Community Tree Planting – Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Commemorations

Community Tree Planting – Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Commemorations

Thanks to a generous donation by the The Woodland Trust, the  West Moors Town Council organised a ‘Community Tree Planting’ session, that took place on Saturday 8th January.

This is the first stage in the development of a Woodland Copse, to commemorate the Queen’s 70 Jubilee in 2022 and enhance the general environment around West Moors.

Armed with their own spades and boundless enthusiasm, 25 volunteers met our Councillors and Dorset Council (DC) Open Spaces team members – Daryl Pearce and Sam Traynor, just before 10am, in the not so pleasant weather!

Those present included local residents of all ages, 7 members of the Ferndown U3A (led by Bob Reeves) West Moors Town Council’s Chairman Keith Wilkes and Cllrs Mrs Carol Holmes (Chair of the Climate Emergency Working Party), Mrs Penny Yeo, Alex Clarke, Steve Linford and Mike Hawkes.

Despite the persistent rain, spirits were high and sapling planting was in full swing very quickly. Supervised by DC and the Grandson of one of the Ferndown U3A members, trees planted included hawthorn, dogwood, silver birch, rowan and hazel.

The final tree to be planted was a Flowering Cherry tree, a ‘Prunus Snow Goose’. This will mark the Queen’s 70-year reign, a milestone she will have reached on 6 February 2022, becoming the first British Monarch to do so.

The support from both the local community and Dorset Council has been overwhelming. Tree planting is so important because it helps to fight the effects of climate change, helps us to replace trees lost to ash die back and planting a mixture of species throughout the woodland helps to increase diversity.

1st Friday Talk – “Is the British Justice System Broken”

1st Friday Talk – “Is the British Justice System Broken”

Friday the 7th of January saw the first event of the new FU3A term. 100 members came to the Barrington Hall to hear an interesting talk by Crown Court barrister Nick Tucker. His topic on this occasion was “Is the British Justice System broken?”

He outlined some of the problems being faced by the courts today including the shortage of new staff joining the profession and the crippling backlog of cases still awaiting trial – which stands at 60 thousand at this time. His talk prompted many diverse questions from the large audience and was much appreciated by all.

Nick has spoken to the FU3A several times before and is always an excellent speaker and we look forward to hearing him again in the future

Christmas Lunch 2021

Christmas Lunch 2021

80 members  attend the lunch at the Remedy Oak Golf Club. After a pre-lunch Bucks Fizz we were treated to a excellent lunch which catered for all appetites. The conversation flowed and laughter could be  heard all round the room.

Thanks goes to the events and Social committee for this fabulous day out.





At our meeting on Dec 1st we discussed a number of investment possibilities, looking at the share price graphs and the fundamental accounts figures. We looked at investments giving a good income return, but found like Royal Dutch Shell, there was no long term growth. We looked at a number of investments giving none or little income, and here one would expect long term rapid growth. Those we looked at did not grow to beat inflation.

TUI was a possibility, will it recover after Covid? Even before Covid it had been a going nowhere investment. They had paid out profit in dividends and not invested, now having no net asset value, and the share price had fallen in real terms before Covid despite booming holiday markets.

Wetherspoons is a surprise as despite rapid expansion the turnover had only doubled in 18 years, and the profit hardly keeping up with inflation. The share price had increased and even now is 4 times what it was. Despite opening all these pubs and hotels the asset value is only a quarter of the share price. The dividend yield is less than 1%. The directors however have taken out many millions by share sales. Tim Martin, campaigner for Brexit, having taken out £60 million this way in the last twelve months. Share options for directors are a very easy way for directors to get rich at the expense of investors. Several more companies did not satisfy as investments, but the group is keen on TESLA, the problem being a lack of information.

We looked at City of London investment trust. Gives a dividend of about 5% which has increased a little every year for a very long time. The earnings per share have not increased much, but the net profit is such that they are likely to continue giving increased dividends for the years to come. The income seems to be safer than the building societies!

We looked at Kenmare mining, one member wondered about selling to a company offering to buy at about the current price. You have to ask why they want to buy and only at the current price. Maybe we should also buy.

Next meetings are Dec 8 and Jan 12. Let Cornelius know if you plan to be there. Masks please and do not come if you have any infection. There could be space for a new member, please ask.



On Saturday the 4th of December, 18 FU3A members drove over to the Arne peninsula for a short walk on a glorious winter morning around the RSPB Reserve. The sky was blue, the sun shone brilliantly and the views over Poole Harbour were absolutely stunning!!  The walk, followed the Red trail through various wooded areas featuring pines and magnificent old oak trees and took about an hour and a half. We finished up in the on-site café for a warming hot drink and some yummy cake. Many thanks to Clare and Bob for organising another interesting outing.




Friday the 19th of November saw 45 intrepid explorers, who were members of the J1 Discovering Wessex Group, get up at the “crack of sparrows” to board a coach bound for the Weald and Downland Living Museum, nr Chichester.  This trip was the second topic this year for this talk ‘n walk group – (photo 1 ) The topic leader this time was Bob Reeve who organised an excellent day out with plenty to see all day, looking at the reclaimed rare buildings which have been saved for posterity and brought there (brick by brick) for future generations to appreciate – like a time capsule.  Throughout the park J1 members acted as guides describing some of the buildings saying something about their origins, dates, dismantling and re-erection at the museum.

The day started with the essential coffee in the museum’s popular Café while Bob split the members into two Groups – A led by Bob and B led by Keith.  Everyone was given a large full colour detailed map – (photo 1a) plus an outline of the schedule for the day.  The groups set off separately a few minutes apart to firstly look through the Gallery Exhibition (photos 2&3) featuring both trades and their tools of bygone years preserved for future generations.

They then moved on to the Market Square area where J1 members and official guides described the various buildings (photos 4 to 10). After some smaller buildings, we came to what must be their most famous buildings of all – “The Repair Shop” area – made popular by the long running BBC television show. This area consisted of the Court Barn, plus two smaller outbuildings and the Forge – (photo 11 & 12).  Cast members of the TV show – Steve the clockmaker and one of the Bear Repair Ladies were spotted walking around, at the time.

Next came the working Watermill and Bakery – (photo 13 & 14), where members were able to buy freshly baked bread – still warm from the ovens.  Then back, around the lake and across the grass where members had to run the gauntlet through the large flock of hungry ducks, while still carrying their newly bought bread – (photo 15 &16). Back to the Café for a pleasant light lunch, where the whole party was divided into two different group again.

Bob led his group to continue on a further walk taking in many more of the rare structures in the Southern part of the park, while Keith led his group to The Gridshell Building – (photo 17 & 18),  This green oak timber structure houses space for restoration and research of historic timber structures .  It is the first timber gridshell building of it’s type built in Britain. The lower level houses the Museum’s stored collection of tools and artefacts of rural life from around the region.

When the coach left the Museum it was able to drive past The “Glorious” Goodwood Racecourse and4mrke Motor Racing Circuit, which was the RAF Westhampnett “Battle of Britain” fighter station during WWII. We arrived back at Ferndown dead on time – with a vote of thanks to our regular driver Graham who quite often steers FU3A groups to and from their visit destinations.

A really big round of applause was given to Bob by all, for a thoroughly enjoyable day out – well organized and a really exceptional visit.

Keith Banks – Leader – J1 Discovering Wessex Group.