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South Woodham Ferrers

Quarterly Newsletter

Spring/Summer Edition

April Meeting of Cards & Games


Newsletter No 184


News From The Chair

Good day All

I hope everyone is keeping well.

As I said in my last address, Spring has really sprung now with gardens and woods brimming with colour.

Group activities are certainly increasing and those activities that involve travel have been proactive in making arrangements for getting ‘out’ again.

A couple of important events that are occurring soon are the Queen’s Jubilee Street Party and our annual general meeting.

Mary Brindley is showing a great deal of enthusiasm in the arrangements for the Queen’s Jubilee Street party and thanks to all who have booked their tickets for this event. Also thanks to Mary for her continued enthusiasm. We all look forward to the event.

The other event is our AGM in July. I will be reminding all members at the next meeting that we will be seeking nominations for the committee elections.

In my last address I mentioned the ‘mileage’ fee for those travelling in others’ cars. To save any confusion it is really up to the groups themselves to agree any recompense but the 45p a mile is purely a guide.

Our May 4th meeting will be reverting to Champion’s Manor Hall.

As always, thanks to all those that support activities and I’ve said the success of SWF U3A is down to you the members and the activities that you support.

Best regards

Ian Mathews



You will have noticed that the Newsletter button now takes you directly to the current newsletter and that we no longer include a link to the previous one. Newsletters are however archived and available should you wish to view them.

Bob Tyas


Social Committee News

Plans are now well under way for our Street Party on 1st June at Champions Manor Hall.

Although this is on our normal U3A meeting day please remember that it is strictly ticket only. No ticket, no entrance.

As you know by now there is a cake competition and the cakes will be judged by Phoebe of Phoebe’s Pantry at 1 pm before being cut up to serve. Please put your name on the bottom of the plate. There will be a prize for the winner.

The finger buffet will be served from 1pm at the tables, with tea, coffee or fruit juice. There will be a fun quiz on the seats for everyone to participate in if they wish. Just a bit of fun. After the buffet and before cake is served our Find your Voice choir will sing an anthem called Platinum. This was written by Jenny Dale and set to music by Shirley Masterson. We will then toast our Queen before cake is served.

Hopefully this will be a fun afternoon and please feel free to dress in patriotic attire if you wish.


Speakers for the Remainder of 2022


Jackie Lucas comes to explain the importance of Legal Power of Attorney.

June - In-House

Celebrating the Queens Platinum Jubilee.


Charlie Haylock is a Dialect coach who assisted on the film about the Anglo Saxon find at Sutton Hoo.


Kayla Conley reveals the Hidden Messages in Dreams.


Len Taphouse tells us about his time as an Apprentice Dockworker


Toni Neobard and Kate Broad present For Better or For Worse which shows us marriage and its pitfalls.


A volunteer will come with a canine helper to talk about the charity "Hearing Dogs for Deaf People".


Karen Kirby is bound to make us laugh with Anecdotes and Jokes she shares on Kirby Coach Trips.



Charity Event in Memory of Janice Tyas

Janice was a member of the u3a for many years and held several offices, including vice chair, chairman, and secretary. As you will know she sadly loss her fight against motor neuron disease in November 2021.

In her memory Jan's granddaughter will be hosting a quiz night on Saturday the 2nd July, which would have been her 78th birthday. It will be held at Champions Manor Hall and if you would like to attend more details can be found by following this link .  You may also book through Ceri using the email address below. All proceeds from the event will be donated to The Motor Neuron Disease Association,

Ceri Buer-Winyard (

Mileage Allowance

The Committee have agreed that if mileage allowance is being split between those sharing a car, it should be rated at 45p per mile, and divided equally between the occupancy.

Help For Ukraine

Thank you to all those donors who gave so generously on 6th April. This is the 3rd car load that has been delivered to Nataliya.  She is so grateful and overwhelmed by your kindness. 

The supplies should be well on their way to Poland and the Ukraine by now.

Thanks again.

Shirley Masterson 

The Queen's Jubilee

I'm sure we are all looking forward to the celebrations, especially our Street Party on 1st June.

