ANNUAL REPORT 2016-17
This is my first report as secretary of Settle District U3A. The year has been a steep learning curve assimilating the various responsibilities and skills required; also getting to know the full (and remarkable) range of activities undertaken by the members.
Membership: Has increased this year to a healthy 363 with four honorary members. In March we held a very well attended meeting to welcome ‘New Members’.
The Groups: are set up and ably managed by Debi, the Group Organiser. We have had an impressive 35 groups this year, from Archaeology to the ever popular Walking Group. The U3A philosophy of participation and sharing is very apparent in all our groups where people share their enthusiasm and expertise with others who choose to learn more.
A lunch was held at Debi’s in April as a ‘thank you’ to the group leaders who give their time, dedication and knowledge to support our ever increasing membership.
Five members attended the Regional Summer School near York and enjoyed themselves immensely.
Autism: A departure from the usual U3A events was the two day course held in November on Autism given by the international expert Phoebe Caldwell. When Phoebe offered to do this after moving to Limestone View it was too good an opportunity to miss.
The subject was the communication with those on the Autistic Spectrum. Over fifty people attended each session which were open to all. Parents, grandparents and carers came from over a wide area.
Short videos were shown of Phoebe engaging in Intensive Interaction with those who have no speech by making similar sounds to those which they use. Other useful information on how to assist in the lives of those with Autism was also given.
Many thanks were given to Phoebe for her time and commitment and to members who gave invaluable assistance on the two days.
These sessions were arranged by Gill Rawlings who has a son with Autism and wished that this information had been available when he was born in 1970.
Monthly Meetings: Our monthly meetings continued with interesting talks and with a wide variety of subjects. The committee continues to review the monthly meetings and welcome comments and ideas from members.
Christmas: It was agreed that our Christmas Social this year was one of the best to date. Members were entertained by some of the braver groups: French Conversation (le Brexit), Singing for Pleasure, Ukulele Players, Exercise, Circle Dancing, Family History and Play Reading.
Website: Many thanks to Paul Cochrane who continues to twitch and tweak and improve our excellent website. To those members who don’t visit it, you don’t know what you are missing! There is so much interesting information on there from group activities to National and Regional news.
The U3A Beacon System: Since we have had a website, David Holdsworth has provided us with software to enable the Membership Secretary and the Group Coordinator to store and manipulate your information and members have been able to see the Group information and renew membership on-line. This has worked well with some help from David but is reliant solely upon David’s expertise. In order to ensure that we can keep an IT system running and maintained into the future the committee has looked at several options and decided to use a system created by U3A volunteers nationally which has been made available to U3A groups throughout the country over the last few years. Over 100 groups are now using it and the volunteers are still developing aspects of the software and responding to suggestions for improvements. Some of the maintenance has now been contracted out to a software company and as a consequence we are paying a levy of 50p per member to generate a support fund held nationally. This amount is reviewed by the National U3A so that a fund of money to support the system is adequate.
After transferring last year’s data and doing some testing we went live with the system from the start of July this year. It is being used for membership and group information only at this stage but has the ability to include the accounting side as well.
We decided not to implement the accounting as our treasurer has his own system that is working well and is readily transferrable to another treasurer if needed. There have been a few minor teething problems but Keith and Debi are happy with the operation of the system so far. Members now have access to their own information which they can change, if necessary, through a ‘Members Portal’; they are also able to join groups online and renew membership online when needed. The schedule of meetings is also available as a calendar. The only aspects of David’s system we are still using are for the booking of equipment by group leaders and the week’s schedule of group meetings. David is still looking after the hosting of the website on a server at Giggleswick School for which we are very grateful.
If anyone has any suggestions for the improvement of the new system then please let Keith Waterson know. Similarly Keith will be willing to help if users are having problems with using the system.
My thanks (on your behalf) go to all the committee members, group leaders, tea ladies, and every member who gives of their spare time and commitment to make Settle District U3A the ongoing excellent organisation it is.
Finally – Ian has completed his two year term as Chairman and is stepping down from the committee. We shall all be sorry to see him go. He has held us all together at committee meetings with enthusiasm and humour. Our grateful thanks go to Ian who has worked with dedication behind the scenes on our behalf in so many different ways.
Let’s hope that 2017/18 will turn out to be another successful year for Settle District U3A – and my thanks to you all for your support.
Anne Webster: 14 September 2017
ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
This has been another busy year for Settle U3A with an increasing no of members and a record no of groups in operation involving new activities and trips.
Our membership grew to 324 members over the year and we welcomed over 50 new members and we held a well attended new members meeting in April this year
We have had 34 groups in operation with regular favourites retaining a faithful and growing following. It is difficult to give a full mention to them all many attract small but dedicated followers. Singing for Pleasure, Circle Dancing, Line Dancing, Exercise and Geology continue to attract large support. Other groups such as Poetry Appreciation, Great Lives, French, Art Appreciation and Looking at Old Buildings and Philosophy all have a faithful following. There has been an interesting development in physical activities this year with a weekly Badminton and Table Tennis group meeting in Langcliffe Village Hall and a fortnightly Yoga group and the Walking group maintains a regular weekly programme of walks which cater for all abilities. Other new groups this year have included a Painting Group and one looking at the Three Abrahamic Faiths. More recently a Lunch Group has successfully started. This year we add Sociology and Spanish for beginners to the list.
The monthly meetings have continued throughout the year with an attendance of between 60 – 120. Speakers have presented a wide variety of topics. These have included The Chinese Education System, the History of the Mobile Phone, Pub Signs and talks on Beatrix Potter and Lady 'Randy' Churchill. The Christmas Social reverted back to a participation event with 8 groups performing and this was much enjoyed by a record audience filling the Victoria Hall to its full capacity.
We have continued to have the full use of the Victoria Hall for our monthly meetings and for many of our group meetings with some groups such as the Book Group and Card Making meeting in private homes and others making use of the Friends Meeting House when necessary. We are fortunate to have the use of such a good range of facilities.
This year we have experimented with a 'coffee rota' to provide refreshments at the Thursday meetings and this has mainly worked well – thanks to everyone who offered help and please can we have more volunteers for next year!
During this year we have been concerned to look at the ways in which we enable participation from all our members and in the course of the year the committee discussed and passed a welfare statement. One important aspect of full participation is to ensure that the hearing loop in the VH works with our microphones and this has certainly taken time to sort out. We have purchased one speaker and a mixer box to improve the rather ageing amplification systems in the VH and we hope that VH will be successful in the future in getting funding to upgrade these facilities.
The committee have been discussing our web based information and investigating potential new systems to increase accessibility and a decision has been made to go over to a new web- facility being promoted by the National U3A organisation. We are currently on the waiting list for 'migration'.
There has been a lot of activity in our region this year. Jackie Allott has been actively involved in all the developments. A network of local U3As -West Net – has been formed to include Ilkley and District, Settle, Bradford, Craven, Keighley U3A's. West Net now has an agreement that members of the individual U3A's can attend groups in other U3A without having to pay additional membership fees. Several successful events have already been arranged with a second Quiz night being arranged for September 20th in Ilkley.
Thirty three members of Settle U3A went by coach to the Regional Showcase Event at Askham Bryan in August with 10,000 U3A members attending. Our Singing for Pleasure group gave a bravura performance, but our painters were rather less impressed with the arrangements for displaying their efforts.
Last year we recorded our thanks to Hilary Baker as she stood down from our committee after being a founder member of Settle U3A and giving many years of service to us. Earlier this year she was added to the National U3A Roll of Honour in recognition of her wider service to the National and Regional U3A movement and we presented her with a certificate at the April Meeting.
We must also record our thanks to Alison Tyas, as she retires from her post as Resident Friend at the Friends Meeting House. In this role she has collected and banked the group subscription money on a weekly basis and given much informal and generous support to our activities.
Thanks to all members of the committee who contributed to the successful running of the organisation and have taken on the myriad of jobs to be done with mainly smiles and the occasional sigh! Nita Hart stands down after a stint as chairperson and committee member. I too will be standing down now after my three year stint which has been mostly interesting and as an off cumber to Settle in 2012 has made me a lot of friends very quickly. Thank you.
ANNUAL REPORT 2014-15
This is my second year as secretary of Settle U3A and hopefully
I have settled into my role and even improved some of my skills (though there
is still room for improvement!)
The year has been a busy one for all members of our committee and for our army
of group leaders with a significant increase in membership, new groups on offer,
a busy monthly speaker programme and many different outings and visits arranged
on many different topics. We continue to move forward in our efforts to increase
web based communication between members with information about regional and
national activities and training events and summaries of our committee meetings
available on line.
As well as our local activities we are part of an active national and regional
U3A organisation, though geographically Settle U3A remains rather isolated from
national activities which tend to be focussed on the London area. One of our
members, Jean Stevens judged the regional poetry competition which involved
reading through ? number of entries
As we go into the new U3A year we are offering 34 groups for people to enrol
in . Long standing favourites such as Singing for Pleasure, Gentle Exercise,
Circle Dancing,Walking, Geology, Looking at Old Buildings, Philosophy, Great
Lives Languages and many more (apologies for not mentioning them all!) have
been joined by new groups such as Badminton and Table Tennis, Painting, Play
Reading, The 3Abrahamic Religions , Science and Poetry Appreciation has made
a welcome comeback.
Different groups have been on a variety of trips across the region examples
include Old Buildings to the Leeds synagogue, Art Appreciation to the Whitworth
Art Gallery and Lindisfarne for the Geology 'field trip' (again in glorious
and unseasonal April sunshine). We entered a photograph of this trip for the
national U3A magazine entitled 'The Old Rockers'
Settle U3A is fortunate to be able to use the facilities of Victoria Hall for
the majority of our group activities. We are grateful to the staff, Anne and
Alan and the committee of Victoria Hall for making this possible.
