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  • Writer's pictureSue Hooper-Lawrie

UPDATE May/June 2023



Our speaker on 1 June is Gary Holpin who will take us on

A Photographic Journey of the South West Coast Path

This popular talk is based around my experience of walking all 630 miles of the amazing South West Coast Path, and how this eventually led me to become a photographer, in order to better capture the beauty of our coastline. The talk is a mixture of stories about walking the path, about some of the places that we visit along the way, and the story behind how some of the photos were taken. It is illustrated throughout with many of my best photos of the beautiful Devon Coast (and a few Dartmoor ones too for some variety!), as well as video kindly provided by the South West Coast Path Association.


From the Committee …

What a splendid ‘Coronation Eve’ May Monthly meeting we had.

Thank you to all who helped decorate the room and provide delicious cakes, and how well Viv and the tea ladies coped, despite the fact that most of the regular tea ladies were away.

Our speaker this month, Julia Tremlett, gave us an amusing talk on the history of the National Garden Scheme

inspiring us to visit more gardens and to tackle our own over the coming months, it is such a good scheme with lots of local gardens to visit which helps raise thousands each year for charity.

At our March Executive Committee Meeting we signed off the Policies and Procedures and they have now been uploaded to the website, so we are all up to date. The next document update will be the Constitution which we will sign off at the June Executive Committee Meeting.

The membership goes from strength to strength and we welcome all who have joined our friendly, enthusiastic Culm Valley u3a since the last UPDATE. We hope you have found groups to tempt you to learn a new hobby.

A big thank you to all our Group Contacts who keep the interest groups buzzing with activity and we are lucky to be adding new ones as more folk come forward to share their expertise. If you feel you could head a new group doing something you love, the chances are there will be others who would be happy to learn from you. Just contact Barbie Bradbury, our Groups Coordinator, either at a monthly meeting or via the links given at the end of this edition of UPDATE or use the website.

Sue Greenough (Membership Secretary) and I (Business Secretary) will have served 3 years on the Committee, come our AGM in September, and so we are due to step down. We have had some interest in our roles from members but if you think you can use your expertise for either position look out for us at a monthly meeting and talk to us or watch out for information on Nominations for the AGM in July/August time. We are both willing to support you with the transition into the role and the other Committee Members are a helpful bunch too.

We look forward to seeing you at something sometime.

Lorna Knowles (Business Secretary)


News from the Interest Groups


Theatre/Cinema/Music

Five of us went to see The Vicar of Dibley at the New Hall, Tiverton. It was a 7.30pm start and £10 admission, and it's a no, no, no, no yes! giggles a plenty, as the Tiverton Dramatic Society players enjoyed themselves acting out this adaptation by Steve Clark & David Lovely.

Set in 1999, Hugo & Alice now have a baby. We head into the spring of the year 2000 as the villagers look forward to celebrating the christening of baby Geraldine and seek to commemorate the new millennium. Thoroughly enjoyable evening out, the play was 2 hours long with 20 minutes intermission when tea, coffee, a bar and ice lollies were available.


Art in Action

We have been busy this month and have continued with developing our art practice with an option of still life painting twice a month.

Some of us went to the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Honiton to see the “Lost in Paradise” exhibition. It is a very good exhibition and interesting to see the old and new depictions of the Blackdown hills in a variety of artist styles and mediums. The exhibition continues to the 3rd June.

In addition some members also went to see the “Exhibition on Screen- Vermeer” at the Beehive in Honiton. It was a film taken at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam where they have a rare and large Vermeer exhibition in the Spring this year, beautiful paintings and intriguing commentary by experts.

If you have an interest in art and painting no matter what medium or what level please join us.


Walkers

It was a lovely sunny day for our walk on 20 April, even if the wind was a little brisk at times! 17 of us met at Clyst Hydon Village Hall car park and set off led by Jackie. Our varied route took us up lanes, through woods and across fields with many lovely views. The walk was topped off with a splendid lunch at the Merry Harriers near Cullompton. An enjoyable time was had by all and here's to the next one.


Strollers 1

10 of our group met for another very enjoyable walk around Swans neck at Halberton. After the miserable weather we've been having we were so lucky, yet again, that it stayed dry and in fact it turned out to be perfect walking (strolling) weather. We hope to try a few new walks over the next couple of months. Thank you to all strollers for your company.

Genealogy

On the 12th April, at the Hayridge Centre Cullompton Library, members enjoyed a visit from Sue Bond, a volunteer with the Devon Family History Society. Sue spoke to us about the work of the society and their links to genealogy information worldwide, and interestingly not just here in Devon.

The Society was founded in Exeter during the 70’s and has over 2500 members including many international members who have links to family with roots in Devon. Volunteers have transcribed over 100,000 records many of these are available to members of the society free of charge and are not available from other sources.

