U3A in London Update – 12 July 2021

This information was published on: July 12, 2021

From Anna Orlowska

The Timetable

You can see a reduced version of the timetable, the latest update and a description of the classes on our website, to see it click here.

Monday Morning Talk

The Monday morning talk this week as our finale for the term – David Barnett talks about ‘Shops and Shopping in Regency London’. David is well known to U3A members and has given previous excellent talks on Jo Lyons of Corner House fame and on Adam Worth Victorian master criminal. Since his retirement in 1991 when Director General of the Road Transport Industry Training Board, David studied for a PhD in business history and has a special interest in commercial enterprises in 18th and 19th century London.

Monday Morning Talks will return in the Autumn term with Tudor Allen talking about ‘Charles Dickens in Holborn, Hampstead and St Pancras’. The full programmewill soon be available on our website.

Summer Programme

From Naomi

The Government seems adamant that all restrictions will be lifted on 19 July despite the surge in cases of Covid-19 and scientific predictions that with the ending of all restrictions at the same time, the situation will worsen dramatically. The committee is still working towards our U3A re-opening on 20 September, whilst awaiting the formal announcement by the Prime Minister.

If there is not full clarity in that statement, we will seek guidance from National Office. Then the committee would have to take the decision about when to re-open. I sincerely hope that the virus will soon be under control and not have a negative influence on our return to the Town Hall. Circumstances are continually changing. It could be that the Government changes its mind and puts some brakes on.

In the end, we are each responsible for our own actions. Whatever the situation is on our return, each of you must decide whether you will be doing so at that time. As much as I want us all to back in person as soon as possible, it will be up to each of you individually to decide what is best for you.

Best wishes from Naomi.

Helping in the Office

We are making optimistic plans to return to the Town Hall on 20 September but only if all restrictions are removed by then. Gerta has contacted the stalwarts who always kept the Office running when things were “normal” and she was delighted to find that most of them will be pleased to return. However, there are some gaps for new recruits. If you are willing to spend one half day each week to join her happy band, please email the Office and indicate which session might suit you best. There is no better way of getting to know how our U3A “ticks”.

For the Fans of Wally Howard

These are the final talks for this term and we look forward to being in contact again next term. They are:
More Reflections on Mauritius; More Reflections on Mauritius Part II; A short reflection on death – and farewell to Ann Stewart, given at her funeral. The links are in the timetable.

From David Castle, our Chess Co-ordinator

A new u3a Chess Network

After two successful u3a Zoom meetings, support has been gathered from u3a members representing all parts of the UK for the start of the u3a CHESS NETWORK.  The Network aims to promote the study and playing of Chess in the u3a – both in local u3a`s and nationally on web-sites and Zoom, etc.

Chess, unlike Bridge, has never flourished in u3a – probably because it has the reputation of being a difficult, aggressive, complex game, played in silence.On the contrary, the rules are straightforward and easy to grasp and after a short while interesting, thought-provoking games can be played.

Also, we have shown in the last few years that a Chess Club can be sociable, interactive and co-operative – where the intention is to explore the theory and play well but also to enjoy playing the game and meeting other people.There is little doubt that playing a game like Chess improves concentration, memory, decision-making and spatial comprehension – so a real advantage for all of us in u3a!!

In September we are starting a nation-wide u3a Chess League which will be available to all members of all abilities from learners to experts.The objectives of the Network are:

  • to help and encourage new Chess Clubs; (one of the most common questions we have received has been `how do I start a Chess Club ?`)
  • to collect, and make readily available, information relevant to u3a chess players and clubs.
  • to encourage Zoom or on-line u3a Chess groups or leagues; (another typical complaint to the Subject Advisors is that there are no u3a chess groups in my area!).

It is now possible to join the u3a CHESS NETWORK by going to: www.u3aChessNetWork.org.uk – where it is also possible to register for the u3a Chess League starting in September.We need as much publicity and support as we can obtain to help give this initiative a strong start.

David Castle, Chess Subject Adviser

To make you smile



An Airbus 380 is on its way across the Atlantic.

It flies consistently at 800 km/h at 30,000 feet, when suddenly a Euro fighter appears.The pilot of the fighter jet slows down, flies alongside the Airbus and greets the pilot of the passenger plane by radio:
“Airbus flight AY22 , boring flight, isn’t it? Take care and have a look at me!”

He rolls his jet on its back, accelerates, breaks through the sound barrier, rises rapidly to a dizzying height only to swoop down almost to sea level in a breath-taking dive.Then he loops back next to the Airbus and asks, “Well, how was that?”The Airbus pilot answers: “Very impressive, but now have a look here!”

The jet pilot watches the Airbus, but nothing happens.It continues to fly stubbornly straight, at a constant speed and at the same altitude.After five minutes, the Airbus pilot radioed, “Well, what are you saying now?”

The jet pilot asks confused: “What did you do?” The other laughs and says,

“I got up, gossiped with a couple of flight attendants, stretched my legs, chatted with some passengers, went to the toilet, and got a cup of coffee and a sandwich”.

The moral of the story is:
When you are young, speed and adrenaline seem to be great but as you get older and wiser, thoughtfulness, comfort and peace are much more important .

This is why it is called S.O.S.: Slower, Older, Smarter.


Best Wishes from the Team