This Page contains Photographs taken of Group activities in 2019
Visit to the Guide Dogs Breeding Centre
On Tuesday 13th August 27 U3A members accompanied by 10 grandchildren visited the Guide Dogs for the Blind's national breeding centre at Bishops Tachbrook near Leamington. Our members were given a brief introduction about the very modern, state of the art facility that was opened on 2011. We were split up into small groups and toured the site with a guide. We learnt a lots of facts and figures about the breeding programme. The facility has the capacity for 1500 puppies a year. Since the centre opened they have bred 11,000 puppies.
When a bitch comes into season (approximately every 7 months) she will be brought into the breeding centre for mating. Extensive research is carried out to select an appropriate stud dog and this is married to the bitch with reference to her own qualities. At approximately 4-5 weeks post mating, the bitches are checked for pregnancy using an ultrasound scanner and to determine the number of pups expected. The average gestation period is 63 days and the average litter size seems to be on the rise, currently at 7.6.
Guide Dogs has a Breeding Code of Ethics which outlines its ethical standpoint relating to breeding practices and emphasises their commitment to the Health and Welfare of all the Breeding Stock.
For more information about the breeding programme Click here for details from the Guide Dogs website
Puppies below 6 weeks Puppies at play outdoors
Exiting the Sensory tunnel Dog in the whelping unit awaiting birth
Members had the opportunity
to sense what is like to be blind
Recently born puppies Demonstration of the different harnesses
Visit to the Police Lock up Birmingham
On Thursday 11th July 25 members visited the Police Lock up in Steelhouse Lane Birmingham. We were given a talk by Inspector Steve Rice about the history of policing in Birmingham from the 1800's to more recent times including the history of the Police lock up now a Grade II listed building. The Lock up is gradually being turned into a museum. We were shown several items of Police equipment used over the years.
We also learnt that in 1839 Birmingham did not have a regular police force, with local magistrates having to call for help from the Metropolitan Police when rioting broke out in the summer of 1839. A contingency of 100 officers arrived and were sworn in as special constables to help stop the disturbances. As a result of the violence, an Act of Parliament was passed, allowing the city to set up its own police force and appoint a chief commissioner, who could then recruit a sufficient number of ‘fit and able men’ as constables.
On 1 September 1839 local barrister Francis Burgess was appointed as the first police commissioner for Birmingham, and on 20 November, Birmingham City Police was born. The force had just 260 men, who were paid 17 shillings a week, (which in today’s money is £37) and the strength of the force grew in relation to the city. The police Lock up was built soon after to hold prisoners from Birmingham including the Peaky Blinders. Also for Prisoners going on trial at the adjacent Victorian Magistrates court with a tunnel linking the two. After the talk we were able to look around the three floors of the prison.
Out and About Visit to Gurdwara Guru Nanak Parkash in Coventry
On Thursday 13th June 16 U3A members visited the GGNP Sikh Temple in Coventry. We were welcomed by Jatinder Singh, Strategy and Governance Officer who was our guide.
The group were given a tour of the three floors of the Gurdwara. We were privileged to witness the main prayer room were members of the temple were seated listening to readings from Sikh Scripture (Holy Book) Guru Granth Sahib. On the third floor Jatinder explained in detail the features of the prayer rooms and the symbols of the faith including some of the musical instruments used in ceremonies.
On the ground floor is the Langar the community kitchen where a free meal is served to all the visitors, without distinction of religion, caste, gender, economic status or ethnicity. The meal is always vegetarian. The Languar and the temple are open from 04:00 to 21:00 every day of the year. We each ate a meal in this kitchen.
Following the meal we went to one of the side rooms and our guide explained in detail about the Sikh faith and what a person does to follow the faith including the 5 K’s which identifies a Sikh. The five items that they are supposed to wear or carry as symbols of their faith. These are: the kangha, a comb, the kara, a steel bangle, the kesh, beard and uncut hair (covered by a turban), the kirpan, a short sword, and the kuccha, short baggy under trousers.
Our members were very impressed with the warmth of welcome we received and the friendliness of all the people we met. We have been invited to return for another visit whenever we want to.
Linda White, Jean Danher with Jatinder Singh Linda White, Jean Danher and Narinder Khatra
Visit to Lord Leycester Hospital and St Marys Church
On Thursday 11th April 24 members of the U3A visited the Lord Leycester Hospital in the morning and the Collegiate Church of St Mary's Warwick in the afternoon . They were given a guided tour of each establishment.
Photographs by Alan Cross and Peter Calver
Lord Leycester Hospital Warwick
The Hospital is a historic group of medieval timber-framed buildings on Warwick High Street dating mainly from the late 14th Century. Of historic significance, they represent one of the finest examples in Britain of medieval courtyard architecture. Clustered round the Norman gateway into the town, the 12th Century Chantry Chapel sits above it. For nearly 200 years this site was home to Warwick’s medieval Guilds.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I the buildings became, under the patronage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a place of retirement for old warriors who had fought in the Elizabethan era wars. These soldiers are known to this day as the Brethren and with the Master, still live within the walls of the building. Master and Brethren are a living legacy of almost 450 years of history. Every morning they meet in the Chapel and pray together the words written by their founder Robert Dudley.
