Following a recent visit by our Regional Trustee, Gill Russell, we were advised that to meet requirements set by the THIRD AGE TRUST and the CHARITY COMMISSION we need to make certain changes to the way the Committee/Trustees manage Ashton in Makerfield and District U3A.

The changes will not affect in anyway your participation or enjoyment of our very successful U3A.

The changes will be in the background and affect our administration process and we feel it is only fair to inform you of the changes:-

CONSTITUTION - our constitution has been in place since 2009 (when this U3A started) and it lays out how we operate. The number of Committee Members, frequency of meetings and responsibilities, is now considered ‘not fit for purpose’ and we will be adopting the THIRD AGE TRUST model. The Committee are, at present, comparing the two and looking at how things might need to change.

Once this has been completed we will need to call an EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) to get your agreement on the changes. To follow guidelines on notice of an EGM, we will have to give you 6 weeks’ notice of the meeting. To minimise disruption, we intend to spend 10 minutes at the beginning of a Coffee Afternoon for you to vote on the changes.

FINANCIAL YEAR – to meet Charity Commission Rules, we are changing our Financial year to the 1ST APRIL to 31st MARCH (at present it is 1st May to 30thApril). This will mean that Registration will be APRIL and MAY. Membership cards will, as previously,

show the year but there will be a colour bar on the card (which will change every year) to help to identify that the membership cards are up to date.

CHARITY COMMISION - The U3A is classed as an EDUCATIONAL ORGANISATION FOR THOSE NO LONGER IN FULLTIME WORK. All our activities have to be, however loosely, linked to education (which they are), we are also classed as a UNIQUE ORGANISATION and there are no other organisations which have the same aims and principles as the U3A. Up to now we have functioned under the Charity section of The Third Age Trust (who provide all our Insurance and Legal services) and now we have been informed that we have to become a Charity in our own right.

HOW WILL THIS AFFECT US? -  Under Charity Commission rules a Charity cannot raise money for another Charity whose aims and principles are not the same as their own. Therefore, U3A being a unique organisation, we cannot raise money for another Charity. We could however raise money for ourselves or for another U3A. At present we have raised money throughout the year and banked it in our U3A bank account and then, at the end of the year, presented our chosen Charity with a U3A cheque. This is not acceptable to the Charity Commission. Teresa Garland and the rest of the Committee are looking to see if there is any way round this. We will continue to sell books and take the donations directly to a designated charity shop.

We WILL NOT BE GOING DOWN THE GIFT AID ROUTE as the Committee who are all volunteers, feel that this is a step too far.


Arthur is looking for an assistant to help in the production of the monthly newsletter with a view to eventually taking over from him.

If you are interested and have a working knowledge of Computer Skills, or would like to take this opportunity to learn more about using your computer, please contact Arthur at the Visitor Table or by email.  


2nd February - Sheila Walsh - A Tudor Lady.

2nd March - Marianne Howell - No Persons Here - Suffragettes.



If you still owe money for Crazy for You please could we have it as soon as possible. The coach leaves Hilton Street no later than 1:15 pm. We are taking deposits for Sunset Boulevard which is the Feb show. Please put your name down quickly as we have to pay by the end of November. Also could we have the remaining money owed. We are also taking deposits for Beautiful the Carol King musical. This is proving to be a popular show and we have a lot of names already and only six tickets are left. If you wish to go please see us with a deposit. 

Thanks Kath and Ann 


The Group meets in the Ashton Library on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays in the month 11.00 am - 12.30 pm.

If you wish to speak to me, I can be contacted on 01942-201693.

Roy Moore


Unfortunately the Lancashire afternoon which was to have taken place in March has had to be postponed. It is still being planned though and will take place later this year so watch this space and look forward to a good old Lancashire celebration!                




The German group meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm.

If you would like any further information please contact Bill, by phone or email, (contact details and times are on the back page).


The creative writing group has just brought out its second magazine, Our Words.  This is one of the ways we showcase our work and it is motivation to carry on improving our writing while have fun doing that we enjoy during the process.  We meet on the third Friday of the month at 2-00 pm which gives us time to meet up at Captains Lane and have a coffee and a chat before heading off to the YMCA in Hilton Street where meetings are held.


The next meeting is on February 16th and we have room for a couple of new members if you would like to come along for a taster.


Under the watchful eye of Christine, Ashton U3A is putting together its second performance to be unleashed on the members on Lancashire day at the end of March.  Boyed by the last performance, a few sherries over Christmas and loads of turkey, they aim to entertain with two full on Lancashire songs.

I have subsequently heard that the Lancashire performance has been postponed but we’ll carry on with practising the two numbers until the time comes along.


A new year brings renewed effort to get on with practising, learning new chords and playing new songs.  That’s what we’re aiming to do and have already set a goal to perform for charity before Christmas.


We’ll be meeting normally on the fourth Friday of the month at Captain’s Lane and then from March onward have an extra practice at Bryn Labour club on the second Tuesday.  For more details contact Stephen.


If you’d like to have a go at learning the ukulele or are simply interested to see what we do at meetings then come along on a fourth Friday.


The meetings for February are the 7th and 21st  (first and third Wednesday) I look forward to seeing you then.   Ray Potter. 


The meetings for February are the 14th and 28th (second and fourth Wednesday) I look forward to seeing you then.   Ray Potter.


