Ramsey and District U3A


Our Chairman welcomed members old and new and visitors to the meeting. 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. A copy of the latest Aspire magazine was available from the sign-in desk.

Our holiday for 2020 will be ‘Irish House Party’, 29th June to 3rd July price £558 per person with a single supplement of £69, four-night half board terms, the cost includes the ferry crossing, free drinks, a trip to Waterford Crystal.  Family and friends are welcome on this trip. Day trips to the Houses of Parliament and River trip Saturday 28th April price £60. Hampton Court Palace 17th July price £45, finally, Peckover House and Elgoods brewery on 23rd October price £25. Deposit for the day trips is £10 per person (non-refundable). If you are interested, please pen your name to the sign-up sheets, names only required at this time. Those on the trip to Thursford should be hearing from Dews coaches shortly, a reminder that this trip is fully booked. Payment is required for the Black Country museum trip, price £40 per person, or £30 if a deposit was paid. The coach will leave Ramsey on Friday 18th October at 8.30am and leave the museum at 4.30pm. We had a very enjoyable 5-day trip to Bruges, which we lived, loved and laughed, we had a trip to Antwerp and had a canal cruise (in the rain).  Our Christmas Party takes place on Tuesday 10th December at the Community centre, starting at 2.00pm. An entertainer has been booked to keep us amused during the afternoon. Prices have been held at last years of £5.00. Tickets will be on sale at our next meeting – a limit of 80 tickets – so purchase yours as soon as possible. If you have food allergies then please inform any committee member.

The next Anglia region meeting takes place in Ely on the 6th March 2020, any interested member wishing to attend, please contact any committee member.

The Groups co-ordinator read out the Group news for this month. The display this month was from the Writing for Pleasure group, well done Bill for an interesting and amusing display. There are now 29 activity groups for new members to take part in and we have a suggestion box if you would like to put any new ideas forward.

Music appreciation will now take place on the first Friday of each month from 10.00 to 12.00. Board Games, only two had signed up, so may not be worth continuing. Hand Chimes – which restarted on 3rd October at 10.00 to 11.30 – Short Tennis and Metal Detecting have revised start times, see Web site for timings.

Jane then introduced the speaker for this afternoon’s talk, Stewart Hearn, his subject “Living with Glass.”

Steward and his wife Catherine moved to their current premises in Chatteris some eight years ago, from London. Hence the name of their workshop “London Glassworks.” They have three employees, Stewart concentrates on the glass side of the business, while Catherine looks after ceramics. They sell their products both nationally and internationally. In 1983, Stewart trained at Sunderland polytechnic and it was here that he met his wife. He gained a B.A.(Hons) in 3D Design in Glass and Ceramics. After university, Stewart moved to Lindean Mill Glass, Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, as an assistant to David Kaplan and Annica Sandstrom, he made glass, sold glass and looked after the assistants! An interesting diversion was the filming of ‘Treasure Hunt’ starring Stewart and Anneka Rice which showed glass objects being made. This was free advertising!

A move to London in 1988, gave Stewart the chance to try the ‘English’ style of glassmaking and work with Simon Moore. He became workshop manager at Glassworks (London) Ltd. Differing techniques learnt and a chance to design his own work. He became self-employed in 1992 and was prepared to move around the country. To quote Stewart “Have blowing irons, will travel.”

In 1992 Stewart became a part-time lecturer (Hot Glass) at Buckingham College of Higher Education and two years later set up ‘First Glass Partnership’ with Bob Crooks, Clapham London. In 2000 Stewart became designer for Dansk International USA, and in 2002 set up the ‘London Glassworks’ partnership with Paul Devlin, Walthamstow, London. We were the shewn a series of Stewart’s own glassblowing, including oval bowls and decanters, the Saturn Plate with six colours blending, Strata Bowl, Rainbow Rim Jug and vases, Freedom Vases, Westmorland Lamps (after his mother-in-law), Rainbow in bottle and the Ely chandelier. One of his latest works are the Angel feathers which celebrate life, happiness or birth and this was on display on his table.

Stewart went on to say that the London Glassworks in Chatteris will be open to visitors on 7th and 8th December 2019 when ‘seconds’ will be on sale. Have a look at their website at www.londonglassworks.com for more details.

Jane then thanked Stewart and Catherine for a most interesting afternoon and then followed a question and answer session:

Q. Where do you buy coloured glass? A. Glass comes in different forms, solid rod or powder, which we buy from Germany and New Zealand.             Q. Can you name a technique that happened by luck? A. Yes, a vase fell on the floor and the handle bent to a different shape, which I then used as a new design.  Q. What happens to glass which is rejected? A. Clear glass is recycled, colours are shipped out. Q. Do you exhibit as a sculptor or glassmaker A. Glassmaker.

We then broke for coffee. tea and biscuits.U3A National Website

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Next Meeting

 The next general meeting will take place on Tuesday 12th November at the Community Centre, Stocking Fen Road, Ramsey, starting at 2.00pm. The subject will be “Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies,” the speaker Martin Lloyd.

And Finally

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


My computer suddenly started belting out “Someone Like You.” It’s a Dell.

Q. Why did the PowerPoint Presentation cross the road? A. To get to the other slide.