U3A in London Update – 19 October 2020

This information was published on: October 19, 2020

From Gilli The Autumn Timetable

As usual, we have sent you the timetable as a separate document so that you may access it more easily. You may also see it if you click here. Also click here for an up-to-date description of all the current classes.

The Monday Talks

This week Daniel Sonabend talks about ‘The 43 group: Post-war fascism and anti-fascism’ The 43 group was founded by Jewish ex-servicemen who, returning from war in 1946, were determined to do something about the rise of British fascism. Daniel, a London based writer and historian, has spent the last 8 years researching the group and tells their story tomorrow at 10.30.

Next week – we are in for a treat as Alfred Bradley and Sue Morris, great favourites of the Monday Morning Talks audience, come back to illustrate ‘The writings of Sir Walter Raleigh’ in ‘Peacock and No Slug’. 


Recordings of the Monday Morning Talks are available for a week or two afterwards. If you would like to have the link to a recording – or of that of an outside contributor such as Cindy Zurias, please email the Office. Recordings of some other talks may also be available. Please check with the coordinator to request a link.

From Amalia

Today I was re-reading the very first Update we sent out after we had to close in March. How out of date and quaint it seems now! Whoever would have thought then that we’d still be locked out of the Town Hall seven months later?

One of the entries in it, however, needs repeating more than ever – it read “Remember if you want to have a chat, you can always phone Diana King on 020 8202 8836”. We often remind you that you can also phone me and Naomi too, but don’t forget Diana who is willing and ready to listen to you and help in any way possible.

From Naomi

At our AGM the subject of diversity was raised under any other business and there was an interesting discussion on how to widen the range of our membership. I promised then that the subject would be on the new committee’s agenda.

Although in some ways it would be difficult to act on this now, while our building is closed, the fact that we operate so many classes on Zoom provides a different opportunity to tempt those who are stuck at home because of coronavirus to join us. So the committee has decided to act positively.

Maggie Crawford, who is on our executive committee, now represents our U3A on the National Recruitment Campaign Committee. She has gathered a small group of enthusiastic members and they are working on pilot schemes to both attract new members and broaden the base of our membership. She is reporting back to National Office. If you would like to be involved in this and want to join Maggie and her select team, please email me and I will pass on your details to her.

The latest news on re-joining our U3A via the website is “Almost there – but not quite!”. Until then, the only way for you to renew your membership at present is to email the Office and ask for your pre-printed registration form to be emailed to you. (If you have printer problems, ask for it to be posted to you). It would definitely help if you included your name and membership number as I don’t have the means to decode email addresses. If you want to pay by this method, I will send you all the necessary information when you apply for your form.

I will then liaise with Herbie and ask him to send you your registration form. When you have made sure everything is correct on it, you need to sign it and post it back to a designated member of the committee. If you pay by cheque, please include that with the form; if you pay directly into our bank, you must indicate it on the form, sign it and still post it back to that member of the committee. The membership fees this year have not changed and the basic contribution is still £75..

Incidentally, I can now add Suffolk to places where some members are in lockdown.

Take care everyone.

From Gerta

I would like to offer my compliments to the members of the Art classes for the paintings they produce. They are a pleasure to look at.  (I’m sure we all agree – what a talented bunch they are!)

From Wally Howard

The next topic in my talk on miscarriages of justice is Part 3 of The Morata Affair.

You can watch “The Morata Affair – Part 3” on Vimeo:

And you can also see “Memories at 95 – Part 9” on Vimeo:

Class News

We have some exciting news for you. There will be some brand-new classes joining our Zoom timetable very soon!

This very Wednesday at 16.45, my daughter Judith Michaels is offering “Salsalates” – a fusion of Pilates exercises, Salsa dancing and fun! Work your body, mind and soul – experience gentle aerobic dance exercise with standing Pilates that concentrates on slow and measured movements. A highly effective session for improving posture, flexibility and to prevent injury. You will need a cleared space in front of your camera device and a dining chair or similar for support.

And …. the members of Caroline White’s Social Anthropology class will be delighted to hear that she will be returning – however at a new time and on a different day. To avoid a clash with Tom Harris on Tuesdays at 10.30, you can join Caroline at 11.45 on Fridays.  The first class in the series will be at 11.45 on Friday, 23 October. 

Also …. watch out for Design History starting on Thursday 5 November, weekly at 15.30 with Valerie Wilson Trower. She writes: “Coming soon on 5th of November – design history proposes that artefacts from a given period are related to the social, political, economic, technical, and aesthetic conceptions of that period. The talks will start in 1851 and work towards the present day. 

Last but not least, another special piece of news is that Ralph Blumenau intends to make a comeback! He has agreed to give us a “one-off” lecture on Voltaire – also on 5 November but later – at 17.00. I’m sure you will agree that every cloud has a silver lining. It was becoming increasingly difficult for Ralph to travel from his home to Belsize Park but, now with the dawning of Zoom, we’ll have the pleasure of seeing and hearing him again from the comfort of his own flat. Welcome back, Ralph!


From Steve Stephen’s Wednesday Art Class

From Maureen Betts

More contributions from the Thursday Art class.

From Pieta Ruck Keene

Here is the link to this week’s class recording: 

Meeting Recording: Topic: Piriformis.


Also, one of our group is in hospital having an operation. I include a bone healing meditation that my daughter and I made a few years ago. The principle of visualising the injury shrinking applies no matter where you are healing. I hope this might be useful in the middle of the night when trying to get back to sleep.  

Bone healing meditation:

for anyone else interested in doing mediation homework – here is a guided meditation that you might find useful

Breath Focused Meditation:

See you on Tuesday, Pieta

To Make you smile

These sentences appeared in church bulletins or were announced at church services:    

Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. 
The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.  ‘The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’  
Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale.  It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house.  Bring your husbands.
Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help
Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation. 
For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs. 
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church.  So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What Is Hell?’  Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones. 
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered 
Pot-luck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow. 
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind.  They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM.  Please use the back door. 
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church.  Please use the large double door at the side entrance.

From Dennis Evans

I empathise with the students who are currently in self-isolation / lockdown. My generation had to cope with 2 years compulsory National Service; and not being allowed out of camp for at least a month during our basic training was hard. Below is a poem about that time:

Well done airmen! 

We’d cleared out the coal bunker
swept and washed the floor
and walls clean of coal dust.
We painted the walls in gleaming white.
What a job we’d done!
What was the pristine bunker
now to be used for?
The answer was not long in coming.
“Well done airmen!” the corporal said.
“Now shovel the coal back in”.

(First published by: Celebration Press, London in Service Days)

From Linda Shannon

The herbal health, witchery and poisoning of Shakespeare’s world Tuesday 27th October at 7 pm

Anyone wishing to book a ticket for this webinar [£5] should go on to the Rose’s website: www.roseplayhouse.org.uk and follow the link to TryBooking.

The traditional and structural use of remedies, flowers and poisons were a poetic core to the Shakespearean world. Some of the elements of our modern health practices are easily recognised, others are hidden amid more complicated political narratives. The talk will present some of the more unusual uses of plants that arose within Shakespearean scripts. A materia medica that provides both toxic and healing treatments and a trail to guide us through the plague back to health, Karen Howell is a Herb Archivist and former Curator of the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret, London. From translating the Latin pharmacopoeia of the old Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, to presenting how pre-NHS surgeons achieved their mission, without antiseptic or anaesthetic procedure, as a museum curator she has reviewed and presented the detailed narratives of the health trials of the past to help us appreciate the importance of our modern health care system.