Monthly Meetings

Meetings held on the first Thursday of the Month at 10.a.m. - 12.noon.

Speakers for 2018

11th January

1st February

1st March

3rd May
7th June

5th July
Death or Glory - Lord Tredegar and the Charge of the Light Brigade
Paul Busby

The Wales Ambulance Service
Isobel Jones

Mick Bailey

Roger Bafico, Magician (AGM)  

St David's Hospice Care
Tania Ansell

Life and Times as a Physio
Clive Hard

For further information, please contact Alan Fry (

Monthly Meeting Speakers

Our recent speakers have covered a wide spectrum. In December 2016, Mike Thomas visited us again and showed how the Romans built Rome, and indeed how their styles spread across the huge empire they controlled, using complex mathematics but only the simplest of engineering tools.

Our own Mick Bailey (French conversation convenor) started the New Year with a talk about the dreadful consequences of multiple sclerosis and how it is being dealt with. I was not able to attend this talk myself but I know from conversation with him that he intended to cover how, and who it affects, the treatments being used and being sought, and the dependence upon charitable donation to facilitate research needed.

In complete contrast our February speakers were three young, and very fit young men, planning on rowing the Atlantic this coming December - John, Joel and Hugo. These Newport lads were given a warm reception as it became clear what their aim was, and several members asked to be kept informed of their progress on the trip, so keep your eyes and ears open because their web site should carry such reports and it will get passed through the U3A. Incidentally John Morgan has agreed to officially open our "OPEN DAY" in August.

Jill David of Sully U3A spoke in March and it was another talk I missed. However I met the lady as she ran her stall at the Caerleon festival and although I am not into weaving and spinning myself, I thought what she showed and explained to me would interest a large number of you. I hope I was correct. Certainly the comments I did get on follow-up suggested she was well received.

Our next speaker certainly caught the attention of the whole group when he talked about the Beachley-Aust ferry. Tim Ryan showed film footage which he had collected over generations and put together in a DVD. Memories were evoked of long ago childhood days, waiting for, and then travelling on the Severn Queen. In the days long before the Health and Safety Commission, boatloads of cars and people crossed that treacherous stretch of water, until the Severn Bridge made the ferry redundant, without a single accident. The story did not end, however, with the opening of the bridge. The sale of the boat, its eventual existence and demise in Ireland, and the fabulous story of its rescue and restoration was a tale in itself. Tim found it hard to get away at the end such was the clamour to see his model of the ferry and hear more of the proposed visitor centre. No doubt there will be trip to Chepstow at a convenient time to see the restored boat and learn again how thing used to be.

The last talk to date was on the day of the AGM and was delivered by Paul Busby and his topic was Thomas Prothero (missed by me again ... getting to be a habit!!) which I had heard him give some months ago. It was such a cracking display that I hoped he would repeat it at the U3A. Judging by the comments from members it was a memorable performance, and regardless of your own personal opinions of Prothero as a human being there can be no doubt that, in him, Newport had an empire builder and fortune hunter of Machiavellian proportions.

In June Robert Kenny regaled us with a talk about the Newport Ship, already claimed by some as being historically more important than the Mary Rose.

The season comes to an end with Geoff Henderson telling us about John Hughes of Merthyr, who is largely credited with bringing the then modern methods of iron and steelmaking to Russia.

Next year I hope to introduce you to a person who speaks for the Youth of Wales! A bit inappropriate?? Well so's rowing the Atlantic!

Thanks to all who have suggested speakers please keep them coming

Don't forget these talks are open to all, the only limit is the size of the room.

Alan Fry
May 2017