Our President, Bob Welham, took the opportunity at the start of our first general assembly of 2019 to allow the U3A Vall del Pop members to give the wholehearted congratulations to, our fellow member, Elaine Horton on her New Year ‘s Honour award of an MBE. It is a thoroughly welldeserved recognition of Elaine’s dedication to Jalon Valley Help, of which she is the President.
Our first speaker of 2019 was David Shute, who is now retired and living in Calpe, who came to share with us some of the highlights of his career as a News Reporter with the BBC. David was born in Essex but managed to develop, what in the 1950/60s was known as perfect BBC English – as he explained clear pronunciation was what the BBC required, even if it was delivered with a regional dialect.
Although it was raining, plenty of members turned up - in fact so many we were hard pressed to find enough chairs! The Vall del Pop singers entertained us with carols to start the proceedings and the capacity crowd were mercifully spared a long 'admin' session and got down to the fun, mince pies and cava straight away.
The blue hair was startling - more of that later! Sheila began her talk by explaining what prompted her to clock up more than 20,000 miles on a bicycle saddle! She was office bound in Scotland, but did some work related travelling around the UK. One day, on the M6 motorway, she noticed a man crossing a bridge. With a rucksack on his back and his head in the air, enjoying total freedom. Sheila realised how trapped she felt, and determined to do something about it. A touring bike proved to be the answer.