The Glens & Dalriada U3A
May 2011 Newsletter
As we approach the end of another season of activities by members of Glens and Dalriada U.3A, I, as chairman, would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their magnificent response to all our events.
Seventeen different activities have taken place throughout the year - all very successful in their own way and all have been extremely well attended - despite the adverse weather conditions last winter.
On behalf of our committee I want to thank all the convenors for their hard work in organising the events and I want too to thank the various hall committees for their help.
We still have much to look forward to after our break at Easter with trips to the Yorkshire Dales and also our trip to the Italian & French Riviera in September.
Our convenors are presently planning for the year ahead and the fruits of their labour will be included in the forthcoming newsletter.
Have a very happy holiday and I look forward to seeing you all back refreshed for more excitement in the new season.
HISTORY AND APPRECIATION OF ART
This series of talks began by focusing on the history of the development of painting in England.
We began by looking at the early stages of monastic art and the strong tradition of illumination and wall painting. However with the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry the 8th, Art in England suffered a decline from which it did not recover until the late 17th Century. We then examined the emergence of a strong tradition of English Art beginning with Hogarth, followed by the development of Landscape painting in the C18th particularly through the medium of watercolour. As we progressed to the early C19th the effect of the Social and Industrial Revolution on the subject matter of popular works of the era was also explored.
The formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and its evolution into the Pre-Raphaelite Movement and the Arts and Craft Movement was traced through the lives of the main participants. The link between literature and many of the paintings and how moral and social issues were popular themes in many works was discussed.
We also revisited Rome with a talk on Renaissance and Baroque Rome and in particular the work of Bernini, Borromini, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Caravaggio.
The next talk will be based on the lives of three C20th painters who found inspiration in their own home environment, - - William Conor, L.S. Lowry, and Stanley Spencer.
A number of members of the group have suggested that an overnight trip to visit Galleries in which some of the works we have discussed are on display. We will explore the possibilities of a visit to Edinburgh or Manchester after Easter. If you are interested in such a visit make contact with Joe or Mary in the next week.
The Badminton Group enjoyed a six week second session during February and March. And most nights we had a full house of sixteen members participating.
We thank Carey Parish for the combined use of their Hall and some essential equipment. Thank you also to Alex and Anne Thompson for their invaluable assistance and to Eleanor and Jimmy Hill for their caretaking services. Everyone has promised to keep in top physical condition during the summer with a view to resuming in the Autumn.
The Bridge Group meet each Wednesday afternoon at 2.00pm at Ballycastle Golf Club. During the year we have attended some special events. Firstly, in June ,we held a joint meeting with the Causeway U3A bridge Group in the Marine Hotel, Ballycastle which was followed by a dinner.
In October. we took part in the Northern Ireland U3A Bridge Convention in Portstewart Golf Club where our club certainly took our fair share of the prizes.
At the beginning of April we repeated our successful trip of last year and a group of twenty or so travelled to Dublin by train playing bridge on the Enterprise both ways with five hours leisure time in Dublin spent in a variety of ways.
We are always looking for new members and inexperienced players are very welcome. You don’t need a partner. Just come along!
The Cinema group continued to meet from time to time during the year .We enjoyed such films as The Millennium Trilogy ie. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest at the Queens Film Theatre and Made in Dagenham, Never Let me Go,True Grit and last but by no means least,The Kings Speech which was really excellent at The IMC in Ballymena.
We have struggled this year to find many really worthwhile films to see and consequently the idea to have a trip to Coleraine Jet Centre to see a film, play bowls and enjoy a meal together has been put on hold for the moment.
Members will be posted if anything worthwhile is on release.
The last ten weeks we have been meeting downstairs at Craft Connection, Ballycastle at 10am on Tuesday Mornings. We have had a very interesting time covering camera knowledge, transferring photos to computer, filing them and improving photos and also printing them. We have had three separate groups working at different levels including one learning the basic computer system. We hope to start up again at the end of September and will be very happy to see new members. We have spare laptops for your use and will be able to cover whatever interests you have. Maeve Walsh has offered to assist me next time which means we can give more individual attention so why not come and join us.
The last series of talks consisted of a study of leading personalities in Irish History, notably Sir Edward Carson, Sir James Craig, Arthur Griffith, Patrick Pearse and Michael Collins. In the next series of talks, we will look at the contribution made to European culture and religion by the great civilizations of the past - the Greeks, the Romans, the Judaeo-Christian tradition, Islam and the Renaissance. It is hoped to begin the talks in September, with the venue and times the same as in previous years - the Crypt, St Patrick's and St Brigid's Church, 2.00pm, Friday afternoon. I hope you all have an enjoyable Summer, and I look forward to seeing you all in September, complete with shield, battle-axe and short sword, and ready for the fray.
The Italian Circle , a small but enthusiastic group ,has been meeting regularly every 2 / weeks over the past months. The meetings begin with a period of study of the italian language ,tea break and discussion of some aspect of Italian life and culture followed by revision and updating of our progress in the language. At the last meeting we prefaced the study session with a shared lunch for which each member of the group contributed an item of Italian cuisine.
