News for all members




Ramsey Community Centre

June 1st 1:30pm to 4:00pm

This is the title of the Area Network Day which we are hosting for the East Anglia Network of the U3A. It is subtitled ‘A Celebration of the U3A’ and it is open to all members of the organization. This is not going to be you average boring Network meeting, and will bring the motto of ‘Learn, Laugh and Live to life.’ The event will be informative, interactive and fun and we hope that our U3A will be well represented and be ready for an entertaining afternoon provided by the Ramsey and District U3A Committee. The afternoon will cost just £1 to cover the cost of tea, coffee and biscuits and maybe cake!

The prize winner for the letter “I” was David Cusworth with an ink/blotter and Jane Cusworth second with an ice bucket. Our next letter for the competition is “J.”

Chairman’s Opening Remarks. The Chairman wished to place on record, the stirling efforts made by the previous Chairman (John Austin) in keeping the Ramsey and District U3A afloat.

Treasurers Note. The treasurer reported that at the last committee meeting, it was decided that the Ramsey and district U3A financial year end will in future be 31st December, not 31st march as in previous years. There will be no change to the membership renewal date, which remains in April. She concluded by hoping that all the members had paid their subscriptions.

Trips News. There were several trips to look forward to this session, they were Dews coaches trips, and the Ramsey and District U3A have been promised a 10% discount. On 5th August, a trip to Blenheim Palace to see “Country file Live.” Four more places are available. On 18th August, to Buckingham Palace, please note this trip is fully booked. On 3rd December to Birmingham Christmas Market, this is advertised as the biggest continental market in the UK, 3 seats available. Finally, on 14th December, a trip to Holkham Hall, there are seats still available.

Group Co-ordinator Notes. A sign-up sheet has been started to gauge interest in a proposed Metal Detecting Group, there is still some investigating to be done with regard to the legal issues.

News from the Bird Watching group is that Val fountain feels that due to health reasons, she is unable to continue to lead the group, though expressing her willingness to update the website with information. More news when available.

St. Ives U3A have been in touch to say that they have vacancies in a number of interest groups, including “Singing for Pleasure,” “Classical Music,” “Social and Local History,”  “Poetry,” if you would like to go to any of the groups, please let Nina know and she will  forward names to St. Ives. However, St Ives members have priority at the groups and Ramsey and District U3A members may have to give up their place.

Bridge for Beginners, will now not start until September, but we are still looking for at least one more member.

Website.  The website is available for all members to access, Sheila Gilbert-Hill has sent an email to all members, with detailed instructions on how to register and sign in. The web address is www.ramseyu3a.

“Journey To Citizenship – (Now I’m as British as Y’All) The Chairman then introduced the speaker, Linda Scoles.

Linda is an American who arrived in England in 1971, with her husband Jim, an American Airforce Officer and their three children. She was raised on a ranch on the Squilchuck Creek in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains near Wenatchee, Washington state. In England, Linda and her family settled in Gt Barton, a small village in Suffolk, close to Bury St Edmunds, as her husband Jim was posted to RAF Mildenhall. The family lived in Gt Barton for five years and were made most welcome by neighbours who introduced them to life in England, they were posted back to the USA and really did not want to leave the UK, Jim kicked up a fuss and was sent back to Mildenhall for his efforts. Jim retired in 1984, and spent the next 18 years travelling to all the American bases, teaching young GIs taking courses to advance their careers.

Proceedings were started to remain in England and US lawyers and UK solicitors were tasked with getting the ball rolling, letters of recommendation were written by all and sundry in the hope that the Home Office would grant permission to stay. The waited, waited and waited, and eventually permission was given, as long as no charges would be levied on HM Government, this meant that they would have no access to any benefits.

Jim died aged 61 years, his philosophy on life was to enjoy daily injections of Greene King bitter, and have the ability to navigate by pubs! However, there was no money in the kitty except for the value of the house. The idea was to go into partnership with daughter Kelly and become property developers, so the house was sold and raised £80,000. The family moved into rented property and spent the next 3 years studying in London at weekends. Eventually they had 19 run down properties that they had to renovate. Kelly became the project manager and Linda the dogsbody – they would pick up keys to a property on a Friday – tear out the kitchen, bathroom and have the place ready for the builders to start work on the Monday! Linda would find all the odd jobs, wallpaper stripping and gardening. In 6 to 8 weeks the properties were on the market and ready to sell. However, the housing market collapsed and that was the end of the business.

The subject of obtaining dual nationality became a burning issue and efforts were made to study for the knowledge test. The book they had to study was “Life in the United Kingdom, a journey to citizenship,” and the resulting knowledge test was an electronic question and answer session. The failure rate runs at 90%, but Kelly and Linda passed first time. The cost for sitting this exam, £655 with £100 to bring two guests to the citizenship ceremony. In the end, Linda was able to hire a room in Bury St Edmunds registry office and bring 75 family and friends to witness the ceremony.

We then were then subjected to 24 questions from the knowledge test, answers were given by a show of hands. We were allowed five errors, but failed the test by 6 and a half errors. As Linda said, if you want to live here in the UK, you must be able to study, to afford the exam, and to sit a very hard test. She closed by listing all the things that make Britain great and her final quote was “God save the Queen.”



Ramsey U3A Trips Group is compiling a long term programme of outings and holidays.

Future trips to include:

“Adams Farm comes to Blenheim” Friday 5th August, cost £42 including entrance.

“Buckingham Palace” Thursday 18th August, cost £40 including entrance.

“Holkham Hall at Christmas” Wednesday 14th December, cost £32.


Future Open Meetings

Our next Open Meeting takes place on 14th June 2016 at the Ramsey Community Centre starting at 2.00pm. Our speaker will be Andy Smith, his topic ”Life in the Music.”

A note for the diary, 12th July 2016 our ‘Indoor Street Party’, to celebrate HM Queen’s 90th Birthday. Venue Ramsey Community Hall. Tickets £2 which includes afternoon tea.

BOOK SWAP Margaret Thornton will be operating a “Book Swap” A box will be available for members to bring books and swap them for others. No payment is involved but we would ask members not to bring lots of books at any one time. If books remain “unswapped” in the box for more than a couple of meetings, they will be donated to Charity shops.

For your Information.

Please remember, subscriptions were due in April. Please bring cash or 

cheques to our next open meeting, if you have not yet paid!

And Finally

Car Parking – Please remember to park your car considerately and use the car park adjacent to the Co-op store if you are able.

Universal Laws:

The law of variation – if you change lanes in traffic, the one you are in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

Editor: Mike Lewis