October 2023 Bulletin

Welcome to the new monthly bulletin. This contains details of Hayling u3a current events, events in the recent past and events planned for the near future. My thanks go to Andy Henderson for his help and advice.

In this bulletin:

  • From the Committee
  • The September meeting
  • The next meeting
  • Visit report
  • News from the groups
  • Future events
  • A short story
  • Feedback

From the Committee

The September Committee meeting was held on the morning of Thursday 21st September.

  • Bob Hornby reported that Hayling u3a finances are in good shape. Hayling u3a now uses the Square® contactless payments system which is working well.
  • Peter Haskell reported that membership is now at 566, which is almost back up to the figure of 570 pre-Covid.
  • Trevor Brash reported twelve registered interests across nine Interest Groups. Trevor also reported that the Island Shanty Group continues to go from strength to strength and is currently full. The Group provided entertainment at the Royal Navy HMS Pickle night on Friday 13th October on HMS Victory.
  • Sonia Keeble reported that, so far, ten speakers have been booked for the monthly meetings in 2024.
  • Bridget Docwra has kindly volunteered to take over as the new Interest Group Co-ordinator.
  • Robert Bull is the editor of the new Monthly Newsletter (later retitled Bulletin).
  • Arthur Jackson is the new Publicity Officer.
  • Maura Chapman has taken over as Network Liaison Officer.

The September meeting

The September meeting was the Annual General Meeting of Hayling u3a. The Proposer and Seconder of the Hayling u3a Officers were read out, and the meeting was asked if there were any objections to the appointments. (There were none.) Bob Hornby (the Treasurer) then gave a talk about a Safari that he had been on, and told us many interesting facts about the animals that he had seen.

The next meeting

Steve Herra will talk about the history of the P&O shipping company, starting at 2:00 pm on the 19th of October in the Hayling Community Centre main hall. Click or tap here for details.

Visit report

The most recent trip was to Swanage on Thursday 07 September 2023. The Swanage preserved railway is always a popular attraction.

Photo courtesy of u3a member Catherine Britton

(Fellow steam loco enthusiasts will recognise the loco as a Bulleid unrebuilt ‘Battle of Britain’ class Pacific, built at Brighton in 1947.)

(The following description has been kindly supplied by u3a member Richard North.)

“The weather over the schools’ summer holidays this year was distinctly average, with quite a lot of rain and middling temperatures.

Mediterranean temperatures of course descended just as the children returned to school, and just in time for our visit to Swanage. The coach was nicely air-conditioned, and temperatures of 26 degrees greeted us as 54 members got off the coach at Swanage station around 11 a.m.

The more determined took the steam train to Corfe Castle to admire its iconic skyline and sample its teashops. The rest of us stayed by the seaside engaging in traditional pursuits such as taking a boat trip, walking on the pier and enjoying a lunch of fish and chips. The town centre was close to the station and some of us spent a happy hour or more browsing in Swanage’s independent shops.

The driver varied the route a little on our return home, and we drove past a Purbeck stone quarry and diverted through the centre of historic Wareham. We were buzzed by a swarm of motorbikes in the queue back onto the island, which is apparently a regular Thursday evening treat for Hayling’s motorists.”

News from the groups

Wine Appreciation 2. This Group is now closed due to lack of interest. Richard North

Ukes for You (aka The Huggers) will be providing the backing band for the Pantomime 'Jack and the Beanstalk,' to be held in the Northney Recreation Hall in January 2024. We will need a two person cow, costume provided! Alan Bartlett

Mahjong. There will be a Mahjong Group starting on November 2nd, and will meet every Thursday at the Community Centre from 1.30 to 4.00. Cost is £3 per session. Russell McKerracher

Painting and Drawing 2. We have been enjoying our varied programme including, white on black, title of a song illustration, Chinese painting, urban scenes. We have been putting together ideas for 2024 programme, lots of fun is planned. At present the group has no vacancies, but I’m happy for people to contact me if interested. Lesley Vincent

Painting and Drawing 3. This now full. Linda MacDonald

Philosophy. Recently we have had requests from new members, and after discussion, we agreed to remove the restriction on numbers. The group is now open for new members, but if the number attending is regularly more than 12, we will need to form a second group. Chris Skerry

Future events

Keep December 14th free for our next Hayling u3a visit. Click or tap here for details.

A short story

Is There Anybody There?

The young actor looked anxiously at the Stage Manager. “Is there anybody there?” he asked. “Where?” replied the Stage Manager. “There!” hissed the actor, gesturing towards the front curtain. “Out there, you know, in the auditorium!” he was getting more agitated by the minute. “Oh there. No of course not. They won’t let the punters in for at least another 15 minutes. They’re all out at the bar, getting into the mood right now. Why? Are you expecting someone?” The boy tried to look casual. “Oh, no one special.” Then as a mutter to himself. “Only my bloody mother. Coming to tear me apart as usual.”

He turned away from the front curtain and made his way backstage to the green room, where he found an old saggy chair to sink into. He wished he could sink right through it right now, disappearing forever. It wasn’t that he was a bad actor. He knew his lines, made sure his flies were fastened and appeared at the right time in the right place. Well most of the time anyway. He couldn’t say exactly what it was about his mother that unsettled him so much. It was just an overwhelming fear of what she would say next, and to whom. Some of her statements made him cringe, although others seemed not to notice, or mind if they did. He was lost in these thoughts when a shout came over the speaker system. “20 minutes for beginners please!” Faint music could be heard in the background and an air of expectation entered the atmosphere. “Oh God, where did that last quarter of an hour go?” He hauled himself out of the chair and went into the dressing room to check his hair and face, as well as his costume. No flies this time, just a ruddy great codpiece covering his essentials like a cricket box. Mother would no doubt comment on that. If only she would say something positive, something like “Well done!” Or even, “Better than the last one” instead of “I see that your button fell off in act two, or “Didn’t anyone help you to tie those ribbons, they looked like chewed string!”.

The stage Manager appeared in the doorway. “Has anyone seen Mary Queen of Scots?” he shouted. “She’s supposed to be ready. Can someone go and find her?” He went out muttering into his Walkie-Talkie. “Hello? Hello? Is there anybody there? Ah there you are Charlie. We’ve lost Mary Queen of Scots, can you hold it for a minute? What? No, I’ve sent someone to look for her, hang on I think she’s here now. Yes we’re good to go, thanks” He turned back towards the green room as the speaker system announced once more. “Beginners please, to the stage now!”

The young actor stumbled towards the wings on stage and as he passed the stage Manager, he was stopped by a finger being held up in front of his face. “Go for it Darnley, you’ll be fine. Just don’t take too long to die, there’s a good chap.” With that he clapped the young actor on the shoulder. “Oh by the way, he continued, there was a message from your mother. She can’t make it tonight, she’s very sorry. Never mind, I’m sure she’ll come another night.”

© Fiona Bartlett


This is the first Monthly Bulletin. Any feedback, good or bad, would be welcome. Is there more information that you’d like to see? Do you think some information could be left out? Would you like to see the Bulletin at the beginning of the month, the middle (like this one) or the end of the month?

Please send me any feedback.

Robert Bull