Ramsey and District U3A


Our Chairman welcomed members to the meeting, with a special welcome to new members and visitors, she hoped that we are all keeping up with New Year resolutions. Usual housekeeping notices were read, fire exits are marked, there is a defibrillator in the disabled toilet and a first aid kit in the kitchen.  For Health & Safety reasons it is required to join the chairs when there are more than 50 being used.  They cannot be staggered so hope everyone can see OK.  Chairs and tables for those less able will be put out in the foyer for when you are having your tea or coffee. Please make sure you look at the Notice Board in the foyer to see what events and group interests we have available for you all and hope you have considered new interest groups for your new year’s resolution.

The fixings for the hearing loop have been installed but following a power cut and a power surge, which affected the loop and the front door, the hall is awaiting complete checking of the electrical system.  Hopefully by next month it should be up and running.

We are beginning to consider our AGM and the committee for 2020/21.  We have three members who will be standing down so I would encourage members to very strongly consider joining the committee so you can help to formulate how your U3A will develop into the twenties.  We really do need members to step up and volunteer as we can’t operate without a committee.  If you would like more details of what is involved, please speak either to myself or a member of the committee.  A working knowledge of computers and the internet is necessary, but tuition can be given. 

We have maintained the subscription charges as per last year, if you are renewing, please consider bank transfer. Letters will be sent out towards the end of the month with renewal details, financial matters and committee volunteering slips.

On Friday 6th March Ramsey U3A will be hosting the Anglia Network meeting for this region.  My thanks to those Leaders who have agreed to display their group at this event.  U3As within the Anglia region will be talking of their own U3As experiences, good and bad, and what challenges they may face in the future.  All group leaders and members are welcome to attend. Our holiday for 2020 will be ‘Irish House Party’, 29th June to 3rd July price £535 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. Deposits need to be paid to Greatdays Travel. Day trip to the Houses of Parliament and River trip Saturday 18th April price reduced to £52 pp, we have 3 more places available, the pick-up time 8.00am. 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 add your name to the sign-up sheet.

The Groups Co-ordinator then said that the newly formed walking group, with shorter walked distances has proved popular with its first walk around Ramsey. A new group has been formed, Model Aeroplane and Railway Group. Sign-up sheets available in the foyer for interested members. The display this month was by the Table Tennis and Short Tennis groups.

Our speaker this month was Jon Crisp, he came to talk to us about recycling as he is part of the Amey waste education centre. The presentation was going to include audience participation by a show of hands and he hoped to show a film at the end of his talk. Amey process all of Cambridgeshire waste, their brief is to prevent landfill, recover metal/plastic and share recycle profits with the council. They have two composting halls where green waste can turn into compost in three weeks. This compost is resold to the public at £2.50 from recycling centres. Some clean waste can be burnt to produce electricity, ash can be used for road surfaces, railways and breeze blocks.

Our first quiz took place;

Q. How much waste was produced in the UK each year? A. 22 million tons!

Q. How many nappies in a lifetime? A. 6000.

Q. How many plastic bottles? A. 36 million.

Q. How many wheelie bins of food? A. 40 million.

Q. If an aluminium can is recycled, how long will a tv run? A. 3hours.

Q. Can you recycle metals and glass over and over? A. True

Each year, in the UK each household produces 400kg of waste. This is made up of 480 plastic bottles, 5 trees, 20 batteries, 1,000 food and drinks cans, 156 kg food waste and 500 glass bottles and Jars. We therefore need to recycle to save natural resources, avoid landfill, save energy and make new things.

We were then asked to guess how long items take to decompose; we were shocked to learn that:

A banana took one month, paper took 2months, socks took one year, cigarettes took 5 years, a steel can took 50 years, a nappy took 500 years, plastic took 1000 years and glass 1 million years.

We then took part in a sorting task using bean bags to simulate different wheelie bin inputs, for example:

Fruit/veg in green bin, electric kettle no bin, cling film in blue bin, Plastic toy no bin, plastic plant pot no bin, drinking glass in blue bin,  foil in blue bin, drinks cartons in blue bin, clothes no bin, black plastic and polystyrene in black bin.

Recycling differs between different councils, so what goes into each coloured wheelie bin can be different depending on where you live! A short Q and A session took place, which was due to be followed by a short film show, unfortunately the laptop would not load, so after a word of thanks from Jane, we broke for tea, coffee and biscuits!

U3A National Website

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Next Meeting

 Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday 10th March at the Community Centre, Stocking Fen Road, Ramsey, starting at 2.00pm. The speaker will be Mark Walsh – Entertainer – “Here’s a funny thing.”

And Finally

Ramsey Heritage Winter Talks (At the Ramsey library)

Thursday 5th March at 2.00pm talk by Rosie Vietch on “Life in the Fens.”

Thursday 5th March starting at 7.00pm a talk by Jane Sills on the Ramsey Walled Kitchen Garden.

Wednesday 11th March starting at 7.00pm a talk by Clive Beeke on the Ramsey Tunnels.

Tuesday 24th March starting at 7.00pm a talk by Martyn Smith on “Ramsey, Then & Now.”

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


A turtle is crossing the road when he’s mugged by two snails. When the police show up, they ask him what happened. The shaken turtle replies, “I don’t know. It all happened so fast.”

A skeleton walks into a bar. The bartender says, “What’ll you have?” The skeleton says, “I’ll have a beer and a mop.”