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Bramhall u3aContact: Mel Edge  – see Newsletter for contact details or
Email:   with “Art Group enquiry” as the subj

Ever fancied having a chance to do some art? 

Then come along and join in our u3a Art Group Open Day on Wednesday July 10th  10.00 am -12.00 noon at Bramhall Village Club, Lumb Lane  SK7 1LR.

You can meet our members, see what we do and try your hand at Drawing, Painting or Collage in one of our workshops on the day. All materials provided.

No experience required, just your enthusiasm.

Looking Back on 2023

Our Art Group is growing, with three new members joining us within the last six months. This year, we have been covering a variety of projects, recently working with acrylic on wood, using acrylic with foil, painting on music sheets. marbling and leaf printing.

We are a very friendly, happy group where you can learn and share your skills in art, whether you are a beginner or further along on your artistic journey. Projects are set to inspire, but not obligatory, you can do your own thing if you wish. Techniques and information are given and shown, to enable you to get started or to improve, using different mediums such as graphite, watercolour, acrylic, pastel and charcoal.

We have a limited number of places left, so if you fancy coming along and having a relaxing time for two hours – meeting people who have fun whilst learning and creating, then you will be more than welcome.

Please contact Mel.                       Some examples of our recent work are shown below

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Sunflowers for Ukraine

The Art Group was asked if they would be willing to make Ukrainian refugees feel more at home by donating some artwork of sunflowers, the Ukrainian national flower. The idea was that host families could frame the pictures and put them up in the rooms before the refugees arrived. Here is a selection of some of their work.

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by Sheila Huntby Valerie Braithwaiteby Mel Edgeby Pauline Mullarkeyby Marie Sullivanby Maureen Kay
August 2019 – Art Group Success Story

The Art Group, with Mel as our resident artist and tutor, have had a very successful time at the Heald Green Show. In the Oil/Acrylic Painting category Kelvin Vann came first and Shiela Dawes came second. The Beginners Paintings category saw Pauline Mullarkey take first and third prize. Linda Vann received first prize for her collage work in the Handicraft section. Glenys Steedman came second in the Mixed Media category and Pat Pembridge came second for her silk painting and embroidery in the Any Other Handicraft Item category. As can be seen the Art Group cover a wide range of media and techniques. Well done to Mel and the Art Group!

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June 2019 – En Plein Air

This month we were able to have our first art session en plein air (outside.) We were lucky enough to have Vera very kindly open her beautiful Cheadle Hulme garden for the group, with its wide variety of plants and ornamental features to inspire us. We had a thoroughly enjoyable morning painting, helped by weather that was just right and delicious home-baked cakes.

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2018 Wooden Wall Plaques
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August 2017 – Collage

During August 2017 members of the Art Group had the opportunity of joining a collage course run by local artist, Barbara Boswell. This proved to be highly successful. The group learnt how to handle different media and all were amazed at the variety of work that was produced. Here is a small selection, some of which are not yet framed.

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Bramhall u3aContact: Vacancy – see Newsletter for contact details or
Email:   with “Art Appreciation Group enquiry” as the subject

Visit to World of Glass, St Helens in May 2024

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Coin a CaptionBramhall u3a

To highlight the fact that there is a vacancy for a co-ordinator in the Art Appreciation Group, and to keep interest in the group alive, we invite any member to suggest a caption for this picture.

Email your entry to Barrie Roberts    with “Coin a Caption” as the subject. Name and Membership Number too please.
A free gift will be sent to any member who submits an entry.

Please note: Attention will be paid to grammar, spelling and cleanliness as well as to humour and it is expected that some of the better captions will appear below.

It seems the Danish art gallery did not find it as funny as the rest of us – see second picture. (Sept 2023)

Suggestions so far
I think they’re waiting for Banksy to come and visit or maybe some environmental anarchist.

I presume this was his white period.

It’s a copy, the original’s in the Tate Modern.

They paid how much?

I think they’ve hung it upside down.

It’s such a post-modern narrative on the universe of all humanity.

I ordered a 50 x 100 white board. I assumed it was metric.

Bramhall u3a

Bramhall u3aContact: Dave Pennington – see Newsletter for contact details or
Email:   with “Badminton enquiry” as the subject

We are a mixed ability group who play for exercise, but mainly for fun.

We meet in the main hall at Bramhall Village Club on Lumb Lane each Tuesday between 1:45 and 3:45pm with a short break for tea/coffee and biscuits.
We are always more than happy to welcome new members, whether long term players or beginners. We have spare racquets if you want to “try before you buy” We charge £4 per person per session to cover the cost of hiring the hall. Look forward to seeing you.

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Bramhall u3aContact: Robert Mantle and Paul Carter – see Newsletter for contact details or
Email:   with “Bird Watching enquiry” as the subject

We are a friendly group that welcomes new members.  You do not need knowledge of birds to join; a pair of binoculars would help.  Usually one of us will have a telescope which will be shared with the group.

