All posts by Andy Henderson

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

Whenever you see a container on the back of a lorry, have you ever wondered whether it has come from some exotic place around the world, what is inside it and what is its destination? Probably not, but the answers can all be found in a master programme that controls every aspect of a containers journey from its origin through to the final delivery point. The detail is astounding from the allocation of a specific container, to which lorry is to bring it to a dock, the position on the dock, its location on a ship, possibly the transfer to another ship, the order of unloading to a specific location and finally the lorry to take it to the end customer. When one considers the millions of containers on the move, the thousands of container ships sailing the seas and the multitude of ports around the world the enormity of the software programme that controls the operation can only be imagined. But this was the experience of Dinos Theophanous who gave a fascinating talk on the subject in September.

In November Maurice Winn gave us a detailed account of how the new container terminal on the Thames was designed and constructed from a green field site to a complex operational system.

On a different scale, but no less challenging, Bryan Bowen in October talked about the complexities of the Microsoft Access programme and how it has been applied to the Hayling Island U3A membership. It is this programme that ensures that you receive your local and national newsletters/magazines and allows us to claim back income taxes through gift aid.

Every meeting of the Science and Technology group is advertised at the monthly meeting and is open to all for a small nominal fee towards the cost of hiring the hall.

Paul Chapman

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

This year we have said goodbye to two members, Jean & Sheila and welcomed Jennifer & Rhoda. They organised a talk on Romsey followed by a visit there and a conducted tour of the Cathedral.

The past twelve months have produced talks by Bryan, on Local Airfields, by Maura on the litigious William Padwick - once Hayling's Lord of Manor.

Andrea organised a trip in July to the Bignor Roman Villa, set in a very attractive valley in the South Downs. Rediscovered in 1811, what started as a simple farmstead grew over the centuries to a villa of 65 rooms. Lunch was taken locally at the Squire and Horse at Bury.

LH1The year started with a conducted tour of the Cathedral in Chichester, organised by Jan, and in April Thelma & Judy led a walk around Old Bedhampton, including St Thomas Church, & the Grade II, crenelated Elms House where we took tea in the Waterloo Room, decorated for a visit by the Duke of Wellington.

Maura did us proud again by organising a trip & tour of the Hambledon Vineyard. Following a pleasant wine tasting, details are sketchy ...

In January we will plan activities for 2018 - this will include a talk about the history of the Hayling Golf Club by Viv Fitch, their archivist.

Andrea Burton

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

Owing to the upheavals of moving from a house into a flat, and the subsequent building works, several meetings were cancelled in recent months; this has not had the impact on members which might be expected. Our principal activity is addressing problems or topics brought up by the members. However problems are in decline, partly because software and hardware suppliers are improving the usability of their products and partly because people, especially those in the younger generation, are becoming more computer literate. So U3A members usually have assistance fairly close at hand or at least on the end of a telephone or email. If this trend continues I can see this group morphing into the "Computers and Current Affairs Group".

So although in the last year, members have had to convert (or been converted!) to Windows 10, the problems have not been so many as expected. Even emails, though still susceptible to annoying changes by suppliers, are getting more straightforward. We have room for new members and we don't have much discussion on very technical matters. We are even gaining experience on the use of tablets, though this is an area where suppliers should publicise the capabilities of their products.

Contact me if you are interested.

Peter Hill

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

MusicForFunThis group continues to meet 2 weekly in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

We play various styles of music and songs on a variety of instruments. We tend to play mostly Celtic folk tunes but also some songs, some jazz and have been adding popular classical pieces to our repertoire.

In the summer we were asked to play for a special charity raising event by the Hayling Bowls Group at the community centre. As it was wet, the indoor mats were put out and we were all invited to join in. For some of us it was our first try at bowls.

We also had a display of 'in house' Morris men dancing and then were invited to join in with some folk dancing. Much fun and laughter was had! We played a 20 minute spot with music and songs. As Sue Humphrey had arranged for song sheets to be distributed the audience was able to join in with us...which they did with gusto. The afternoon included a wonderful BBQ bravely manned outside under shelters, in the rain!

We have recently welcomed a new player to the group and he has settled in well.

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

We are now nearly 2 years old and so you can work out how many books we have made our way through!

Just in the way these things happen, over the past year our booklist has in a rather serendipitous way focussed on books about women (or maybe it was just because this was what the library had available for us! )

We followed the career of the actress Judi Dench, now known as a ‘National Treasure’. Then we read Poisonwood Bible by B Kingsolver, the fictitious yet harrowing trials and tribulations of the wife and daughters of an evangelical Baptist missionary from the USA in the Belgian Congo during the civil uprisings of 1959. This was followed by Singled Out by V Nicholson, which followed the lives of several women who had no option but to remain single after the loss of their menfolk in the First World War. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparke was a novel on a similar theme. Some of you may have seen Maggie Smith’s wonderful portrayal of her in the movie.