Contact has been made with an Italian U3A group and there is the possibility of a cultural exchange taking place in the very near future.
Mah Jong is an ancient chinese tile game and is similar to the card game, Rummy. The rules are easy to pick up and new members are very welcome to join us at any time. If interested, you only need to come on two consecutive weeks and then you can dip in and out as you please. We play in Cushendall Golf Club every Monday from 2-4 pm.For more information ring Rosemary Aitkenhead on 21771752
Music & Drama Group
The Music and Drama Group has been delighted to welcome new members this year. We now have 31 members. Nuala, Mary and Margaret would like to thank all members for the loyalty, dedication and enthusiasm which they bring to the group weekly.
As usual, we performed at Christmas and are now preparing programmes for the Annual Dinner and AGM, so never a dull moment! We are told that there will be a Choir Festival in the autumn, hosted by North Down and Ards U3A. Preparing a programme will keep us occupied after our own festivities have ended. Under the direction of Margaret, we can justifiably claim that out singing is improving all the time.
As the group has increased, we have had to seek larger practice premises and at present are based in Knocknacarry Hall. As ever, new members are welcome to join. We don’t take ourselves too seriously but want to encouraging people to enjoy music, singing and drama. Why not come along and join us on Monday mornings at 11am. Instrumentalists would be especially welcome.
A few of us have been meeting in the CDDA room in Cushendun on the 1st Wednesday in the month from 11.00am to 1.00pm. The idea is to bring your own work to do or get help on a variety of projects which you may need help on. The last few months have seen work carried out on Tapestries, Counted Cross Stitch, Knitting and Patchwork. We will be meeting again the 1st Wednesday in October. Contact Peggy Hunt for any information 20762053.
If there is sufficient interest from existing members and newcomers (no previous bowling experience necessary), then we shall commence the summer season from Tuesday 3rd May (2 to 4pm) at Ballycastle Bowling and Recreation Centre on the seafront. Anyone interested should contact the acting convenor, Bob Smith on 028 207 62075.
A very successful ten week Pilates session has just finished.
Twenty people took part in the crypt of St Patrick and St Brigid’s Church.
The instructor Pat Montgomery is a pleasant, experienced, qualified tutor but unfortunately, due to health reasons she won’t be available again until September.
Because of the number of people attending we were able to keep the weekly fee to £2 per session. Hopefully, we will be resuming in September and then members will be contacted. As numbers have to be limited to twenty it will be first come first served.
The readers group continues to meet on the 3rd Monday of the month at 38 Glendun Road Cushendun from 2.00 to 3.30pm approx. Discussions are wide ranging and not merely confined to the book of the month. New members cordially invited.
17 members have been involved this year, with an average of 9 or 10 attending most weeks. We hope to resume again in late September/early October. Contact Bob Smith if you would like to join this Group.
The yoga group has met this term on the top floor of Craft Connections. The stairs are an extra challenge but all part of the urge to keep moving, keep fit. Our class has been very successful, a small but loyal group of yogis participating. The practice is gentle and rhythmic, the emphasis on the coordination of body, mind and breath so it concerns a good deal more than just flexibility, important as that is. We do varied practices of breathing and relaxationwith a good range of postures so although there is some repetition boredom is never an issue. This term we have worked at a set of simple practices which can be done at home so when we reconvene in the autumn all will not have been lost. Having said that nothing is too difficult and we would welcome new members next term . The class has been enjoyable and beneficial and hopefully will continue to be so in the future.
This year we have planned two trips.
The first is to the Yorkshire Dales and tour of the City of York. There are 26 people booked on thiscoach/boat trip leaving on 19 May for five nights. The party stay in Harrogate and Kendal and includes a short boat ride on Lake Windermere.
Our second trip departs on 17 September from Belfast Int. Airport to Nice. We will stay at Hotel Silvana in Diano Marina (Italy)for 7 nights and we will visit such places as Monte Carlo, Nice, Rapallo, Portofino, Genoa, San Remo and explore some of the museums & places of interest in these towns, as well as sightseeing around that part of The Italian Riviera . Already 36 people are booked on this trip.
This Group continues to meet on a Friday morning at 1 Strand Cottages, Ballycastle. Please contact Rita Cassidy for further information.
The Tuesday walks are proving very popular, being well supported irrespective of the weather.
The venues for tea/coffee breaks are always interesting, especially the very warm welcome at both Corrymeela houses.
Two more walks this season, 31st May and 28th June, before we adjourn for summer.
Our 28th June walk is in the Castlerock area including the Mussendun Temple, meeting at 11.00am in Castlerock clifftop carpark.
Attention all Computer Owners
A special offer is available to upgrade computers and laptop to all U3A members. You can purchase Microsoft Office 2010 professional for the special price of £38.95 (this is the programme which normally costs over £400). For further information contact Don Hunt (20762053).