Chairman’s report February 2014

Speaker Barrie Yates with Jean Pearson
Speaker Barrie Yates with Jean Pearson

What a pleasant and enlightening afternoon we have again enjoyed at our members’ February meeting. We tried a new signing-in system in attempt to cut down on our inevitable queues at the beginning of our meetings – I think we all found it much easier and quicker.

We also put the notice board at the front of the Hall after the meeting so that members had an extra chance to peruse all the announcements, posters and so forth.

We congratulated Geoff Boswell on becoming the u3a national adviser for Science. Copies of the Report by the Steering Group on the Future of the Todmorden Markets were available – you can get more information from the Tourist Information Centre.

U3A Todmorden is a member of the Calderdale 50+ Network which provides a wide range of information about services available for us throughout our region. A document has now been produced and copies are available in public buildings and in GPs surgeries. If you or someone you know needs support in any way this document might provide contact details of appropriate and useful organisations.

Thanks were extended to Peter Gibson and Alan McDonald for their comprehensive computer advice and guidance which has been circulated to all our email members. Dr Paul Whittaker, OBE, has thanked us for our donations to his charity ‘Music and the deaf’ at our January meeting which amounted to £350.

We now have a little over 350 members! 98 members and four visitors attended today’s meeting. Our guest speaker in September, 2014, will be the National Chairman of U3A – Barbara Lewis. She was born in America, has lived in England for many years and currently lives in Hertfordshire but we understand that she knows very little about our region. We are sending her a copy of the book ‘A History of Todmorden’ by Malcolm and Freda Heywood (U3A Todmorden members) and Bernard Jennings. We hope she will enjoy reading it prior to her visit to these northern parts.

Our guest speaker in March will be Geoff Carter – we will all be happy to welcome him back, I am sure – and his talk is entitled ‘The Galapagus, Darwin and the Theory of Evolution’. Please note that Sally Pulvertaft is not now able to give her talk about India at our April meeting – she’s re-located to France – so we are now working on a replacement speaker for you. I will keep you all informed.

We were happy to show our appreciation to Alison Greenwood and her team of helpers who provide us with refreshments every month. Alison gave the Groups Report and there are two new groups – Anthony Peter’s group – Novel Appreciation – will meet at TRCR at 11 am on 10th March, 2014 and Geoff Boswell is starting an IT group as well. Sheets were available to sign up and Gail’s report will give further details. If you would like to join these groups please put your name down as quickly as possible. I will send Gail’s report to you separately – if you are on email. Gail’s full list of groups and their reports are also available on our website.

Our guest speaker today was Barrie Yates – retired engineer – who presented his talk entitled ‘The Machine that Changed the World’ – the development of the motor car. We all thoroughly enjoyed his presentation which – for people like me – was not too technical. This prompted many questions from members at the end. Margaret Gunnill (Membership Secretary) gave the vote of thanks.

Finally I made an appeal for members to step forward and volunteer to be nominated for the U3A Tod Committee. At the AGM in June we will need a Chairperson together with four members (one to act as Assistant Treasurer and one to be leader of the Speaker-finders team). I do hope that some of you will be prepared to give just a little time to ensure that U3A Tod continues.

Sincerely – Jean

Jean A Pearson – Chairman – U3A Todmorden