you think you may like to consider, please contact Bob or Freda Add their details) to discuss the possibilities.

David Boddy







We have some members who live in the City but don’t have a car these days (very green!). We have resumed live monthly meetings in the Littleton Hall, but these members have difficulty getting to the meetings.


If you come to the monthly meetings and might consider giving a lift to someone who’s a bit stuck, could you please let me know?


If you have no transport and would like a lift, please also let me know. I will then co-ordinate lifts and passengers.


Please send an email if you’re interested, to




Throughout the pandemic, the committee of our u3a has acted to protect our members as much as we can. When Covid-19 struck, we had to suspend our monthly meetings: later we resumed with online meetings using the Zoom platform, and this has allowed us to have speakers from all around Britain, with subjects we couldn’t have covered locally.


We have one more online meeting this year, and it’s on Tuesday 14th December starting at 2.15 for 2.30. Julia Whitburn is organising a Christmas festive quiz for us all, and Freda Bates will host the meeting with Julia. You’ll be invited to provide a nibble or two for yourself, maybe a drink (mince pies and tea anyone?) and we will see what we can do to make it cheerful and nice.


Although we still have very high rates of Covid infection in Winchester, there is now quite a lot of evidence that the booster vaccinations provide a very high level of protection, so we are going to try meetings in the Littleton Hall again starting in January 2022. There will be new conditions for all of us, not least because the Hall itself has extra measures in place to protect us all. I’ll spell out the conditions when we invite members to each meeting, as the conditions may change from month to month.


We hope to publish more details about the new year meetings before long and we will do our best to provide members with an interesting programme. Here are the dates for the first meetings-


Tuesday 11th January 2022 starting at 2.30, doors open from 2.00.

The subject of this meeting will be “Electricity”, and our speaker, in person, will be Michael Etherington. We had planned this way back in 2020, pre-Covid, but now perhaps it may actually happen!


Tuesday 8th February 2022 starting at 2.30, doors open from 2.00. Subject & speaker to follow.


If you don’t come to the Zoom meetings, and you would like to be invited to the meetings in the Littleton Hall, please send an email to

...and then you’ll get an invitation to each meeting. For the time being we’ll need to know in advance if you’re coming.


Also, if you’d like to come but can’t easily get to the Littleton Hall, please let us know, we might be able to assist in some way such as another member giving you a lift.


If you have any questions please email to or phone 07714 768398


Thank you!


Nick Vernon




I started this group with my husband Philip 25 years ago. We were told that it would not succeed as no one would want to walk so far. However in a short time our numbers increased so one of our members, Peter, started a second group The Retreads. Sometime later Dale started group 3 as numbers increased. Sadly group 1 has reached the end of the road. Eight members have died and those who are left no longer walk so far.


I thought it would be sad not to remember some of our achievements. Firstly we learnt a great many walks in the Winchester area as we all took responsibility for finding and leading walks. Planning usually took place in my home after a short walk followed by lunch.


We increased our scope by having holidays in different places in England. The Isle of Wight, Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Derbyshire Dales were some of our favourite places. We also ventured to France and enjoyed some excellent walks. These were very happy and social times.


breakfastAll Day Walkers 1 breakfast picnic


For many years we had a breakfast picnic in midsummer. We started walking very early, then stopped for Bucks Fizz and strawberries on the way before continuing to our picnic site on Farley Mount. We cooked breakfast of bacon, eggs and sausages, using disposable barbecues.


breakfast2ALL Day Walkers breakfast picnic


When Philip was given a book of London walks we tried these and then started leading London walks, these became very popular. Philip produced sketches of places on the way and gave copies to everyone on the walk. I continued with these walks after he died in 2011 and I plan to continue.


I know many people have very happy memories of our walks and made new and lasting friendships. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us.


pyreneesAll Day Walkers 1 trip to Pyreness


greenwichAll Day Walkers trip to Greenwich


Trisha Ferris





Claire Feltham, the volunteer coordinator for St Johns Winchester, has sent the following to Winchester u3a:


Through our Hand in Hand service we support those living in isolation in the community, through referrals from the local GP surgeries and County Council.


We are currently in need of recruiting more Volunteer Befrienders to befriend our growing waiting list. There is no set time, just an hour a week will suffice to check in on an elderly person to see how they are doing. We offer full training and ongoing support to our volunteers throughout their time with us.


More details available from or 01962 827795.






Some of our generation are very wary of Facebook, but used with discretion it can be interesting and entertaining. On one Facebook group: u3a Keeping in Touch I spotted this discussion started by Holly Bourne on 30 October 2021:


I’ve been having a discussion about encouraging more members to join the u3a and the conversation took an interesting turn.


Have you ever thought about how we lose our identity when we retire? We no longer have a job title and when you fill in a form that asks for occupation all the retired people are lumped under one category of ‘Retired’.


When you think about the diversity of our members how do we change things so that we're not just retired old people? We're retired plumbers, doctors, accountants, care workers, lots of nurses in our u3a, teachers, shop assistants, project managers.