Unless otherwise specified, meetings will start at 09:15 usually on the 4th Thursday of the month. Please arrive a little earlier so you can get kitted up in time to move off at the specified time

The group organises birdwatching activities, mostly half day trips. Anyone interested in joining us and learning more about bird life is welcome.
The group visits varied sites in the North West.

 

Swans at Leighton Moss – Photo by Graham Porter

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Group Report for 2023

We have visited a variety of habitats throughout the year. Usually meetings continue until early afternoon and people bring lunch.  The group has visited various sites in the North West sharing cars to get to our destination although, if you want you can meet us at the destination.

We meet all through the year except for July and August.

Bramhall u3aContact: Dudley Newell – see Newsletter for contact details or
Email  with “Book Group enquiry” as the subject

Looking back at 2023

The Thursday Book Group has been running since the formation of the
Bramhall U3A. We meet on the fourth Thursday of every month to
discuss a book that we’ve selected from the vast range available from the
Stockport Library Service. Over the years we have tackled a wide range of
books, ranging from Mrs Gaskell’s ‘Mary Barton’ to James Baldwin’s ‘If Beale Street Could Talk.’ One favourite author is William Boyd.
We take turns to meet in a member’s home where we discuss the current book and have a natter about things that interest us. We are quite happy to stop reading our book if it’s not to our taste – it’s called the page 33 test!

Dudley Newell

Contact: Angela HardingBramhall u3a

see Newsletter for contact details or
Email  with “Beginners Bridge enquiry” as the subject and please include your Name and Membership Number

This is a session of supervised play for beginners who may want assistance. Come along, on your own or with a partner, if you are learning bridge and want to practise and make new friends.  

The meetings take place every Wednesday afternoon 2-4pm at Bramhall Village Club, Lumb Lane. 

Bramhall u3aContacts:

See Newsletter for contact details or
Email:   with “Cafe Book  enquiry” as the subject.

Each Cafe Book Club meets once a month at the venues below.   Space is limited, so the groups are restricted to 8 members
Group 1: Olga Hampson (2nd Monday of the month) – 10.30am – Centrepoint Cafe, Bramhall Methodist Church

We had another very eclectic mix of topics and destinations during 2023.  We started the year journeying to the Edinburgh Fringe with Norman Foreman, a 12 year old stand-up comedian.  We then travelled to Japan for the Phone Box at the Edge of the World before heading To Venice With Love. After that, we read the story of the V2 Nazi rocket project by Robert Harris followed by Endurance, Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica.
There were, in between these epic stories, a couple of fiction and crime fiction books, an Italian/American actor’s biography, plus an historical novel.
Roll on 2024.

Group 2: Kay Witham (3rd Tuesday of the month) – 10.30am – Damson Tree on Fountains Road

Group 3: Sharon Turner (3rd Wednesday of the month) – 2.00pm – Crown & Conspirator on Bramhall Lane South

We read books chosen by the co-ordinator supplied by Stockport Library Service.
We also swap books we have enjoyed between ourselves.
The meeting usually lasts for one and a half hours.

Bramhall u3aContact: Veronica Dean
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email  with “Canasta A  enquiry” as the subject

The Canasta Group is a small and friendly group. We meet on the first and 3rd Mondays of the month 2.0pm – 4.0pm in Platform 5, Station Rd, Cheadle Hulme. We welcome new members, beginners included.

Canasta is an easy game to learn and  we can recommend it to anyone who enjoys a relaxing card game, free from reliance on a sharp memory as most of what we need to know in order to decide the next move is generally on the table and visible to all. The skill is in deciding just what the next move should be.

Bramhall u3aContact: Jill Rickman
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Card making enquiry” as the subject

Card making is a small friendly group that meets on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, 2.0 pm – 4.0 pm. The group is held at the coordinator’s, house, where we spend an enjoyable afternoon.

Looking back on 2023

We make all sorts of cards, male and female birthdays (for adults and children) and occasions ranging from anniversaries to sympathy. Our inspiration comes from each other, as we all have different ideas and styles, and we also browse the internet. Some cards are for ourselves but many are for our card stall that we have at the monthly meeting once a month

We sell our cards at different prices from £1- £3.50 and the proceeds of this go to one of our U3A charities ” The Wellspring”

We have donated to The Wellspring about £500 in 2023.

Bramhall u3aContact: Pat George
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Creative Writing enquiry” as the subject

The Creative writers meet once a month on the 2nd Wednesday  – at 2:15 pm  – at the co-ordinator’s house. 

The Creative Writers continue to meet monthly with a core of interested and enthusiastic members. We all like to share our writing on any subject and in any genre, welcoming the comments and advice of our peers.

Looking back at 2023
Each session usually has a theme and we are encouraged to produce some writing on the theme for the following meeting in any genre.  Mostly, our efforts include short stories or poetry, but we are interested in all forms of writing including non-fiction articles, memoirs, flash fiction, and novels. This year, we were privileged to have a couple of visits from a published author, Barbara Fagin-Speake, who inspired and encouraged us all with her advice on writing ‘flash fiction’. We have also been involved with Stockport’s ‘Talking Newspaper for the Blind’, creating our own pieces and recording them for the newspaper.

