Monthly newsletter - May 2024

In this monthly newsletter:

  • From the committee
    • Membership renewals reminder
    • Announcements
    • Notes for your diaries
  • The April meeting
  • The May meeting
  • Visit report
  • Solent forts cruise
  • News from the groups
  • Other news
  • A short story

From the Committee

Alan Bartlett is the new Publicity Officer following the retirement of Arthur Jenkins.

Membership renewals reminder

Memberships expired on March 31st, 2024. Thank you to the 517 members who have already renewed. We will shortly ‘retire’ members who have not renewed, which will remove them from group and HIU3A membership. You can renew your subscription in the following ways:

  1. Click/tap here to check your renewal status and pay online. 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 May monthly meeting by card, cash or cheque.
  3. By post. Sent a cheque payable to 'Hayling Island u3a' or cash with member name and SAE to:
    The Membership Secretary
    c/o 18 St Mary’s Road
    Hayling Island
    PO11 9BY


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. 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. There will be a quiz too, so bring a pen! There will be a prize.

Boom Radio and u3a

Boom Radio is running a three month long nationwide u3a membership campaign that started on 1st April. Hayling Island member John Cushion has contributed a short vignette which will broadcast on 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.

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.

Donkey Derby

Two u3a music groups will be performing at the Donkey Derby on Saturday 25th May with both Island Shanty and D'Ukes of Hayling entertaining the crowds during the afternoon from 1.30pm onwards. The Donkey Derby on the Legion Field has been revived after a break last year and is now being arranged jointly between the Hayling Island Businessman's Club and Hayling Lions. In addition to the Donkey racing and musical entertainment there are numerous additional attractions as well as a licenced bar and BBQ. Entry to the event is only £2 and all proceeds from the afternoon will be used to support the running of the Community Bus and a multitude of other worthy causes on the Island.

So, come along and have a great afternoon out and help support your u3a groups and local charities.

The April Meeting

The April meeting, held in the HICCA main hall on April 18th was: You're nicked! by Malcolm Nelson.

This is was a follow up to last year's talk telling us what happens after smugglers are caught.

Malcolm Nelson worked for 40 years for HM Customs and Excise. He worked on every aspect of catching smugglers. He was mainly based at Heathrow but he also spent time at London Port, Dover, St Petersburg (Russia), Malta, and at most major airports throughout the EU.

The May Meeting

The next meeting will be at 2:00 pm on Thursday 16th May, 2024 and will be The weird, the wild & the wonderful part 7 by Andrew Negus. Tap or click here for details. The 18th Birthday party (see above) will follow the talk so you should allow extra time.

Visit Report

(The following description and photograph have been kindly supplied by u3a member Richard North.)

We had a record number of cancellations for the visit to Arundel, mainly due to illness, from this visit. Nevertheless, 41 of us were met by Phil, our regular driver, and we embarked on a coach to Arundel.

Some of us had decided to join a guided tour and others opted for a walk through Arundel Park, so the coach wound its way through Arundel to park first by the Cathedral, where over half of us got out. The rest of us drove down to a crowded coach park and headed for the Castle Gardens.

Unfortunately, the Tulip Festival has ended early this year, but there were still plenty of tulips on show, along with a fine display of camassias and emerging alliums. There was also a good array of fruits and vegetables for those of us who, like Napoleon’s armies, garden on our stomachs. A few of us took the opportunity, on a day with little brightness and a keen northerly wind, to spend some time examining the treasures in the castle. Shopping also featured in many visitors’ day and we rejoined the coach clutching bags with plants and other treasures from the Craft Market and other outlets.

Restarting the coach gave the signal for the rain, which had threatened all afternoon, to descend so we were all grateful it had held off till we were safely in the dry.

Solent forts cruise

Our next visit on Wednesday 21st August is an unusual one because it won’t involve a coach pickup. Instead, you’ll need to make your own way to the Gosport side of the Gosport ferry (trip from the Portsmouth side is included) to join a cruise round three Solent forts. Cost is £15 per member. Click/tap here for more information and to make a booking. Or you can book at the May or June monthly meeting. Bookings will close on June 20th.

News from the Groups

Just a quick update on the World History/archaeology group. It has been very successful and we have a full group. The topics have been varied and very interesting - such as Ancient mummies, Persia, Incas, Siege of Gibraltar to name just a few. I have a waiting list for this group, and if anyone would like to start group 2, I would be more than happy to have a chat about it.

Norma Downs

Other News

u3a Online Events

The u3a Trust conducts a national learning programme month by month. Click/tap here for details.

U3a Friends and Friends Extra

u3a Friends is a new initiative to bring together stories and interests from across the u3a movement. Tap or click here for more details. Friends Extra is a new benefits website exclusively for u3a Friends. Tap or click here for more details of Friends Extra.

SE u3a Forum Summer Schools

Tap or click here for details.