All our groups are free to find their own way of operating which suits members
best. All groups must rely on their own resources and no one can be paid for
their input.We must acknowledge and thank our group leaders who all put in extensive
efforts and enthusiasm into co-ordinating, researching and servicing the groups
because without their input and commitment we wouldn't operate at all
Our monthly meetings has been well attended with between 70 - 100 attendees
and the programme has included a variety of speakers from around the region
and on a wide range of topics covering historical, wild life and current and
local issues. We are aiming to get a better system of feedback for these sessions
and are asking people to complete a questionnaire about last year's programme
so that we can undertake a proper review at the end of this year. Thanks must
go to Debbie and Gill for organising this programme and ensuring it runs smoothly
( perhaps with the odd hiccup of IT and microphone issues).
Thanks must also go to Michael and Margaret Cullingworth for their long standing
service in the kitchen serving coffee at monthly meetings. Next year we are
now moving to a coffee rota with people working in pairs and we are always grateful
for more names for this.
Finally thanks must go to the committee members who fulfil many different functions
to keep Settle U3A afloat. Our treasurer John Parry who as ever keep us 'in
balance' with a tight hold on the finances, but with occasional largesse available
for new equipment or free coffee! Alison Tyas for stepping in as interim chairperson
for this year whilst new people were 'trained up'.
Chris Taylor, our newsletter editor, has done an excellent job in introducing
a new format for the newsletter (perhaps not an entirely welcomed by everyone!)
and she regularly struggles with a very varied range of input (some peoples
idea of 'no more than 150 words' is widely interpreted!) as well as the committees
demands for last minute notices and must do's.
Keith Waterson, Paul Cochrane, Frank Woodhams and David Holdsworth have all
put much effort into continuing the long process of making Settle U3A move into
the digital age which has not been without its problems. We are grateful for
their efforts even though some of us get quite confused and muddled at times.
Paul steps down this year from the committee after stirling work as groups'
organisor and hands the baton over to Debi Burridge who in turn hands her programme
and publicity roles to Gill and Nita. Frank Woodhams will shortly step down
from his role as 'web master' and Paul has offered to take this role on - a
glutton for punishment some would say.
Hilary Baker also steps down after six years on the committee having been a
valued link with the Regional committee as well as ensuring that the paper copies
of the newsletter get distributed.
Thanks to all those on the committee and group leaders who are 'retiring' from
'active service. We look forward to welcoming new committee members and group
leaders and look forward to another successful year in 2015\16.
ANNUAL REPORT 2013-14
This is my first report as secretary of Settle U3A (and I apologise
for not reading it in person, thanks Debi). The year has been a steep learning
curve learning my role, improving my minute taking and organisational skills,and
getting to know the full and impressive range of the activities and people that
make up Settle U3A.I have been helped in my work by the other members of the
committee, some have had long experience and others who are just ahead of me
Our membership has remained steady at just under 300 members. We have developed
a new members pack, improved access to membership on line and held a new members
coffee morning in the course of the year to welcome new members and to hear
their views about our activities and encourage their particpation in the future.
We have run over 30 successful groups with several new ones being offered in
the course of the year. The U3A ethos of participation and sharing is very apparent
in the these groups where people share their enthusiasm and expertise with others
who choose to learn more. Paul Cochrane has continued to co-ordinate these activities
and to patiently support group leaders in using our new computer equipment.
Many groups have travelled widely to further their interests in walking, old
buildings, and art appreciation. The walking and geology groups coincided with
reasonable success in a trip to Anglesey in May and were lucky in experiencing
the beginning of this summers good weather. The Singing for Pleasure is broadening
its influence with singing events at Airedale Hospital and soon at
We held a lunch for all our group leaders in April to thank them for their time
and effort in making this key activity of the U3A work so well.
Our monthly meetings have continued throughout this year with mostly excellent
attendence for a wide variety of speakers co-ordinated and booked by Gill Rawlings
and Debi Burridge. I have been surprised by the variety of topics covered at
these meeting including the History of the Gardens at Bolton Abbey, Hypnosis,
Bell Ringing, Wild Life Photography and Inventions. I have often felt only dutiful
in my attendance at these meetings, especially on a cold winters morning, but
have come away surprised and entertained by these speakers and know other people
who feel the same. We should also record our thanks here to the Cullingworths
who have faithfully delivered our refreshments each month and are even prepared
to continue for another year. The committee continue to review the monthly meetings
and welcome comments and ideas from members. One suggestion we have considered
this year is running brief 'pop up' discussions on topics of immediate local
interest. The demise of the Pennine bus service was one such topic, U3A made
representations to our MP and Councillors and currently support the new arrangements
made. The 'pop up' idea remains a possibility in the future.
At the beginning of our year last September we were saddened to hear of the
death of Roy Gillson, our Treasurer, after a long illness. We would like to
put on record our appreciation for the work he undertook for our organisation.
John Parry our assistant treasurer was subsequently elected into the role of
Treasurer and has kept a close eye on our finances throughout the year ensuring
we maximise our resources at the bank, collect the fees owing and helping the
committee to review its financial decisions. He has been successful in maintaining
our subscription rate for a second year, again made possible by the donations
by many members and our reclaiming Gift Aid. We will pay a slightly higher fee
for the use of Victoria Hall this next year but remain grateful for its use
and share the concern of many others in Settle at the news that its grant form
Craven District Council has been cut.
Nita Hart completes her two year term as chairperson this September and thanks
must go to her for working hard on our behalf in so many different ways. She
is usually the one to have checked our constitution or our rules for committee
procedure and has maintained good liaison with the Victoria Hall and ensured
the details of our use of it run smoothly. She has tried to visit many of our
groups in the course of the year as well as attending regional events. She has
also been an enthusiastic advocate for the U3A on line courses which expands
the potential of U3A learning. We express our thanks to Nita for taking on the
duties of chairperson at rather short notice and for carrying them out so competently.
Sue Simpson and Derek Hewitson step down from the committee this year and
we thank them for their contributions to the committee over the past few years.
Sue handed over her duites as newsletter editor to Chris Taylor at the end of
2013 and she has embraced her new role with enthusiasm and flair ie colour!
The committee have reviewed the newsletter in the course of the year looking
at its funtion and content in some detail and it will have a new format.
Finally I would like to thank all the people who have worked hard to improve
our 'on line' facilities. As a committee we know that some members prefer to
stick with paper methods of communication, but increasingly there is time saved
by investing in on line communication as more of us embrace this new technology.
We can now get membership renewal forms, membership packs, newsletters, resumes
of committee minutes, resumes of national and regional news, links to national
information, photographs of our walks and many other things through our website.
We have also developed email links for the newsletter and membership renewal
to all members on line. Thanks must go to our long suffering 'web master' Frank
Woodham and to Paul Cochrane, Keith Waterhouse and David Holdsworth for undertaking
the work necessary to make this happen.
Lets hope 2014\15 will turn out to be another successful year for Settle U3A
and thank you all for your support.
Pat Taylor August 13.8.14
ANNUAL REPORT 2012-13
This has been another busy year for Settle U3A with new members joining us
throughout the year so that we numbered 300 at the end of April. The Committee
has dealt with information from National and Regional offices as well as ironing
out problems locally - not least the temperamental projector that had finally
to be replaced, much to everyone's relief!
As usual our finances have been carefully watched during the year to make sure
we are able to pay our way and make best use of our income. We have been able
to keep the minimum annual subscription and also the group session meetings
the same as last year. The generosity of many members who choose to donate more
than the basic subscription and/or Gift Aid the amount helps us to do this.
Nita has kept in close contact with Trustees from the Victoria Hall during the
year and has managed to keep our monthly fee as low as possible. I know you
all appreciate the convenience of being able to meet here and that feeling is
reciprocated by the staff and Trustees of Victoria Hall.
At last year's AGM Nita Hart bravely offered to stand as Chairman, after only
having been co-opted onto the committee the previous January "to see what
happens". She has done a great job in chairing committee meetings, introducing
visitors at our speaker meetings and especially in ironing out issues with Victoria
Hall. She always remains calm and supportive of everyone on the committee and,
I'm pleased to say, has agreed to stand as Chairman again for another year.
I think Debi has worn nearly every 'hat' on the committee this year, except
Secretary! As well as being our Vice-Chairman, she has distributed the posters,
organised the speakers for next year's monthly meetings, hosted all our committee
meetings and acted as Treasurer when Roy has been unable to put in an appearance.
She has been unfailingly cheerful and efficient in all her roles and we thank
her for that.
This is Pat Smith's final appearance as our Membership Secretary, a job she
has done extremely well for the past 5 years. During that time our numbers have
risen from 238 to 300. Our thanks go to Pat for all her work on the committee
and also for recruiting her replacement, Keith Waterson, and guiding him into
At our last AGM Sue Simpson indicated that she would be looking for someone
to take over as newsletter editor. Almost at the last minute a replacement has
been found and Sue has agreed to stay on as editor for a while to ease the changeover.
Our attractive newsletters are important for giving information as well as offering
reports on events. We are pleased that so many of you are able to receive the
newsletter online to keep our printing costs as low as possible.
One of our most popular interest groups is Geology and Paul Cochrane, the group
leader, has not only led another successful few days away in Whitby but also
led one of the Regional Summer School study groups. This was on top of his work
as our Groups Co-ordinator. He has liaised with Frank Woodhams, our webmaster,
to improve the information about our interest groups and make sure that group
leaders can be contacted by those considering joining. Our website is increasingly
the first port of call for many prospective members and I think we are lucky
to have such an able person to run it and keep it looking so attractive.
Our small social committee has continued to organise twice yearly theatre trips
and a summer lunch and we are grateful for their interest and care in doing
this for our benefit.