Although we have not produced an anthology this year, this is something we enjoy creating and hope to publish again next year.
We would love some new additional members! Anyone interested in writing would be verywelcome.

For further information, please contact:  Pat George, the group co-ordinator. (details in the emailed Newsletter).

Bramhall u3aContact: Gordon & Ruth Kemster
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Crown Green Bowling enquiry” as the subject

We meet at Bramhall Queensgate Bowling Club every Monday morning 10.00 till 12.00 from mid March to mid October.

The group welcomes a mix of abilities ranging from novices through to experienced players, making provision for those who have never played before. Nothing too serious, everyone mixes well on and off the Green. Generally we have two 50 min sessions with Tea, Coffee & Biscuits in between.

We arrange to have a friendly match or two with the Bowling Group at Wilmslow u3a. It is always interesting to play on an away Green.

Anyone interested should make contact with Ruth and Gordon who can arrange for a ‘taster’ and answer any further questions.

2024   
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2021   
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Bramhall u3aContact: Ian Pennie
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Cycling enquiry” as the subject

A review of 2023
The cycling group continues to meet every second Tuesday. We have been very lucky with the weather this year and have only needed to abandon our outing on one occasion. There are about 15 active members but typically only 5-10 on any individual ride. We have a variety of routes using cycle paths and quiet backroads as much as possible, usually just over 20 miles and always with a coffee stop en route. The starting point is generally St Michaels church in Bramhall but occasionally we carry bikes by car to allow different starting points in Cheshire. Our members have a wide range of experience and use both conventional and electric bikes. New recruits would always be welcome.

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Bramhall u3aContact: Vera Moore
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Dining enquiry” as the subject

We meet for a restaurant meal once a month alternating between Tuesday one month and Wednesday the next. It was decided to have an early dinner at local venues during the Winter, then when the better weather and lighter evenings arrive, we venture further afield and possibly do lunch or afternoon tea.

Bramhall u3aContact: Dina Levy
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Discussion enquiry” as the subject

Looking back at 2023

We have 11 members in the Monday Discussion Group and meetings are hosted at a member’s house. This person chairs the meeting, introducing the subject to be discussed, followed by members each giving their thoughts on the matter. The internet has proved very helpful with research on our topics. There is a short refreshment interval with tea/coffee and biscuits. There are 10 meetings each year with a break in the summer and a festive meal out in December.
The topics to be discussed are suggested by the members of the group and the
programme arranged for several months. Discussions are usually lively, have been informative, and make for an interesting afternoon.
Topics covered this year:
Gender Politics
Have we lost our moral compass in Parliament and Public life generally?
What has caught your interest in the newspapers, magazines or TV?
Do you think that Priests should be allowed to marry?
Has life changed for the better or not during our lifetime?
Should Doctors be paid more for working in deprived areas?
Forgiveness
Has the soap opera surrounding Harry and Megan detracted from the importance of the Constitutional Monarchy?
Wokeness, censorship and social media – how our world is changing.
Recommendations – books, films, plays, TV series. What have you enjoyed recently?

Dina Levy

Contact: Brian Dougal      Bramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email:   with “Discussion 2 enquiry” as the subject

Discussion 2 is a newly formed group based on the existing (currently full) discussion group.  We have 8 initial members and a perfect 1:1 ratio of gentlemen and ladies.  Meetings will be hosted at members’ houses with the host choosing the topic. A structured first hour, members speaking in turn, moderated by the host. Then tea/coffee with the discussion continuing.  These current affairs discussions will aim to be interesting, informative and fun.

Bramhall u3aContact: Mary Hambleton
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Family History 1 enquiry” as the subject

My group is open both to beginners in Family History and to those who have already made some progress but need an update on the resources available, or help with a specific problem. At each meeting we start off round the table  for general discussion, then gather at the computer to hunt for information for everybody in turn on Ancestry, Find my Past and other websites. I photocopy or email any key findings for each participant and encourage them to follow up leads on their own at home or in the library. Meetings are on at least two Wednesday afternoons each month from 2pm to 4pm. The dates are flexible and decided amongst ourselves so that every member can get to one meeting per month. To ensure there are no more than six participants at a time I hold extra meetings if necessary. New members are very welcome.

Looking back on 2023

 We are 10 in number at present but continue to meet in small subgroups as this gives everybody more opportunity to share experience and get advice from each other and the various family history websites I can access.  Our special interests last year were the 1921 census and DNA analysis which several of us have undertaken. Fortunately no nasty shocks such as mistaken paternity have emerged. The DNA report can accurately confirm ancestral origins, in my case not just Scotland but Sutherland in the far north. Another feature identifies hitherto unknown relations anywhere in the world.. It is fun to correspond with these “DNA matches” and often discover new facts about the shared family history. We continue to discuss ways of recording our findings. Most people use the service provided by a family history website but it is important to check the veracity of their information by referring to original documents wherever possible.

