Members of Crewkerne & District U3A’s Geology Group said goodbye to their organiser Val Watson, who has led the group since it began 15 years ago. The farewell presentation also marked the end of the group, which for many years was the largest in the U3A. There are no plans to continue the geology group in 2020 and some of the residual funds were spent on a Christmas buffet lunch at St Bartholomew’s Church hall, organised by the catering staff at the George Reynolds Centre.

In her farewell speech, Val said: “It is time to get on with other projects that have taken a back seat and I have promised myself that I will write a family history for my grandchildren and try to get back to doing some botanical painting.” Val thanked those who had supported her over the years in making the geology group the success that it became – from putting out chairs and tables, checking attendances, helping with refreshments, reporting events for the newsletter and emailing arrangements to members, a task that was undertaken by Charlotte Rowntree who also announced that she was stepping down.

U3A member Liz Randall presented Val and Charlotte with bouquets, Val also received a card from members and gave gifts to those who had helped with the group’s success. Liz Randall said: “Val thought geology was a subject that she and others should know more about. A lot of other people agreed and they rapidly outgrew the upstairs room at the old Grammar School where they used to meet. Val booked so many excellent speakers and trips to locations such as caves, museums, quarries and cruises – all of them accomplished without a hitch. She was also a superb networker, using the resources of the U3A’s national geology organiser as well as liaising with other Somerset and Devon U3As.

“Over the years the Geology Group has given its 80 members a broader appreciation of the ground beneath their feet and the landscape around them, as well as some lovely friendships. We thank Val for facilitating all of this.” High spots during Val’s time as group leader included the geology study days, that were organised with the Avalon network of U3As in South Somerset and at which Val was one of the speakers.

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