All those who lead or facilitate our groups are to be commended for their hard
work. Some of them have taken that role for many years, while others have started
new groups. The ethos of the U3A is about all the members contributing and you
don't have to be an expert to lead a group. One of the exciting things about
the U3A is the opportunity to gather a few interested people together and learn
as you go along, sharing ideas and working together. So if you have an idea
for a new group don't hesitate to publicise it in the newsletter and see who
else is interested. The committee will support you in every way. It doesn't
have to be a long-lasting group, a few sessions may be all you need. So don't
be shy! Once a year the committee organises a tea and chat time to meet new
members and find out their thoughts about how our U3A caters for their interests.
The committee was pleased to meet up with many of our group leaders and co-ordinators
in November, partly to thank them for their hard work but also to exchange ideas
and suggestions for keeping our U3A vibrant. At our August meeting some new
and interesting suggestions were made for new groups so let's all work together
to make them happen.
To finish on a personal note. I moved to Settle four years ago when I retired,
knowing nobody, and the first thing I did was join the U3A as a way of getting
to meet new people and to give me plenty to do. It was the best thing I ever
did and certainly fulfilled my wishes. As many of you know, as a result of my
husband's job move, I am now living in Bradford and so no longer able to take
an active role in Settle U3A. I want to say thank you to everyone who has made
me so welcome and who has given me the chance to lead an interesting and fulfilling
time over the past four years through the U3A. I know you will all continue
to support the committee and the groups to make Settle U3A one of the best in
the country. Thank you.
ANNUAL REPORT 2011-12
I would like to start by thanking all the committee for their support over the
past year as I got to grips with the many and varied tasks it seems a secretary
has to deal with. I would particularly like to thank Debi, who, for various reasons,
has had another challenging year but has been unfailingly cheerful and business-like
in carrying out her role.
As in previous years, the committee has had to spend time looking at our financial
affairs to ensure that we are able to pay our way but still keep our charge to
members as low as possible. Thanks to the generosity of many members, who added
a significant donation to their basic subscription, we have been able to keep
our minimum annual subscription rate the same as last year and the tax reclaimed
on Gift Aided subscriptions has also helped. Our Treasurer, Roy, and Chairman,
Debi, have been in close contact with the Victoria Hall over several months to
ensure that we get best value for money as a regular user of the Hall. These conversations
A sub-committee spent some time looking at the new model constitution to see if
we needed or wanted to make any changes to our current constitution. There are
some good aspects of the new version, particularly the clearer language but there
are some sections of our constitution we don't want to change. The review is ongoing.
Pat Smith has continued to do a great job as our membership secretary and has
been busy enrolling new members throughout the year. The online membership renewal
system has helped to reduce the paperwork. Pat has agreed to carry on as membership
secretary for another year but is looking to train up someone else to take over
from her at the next AGM.
Sue Simpson is also looking for someone to take over the newsletter at the end
of this current year. She and Elizabeth Evans have worked well together to produce
the monthly sheet which is so important in providing us with information about
our various group activities and events. We know many of you now receive the newsletter
online and this has helped to reduce our production costs. If anyone still has
difficulties finding the newsletter online do please ask one of the committee
Unfortunately, for personal reasons, John Flitcroft was unable to attend many
committee meetings this year and he has decided not to stand again for election.
We'd like to thank John for his contribution to the committee, particularly in
setting up our Gift Aid registration in 2010-11.
Early in 2012 we were able to persuade Nita Hart to be co-opted onto the committee
and she has already proved her value. I'm pleased to say she is prepared to stand
for election today.
Hilary Baker has once again done sterling work on our behalf as our Regional and
National Representative. She has attended many meetings and been fully involved
in the planning of the Askham Bryan 'Big Bash' to celebrate the 30th birthday
of U3A. Our Singing for Pleasure, Line Dance and Circle Dance groups were contributors
to the event, as was Wendy Newby's card making. As I write this, late afternoon
on the day of this regional event (15th August), it is hammering down with rain
so I'm hoping that everyone who took part or attended was safely on the way home
before the deluge began! [I think this was the case for most people!]
It was, of course, our 10th birthday this year so in July we celebrated in style
with tea and cakes, lots of cakes! Driven indoors (into St Alkelda's) by the weather,
we were nevertheless able to have a fun afternoon with local and regional guests
enjoying our exhibition and the delicious boozy birthday cakes made by Debi and
Margaret Cullingworth. If you weren't there, you missed a treat.
Additional social events have again been organised by our social committee. In
October we had our regular trip to the Theatre at Keswick to see Noel Coward's
"Hayfever" and in January we saw "Timing" by Alistair McGowan
at the Playhouse Theatre in Ilkley. The summer outing this year was to Richmond
and included a very interesting tour of the Georgian Theatre, and more recently
many of us enjoyed a lunch at the Plough in Wigglesworth. We thank Janet and Shirley
for organising these delightful events for us.
Our interest groups have continued to flourish, often taking themselves outdoors
to visit places of interest. In April the walking group took a three night trip
to the Peak District, where they encountered some of the very wet weather that
has been a feature of so much of this year. The geology group's visit to Shropshire
had to be postponed but will be taking place very soon. The Singing for Pleasure
group has recently taken part in a Gospel singing workshop in Leeds. We are indebted
to those who organise such trips which add so much to our interest and enthusiasm.
Some members of the Art Appreciation group attended a Regional study day in Sheffield
entitled "A family well disposed". It is good to know that Settle U3A
is supporting regional events.
Our monthly meetings here in Victoria Hall have once again brought in a variety
of speakers to interest and engage us. We have to thank Alan Hemsworth for organising
the visits of these speakers. Alan has now handed over the reins of this job to
the committee and we are grateful for all his hard work in bringing such diverse
speakers to our meetings.
One innovation from the committee this year was to invite new members for coffee
and chat in March. This gave us the opportunity to find out about their interests
and gave them the chance to meet the committee and put forward any suggestions
they had for possible new groups. We hope this opportunity will continue.
And finally, without our loyal and hardworking band of group leaders we would
not be able to continue in our task of being "a self-help educational movement
for people in their third age". I think they deserve our very grateful thanks.
ANNUAL REPORT 2010-11
As this is the fourth and final time I shall deliver the Annual Report, perhaps
I may start on a personal note.
I joined Settle District U3A 6 years ago when I retired from the teaching profession.
A month after joining I responded to a plea from Janet Stafford, Chairman at
the time and agreed to be co-opted onto the committee as Minutes Secretary.
Committee work, even the vocabulary, was quite new to me. A short while afterwards,
George Pattison, a fellow committee member, confessed that he had put my name
forward for the position. George, for whom I had much respect and affection
had come to Settle High School as a teacher when I was a sixth form pupil many,
many years ago. "I told them," said George " you were a bright
girl at school." I crossed my fingers and did not tell George about the
elderly gentleman to whom I deliver Meals on Wheels who, when I informed him
that I was the pigtailed child who used to live across from him down Marshfield
Road, gave me a long hard look and then exclaimed "By gum, you've changed!"
.! Now, talking of change
In my early U3A days, I was responsible for the minutes whilst Genevieve Moss
was the official Secretary who dealt with correspondence and related matters.
I used to deliver the printed minutes on my bike. Now all committee members
are online and I simply press the "Send" button on my computer. (Not
that owning a computer is an essential requirement for a committee member, I
hasten to add.) At that time I used to email the approved minutes to Frank Woodhams,
our Webmaster who, within a trice, put them onto our website. You can imagine
how quickly I honed my computer skills when I learned that Frank was a former
Professor at the University of East Anglia where he specialized in microcomputing.
Eventually the decision was taken not to publish the minutes on the website
for all and sundry to access but to have a printed copy available to our members
at the Thursday meetings. The fact that this file of minutes can hardly be described
as "well thumbed" hopefully indicates our members' trust and confidence
in the committee.
So to the present. What are the issues that have concerned your committee during
the past year? As is customary, alas, there was the initial problem of forming
a committee with the necessary officers and members. It was with some reservations
that Debi Burridge agreed to stand for the office of Chairman as she had many
demands on her personal life and was to have more. She did not know just how
many or how pressing these demands were to prove. On behalf of all of us I would
like to thank and congratulate Debi for the valiant, cheerful and competent
way she has dealt with the many tasks and problems she has had to face.
I know that Debi is, like the rest of us, immensely grateful to John Flitcroft,
who, as Vice-Chairman, has given her stalwart support throughout the year. As
in Debi's case, John really had no idea of the pressures he would face this
year, particularly with regard to the beleaguered question of fees and finance.
John was responsible for gathering the facts about our current use of the Victoria
Hall - facts that revealed how unrealistic and out of date were our payments.
John, aided by a sub-committee, also took on the valuable task of leading us
through our application for Gift Aid. As you know, the application was successful
and comes into operation this year.
Two years ago we were on the brink of winding up Settle District U3A because
no one was willing to take on the office of Treasurer. Jackie Pemberton bravely
stepped into the rescue to everyone's relief and gratitude. For two years Jackie
has dealt competently and conscientiously with our finances. I think though,
that Jackie herself uttered a small sigh of relief when this year Roy Gillson
offered to stand for office. I am told that there was no coercion even though
he is married to the Chairman! Our grateful thanks to both Jackie and Roy.
Leaving the committee this time after completing three years' service are Chris
Stephens and David Holdsworth. As Publicity Officer, Chris has produced the
eyecatching posters which every month appear in 40 different places, and on
our website. She also puts publicity material in the library, the TIC and other
appropriate places and keeps the Craven Herald and Community News informed of
our activities. We need someone to take over these tasks. It does not have to
be a member of the committee.
David's role as Groups Co-coordinator is being taken over by committee member
Paul Cochrane who, as a group leader himself, is aware of possible problems
and queries that might arise. David has worked diligently to increase the use
of our excellent website for disseminating information. Pat Smith, our membership
secretary, has particularly appreciated David's help in setting up the means
for enrolling and registering for groups online.