A very special card containing a poem by Jenny Dale and music by Shirley Masterson has been sent to Her Majesty the Queen from South Woodham Ferrers U3A .

Find Your Voice choir will be performing the song "Platinum " at the party.

Shirley Masterson


Reports from Activity Groups


Games and Cards

We held our first get together on the 23rd March at SWF Village Hall, there were 13 members present. We have a selection of games  but it seems the favoured two at the moment are Rummikub and Sequence.

Sequence is a card game of strategy and we were lucky enough to have a member who brought it with her and showed others how to play. I think this might be the next one that we will need to purchase for the group.

Rummikub  is a numerical game of strategy, this did prove very popular, one member had never played before and actually went on to win.

Both games do get the little grey cells moving and there was a lot of laughter so with that and tea and biscuits it was  an enjoyable afternoon.

Other games we have include:




Cribbage to name but a few.

If anyone wishes to join us on the 4th Wednesday of each month then please give me a call on 01245 401015

Some of the players at our first meeting

Kay Miles



Local History

After a 2 year pause, we had our first group event on 12 April.  Stephen Nunn took us on a guided tour of Maldon, themed Maldon’s Founding Fathers.  We started at All Saints Church with a brief history of each of the 1907 external statues, which celebrate some of the key figures in the history of Maldon, from Saint Mellitus (624), through to Thomas Plume (1630 to 1704).  Not forgetting Edward Bright, ‘the fat man of Maldon’ too large for a statue at 42 stones, but there is a board about him in the grounds of the Church.  The legacy of these founding fathers can be seen in the Church building, the Moot Hall and Plume Library, all worth a visit in their own right.  Our tour took us from the High Street, down to The Hythe, past the Salt Works and back up Market Hill and Cromwell Hill, each with its own story and contribution to Maldon’s history.  It was a good afternoon, perfect weather and the perfect guide.

Our next 2 visits are in June and July, details below. If you are interested, please can you sign up at the May meeting or let me know, as we need to know numbers for both visits by the end of May.

Tuesday 14 June, The Guildhall, Finchingfield.

The cost for this is £13.50 which includes a talk on the history of the Guildhall, tea and cake and entry to the museum.  This is an afternoon visit, meet at 1.50 for a 2pm start

Tuesday 12 July, Flatford Mill, Dedham.

The cost of this is £3.50, refreshments are not included but are available at Flatford Mill. This is an afternoon visit, meet at 1.50 for a 2pm start.

Kate Smith, Mary and Allen


London Theatre - May Report

Grease - Thurs Mat - 16th June - 8+ £45.00, 20+ £35.00    Tickets will be circulated in May.  All tickets are now sold and refunds made.

Witness for the Prosecution - Thurs Mat - 5th May - 8+ £42.50  Tickets are now circulated.

My Fair Lady - Thurs Mat - 21st July - 10+ £55.00.  Tickets are booked and will be available nearer the date.

Cinderella - Wed Mat - 12th or 19th October -10+ £49.50 - 20+ £39.50. Please note revised dates - A new list is out so please add your name or let me know if you wish to be included and indicate which dates you are available and I’ll make a booking for the most popular date after the meeting.

& Juliet - Thurs Mat - August or November -10+ £45.00, 20+ £37.50.  Now extended until 15th December ‘22.  A board is out for interest so please add your name and indicate which month you would be available I’ll look at a date if there are sufficient numbers.

The Choir of Man - Fri Mat - 10+ £22 - The Arts Theatre - A friend has been twice and says it's like no other performance. Critic quote "the best night in your local you've ever had. It's a party, it's a lock in like no other. Featuring breath-taking reinventions of chart topping hits from artists including Guns 'N' Roses, Fun!, Adele, Avicii, Paul Simon, Sia and many more. THE CHOIR OF MAN has something for everyone". I'll have a board out for interest.



London Walks

It is so good to be starting London Walks again after a full two years of pandemic. In fact I am actually writing this on the train after our first walk which was Riches to Rags Spitalfields and centred around the Huguenots the French Protestant immigrants from the sixteenth and seventeenth century who fled from the French Catholic government fearing persecution and violence. They were master weavers and expert silk workers which in time led to great wealth for some and in the very least, employment for others.