Still looking at books about women, Too Many Mothers by the actress Roberta Taylor was about early life in a big East End extended family headed by a wonderful matriarch of a grandmother. Then we had Still Alice by Lisa Genova, this was about Alice’s gradual and gruelling decline into Alzheimer's disease. Good Wives? was another of the books about how women manage to adapt to their circumstances. Margaret Forster took as her premise the ‘to obey’ that women, but not men, used to have to promise in the marriage ceremony. She contrasted the very different experiences of Mary Livingstone, wife of David, Fanny Stevenson, wife of Robert Louis, and Jenny Lee, wife of Aneurin Bevan with her own opinions about 'obeying' and an account of her own marriage to Hunter Davies.

One more, the Taming of the Queen, by Philippa Gregory is the story of Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry V111. A very interesting book about the plots and intrigue in the court as 'Kateryn' strives to survive and keep her head whilst others around her are losing theirs.

I can’t finish though without mentioning Ruby Wax's Sane New World and her journey in her metamorphose from comedienne and actress to therapist and lecturer on Mindfulness. Maybe all of these books could be looked at through Ms Wax’s mindfulness filter, but I think not!

Of course we have actually managed to read books on other topics, my all-time favourite is the wonderful word pictures in A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines. I guess the group members would all be able to name their favourites. I do thank them for their contributions to the list, for the richness and variety that I have enjoyed despite or even because of the pre-eminence of women in our reading. I thank the group too for their understanding that it is not always possible to include individual’s choices as we are dependent on the availability of the books from Hampshire Library Services.

Finally, this month we are reading about Mr Selfridge, the story of how he founded his shop in Oxford Street, so maybe that is signs of things to come...

Pat Bailey

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

We have not managed many visits in the last year because there has been a lack of opportunity to visit plays we want to see. Even the resurgence of the New Theatre Royal has not improved matters as their drama programme consists mainly of single night experimental theatre – not to our taste. The summer tends to have a dearth of productions and we enter the panto season next month.

We have made regular visits to see the National Theatre's productions, beamed into the Odeon at Port Solent, most recently Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch. At our other favourite venue, the "Spring" at Havant, which hosts two excellent amateur drama companies, our most memorable visit was to see a play about a rest home where the inhabitants were struggling to escape the floods, forgotten by the authorities. Some excellent performances from a touring group of professions.

Peter Hill

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

It is hard to believe that it is nearly 7 years since I was asked to take over Reading Group 3. At the time I was unsure how it would work out, having never done anything like it before. However I approached the members at that time and proposed that I was quite happy to host the meeting, collect the sets of books and return them to the library and make the tea, and sometimes even make a cake and the group would have to run itself. We began this 'system' in January 2011 and it seems to be working out ok, we are still going and have a full complement of 10 once again. We have had a few changes of membership along the way, a few decided it wasn't for them and unfortunately a couple have passed on, but all in all, it has been a successful venture. The members of the group select books from those available. The person who chooses the book leads the discussion meeting the following month. Some books we all like, there have been a few that none of us have liked but mostly there is a mixed reaction and we are able to enjoy a good discussion. As we all say, Reading Groups are great for discovering books that we would probably never have chosen in the first place. Over the tea and cake we discuss holidays and whatever anyone wishes to share since the previous month.

Long may we continue!!

Pauline Brice

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

The Hayling Island U3A canasta group goes from strength to strength. We now have 26 members. This was from a small group of 4 playing in our house. We now play at Age Concern in Webb Lane twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. It should be a very friendly game but is often won by the meanest player but you mustn’t smile while being mean. You can play with 2 or 3 or 4 players. We have tea or coffee during the afternoon, and it only costs £2.

Learn more by contacting Russell

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

Petanque1

The Hayling U3A Petanque Group has been enjoying playing at Seacourt's petanque terrain for a year. We are a relatively new group and in our first season we have attracted an enthusiastic membership and have gone from every other Wednesday to every Wednesday and Sundays!

Petanque

The highlight for us this year was to take part in the National U3A Petanque Tournament which was held at Mill Rythe Holiday Centre in September, over two days and attracted 52 Teams from all over the country including one from Guernsey!

We entered two teams for whom this was a new experience and they acquitted themselves incredibly well. After the first day they came in the top third of the table and progressed to the knock-out on the second day. Finally, we are very pleased to report that one team did even better and secured a runners up medal in their section.

The weather was good and the teams really enjoyed the experience of meeting other competitors in such a friendly atmosphere and we are looking forward to entering next year's tournament which is an annual event here on Hayling.

Steve Walker and Geoff Hollis

Group report

This is an article published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

During our November meeting we investigated Perspective and how it has been used in well-known paintings and the different ways to suggest distance in our own landscapes.

Next month's meeting will be more sociable, as we always bring Christmas nibbles in December, also we shall be moving to our new meeting room at HICC, which will be upstairs in the new extension. Maybe there will be a view from the window for us to attempt in the New Year!

So if there are any budding artists who would like to join the group, we meet on the first Thursday of the month from 2-4pm at the Community Centre.

Contact Brenda Cotten