Category Archives: General News/Events

General news from Hucknall U3A including announcements and events

And Finally ….

Just be careful, because people are going crazy from being in lock-down! Actually, I’ve just been talking about this with the microwave and toaster while drinking tea and we all agreed that things are getting bad. I didn’t mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on everything. Certainly not to the fridge, as he is acting cold and distant. In the end the iron straightened me out as she said everything will be fine; no situation is too pressing. The vacuum was very unsympathetic… told me to just suck it up, but the fan was more optimistic and hoped it would all soon blow over! The toilet looked a bit flushed when I asked its opinion and didn’t say anything but the door knob told me to get a grip. The front door said I was unhinged and so the curtains told me to ……..yes, you guessed it …..pull myself together

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High Streets Project

The monthly U3A National newsletters have loads of information about projects which are in progress either locally or across the country, and in fact I find that it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees at the moment. However, a few months ago I spotted the national ‘High Streets’ project, right at the end of a very long newsletter.

This is a project which aims to look at High Streets before and after Covid-19. The project was proposed before the first lockdown by a member of the U3A National Research Network, whose former career was in retail. The basic plan is to compare today’s, and tomorrow’s High Streets with those of the past.

I expect that a lot of Hucknall U3A members will remember how our High Street used to look. My recollections go back 40 years, and no doubt many members can go back well before that. How the High Street will look in the future is probably anyone’s guess, but we can be certain that 2020 will cause many changes – will Amazon take over completely, or will local shops (especially food-related) prosper? Will all the estate agents disappear online, and will we still drink as much coffee? Will lots of shop units have been converted to housing?

In the temporary absence of our Easy Wheelers and Pickleball groups, I’ve been trying to keep up the exercise, so this looked like an opportunity to at least do some walking. I volunteered to survey Hucknall High Street pedestrianized section, and the end of September found me walking up and down photographing and taking notes of all the shops and offices.

Nationally, 533 U3A members took part, and a total of almost 9,500 premises have been surveyed, out of around 20,000 nationally. The next job is to compile a massive combined database (any volunteers?) and preliminary findings will go to the Third Age Trust December board meeting. The plan is to develop local projects during 2021, Covid permitting, then revisit all the individual High Streets in 18 months’ time to see how things have changed.

John Tedstone

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And Finally …………

And People Stayed Home by Catherine M. O’Meara

And the people stayed home.
And read books,
and listened,
and rested,
and exercised,
and made art,
and played games,
and learned new ways of being,
and were still.
And listened more deeply. Some meditated,
some prayed,
some danced.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence
of people living in ignorant, dangerous,
mindless, and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed,
and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses, and made
new choices, and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal
the earth fully, as they had been healed.

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Haggis Sales and Recipes

For more details on Haggis sales and recipes, please click the link below:-

Haggis Sales & Recipes v1 (1)

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Personal Research by Albert Briggs

Some personal research prompted by memories of a childhood visit to RAF Scampton, Licolnshire. In the late 1950’s my dad took me to RAF Scampton, just outside Lincoln. Him being from Lincoln with five brothers and a sister. He was drafted into the RAF into what he always called “The Last Lot”.

There were two large hangers just inside the main gate; (This being the home of 617 Squadron {The Dambusters} that used Barnes Wallace’s Bouncing Bomb). The hangers were named: LEAROYD and HANNAH. He said their titles were:
Wing Commander Roderick Alastair Brook Learoyd VC. And W/O Sgt. John Hannah VC. I have always remembered this and recently decided to do a little ‘lockdown’ research about these two men.

The RAF’s Youngest VC John Hannah (18 Glasgow’s first VC for Aerial Operations). Many men and women were awarded honours and medals for heroic acts during WW11. A name that was synonymous with the word courageous was that of Sergeant John Hannah. This honour was for his part in a raid on enemy shipping at Antwerp in 1940. He was attached to 83 Squadron (Hampden bombers) as a wireless operator and gunner. With the Battle of Britain spitfires continuing to maintain their vigil in the skies over Britain, the Fighter Command was stretched to the limit.
On the night of the 15th September 1940, 83 Squadron left their base with a force of 15 Hampden Bombers, heading for a concentration of German barges at the Port of Antwerp as part of an armada to invade Britain. As the bombers approached their objective, they were caught in the piercing beams of light from the searchlights, followed with a barrage of anti-aircraft fire.

Shortly after Hannah’s plane had released its bombs; it was hit with shrapnel and bullets and the rear fuselage exploded into a blazing furnace of fire and searing heat which quickly spread. The rear gunner had no option but to bale out, as the floor of the gunner’s cockpit melted beneath his feet. Hannah should have followed him out but stayed and fought the fire with two fire extinguishers. He rapidly discharged their contents, then continued to beat out the flames with his log book. Finally having brought the fire under control he joined the pilot to help him navigate back to Scampton. The pilot, Officer C. A. Conner, was shocked to see the extent of his burns to his face and hands. On arriving back he was quickly transferred to a Service Hospital in Lincolnshire.
At Buckingham Palace on the 10th October 1940, John Hannah attended the investiture for his award of the Victoria Cross at age of 18, the youngest recipient for aerial operations.

Acting Flight Lieutenant Roderick Alastair Brook Learoyd VC. As first pilot of a Hampden aircraft, he had repeatedly shown the highest conception of his duty and complete indifference to personal danger in making attacks at the lowest altitudes regardless of opposition.

On the night of August 12th, 1940, he was detailed to attack a special objective on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. He had attacked this objective on a previous occasion and was well aware of the risks entailed. To achieve success it was necessary to approach from a direction well known to the enemy, through a lane of especially disposed anti-aircraft defences, and in the face of the most intense point blank fire from guns of all calibres. The reception of the preceding aircraft might well have deterred the stoutest heart, all being hit and two lost. Flight Lieutenant Learoyd nevertheless made his attack at 150 feet, his aircraft being repeatedly hit and large pieces of the main plane torn away. He was almost blinded by the glare of many searchlights at close range but pressed home this attack with the greatest resolution and skill. He subsequently brought his wrecked aircraft home and, as the landing flaps were inoperative and the undercarriage indicators out of action, waited for dawn in the vicinity of his aerodrome without causing injury to his crew or further damage to his aircraft. His citation included this comment: The high courage, skill and determination which he invariably displayed on many occasion in the face of the enemy, sets an example which is unsurpassed.

Albert Briggs


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