Membership starts at £12 per annum, non-members can still visit the centre for a small entrance fee of £3.00. The facilities available include personal help with your research and 7 public computers with free access to: -

Ancestry Library, Find My Past, the Genealogist and the British Newspaper Archive.

The centre is ‘The Tree House’ located in King Street Business Centre, King Street, Exeter EX1 1DG. (just a few minutes’ walk from Exeter Cathedral.

For more information visit their website at https://www.devonfhs.org.uk/tree-house/, or join the genealogy group and enjoy a free guided tour of the centre in June.


Gardening

On Easter Sunday a small group of us enjoyed the gardens at Kia-Ora, near the rugby club in Cullompton. It never ceases to amaze me how, with every passing corner this garden gives just a little bit more. It's hard to imagine this was once a farmer's field. It even has a stream twisting and turning through the garden. While many plants are still dormant, it simply wets the appetite for what is yet to come on a summer open day.


History Group

In April we visited Exeter Cathedral Archives. We spent a fascinating 2 hours in the company of Ellie Jones, Archivist, and saw a selection of documents, most scribed by hand, in Latin, on parchment. The oldest document dated back to King Canute, and some were beautifully illuminated. As well as explaining the use and content of the documents, Ellie explained about the different writing surfaces and the inks that were used. We also saw some of the books held in the Cathedral Library.


Behind The Scenes

On April 26th, 25 members met at Otterton Mill where u3a member, Paul Steed, is a volunteer miller. Paul took 3 groups in succession on a tour of the Mill, telling us about its historic importance and explaining the mechanisms of its workings. It was surprising to hear that at the time of the Domesday Book, in which a mill in this location is mentioned, Otterton was a thriving and important port. We all had an enjoyable morning, observing and learning. Flour, scones and goodies were bought to take home, local art and craft gifts browsed and delicious cakes or lunch consumed by members. Our thanks to Paul for the visit.


Games

We held our monthly games group on Bank Holiday Monday, and it was such a lovely way to start the week. Despite the damp and darkness outside it was bright and sunny inside Willand Village Hall. There were only six of us today, as being a bank holiday, some people had other plans. So we all joined in a game of sequence, with three pairs of players, which worked out really well. It was certainly challenging but I think we all really enjoyed ourselves and there was a lot of laughter going on.

Craft

Last month we tried our hand at a Japanese traditional craft. Oshie / Kurumie

Oshie means ‘Pressed Picture’ and is a traditional Japanese hand craft. Like a jigsaw the picture is made up of many pieces. Each piece is wrapped in Kimono fabric or paper and padded with cotton wadding and is then nailed or glued together to create a three dimensional raised ornament.

Oshie is commonly featured as the main decoration on boxes, wall hangings or can be mounted as a piece of artwork. Kurumie meaning ‘Wrapping Picture’ is a term which is interchangeable with Oshie today but is derived from Oshie as an elementary level of craft.

We all made one from the same pattern and then some took the idea on to our own design.

Lunch Out

This month 13 of us took a ride out to Oake Manor Golf Club, what a wonderful location it is; looking out over the lovely Somerset countryside on a gloriously sunny Thursday lunchtime.

The menu was very varied, the service…spot on. All the food came out at the same time and it was all hot. Everyone enjoyed a natter while we dug in to our lovely lunches. Certainly no complaints from any of us. Oh! by the way, the prices were very reasonable. We will certainly be paying them another visit. Maybe for our December lunch.


Strollers 2

After an extremely muddy walk in March a group of enthusiastic strollers set of for a walk from the Swans Neck car park on the Tiverton canal. After walking along the canal we had coffee sat outside Halberton Farm Shop in the sunshine before returning to the car park. An enjoyable time was had by all


Creative Writing Group

Our group met on 17th April with the theme of “Holidays”. Some of us love them more than others. Our scope was wide in poetry and prose. From childhood memories to a desire to return home from the moment of departure.


Draw It!

The first session of Draw It went s wimmingly being that we were drawing water in various guises. Starting with the Anatomy of a Water Drop to drawing drips, drops, dribbles and more. Everyone threw themselves into the various drawing opportunities and ask questions about drawing and some of the resources used to draw, including the wealth of different graphite pencils and their hard of softness.

Quizzing

At the quiz in April the questions were set by Linda and Paula, the topics for this quiz were, The Chase, Popmaster, British History, Roots, Uncle Sam, and Staycations. Each team had the opportunity to play their ‘joker’ on the topic they thought they would score most points, which meant any of our teams could move their place up the scoreboard, with this double points round. The results were close but the Bluebells were declared the winners of the quiz with a total score of 51.

