Ivanhoe Ashby de la Zouch U3A U3A Group Logo

Monthly Meetings

We meet at 2 pm on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Congregational Church, Kilwardby St, Ashby.
There is normally a guest speaker or, in December, musical entertainment.
This is followed by tea, coffee and biscuits and a chance to meet and talk with other members.


Future programme
DateSpecial EventsSpeakerSubject

Tue 22nd OctMaggie Falconer"When You Wish Upon A Star" - Dream making for sick children.
Tue 26th NovRoger HailwoodThe Yorkshire Dales.
Tue 10th DecChristmas EventNick GravestockAyres & Graces - Christmas entertainment
Tue 28th JanStephanie and Trevor MeeConfessions of game show junkies
Tue 25th FebColin HillDancing with Diana
Tue 24th MarMark Walsh"The Ukulele Sensation"

Tea Rota, Meeters & Greeters, Reporting Groups

MonthTea GroupMeet & GreetReporting Groups
Tue 22nd OctJean Preece, Brenda Dummer, Sandra FoxTBATBA
Tue 26th NovJenny & Pete Slawson, Bridget & Jim FairwayTBATBA
Tue 10th DecThe Committee for Christmas FareTBAnone


24th September "The Best of British"

The title "The Best of British" didn't really give us any clues as to the subject of this months talk; who would have thought it had anything to do with fish!

The speaker, Jack Perks, looked a fairly ordinary young man, but when he told us he had filmed underwater every fish in the British Isles, we knew we had some one different. Jack describes himself as a naturalist with a camera rather than a wildlife photographer and cameraman. He hails from Nottingham, returning there after studying for a degree in Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth. His underwater film work has appeared on Countyfile and Springwatch.

His favourite fish is the Grayling, and after filming them over a period of 4 years he finally got a film of them spawning. It was a first, Springwatch showed it on their programme and it caused a lot of complaints to the BBC because of its adult content!!

He travels quite a lot to film, his favourite place being Shetland, and he showed us his films and photos of Otters, Puffins, Gannets Seals and Killer whales. He took lots of stills of Puffins from Sumburgh Head, in various lights and very close up. Then he decided he wanted to film them underwater, but they were a bit camera shy and wouldn't come near. Jack needed a different approach so he got plastic decoy ducks and made them look like puffins, he attached one to his helmet and one on his camera and amazingly the Puffins decided he was ok and swam around him quite happily.

He filmed, from a boat not underwater, as he was quick to point out, a pod of 7 or 8 killer whales (Orca) very close into the shore on Shetland which he was very pleased to see in Scottish waters. Jack was also very lucky to see the Northern lights from Shetland and showed us shots he had taken with long exposures showing the vivid colours that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

He has also spent time in the Scottish borders taking photos of Pine Martens; Jack tempted them out with Jam Sandwiches, and while he was there, he captured some amusing film of red squirrels jumping towards and over the camera. Less far afield he filmed Fieldfares in his garden by putting out apples and pears in the snow, and also photographed local Mandarin ducks and goldeneyes proving you don't need to go far for wildlife and good shots.

He has been to Seahouses in Northumbria to film Eider duck, where you can get very close to them as they are used to being fed chips by tourists. Eiders creche their young, so early summer is a good time to see them. In the Peak district he filmed Dippers and Water Voles, the latter was decimated by mink and you are lucky to them see now.

Jack fascinated us with underwater film of Kingfishers diving into water to catch fish, you only get about a 3 second window to film the action. He has swum with blue sharks, baiting them with a rank mix of rotten smelly fish, pigs blood an bread to attract them. He said how amazed he was with the blueness of them.

There is no limit to what Jack has filmed and photographed either above or underwater, a very interesting man with an interesting life and some amazing photographs.