A Short Story

A life in the day of a dog

I'm not quite as silly as people think. I overhear the comments but it doesn't bother me much. I'm fairly philosophical which is a big word for a dog, so you see what I mean when I say there's a lot more going on in my head than people realise. I have my world pretty well organised in fact. I know when to wear my most appealing expression, usually around meal times, and how to make my man feel guilty that I haven't been for a walk lately. In fact, I'm pretty clever for a dog. I let him think that he's in charge. He picks up my poo for goodness’ sake. I bet no-one does this for him.

So, I suppose I became a bit complacent. Another big word for a small white dog. I realised this when my world began spinning in a different direction recently and I didn't like it at all. It was a day when the family visited but this time they had a baby with them. I don't mind babies a rule, as long as they are in a pram and being taken somewhere else.

This one was very invasive. Are you impressed? Invasive means intruding into my personal space. It was crawling all over the place. As soon as I thought I knew where it had gone, it would turn up somewhere else. At one point it even climbed into my bed and I was quite offended by the comments about smelliness. They obviously hadn't noticed the pungent smell coming from this little person's rear end.

Anyway, I did my best to be accommodating. This word means helpful. So I kept out of the way as much as possible hoping that it would all soon be over. It certainly was a very long day. I don't know what people find so interesting about babies. After all, they don't contribute much to conversation. At least I'm prepared to listen to the banter going on around the dinner table. I'm not going to point out my mastery of the English language any more as I’m sure you get the picture. I'm not just any old dumb animal, although I do admit to being slightly smelly at times.

So, as I tried to be invisible to the naked eye, I began notice things that I wouldn't do normally. There was a fair bit of tension around the table for instance. I pricked up my ears to the sharp comments being exchanged between my aunt and uncle. I decided to go and sit politely by the kitchen door until someone let me out into the garden. Whilst waiting I saw the aunt who had been boasting about her new diet, help herself to an extra portion of the Black Forest gateau that had previously been returned to the fridge. I think what they call comfort eating as her husband was being very critical during the meal.

Then he appeared and began fumbling in the pocket of his jacket hanging on the back of the kitchen door. He took out a flask and drank out of it, belched and then put it back. I’d heard mention that he had a bit of a drink problem. I attracted his attention with a small whimper as I didn’t want to startle him. Then I looked at the door meaningfully in case he didn’t get my drift.

It was so relaxing to be out in the garden away from it all. I investigated the lavender bush where next door’s cat had paid a visit. Then I went to the gate to investigate what was going on in the immediate vicinity. Nothing as it turns out, so eventually I returned to the house as the door had been left open.

The baby person was sitting on the kitchen floor itself to what was left in my bowl. I paused to watch it eat the duck and liver which was my favourite. Good manners made me continue on my way without making of fuss, but then a lot of fuss erupted anyway. “The dog's been sick all over the baby.”

I was being accused by the mother as she scooped up the crying baby, who wasn't looking at all well.

My man came to clear up what was left on the floor.

“Have you been making yourself sick you greedy doggie. That was quite a bowlful you managed to polish off.”

How annoying. I was hungry and likely to remain so. They were stacking the dishwasher after throwing leftover roast beef into the bin. It was torture for a still hungry dog. Breakfast was many hours away. Would they still all be her in the morning?

I climbed into my bed where a small furry animal lay. I sniffed it to see if it was dead.

“You naughty dog. Taking the baby's toy!”

Would this day never end?

I tried to keep my dignity by ignoring them and pretending to go to sleep. Perhaps they'd be gone soon. The mother and father of the baby person had taken it upstairs for a bath a change of clothes, leaving fat auntie and her husband alone to continue an argument they'd started earlier. It was a bit rude when I was trying to sleep. She was accusing him of being too drunk to drive. Oh no! Did this mean they weren't going home? Where was my man? He needed to take charge.

Despair made me retreat into doggy dreamland and I was chasing next door's cat when the sound of a car door slamming woke me up. Fat auntie had apparently agreed to drive and they were leaving once she had reversed the car out. Her husband was shouting instructions from the doorway, his criticism obviously extending to her driving skills.

Mum, dad and the baby person who was now asleep in its mother's arms, returned to the room and were saying goodbye. Meanwhile, fat auntie's husband was swaying out the door in the direction of the voice that was complaining, waving a cheerful farewell.

I sat up in my bed with ears pricked. Relief! I could definitely hear cars retreating into the night.

My man came back into the room.

“Do you fancy a walk fella?”

I love my man.

© Terry Bones

Terry (Teresa) Bones is one of a group of local authors who have contributed to An Ocean of Thoughts, a collection of short stories written by members of the Hayling Writers’ Group. The book is available for purchase at the Hayling Bookshop in Mengham.


Any comments would be welcome. Please send any feedback to

Robert Bull