Monthly newsletter - April 2024

In this monthly newsletter:

  • From the committee
    • Membership renewals reminder
    • Announcements
    • Notes for your diaries
  • The March meeting
  • The next meeting
  • Future events
  • News from the groups
  • u3a online events
  • Southeast u3a forum summer schools
  • Warning: your email could be in danger of being hacked
  • A short story
  • Golden oldies
  • Feedback

From the Committee

Bridget Docwra (Group Coordinator) reported that:

  • Fewer people have registered interests compared to last month.
  • The Current affairs group has enough people and their inaugural meeting was on 10th April. Tap or click here for details.
  • Poetry is a possible new group which may be formed depending on the level of interest. If you are interested please let Bridget know.

Arthur Jackson (Publicity Officer). Arthur is moving to pastures new. Arthur has done a sterling job as Publicity Officer and we wish him well for the future.

Membership Renewals Reminder.

Memberships were due for renewal from April 1st 2024. Thank you to the 425 to date who have already done so. The fee is £15 for full members and £10 for associate members.

Ways to renew:

  1. Online click/tap here and follow the simple instructions. You can pay by bank transfer or card. You can make a single payment covering two members if that's appropriate.
  2. In person at the monthly meeting on April 18th by card, cash or cheque.
  3. By post. Send a cheque payable to 'Hayling Island u3a' or cash with member name(s) and SAE to:

The Membership Secretary
c/o 18 St Marys Road
Hayling Island
PO11 9BY

It saves the treasurer and membership secretary time if you renew in person at the April meeting or online by card.

As usual, we will have volunteers on standby to process your renewals – including card payments – at the next monthly meeting on April 18th.

Your early attention would be appreciated.

Thank you


Helping others

We will collect tins and dried foodstuffs for both "Hayling Holiday Lunches" and "Community Pantry" food banks. The collection will be at each Hayling u3a monthly meeting (put food donations on the stage). In addition, a collection bucket will be available at the meeting if you prefer to give a cash donation. Please ensure that any food products you donate are within the sell-by date.

Could members please give their empty pill blister packs and milk bottle tops to Michelle in Home Nursing Supplies in Mengham to be upcycled. She gives the bottle tops to the RSPCA and the empty blister packs to either a Boots or a Superdrug with a pharmacy. Each month the Beach Babes Women’s Institute collect at least a large black bag full which someone drops into Michelle. If u3a members do this too it would save them going into landfill.

Volunteers required. We are always looking for volunteers to help run our various activities. Currently we need additional tea monitors for making the tea/coffee at the monthly meetings. We run a rota so that you would only have to cover once or twice a year.

Notes for your Diaries

18th Birthday Celebrations - Thursday 16th May 2024 2pm. We will be celebrating our coming of age on the afternoon of our May monthly meeting. Sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee will be available after the talk.

Hayling Island Bowls Club would like to invite u3a members to its free open day on Saturday April 27th 10am to 4pm. Free to anyone who would like to come along and try this popular sport. Coaching, equipment and hot drinks all provided for free. Please bring completely flat-soled shoes to wear on the rink. No raised heels or treads. For those who don’t already know, the club can be found at the rear of Hayling Island Community Centre. More information is available here.

Boom Radio and u3a. Boom Radio is running a three month long nationwide u3a membership campaign starting on the 1st April. HIU3A member John Cushion has contributed a short vignette which will broadcast at numerous intervals throughout the promotion. This will help highlight the advantages of u3a membership following the success of the recently formed Hayling u3a Island Shanty group.

Boom Radio is a national radio station in the UK specifically designed for the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation. The station has a target of listeners aged 55 and over which make up 90% of its audience. According to recent figures it has an impressive audience loyalty with listeners spending an average of 8 hours a week tuning in. The station offers a diverse selection of music spanning different decades playing tunes from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s presented by well-known voices like David Hamilton and Esther Rantzen. If you are looking for a radio station tailored to your age group, Boom Radio could be for you. It’s a place where nostalgia meets great music, and where you’ll find familiar voices keeping you company throughout the day.

Boom Radio can be played on a DAB radio, on smart speakers like Alexa or Google, on your phone or tablet by downloading the app, or on Freeview TV channel 277.

