Never too late to learn!

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On Wednesday 9th July, the History group and friends (23 people in all) visited Newstead Abbey, twelve miles north of Nottingham. At one time it was the home of the poet, Lord Byron. It is now owned by Nottingham City Council.

We arrived by car share from 11.15 -12.00 and had a cup of coffee in the cafe or went for a stroll in the lovely grounds. At 12.30 we had a delicious lunch in our own private dining room.

At 1.30 our guide, David, came to take us on the tour of the abbey (actually a priory) and he gave us a most informative and interesting talk lasting just over an hour. By the end of it we all knew that amongst many other things, Lord Byron was a bit of a cad!

We then had time to look round the grounds and have a group photo before returning home after an excellent day out. Thanks to Hugh Sharp for organising this!

Pictures can be viewed on the Gallery page of the website.

Castle Bromwich U3A have a trip to Trentham Gardens on the 19th June at a cost of £17. If you are interested contact Glenis Readett (telno. 0121 747 6755).

They are also planning a trip to Salford  Quays to visit the Lowry and Imperial War Museum North. Possible date midweek in mid September. If you are interested contact tmdavey@btinternet.com

Our last two Saturday morning walks have taken us out in very different Warwickshire terrain with spring sunshine showing up the best of both town and country.

Eleven of us were out on  Saturday 29th March on a 5 mile walk which took us from the picturesque ruins of Hartshill Castle up to the viewpoint at the top of Hartshill Hayes, from which we could see Atherstone and the Anker valley spread out before us.  We went down again skirting the woods of Hartshill  to the canal bank and across fields and country lanes towards Caldecote.  It was a delightful day for a walk, in full spring sunshine with crops and hedges coming into fresh spring growth and a bevy of  catkins towards the end of the walk making the final stretch back uphill to Hartshill seem very worthwhile.

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Out and about in Hartshill

On Saturday 12th April, Julie Chiswick took the group out on a guided walk around the Warwickshire town of Kenilworth.   There is clearly much to see in this picturesque borough, with its castle, abbey church, historical buildings and windmill (or is it a water tower?), but what really amazed us was the amount of green walking space in the town as we crossed the local nature reserve, Parliament Piece and the extensive Abbey Fields, and looked out across the ‘Pleasaunce’ in the castle grounds.  This was a great walk for interest, variety  and views – many thanks Julie!

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Kenilworth Castle

Coleshill and District’s U3A Walking Group usually meets on the second and fourth Saturday mornings of the month.  Our routes take us over 5 miles approximately and are on easy or moderate terrain.  If you’d like to join us please contact susanshaw@DSL.pipex.com.

Our next walk will be on Saturday 26th April and will be our annual blue bell woods walk in the local area.

Spring at last!  Our walk on Saturday 8th March took us on a 5 mile stroll around Draycote Water – a Severn-Trent reservoir to the south west of Coventry.  Barbara and Geoff Durrant had chosen this route because the made- up pathways around the reservoir removed any possibility of being caught out by the last vestiges of the winter’s mud, and we were able to keep up a good pace.  The scenery was delightful – this reservoir, although man-made, has really settled into the local countryside. We gazed from reedy banks at teeming water birds, and across sparkling water where fishermen were casting their lines in the morning sun.   It was a delight to be out on this walk – thank you to Geoff and Barbara for sorting out the arrangements.

Draycote Water

Draycote Water

We usually walk on the 2nd and 4th Saturday mornings of each month.  Walks are 4-6 miles in length across relatively easy terrain.  Our routes are local or within a 40 minute drive of Coleshill – car share is often possible.  Please contact susanshaw@DSL.pipex.com if you would like to come out on one of our walks.

 

Walk diary for March/April:

Saturday 29th March: 5 mile walk in Hartshill area – woodland, green lanes and canal towpath.

Saturday 12th April: 5 mile walk in Kenilworth area.  The route goes through the centre of Kenilworth with interesting buildings, Parliament Piece – a large open space supposedly dating back to Henry 111 – a walk past allotments and through woodland known as Kenilworth Common and then finishing in the large park, Abbey Fields.

