Ramsey and District U3A


The Chairman (Sheila Gilbert-Hill) welcomed everyone to the 9th April meeting which was the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM). The usual housekeeping notices were read out, with a reminder that tables and chairs in the foyer were reserved for those who were less able.

The second item on the AGM Agenda was to approve the minutes for the 2018 AGM, which was carried unanimously.

Item 3 was the Chairman’s report, in which the activities of the Ramsey and District U3A were outlined. We had a trip to the Dutch Bulbfields and we had two network meetings in which we learned a lot about the National U3A workings, where subject of smart membership card was introduced. We had a ‘meet and greet’ in June, where new members enjoyed an introduction into the U3A, followed by tea and cakes.

We had a stall at the Ramsey fair and raised a substantial amount towards the cost of the hand-chimes. A trip to the WW1 battlefields included a wreath laying at the Menin Gate and later in November, we laid a wreath at the Ramsey memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

We had an excellent Christmas party at the Community Centre with good food, entertainment by the Hand Chime group with quizzes and carols.

Item 4 was the Treasurer’s report – the accounts had been previously sent to all members – no comments received from the members, so the accounts were passed. Lynda noted that there would be no increase in the annual membership fees.

Item 5 was to ask Terry Hubbard to examine the accounts for next year, this was passed unanimously.

Item 6 was the Group Co-ordinators report, this was read by Sheila Gilbert-Hill, as Jane was unable to be at the meeting because of attending a funeral. Thanks, were given to the 163 members, who attend 26 active groups. It has been proved that social contact is beneficial to health and well-being. So please join a group, you can attend a taster session and see if you would like to continue. Unfortunately, the Angling group seems to have folded, but Short tennis has been formed. Trips and Holidays is now open to all members, talk to any of your committee for more information. There is a suggestion box in the foyer if you have any ideas for future groups or trips. A big thank you to all Group Leaders for their hard work.

Item 7 was the Election of the Committee. Standing down were Sheila Gilbert-Hill and Fran Holland. Standing for re-election were Jane Cusworth, Dave Gilbert-Hill, Yvonne Graham, Lynda Lewis, Mike Lewis and Bruce McDowell.

Nominations from Anne Fieldhouse, Maureen Fletcher, Jenny Macro and David Morris. All seeking re-election and new committee members were selected to serve for the next 12 months.

Item 8 there were no motions to discuss, so we swiftly moved on to Item 9 which was any other business, again, no business to discuss. Before the AGM was officially closed, the outgoing chairman had a few words to say about our Catering member, Fran Holland, before presenting her with a framed chicken picture. Fran is owed a special thanks for her unfailing support for the R&D U3A, she has membership to 13 groups, she is gentle, caring and warm-hearted. She loves wildlife and used to keep chickens until Mr Fox came along!

We then had an update on the Travel Group read by Sylvia King, there are three local day coach trips and one four-day trip to Bruges on offer. The trips are open to any member of the R&D U3A, so please support these.

The AGM was then formally closed with a reminder to pick-up membership cards. Sheila was then presented with a bottle of bubbly as a farewell gift.

The final action by the Chairman was to introduce Gillian and Martin, who would tell the meeting about the Ramsey Mortuary Chapels.

The Burial Act of 1853 was the spur which led Ramsey to plan the Mortuary Chapels. They were built in a Gothic Revival style in 1860, there are two chapels an Anglican and Non-conformist one. The architect was J. Ellis from Peterborough who charged £1,530 for his services.

The Chapels are divided by a central gabled archway surmounted by an octagonal belfry and spire, the roof has ‘fish-scale’ tiles and the ridge tiles are decorated with fleur-de-lys. Each Chapel has contagion windows which were used to protect mourners from viruses or diseases and allow the mourners to pay their respects.

During WWII, German bombs fell on Ramsey, killing several, their bodies were taken to the Chapels where they were prepared for burial. In 1948 the Chapels became Ramsey’s mortuary and Swearers undertakers carrying out the required alterations. In 1983 there was a strong threat that the Chapels would be demolished, but they were saved and given grade two listing.

Over the years, the building has been sadly neglected, so in April 2015 ‘Friends of Ramsey Mortuary Chapels’ was formed to help restore and conserve this building. ‘The Friends of’ have been revamped to ‘Ramsey Heritage Centre’ We were then shown pictures of the Chapels during the process of renovation, with damaged floors, overgrown graveyards, removing 40 years of rubbish, the contagion windows being uncovered.

A question and answer session followed: Q. How many burial sites? A. 5,000 to 12,000 in each section. Q. Any connection with Germany regarding German aviators in WWII? A. Not an easy task. Q. Do you have double deck burials? A. Not yet. The chairman proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers and we broke for tea and biscuits.

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Next Meeting

The next general meeting will take place on Tuesday 14th May at the Community Centre, Stocking Fen Road, Ramsey, starting at 2.00pm. The subject will be the R.N.L.I presented by Terry James.

Other News

Celebrating 50 Years – Tea and cakes and raffle in aid of Thomas a Becket Flower Festival at Ramsey Community Hall on Wednesday May 1st, 2019, starting at 2.00pm. The price will be £4.50. Please call Pam on 01487 813686 or Pauline on 01487 711913 for tickets. Donations towards the raffle etc will be welcomed.

And Finally

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

Looking Good

My face in the mirror isn’t wrinkled or drawn,

My house isn’t dirty. The cobwebs are gone.

My garden looks lovely and so does my lawn.

I think I might never put my glasses back on.


At our AGM on 9th April 2019 the following members were elected to the Committee. Subsequently various roles were allocated as shown by each name.

Jane Cusworth – Chairman

Dave Gilbert-Hill – Business Secretary

Lynda Lewis – Treasurer

Bruce McDowell – Membership Secretary

Maureen Fletcher – Groups Co-ordinator

Yvonne Graham – Speaker Secretary

Jenny Macro – Minutes Secretary

Mike Lewis – Newsletter Editor

Anne Fieldhouse – Catering Officer

David Morris – Officer