The March Meeting

The March meeting, held in the community centre main hall on March 21st was: Travels of a Boomer. Penny Ibbott set out to travel 2,200 miles around England using only her bus pass, starting with our local 700 bus. Like many of us, Penny was a ‘Baby Boomer’ born after the second World War.

The main points of her talk were:

  • The bus pass is only valid in England. If you catch a bus in Scotland or Wales you have to pay!
  • Penny set out in a roughly clockwise direction aiming for Dorset, Devon and Cornwall in March 2020 – but we all know what happened in March 2020, so she had to turn back!
  • Penny set out again, this time in an anticlockwise direction, in September 2021. Colin Ashcroft, the operations manager for Stagecoach in the Portsmouth area, was of great assistance to Penny at this point. She used three more 700 buses on her journey.
  • The next stage of her journey took her through Southend, Colchester, Ipswich, Lowestoft, and King’s Lynn, reaching the latter one week after she had set out. She moved on, via Horncastle, and crossed the Humber bridge into Hull. From here she was aiming for Scarborough – but this was very crowded so she opted for Driffield (inland and to the South.)
  • She continued Northward getting to Whitley Bay. By this time her rucksack was beginning to hurt her shoulders so she bought a small four-wheeled trolley to hold her rucksack and other items. She moved on to Berwick-on-Tweed in Northumberland, the northernmost town in England.
  • She managed a brief excursion into Scotland, moving as far north as Hawick before taking buses on the English side of the Scottish border, turning South to Carlisle then on into the Lake district. She then moved on southward from Keswick to Lancaster, which she thought was a lovely little town.
  • She then carried on South to Blackpool, Liverpool and Chester. When she was staying the night at Chester there was Karaoke going on directly beneath her room so there was no sleep for Penny that night! Shrewsbury was her next stop, where she stayed with her cousin and her husband.
  • Leominster was her next stop, followed by Gloucester, Bristol and Minehead. The bus from Minehead was blue and open-top, which took her on the spectacular trip up Porlock Hill, moving on to Barnstable. She then spent five days touring Cornwall, stopping at Barnstable, Weybridge, Portreath, Land’s End and Penzance, Helston and Falmouth.
  • Plymouth was her next stopover. The longest trip she had was from Plymouth to Weymouth, where she arrived after dark. She was getting close to home now. Her next stop was Southampton where she was interviewed by BBC Radio Solent. Her final destination was in wasn’t far away now, on the X.4 bus – but she missed it!
  • She got on the next X.4, but it was late, meaning she’d miss the 700, which would take her back to where her journey started – Chidham. She got as far as Havant bus station where she was greeted by Colin Ashcroft, who she had last seen at the start of her journey. Colin told her she would have to get off the bus. She did so, and saw an old green Southdown open-top bus – with all her family and friends on board!
  • She transferred to this bus, which drove her back to Chidham, where her journey had started. Penny had been away for almost six weeks; she had travelled about 2,200 miles on 120 different buses. All on her bus pass, apart from a brief diversion into Scotland.

The Next Meeting

The next meeting will be at 2pm on Thursday 18th April 2024. The talk will be ‘Your Nicked’ by Malcolm Nelson, who worked for 40 years for HM Customs and Excise. He was based mainly at Heathrow but ventured far and wide, including St Petersburg in Russia. Tap or click here for details.

Future Events

There will be a trip to Arundel on Thursday 25th April. Tap or click here for details. If you wish to visit the annual Tulip Festival, then you will need to book this separately, tap or click here for details.

News from the Groups

Photography We are welcoming new members into our group. The fun of taking photographs is at the centre of what we do and I believe that we are a friendly and welcoming group where we share ideas and learn from each other. Sue Wakely

Current Affairs This is now up and running. Eight members attended the first meeting recently. Richard North

u3a Online Events

The u3a Trust conducts a national learning programme month by month. For details tap or click here.

South East u3a forum summer schools

Tap or click here for details.

Warning: your email could be in danger of being hacked

In the last few weeks, at least two HIU3A members had their email hacked. This causes distress:

  • You are unable to log in to your email any more
  • The hacker will start sending emails to all your contacts that will eventually ask for money in some form
  • The hacker can see all your incoming emails and use that information to change passwords to your accounts; possibly including your bank accounts allowing them to make transfers.