Always interesting, sometimes challenging, consistently good fun, can’t wait for the quiz on the 19th May.


Jazz Appreciation

Our members have been continuing to get out and about each month, this cold Spring, visiting gigs at different venues, as well as visiting our popular monthly live music event in Uffculme. These have included the RBL Hall at West Hill near Ottery St Mary, on the 2nd Sunday each month, where the lively City Steam Jazz Band are regularly featured!


Petanque

Our active group of boules lobbing enthusiasts continues to thrive and attract new players. The approaching warmer summer days are likely to encourage more members to join the hardy regulars when we meet up on the terrain in the gardens at The Walronds, Cullompton.

All are most welcome to join us, and there are spare boules available for anyone

who does not yet own their personal set, so don’t be shy, give it a try!


From the Interest Groups Co-ordinator

I hope that you will agree that our u3a is a fun and friendly group. Like all u3a’s we are a self-help learning cooperative where activities are led by members, for members, in our 23 Interest Groups.

We ask all our members, only if they can, to share their own knowledge, skills, and experiences with the rest of the membership, and this can be done in many ways:

  • by sharing your knowledge of a particular subject as a group leader. We have had short courses of a few months e.g. Learn to Draw, and for just a few hours e.g. How to use a mobile phone camera, as well as our regular Interest Groups.

  • by sharing an experience, as a speaker, at our Monthly Meeting e.g. Sue’s talk on her upbringing in East Africa and Gill’s adventures along the North Downs way.

  • by offering to help our committee, when they ask for volunteers for specific tasks e.g. putting out tables and chairs before our monthly meeting or baking cakes etc.

  • by being prepared to take on a committee roll, when elections come round, and one or more committee members have to stand down (having completed a three year stint.)

Please do get in touch if you are able to share your knowledge, experience, or time with our u3a, in some way. Whatever you can offer will be very much appreciated, as always, thank you.

Barbie


Interest Groups Meeting Days and Times – Quick Check

Here is a simple guide to our current Interest Groups with the week and day that they meet.

I hope that you will find this useful as I know some of you are enjoying several of our Groups.

Monthly Meetings:

Monthly Meetings are held on the FIRST THURSDAY of each month, except January. The meeting starts at 2pm, with members arriving anytime after 1.15pm. We hold our meetings at Willand Village Hall, Gables Road, Willand, EX15 2PL.Check monthly newsletter for more information about arrangements for the upcoming meeting/s.



























Our speaker in July will be from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

We' re luck that amongst our members are Pauline and Brian Clayton, who will be know to many of you as they've been with us since our early days in 2019. Pauline and Brian have been puppy walkers (now referred to as Puppy Raisers) for Guide Dogs for many years. They will be joined by David Botsford and as volunteers for the Association they are highly knowledgeable about all aspects of the organisation.


David will tell us what the Charity is about after which Brian and Pauline will talk about other aspects of Guide Dogs and introduce us to the world of Puppy Raising and what it involves. They will be bringing Frank (see below) along with them. Woof woof!

From the Committee …

What a splendid ‘Coronation Eve’ May Monthly meeting we had.

Thank you to all who helped decorate the room and provide delicious cakes, and how well Viv and the tea ladies coped, despite the fact that most of the regular tea ladies were away.

Our speaker this month, Julia Tremlett, gave us an amusing talk on the history of the National Garden Scheme

inspiring us to visit more gardens and to tackle our own over the coming months, it is such a good scheme with lots of local gardens to visit which helps raise thousands each year for charity.

At our March Executive Committee Meeting we signed off the Policies and Procedures and they have now been uploaded to the website, so we are all up to date. The next document update will be the Constitution which we will sign off at the June Executive Committee Meeting.

The membership goes from strength to strength and we welcome all who have joined our friendly, enthusiastic Culm Valley u3a since the last UPDATE. We hope you have found groups to tempt you to learn a new hobby.

A big thank you to all our Group Contacts who keep the interest groups buzzing with activity and we are lucky to be adding new ones as more folk come forward to share their expertise. If you feel you could head a new group doing something you love, the chances are there will be others who would be happy to learn from you. Just contact Barbie Bradbury, our Groups Coordinator, either at a monthly meeting or via the links given at the end of this edition of UPDATE or use the website.

Sue Greenough (Membership Secretary) and I (Business Secretary) will have served 3 years on the Committee, come our AGM in September, and so we are due to step down. We have had some interest in our roles from members but if you think you can use your expertise for either position look out for us at a monthly meeting and talk to us or watch out for information on Nominations for the AGM in July/August time. We are both willing to support you with the transition into the role and the other Committee Members are a helpful bunch too.

We look forward to seeing you at something sometime.

Lorna Knowles (Business Secretary)

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