We are a small group of amateur bakers who meet once a month in a member’s home to share a light lunch and a dessert or cake.  If you would like to know more please contact Anne Doyle or Pam Potter.


Our meetings are normally on 3rd Thursday of the month.

Our February meeting will be the 15th at Haydock Library, Church Road, Haydock, WA11 1LY.  With the new meeting time of 10.00am to 12.00am.

If any of our U3A members wish to learn more about photography or can offer any expertise, please come along and join us.



Friday 12TH January 2018.

Our first sing-along of the year was very well attended despite apologies from singers suffering with the recent winter illnesses.  Several members opted for holidays abroad.

Having put our Christmas songs and carols away until needed again, we reverted to our favourite songs that had been neglected during recent months.  Four new members came for the first time; hopefully they enjoyed themselves enough to come back next month.

All in all, it was a very pleasant afternoon.

Thanks go to Ian for his guitar backing.  Thanks also to our singers who did the refreshments.

Next singing – Friday 9th February.  Just in time to sing a Valentine tribute.

Bye Josie  


We meet in the Library on the second Thursday of each month at 1.30 pm.  At the moment our group is full but if anyone is interested in joining us, please ring either Anne or Hazel and we'll let you know when a vacancy occurs.


The next  meeting of the group will be on the 22nd  of February at 1.30 pm in the Ashton Library.


China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors.

A Group Visit has been provisionally booked to this Exhibition at the World Museum Liverpool on Tuesday 10 April 2018.

Apart from visiting China this may be your only opportunity of seeing these wonderful Figures. The final cost will depend on numbers but would hopefully be no more than £25 including group entry and coach to and from Liverpool.

To secure your place please let me have a non refundable deposit of £5, preferably by Cheque.

For further details please contact me John Gostelow (contact details and times are on the back page).

Holiday to Ireland June 2018.

A holiday has been arranged with Discovery Travel to Ireland in June 2018. Please see me for further details.        

John Gostelow, Group Leader.

Chester Trip

Monday 19th March 2018.

Depart from Hilton Street - meet 9.15 leave 9.30. Leave Chester at 4.00 pm approx. Cost £14.00. 

Mary Davies, Group Leader.

Tall Ships Liverpool

Friday 25th May 2018.

Depart from Hilton Street - meet 9.15 leave at 9.30 am.
Return approx 4pm Cost £14.00.

Mary Davies, Group Leader.


Reading Group 2

Our Book for discussion in January was Gorky Park – Martin Cruz Smith ....born 3.11.1942, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Creative Writing. Best known for his eight novels based in Russia, author of a total of 28 books.

Gorky Park Detective Arkady Renko is allocated a triple murder case, 3 bodies found in Moscow’s famous Gorky Park amusement centre. The three corpses are found in the snow so badly mutilated they cannot be identified. A complex book, internal politics with the KGB, links with the FBI, Renko needs to stay ahead of the game in order to stay alive.

A strange book which brought about mixed reviews from the group. Some felt it was a good read, full of intrigue and insight into Russia its people and its culture, good plot.

Some thought that it was a very grey book, grey landscape, grey weather, grey buildings, men in grey suits, quite depressing. The book describes Moscow as it was, fear, secret police, underhand dealings, corruption. However when the story moves to America (which it doesn’t do in the film) the writing becomes less depressing and some sunlight appears – the story is still a little depressing however. It becomes apparent that the plot surrounds the Sable Fur Trade.

Would we recommend it? - May be.

Our Alternative Book was The Good Father by Noah Hawley - A believable story based in America, a father’s guilt and his hunt for the truth about his son.

An absorbing read but full of contradictions and inconsistencies. One of the group felt that it was not the book that Amazon described, it should have been about the boy but the balance was wrong and there was too much about political killings in America.

Other reads -

Murder at Home -Faith Martin (one of 6 this is the most recent)

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food –Cathy Bramley (A good comforting read for Christmas)

Burial Rites –Hannah Kent (based on the true story of the last woman to be convicted of murder in Northern Iceland)

The Good Pilot – Alexander Smith McCall.


The Local History Groups meets  at 11.30am to 1.00pm on the 2nd and 3rd Mondays of each month at  Golborne  Library.  The  reason  for  this  change is because of revised Library opening and closing times.


The Stretch and Balance sessions have started up again on a MONDAY 11.00-12.00 at Captain's Lane Community Centre, the class is being taken by a young man called Matt cost £2.50 per session and numbers permitting will be every Monday from the 15th January 2018.

This is a group activity administered by Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (part of Wigan Council) it is open to anyone not just U3A members, so you can bring a friend or relative. This exercise is very gentle but thorough and you work at you own pace and with the support of a chair if needed.

If you need any further information please contact Pam Potter or Anne Doyle at the Friday meetings and they will pass on a contact number at Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles.


Walking Football

Walking Football is a sport for both men and women and it is an ideal way to meet new friends and improve your fitness. Games take place in the Wigan Soccer Drome.

If you are interested please contact Phil Carter by telephone (07792000624) or during any of our Friday Meetings. If enough interest is shown I will arrange a date and time for us to visit the Soccer Drome.

Notice of an EGM to be held on Friday the 16th of March 2018

In Captain’s Lane Community Centre.


1)   Changes in 2018.

      Issue 96                 NEWSLETTER          February 2018

                    Ashton-in-Makerfield and District U3A