Bramhall u3aContact: Brian Turner
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Family History 2 enquiry” as the subject

I am one of two group coordinators running family history groups for the Bramhall u3a. The groups are for people with a range of abilities and include: complete beginners; people who have made some progress with their family tree but left it on the shelf for some time; those who have made significant progress but reached an impasse in their research. We meet in a relaxed home environment where we tell stories, report our progress, and seek advice and support in making further advances in our research. Members have access to Ancestry UK, monthly family history magazines, quarterly society publications, and a number of specialist family history books

Contact: Vikki RadfordBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Fitness & Flexibility enquiry” as the subject

The class is a fun workout which it suitable for all levels. You can work at your own level and injuries are taken into account. The class consists of simple easy to follow exercises to great music. All you need to bring is a drink of water and a mat or towel (we do floor exercises but alternatives are given if you don’t like getting on the floor).

You can join in and pay weekly or pay for a course.

(Classes closed Bank Holidays)

Bramhall u3aContacts: Angela Losse and Kay Witham
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “French enquiry” as the subject

The French Group has now been in existence for ten years and has meetings approximately every two weeks on Monday afternoons from 2pm until 4.00pm.

We are very lucky to have a retired French teacher as our tutor, who teaches grammar and vocabulary using a magazine (Rendezvous), which we subscribe to. This is supplemented by newspaper cuttings, magazines, and leaflets from supermarkets and tourist information .

Most members have studied French before, usually at school but are rather rusty. However, we all have an interest in brushing up our skills either to use French on holiday or because of family connections in France.

We are trying to improve our conversational skills by discussing magazine articles on topics of current interest in France.

Unfortunately, the existing group is not well suited to a complete beginner.

Contact: Carol WilsonBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “Gardening enquiry” as the subject

This group is for keen gardeners wishing to make the most of their gardens month by month. Members will contribute to this practical hands on gardening by sharing good practice, and finding solutions to problems.

Looking Back on 2023

The gardening group is now into its fourth year & continues to discuss the obvious topics such as propagation & dealing with the demands of the weather. However a few of the more unusual topics in the last few months included practical sessions . Group members dried flowers & foliage from their own gardens then brought them to a meeting where we created gift cards, pictures & gift labels with them. There was also a demonstration of how to make a kitchen wreath from garden herbs. Another fun session involved guessing unusual ingredients in home baked bread, soups & cakes. All the unusual ingredients were grown in the garden including herbs, vegetables & fruit .
Carol Wilson

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Bramhall u3aContact: Nancy Comerford
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Gardening B enquiry” as the subject

Gardening Group B is a newly formed additional gardening group. There are currently 6 active members and we meet on the 2nd Monday afternoon of every month. The format is to take turns at hosting a meeting. Our aim is to learn and share our love and knowledge of gardening. We are open to new members to a maximum of 10-12 people. 

Bramhall u3aContact: Jean Cox
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
  with “German Intermediate enquiry” as the subject

We meet every 2nd and 4th Tues in the month from 10.30 am -12.00 at the coordinators house in Cheadle Hulme. Some knowledge of the language is required as we are not a beginners group. We start with a general chat in German and go on to read a text to include new vocab.and probably some grammar. Members take turns in providing the text.

We have room for one or two new members.

Contact: Angela DevaneyBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “History 1 enquiry” as the subject

The History 1 Group meets once a fortnight in members’ homes, alternate Thursday’s 10am-12noon.

Since this group started up we have looked at topics such as Celtic Civilization, the History of Scotland and the History of Ireland.

Contact: Olga HampsonBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “History 2 enquiry” as the subject

We meet on the first Thursday of the month, 10.30am at a member’s house where one of us will
give a talk on a person of interest (not just kings and queens), an historic event or a less well-known event, which we will then discuss. 

Our talks, so far, have included: What the Romans Did For Us,  Lindow Man (you remember “Pete Marsh” the body in the bog in Wilmslow?) and Hadrians’ Wall.

We are a very friendly and enthusiastic group.  If you would like to join us, and are prepared to give one or two talks per year on your pet history subjects, don’t hold back email with “History 2 enquiry” as the subject.

Contact: VacancyBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:

Holidays are open to all members and the aim is to run one holiday a year at present beginning in 2025.

Please note:

“Due to the limited number of bookings for the holiday to Oxfordshire in April 2024 it has been cancelled. Full refunds have been sent to all the people that have booked. “

The post of Holiday Rep currently is vacant

Bramhall u3aContact: Steve Goodall
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Italian Brginners enquiry” as the subject

This Italian Beginners Group is run by the members. We take it in turns (as individuals or in pairs) to plan and lead each session. We decided the best way to build up our language is by following the BBC Talk Italian book and audio course. We do some home study, and spend the meetings practising the things we have learnt. Our main objective is to learn some practical Italian, but also to have fun doing it.

