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WTU3A March 2020 Newsletter


The March newsletter is available to read here and sadly, as mentioned above, most of it concerns the shutting down of our activities until 1st July due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Just a little more detail on some of the cancelled events:

read more …


6 April, 2020

We have created a new webpage entitled WTU3A@Home.

The aim is to provide information and a little entertainment to keep us going whilst we are staying home and keeping safe.  

You can find this page as a new tab on our menu heading on our website home page, but if you would like to view it now please click below: 

National U3A Newsletter – March 2020

21 March, 2020

Here is the newsletter for March 2020 from The Third Age Trust. Containing many ideas to explore whilst we find ourselves in these unprecedented times. There are many innovate and brilliant ideas coming from U3As, which the National U3A will be sharing each week – please check the website and let us know what ideas that you have used and share your results.

For previous editions of the national newsletter, see the newsletter archive.  Did you know that you can sign up to receive the national U3A monthly newsletter direct to your email inbox?  If you wish to do this, please complete the form on the U3A website here.

Visiting Churches

19 March, 2020


The schedule for this year is currently in preparation and dates for your diary are as follows.  

Tuesday 14th April

All Saints, Wing 
We will meet at the church at 2pm.  For more details contact Odette Harris at churches@wtu3a.org.uk.


Garden Visits

17 March, 2020


Below is the full programme of garden visits planned at present.

For more details see the diary page on the WTU3A website. To book your place, please contact Mary at gardens@wtu3a.org.uk

Thenford Arboretum (Lord Heseltine’s garden). Cost  £23.00 per person including coach.  Full monies will be required at March meeting. There are still a couple of places remaining, plus Mary will run a waiting list.”


A stunning and exceptional 6 acre garden imaginatively created over last 30 yrs. The main lawn is enclosed by softly, curving, colour themed herbaceous borders, and many roses and shrubs interestingly planted with cleverly created landscaping features. Clipped topiary yews, pleached hornbeams lead out to the ha-ha and countryside beyond.

Features and Attractions

A natural stream with bog plants and nesting kingfishers, meanders serenely through woodland gardens, with many walks. 

Cost: £12 Car share on this visit. The garden visit will commence at 2pm. 

A joint visit with the Historic Buildings group.

Ham House is a rare 17th Century house on the banks of the River Thames.  This will be via coach and includes a house tour and garden tour.  Cost £25, plus the entry fee if you are not a NT member.

Since 1984, owner Gina Price has transformed Pettifers into one of the most influential gardens in England. Ribbons of plants flow through the borders, creating a glowing tapestry of colour.  This garden was featured in the March 2020 edition of Country Living. 

Cost:  £10 plus coach (tbc). 

NOTE: We had hoped to go to Highgrove but unfortunately this was not possible to take a coach load at the time as we had to add lunch which made the tickets too expensive. However we hope to rearrange this for Spring 2021.

RHS Wisley is one of the world’s great gardens, packed with horticultural inspiration. Key highlights throughout the seasons include The Glasshouse, Rock Garden, Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden, The Mixed Borders and the newly-created Exotic Garden. Seasonal must-sees include a carpet of crocus in spring, blooming rose collection in summer, magnificent autumn colour and a crisp Winter Walk. 

Cost: Depending on interest either coach or car share.

Local History – March to June

12 March, 2020

UPDATE 16.03.20 – Following the Prime Ministers news conference on the coronavirus and the recommendation of avoiding gatherings, crowded places etc. This is particularly directed at our group’s demographic. Therefore, the decision is to cancel all meetings of the WT Local History Group up to and including June 2020. There are no meetings planned for July and August but hopefully the situation will get better and we can resume in September.

Any suggestions for talks or visits for later in 2020 are welcome, please contact localhistory@wtu3a.org.uk

A talk by Geoff Lodge of the Wendover U3A entitled: The life of Cecelia Payne. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, original name in full Cecilia Helena Payne, (born May 10, 1900, Wendover, Eng.—died Dec. 7, 1979, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.). She went to Cambridge Uni in 1919 and in 1923 received a fellowship to study at Harvard. She is reckoned to be amongst the 100 women trailer blazers.

British-born American astronomer who discovered that stars are made mainly of hydrogen and helium and established that stars could be classified according to their temperatures.

Meeting is in the WT Chapel Room from 10:30 – 12:30am. Entrance will be £3.

In conjunction with the Science & Technology Group we have arranged a visit the Milton Keynes Museum which has an interesting location and artefacts. 

The Collection contains: Connected Earth featuring the history of communications and a fully working telephone exchange, Farm exhibits, A street of shops, A Victorian house containing Musical instruments, a Victorian school, Local Archaeological artefacts, The history of Dr John Radcliffe and the trust he set up.

Entry for over 60’s £7, Standard lunch £8 = Total fee £15.The museum is open just for us on this day so we have free range to explore as we wish.

This will be a whole day visit and we will car share.

Meet at 5 Bells at 9.30am to share cars to arrive at 10.30am for Tea and coffee available at café. 11.00am start tour of site, stop for lunch at 12.30pm after which continue to explore exhibits as you wish. Return at approx. 3.00pm.

