February’s meeting topic was the heritage of Kenilworth Castle. The talk was given by Mr Hamsley who is actually based there. Many of our U3A group have visited there and this helps to put it into the Top 10 Heritage sites in the country. Much of the talk was devoted to the history of the castle over the past centuries. In addition to a moat, there was a large mere stretching round three sides. Although this was drained during the Civil War, there is a painting, that we were shown, that included the mere. There was, however, some artistic licence as the hills resembling the Lakeland fells were shown in the background.
Much of the interesting historical tales centred around Robert Dudley trying, unsuccessfully, to woo Queen Elizabeth the First. She came on the last of her four visits for 19 days in 1575. To mark this visit, Robert Dudley made extensive additions to the castle, some of which did not meet the Queen’s approval. A recent restoration project has re-created the privy garden that presumably was central to Robert
Dudley’s plans. Henry the Fifth received an insult of tennis balls from the French Dauphin.
Many other historical facts and tales were told including the siege in 1266 and in tudor times when Henry VIII dismantled a summer house from across the mere and subsequently had problems re-building it. Mark told us also about Victorian additions to the keep, John O’Gaunt’s banqueting room added from 1373 onwards and the stables, built by John Dudley, Robert Dudley’s son, that are now the popular tea rooms.
Everyone found the tales and anecdotes most interesting, but the question was still left hanging “Would Robert
Dudley and Queen Elizabeth I have ever married?”
This last month, we’ve had six players at each afternoon. Some of the hands have been good but some really very poor, suspect dealing and shuffling perhaps. One highlight was when one of our regulars came to play bridge on his birthday. Of course, a birthday cake was enjoyed by all but without too many candles, a potential fire hazard being avoided.
The bird watching group had a bracing walk around Draycote Water near Rugby this month. We spotted a variety of water birds, including gadwalls, teal, black backed and black headed gulls. From the
comfort of the newly refurbished bird hide, we were able to watch the courtship dances of great-crested grebes and observed a lone oystercatcher.
We are sad to report the death of one of our members - Alan Hoden - who died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 82. Alan was a farmer who lived his entire life in Leire. He had a great knowledge of
nature, was a talented water-colour artist and organist. Shortly
before his death he visited Brandon March with other members of the bird watching group where he enjoyed riding a buggy through the woods and making sketches of the wintry landscape. A happy memory of him for all those who knew this kind, lovable man.
The next pub lunch will be on 5th and 6th April at Kilworth Springs.12 for 12.30 prompt. The arranger for this lunch is June Hartopp
Please sign up or ring June on 01455 553418 to book, so that she can give accurate numbers to the pub.
This session has been extended from 10—12 to 10--12.30 pm.
This allows players to enjoy the game better.
We meet on the first Friday in the month — beginners welcome!
Extra Canasta Session
There will be a further Canasta group meeting on the fourth
Wednesday of each month. It will be held at 1 Manor Farm Close, Broughton Astley from 2 pm to 4 pm. First meeting on 23rd March. Please contact Sylvia Wilson on 01455 283575 for further
The session on the 2nd Thursday in the month has been cancelled, but we still meet on the 2nd Wednesday from 10—12.
Five would be photographers met to share their
images in various forms.
The subject this month was Lutterworth and it's surroundings. The variety was again quite wide ranging with views of Lutterworth pubs old and new. A collection very akin to a tourists eye view of
Lutterworth with a very interesting study of the "dead centre" of the town. We tried a short quiz to identify places in the town, this didn't faze any body but it did high light some of the out of the way parts of our town. We also were treated to how a garden had developed over a number of years.
Our next topic will centre on "Trees". It will be interesting to see how we tackle this project. If you are at all interested in joining us please contact the co-ordinator you will be most welcome.
Our topic was ‘Do children raised by single sex parents do as well?’ As you can imagine quite a controversial subject. Even thorny. In Dot’s absence there were 7 of us, and everyone had a lot to say about
children being raised by two men or two women. Many points were raised and discussed, such as how a little girl raised by two men would deal with puberty and growth into womanhood, no mum’s clothes to dress up in for instance; seemingly trivial but all little girls do it.
Likewise little boys raised by two women would they be taken to
football, shown how to do simple DIY jobs around the house.
However, notwithstanding the above points more than half of our
number agreed with the premiss that children raised by single sex
parents do as well as those raised in conventional families. They had a lot to say in favour of single sex parents. All agreed that the conventional family was the best environment for children, and some anxiety was expressed about the way these new family groups are developing. Final vote showed 4 members in favour and 3 against.
WEDNESDAY WALKING GROUP February Walk
Thirty-one walkers and two dogs set off from the Stag and Pheasant pub at Newton, the weather being overcast but dry. As there had been some rain a couple of days before the route had been changed to avoid some boggy fields and also a stretch along the A5.
The walk followed was now on mainly good paths through the Brownsover estate, along the canal and back up the Great Central walk, a total of 5.7 miles. With no stiles and fairly easy walking we were back at the pub after 2.5 hours where we enjoyed stew and dumplings which being so nice left people wanting more
We are a lively group with our own projects, or I can help if someone wants to learn something new.
What we lack in quantity we make up for in quality! Please join us and you will enjoy a pleasant morning
with good company.
Stuck on a craft project? - Let us help.
This month was our first review of a non-fiction historical book,
Trafalgar- The Nelson Touch by David Howarth.
David Howarth was a naval man and he used logs and correspondence from contemporary sources to take his readers through the events leading up to and beyond the Battle of Trafalgar. It proved to be
fascinating read and held surprises for everyone in the group.
Whatever you think you know about this moment in history if you read this book the facts and events will raise eyebrows and despite the technical aspects of sailing and naval warfare tactics being difficult to follow, it was a comfortable read.
Numbers were reduced to 11 this month as some of us were on
grandparent duty, being half-term. No true beginners came, so we all joined in the conversation groups. Pearl and Tony had prepared a
discussion on the cost of health care, which proved interesting. We now have several volunteers who will prepare future topics.
NB The next meeting of this group will be a film, “Le Château de ma Mère” which Pearl and Tony have kindly offered to host at their house. This film is a sequel to “La Gloire de mon Père” which we watched in November. Phone Sue for directions.
Date of meeting: Thursday 24 March 2011.
Fourteen members met to give their brains their monthly 'workout'.
Questions were set by Sylvia and June. Being February, the month of St Valentine, some of our questions were on a Valentine's theme. As we rattled through the answers (we must be getting better at
quizzing!), supplementary questions from a book of the television show Mastermind were asked. That brought us down to earth.