U3A in London Update – 10 January 2022

This information was published on: January 10, 2022

From Gilli

Our inaugural Monday talk of the Spring term asks the age-old riddle ‘Why did the Chicken Cross the Road?’ and fortunately our very own Fellow of the Royal Society, Robin Weiss will be on zoom at 10.30 to give us the answer.

A list of Spring term Monday morning talks is on the U3A website. In addition this term, we will be hosting the Tom Harris Memorial lecture by Sir Rodric Braithwaite – more details to follow in the February timetable. 

From Naomi

Reluctantly and regretfully, we have decided the risks were too great to open the Town Hall on 10 January for in-person classes.  We were aware that several of you were willing to take the risks involved, but our duty in serving our members is to protect their safety, so our decision was a collective one.

The following factors were considered by the committee when they deliberated on whether to re-open the Town Hall as planned. Vaccines are believed to be the most likely way for us to ride out this pandemic – however, even many who have been fully vaccinated have succumbed to the Omicron variant. Although the variant appears to be a generally milder one than others, it is highly contagious, the effects on our age group and the more vulnerable have not yet been quantified and the peak has not been reached. 

The usual Zoom classes will not be affected, and many coordinators have agreed to transfer their in-person classes to Zoom for the time being.  All of us are indebted to our coordinators, as well as to Amalia and Gilli for responding to our decision so quickly.

We are determined to maintain our sanity and keep our U3A operating, so study the new Zoom timetable carefully and make the necessary contacts to join the classes of your choice.  Please do not log in too early and leave promptly as other classes will be using the same platforms.  We hope that the delay will not last longer than two weeks and we should be able to re-open the Town Hall on Monday 24 January.  However, in these uncertain times, nothing can be taken for granted.  Another committee meeting will be held just before then and you will be notified of our decision which will be based on the latest scientific data as well as government advice.

Until then, please take extra special care.  Best wishes, Naomi 

From Amalia

Please note – from this week:

  1. History: London Miscellany. Stephen Barry’s class starts on January 13 at 11.40.
  2. European History: Christopher Dean takes over the Tuesday slot at 11.40 from Robin Weiss.
  3. Art Appreciation: Jennifer Mills returns with Portraiture in Italy and the North, on Tuesdays.at 11.40.
  4. Advanced German Conversation with Charles Fraser on Tuesdays is cancelled.
  5. Japanese Year 2 with Nobuko Leslie. This class on Wednesdays at 12.50 is postponed.
  6. Soclal Anthropology. Caroline White’s class returns on Tuesdays at 15.10.
  7. Qi Gong. Barbara Alden’s Zoom class is moving from Thursdays to Tuesdays at 17.20.
  8. Neorca Liew’s Meditation will return on Tuesdays at 11.00

The room changes will be listed when we are due to return and will be included in the new version of the summary timetable.

From Stephen Barry

My new series of illustrated London Miscellany talks starts on Thursday January 13. The first week will look at the history of Barking, including its now forgotten and once important fishing industry.

From Katharine Hoare

The British Museum and Camden Adult Learning are running a set of free 90-minute history webinars this term. The talks cover different aspect of British, world and museum history. The spring term webinars are listed below. If you would like further information about each webinar or to enrol just follow this link


British cities at the British Museum: objects and Britain’s urban past.  24 January 2022, 11:00-12:30

Archaeology stories from the soil: what museum objects can tell us about their buried life.  31 January 2022, 11:00-12:30

Love is in the air: museum objects which express affection for people and places.  7 February 2022, 11.00-12.30

Medieval queens: the life and times of four British queens.  21 February 2022, 11.00-12.30

Global connections: community and commodity links in the museum collections.  28 February 2022, 11.00-12.30

Learners’ choice: a chance for you to help select the workshop topic.  7 March 2022, 11.00-12.30

From The London Region of U3As

We are  planning to host a 2-day Summer School July 26th – 27th 2022 at the St. Bride’s Institute, off Fleet St.  Activities will include talks, workshops and guided walks. There will be a wide range of subjects to choose from such as Art, Current Affairs, History, Literature, Music, Sciences and Social Studies. In addition, this year we have selected London as a general theme.  At this stage we are just asking you to Save the Dates. We want everyone to be safe and will be closely following Covid guidance from the government, Third Age Trust, and working with St. Bride’s. The full Programme and booking details will be publicised from mid-April.

Best wishes
Catherine Ware, Talks and Summer School Coordinator: talks.lru3a@gmail.com   

To make you smile

A Topical Poem ….

I won’t arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
I’ll sanitise the doorknob and make a cup of tea.
I won’t go down to the sea again; I won’t go out at all,
I’ll wander lonely as a cloud from the kitchen to the hall.
There’s a green-eyed yellow idol to the north of Kathmandu
But I shan’t be seeing him just yet and nor, I think, will you.
While the dawn comes up like thunder on the road to Mandalay
I’ll make my bit of supper and eat it off a tray.
I shall not speed my bonnie boat across the sea to Skye,
Or taking the rolling English road from Birmingham to Rye.
About the woodland, just right now, I am not free to go
To see the Keep Out posters or the cherry hung with snow.
And no, I won’t be travelling much, within the realms of gold,
Or get me to Milford Haven. All that’s been put on hold.
Give me your hands, I shan’t request, albeit we are friends
Nor come within a mile of you, until this virus ends.


Best Wishes from the Team