Author Archives: u3aleyland

Guest Review – January 2017

David Hurrell – Peak and Northern Footpath Society



David came along to our January meeting to present the work of the PNFS. The group is highly dependant on subscriptions for income, so naturally, his ulterior motive in speaking to us was to gain new members.

Describing themselves as a preservation society, the group’s territory stretches from Morecambe to the outer reaches of Staffordshire, and from the region’s west coast to Derbyshire’s eastern border, their remit being to ensure that traditional footpaths remain open and accessible.  David provided us with examples of how the Members of the PNFS work tirelessly to keep our sometimes ancient pathways open to the public, even by actively chopping their way through pathways overgrown by brambles if needed, or by  negotiating with errant farmers who have  blocked public rights of way with for example, piles of manure or makeshift barriers.

The talk covered many aspects of walking from the more obvious health benefits (did you know that walking 1 mile equates to an additional 20 minutes on your lifespan?), to the pleasure of spotting seasonal flowers and vegetation and the fallacy that farmers may not graze bulls in fields with a public footpath running through them – they can, but the rules regarding the age of the beast and who they may consort with are complicated it seems!

If you would like to join the PNFS, enjoy some great company and enjoyable walks whilst contributing to their very worthwhile efforts in preserving the 20,000 miles of footpaths within their territory, you will find information on their website

Kim Whittle


U3A Workshops: Keeping it Legal

National Workshop Series

The Third Age Trust will be piloting a new series of training events in 2018 for U3A committee members. The workshops will be held in two locations which we calculate to be accessible to the largest number of U3As: the northern pilot in Leeds, and the southern in Surrey. If the pilots are successful, the programme will be taken to further venues.

These workshop days are being offered in response to requests and enquiries from U3A committee members regarding the legal requirements and responsibilities of running a U3A.

As charities (registered or otherwise), U3A committees are required to ensure that they are aware of and compliant with the legislation that impacts on their work. U3A committee members are the foundation of the U3A movement. These pilot days, which will be led by industry experts, have been designed to support you to fulfil your requirements as both committee members and charity trustees.

Each workshop day will cover a number of important topics:

  • General Data Protection Regulation
  • Safeguarding
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Insurance

The format will be a mix of plenary and break-out sessions, with plenty of time for networking and discussion. Lunch will be included, and to further facilitate attendance, accommodation and dinner is available the night before if required.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

From May 2018 the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is being updated to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The updated legislation has implications for how U3As obtain, process and manage information obtained from their members. The introduction of GDPR offers a useful opportunity for U3As to review their current practices in relation to how they manage data.


This session will be led as a group plenary session by industry experts ArcNet Security.  The trainers will provide a bespoke session for U3A members. This will include an overview of the relevant points from the legislation as well as advice as to the steps that U3As should take.  There will also be an opportunity for members to ask questions.


U3A Committees have a duty of care to their members. Safeguarding practice within U3As covers a range of issues from being aware of and responsive to members health-related needs as well as ensuring appropriate behaviour between members. The Charity Commission website states:


“Having proper safeguards in place means your charity can promote a safe place for your beneficiaries and gives the public confidence in your charity and trustees.” (


This session will be run by industry experts who will lead smaller break out groups. Each group will benefit from a trainer led presentation on the relevant legislation as well as an opportunity to review and discuss some U3A-based scenarios.  Group members can also discuss any particular concerns they may have.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The Equality Act came into power in 2010 and merged nine existing pieces of legislation including the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the 2006 Equality Act. The Equality and Human Rights Commission website states:


“Equality law affects everyone responsible for running your organisation or who might do something on its behalf, including staff or volunteers if you have them.” (


Guidance from the Commission details that where volunteers are acting on behalf of the charity, the charity would be legally responsible were they found to have unlawfully discriminated against a service user (members qualify as service users).


This session will be delivered by industry experts who will lead a presentation on the relevant legislation, discuss and review some U3A-specific scenarios, as well as providing you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.


The most common queries coming in to the office are those that relate to insurance cover. These are reflective of the diversity of interest groups, members, members’ needs and the individuality that is inherent within the U3A membership. This session will be led by the Trust’s insurance broker. Our broker has worked with the Trust for several years and has developed an in-depth understanding of the U3A movement and how we operate at a local level.


The session will be run as group plenary with an overview of the cover provided by the products and public liability insurance. The session will also look at scenarios based on U3A practice and provide members with an opportunity to ask questions.

Northern Pilot

Met Hotel, Leeds: 13 February

Designed by local architects Chorley & Connon, this luxury hotel is renowned for its Victorian terracotta facade and stone cupola taken from the city’s demolished 4th White Cloth Hall.

The venue is moments from Leeds Station, and there are several city centre car parks nearby.

The Principal Met Hotel, Leeds LS1 2HQ

Click here to find out more about the venue on the Principal Hotels website.

Rita, Sue and Bob – Theatre Review

Rita, Sue and Bob, Too, Bolton Octagon 

Saturday 23 September 2017

Andrea Dunbar was discovered by Max Stafford-Clark when he was running the Royal Court and was only 19 when she wrote this semi-autobiographical play. The play (and the title) revolves around two fifteen-year-old girls (Taj Atwal as Rita, Gemma Dobson making her professional stage debut as Sue) and their affair with a 27-year-old married man (James Atherton as Bob) for whom they regularly babysit.

Set on a council estate, similar to the Buttershaw estate in Bradford where Andrea lived until her early death (aged just 29), Rita, Sue And Bob Too, offers a candid dose of social realism combined with sparky, humorous dialogue, some industrial grade swearing and naked (male) buttocks.