Sue Simpson, who has also completed her three-year term on the committee, has
agreed to stand again and to continue her admirable work in producing our monthly
Newsletter. Sue has received cheerful and unfailing support from Elizabeth Evans,
who is not a committee member but has always stepped in whenever other duties
have demanded Sue's time. Elizabeth is also responsible for printing the Newsletter
every month. We thank them both.
Pat Smith, our hard working membership secretary has likewise come to the end
of her 3-year term as a committee member. At the last count we had over 300
members so Pat has certainly been kept busy. Pat is willing to stand again for
the committee. She and Sue are joined by Derek Hewitson who has also agreed
to stand again after three years of duty during which time Derek has been our
A former committee member who deserves huge thanks is Alan Hemsworth who was
largely responsible for arranging not only the last programme of speakers but
also the one for the coming year. I am sure you will agree that we had an excellent
range of speakers last year and if you look the programme on your new membership
card you will see that Alan has given us much to look forward to, not least
one of his own inimitable talks in November. We are grateful to Margaret and
Michael Cullingworth for serving coffee at our monthly meetings and thereby
enhancing the social aspect.
Thanks are also due to Janet Stafford and Shirley Wolfenden for organizing
such an interesting and convivial social programme. In September last year they
arranged a splendid Get Together at the Falcon Manor. There have been theatre
outings to Ilkley Playhouse and the Theatre by the Lake at Keswick giving members
chance to see first-rate productions of What the Butler saw, Accidental Death
of an Anarchist and Hamlet. There was also an enjoyable summer outing to Lyme
Park. In addition, Shirley was responsible for devising the quiz at last year's
Christmas Social where once again, the in house entertainment showed what talented,
diverse groups we have.
Different groups have been out and about. The popular Looking at Old Buildings
Group has had privileged access to some fine places such as Farnley Hall, home
of the Fawkes family, yes, Guy Fawkes, and the Glaziers' Hall at York Minster.
The Heraldry Group has visited Samlesbury Hall
The Art Appreciation Group has been to Abbot Hall and Leeds Art gallery and
is now preparing to go to the recently opened Hepworth gallery in Wakefield.
The Geology Group has been to Cliffe Castle. The Walking Groups have, by their
very nature constantly walked over hill and dale but this year they literally
and metaphorically broke new ground with a residential visit to Whitby where
I gather there was as much talking as walking! Members of the Circle dance group
have danced in Langwathby, Kendal and Ilkley whilst members of Ilkley U3A have
come to dance with us at Langcliffe.
We have always been proud of our association with Frank Pedley, who as well
as being a founding father of the National U3A and of Keighley U3A played such
an important part in founding our own U3A. He was a constant reminder that we
are part of a nationwide movement
Hilary Baker continues to maintain our standing at National and Regional levels
by representing us at conferences and being a member of the regional committee.
Next August the Yorkshire and Humberside Region, (of which we are part) is holding
a showcase event at Askham Bryan College. The circle dance group has already
expressed an interest in participating. Any other group wishing to be involved
should contact Hilary.
The strength of every U3A lies in its Group Leaders. We are fortunate in having
a diversity of backgrounds and skills so wide that we can offer 32 groups covering
almost the entire alphabet from Art Appreciation to Walking. This year we have
two new groups-"Continuing Spanish" led by Linda Martingell and "Landscapes
and Townscapes" led by Tony Stephens
I began on a personal note and will end in similar vein. Settle U3A has played
a very important part in giving me a full and rewarding retirement. I have made
new friends, practised new skills, listened to stimulating speakers, visited
interesting places. Being both secretary and a group leader has enhanced my
involvement and my sense of belonging to a very worthwhile organization. Long
may it flourish!
ANNUAL REPORT 2009-10
Everyone who came to our Coffee and Chat meeting last month could see at a
glance that Settle District U3A is thriving. Despite the fact that 54 members
had already enrolled on our new online system and despite careful organizational
planning, the queue to enroll stretched to the door of the Victoria Hall. 28
new members had joined by the end of the morning and more enrolments have been
steadily coming in for the past month, Prior to our meeting today, the membership
for the coming year had already reached 200.
To think that last year on this occasion, when we had received not a single
nomination for the office of Treasurer, it was suggested that we may have to
disband our U3A altogether! At the eleventh hour, Jackie Pemberton stood up
at the AGM and bravely volunteered. The whole room heaved a sigh of relief.
We are immensely grateful to Jackie who has done an excellent job this year
ensuring that our finances are in a healthy state as well as sanctioning the
purchase of a new computer. No-one has yet risked reminding Jackie how long
Shirley Wolfenden held the office!
Last September we welcomed John Flitcroft onto the committee and a short while
afterwards Hilary Baker was co-opted. Hilary has a vast knowledge and experience
of the U3A movement and of committee work and is always willing to attend meetings
at regional and national level. Indeed she is representing us at the National
AGM in Cirencester even as I speak. A short while ago I was on the phone to
National Office in London and Hilary's name came up. "Oh yes!" I was
assured, "We know Hilary". Thank you, Hilary, for putting us on the
Of course we are also well known nationally through our longstanding association
with Frank Pedley. Frank, alas, like several of our members, has experienced
health problems this year and the committee was saddened when we received his
letter resigning from the position of Life President of Settle District U3A.
Wanting to recognise and honour all that he has done, but also wanting to free
him from an executive role and duties, David Holdsworth proposed that we invite
Frank to become either a Life Fellow or Life Member of Settle District U3A.
Frank himself suggested the title of Honorary Member Emeritus, a boost for our
Latin scholars. The committee readily agreed.
This time we say "Farewell" to both our Chairman John Jebson, and
our Vice-Chairman, Alan Hemsworth.
For the past two years John has been a hard-working and proactive Chairman.
Now perhaps he will have time to join some of the groups he has so diligently
visited, not in the role of Ofsted inspector, but in order to acquaint himself
fully with the scope and enterprise of our 30+ splendid and varied groups. John
has also spent time visiting other U3A s and, even when on holiday earlier this
year, he did not relax his vigilance, returning to the next committee meeting
with a flyer about Wigtownshire U3A which he thought may be of interest to us!
Last year, when the Victoria Hall was in grave danger of closing, John was positive
and powerful in voicing his concerns. With a number of our members, he went
to Skipton, to a meeting of the Craven District Council where he was permitted
to speak. He and other protagonists won the day and here we are right now, in
this very special building which means so much to us as an organization and
to Settle district as a community.
As well as losing our Chairman, we are, alas, no longer to have his right hand
man, our Vice-Chairman Alan on our committee. I know that John will wish to
express his own thanks to Alan. On behalf of the committee, I would like to
say how much we have enjoyed Alan's unique wit and wisdom at our committee meetings
in addition to the wonderful talks he has given at our Thursday meetings. To
have such a talented speaker on our team is indeed an honour. Alan has also
been responsible, with a little help from Pat Smith and David Holdsworth, for
planning and organizing last year's speakers and those for the year ahead! I
can assure you that this is no mean task. I'm sure everyone will agree that
the quality and variety of monthly talks has been excellent. In addition to
all this, Alan finds the time to run the Madrigal group.
A great deal of behind the scenes work goes on to ensure the smooth running
of our U3A and every one of our 13 strong committee contributes. At our monthly
meetings our officers and co-ordinators give their reports and pertinent matters
are discussed. The minutes are displayed at our monthly meetings together with
communications from National Office. Work goes on throughout the month, particularly
for Chris Stephens who produces excellent posters for each meeting and for any
extra publicity events such as the one we held in Booth's foyer during National
Awareness week. Also busy throughout each month, but especially as deadline
approaches, are Sue Simpson and Elizabeth Evans who together are responsible
for publishing and printing the monthly Newsletter, a task very few would choose
This year, Margaret Cullingworth ends her three-year term on the committee
but has kindly offered to continue to make coffee at the Thursday meetings.
Two former committee officers who continue year after year to do a stalwart
and much appreciated job are Janet Stafford and Shirley Wolfenden who organize
and run our highly successful social outings and events. This year there have
been theatre outings to Keswick for Alan Ayckbourne's play " A Chorus of
Disapproval" and to Ilkley for "Going Straight" by Richard Harris.
Janet and Shirley also organized an enjoyable tour of Bridgewater Hall, Manchester,
and a fascinating excursion combining Nostell Priory and the Yorkshire Sculpture
Park. Later this month there is a get-together at the Falcon Manor, following
the success of a similar event at the same venue last September. Mention of
our social activities would be incomplete without thanking the host of members
who contributed in one way or another to our splendid Christmas party, which
certainly set the festive ball rolling in style.
On behalf of the committee, I would also like to thank Alison Tyas, a former
committee member who continues to work tirelessly behind the scenes cheerfully
doing countless tasks, which ensure the smooth running of our U3A.
Our website continues to flourish under the expert hand (or should I say "mouse"?)
of Frank Woodhams, our Webmaster. Our Group Organiser, David Holdsworth, is
another computer wizard, responsible for devising this year's virtually foolproof
systems for online registration and enrolment. Pat Smith, our membership secretary
whose workload is particularly heavy at this time of year, is very grateful
to all those members who actually did register and enroll online. Everything
anyone needs to know about Settle District U3A can be found on our website.
You can read the Newsletter, investigate the groups and receive up to the minute
bulletins about groups, meetings and events.
As a group leader I know something of the commitment, hard work and preparation
which go towards the group meetings. We now have 32 different groups. All of
our group leaders are volunteers who work in a variety of ways, some as teachers,
some as co-ordinators, some as enablers. Some share the role of leader, others
take sole responsibility. Whatever their modus operandi they are the very centre
of our U3A and we thank every one of them. This year we are delighted to welcome
two new group leaders, offering two new subjects. Pam Elstub is running a course
on Relaxation for Health and Well-being whilst Rowena Magdan is leading a jewellery- making course.
