All posts by Andy Henderson

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...


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!


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

Group report

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

The Bridge Group has now comfortably settled in at its new location, at the Royal British Legion. We meet every Tuesday morning, from 10.00 to 12.00. We now number over 30 members, which normally mean 4 to 6 tables. The atmosphere is always relaxed and friendly, with some members now in their 10th year of playing bridge with this group. On December 5th, we have arranged a Christmas lunch for all members at the Legion, paid for from group funds.

We wish all U3A members a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

John Moore

Group report

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

The year began well with a full complement of writers in the group. We can accommodate a maximum of eight authors due to limited space at our host's house and we had been short of two members for some time.

We now are forging ahead, sharing our writings and our opinions and thinking about new projects. At the end of November there is a Portsmouth Writers' Hub  'Dragon's Den’ event in which budding authors will be invited to pitch their novels in the making. Literary agents and editors will be in attendance and will give job offers on the day. One of our members will be taking up the invitation, so we wish her well and think she is very brave!

Louisa Heaton
Louisa Heaton

For our October meeting, I had invited a published author to come to talk to us. She had managed to change direction from writing non-fiction to writing novels and has been very successful. Her talk was fascinating and she was keen to hear what we were doing and listen to some our work. She recommended various digital 'tools' to help writers organise their work - one she was particularly in favour of was a programme called 'Scrivener' and she also directed us to a website called 'Literature and Latte'. We were all inspired to think more about publication.

At the moment we have two names on our waiting list but unfortunately no vacancies. I shall advertise on the website if there should be a vacancy in the future.

Maggi Bridgman

Group report

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

We have covered many interesting places, events and people this year but the most interesting was an English Artist who lived and painted in Portsmouth under sad and unfortunate conditions.

Edward King, an English artist in Portsmouth from 1926 until his death in 1951 was known for his Blitz paintings. He went mad and was committed to St James' Hospital, Portsmouth. However, this seems to be all that is common knowledge of the Impressionistic painter and illustrator, and does not do him justice. On researching further we found out more about the sad circumstances of his life in Portsmouth.

Born in 1862 Edward King was a relatively notable British artist. Early in his career his illustrations were featured in the Illustrated London News and his paintings shown in museums and galleries including the Royal Academy where he exhibited over 50 works up until 1924. He was a member of the Society of British Artists and a contemporary of J M Whistler, Augustus John and Paul Nash. He joined the Plein-Air Movement in St Ives, an artist’s colony founded by Walter Sickert and James McNeil Whistler. Van Gogh admired his work and bought one of King's drawings and is commonly believed to have influenced the young Van Gogh.

After his wife died from TB, King suffered a breakdown and in 1925 he was committed to St James' Hospital in Milton. The conditions under which mental health patients lived, at that time, would have plunged him into even more depression, loneliness, and desolation, without stimulation, he would withdraw and become unresponsive. His drawing and painting became his solace and salvation. Staff recognised the importance of his art to aid his recovery and after several years he was allowed to wander around the hospital grounds to paint and was a familiar sight around the hospital farm, painting the landscape and trees.

Eventually he was free to go to the beach at Langstone Harbour and Milton Locks where he became a familiar character, painting everything around, houseboats, seascapes, buildings and self-portraits. He would use any surface to paint on, be it wood, cardboard or paper. People would sit and watch him paint and he was found by all to be 'a most loveable, eccentric gentleman, who could talk lucidly and graphically.... his very blue eyes carefully studied and weighed up all he saw'. He created a huge number of works during this time, every day, all day he would sit and paint, often giving paintings to the locals.

After the 1941 Blitz he was commissioned by the Mayor of Portsmouth to paint the devastation that Portsmouth had suffered. His Impressionist style shows scenes of crumbling architecture, burnt brick and the desolation of a blitzed city. His beautiful haunting paintings of the bombed buildings of Old Portsmouth are a testament to his wonderful talent. Despite this, Edward King remains largely unknown. He died in 1951 and his works were bequeathed to Portsmouth City Council, in whose care they have remained.

An exhibition of the Blitz paintings is on show at the Portsmouth Museum until December 31st 2017. A rare opportunity not to be missed.

Karen Walker

Group report

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

We arrange four visits a year on behalf of all Hayling Island U3A members. At around this time of year a small committee meets to consider places to visit that should have general appeal. Visits are arranged to venues within a 100 mile radius of Hayling Island. Start times are usually 8:30am from HIADS returning between 5:30pm to 6:30pm depending on traffic.

