Ramsey and District U3A


The chairman (Sheila Gilbert-Hill) welcomed all to the General Meeting on Tuesday 10th July. The usual safety notices were read out. 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. Thanks to all who donated to our Bring and Buy stall at the Ramsey Carnival. A MacMillan Afternoon Tea will be held on 26th August at the Ramsey Rural Museum, with music by Back Two, tickets available from Hibbins Insurance or the Rural Museum at £12.50.

Jane Cusworth read out the Group News. The Cycling Group and the Table Tennis Group are looking for more members, a sign-up sheet for the Chess Group is on display, beginners or Chess Masters are welcome! The meet and greet afternoon went well, however, only five new members attended, but they were given an excellent introduction into the U3A.

Each month in the foyer, groups will be able to display their wares and have the chance to talk to members about their activities. It will be first come first served, so group leaders, get your groups working on your presentations. The display this month was hosted by the Walking Group. There will be no organised Computer Group this month, but if any individuals need support, then please contact Peter Stevens.

Our next trip on 17th August will be to Wells-Next-Sea and Heacham Lavender. The trip in October, either 12th or 26th will be to the National Arboretum. Signup sheets available at our next general meeting, which is Tuesday 18th September, (as we will be taking our August break), there you can select which date is the most suitable for the Arboretum trip. A big thank you to all Group Leaders for keeping their web pages and calendars up to date. To all members, please keep looking at our website, Aspire and the notice boards

The chairman then introduced the speaker for this afternoon, Peter Lawrence, his topic “This Policeman’s Lot” a social view of policing from Crown to the Krays.

Peter opened his talk by saying that family members have lived in this area for many generations, in fact his wife was born in Bury!

Back in 1960, the only means of communication to summon assistance was the whistle, with the police ‘tardis’ and AA and RAC boxes being made available to constables on the beat later, mobile radio sets and followed by personal radios, are now the stock in trade for every policeman. His personal weapon was the truncheon, which came in three sizes!

Peter joined the police in 1965 and was attached to the Leyton Constabulary after passing out from Hendon Police College. His lasting memory was having to learn the Vagrancy Act of 1824, that stood him in good stead when having to arrest suspects on charges of drunkenness etc. He remembers having to give the Kray twins a few nights B&B in the cells and how terrible the twins were. Oswald Moseley and his Black shirts were still peddling their hatred and Peter and his colleagues were always on standby to prevent skirmishes at the local Sunday markets.

Peter attended the Police Driving school, learning to drive fast cars safely. His first car was a Wolseley 219, followed by Panda cars, Morris Minors, Jaguar S types and Rover P3 and P5, which were all used on general road patrols. In 1970, The Munich Olympics and the terrorist killings of the Israeli team led to an upsurge in diplomatic protection, especially in London which has the largest diplomatic community. The IRA were exploding bombs in our major cities and protection became the byword. Peter joined the special operations group and became heavily involved with providing all ambassadors with safety and security advice.

The next phase in Peter’s career was to become part of contingency planning at the Foreign and Home Office, here, planning took place for Royal Weddings, Trooping of the Colour and the visits of Foreign statesmen. His tip, if you would like to see the trooping of the colour was to apply for tickets to the dress rehearsals, contact the Guards Office! After the incident when Fagin entered the Queen’s bedroom at Buckingham Palace, Peter was seconded to the Royal Household.

Peter became heavily involved with most of the Embassy Sieges in the latter stages of his career, the Iran embassy siege was the most vivid with the SAS troops entering the embassy via adjoining rooftops on day 5 of the siege. The final embassy was the Libyan, in St James Square, when PC Yvonne Fletcher was hit by a bullet which ricocheted from a gun fired from the embassy. She died of her injuries.

 Peter’s story could be retitled “From truncheon to sub-machine gun.” We had a really interesting afternoon and the Chairman thanked Peter for a wonderful insight into policing through the last fifty years.

Our next General Meeting will take place on Tuesday 18th September 2018 at the Community Centre, when we will have a talk about Woodgreen Animal Sanctuary.

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Other U3A News

Chatteris U3A Community Defibrillator Fundraiser Chatteris U3A are hosting a Horse Race Night with Fish and Chip Supper, community defibrillator fundraiser on Friday August 17th, 2018 at the King Edward Centre, Chatteris, 7pm till 10.30pm.    Tickets are on sale now. £7.00 with supper or £2.00 entrance only.   Races can be sponsored by local business for £20.  (We have four more races to sell.)  Individual horses can be sponsored for £3.00. Winners of each race will receive a prize.  Raffle prizes are also being sought.

If you would like to purchase tickets; sponsor a race or horse; or generally support the evening, please contact;

Event organiser and U3A member Ted Croucher. 


 43 York Road, Chatteris, PE16 6EB

  And Finally

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


A ham sandwich walks into a bar and orders a beer, bartender says “Sorry, we don’t serve food here.”

What’s the difference between the bird flu and the swine flu? One requires tweetment and the other an oinkment.


We raised the magnificent sum of £370 at the Ramsey Carnival. Many thanks to all those who made it such a success and to all who donated items.

Editor: Mike Lewis