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The History Group

Leader:  Ronald (Yogi) Godwin - history@ashbyu3a.co.uk - phone 01530 467840


Yogi is ably assisted by Jane Barnett, Barbara Ball, Colin Ellis, Jane Harris and Isobel Salt

Contrary to what you may have heard, the Group is NOT closing but is continuing for at least next year.


All Ashby u3a members are welcome at our meetings.

All meetings with speakers will be held at Packington Memorial Hall on the 4th Thursday of the month.
Doors open for Packington meetings at 2.15pm. Admission £2

Details of visits will be advised closer to the time.
The following dates have been arranged, but may be subject to changes which will be announced as and when they are known.


Future programme
DateTimeVenueSpeaker & SubjectDetails

Thu 28th Mar2:15 pmPackington Village Hall.Adrian Hickson - 'A Family Affair'
Thu 25th Apr2:15 pmPackington Village Hall.TBA
Thu 23rd May2:15 pmPackington Village Hall.Geoffrey Harris -
'The London that no one sees'
An unusual and hidden view of the ‘real’ London.
Thu 27th Jun2:15 pmPackington Village Hall.Jane Harris - 'Mary Quant'A story of Mary, herself, and the fashion house she founded
Thu 25th Jul2:15 pmPackington Village Hall.Jane Harris - 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'The story of the man, his history, his claim, his early battles and the humiliation
Thu 29th AugTBACoach trip to the city of BathColin EllisThere is ‘bags’ to see, the Roman baths, cathedral etc. The date has been changed to avoid Bank Holiday road conditions. Full details, inc. cost and timings, to follow.
Thu 26th Sep2:15 pmPackington Village Hall.Yogi Godwin - 'The 1849 Health Report on Ashby'A scathing report on a town with appalling conditions of hygiene.
Thu 24th Oct2:15 pmPackington Village Hall.Several magistrates - 'Tales from the Court'They wish to explain their roles, their stories and to listen to your views.
Thu 28th Nov2:15 pmPackington Village Hall.Dandy Loong - 'From the fury of Norsemen deliver us.'
Thu 26th Dec - No Meeting



Monday 19th February. Today was a departure from our normal session, hosted by Yogi and attended by 22.

This was a Group Planning Session, in which Yogi aimed to elicit the views of the membership on the way forward for the Group. He organised us into a large circle, then, by way of preamble illuminated the ethos of the group by noting interesting events in history that occurred on this date (22nd February) and which point up his theme-is history about change? He mentioned several events, such as the birth of Anne of Cleeves in 1515, Lef Walenska’s momentous formation of Solidarity in 1980, Elephant Appreciation Day and Business Women’s day, not to mention, which he didn’t, the attempted (failed!) invasion, by the French, of Fishguard in 1797. The next step was to divide us into pairs. Yogi wanted us to appreciate the importance of sociability in the group, a feature which many of us Group Leaders find so important in our own groups. Our task was to introduce ourselves to each other. We were to explore each other’s lifestyle and tastes. Then we regrouped into 4’s, and the members of each pair shared with the other pair information they had each gathered about their partner. These activities point up the necessity of good listening and remembering skill, identifying the strengths and weakness of others rather than of ourselves. This activity is so important in good conversation to avoid it becoming a monologue. The main event followed, which as to explore what the members wanted from the Group to help shape the programme for 2025 and beyond. This is a summary of Yogi’s findings with some post-meeting addenda:

1 There must be academic content, not just enjoyment.

2 More visits out, but do we self-drive or hire buses?

3 Most speakers should use a microphone so all can hear clearly. There is a large proportion of the membership who have some hearing impairment, and a large group presents acoustic problems for those with gentle voices. A headset should therefore be purchased to enable hands free operation, perhaps to be shared with Gardening and Science and Technology groups. Perhaps some guidance in projection and technique could be offered to presenters: this is a skill that does not come naturally.

4 More should be made of our local historic facilities such as Ashby Museum, Measham Museum, Ashby Workhouse, Ivanhoe Baths, local churches etc. The group is too big to visit small buildings, but it would be possible to for sub-groups to visit them in leisure time and produce presentations to the whole group for 2-3 sessions. Such a scheme should take account of the fact that not everyone can attend all of a specific series, so thought could be given to making each module self-consistent but linked to the others.

The Leicester museums should also be visited.

5 Costs of visits should not exceed £25.00. 6 The balance between out-house and in-house speakers is about right.

7 One of the sessions per year should be for social ‘basic fun’, party-time, perhaps non- summer.

8 We must be doing things roughly right because attendance numbers are steady and rising. This is my most reassuring conclusion.” 25-01-2024,'A Family Portrait and a Cruel Fate' by Lynda Kovach"


Earlier history meeting