Western Branch Director
I have always been interested in organising groups from a very young age. In my teenage years, I set up and organised a soccer team from the local area to participate in the Plymouth under 15 league. This interest continued through my college years and even more so in my teaching career in Primary education. As well as undertaking the usual class trips and year group outings organisation to places of local interest to link in with the curriculum, I also undertook an annual ski-ing trip to Europe – Austria, France, Switzerland and annual visits to the Jersey Primary Football Festival for District Associations. In all, I achieved thirty-six visits to Jersey during the Easter holidays with all the participants being from a range of local Newbury schools who following a series of trials played together as a representative squad for Newbury District schools.
Following retirement in 2008, I joined the newly-formed Tadley U3A and became the leader of the Bus Pass Group. This group has evolved over the years and now offers a monthly visit to a variety of different places and activities, mainly our bus passes but also making use of the train to go to a different area. In addition, we also tend to have a monthly get-together to talk, share information and ideas as well as a cup of coffee. For several years, we have also added 2/3 stays away of 3/4 days mainly using the train to get to the area and then buses throughout our stay. Recently however, we have succumbed to using a coach from Tadley as the group have got older since we first started. There has been very little in the way of changes to members of the group since we first started as we all grow old together. There is a waiting list which never seems to be reduced. Current members are very reluctant to give up their membership of the group.
With the advent of Covid, there has been a great reluctance to travel on the national bus service as a group so, consequently we have been able to use a 1952 ex-London Transport vintage bus for the exclusive use of the group. We are now very slowly re-introducing the national bus service again to the group to try to get the group functioning as it did originally.