Our next walk in May is Musical Covent Garden and in June it is the walk along the Regents Canal from Mile End to Limehouse. July is Trafalgar Square in focus. Please note that as June is the Street Party Ann and I will need to take names for these walks at the May meeting.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon.


Paint and Pastels

The Paint and Pastels Art Group meets on the 2nd Monday of the month between 10.00 and 12.00 in the morning. We like to have a theme or topic for our meetings but members are welcome to bring along their own projects to work on alongside that.

Recent topics / exercises include:

·         Drawing or painting from an upside down photograph

·         Blind Contour drawing

·         Drawing your own hand

·         Tonal Values

Using an upside down photograph encourages you to closely observe the subject that you are working from as the shapes will be unfamiliar. If you are drawing a familiar subject there is a tendency to draw what you think something should look like rather than what is actually in front of you.

Blind contour drawing is a drawing exercise, where an artist draws the outline of a subject without looking at the paper. The idea, again, is to encourage close observation. It is said that when drawing, an artist should spend 90% of the time looking at the subject and 10% at the drawing but it can easily be the other way round.

Tonal Values are all about lights and darks and are an important aspect of picture making.

Themes under consideration for the coming months include:

·         Acrylics

·         Working outdoors

·         Working large

·         Portraits /  Figure Drawing

·         Abstract painting


Below are three examples of work produced by group members. The first is an example of an 'upside down' painting using acrylics on board. The second is an exercise in tonal values where the artist has drawn the orange and lemon with pencil first looking at dark and light then painted them in watercolour using the opposite colour on the colour wheel to mix the darker tones. The third is still life.

An 'Upside Down' Painting

Exercise in Tonal Values

Still Life

Chris MIles


Pics & Bricks

Pics and Bricks is an Art and Architecture appreciation group and as such we arrange visits to places with an artistic or architectural interest.

We have two remaining trips planned for this summer that we are now taking bookings for. If you are interested in booking you can come to our table at the monthly meeting on the 4th of May or can contact Chris on or 07946 024302. If you are new to the u3a and would just like to have a chat about what we do we will be pleased to see you at our table.

Copford Church - Tuesday 26th July (2:30pm)

St. Michael & All Angels church is ranked in the top 100 by Simon Jenkins in his book 'England's Thousand best Churches' and described by Pevsner as the most remarkable Norman Parish Church in the County. It is interesting architecturally and has a pretty woodland setting beside the village cricket pitch but the remarkable Norman wall paintings are the real attraction. It is located five minutes off the A12 just south of Colchester. You can Google to see example of the wall paintings.

The plan is for an afternoon visit (2:30pm meet) with a tour inside and out followed by tea / coffee and cake. The cost per person will be £5.00. Any cash donations will be welcome on the day if you would like to support the church.

Turner Collection of Paintings at Tate Britain - Tuesday 23rd August (11.00am)

We have booked this guided tour of Tate Britain's Turner Collection with Simon Whitehouse who has treated us to some amazing gallery tours in the past. Turner was an English Romantic painter and printmaker and is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent, often violent, marine paintings. Depending upon numbers the price per person to cover the cost of the guide is estimated to be in the range of £12.00 - £15.00

Chris Miles & Roy Brindley


Tenpin Bowling

We have had a very enjoyable time at Madison Heights so far this year. Several new members have joined us and we have become a great, supportive team. I purchased a new bowling ball, well, second hand in fact, in an effort to improve my somewhat meagre scores and it really did make a difference. This appears to have rubbed off on some members as a few of our number have gone on to purchase new bowling balls, shoes and bags - my husband included! Five of us also had a very quick lesson at the bowling centre in Collier Row. What a revelation! Especially for me as I was told that I have been bowling with the wrong foot forward all this time! It just goes to show that we can all learn no matter how old we are. As everyone has been so supportive of the group over the last few months, I decided to make hot cross buns for everyone on our meet on Good Friday morning as a treat. I was going to take a picture of the whole group, with me holding the entire tray of buns. However, they disappeared very quickly and the picture shows the only three left after we all had our fill! Never mind, just shows how hungry you get after two games of bowling! Just one final thing to add - because of the popularity of the group, I am having to decline any new members at the moment as I cannot get any more than three lanes booked each week. However, if you do feel that you may like to give it a go in the future, please feel free to contact me and I will let you know if and when we have any spaces. Best wishes, Diane Hurrell Contact details: please call me on 07969012451