The visits usually take place in April, June/July, August/September and December. Once dates have been finalised and costs calculated the visits are published on the web site and displayed at the U3A monthly meetings. You do not have to join the Visits 'group' to go on one of our trips. Bookings for visits are limited, and we take bookings on a first-come first-served basis, but (because of issues we've had in the past) we do not recognise a booking until we've received your payment. That means we cannot start taking bookings until we have calculated the cost to members.

Cheques are not cashed until nearer the date of the visit when various payments have to be made.

Visits are available for 50 members although if we have sufficient notice, we can book a 59 seater coach. If visits are under subscribed we reserve the right to offer places to members of other U3A Groups in order to avoid making a loss. Our last visit to Denbies Winery was a case in point and we were joined by U3A members from Havant and Emsworth. Naturally Hayling U3A members have priority.

The easiest way for you to book a place on a visit is to go to the visit page on the web site. Look under the heading ‘Events’ then select ‘Visits” and follow the instructions shown under 'Your bookings' at the end of the description. If 'Your bookings' doesn't appear it means we are still calculating the cost of the trip so can't yet take bookings. You can also book visits at the monthly meetings. We'll have a table set up for this purpose.

You can now make payment by bank transfer using the internet. You need to login to the members' area to see the bank account details. Click here to do that now.

Cheques can also be taken or sent to Debbie Wilsher. To see her address, click here to log in to the members' area.

Visits planned for 2018 are to The Globe Theatre, Borough Market, the Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern in April and Longleat Safari Park and House in June.

A special visit is planned for August. Our destination is Swanage where in addition to sightseeing it will be possible to go sailing on “Moonfleet” a 70 foot Gaff rigged cutter for two hours with the opportunity of some ‘hands on’ experience if desired. There will be two sessions available each taking 12 members. Alternatively you can take a trip to Corfe Castle via the Swanage Railway. The cost of these two activities is not included in the visit basic cost but what is included is dinner in Bournemouth at the Laguna Hotel. As you can see this will be a full day’s outing.

December will carry on what has become a tradition with a visit to a Christmas Market - in Bristol. This will be combined with a visit to Brunel’s “SS Great Britain”.

This year in April we visited Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard:


Next was Hampton Court in July, followed by a visit in September to Denbies Winery


To finish the year we shall be visiting Salisbury to see the Christmas Market, the Cathedral and other nearby attractions.

We welcome suggestions for visits which should have wide appeal for members.

Patrick Hulls

'Life and times' exhibition

From the visitors' book...

“A fantastic exhibition, so wide ranging, everyone involved should be proud”

“What a wonderful, moving exhibition: congratulations the collection is remarkable”

“Thank you for an inspiring exhibition. Two proud Hayling Islanders”

“An amazing collection! Well done to all”

“A most amazing and enlightening view of our Island”

Review by Derek Dunn

(Derek was chairman at the time)

Widely informative, without being overpowering, a set of six of display posters formed a "Timeline", setting out the salient events in each of the War years, formed the information bedrock of the Exhibition.

Exhibition postersEach poster set out, in an attractive and highly readable format, that year’s main world political events; military events on the British front; world events as a consequence of conflict and, quite unusually for exhibitions of this kind, events in the world of the arts. In addition, photographs and information about the life and times of Hayling Island gave an understanding of the impact of the War on local people.

Colourful, attractive and fascinating, a nearly lost world recovered and recounted on six excellent displays.

At one end of the room was a poignant list of the casualties, with a few illustrated and fascinating biographies; and, happily, a much longer list of those who served and who returned. Although the impact on them in the aftermath of war, in terms of physical and mental damage, cannot be measured and, with but few exceptions, will never now be known. Indeed one visitor told me that following WWI service one of her grandfathers “self-medicated with alcohol” and that the family was ashamed of him until they realised the mental and physical suffering he had endured.

The “School of Musketry”, “The VAD Hospital”, “The Contribution of Hayling Women”, “Food Production on the Island” and Hayling Schooling” all featured on the information boards as did a display of WWI postcards and a feature on Medals. That all was not always well at home, and suspicion and paranoia reigned at times, was reflected in a letter to the Parish Magazine from an aggrieved couple asserting that, contrary to public opinion, they were not and never had been agents of the German Empire threatening action for libel against the rumour-mongers.

A questionnaire about items in the Exhibition was widely utilised and enjoyed by the children; a table of WWI balaclavas, socks, gloves and mittens fascinated them and some of the civilian artefacts on the table of items from the home caused mystification: especially the do-it-yourself cobblers last that many thought was an anchor; and the flat irons that several thought might have been heated in the microwave oven!

