Ramsey and District U3A


The chairman welcomed all to the meeting on Shrove Tuesday, the usual safety notices were read out. She asked for a show of hands to see if we should continue with the alphabet quiz, the overwhelming indication was that this competition should end.

Members were reminded that there is a table set up in the foyer for less able members to sit and have their tea and coffee.

Enid reminded all members that our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place in April. There are several committee members standing down at this time, so if you feel that you can add your skills to the committee then please fill the appropriate form available from our website. The closing date is 20th March 2018.

Jane Cusworth (Group Co-ordinator) then spoke of two sign-up sheets that were available in the foyer, Angling/Coarse Fishing and Hand Chimes, sign-up sheets in the foyer. The computer group leader, Peter Stevens would like to give 1 to 1 tuition to any members requiring help with computing, but no tablets or I-pads please. Book club 1 are looking for more members, please contact Doreen Salmon if you are interested. Jane then thanked all Group Leaders for keeping their website news up to date

The Trips and Holiday groups have amalgamated, their next meeting will be at the White Lion, Bury on 18th April, starting at 11.00am.

The Bulb-fields trip is fully booked, but places are still available for our Battlefields tour to Belgium/France 11th-14th September 2018. Cost will be £500 per person. Contact Terry or Enid if you wish to sign up for this trip.

Our first day trip for 2018 will be to Belton House a National Trust property in Lincolnshire. The approximate cost of the coach will be £24.25 per person assuming we have 20 members signing up. However, the cost will decrease if more people wish to attend. Tickets for the house cost £15.70 with the option for a ‘below stairs’ tour at £4.00. As well as the house there are gardens and parkland to explore if the weather is kind and a cafe and restaurant to bolster energy levels when needed.

Further trips include The Globe Theatre, London for “As You Like It” on 8th June and Bressingham Gardens on 22nd June. The most popular of these trips will be selected to take place.

The Chairman then introduced Karen Reid, her subject “Scam Awareness”

Karen, who works for the Cambridge County Council, then replied, thanking the R&D U3A for inviting her to get an important message out to members. Her talk, was to cover four different types of scams all of which were out to gain money and/or information. Each member was given a leaflet for extra support, to take home and study at leisure.

Four million adult victims are subject to attacks by mail, phone, internet and doorstep. The cost is put at £30 billion lost each year, with money mostly leaving the UK for overseas locations. Older people, some 7 out of 10, are targeted by scams every month by phone or letter.

Mail Scams – As examples, beware of prize draw lotteries, health cures, investments. The Irish and Australian Lotteries are not legal, and the information you provide will normally be shared amongst scammers, so you could end up with a large amount of unsolicited mail, all asking for your money, don’t reply to these and be careful when ticking opt out/in boxes. You can sign up to the Mail Preference Service on 08457034599, which is a free service, to cut down such mail. Return scam mail to Royal Mail FREEPOST Scam Mail for free.

Phone Scams – These include nuisance calls, sales marketing, silent calls, offers of computer fixes, inheritance/pension, PPI and banking “no hang up/courier calls. Karen’s advice is to stay in control, phone the bank back to check the validity of the call, just make sure that the line has cleared first. Remember, don’t give information away, especially in the evening, when you are tired and vulnerable. Register with the Telephone Preference Service 0345 0700707 to reduce calls, it may take a while before the service kicks in! Consider becoming ex-directory or use an answering machine.

Internet Scams – If you use the internet, you will be targeted with banking, lonely hearts, concert tickets and HMRC (false website) have a look at www.getsafeonline.org. Make sure the firewall is switched on and install antivirus software, make sure you use secure wi-fi and be careful using “free” wi-fi in cafes and shops. Keep personal information safe and don’t open files that you don’t recognise. Hover over the link. Stay in control!

Choose a password with a combination of upper and lower case, numbers and keyboard symbols. Use at least 8 characters. Don’t use your name, your pet’s name or birthdays. For safer shopping on-line, look for a padlock or unbroken key icon. If the website address starts with https:// that means that the site is secure.

Doorstep Scams – these include rogue traders and distraction burglary. Keep your front door on a chain or door bar, and your back door locked too, if you don’t recognise the caller, don’t open the door fully. Ask to see identification if the caller represents a major utility company. Never buy at the door and never agree to work from callers at the door, always get three quotes. Use recommended tradesmen, your friends and neighbours can recommend such a good person. As an aside, contracts made at home for more than £42 can be cancelled within 14 days. Join your local neighbourhood watch scheme and have a look at the Cambridge E-cops alert. Phone the police on 101 if you feel threatened or vulnerable.

Take five to stop fraud:

  1. Never disclose security details
  2. Don’t assume everyone is genuine
  3. Don’t be rushed
  4. Listen to your instincts
  5. Stay in control

Karen then finished her talk with a question and answer session. The Chairman thanked her for her most interesting afternoon, and we broke for tea and coffee.

The winner of the letter competition ‘W’ was Jane Cusworth with a pair of wands, the runner up with a whistle was Eileen Wade

Do you have auditing skills?

The Ramsey and District U3A are looking for a member to inspect our financial accounts before presentation to the membership at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in April. If you can help, please reply either in writing or by Email to the Secretary. Thank you.

U3A National Website

The email address to receive information about the national newsletter is:


Other U3A News

Trip to Gardeners World show

Chatteris U3A are trying to arrange a trip to Gardeners World and the Good Food Show on Friday 15th June, with possibly a coach going from Chatteris at 7.30am to enable arrival time at the NEC Birmingham for show opening time of 9.00am.  The show tickets are max price of £24.00 but we may be able to get some discount if we order soon enough, please could you pass this along to your members and let me know as soon as possible if anyone would like to go and how many.  Transport will be extra of course but hopefully not much more than the NEC parking charge.  You can use my email to contact me or phone 01354 697701 (answer phone) <jan56fieldhouse@gmail.com>

Future Open Meetings

Our next general meeting will take place on Tuesday 13th March 2018 at the Community Centre, when Mark Newbold will talk to us about the Falkland’s War and the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Our next letter for the competition is ‘X’ and will take place at this meeting.

And Finally

Becket Flower Group are holding a FUN fundraiser quiz to raise funds for the annual Flower festival which is held at St.Thomas a Becket Church Ramsey. The quiz will be on the evening of Saturday March 24th (7 pm for 7.30 start) and will be held in the Ramsey Community Centre. Teams of 6, preferably, but teams can be created from pairs/individuals, so please buy a ticket. We are trying to raise funds for the flowers used in the Flower festival. The proceeds of the festival itself will all go to St.Thomas a Becket church fund. Food will be provided, but please bring your own drinks and glasses

We hope that you can support us Tickets will be £8 each and can be purchased at Pet Havens, Great Whyte Ramsey or Pam Blanchard. There will be a raffle and donated raffle prizes will be gratefully received. Please help with any donations or prizes to either of the above contacts.

Car Parking – Please remember to park your car considerately and use car sharing, if you are able.


Whilst a friend was working as a store Santa, a boy asked him for an electric train set. “If you get your train,” he told him, “your dad is going to want to play with it too. Is that all right?” The boy became very quiet. So, moving the conversation along, he asked, “What else would you like Santa to bring you?”

He promptly replied, “Another train set.”

Mike Lewis