The buttocks in question belong to Bob, and are on display in the opening scene of the play, which dramatises their first sexual encounter, an awkward, cramped threesome in his car parked on the moors as he is running Rita and Sue home from babysitting. The humour in the scene largely comes from the running commentary and some great reactions from whichever girl is not currently participating.

For Rita and Sue, the affair is a brief, thrilling adult adventure and a temporary escape from a bleak, uncertain future of YTS jobs in 1980s Britain. Of course, when the cat is out of the bag, it is the two girls who are branded as sluts and home wreckers. Bob’s wife (Samantha Robinson) is also blamed, whilst Bob gets off virtually scot-free.

The play depicts situations that many theatregoers may find shocking, particularly when we are all now much more aware of recent grooming cases. But underage sexual encounters were part and parcel of everyday estate life for Andrea Dunbar. Despite her obvious writing talent, she never escaped from the estate. Similarly, despite their spark and attitude, the future looks bleak for Rita and Sue, best friends who end up estranged. Rita’s aspiration of becoming a policewoman appears doomed when she becomes pregnant at 16, while Sue ends up in a soul-destroying dead-end job.

Played straight through without an interval, with accomplished performances by all the cast, this is a short sharp shock of a play with plenty to amuse, entertain and make you think.

Photo credits: Richard Davenport

Christine Hoey

For Love or Money – Theatre Review

For Love or Money, Liverpool Playhouse

Wednesday 22 November 2017

The theatre group enjoyed another successful trip, this time to Liverpool Playhouse, to see For Love or Money.

This production is a final tour for Barrie Rutter, the artistic director of Northern Broadsides, who founded the company 25 years ago. It may not have been as musical and charming as some previous Northern Broadsides productions, but was witty, slick and stylish.

Blake Morrison’s adaptation of the French play Turcaret moves the action from Paris to a small Yorkshire village where an attractive widow, Rose, is pursued by two men. Rose is impoverished and selling off her inheritance to fund her languid lifestyle. Jessica Worrell’s cleverly designed set has little furniture and pale patches in the wallpaper where the family pictures used to hang.

One of Rose’s suitors is the ageing banker, Fuller, who showers her with gifts and clearly has marriage in mind. The other is Arthur, a wastrel, who uses her money to pay his gambling debts. So far, so straightforward, but then there is a twist. Arthur has a servant, Jack Sprout, whom he treats poorly and sends on errands. Jack is not content to remain a servant and he and his love, a lady of ill repute, plot to acquire as much money as they can to fund a new life for themselves. Add a naïve farmer looking for a wife and Fuller’s estranged wife seeking her allowance and complications ensue. However, all is resolved just in time for a celebratory Charleston.

Rutter is excellent as the bumptious Fuller, deflating beautifully when he is confronted by his wife, a stunning performance by Sarah Parks, whose ‘French’ accent steals the show. Jos Vantyler as Arthur preens in every scene and Jordan Metcalfe manages to turn Jack from the pale servant to the scheming plotter with ease. Sarah-Jane Potts as Rose, is by turn cunning and seductive and is unaware of the furore she is causing.

Overall this was an excellent telling of the moral tale of the consequences of lies, greed and corruption. The clever script and stylish production ensured that this was another success for the company and a fitting finale to Rutter’s long association with them.

Photo credits: Nobby Clarke

Many thanks to minibus driver, Hilary Morris.

For a reminder of the show, watch the trailer: >>HERE


Under the Market Roof – Theatre Review

Under the Market Roof, Chorley Market 

Wednesday 18 October 2017

On Wednesday 18 October, eight of us went to Chorley Market to see the first theatre production for ‘Junction 8 Theatre’ performing ‘Under the Market Roof by Becky Prestwich at a cost of £10 per ticket.


All the seating was under gazebos surrounded by fairy lights, giving a lovely warm atmosphere. Even though it was an October night, we all went dressed appropriately with scarves, gloves and thick coats but needn’t have worried as a warm cosy blanket was supplied on every seat.

Drinks were available on the market before and after the show at The Bob Inn – Lancashire’s smallest pub. You could also get food from Bee’s Country Kitchen.

About the Play 

Set in Chorley market, the play revolves around Len and his granddaughter Lisa who is facing a decision over whether she should take over the running of her grandfather’s stall. Ever since she was a child, Lisa has spent her Saturdays working on her Granddad Len’s hardware stall. Everyone knows old Len, the man who turned up on Chorley Market as a lad with nothing but a couple of suitcases of stock and made a life out of it. But Len hasn’t seemed himself lately, and Lisa starts to wonder if the ‘L. Shaw’ sign above the cabin could be ‘L’ for Lisa. She loves the market and the people at the heart of it, but is her Mum right when she says there’s no future in the market?

Photo credits: Junction 8 Theatre

Our Verdict 

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the play. Inventive props with Len’s hardware stall full of goods, disappearing into the actual market behind when not required and magically reappearing for relevant scenes. At various times, people would appear round or through the gazebos (just like they would on a normal market day). Such as the lady on a mobility scooter, a crowd of football fans and people who just generally drift through a market. All of us agreed it was a great play and a good night out. We would certainly go to other performances by Junction 8 Theatre’

If you are a Coronation Street fan, there was the added bonus of having Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley in Corrie) in the audience. One of our group managed to obtain an autograph for her daughter who is a huge fan.

Hilary Morris

What people said about under the market roof… >> HERE