U3A in London Update – 17 January 2022

This information was published on: January 17, 2022

From Gilli

This week’s Monday talk is by Jan Parsons from the Guildford Travel Club who is an old favourite. She will be talking about “Palestine Beyond the Wall”. 

A list of the Spring Monday morning talks can be found on the U3A website: https://u3alondon.org.uk/ 

The Cafeteria – Sad News from Naomi

We knew how anxious you were about the future of the cafeteria, and we had prepared a full picture of the situation for this week’s Update   That has now been overtaken by the following excerpt taken from an email from Joanna that we received two days ago.

Having carefully considered the latest developments at the Town Hall as well as the ongoing effects of the pandemic on U3A and its members, I have concluded that I’m no longer able to continue to run The Atrium Cafe at the Wac Arts building”.

I spoke at length with Jo on Friday. Whilst devastated that she must leave a job she loves and our U3A members, whom she regards as her family, she realises that this is the right decision for her at this time.  She is very keen, however, to return at some future date if the opportunity presents itself.  Moreover, she is eager to cater functions for us, if we can provide workspace for her to do so.

 Members have reported receiving information about ‘secretive Committee’ meetings.  We would like to reassure you that there is nothing secretive about our Committee. It consists of people who have volunteered to do their best to maintain our organisation’s strong egalitarian principles and any member can join the committee and we welcome new faces. In the days when we met in person any member could attend these meetings. Now on Zoom you are equally invited to log in as ‘observers.

With the Spring term underway – it is now time to move on. 

One of the ideas we have is perhaps to turn one of our (now underused) classrooms into a ‘common room’ where people can meet to chat with comfortable chairs and tea and coffee making facilities.  Any other suggestions from any member would be very welcome. Please contact me at naomi_stuart@yahoo.com with your thoughts.

Returning to the Town Hall?

The Committee’s first duty in serving our members is to protect their safety and wellbeing. Therefore we will meet on Wednesday 19 January to decide whether we can start in-person classes again at the Town Hall on Monday 24 January, or to continue the delay in re-opening.

We will let you know whether we will be back in the Town Hall by email next Wednesday or Thursday. Members not on email have been asked to telephone our Office for a message which will be updated accordingly.

Best wishes, Naomi

From Amalia

Apologies for the several glitches that upset people trying to connect to classes in last week’s timetable. Fingers crossed, we have tried to correct them for this week. One problem for coordinators is that so many of us have forgotten how to Zoom, claim host, mute participants and so on. Must try harder!

Another change for you to note: Stanley Volk has decided to stop his Music Singalong class for the rest of this term.

Some more sad news

Errol Wall has died peacefully in his sleep.  Those of us who have been members for some time will remember him with great fondness.  He was a helpful, reliable and charming man – our Company Secretary for many years and a valued member of our committee.  But Errol was so much more than that.  He was a retired GP and he it was who was responsible for the unreadable labels in AV1 and AV2 – and he always put the clocks right! 

Another sad death.  Leo Bernstein who shared coordinating the Medicine Today class with Mary Rossiter for many years.  They will both be missed

From Linda Shannon

There will be no Shakespeare study group class this Wednesday 19 January.  We will resume on the 26th.  The class members have been notified.

From Valerie Wilson Trower

I booked 10 places before Christmas for a proposed group visit to the Design History Museum on 25 January at 2.00.  As I don’t have the email addresses of the members of my group, please would those members contact me.

Hopefully, we will all be back in the building before the planned visit in March.

From Martin Green

A Piscatorial Poem
A ballad of Salmond and Sturgeon
I’ve seldom seen a pike riding on a bike
Or a seahorse trotting on a racecourse
Or even a halibut dancing ballet, but
I’ve seen rainbow trout swanning about
And a hungry prawn noshing frog spawn
While a dozy sea bream had a soggy wet dream
And what of the hake turned into fishcake?
While the eel makes the seal a bloody fine meal
The dish ran away with the spoon

From Jelena, a member of Steve Stephens’ Wednesday Art Class and Maureen Bett’s Thursday Art class


To make you smile

Here are some facts about the1500s: 

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water’..

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying. It’s raining cats and dogs.  There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor.

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the use of a ‘thresh hold’.


Best Wishes from the Team