Contact: Helen WebsterBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Italian Improvers enquiry” as the subject

We work on all four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening, from a variety of sources. We also explore many aspects of Italian culture, history, geography and daily life.

Contact: Sheila PorterBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Knitting A  enquiry” as the subject

Looking Back on 2023

Currently we have 9 members who meet on the third Tuesday of each month at each other’s homes.  We knit and natter while exchanging ideas and patterns and help each other develop skills

This year, apart from projects for personal use, we have supported various charities with knitted items (many made using donated wool) and money raised at sales.

£75 went to the Poppy Appeal and £580 to St Ann’s Hospice.

We have supplied ‘bonding squares’ and tiny hats to St Mary’s Neonatal Unit.

Stepping Hill dementia patients and Wellspring in Stockport have also been given items.

Some of us also made Forget-me-Nots for St Ann’s to display in a world record attempt!

Easter Parade 2024
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Contact: Shelagh LordBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Knitting B  enquiry” as the subject

This group reflects the three criteria of our u3a namely: learn, laugh and live.
We often knit for ourselves and our families making items such as cardigans, scarves and in one case a dress. However, we have knitted for Beechwood Nursing as they have helped some of our group in the past.
At least one member comes mainly for the friendship, but also to learn from those of us who are only too ready to help if required.

Contact: Val MurrayBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Mapping Bramhall enquiry” as the subject

Mapping Bramhall 2023
This has been an exciting year for the group. Our archive of projects made over 13 years was assembled, catalogued and donated to Stockport Heritage Library. A digital version is available through the Bramhall u3a website or by clicking HERE  We had an interesting and informative visit from a member of Sustainable Bramhall and as usual went on a local walk together. 

Other interesting group projects included marl pits in Bramhall and their legacy as ponds, building styles in different roads, a survey of front gardens and a survey of local cafes.

Our broad themes are history, the built environment, nature, organisations, observations and maps. Topics we have investigated include the evolution and uses of buildings and areas of land, industry and business, local people, care homes, recreational facilities, churches, schools, rivers, footpaths, bridges, moss and favourite maps. Variety is added with cafe surveys, local walks, sitting and observing, tradespeople recommendations and the occasional quiz. 

We have accumulated an archive, both physical and digital, of nearly 200 items. This will be lodged with Stockport Local History Archive. The digital version can be viewed by clicking  HERE

Tea, biscuits and sharing local news are an important part of the meetings which take place round the co-ordinator’s kitchen table.

Val Murray (extreme left) of the u3a Mapping Bramhall Group presenting their archive to Michelle Hewitt, Senior Librarian at the Stockport Heritage Library.  26th April 2023.
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Members of the Bramhall Mapping Group surveying the Ladybrook Valley

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Contact: Jackie HarmerBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Music for Pleasure  enquiry” as the subject

We meet on the third Friday of the month at 10.30am in members’ homes, taking it in turns to present a programme of whatever types of music takes the host’s fancy. From classical to pop, opera to jazz, we enjoy a pleasant morning of easy listening, coffee and a chat so make a date. Our contact details can be found on the back of the newsletter.

Contact: VacancyBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   

Outings have been a very successful part of our u3a in Bramhall. Our last outing was on September 6th to Sheffield. Everyone who attended found the trip a great experience, and left surprised at the diversity of the City, and especially enjoyed the trip around Cutlers Hall.
As well as the Sheffield trip, we’ve had successful trips to Worsley/RHS Bridgewater, Ashbourne/
Tissington Hall, Packwood National Trust house, Stockport (where there was more to see than you would think) and Llandudno.
There is now a vacancy for a member or members to take charge of Outings. The out-going organiser would be only too willing to assist if any member or members would like to take on the role.

Contact: Julie SucklingBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Pickleball  enquiry” as the subject

Pickleball is designed to give moderate exercise with a little competition and we play outdoors at the Bramhall Park Lawn Tennis Club (BPLTC) throughout the year.It is often described as a cross between badminton, tennis and table tennis. It is played on a badminton court with a light plastic ball and plastic paddles like oversized table tennis bats. The rules are specifically designed to limit aggression and powerplay and to encourage placement, positioning and tactics. To see it played either google it or go to YouTube and enter pickleball in the search box.

Previous experience is not needed – we are all beginners – and all necessary explanation and help will be given to new members. As a group we enjoy the competition involved in the game but not at the expense of fun and enjoyment.

Looking back over 2023

Several new members have joined this year as the sport continues to become better known, and we have regular enquiries from new members. We now have 2 outdoor hard courts which have recently been resurfaced, meaning that we can accommodate up to 12 players per session. We usually run a session most weekday mornings and play is possible in
the afternoon if there is a demand.

We intend to continue with outdoor play and the BPLTC have established an
Associate Pickleball Membership for U3A players, giving us access to the
clubhouse and security of venue.

