Poetry updates

A small band of poetry readers and some writers meet on the THIRD Wednesday of each month at 10.30am to discuss the merits of selected poems based on a monthly theme guaranteed to stimulate the mind and broaden the horizons of all participants. Even if it does not we still have a good chat and a lively debate.

The venue is currently at the Group Leaders house. If you would like to join please see me at the Monthly Meeting or contact the Group Coordinator Kathleen Crabb.

There is ample tea, coffee and cake available to help readers get a taste of whatever subject is brought to the fore. Check out the monthly blogs for some of the subjects discussed and poets explored.


Local History Updates May 2013

The group continue to research the building that was the Inn of Old Seaham in 1808.We looked at the 1784 map of the village and tried to assess how much we know of other inns, and how relevant it would be to ours. We wondered what newspaper the grandfather would have access to. Would other people come and drink at the inn because they brewed, or was it mostly for private use?

We considered building materials and styles, and since we may never know, we made reasoned judgements about the walls and window styles. We know that the walls of the parlour were green, so we consulted Farrow and Ball and feel that their Olive Green is probably the most likely shade. The names of the paints are fascinating; Elephant’s Breath, Churlish Green, Dead Salmon , Cat’s paw, to name but a few. It was interesting to note that if you wanted India Yellow in 1808 you would need a herd of cows and feed them on mango leaves before you collected their urine to reduce down, and despite it being extremely toxic, white lead is still used on some National Trust houses.

We read about Bessie the daughter of the mistress of the inn and her seasonal “adoption” by Lady Milbanke, as a companion for her daughter Annabella. We wondered whether Bessie could be related to the Bessie of “Bessies Hole”. Any local knowledge would be gratefully received by the group.


Garden Group review

This year has been very difficult for gardeners and visiting gardens due to the weather.

A trip to see the snowdrops had to be cancelled due to the lack of flowers probably caused by conditions last year and the inclement this year.

We have had a talk on daffodils and all their different forms and colours from Carol Hindmarsh, one of our members. It was most interesting as she could remember them locally from her childhood and had also been involved with planting them as a teacher.

A visit was made to Durham Botanical Gardens in April, where a sign informed us most plants and trees were nearly a month late in their growth, however we had an enjoyable morning the weather was cold but the sun shone and the sky was blue.



There was a bonus the daffodils and crocus were in full bloom, we were a little bit early for the rhododendrons but there were some in flower.



We warmed ourselves afterwards in their excellent coffee shop with a steaming bowl of Thai Chicken Soup.

Travel Group

Cruise Ship

Seaham Harbour U3A Travel Group met for the first time On Wednesday 24th April at 10.30am at a member’s house. This is a very enthusiastic group who need a leader.

We discussed what we would like from the group and decided, mainly any kind of travel, as opposed to slide shows and talks.

Travel suggestions were (and there were many and in no particular order)

  1. Cruises, Ocean and River from Newcastle, Hull and Liverpool
  2. Coach tours, day or overnight staysTravel Bus
  3. Flights from Newcastle, perhaps to somewhere warm
  4. Historical Outings
  5. Train journeys for Weekends away or short Midweek breaks.

Future travel plans include:

  • A day trip to Pickering and Whitby with the local bus company NorthStar Travel on Saturday 20th July 2013
  • A weekend in Edinburgh by train in late September/early October Members are sourcing Train and Hotel deals
  • A cruise to the Scottish Islands and Faroes on June 9th 2014 for 7 days

Travel Plane

Picture Puzzle on daffodils.

A totally insignificant prize will be awarded by Carol at the next monthly meeting to the first gardener who can tell her the division and colour code [best fit] for this variety.

Daffodil One DaffodilTwo