U3A in London Update – 15 May 2023

This information was published on: May 15, 2023

The timetables for the week

The full timetable the Town Hall room timetable and the Zoom timetable are available in the Office and on our website.

Monday Morning Talk

We are delighted to welcome back David Farbey. David will be talking about ‘The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Eighty Years On’.

An Essential Reminder

If you want to place any contribution at all in the Update, you really must send it to Alan Milward. Alan cannot take over from Amalia if he does not receive the contributions. Until now, we have been forwarding items to each other but inevitably there have been some errors as a result. Please note the deadline for receipt of contributions is midday on Thursdays. Email: alanmilward53@gmail.com.

An Apology from Alan

I should like to offer my sincere apologies to Ken Baldry, Naomi Stuart and Hazelanne Lewis for the omission of their items last week.

Fire Safety: An Important Notice for All Members

Are you willing to risk the welfare and safety of yourself and your friends at U3A?  By not spending 2 or 3 minutes on obtaining simple instructions you could be endangering yourself and others, with serious injury or worse being the ultimate result.  Recent fire drills have shown that too many members are unsure about how to exit quickly and safely.  If any of your coordinators have not spent that short time going over fire evacuation procedure with you this term, please ask them to do so.

Fire Drill procedure is basically the same for each room to get you out of the building as quickly as possible.  but there are variations on the exit routes to be taken according to the room location.  Each set of procedures gives precise instructions on how the class must evacuate.  There is at least one alternative exit route from each location, should the primary one be blocked.   

For most rooms on Level 1 it is various routes through the Atrium, not the fire door at the end of the corridor, which is a bottleneck.  Whilst on Level 2 the primary exit is along the corridor towards the front of the building.  Again, not through the fire door at the bottom of the stairs on Level 1.

Exit in silence, as quickly as possible with the least mobile members exiting LAST to enable the speediest possible evacuation.  The fire wardens are there to help the least mobile.

When the fire bell rings, you must treat it as a genuine emergency.  It could be one.  Don’t play Russian roulette by thinking it’s just a drill.  By doing so, you are not only putting yourself at risk but the people who are trying to help you.  Please take care of yourself and your friends.

From Hazelanne Lewis Volunteers’ Corner

One of the best things about u3a in London is that we are all volunteers. Be it class teacher, office worker, committee member, or class attender we volunteer our time and energy. Together we make up the dynamic community that offers so much to our members. From time to time we need volunteers to fill certain roles. Volunteers Corner seems as good a way of asking as any.

Although WAC Arts have two first aiders it would be useful to have more. Are you an up to date first aider? Have you been one in the past and now need refresher training, or would you be prepared to train as a first aider. If so please contact me via office@u3alondon.org.uk

The Common Room
From Valerie Wilson Trower

Please do not attach anything to the newly painted Common Room walls. We are in the process of developing a picture wall which will be installed in a few weeks’ time.

The whiteboard and the pinboard are now installed, please use these. Blu-tak should not be used as it marks surfaces. Any messages can be written on the whiteboard using a whiteboard pen available from the Office.

Thank you, Valerie

From Gilli

Do you have an hour to spare to help children read? Bookmark Reading Charity needs volunteers to listen to children read in a local school or online. One of their team, Jenny Cater, has offered to give the Monday talk on July 3rd when you will be able to hear more about the charity and children’s literacy. 

If you would like more information before then, please go to https://www.bookmarkreading.org/volunteer.

A Special Musical Offer for U3A Members

We have been given access to discounted tickets for a series of concerts at the forthcoming, ‘Brandenburg Choral Festival of London’. If you would like to take advantage of this generous offer please refer to the booking arrangements.

Third Age Matters Magazine

Sue Kwok has now taken over the ordering of the magazine. If your household is receiving more copies than they have ordered, or not receiving the copies they have requested, please get in touch with Sue directly at skwokmorris@gmail to let her know.


Mah Jong for beginners

Change of date.  This class is now starting on 15th May from 11.40 -12.40 in room 1.24 on Mondays. Learn to play one of the oldest games in the world upon which many of the other games, eg rummy, are based.  We will learn to play British Mah Jong rules using the book: Mah Jong (Know the Game) by Gwyn Headley.    The class will be restricted to 10 participants. Please get in touch with Caroline Hough if you are interested.

From Wally Howard

Film classes. The short season of Russian films continues during the week commencing Monday 15th May 2023. The three films being shown in Room 1.22 are:
Monday May 15th at 2 pm
A Nikita Mikhalkov film, based on the works of Anton Chekhov

Wednesday May 17th at 2pm
A Milestone Of Russian Cinema. BALLAD OF A SOLDIER
With its poetic visual imagery, this film is an unconventional meditation on the effects of war. Winner of numerous awards. Directed by Grigory Chukhray.

Thursday May 18th at 2pm
The final episode of the Maxim Gorky Trilogy, MY UNIVERSITIES directed by Mark Donskoy

From Ken Baldry

European History on Wednesday (11.40 12.40 in room 2.21).  This week, talk 102: History of Italian Opera. A broad sweep from 1598 to 1985 with plenty of music & 148 slides. The following week is Talk 103: The Thirty Years War 1618 – 1648. The run-up in France, Netherlands & Sweden, then, the worst war to affect Europe before the Second World War with 141 slides. The full programme is on http://www.art-science.com/history-talks.html  This has been updated to Easter 2024.

From Stephen Barry

The illustrated talk in my London Miscellany series on Thursday May 18 will be ‘De Beauvoir Town, a dream unrealised’. Room 2.26 at 11.40 am.

From Stephen McGhee

The rhythm of the fortnightly Classical Music Appreciation on  Wednesdays has changed.  I will be running sessions on 24 May, 7 and 21 June and finally 5 July.

From Barbara Alden

My two classes, Voice Matters and Qi Gong, won’t resume until Tuesday June 6th.

Summer Coach Outings

(A repeat request)  Before the pandemic one of our members used to organise 3 coach outings every year as part of the Summer Programme. These were very popular and it would be great if they could be restarted, maybe with just 1 or 2 this year. If you would be willing to take over the organisation of these events please email the office. at office@u3alondon.org.uk 

To make you smile


When you ring your friend to ask them for their phone number.

For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.

You know you are getting older when ‘Happy Hour’ is a nap.

The older we get, the better we used to be.

Growing old is like being increasingly penalised for a crime you haven’t committed.

The three ages of women: youth, middle age, and ‘my word you do look well’.

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

I don’t mean to interrupt people. I just randomly remember things and get really excited. When I ask for directions, please don’t use words like “east.”

Best wishes from the team

Gilli Vafidis Monday talks and Zoom Queen
And Richard.