Saturday 26th April: Should be a good date for a bluebell walk.

                       Rivers of London The Black Hills  The Boy with the Top KnotToday Everything Changed The Perfect Murder

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

This ‘urban fantasy’ has a story line which offers something really new – a detailed police investigation with the help of magic!  The plot enthralled our U3A reader  and it is highly recommended for folk in our age range looking for something different… also for younger adult readers who have enjoyed  the Harry Potter fantasies,  Charmed, etc.

 

The Black Hills by Norah Roberts

This book was enjoyed by two of our U3A readers, although we feel that it was written  for a readership of younger women – both  older teenagers and adults.  Beginning with a childhood romance in South Dakota,  we follow the couple – Lil and Coop – through into adulthood.  They can handle the natural dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of their homeland, but  are about to face a killer with very unnatural instincts who regards them as prey.

 

The Boy with the Top Knot by Sathnam Sanghera

This story of an immigrant family’s settlement in Wolverhampton in the 1970 ‘s will have its readers laughing along with the ‘tongue in cheek’ humour of its narrator, Sathnam Sanghera  Sathnam’s life, and that of his family, is far from easy, however, and you may well shed some tears before you turn the final page.  A book suitable for any adult reader – but particularly for those who would enjoy a nostalgic look at family life in the 1970’s.

. . . and finally two books from the ‘Quick Reads’ series, longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, for readers who don’t like to be tied down for too long!

 

Today Everything Changes by Andy McNab

Andy McNab’s autobiography is engagingly written and covers the writer’s difficult childhood in South London, his  national service and his time in the Army Education Centre, which for him changes everything.

 

The Perfect Murder by Peter James

Victor Smiley and his wife Joan are both planning to murder one another – but which one of them will mastermind ‘the perfect murder’?

The library has plenty of ‘Quick Reads’ titles to go on to, for readers who enjoy these two recommendations.

March 3rd 2014 1:00pm: Hot Cross Bun Class at the Landgirls Cookery School.

If you are interested the cost is £15.

Pay on the day.

The weather reports are full of floods and gales, but our walk on Saturday, 8th February gave us some sunshine and for part of the morning at least it felt like spring.  We walked a 5 mile linear path from the old Alder Watermill in Atherstone, along lanes and the canal towpath and eventually through to Baxterley where we had lunch at The Rose Inn with its pretty village duck pond.

We were trying to avoid crossing farmland because of mud and possible flooding caused by the recent heavy rainfall, but when we did venture out onto the field borders it was wind rather than water which caught us out as we found ourselves pitched against a strong south-westerly which certainly flattened out the wrinkles! All in all, though, it was a very good morning out in the countryside and we look forward to our next opportunity to get out and about.

We usually walk on the second and fourth Saturday mornings of each month.  Walks are 4-6 miles in length across relatively easy terrain.  Our routes are local or within a 40 minute drive of Coleshill – car share is often possible.  Please contact susanshaw@DSL.pipex.com if you would like to come out on one of our walks.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and our walking group certainly found one last Saturday (25th January) when the day gave us some fair weather between storms and we were able to get out and about on a 4 mile walk in the Market Bosworth/Shenton area in Leicestershire. This pretty walk took us across Bosworth Battlefield to the Battlefield Church, and back along the lanes, canal bank and disused railway cutting to Shenton Station.  There was certainly evidence of the heavy rains with paths cut off by flooding, waterways ‘in full spate’ and mud underfoot, but it was great to be out again in the fresh air after so much wet weather and great to meet friends old and new for a good chat.

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If you’d like to join us for a pleasant country walk (anything from 4 – 6 miles) on routes which are relatively easy, please contact Susan Shaw susanshaw@DSL.pipex.com.  We walk on the second and fourth Saturday mornings of the month – next scheduled walk date  Saturday, 8th February 2014.