Every now and then there is discussion at national or local level about our
title "U3A" - "University of the Third Age". It has been
suggested that "University" is too lofty and academic a name for what
we hope is a friendly and welcoming organization, addressing the mental, physical
and social needs of those no longer in full-time employment. This was touched
upon at one of our committee meetings. Derek Hewitson made a very fitting comment.
He said, "When people ask me what the "U" stands for in U3A,
I tell them it stands for YOU". What an excellent maxim! The U3A is an
organization which exists for YOU, to benefit YOU. Above all, your U3A needs
ANNUAL REPORT 2008-09
When Settle District U3A formally came into existence on September 12th 2002
there were 64 members and 14 groups. Since then there has been a steady increase
in membership and in the number of groups. We now have approximately 300 members
and 34 groups. Over the years, the groups have varied in response to the interests
of members. Last year, with the approval of National Office and our own membership,
a small change was made to the wording of a clause in our constitution to accommodate
those groups, such as the dance and exercise, the bias of which is physical
rather than intellectual. With a range of groups now covering such varied topics
as philosophy, art appreciation, madrigal singing, family history and circle
dance we can surely claim, in line with our constitution, that we are advancing
the education of those no longer in gainful employment and, at the same time,
providing leisure and recreational activities.
Last September we appointed a new Chairman, a new Vice Chairman and 5 new committee
members. Hilary Baker, Pat Dewey and Alison Tyas had been members of the original
steering committee and had continued to serve for the following 6 years. Pam
Servant had likewise served on the committee for the full 6 years and had edited
the Newsletter whilst Shirley Wolfenden had held the office of Treasurer right
from the start and was looking forward, like the retiring committee members,
to handing over to someone else. However, for Shirley, it was not to be, as
no one was willing to stand for the office of Treasurer. We were immensely grateful
to Shirley for agreeing, at the AGM, the eleventh hour, to stand again, but
she stipulated, for one year only. We all thank her sincerely for her hard work,
her efficiency, and her unflappability throughout the years. She has been an
excellent treasurer. Our finances are healthy, with money already ear-marked
for the purchase of a new laptop. Although the annual enrolment fee has increased
to £12, mainly to accommodate the proposed increase in the subscription
payable to National Office, the 50p cost of individual group meetings remains
Shirley will continue, with Janet Stafford, to organize our very popular social
calendar which again, last year, started in style with a visit to the Theatre
in the Lakes to see
" Arsenic and Old Lace" and was rounded off splendidly, last week,
with dinner and entertainment at the Falcon Manor.
An eagerly awaited event was the Christmas Social. The new committee decided
a few changes were called for and, in particular, there should be more involvement
from our members. As a result, as well as our customary and enjoyable quiz,
we were agreeably entertained with music, song, recitation and the French group's
memorable Piece de Resistance "Le Petit Chaperon Rouge".
Michael Cullingworth, the unforgettable and saucy grandmother of the French
Group's Christmas Tour de Force reappeared 3 month's later at our monthly meeting,
this time in his own clothes, to give us a fascinating talk on the history of
pantomime. Other in-house speakers this year were Alan Hemsworth and John Chapman.
We are very pleased and proud to have such talented speakers in our midst. Bill
Mitchell, the renowned local author, came to speak about Beatrix Potter whilst
speakers "from away" spoke on a variety of topics.
The monthly general meeting gives us a chance to get together as well as the
opportunity to hear some excellent speakers but it is probably true to say that
the main strength of our U3A lies in the many and varied groups. For 50p per
session one could be busily involved almost every day of the week.
Many groups have been out and about. The Art Appreciation Group has been to
Abbot Hall in Kendal, the Peter Scott Gallery in Lancaster, the Mercer Gallery
in Harrogate and Blackwell Arts and Crafts House. Our recent and most privileged
visit was in August to the studio of Norman Adams in Horton. Meanwhile the Old
Buildings group has been to East Riddlesden Hall, Slaidburn, Bramhope, Adel,
and Wray. Family History has been to Chorley, the Heraldry Group has visited
Bolton by Bowland church, Richmond and Staindrop churches and the walkers have
walked, strode or strolled, in places far and near, ranging from Giggleswick,
(strollers), to the Lake District, (striders). Members of the Circle Dance Group
have trod measures in Penrith and Langwathby as well as enjoying a delightful
workshop in Langcliffe, led by a visiting teacher from Cumbria. Shirley and
Janet organized a theatre trip to Ilkley Playhouse to see "The talented
Mr. Ripley" and the summer outing was to Raby Castle.
Most of our groups meet here at the Victoria Hall, in one or other of the different
rooms. We have always recognized how fortunate we are in having this splendid,
central meeting place so it came as a shock to learn in January of the high
possibility of its imminent closure due to a financial shortfall of £10,000.
The immediate threat was lifted by a number of donations but the grant funding
from Craven District Council for the forthcoming financial year was still in
grave doubt. Seven of our members, including four of the committee, went to
the Council's all-important Policy Committee meeting at Skipton. Our Chairman,
John, was allowed to address the meeting for a few minutes to put our case,
explaining how the Victoria Hall is vital to our organization for the kind of
activities we are able to offer people in the Settle area. We were delighted
when grant funding was approved for the next 3 years. On our behalf, John has
made formal application for a place for one of our members on the Board of Trustees.
So far this has not been possible but the matter is still in hand.
As Chairman, John has made it part of his job to visit different groups each
month which has given him an insight into the diverse activities as well as
enabling him to make a card, do some exercises, solve challenging mathematical
puzzles and learn, amongst other things about the development of the camera
obscura. (And YES, he did pay his 50p each!)John's curiosity about U3A activities
also led him to a meeting of Clitheroe U3A where he was welcomed by their Chairman.
The two Chairmen were able to exchange useful information about group structure,
fees and functioning.
We are very fortunate in having Hilary Baker, a former Chairman, very actively
in our midst, willing and able to represent us at National and Regional meetings,
thus ensuring that we are up to date in all U3A policies and decision making.
Over the past two years, there has been considerable re-organisation at regional
level. Our normal day-to-day functioning has not been affected. Suffice it to
say that we are no longer part of the Cumbria Region but have joined the newly
named Yorkshire Ridings Forum. Hilary, our intrepid representative, attended
the inaugural meeting of the Yorkshire and Humberside Region and was rapidly
voted onto the committee. In July she attended the Ridings Forum and in October
she will represent us at the National Conference. We are also both fortunate
and honoured in having Frank Pedley as our President and are grateful for all
the wisdom, knowledge and experience he is able to share with us.
Our website goes from strength to strength. We are indebted to Frank Woodhams,
our Webmaster and David Holdsworth, our Group Organiser for their expertise,
enthusiasm and rapid response to any queries or problems that arise. Our members
can now enroll and register for groups online as well as accessing the monthly
Newsletter and all past Newsletters. The website also contains information about
the groups and monthly meetings and has many useful links. You do not need to
own a computer to benefit from the modern technology. Simply join our Computer
Group or go to Settle Library and ask the librarian to help you access Settle
U3A online. You will be amazed how easy it is.
Incidentally, if you do decide to access the monthly Newsletter online instead
of receiving a hard copy, please let one of the committee know. This will help
cut down our running costs as well as helping you to reduce your personal mountain
of paper! Taking over production of the monthly newsletter from Pam Servant
was a daunting task for Sue Simpson and Elizabeth Evans. Pam kindly helped smooth
the takeover by giving of her time and expertise in the initial months. We thank
Pam very much and at the same time congratulate Sue and Elizabeth on their achievement.
Thanks also to John, who has been a very pro-active Chairman this year and
to all our committee, each of which has a specific role to ensure the smooth
running of our U3A.
The final thanks go to our hard-working group leaders without whom our U3A could
not function. Our membership numbers have risen steadily over the 6 years. The
number of people offering to lead groups has not risen comparably. The continuing
vitality of the U3A requires a steady flow of new blood so please don't hide
your light behind a bushel. You don't have to be an expert. You don't have to
teach but simply be a willing co-ordinator.
Our vision for the future is one of continued growth, with new groups and new
leaders to provide for changing needs, appropriate accommodation and resources,
stimulating monthly meetings and enriching social events to be enjoyed by all
ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08
Last September the National U3A celebrated its 25th anniversary whilst we ourselves
celebrated our fifth. With a membership hovering around 250, 31 different groups,
an exemplary website, an informative, well produced monthly Newsletter and a
healthy balance in our accounts, it could well have been a time for self-congratulation
and resting on our laurels.
We bid a fond farewell to Janet, who had so ably chaired the committee for
2 years. Then along came Tony Stephens, our new Chairman, a man with not one
but several missions. Complacency was not to be! Changes were afoot.
One of Tony's first aims was to formalise our arrangements with the Victoria
Hall. Ever since its inception in 2002, Settle U3A has enjoyed, on favourable
terms, the facilities of this splendid, centrally placed establishment. As a
result of attracting more members, Tony was able to offer an increased payment
to the Victoria Hall. In return, the monthly Thursday slot for our general meeting
was guaranteed and the large screen was made available for our use. Accommodating
an increased number of members and use of the large screen called for a change
in seating. Not only have we "turned round" to face the stage, but
we also use the balcony for our monthly meetings and very good it is too!
We have had 9 speaker meetings, all in the Victoria Hall and all well attended.
Two of our speakers, David Holdsworth and Tony Stephens are "home grown".
It was fitting that David, who spoke on "matters digital" should be
the first to use the large on-stage screen with a digital projector, with excellent
results. Tony gave a fascinating account of his life as a young Westminster
chorister, using both the digital projector and our recently purchased CD/tape
player. Other topics have ranged from a light-hearted look at the history of
anaesthesia to an absorbing description of an enameller's life. Dorothy Cockrell,
the renowned enameller in question, certainly had us "fired up", bringing
with her as she did her own electric kiln! We are grateful to our speaker organisers
for arranging such an interesting, varied programme.
