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UPDATE November/December 2022

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

Update Edition: Thirty Five – November/December 2022

Editor: Sue Hooper-Lawrie

In Remembrance

The RED poppy commemorate those who sacrificed their lives in World War One and conflicts that followed.

The BLACK POPPY ROSE commemorates the contribution of all black, African and Caribbean communities - servicemen, servicewomen, and civilians.

The PURPLE poppy commemorates all animal victims of war.


A warm welcome to those new members who have joined us since the last newsletter was sent out.

Our next Monthly Meeting

On Thursday December 1 2022 Sue Hooper-Lawrie brings us another murder mystery, this time based close to home! So get your sleuthing heads on!

Set in a u3a Gardening Group, over Christmas, The Angel’s Trumpet Christmas Murders will need all your “little grey cells” to be awake and ready to solve this triple murder. The u3a Gardening Group has a number of specialist sub groups, with two of those sub groups regularly clashing! Egos and arrogance eventually get out of hand and working as teams of up to 4, you will piece together the evidence and help solve this dastardly Christmas crime.

From the Committee

The Committee are now settling in as a new group and those who are in new roles are finding their feet.

We have been looking at purchasing a new screen for our speakers, having been grateful to Richard Taylor for the use of his since we launched CVu3a, but it has become evident that something bigger is required. Hopefully you will see this on the stage soon.

As Business Secretary I receive information from National Office about access to information

beyond Culm Valley u3a. I would urge you to look at the National u3a site, from time to time and

especially now as autumn and winter approach and we may be going out less. Under ‘Events’

there are lots of FREE (we like that) talks via the web, and others that are more specialised, for

which there is a charge.

Following on from the Third Age Trust AGM which I attended virtually, there will be a follow up

meeting via zoom on 21 November 2022 at 11 am hosted by the new Vice Chair, Alan Walmsley. It

is called Fit for the Future. This session is for any member who is interested to find out what is

being suggested as a way for the u3a Movement to go forward. If you wish to attend then email

Susan Parker . Susan asks that you supply your name and email address, within the body of the

email, to register.

I understand that the November meeting was well attended with 76 members and 4 new members, so a warm welcome to them from me, and I hope to meet them in due course either at a monthly meeting or interest group.

The Culm Valley u3a Committee looks forward to seeing you at our December Monthly meeting on 1 December for our festive gathering. As we have no monthly meeting in January this will be a

great chance to catch up with you all as we look forward to a new year.

Lorna Knowles

Business Secretary

News from the Interest Groups

Photography Group

This months challenge seemed a tricky one; to produce three image for each of the subjects - something shiny, something tough, something silky, something rough - however the group not only came up with sensational photos, but showed how clever they are at thinking outside the box. We had remarkable pictures of a cobweb, a pair of old wellington boots. the sun shining across wet sand, an elephants skin, it was a really tough job to pick an overall winner for the month, but Trisha Luxton won, with nearly all of our votes, for her image of boats.

Our instant challenge was to photograph someone's eyes.. without blinding them with the flash.

If we ever have a pantomime group start, I know a few people who are adept at pulling pantomime worthy expressions!

Computer/ITC Group

Gardening Group

We only had the one visit in October, to Thornhayes Arboretum, where we all enjoyed a beautiful

afternoon as guests of Broadhembury Gardening Club. Kevin, the owner, gave us a full tour

explaining which countries the trees were native to and in some instances the history of their

propagation. His knowledge of the various cultivars was second to none, with the many maples and crab apples looking their very best. At the end the tour we all enjoyed fresh apple juice just as the air turned chilly and rain threatened.

Quiz Group

On the 20 September three teams from Culm Valley U3a made their way to Honiton for the inter u3a quiz challenge. Fortified with lunch in a couple of eateries in the town, the intrepid quizzers joined teams from Mid and East Devon with a view to bringing back the trophy we had won in April this year. Despite the best efforts of each of our teams, it was the Quizzy Rascals from Exmouth who were presented with the winning trophy. Congratulations to them. We look

forward to joining them when they host the next inter club quiz, date to be announced.

We continue to meet monthly, with different quiz creators each time, on a rota basis. We arrive with no idea what we will be quizzed on! From people called “Linda” to Disney Princesses, and from Local Landmarks to “Bingo Lingo”. We quiz in teams of up to 4 people and move around at each session, so that we get to know each other.