Once the hack has happened you will need to contact your email provider and convince it you are not, yourself, a hacker. Some email providers look for hacker activity in which case they can block your account – but there’s no guarantee of that.

Hackers get access to your email account because either:

  • You use a very simple password that the hacker can guess easily.
  • You use the same password in different sites. If just one of those sites gets hacked, your password may be revealed to the hacker and they can then try using it in common sites (BT is an obvious UK target).

The solution is simple to state: you should use complex passwords, and a different one for each site you use. Not so easy to implement. That’s why password managers are so useful:

  • You need to remember just one password: the one used by the password manager
  • The password manager will help you generate complex passwords like: ^Tej4q1bg6&2NDi0 – no-one’s going to guess that in a hurry
  • And here’s the good bit: the password manager will detect when one of your sites asks for a password and will try to fill in username and password for you – automatically. For example, I never have to enter a username or password for the HIU3A web site.

Password managers can also securely store additional text so, for some sites, I write out my password in two columns with the number next to each character so I have an easy reference the next time I’m asked for characters 2, 5, 9 and 12.

There are loads of password managers available. Here are some free ones:

Please don’t be the next HIU3A member to fall victim to an email hacker – it’s a horrible experience:

  1. Select and install a password manager on your internet-connected devices
  2. Update all your key web sites to use complex passwords created by your password manager
  3. Consider updating all your other sites too (click here to find out how to change your HIU3A password)

Andy Henderson

A Short Story

The very first evening on board, while we were waiting for the dining room doors to open, I saw her looking at the menu. “I shall have the vegetarian option.” she said turning to me “It's the first time I’ve cruised on my own”.

Once inside the dining room we went separate ways to our allotted tables. A day or two passed before I saw Cindy again, it was during the cocktail hour, an old-fashioned ritual provided as part of the rather dated ambience. Cindy was a breath of fresh air. Though clearly of the older generation, her hair was quite white, she was slim and moved like a considerably younger woman. She always wore a dress, I never saw her in trousers, and her jewellery, which was different each time I saw her, looked both expensive and discreet.

Next day Cindy greeted me as a friend, despite our very brief acquaintance. We exchanged pleasantries based on the weather and the forthcoming port of call, then she moved on. I watched, curious whether she would stay in the lounge or just walk through it. I had noticed that she was carrying a novel. She settled in a solitary seat where the lighting was good and ordered a cocktail.
I turned to my companion and remarked that we could have invited Cindy to join us. “I think she might have declined”, he said, “she looked purposefully alone don’t you think?” “I suppose so” I reluctantly agreed. ‘Purposefully alone’ maybe but for what purpose? Some ten minutes later my eye was caught by a hovering male figure near Cindy, presumably asking whether he might join her. She must have said ‘yes’ as she politely closed her book, giving him her full attention.

One day we went to a smaller dining room for lunch and saw Cindy sharing a table with a pleasant-looking man. She was beautifully made up, as usual, her animated chatter held the man’s rapt attention. We stole looks in their direction from time to time but these did not seem to be noticed by Cindy. When they both rose from their table and, we thought, left the dining room, we were surprised when minutes later they reappeared carrying laden plates. They stopped by our table and we realised Cindy must have known we were there all along. She said: “We've got two puddings!”. “What, each?” I replied in gleeful fun “Yes, aren’t we naughty!” she laughed as they whisked back to their table. Quiet times followed, we lost sight of one another. I wonder where ‘the husband hunter’ has got to ‘my fiend said mischievously”. “Oh, do you think?” I pondered.

Well, he was right. Cindy and I chatted briefly once more when she said “Do keep in touch” and we exchanged addresses. The following Christmas we had a card signed “Cindy and Edward” followed with a joyous note saying they had met on our cruise and were planning to get married on New Year’s Day.

© Gill Heather (Hayling u3a Creative writing group.)

Golden Oldies

Not u3a, but many HIU3A members will remember the days when they wore bell-bottom trousers and danced the night away in discos.

I remember this one from my first year in University in 1971. A classic from Carole King from the iconic Tapestry album.

Suggestions for this section are welcome.


Any comments would be welcome. Please send any feedback to

Robert Bull