Ramsey and District u3a


Our Chairman, Jane, welcomed members old and new and visitors to our first meeting since 10th March 2020. 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. We would like to thank our members who have kept in touch during the pandemic using Zoom or Facebook.

This year we celebrate our 10th anniversary, with many thanks to June Welton, who formed our u3a all those years ago on 20th April 2011. Some 70 people attended that inaugural meeting and a steering group was formed. The first chairman was Pat Taylor, followed by John Austin, Enid Hubbard, Sheila Gilbert-Hill and Jane Cusworth.

The committee have agreed that in future, no membership cards will be issued. However, if you need one as proof of membership as for another u3a that you wish to join, then please contact Bruce McDowell.

Our R&D website is up and running, please consult it, have a look at the calendar to see when your favourite group is next meeting!

Pat Taylor who has been our Welfare Officer for many years, has decided to hand over that role to Fran Holland. Liz Elmore has been persuaded to join the committee as speaker organiser, keeping the role youthful and vibrant.

Our holiday for 2021 will be to Harrogate and the North Yorkshire Moors. In 2022 our holiday will be ‘Irish House Party’, 27th June to 1st July, reconvened from 2020. We hope to resume our day trips in 2022 to the Houses of Parliament and Thames River cruise, Hampton Court Palace and finally, Peckover House and Elgoods brewery.

The Groups Co-ordinator then read out the Group news for this month. Most groups were available, but it was sad to report that ‘weight loss support’ would no longer be available. Currently, the walking group are not listed, but Maureen would try and contact the leaders to set it up again. She was pleased to introduce two new groups, Wood turning and Mah-Jong, sign- up sheets are in the foyer.

It has been suggested that a support group be set up to give help and assistance to those suffering from long term illnesses. Sheila Gilbert-Hill has agreed to run this totally confidential group once a month – if you feel that it would be something that would be helpful, please get in touch with her in the first instance.  

Jane then introduced the speaker for this afternoon’s talk, our own historical expert Tony Tailor-Neale. Tony’s subject “Fighting Liners,” – the “Battle of Trinidada.

German auxiliary cruiser Cap Trafalgar, ex-passenger ship, pride of the Hamburg South America line. The German ship commissioned in South Atlantic with 2-4.1in guns and 6 pom-poms from gunboat Eber, sailing from German South-West Africa.

Carmania, Admiralty armed merchant cruiser, ex-passenger ship, 19,524 tons, built in 1905, Cunard Steam Ship Co, Liverpool, rerigged with 8-4.7in guns, Royal Navy Capt. N Grant, in command, on the South American Station, taking part in southerly sweep for German raiders, coming down from NE at 16kts to examine Trinidada Island.

Carmania discovered Cap Trafalgar, loading coal from two colliers. The German ship then made off southwards while the colliers dispersed, but then turned west and began to close at 18kts, range down to 8,500yds by 1210, Carmania fired a shot across her bows, Cap Trafalgar replied, and when only 7,500yds apart both ships opened rapid accurate fire. Range continued to shorten until Cap Trafalgar could use short-range pom-poms, Carmania turned away full circle until she was chasing Cap Trafalgar, at which time her own bridge was on fire, but Cap Trafalgar was also on fire forward with a slight list. As a stern chase developed Cap Trafalgar gently pulled away and by 1330 was out of range, but the fire was gaining and list increasing, lifeboats were lowered, but fifteen minutes later she capsized and sank. Survivors were picked up by the two colliers.

Carmania was severely damaged with five holes on the water line and fore bridges destroyed, the fires came under control, and she made for Abrolhos Rocks, she was met next afternoon, in response to her SOS, by light cruiser Bristol which stood by until arrival of the armoured cruiser Cornwall; six men killed, twenty-six wounded.

This tale tells of the only battle between two liners at sea. In recognition of the action, which featured broadsides that Admiral Lord Nelson could have ordered, the Navy League awarded Carmania the Nelson Silver plate, her crew awarded the prize of £2115 each.

Jane then thanked Tony for an informative and thrilling talk. June Welton then said a few words about the R&D u3a 10th anniversary, the committee past and present posed for photos and we then broke for tea, coffee and cake.

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Next Meeting

 The next general meeting will take place on Tuesday 19th October at the Community Centre, Stocking Fen Road, Ramsey, starting at 2.00pm. The subject will be “The Yanks are coming” and the speaker is Lynda Scoles.

And Finally

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


How do you know when you are old? People call at 9pm and ask, “Did I wake you?”

You are not old until a teenager describes you as middle aged.

I don’t care what you think you are good at, there’s a 7-year-old kid on YouTube doing it better.