Theatre, Cinema and Music Group

Three of us visited the New Hall in Tiverton for a Sunday matinee performance of “Cats” by Andrew Lloyd Webber. We all thoroughly enjoyed this amateur performance by Willow Tree Dance and Theatre Arts. The cast were amazing young people who could both sing and dance, and consisted of young people from the age of three up to eighteen, who all performed enthusiastically and professionally. We are now looking forward to seeing their next performance which will be Shrek next year.


Strollers 2 Group

On October 11th group members had an enjoyable walk in Tiverton. We started at Old Road Car Park and walked down the old railway track and returned along the canal tow path. The walk was an easy ramble and conversation flowed well, this was followed by coffee at the Halberton Farm


Reading Group

We are going strong and new members are joining at just about every meeting. This is great as we have a varied and interesting list of suggestions, for wildly differing titles and genres, which in turn leads to great discussions.

Lunch Group

We had a very enjoyable time at The Red Lion, Broadclyst for our October lunch, in spite of the slow service and the rain.

Gaming Group

It was a dark, wet, windy Monday morning, when 12 of us met to play cards and board games at Willand Village Hall. I think it’s safe to say a good time was had by us all, judging by the smiles and laughter, interspersed with some quiet concentration from time to time. Several different games were played including Scrabble, Sequence, Bananas and Backgammon. Four of us also played Whist, with some teaching from Pauline, my lovely neighbour, who is an avid Whist player, playing in several Whist Drives each week. Maybe one day some of us might join her!

Art in Action

We are back into the swing of things following our two month break. Members creating artwork using a variety of media, from acrylic paints to coloured pencils and watercolours to felt tip pens! Some work on ongoing artworks while others choose to have a go at the Still Life. Every session a new Still Life is set up. The words “Still Life” being used loosely!!


The October walk was planned and led by Lynda Barley and Sue Williams. Despite the wet weather 20 of us braved the elements on a 4.6 mile walk around Kentisbeare. We followed the footpath to Sainthill, but due to the recent outbreak of Avian Flu in a local farm, we amended our route and used a different footpath and track up to the little hamlet of Sainthill, where we looked into the lovely little chapel and availed ourselves of the WC facilities. The rain stopped briefly as we retraced our steps down the lane before joining the footpaths across fields to the Blackborough road. At Stowford Water we crossed more fields to Pirzwell and then up a track to our planned walk down a lane to Silver Wood. However at that point the heavens opened again and we chose to head back to our starting point, through the village of Kentisbeare, and then to the Keepers Cottage for a welcome drink and a good lunch. Despite the rain we had an enjoyable time with some pleasant autumnal views of Blackborough and the Culm Valley.

Jazz Music Appreciation

Members continue to visit various venues each month to enjoy what the South Wests fabulous Jazz bands have to offer.


24 Members continue to meet and play a couple of games most Friday afternoons, and enjoy convivial competitions and fresh air, on the terrain in the relaxing gardens of The Walronds in Cullompton.

Behind The Scenes

With a full 50 seater coach of members from our u3a and a few very welcome guests, we set off enthusiastically to the recently opened Dartington Crystal Visitor Experience at Great Torrington. Free to make our own way around the site we browsed the sparkling new museum of Dartington glass through it's 50 year history, watched a short video and took a self guided tour of the original factory (certainly not sparkly but definitely working - producing 365k pieces a

year we learnt) from a viewing gantry above the furnaces and production floor.

Dartington’s history began, as one of Dartington Hall Trust’s social enterprises, with 16 Swedish craftsmen brought over to N Devon with their families to start what is now a major award-winning brand and the only factory-scale handmade glass manufacturer left in the country.

After lunching in the onsite café and gracing the shop handsomely with our business, we left for home having enjoyed the last Behind the Scenes trip of 2022.


Are you interested in Creative Writing?

Join me on Monday 14th November at The Orangery, Bridwell Park, Uffculme, for an informal chat about starting this new group.

We will meet at 10.30.

I look forward to welcoming you.

If you need any more information please email Barbie.


Contact Emails for current Executive Committee:


Current Role Holder

Margaret Chumbley

Janet Bryant

Alison Waple

​Lorna Knowles

Barbie Bradbury

Sue Greenhough

Deadline for items for UPDATE is always the 10th of the month

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