Sincere thanks go to Shirley Wolfenden and Janet Stafford for organising our
social calendar, which got off to a great start with the annual autumn outing
to the Theatre by the Lake at Keswick to see a breathtaking production of "Around
the World in Eighty Days". Other outings included a visit to Saltaire,
and a cruise to Liverpool along the Manchester Ship Canal.
Our Christmas social almost underwent a drastic change when, ten minutes before
the beginning, we realised that no wine had been ordered. Needless to say, this
was swiftly remedied and everyone was able to relax and enjoy Pam Servant's
challenging quiz followed by a Jacob's Join lunch, rounded off with seasonal
songs and carols performed by Val Baulard and Hugh Stalker. This year's Christmas
social will be under the direction of Shirley Wolfenden and will follow a somewhat
different format. Please contact Shirley if you wish offer help or to participate
other than as a guest. A large number of members and potential members came
to the August "coffee and chat" meeting where much interest was generated
by the displays and digital presentation as well as by live demonstrations from
the line dancers, circle dancers, exercise group and "Singing for Pleasure"
Surely between them our many and varied groups provide all that is needed to
ensure we have healthy minds in healthy bodies with plenty of culture, bonhomie
and bon vie included for good measure. The Art Appreciation group has visited
Leeds City Art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery and the Abbott Hall at Kendal.
The Heraldry Group has been to Gisburn, Marton, Ulverston, Great Witherslack
and Staindrop churches as well as Bishop Auckland Palace and Redworth Hall Hotel.
Guided tours of a fascinating range of buildings from an ancient cruckbarn to
Skipton Castle have been the privilege of the Looking at Old Buildings group
whilst the various walking groups have covered the miles locally and further
afield in Yorkshire and Lancashire. The family History Group has also been on
the move, visiting Chorley family History Centre whilst the Sunday Lunch Group
has enjoyed meals in local establishments as well as travelling to Appletreewick,
Kirkby Lonsdale and other places with attractive menus. Too numerous to mention
are the bottles of wine consumed by the ever-popular wine groups whose members
seem to smile a lot whilst the Circle Dancers have participated in the Women's
World Day of Prayer at the Congregational Church and at the Music Festival in
Settle Church. We are grateful to all our group leaders for their time and expertise
and for providing such a rich variety of subjects and activities
We are likewise enormously grateful to Frank Woodhams for our superb website
which keeps our members up to date with internal news as well as demonstrating
our strengths to the rest of the world. Any members who usually read the Newsletter
on line may wish to cancel their hard copy, thereby cutting down production
costs a little.
Our monthly Newsletter is the lynchpin of communication. How many times when
confronted with an "I did n't know
" does the cry
go up "It's in the Newsletter!" Pam Servant has been the excellent
editor of a publication which is informative, amusing and entertaining. Alas,
she is leaving the Committee this year but is willing to help the next editor
for a short while. Should the next editor feel unable to emulate Pam's style,
there is no reason at all why the format of the Newsletter cannot change
As a committee we were aware that at the end of the year i.e. now, a large
number of committee members, all experienced, hard-working and able, would be
stepping down. We are very grateful to Shirley Wolfenden, our Treasurer, Pam
Servant our Newsletter Editor, Alison Tyas our Group Organiser, Pat Dewey our
Membership Secretary, Hilary Baker and Ray Wolfenden, for all their hard work
over the years. Shirley, Pam, Pat, Hilary and Alison have been committee members
from the start. Hilary also served as Chairman for 2 years and was our representative
at this year's National AGM and EGM.
With this huge depletion of the committee in mind, another of Tony's stated
aims at the start of his year in office was to have a recruitment drive for
new committee members. Tony began by employing charm but had to resort to more
forceful tactics as volunteers failed to materialise. So, apologies if you are
one of those whose arm was twisted-but all in a good cause. Without a committee,
our U3A cannot function. Being a committee member is not onerous, nor does it
demand a huge commitment in time. It has been suggested that our future rallying
cry should take its note from John F. Kennedy "Ask not what your U3A can
do for you. Ask what you can do for your U3A".
To sum up, this has been a year when we have tried to build on our strengths
whilst making changes in areas deemed weak. Tony, we have much to thank you
for. Now Tony is stepping down and we hope to welcome John as our new Chairman.
John has already, as Vice-Chairman, demonstrated commitment and energy, chairing
as he has, several sub-committees, including that which examined the Constitution
and the Speakers sub-committee.
Finally, on a personal note, I truly believe that our U3A is one of the important
institutions that make the Settle district a good place to live. There is a
wealth of talent, knowledge, experience and expertise amongst our members and
we are enormously indebted to all those who are willing to contribute.
ANNUAL REPORT 2007-06
At National level, this year has been both a year of disaster and of celebration.
The disaster struck in December 2006 when a massive fire destroyed most of the
N.Office premises- Fortunately all data was recovered and after swift re-organisation,
business carried on as usual until complete restoration in Feb. 2007. On a much
happier note, this year is the 25th. anniversary since the USA inauguration. The
highlight of the National celebrations is 4-day conferences cruise to Europe in
September on board MV Athena and culminating in the A.G.M. at Falmouth, where
Hilary Baker will be our representative. She and Frank Pedley will also be joining
We have had an excellent year under the chairmanship of Janet Stafford and
supporting committee. Pat Dewey our membership secretary reports that our membership
is steady at around 240. Sadly five members have died during the year, these
are: Len Moody, Leoni Hudson, Betty Holgate, Liz Percy and Titch Meyers. Many
members will have read the tribute paid to Titch in our July issue of the News
In addition to fostering friendship and community spirit, USA is chiefly a
co-operative self-help group, where everyone has something to contribute from
their store of knowledge and experience. Alison Tyas, our group co-ordinator
does a superb job in collating these resources into study groups. She reports
another good year, starting in Sept. with 30 groups and ending with 29. Of the
original groups 8 have run continuously since we started 5 years ago, and of
these 4 still have the same leader. A new group which started after Easter this
year is one run by Gillian Walton who leads exercises especially designed for
the older person. What will be a popular course starting this month is that
of digital photography to be run by Frank Woodhams. Already many people have
shown an interest. Alison also liaises with the Victoria Hall in booking our
meetings. She finds the staff there very accommodating and helpful. We are the
main users of the hall.
There have been 9 speaker meetings this year all of which have been both successful
and entertaining and which have been enthusiastically attended by some 80/90
members. The subjects varied greatly from travelogues with a difference, to
WW.l memorabilier; some were quite hilarious, others serious, but all of them
were very interesting. Congratulations to our speaker organisers.
Our publicity has worked like clockwork under the supervision of George Patterson
and his team. We have had regular coverage in the Craven Herald, Events magazine
and Community News. Posters are delivered to 28 locations by a team of volunteers,
and the value of this was clearly demonstrated at one Thursday meeting, when
two holiday makers from East Anglia saw a poster and came along. They so enjoyed
the morning that they decided to look out their nearest U3A on returning home.
George has also sent photos and copy of our circle dancing group in action to
the National Magazine. We will wait and see the results of that one.
As you will know from your News Letter Pam Servant has now introduced a new
feature which is a reported interview with one of our members. She is also entering
our News Letter in the National "News Letter" competition. We exchange
News Letters with several other U3As. Recently we received an accolade from
the Clitheroe USA secretary and I quote: "1 wish I lived nearer to Settle
your News Letters are always very interesting". The web site run by Frank
Woodhams continues to maintain interest and communication over a wider area.
It has generated several enquiries from potential members, and also telephone
calls from interested people. There have even been calls from reps. wanting
to sell us something.
During this year computers have been the responsibility of Tony Stephens. The
digital projector and laptops have proved invaluable, enabling material on a
monitor to be projected onto a large screen, thus making it available to whole
groups at one time. Because the IT equipment is used by several study groups,
transporting it safely has always been a problem. I am pleased to report that
we have now been allocated space in a large cabinet in the Victoria Hall where
it can be securely locked.
The IT equipment has also been used for advertising Settle USA in a wider context.
November 11th. 2006 was the start of an "Aspire and Renew Festival"
organised by the Settle Parish Church. The aim of the festival was to celebrate
our community and launch an appeal for the church. Many clubs and groups in
the town had stalls demonstrating their skills and industry which ranged from
clog making and spinning to fine embroidery. Our computer monitors, which showed
some of our group activities, were quite an attraction. It was surprising to
discover, however, how little was known about USA by the general public. This
was important information in view of the National ^U3A awareness^' campaign.
Our Social calendar got off to a good start with an annual visit to Keswick
Theatre by the Lake to see Noel Coward's "Private Lives". The members
enjoyed a brilliant performance in 1920 style. During February we saw the disturbing
play "Mind Games" at Ilkley Playhouse, which was followed in March
by a trip to the Lowry at Manchester for a back stage tour. There was a summer
outing to the walled garden at Scampston Hall near Maltby, which included a
tour of the house by the owner himself. All of these outings were well attended
and efficiently organised as usual by Shirley Wolfenden Our Christmas social
took the form of a quiz by Pam Servant followed by a recital of songs and carol
singing by Valeric Boulard and Hugh Stalker. The event was rounded off by a
Jacobus Join. The August meeting, a " coffee and chat" morning, brought
together members and potential members. Again we were able to generate interest
in some of our group activities with the aid of our IT equipment.
The highlight of our year was a celebration of our 5th. year anniversary at
he Rugby club on August 31st. This was a attended by 75 members and was a very
successful evening indeed. The new venue of the Rugby club proved successful,
the finger buffet provided byCaterbell was much appreciated and the speaker,
Maria Glott whose subject was Titus Salt and Saltaire town, was extremely amusing
and informative. It is hoped to follow up the talk with a visit to Saltaire
This year has seen the commencement of two new ventures: Christine and John
Rose have offered to keep a register of people who have equipment suitable for
the under 5s to lend --ie. cots highchairs and toys etc. and those who would
like to borrow such items.