Details of times and costs are in the attached flyer.

Update – Booking for this is now complete and if you have not paid please send a cheque to John Beer.

Colin Oakes, who gave the talk on Chesham, is back to give us a talk on the history of Amersham.

Meeting is in the WT Chapel Room from 10:30 – 12:30am. Entrance will be £3.

To follow up on Colin’s talk, a visit to Amersham museum and a walk through the old town has been arranged. They can manage 30 people in 2 groups of 15. The plan would be to meet at the museum for tea/coffee etc at 10:15am. Then for group 1 to go off at 10:30am and group 2 at 10:40am. The walk lasts 60 -90 minutes.  The museum is then open for the whole day so people can either go to the museum straight after the walk or have a bite to eat and then go to the museum. Museum has been expanded since our last visit some 8 years ago.

The cost will be £10 to include the walk and the visit to the museum with an extra £2 if you wish to have tea/coffee etc.

This visit is now full.  To all those who have signed up, information will be coming out in the next couple of weeks.

Note that this is not our normal Tuesday date as it is the second Tuesday of the month. This is a Visiting Churches Group visit to Rycote Park. As they can accommodate up to 40 people it was suggested that many of the Local History Group would like to go.

The Rycote Park area is very historical and has had the Time Team there.  On 9th June we will meet at a barn for a 2pm talk & refreshments then we will go for a walk around the park & go into the chapel.  The chapel is 15th century with many intriguing features but it is small.  There’s a yew tree to the south of the chapel which was planted in 1135 for the coronation of King Stephen.  It was supposed to have been brought as a seedling from the garden of Gethsemane.  The cost is £12 and a cheque made payable to Weston Turville U3A (Travel) to Odette Harris will be needed by the meeting on 28th May. 

If you would like to come along, please Glynn White know and he will put together a list of Local History Group members and liaise with the Visiting Churches Group. For those of our group who want to come along we will meet in the 5 Bells Carpark at 1pm for carshare.

We are investigating the possibility of Thame U3A providing a talk on the History of Thame, and we are waiting to hear if  they have someone who could meet our requirements.

If this fails Glynn White may present a slide show of old postcards of Weston Turville with photographs of the building and places as they are today.

No meeting planned.


No meeting planned. 

POSTPONED-Thames Valley Network U3A-Study day on 29th May – Geology of the Thames Valley

11 March, 2020
POSTPONED – Please note any applications already sent will NOT be processed and cheques have not been banked, but will be shredded. If you wish to have a cheque returned, please send an SAE within the next week.  We will try and re-arrange a date later in the year and then send out a new application form. Thank you for your understanding.

Please find attached a flyer and application form for the Thames Valley Network U3A study day entitled “GEOLOGY OF THE THAMES VALLEY (and why we don’t have volcanoes)” which is to be held at Benson on Friday, 29th May 2020.  This is an excellent programme with a first-class speaker, Dr Jill Eyers.  


Pace 2020 Big Walk – 25th April

9 March, 2020

For the children at Pace walking can be a big challenge, however taking a few tentative steps can lead to greater independence. You can help transform young lives by putting on your own walking shoes and joining us for the 2020 Big Walk.  A poster can be found here.

Pace 2020 Big Walk

There is a choice of three routes that take in the Ridgeway Trail between Watlington and Wendover:

  • 18m – Watlington to Wendover
  • 12m – Chinnor to Wendover
  • 6m – Princes Risborough to Wendover

Sign up here https://thepacecentre.org/thebigwalk/.  Registration will take place at John Colet School, Wendover and parking will be available. After registration, walkers will be shuttled to their chosen starting point by coach. read more …

WTU3A February 2020 Newsletter

24 February, 2020

Welcome to the February newsletter.  Read it in full here. The speaker this month is the critically acclaimed author and speaker, Fran Sandham, and the title of the talk is “Dr Livingstone, I presume”.

Also, to all our budding Pru Leith’s and Paul Hollywood’s, get your wooden spoons at the ready! Information and entry forms for the Bake Off Competition to be held at our Ten Year Anniversary launch at the monthly meeting on 28th May are available via the link here.  Get your entry in by 23rd April. Get ready and….BAKE! 


Aylesbury Vale U3A Trips – available places

20 February, 2020

Aylesbury Vale U3A Trips organiser, Dan McGregor, has advised us that they have some vacancies on a couple of their forthcoming trips and would welcome any WTU3A members who wish to join them.

  • Wednesday, 1st April is for “A day in Canterbury”, costing £31 per person (which includes entry to the Cathedral). (8 seats available at present). 
  • Monday, 4th May (Bank Holiday is Friday of that week) is for a trip to Petworth House (National Trust) and the City of Guildford, costing £16 pp. (12 seats available to date).

Should anyone wish to join them on one or both, please contact Dan McGregor on outings@avu3a.org.uk to e-mail him with your phone number, after which he will give you all the necessary details.  For those not on email, please phone Dan on 01296 582054.