Author Archives: Webmaster

Message from our Chair

Our next monthly meeting is on Wednesday 13th May, 2022 and is our first with the new committee. Our guest speaker for May is Mike Newbold and he will be talking to us about his experiences as a TV extra.

Easter has now passed and with the arrival of Spring, hopefully dryer and warmer weather and possibly the chance to get away for a change. As mentioned above we have half the committee as newly elected and half being re-elected, I would like to bring them and their roles to your attention:

Myself – Melvyn Francis as Chair
Tina Holmes as Vice Chair/One off talks organiser
Mark Jackson as Business Secretary Beacon Administrator
Gary Holmes as Treasurer
Greg Umney as Membership Secretary
Angela Cornish as Webmaster
Sandra Green as Secretary
Diane Heenan as Speakers Secretary
Sue Tedstone as Groups Co-ordinator
Lynda Smeathers as Events Organiser
Elizabeth Attenborough as Equipment Manager
Christine Eagle as Committee Member

We must also mention Steve Lawrence who, whilst not on the committee, prepares our monthly newsletter and does a great job.

We have been most fortunate in keeping the majority of our members during the corona virus and have also had quite a few new members, which we are very thankful for. One reason we have done so well is having David Rose as our Chair during the past two years. He has worked very hard keeping things going and we must all be very grateful. Unfortunately he will be a very hard act to follow, but I/we will do our best.

If there are any interest groups that you are interested in, please don’t be afraid to ask somebody.

Finally take care, there is still a lot of covid out there, I know as I have just tested positive, so be careful.

Melvyn Francis, Chair

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All Aboard the Nottingham Tram

The Grumpy Old Men were out and about investigating the Nottingham Tram system recently, when they visited the HQ for the Tram at Wilkinson Street.

Head of Operations, Trevor Stocker, and his colleague Connor Hardy outlined the history of trams in Nottingham, explaining that the first new tram when the current network opened in 2004 was numbered 201, as it follows on from the last original Nottingham tram, numbered 200. It is believed that some track still exists on the original routes, although buried under a lot of later road surfacing.

On the day of our visit, the tram named Lord Byron was in the depot for overhaul, and there were a number of very heavy duty wheelsets awaiting attention. The system has some very tight corners and the wheels need regular re-profiling.

We then visited the Control room, where the entire system is operated from. Trams do not operate overnight, but the room is always staffed as the overhead power remains permanently live.

Finally, we found a handy tram stabled outside to pose for our group photo. We were told that this was the first group visit post-lockdown.

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Litter Picking Group

As usual, various public areas, roads and streets in the Hucknall, Papplewick and Annesley areas have been litter picked by the group in April. This has resulted in 20 bags of rubbish being correctly disposed of instead of being left to cause injury to wildlife and be an environmental eyesore.

Jim Spray is the winner of this month’s quirkiest find – a pair of ladies black lace knickers and a workman’s tool(?). Don’t ask!

Should anyone else wish to join the group or require further information please email me on

Val Gant

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History Group

The History Group always welcomes all U3A members. Our usual meeting place is Central Methodist Church: time 2pm – 4pm ish.

For the next indoor History Group meeting on Wednesday May 18th, 2022. I will do a presentation “Shopping Through the Years”. Come and see how shopping developed.

On April 20th the group visited Cromford Mill. The volunteers giving the guided tour were amazingly good and the Arkwright Experience was stunning. They sent a message to be passed on to say thank you for our attention during the tour.

At the next main meeting Kath and Kathy will be taking bookings for our much delayed visit to Doddington Hall on Wednesday June, 15th price £22. We leave Hucknall at 9.30am to get there for a tour of the house and leave Doddington at 4.00pm, returning to Hucknall at 5.30pm ish.

I have also contacted Kieran about the Bennerley Viaduct History tour as suggested at the meeting and he would like to know how many of us to expect. As I will be away Kath and Kathy will be taking names at the next main meeting on the 11th May for an afternoon visit; on 25th May; leaving Hucknall at 1.30pm and returning about 5pm.

Bye for now – Maureen

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April Social – Bestwood Male Voice Choir

A hundred members enjoyed a superb evening of music and laughter, including virtuoso solo performances by our very own, David Riley. The Choir’s repertoire was extraordinary, supported by another of our members, Roy Brown. The audience were also in full voice with flag waving and patriotic renditions of songs celebrating St George’s Day.

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