A group of four members have volunteered to be in charge of sending cards or
visiting, if appropriate, other members who have such needs. The volunteer co-ordinators
in this venture are: Olwyn Bolger, Margaret Cullingworth, Beryl Slan and Janet
Stafford. The names of anyone ill or in need, should be passed to one of the
Hilary Baker has one more year to serve as chairman of the Cumbria Region.
She has been supported by our chairman Janet and other members at a variety
of meetings and functions. Tony Stephens, Gillian and Alison also represented
us when they attended a day conference at Lancaster entitled ^Managing your
U3A." This considered legal and insurance matters* They were impressed
with the information imparted and the depth of the discussions.
Mike Long from the U3Atrust attended the June committee meeting to discuss
development issues of local U3As. He distributed copies of a booklet about problems
which may arise when Membership reaches a critical number with no room for further
enrolment. The discussion was useful but it was agreed that at the moment we
have no significant problems.
One of the enduring strengths of the USA is the regular mandatary turnover
of our officers and committee, ensuring a continuing supply of new ideas and
enthusiasm from which we all benefit. This year some officers and committee
members are stepping down and as you will see from your agenda we have received
nominations to replace them. With a new chairman and elected officers supported
by a new committee, we can look forward to 2008 with anticipation and enthusiasm.
ANNUAL REPORT 2005-06
I have arrived at this illustrious position by the back door so to speak. As
a new member of the committee I was prepared to listen and learn. The committee
entered a crisis after its first meeting when Audrey Daykin the secretary was
compelled to resign due to ill health. In the ensuing emergency it was decided
to split the duties into two distinct functions, i.e. a correspondence secretary
and a minute secretary. We were very fortunate that Gillian Walton agreed to
be co-opted onto the committee to be the minute secretary whilst I agreed to
do the less arduous job of correspondence. However, as Gillian was a co-opted
member, it was my name that had to go forward as "The Secretary".
I feel a bit of a fraud because Gillian does most of the work! I am very grateful
to our chairman Janet and the other members of the committee for their help
throughout the year. We were unfortunate in that another of our members, Graham
Walker, also had to resign through ill health.
In spite of this initial setback we have had a splendid year. Pat Dewey, our
membership secretary, oversees the registration and subscriptions and our membership
now stands at 220. The purpose of USA is to encourage lifelong learning for
older, retired people. With that in mind we have been very successful both in
our study groups and our monthly meetings. Our group coordinator, Alison Tyas
does a remarkable job in organizing the study groups, finding group leaders
and coordinating with Victoria Hall to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
There have been 26 different groups meeting at various intervals of time as
well as 3 shorter courses; new ones that have been tried this year range from
Genealogy and Bridge to Computer programming. Two discussion groups turned out
to be non-starters, and the exercise group ran only to Easter. Next year there
will be a total of 30 groups, these will include Circle Dancing and Book Reading
and also some courses for beginners will be added to existing subjects.
There have been nine speaker meetings this year all of which have been enthusiastically
received by a regular audience of 70 to 80 people. There has been a wide breadth
of topics covering law, music, language, literature and outdoor pursuits, the
year ending with a fascinating insight into the meticulous and diligent research
undertaken by Lesley Horton in writing her successful crime novel.
Good publicity is essential for the continuing success of our U3A, and we are
fortunate in havingGeorge Pattison in charge of this. His team of distributors
deliver posters to 23 shops in the towneach month, and in addition there is
regular coverage in the Craven Herald, their Events magazineand Settle Community.
The effectiveness of this publicity is reflected in our increasedmembership
Our monthly Newsletters are now exchanged with the U3As at Ilkley, Ambleside
this has proved extremely useful in finding interesting speakers. The Newsletters,
produced by Pam Servant, along with our informative Web Site, run by Frank Woodhams,
maintain communication both with our own members and also with those in a wider
area. I wonder if it would be helpful to know how many hits on our Web Site
we get? It would certainly be interesting.
Wearing his other hat, George Pattison is responsible for Information Technology.
We were fortunate this year to have received a grant of £3,526.00 from
"Awards for All" (from the National Lottery) for the purchase of computer
equipment. All but £5.00 has now been spent, and we have been able to
purchase a projector, a spare lamp, 2 laptop computers with mouse, photo element
and a trolley case. This equipment is not only used by George with his computer
group, but is also much appreciated by many other leaders of groups in their
presentations of material, ranging through subjects such as French, Art, Genealogy
and Philosophy. In conjunction with the projector, the laptops have been indispensable
for presentations at Monthly General Meetings.
The great benefit of our I.T. equipment was clearly in evidence at the "Coffee
and Chat" meeting in August, when it was used to show members and potential
members pictures of the various activities that have taken place during the
year. All of the social functions and outings have been very enjoyable this
year. The first outing was a trip to Keswick Theatre by the Lake to see"Dick
Barton, Special Agent". Before the performance there was time for a walk
around the lake i in the autumn sunshine. Our Christmas meeting took the form
of a Jacob's Join at St. John's Hall, followed by a Quiz- fairly taxing, but
most enjoyable. Valerie Boulard entertained us during the morning with her singing
It was a pity that fewer people attended this event than was expected. Nevertheless
it has been decided that our 2006 Christmas meeting will follow a similar pattern.
There have been two very successful evening visits to the Ilkley Playhouse.
We're fortunate to have such an accomplished company on our doorstep. The day
trip in June to the Yorkshire Mining Museum was a real education. A descent
down the mine seemed a bit daunting to many of us, but, equipped with hard helmets
and lamps, it turned out to be really interesting and we all enjoyed it.. We
are grateful to Shirley Wolfenden for organizing these events. An evening gathering
at the newly opened Cricket Club in Settle took place in July This was a buffet
provided by the Cricket Club, 45 members attended.
We have been represented this year at Regional and Area events by our Chairman,
Janet, past Chairman Hilary Baker and other members. Hilary was our delegate
at the National AGM and she will tell us about this after our AGM. She also
attended the USA Summer School in Cheltenham. From a wide range of subjects
she chose Architecture. In her own words "It was brilliant". In future
there will be a Northern venue at Chester and she highly recommends that members
consider this if at all possible.
In July, an Extraordinary General Meeting was called to consider the Executive
Committee's proposal that the Membership fee should be increased to £10
as from September. Financially we have ended the year slightly down on last
year, and whilst we do not want to have a large surplus, in the bank, we do
need a contingency fund. This decision was confirmed in the Annual Audit by
the advice given by the Independent Examiner.
In May this year we received from the USA Trust, the first of a series of bulletins
regarding the growth of individual U3 As. There were eight issues raised that
might be of concern, for example, "Are you concerned that your membership
is falling?," "Is your publicity failing?" or "Does your
USA suffer by not having enough interest groups and leaders for them?".
It is a measure of our success that none of these problems apply to us. The
committee members who have served us so well were each elected for three years
and none of them is up for election this year. They and the elected offices
will continue their tasks and we can look forward with confidence to 2006/2007.
ANNUAL REPORT 2004
For the third year running we have recorded a steady growth.
Last year we reported having 154 members taking part in 2063 student hours
of study over the year. We have now enrolled 200 members and have recorded 2,264
attendances at group meetings. Group sizes vary from three to twenty six while
the frequencies range from once a week to once a month. Attendance tends to
be erratic as retired people take holidays at any time but there is also a seasonal
variation in the use of Victoria Hall from 48 meetings per month in October
to 7 in July.
During the year we have had nine monthly meetings which have been attended,
on average, by half of the membership. Topics have ranged widely from 'Windmills'
to 'Life in the House of Lords' and from mathematics to local historical events.
The speakers have been of merit and have maintained the interest of members.
Suggestions from the membership for future speakers would be welcome.
One new feature of our 2004 programme has been the establishment, in October,
of coach trips to places of cultural interest. Visits have ranged from a full
day at Beamish open air museum to an evening at Ilkley Playhouse. The visits
have been very popular and will be continued in the new year. Shirley Wolfenden
would welcome suggestions for future outings.
Our central business is the organisation of study groups and we now have 28
groups. As in previous years, Alison Tyas continued to find new leaders to form
new groups but more leaders are needed. We now have 200 members with many years
professional experience in all walks of life. This is our most valuable asset
and the sharing of this experience through participation in group activities
is the principle on which we work. While some of our groups are taught courses,
most are not. They consist of people with a common interest who come together
both to contribute and to learn. Content varies from highly academic to purely
social and the pattern of meetings varies to suit the particular group. Groups
arise through the enthusiasm of a group leader and the expressed needs of our
members. At the moment we need more members to lead groups in areas not yet
covered and we hope that in the near future, new leaders will come forward.
We need both members with a professional knowledge of an area and those with
interests new to their retirement. There are bound to be others who would like
to share your interest. We are thankful to Victoria Hall and the Friends Meeting
House and individual members for providing facilities without which many of
our activities could not take place.
Publicity has been upgraded this year with the appointment of George Pattison
as our new Publicity Officer. He is now responsible for press notices and posters.
Along with three other members of our committee he attended a course for U3A
publicity officers and gained a useful insight into the mind set and priorities
of editorial staff. The outcome so far, is better coverage of our activities
in both the Craven Herald and the Settle Community News and a stronger poster
coverage in the area. From this we expect to strengthen the U3A presence in
the area and, over time, to increase our membership.
Communication with our members has continued through our excellent monthly
Newsletter produced by Pamela Servant and through our fine Web Site run by Frank
Woodhams. The web site, being universally accessible is becoming widely admired
by other U3A groups who are much influenced by our example.