The Pickleball group have recently had two new courts provided for them by Bramhall Park Lawn Tennis Club.
Carol Wilson made the inaugural wreath with recycled old pickleballs to open the new courts on the first day of play.
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Bramhall’s Fab Four

Four of Bramhall u3a’s regular pickleball players successfully completed their Pickleball Leaders’ training recently. The qualification is provided by the National Association Pickleball England. It gives the players the skills to help new groups get started, to learn the rules and to understand basic playing strategies so that newcomers to the sport can enjoy themselves from the beginning. The four new Leaders pictured below (L to R: John Bramich, Steve Goodall, Jackie Latham and Phil Kay) can now offer assistance to local groups as they set themselves up and grow. It is unusual for one club to provide four successful candidates from one course and Bramhall u3a is proud of their achievement.

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Contact: Vikki RadfordBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Pilates  enquiry” as the subject

The fee for this is £30.00 per calendar month, which gives 4 or 5 face-to-face lessons and access to unlimited classes to do at home online on her business website. She is willing to take beginners

Contact: Valerie Greenwood or Peter KennedyBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Poetry  enquiry” as the subject

Poetry is well-chosen words well placed, otherwise it’s just verse.

The group meets Jan – Dec. Each member chooses a topic. We research relevant poems to read and discuss at the meetings. Some of our members write poetry which we like to encourage. We are a friendly bunch and learn a lot from our meetings. We have a break when refreshments are served and have a general chat. In July we have our ‘Christmas’ lunch at a local pub where we don Christmas hats. Our November meeting will consist of a talk on Shakespeare’s poems.  We have 11 members and would welcome new participants to join us.

Bramhall u3a

Looking back on 2023

The group has been actively using our new ‘Whats App’ group, ‘ Life’s a Rhyme’, which pretty much sums up our philosophy!We use it as a communication channel, as well as sharing poems we come across and links to TV and radio programmes, on poetry and poets.

We continue our monthly round of poems, based on a theme chosen by a member. Everything from ‘Happiness’ to ‘Ukraine’ to ‘Planets’ this last year

Our highlight of the year was a talk/workshop by a local Shakespearian scholar , on ‘bringing his work alive’ including how to write a sonnet.

We are always interested in new members to join us,  having fun, writing and reading great poetry.

 

Contact: Cathie KayBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Pub Quiz enquiry” as the subject

The Pub Quiz team is very informal – we are not in the Stockport Quiz league.

Pub Quiz Group, Ladybrook Hotel
Bramhall u3a

Looking back on 2023

We continue to meet every 1st Thursday of the month at The Ladybrook Pub on Fir Road, Bramhall at 8:30 for 9pm.

We also continue to be a very dedicated group of only 5 members. After an appeal in our u3a newsletter for more members we did actually gain a few newcomers, but due to various commitments, holidays etc we are now back to being a merry band of 5 again. We really would welcome the input of more brains on the team and we are a very friendly bunch, ( all u3a coordinators/committee members!)

 

Contact: Mike HollingsworthBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Science for All enquiry” as the subject

This group aims to share an interest in science and technology with all u3a members, whether they have a related background or not. Topics will cover a wide range of fascinating topics and be at a level all can understand.

Upcoming Talks

Date
Programme
July / AugustNo Talks
Wed 4th Sept 2024“The development of modern Emergency Medicine”, a talk by Tony Redmond, Emeritus Professor of International Emergency Medicine and member of our Science for All group
Wed 2nd Oct 2024“The Fall and Rise of a Miracle Pill” by Alex Oldham, previously Drug Development Team Leader at AstraZeneca, now member of our Science for All group
Wed 6th Nov 2024“Fraud in medical research”, a talk by Dr Jack Wilkinson, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Biostatistics, Manchester University

Wed 4th Dec 2024

“The existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence.  The idea behind SETI.”, a talk by Dr Andre Van Es, Square Kilometre Array, Jodrell Bank

Interested in further talks delivered nationally via Zoom?  Then read on.

1. Science and Technology Discussion group, part of u3a Communities.  Monthly regular talks and occasional leading edge research talks.  For further details and to sign up go to https://u3acommunities.org/interest-groups/science-technology/

2. u3a Science Network, under the auspices of u3a National office.  It holds 2-3 online meetings per year.  For further details and to sign up go to https://www.u3a.org.uk/learning/subjects/online-science-network

Thanks,

Mike

Science Group May 2024
World of Glass, St Helens

Bramhall u3a

Bramhall u3a

Science Group September 2023
   Jodrell Bank
Bramhall u3aBramhall u3a
Report for 2023

The Group meets to share an interest in science and technology with all u3a members, with the emphasis that no background knowledge is needed.  Another aim is to cover a wide range of interesting topics.  I have about 175 members on my mailing list.  There has been average of 54 members attending each meeting.

Topics of talks were: Mass geological extinctions; Is another pandemic inevitable? Body clocks; British astronomy in the Pacific; Personalizing Healthcare – Genetics in Healthcare; Carbon capture; Artificial Intelligence; Forensic Science, and Hydrogen – Possible pathway to a green future?

We also had a visit to Jodrell Bank with its new visitor centre.