How do we reclaim an identity and share a lifetime of experiences from every job role we've ever been in (and I've had a few over the years)?


There were a great many interesting points raised – but you’ll have to go to Facebook to read them and possibly contribute!


Judy Smith



I am writing in response to the article
‘Retirement = Loss of Identity’ in the December 2021 Newsletter


It concerns me that anyone should think that they lose their identity when they retire! Why should they? However it is of greater concern that in the knowledge that the years are rapidly passing us by, that we do not prepare ourselves for these retirement years. Shame on us. It is only two or three generations ago that our ancestors, working long hours 6 days a week, with minimal holidays, if they could afford them, were expected to work until they dropped.


Most of us have grown up within the welfare state, in centrally heated houses, with educational opportunities and have had days of leisure throughout our working lives; as a generation we have had ample opportunity to think about the days ahead of us when we will not be required to work. No, life does not always run to plan but we have libraries, museums, leisure centres, an abundance of recreational clubs and bus passes for travel; not to mention the recent advantages of learning to use the computer and the internet…………. we just need to decide what we would like to do with these precious years. Forget about those who seem unable to recognise, respect and value the contribution that retirees, senior citizens, make within society. They are not worthy of a second thought. Their ignorance is their problem.


For those concerned about reclaiming their identity, I say ‘Fulfil your inclinations, hold your head high, and be yourself’ No reclaim of identity will be required. You will be recognised for the person that you are.


April Wood Ashton





I lent out the u3a projector and laptop before lockdown for a member to use at her husband's funeral. Now I can't find where I made a note of who borrowed it. Does it ring any bells? Another group need it so if you are the one please get in touch with Freda to have it back.


Freda Bates





Move Momentum are launching a brand new GEMS, over 65's dance class, on the 8th July. GEMS is a friendly and relaxed dance class for over 65s which includes a mixture of seated and standing movement with a focus on going at your own pace and having fun.


Our new class will be located at St Barnabas Church, Weeke, Thursdays 10-11am. We provide tea, coffee and good social chat afterwards, plus we are running the new class totally free throughout July!


Move Momentum also offer many other classes, so here's a reminder of those!


We have a current GEMS, over 65's, dance class held on Tuesdays 10-11am at Unit 12, Winnall Valley Road, which hosts a great cafe for our after class social chat!


We also run various classes through our Liberate Dance company! An exclusively wheelchair-based dance company believing in celebrating the freedom of movement a wheelchair brings to people with disabilities. We currently offer Liberate Youth classes, Liberate Adult, Liberate Online and even a Liberate Workout Class!


The ultimate goal for Move Momentum is to reach as many beneficiaries as possible, and help all groups of people who may find the joy of dancing less accessible. So it would be great to have your assistance in spreading the word!


Kerry Chamberlain

Project Coordinator

Move Momentum

T: 01962 809234






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.





We have received an invitation from Lucia Graves, of Gresham College to attend their free public online lectures. They can be watched both at the scheduled time and afterwards (online).


You can read more about Gresham College's free public lectures since 1597 here.

Of general topical interest, as well as the straight history lectures coming up this year, there is a lecture by Professor Chris Whitty on the history of Vaccination, and how it has transformed healthcare, and an old series on epidemics by the historian Professor Richard J Evans, that you may be interested in.

You can register for any lectures using an email address, and will get a reminder 10 minutes before the lecture is due to start.

History One-Off lectures 2021

The South Sea Bubble of 1720 by Helen Paul, 1pm, Tues 30 Mar 2021

Napoleon: Shadows & Gardens by Ruth Scurr, 1pm, Thurs 6 May 2021

Theatres of War: Crusade, Colonialism and Chivalry in the Middle Ages by Nicholas Paul, 1pm, Thurs 3 June 2021

History Series with lectures still to go in 2021 (you can watch the earlier ones online now)

A series on Great Tudor and Stuart Houses by the superb Simon Thurley - next one is Private Palaces: Mansions of the Marlboroughs, 6pm, Tues 15 June 2021.

Alec Ryrie on England's Reformations - this excellent series has been our top-rated lecture series so far this year (by views), next one England's Anglican Reformation 6pm, Weds 21 Apr 2021.

A series on Darwin by Jim Endersby (all complete now).

Joanna Bourke on Evil Women (cultural history - next one is on Myra Hindley), 6pm, Thurs 13 May 2021.

The Politics of the Courtroom by the writer and QC Thomas Grant looks at things like the state appointment of judges, and the 'political lawyer' from Apartheid South Africa to contemporary Britain. Next lecture is on the Politics of Judging, 6pm, Mon 29 Mar 2021.

A series on Great Thinkers by Classicist Edith Hall (one of our best lecturers) - next one is on Cynics, Stoics, and Epicureans, 1pm, Thurs 27 May.

You can see everything History-related here.

You can sign up Gresham's email newsletter here:

Neil Skinner