Our executive committee has met monthly to facilitate the smooth running of
Settle U3A. The minutes are now displayed at monthly meetings and on our web
site so that members may be fully informed of its activities and future committee
members can see what is involved. We regard all members as 'future committee
members'. We cannot expect the same members to give their time year after year
while others see themselves only as consumers. Length of office is limited by
our constitution for the express purpose of getting fresh minds to work on our
As usual, this year various members have represented us at Regional and Area
meetings and our Chairman, Hilary Baker, has represented us at the National
This year we have been very fortunate to have received from 'Awards for All'
[The National Lottery] a grant of £3,526.00 for the purchase of computer
equipment for use in introducing members to the use of computers and to help
groups in the presentation of lecture material. This should make a significant
contribution to our courses in the next year.
The final event of the year on which you are to be asked to vote is the establishment
for the first time of the position of President of Settle District U3A.
The Financial Statement, which is attached, shows that under the careful management
of Shirley Wolfenden our finances remain in a healthy state and that no increase
in subscriptions is necessary this year. One change in the presentation of the
accounts this year is that the social account which deals with visits has been
separated from the educational account at the suggestion of central office.
This is because receipts for visits appear to inflate the current balance of
the organisation. The other apparent inflation is the grant from 'Awards for
All' for computer equipment which will shortly be spent. Apart from these variations,
things are much the same as last year. Expenditure on room hire, stationery,
fees for direct mailing and speakers' expenses are all up but so are membership
The above record indicates that changes are being made - we are still evolving
and making progress. With new members on the committee this progress should
continue into 2006.
The executive committee wish to express their thanks to the departing Chairman
and Secretary for their service to the committee since its inception. Both were
members of the original Steering Committee, formed by Frank Pedley, which brought
Settle District U3A into being. Hilary Baker has been Chairman for the last
two years. Roy Anderson has been Secretary throughout.
Sec. Settle District U3A
ANNUAL REPORT - 2003
Our membership is steadily growing. Last year we reported having 136 members
taking part in 1447 student hours of study over the year. We now have 154 members
who have taken part in 2063 hours of study.
Our membership covers an area which extends to Horton in Ribblesdale in the
north, Kirkby Lonsdale in the west, Skipton in east and Earby in the south.
One third of these members are on the Internet which allows them privileged
access to news and information about their organisation. As more groups post
information about their activities on our web site, it becomes the essential
source of information about Settle District U3A. Our excellent monthly Newsletter
is shown on the site as are the minutes of committee meetings.
This year the Internet has become the principal means of communication between
ourselves and central office and also the Charities Commission.
During the year we have held nine monthly meetings which have been attended
by an average of 55 members per meeting. Speakers have ranged from our new Chief
Constable to our own members and so far, due to the efforts of our chairman,
the quality of speakers and interest of the topics have been sufficient to hold
members' interest. But the supply of willing local officials will not last forever
and at some time in future we may have to consider paying speakers, as other
groups do, in order to preserve the standard of the meetings.
Behind the scene the committee has met monthly on eleven occasions to conduct
the business of the group and under present circumstances this has been sufficient.
But on top of this a considerable amount of unrecorded time is put in by individual
members and also by group leaders and other volunteers in order to keep things
running smoothly. Without this effort our activities would come to a halt.
Our presence outside the area has been registered in several ways. Our chairman
and secretary have attended two meetings with Cumbria Region with which we are
now associated. This keeps us in touch with other U3As of a rural character
and when necessary will give us a voice nationally which may differ from that
of the much larger urban groups.
Our chairman has also represented us at the National AGM and will give a report
of the proceedings to the AGM.
Contact is maintained with other U3As through an exchange of newsletters. Those
we receive are usually posted on the notice board during monthly meetings
Another indicator of our presence in the national scene has been the appointment
of one of our group leaders, Kathleen Kinder, as National organiser for cookery.
Other members have tasted the larger scene by attending the Summer School at
Cheltenham. No doubt this trend will increase in time.
Our main activity is the provision of study groups of which there are at present
27 running. During the year groups have been lost and new ones gained as we
focus on the needs of our members. The size of the groups vary from over 20
to 3 which is to be expected from the differing nature of the groups.
Accommodating groups has worked smoothly due to our arrangement with Victoria
Hall and the diligent management of Alison. Only an occasional class has had
to be cancelled. We do however still have problems with groups which require
A new programme has been assembled by Alison for 2004 to 2005 and is now available
for registration. New classes have been added and existing classes modified
in an attempt to provide what the membership requires. Classes vary in style
considerably, from taught courses to mutual activities. Most are designed without
rigid continuity and this, together with information via newsletter and web
site about their progress, should enable members to find areas of interest to
them. There is still a demand for courses for which we have no leader and it
is hoped that in due course, leaders will appear. The principle on which we
function is the free exchange of the knowledge we have gathered over a lifetime.
It is not a question of the wise teaching the unenlightened but more the case
of the enthusiast gathering together a group with similar interests and sharing
those interests. Amongst our membership exists a vast resource of knowledge
and experience waiting to be tapped. We hope that in due course new leaders
will come forward to form new interest groups.
A similar reticence is beginning to decline in the matter of running the organisation.
More members are showing an interest in joining the committee which improves
the circulation between the providers and the consumers. We hope that this process
In the final matter of finance we can report that we are in good shape due to
the careful husbandry of Shirley and the cautious attitude of those who need
to spend. The financial statement is appended.
With these matters in place, we look forward to another year of growth and improvement..
ANNUAL REPORT - 2002-03
Settle District U3A was conceived by Frank Pedley in 2001. He placed an advertisement
in the Craven Herald and subsequently called a meeting in Victoria Hall, Settle.
At this meeting a steering committee was formed from which the Settle District
U3A became a possibility. The first meeting was held on 25 May at 23 Duke Street,
Settle. The Committee members were Roy Anderson (Secretary), Hilary Baker, Pat
Dewey, Christine Rose, Anne Sheard, Althea Shevill, Alison Tyas, Shirley Wolfenden
(Treasurer). The Chairman was Frank Pedley.
Following a year of preparatory work, an inaugural meeting was called in Victoria
Hall, Settle, and the organisation formally came into existence on 12 September
At this meeting, the steering committee became the first committee of the Settle
District U3A, and 64 members were enrolled. From those members, fourteen study
groups were formed.
We now have 136 members who have taken part in 1447 student hours of study over
Over the year we have held twelve monthly meetings and have enjoyed hearing
twelve speakers on a wide variety of topics, from The Craven District Health
Trust to the personal inspirations of two of our own members.
Group Organiser's Report
We started the year with 14 groups varying in size from 3 to 25 members. Most
of these members were new to the U3A. Over time numbers fluctuated but the trend
In January 7 new groups were formed, some of which flourished while others did
Monthly meetings were attended by about one third of the membership. The talks
were useful, informative and enjoyed by most. These meetings were also an opportunity
to circulate local information and to distribute our constantly improving monthly
Newsletter. Members present have been very helpful in passing these on to those
unable to attend.
We have enjoyed a very happy relationship with Victoria Hall where about half
of our groups meet. Our arrangement has worked well and only occasionally have
we needed to use the Friends Meeting House across the road.
On the whole we got off to a better start than expect and look forward to consolidating
this success next year. We are very fortunate to have so many good and enthusiastic
During the year our group has been represented at the National Conference and
at a National philosophy conference.
Financially we have raised £942.50 in membership subscriptions and £850
from grants, including a most generous grant of £675 from the Small Project
Fund. We have spent £759.21 on room hire and contributed £363.44
to U3A HQ in affiliation fees. We now have a healthy £1319 to take us
forward into our second year.
While most of the routine running of the organisation has been spread amongst
our original committee members, eighteen course leaders and volunteer members,
some important changes have taken place over the year.
Our founding chairman, Frank Pedley, has stepped down to be replaced by Althea
Shevill as acting chairman. Since February she has shown great commitment to
this onerous task. However we still enjoy the benefit of Frank's experience
as a committee member.
Pamela Servant has been brought into the committee to act as publicity officer.
As a result we now have a reliable and informative monthly Newsletter and a
conduit to the local press.
During the year we have made valuable contacts with Clitheroe U3A and with Cumbria
Region. The opportunity to share experience and take part in combined events
should prove very useful for our future development.
A further development has been the establishment of Settle District U3A website
run by our volunteer web master Frank Woodhams (www.SettleDistrict
U3A.org.uk). This should ensure that information
about the group and its activities is available to all at any time.
These embellishments to our flowering organisation are perceptible indications
of growth but are under -pinned by a substantial increase in learning activities
over the year. This springs from the continuous and daily attention given to
the smooth running of the courses by Alison Tyas. It is these courses that are
our raison d'être.
For the future is most important to get more people involved in the running
of the organisation. The present committee is not big enough to cope with the
expansion which is taking place. Not only is the membership growing, but the
scope and type of course we offer is increasing.
The ethos of the U3A is that those of us with specialist knowledge make it freely
available to those who have a need for it. To be successful, this must happen
at all levels. While some are in need of activities which relieve the apparent
boredom of retirement, others need activities which inspire them to new levels
of intellectual achievement. Without the latter our image will be degraded and
those with much to give will be deterred from associating with us.
In this respect it is imperative to attract a high level of visiting speaker
to our monthly meetings. This in turn requires the commitment of some of our
own members who are prepared to work on the committee towards this end.
New courses and activities are envisaged, some of which are set out in the new
programme while others are still mere ideas. More will probably emerge from
our association with Clitheroe and our recent attachment to Cumbria Region.
This heralds a wider interaction with other U3A groups in the north and a broadening
of our vision of educational activities. This anticipated expansion of our activities
at all levels means more work for our active members. We need more group leaders
for courses and more committee members to ensure continuity in the smooth management
of the organisation and to replace those who fade. In view of the coming election
for chairman, we look forward to appointing someone with imagination to see
the possibilities, the energy to exploit them and the time to devote to this
very worthwhile cause. With the right people in place we can go forward into
2004 full of hope.