Do come and join us.

Mike Hollingsworth

Contact: Vera McWhirterBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Singing for Fun enquiry” as the subject

We’re an enthusiastic, friendly group singing a variety of music thanks to two experienced pianists. Singing is a great way to improve mental health and make new friends, a wonderful way to start the week.

Contact: Diana BlaneyBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Spanish Intermediate enquiry” as the subject

Looking Back on 2023

Our group of members has been running for a number of years with an experienced, qualified teacher of Spanish. This year we have been working through the BBC course, Suenos Book 2, supplemented with other appropriate material.  We cover all four skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking. Homework is given in the form of the preparation of exercises from the text book or from worksheets, and these are corrected in class sessions. All main tenses have been learnt and we will be covering the subjunctive in the New Year.

Lessons are relaxed. We meet usually on alternate Thursday afternoons, in members’ houses.

Contact: Janet SmithBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Spanish Upper Intermediate enquiry” as the subject

Our previous co-ordinator labelled our group ‘Upper Intermediate Spanish’, but since then new members have joined us with a range of abilities, so we have adapted to this.  We don’t have a qualified Spanish teacher at present, so contribute material ourselves.

At present we are a group of 6 members who meet every Tuesday from 10.00 a.m to 11.30 a.m in each other’s homes, where we have coffee, a brief chat and update before starting our Spanish class.

We study material from various sources, e.g Spanish magazines, reading, speaking, and translating articles and doing dictations.  We talk about ourselves on a variety of subjects – our interests, families, celebrations, holidays, give opinions and so endeavour to improve our knowledge of grammar, range of vocabulary and spoken Spanish through these activities.

There is no cost involved, but it is useful to have a Spanish/English dictionary and possibly a verbs book.  Anybody who has an intermediate knowledge of Spanish would be very welcome to join us. 

Contact:Gwendoline ShorrockBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Strollers enquiry” as the subject.

The Strollers are a friendly group of people who like to walk at a leisurely pace. We stroll anything from 2 to 4 miles and often have a shorter or longer option within a walk, depending on where we are going. We like to include a refreshment stop, usually at the end of our stroll. 

Relaxing after the June 2023 stroll around Bruntwood Park
Middlewood Way & Canal April 2024
Quarry Bank Mill June 2024
Bramhall u3aBramhall u3aBramhall u3a

Contact: Liz PenningtonBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:   with “Table Tennis enquiry” as the subject

The Table Tennis Group runs four times a month, is sociable, and includes all abilities. We meet at the Scout Hut, Fir Road (opposite The Ladybrook Hotel) Bramhall.

Fun for all: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 – £2 per session

Competitive Singles: 4th Wednesdays 10.30-12:00 – £2.50 per session

Afterwards, many of us cross the road to the Ladybrook  for a drink and a chat.

Bramhall u3a

Contact: Frances BellBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
:

Programme
Date

THEATRE – Events open for Booking

Theatre contacts: Frances Bell (439.8654) & Kay Witham (439.6898)

Price
Aug 10thBuxton HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury Saturday Matinee with coach. Waiting list only.£50
Sept 26thWar Horse at Lowry Thursday matinee with coach. Seats Available.£63
Oct 22nd and 26th

My Fair Lady Stockport Operatic Society

Evening of Tues  Oct 22nd and matinee of Sat Oct 26th at Plaza Theatre. All tickets sold but others can be obtained.

£20
Dec 29th

Halle play the Music of Queen at the Bridgewater Hall with coach

£45
Theatre Booking Conditions

Bookings can be made either via the “Theatre” web page, or by post or at the monthly meeting (both before and after the talk).

Bookings are made on a “first come, first served” basis and once an event is full, your name can be added to a waiting list.

For all bookings (including via the website) where payment has not been received, the booking will be deemed to be provisional. Full payment must then be received within 7 days. If payment is not received within this period, the booking will be cancelled.

Cancellation and Guest policies

Full refund
If a booking with payment is cancelled by telephone within 7 days of the booking being made, then a full refund will be made.

In other circumstances:
(a) A full or partial refund will be made if there are a sufficient number of members on the trip to cover the costs.

(b) A refund of the ticket costs can only be made where either the ticket has not yet been purchased or the ticket is sold to another member

Refunds
All refunds will be made after the outing/theatre event has taken place

Guest policy
Non-members can come on an outing as the guest of a member on one occasion only.

Contact: Peter WebsterBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
: with “Transports of Delight enquiry” as the subject

The Transports of Delight Group is for anyone interested in real railways old and new; local, regional and national railway history; travelling on/looking at preserved trains; visiting railway preservation societies, railway museums and, eventually, railway walks.

Past Visits

National Railway Museum 

Keithly & Worth Valley Railway

Photos from 2015

Contact: Jackie HarmerBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
: with “Ukulele enquiry” as the subject

Looking Back over 2023

The ukulele group has had a good year. We now have 15 members, although not every person comes to every meeting so we are still able to meet in my kitchen. We play a variety of ukuleles including soprano, tenor and baritone and there is also a banjolele. We even play kazoos to complement the singing at times. There is a great variety of ages with our youngest member being only in her forties and the eldest in their eighties. 