In the Courtyard
Listening to details of the Masters Garden
In the Afternoon the Group moved to St Mary's Church and again enjoyed a guided tour
The church enshrines much of the history of England, and has great architectural beauty and significance. It is a home of prayer and worship, with a strong musical tradition.
St Mary’s was founded on its present site in 1123 by Roger de Newburgh, the Earl of Warwick.
The glorious Beauchamp Chapel was built in the Fifteenth Century to house the tomb of Richard Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick and one of the richest and most powerful people in the history of our country.
It is a magnificent example of the European ecclesiastical architecture of its time, and ranks as one of this country’s greatest treasures. The Chapel also houses the tombs of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, his brother Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and Robert’s son, the “Noble Impe"
The Chancel, Vestry and Chapter House were rebuilt in the Fourteenth Century by Thomas Beauchamp, and this section of the building represents one of the highest peaks of English Gothic architecture. The tomb of Thomas Beauchamp stands in front of the high altar; the tiny figures around its base give a fine depiction of Fourteenth Century English fashion. Fulke Greville's enigmatic monument takes up most of the Chapter House.
The Nave and Tower were destroyed in the great fire of Warwick in 1694, and rebuilt by 1704 by the brothers Francis and William Smith, builder architects of Warwick.
The chapel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Royal Regiment of Fusiliers) occupies the North Transept.
Sitting in the April Sunshine waiting for the tour to start.
Medieval Ducking Stool The Altar
In the Beauchamp Chapel
On March 14th 20 members visited the MAD museum in Stratford upon Avon.
Please note: Photographs of the Ramblers Group Walks will be in chronological order with the most recent walk at the top. Links Video Clips taken on the walks will be included as available
Wednesday 20th November saw 25 Ramblers meet at the Fleur-de-Lys Pub in Lowsonford for a walk led by Alan Buckland, taking in Yarningdale Common, Preston Bagot Church and returning by Coppice Corner Farm. It was a bright winters day of about 5 Degs. Very muddy underfoot following heavy rains during the last week and several stiles did not put off the hardy walkers.
On Tuesday 5th November 28 members met at the Black Boy pub and led by Richard Glynn walked for 4.5 miles in the local area. The weather was damp and ground muddy in places.
Wednesday 16th October 20 ramblers met at the Navigation Inn, Wootton Wawen and did a 6 mile challenging walk across the local countryside. Although dry and mild on the day the walk followed a period of heavy rain therefore there was a fair bit of mud and water to walk through. The walk was led by Geoff Kennedy.
Wednesday 18th September about 20 Walkers met at The Varsity Pub and led by Richard Drake walked around the Warwick University Campus. The photograph below was taken by Jim Henry.
Wednesday 21 August 25 members met and the Kings Head, Aston Cantlow on a pleasant summers day. The were led by Geoff Kennedy on a 5 mile walk through the Warwickshire countryside.
Tuesday 6th August 24 met at the Kings Head Wellesbourne an enjoyed a 5.5 mile walk across to Charlecote and return alongside the River Dene. They we led by Lin White and Angela Watkinson.
Wednesday17th 35 members of the Ramblers Group met at The Tipperary pub in Honiley and on a warm summers day enjoyed a 4.5 mile ramble in the Warwickshire countryside led by Lynda and Paul Moore..
Wednesday 19th June 10 walkers met at the Red Lion Earlswood for a 6 mile walk, led by Alan Buckland. The walk went alongside the Lake before going across the Fulford Heath Golf course towards Wythal before returning via Tanners Green and Foreshaw Heath. The weather forecast for the morning was rain but the rain did not materialise so the ramblers enjoyed a good mornings exercise.
Tuesday 4th June 25 walkers met at the Navigation Inn, Lapworth. The weather forecast was not good - drizzle would continue all morning. The forecast was wrong it was warm and dry if not slightly overcast morning. The ramblers were led by Peter Whalley and enjoyed a 5 mile walk across to Rowington and returned via Baddersley Clinton.
Wednesday 15th June over 25 Ramblers met at the Elm Bank Allesley and walked across Allesley Park and Coundon Wedge in glorious sunshine. The walkers were led by Sandra Heard and Frances Critoph.
Wednesday 17th April 35 Ramblers met at the Fleur de Lys pub in Lowsonford. Led by Fran and Ian Lester they walked along the Stratford Canal towards Lapworth before crossing to the Grand Union and walking towards Rowington before crossing fields to return to Lowsonford.
Wednesday 20th February 2019 Lynn and Tony Brinkworth led 30 walkers from The Griffin Inn, Church End on a circular ramble around the Shustoke Reservoir.
(Apologies for the quality of the Shustoke Photographs but there was a mark on the camera lens - now removed)
Tuesday 5th February 2019 over 30 members met at he White Horse - Hawkesmill Lane, Coundon for a walk around the Coundon Wedge and through Allesley Village. The walk was lead by Jim Henry and the weather was cold, dry but overcast.
The members of the U3A were entertained by U3A Swing Division at the March Core Meeting. The band is made up of members from 11 different U3A's within the West Midlands.
The following photographs were taken by Alan Cross.
Ian Morrey arranged a one off Walking Cricket game on 17th August. 10 U3A members enjoyed an afternoon playing cricket.
The equipment was loaned by Berkswell CC for which the U3A is grateful