Paintings, photos, artefacts, posters and displays were all brought together in an extraordinarily effective presentation of Hayling at War. The inclusion of an amazing set of WWI artefacts was due to the extraordinary generosity of Peter Everard, who has been an ardent collector for many years.

The rather lovely, delicate, 1909 Edwardian wedding dress for Sarah, obviously a petite and pretty lady on the day of her wedding with Hayling baker Frederick Peacock, sadly to lose his life, but weeks before the end of the War leaving her with three young children to bring up, contrasted with the brutal formality of the military uniforms: formal Official letters contrasted with poignant notes to home: and menacing, deadly weapons of war contrasted with the crucifix fashioned from a bullet case and bullets with an exquisitely carved miniature of the Christ figure found in the mud at Passchendaele. Was it British, French, German? But representing a common humanity and hope in the depths of the muddy man-made Hell.

War in its sheer brutality in battle with the equal burden of shortages of food and fuel, and endless hard work endured by those left at home, largely the ladies and the children, was displayed with cool clarity: but with the amelioration of the triumph of the human spirit above the callous carnage shining through.

This was an exhibition demonstrating research of professional standards allied to design and presentation skills of the highest quality. It was an exhibition where respect and admiration for all the Hayling Islanders involved in the War, home and abroad was shown in abundance.

exhibition3The exhibition was without triumphalism. It was affectionate, respectful and commemorative of our Island’s forebears.

With contributions from many groups within our U3A, the team of Thelma Cook, Karen Walker, Bryan Bowen and Peter Hill initially led by Derek Drew and then by Paul Chapman when Derek moved off the Island, produced an Exhibition at least the equal, if not better than those set up by professional curators in public museums and galleries. It was the outcome of devoted commitment, sheer hard work and the application of admirable skills honed over many years. The picture on the right shows the exhibition team with the Lord Mayor of Havant.

The Exhibition was a triumph and I am certain that every member of the U3A will join me in offering the team our unbounded congratulations.

Derek Dunn

The Exhibition Stewards

The Exhibition Organising Team would like to acknowledge the tremendous assistance provided by the members of the Hayling Island U3A who volunteered to undertake steward duties. The exhibition was open for a total of 90 hours and at all times there were at least two stewards on duty. Their presence allowed the public and the school children to gain more benefit from their visit, facilitated the sale of many books and ensured that all the exhibits remained in situ! In general, the stewards found that the duty period was not a chore but instead a fascinating interchange with the many members of the public who wished to discuss their own family involvement in WWI and witnessing the minds of children attempting to comprehend the full implications of the exhibition.

'Life and times' exhibition posters

Exhibition posters

At the 'Life and times' exhibition we displayed posters describing:

  • key events in each of the years 1914 to 1919
  • those who fell in the war
  • important topics for the period

We reproduce those posters below...

Key events

Click any link to see the associated poster...

The fallen

Click here to see our list of the fallen.

Hayling Islanders during the war

Click any link to see the associated poster...

Hayling at war

Click any link to see the associated poster...

About the war

Click any link to see the associated poster...

Group report

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

This group is now meeting on a more regular basis and, conveniently, at the end of term has completed all of our book 2 Songs and exercises. We have also progressed onto duets and will begin book 3 in the autumn.

This year we have welcomed 2 new players into 'Windsong'.

Many thanks to Joan Doney who usually hosts the group and cooks the most delicious cakes for break time.

This group is now full.

Group report - annual review

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

Over the past 12 months we have been fortunate to have new walk leaders - Sonia, Jorj, Pam & Barbara. Those of us jaded by this beautiful countryside have been treated unexpectedly to new walks, thanks to these members. Not least of the surprises was Jo's walk at Catherington - so new, so close, so rural.

So gentlemen - where are you ?

The Year started with a walk in freezing fog at Hilsea Lines, where we gave unplanned interviews to a television film crew - some of us have been on the BBC & ITV news! New too was the brief excursion around the Lido, to see a device for giving youngsters practise at kite-surfing.

Last August Jorj led us on a walk from the Jane Austen village of Chawton to that astonishing building at Upper Farringdon - Massey's Folly. Sonia found us a new starting point for the route up St. Roche's Hill to the primroses - and a new place to lunch.

So gentlemen - where are you ?

If there is a member that would like to lead/share walks on a day other than a Monday, and possibly slightly longer at 6-7 miles, then please let me know. I have this belief that to keep both fit and sociable that HIU3A needs to be walking several times a month - though my knees may grumble.

Bryan Bowen