Hot Cross Bun Break

Diane Hurrell


Walking Group

The walking group are a very friendly group who meet on the first and third Friday of the month and are always happy to welcome new members. Walks start at 10.00 and range in length from 5 to 7 miles. The terrain we walk is varied so walking boots are recommended. If you are interested in joining please feel free to contact me on 07889949685 or .

We have a website with more information about the group. It also includes details of the current walks, a schedule listing the years walk programme and a catalogue of most of the walk we undertake. You can access it by taking this link

Programme of Walks for the next three months follows below - all walks start at 10.00.

May Walks

Friday 6th - Goldhanger and Blackwater Walk - 6.5 miles - meet in Chequers Inn car park in Goldhanger.

Friday 20th - Paper Mill Lock Circular Walk - 6 miles - meet in The General Arms Public House car park in Little Baddow.

June Walks

Friday 3rd - Danbury Circular Walk - 7 miles - meet in Mayes Lane car park in Danbury.

Friday 17th - River Crouch/Stow Maries Walk - 6 mile - meet in Compass Gardens car park.

July Walks

Friday 1st - Bicknacre/Cock Clarkes Walk - 6.5 miles - meet in sport field car park adjacent to Bicknacre School

Friday 15th - South Woodham Ferrers/Stow Maries Aerodrome Walk - 6 miles - meet in Compass Gardens car park

Purleigh walk on a beautiful Friday in April

Bob Tyas


Wine Appreciation Group 3

Well we were a little thin on the ground for our Friday meeting this month, but still managed to have a great afternoon tasting some of the wines on offer from Majestic Wine. These were all wines currently on promotion and rated  in their reviews with 90 plus scores. I have to say we didn’t always agree with the reviews, but that is part of the fun and enjoyment. We always taste three white wines and three reds sometimes a single varietals, other times blends.

In recent months we’ve been exploring Australia, concentrating on a single vineyard each time  and tasting from their range  with some interesting wines on offer.

As  well as tasting our wines and chatting about how good or indifferent we find them,  we all very much enjoy the social aspect of our group and there is a lot of conversation, laughter and fun.

At Christmas we were very brave and had a wonderful meal once again at The Lion in Broomfield. We were all a little cautious given the proximity to the big day, but all was well.

Our group is currently full, but that doesn’t mean someone couldn’t start another group. Goodness me 4 wine groups??? We’ll get a bad reputation!

 Brian and Sheila



Groups Monthly Programme


Day of the Month   Weeksof the Month
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Monday AM Golfing Group
Book Group 1
Golfing Group
Paint & Pastels Art Group
Golfing Group
Singles Social &
Golfing Group
PM Book Group 2 Gardening  
Drawing Group
Tuesday AM        
PM Gin Appreciation
Local History
Tai Chi
  Pics & Bricks (Art & Architecture)
Tai Chi
Wednesday AM   Find Your Voice London Walks 1  
PM Monthly Meeting All Kinds of Music   Cards & Games forFun
Thursday AM Craft
Science & Technology
  Craft London Walks 2
PM   French    
Friday AM Walking Group
Bowling Walking
PM   Wine Appreciation
Groups 1, 2 & 3
Theatre as Arranged, Curry Clique 2nd Wednesday of odd months


Useful Links

Crouch Valley U3A -  

National U3A -


Deadline for Inclusion in Next Newsletter

Please send your contributions to the next Newsletter by Wednesday 20th July,  to Bob Tyas at or deliver to 55 Clements Green Lane, SWF. Alternatively you can ring him on 01245 321110.

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