We entertained at Hillbrook Grange a couple of months ago which was very well received by the residents and staff.

Contact: Alaister MacraeBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
: with “Video & Film Making enquiry” as the subject

The Film and Video Group is a small Open Group with at least one member from another u3a.  We meet monthly on a Monday to view the progress video makers or slide-show makers have been making and to see the odd training video.  In between times, our co-ordinator visits individuals in their own homes, and using their own computers helps them to edit video or slides, add commentary, and music sometimes.  Following an 18 month pause in activities some relearning has been necessary. 

The group was set up to help members learn how to shoot video, using anything from a mobile phone to a still or video camera, using certain techniques.  It covers editing, so that members learn that it only takes short sequences to get a finished video or slide-show consisting of the highlights of what was captured.  It also includes adding a suitable commentary and the right sort of music where appropriate.   The group’s main aim is to be able to make videos that not just family and friends will be happy to watch, but strangers also.

The co-ordinator is invited to gives video shows to various other organisations using these practices.

Bramhall u3a
Midlands trip – Birmingham
Bramhall u3a
Trip to Ireland – Adaire Village
Bramhall u3a
Japanese bullet train
Bramhall u3a
A Sacred Ritual Japan

Contact: Viv GrimshawBramhall u3a
See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
: with “Walking enquiry” as the subject

Looking Back over 2023

The walking group has welcomed many new members this year and enjoyed a wide range of walks. In addition to exploring new parts of the Heatons and Stockport locally, we have walked in Marple, Bollington and even up Kinder Scout.
Summer trips to the Wirral included the 13 mile Wirral Way and on another visit, a walk out to the bird sanctuary of Hilbre Island followed by a guided tour of Port Sunlight village.

Helsby Hill to Frodsham Hill (and back) 2024
Bramhall u3aBramhall u3a
Stockport’s hydroelectric screws
Bramhall u3aBramhall u3a
Enjoying views from the Great Ridge on Mam Tor (Peak District)On Lantern Pike
Bramhall u3aBramhall u3a

We offer two walks each month, on the second Thursday and fourth Wednesday; however, there will only be one walk in December and January due to likely bad weather conditions.

There is a varied programme led by volunteers from the group, and during the past year we have enjoyed walks in Poynton, Marple, Lyme Park, Macclesfield, Bollington, and Saddleworth Moor amongst other areas.

Most are 5-6 miles long and vary from easy to tough – an up-to-date schedule of walks is issued to members of the group by e-mail, and a list of walks in the near future is included in the Bramhall u3a Monthly Newsletter.

Our walks are circular and it may be possible, for those wishing to participate, to finish with a meal in a local pub, or enjoy a picnic in better weather.

As each walk is limited to a maximum of 20 persons, it is essential to book your place by contacting the walk leader a week before the walk.

For a Wednesday/Thursday walk, booking starts at 9:30 a.m. the previous Wednesday/Thursday respectively.

Please note that each person walks at their own risk, and is recommended that he/she should:-

·       Wear sturdy footwear, and wear or pack waterproofs in case of poor weather.

·       Carry sufficient water and food.

·       Carry some first aid items in case of blisters, insect bites/stings etc.

As well as the participation of its members, the group’s success depends on contributions from its members in terms of volunteering to lead walks. Volunteers are welcome at any time, but sought when the walking schedule is issued to group members at appropriate times.

Leading a walk involves the following:-

Providing the Group Coordinator with the location, brief description of the meeting point (including the post-code for use in SatNavs etc), grade and length of the walk.
Receiving bookings, normally by telephone, from members (up to the specified maximum).
Collecting members’ contact details when taking bookings since it may be necessary to cancel (in consultation with the Group Coordinator) a walk at short notice.
Advising members of the condition of the paths as necessary (e.g. steep, slippery, narrow) and whether or not the use of walking poles is recommended.
Checking out the walk reasonably close to the scheduled date, so that any questions including those implicit above may be answered confidently.

Happy Walking!

Contact: Judy GodsellBramhall u3a

See Newsletter for contact details or
Email
: with “Wine Tasting enquiry” as the subject

The group meet alternate months. The wine is  supplied by Carham Wine and the cost is  approximately £10 per person. This cost is likely to vary slightly each time depending on the type and number of wines tasted. If you would like to know a little more about the wine you drink, come and join us!

THE BRAMLEY CENTRE is behind Bramhall health centre and railway station. The meeting starts at 8.00pm as we have to wait for the scouts to finish at appx 7.30pm. Please do not arrive earlier than 7.45pm as you will not be able to get into the hall.

Just to let you know that there will NOT be a meeting in July due to people on holiday and family commitments. The next meeting will be on September25th. I will be sending an email nearer the date.

I hope you all have an enjoyable summer and I look forward to seeing as many as possible of you in September.