Ramsey and District U3A


News for all members


Enid gave a warm welcome to all who were attending, and read out Health and Safety notices. She said that it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon seeing how quickly the chilly weather had arrived. A question was put to the meeting as to how many favoured a ‘Hearing Loop,’ some twenty-people replied in the affirmative.

Tickets for our Pantomime “Little Bit of Magic” had sold out, but a waiting list had been established at 10 per performance, contact John Austin if you wish to attend either performance. The Mayor of Ramsey will attend the 2.15pm show and June Welton representing the U3A will attend at 4.30pm.

Group News

‘The Holiday Group’ sign-up sheet resulted in a good number of names an initial meeting took place at 10.00am on Friday 11th November, at the Community Centre. ‘Table tennis’ group initial meeting also took place on Friday 11th November again at the Community Centre at 2.00pm. Refreshments were provided at both events. Nina will be setting up sign-up sheets for three new groups in the New Year. A spare ticket for the trip to Birmingham on 3rd December is available, please contact Nina or John if you would like to go.

Good news for New members

We have been able to secure the library meeting room on Friday 16th December 1.00pm until 3.00pm for us to hold a ‘Meet and Greet session,’ Emails will be sent out shortly inviting recently joined members to attend to meet members of the Committee and some Interest Group leaders. There will be a chance for you to ask questions about our U3A and the U3A movement. If you are new to the Ramsey U3A, but have been a member in another U3A we would love to hear of your experiences and any ideas which might bring new and different interest groups to being. We look forward to meeting you all on the day and hope you enjoy the tea and cake!

  ‘A Little Bit of Magic’ our very own U3A panto will take place on 13th December with two performances, 2.15 pm and 4.30pm. Tickets cost £2.00 each. We are looking for a U3A member with suitable recording equipment to take a video of the 4.30pm show. Any willing volunteers please contact any of the committee members, thank you.

The notice board has a few reminders of events happening in November and December. Please look at the National website where all events and more can be found.

Head office news: ‘U3A Brandenburg Christmas Concerts’ 24th Nov and ‘The Secret language of Art’ 24th Nov. More details are available from U3A Head Office, Bromley.

We are looking for volunteers to meet and greet new members by becoming ‘friends’ or ‘Mentors’ and help them settle-in at our U3A. Please contact any member of the committee if you think you can help, thank you.

Sources Magazine – This is the educational publication of the U3A edited by Phyllis Hughes. She would like to invite U3A Photographic Groups to submit pictures for use in the magazine, especially those that will illustrate the various topics to be covered in forthcoming editions. These are in February 2017 – Archaeology and Local History, June 2017 – Food and drink appreciation and antiques, September 2017 –  Creative writing – running a group. The editor is keen to find excellent pictures for the front cover. So, come on all you budding photographers, let the U3A know how creative you can be! For more information, Sources c/o U3A National Office.

“Confessions of a Panto Dame”

 Our speaker for today was Richard Westcott, the chairman introduced him with a line from that amazing musical “South Pacific” ‘There’s nothing like a Dame’ and so the afternoon was to prove.

Richard had spent many years, treading the boards, has been in weekly Rep at Great Yarmouth and made training films, but at Christmas, he returns to his roots and becomes a Panto Dame!

Sitting behind a table, surrounded by make-up and a mirror for company, he held the audiences’ attention as he went through the art of applying water based make-up. He said that if one used grease paint, it was a devil to remove and took forever to get off.

Eyeshadow and the face paints were purchased from Joke shops and the whole effect was like painting by numbers, although he needed ‘Polly filler’ to cover his laugh lines! Eyelids need to be a lighter colour, but never use false eyelashes. To apply lipstick, use a brush, then blusher and a beauty spot to finish the whole effect. Never put the beauty spot on the side of the nose, as Richard had done for 30 years and that had got him into a lot of trouble.

Richard then moved on to the outfits worn by Panto dames, starting with the padded Bra, these he had learnt were best fastened at the front, followed by a quick swing to put the bumps at the front. As this as not to be the ‘Full Monty’ he modestly removed his trousers to reveal his long knickers, complete with a batman motif! To pad out the lower half of the body, he put on a hooped petticoat and the proceeded to put on what he called his ‘working dress’ – which he claimed was made from duvet material – he then put on a pair of high-heeled boots, jewellery and finally a wig and matching hat. Earrings, were to be bold, preferably made from Christmas tree decorations! A range of outfits were then displayed, but finally his Dame Edna costume was worn to great effect, complete with a pair of crippling stilettoes and a white fur stole. It was behind him, oh no it wasn’t, oh yes it was! The afternoon’s entertainment ended with a sing along, Tiddly, Winky, Woo, in which the boys sang the words to Tiddly, Winky, Woo and the girls sang Baa, Baa, Blacksheep. Finally, a timed costume change took place with Enid in the assistant’s role, with Anne doing the timekeeping. A record time of 45 seconds was established, whether this was a world record, we never found out!

Enid the thanked Richard for an amazing afternoon and we broke for tea and biscuits.


The winner of the letter M competition was Fran Holland who scooped both first and second places

Our next letter for the competition is ‘N’, which will be held over until the New Year.


Future Open Meetings

Our Christmas Extravaganza will take place on Tuesday 13th December at the Community Centre, with two shows the first starting at 2.15pm, the second at 4.30pm. Refreshments, including wine and a mince pie will be served after each performance.

BOOK SWAP Margaret Thornton will be reopening the “Book Swap” in the New Year. 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.

Other News

More from the ‘Sources’ editor, she is looking to recruit a team of volunteers with experience in journalism to take the magazine forward. The editor would like to see a more ‘newsier’ approach, but needs a network of people to dig out the interesting stories and pictures from our 383,000 members. With a team or experts across the country, Sources will be able to deliver an exciting and relevant publication. The New Year edition will include articles on archaeology and local history, the deadline for contributions will be 30th November 2016. Further details from Sources c/o U3A National Office.

And Finally

The raffle for the knitted blanket and raised £60 for Diabetes UK.

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


As I entered the lift at our local hospital, a dishevelled looking man rushed in behind me carrying a ceramic blue baby bootee filled with roses.

I smiled knowingly and asked, “Does he look like you?”

“I hope not,” he said. “I just deliver flowers.”

Editor: Mike Lewis