U3A in London – Update 19 September 2022

This information was published on: September 19, 2022

First of Autumn Term 2022

(it’s rather long; please read it!)

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth lived a remarkable life of public service. She made a great impact both in this country and around the world and is greatly missed and sadly mourned.

Her funeral will take place on Monday 19 September which was to have been the first day of the new term.  That day has now been declared a Bank Holiday and the Town Hall will be closed. Therefore, our classes in the building will start on Tuesday 20th September.

As for the Zoom classes on Monday, to avoid ambiguity you should assume that they are also cancelled unless you are told by the coordinator that the class will take place.

Timetable for the rest of the week beginning on 20 September

Copies of the revised version of the Town Hall room Timetable and the Zoom timetable are available in the Office and on our website.

The 40th Anniversary Party (which took place on 11 September)

The party was enjoyed by all who attended. Our thanks are due particularly to Marie-Ange King, together with her team for working so hard to make it such a great success, and to everyone who took part. We had considered the possibility of cancelling it because of the period of mourning for the late Queen, but the plans were too advanced for us to do so. We felt, however, that it was appropriate to hold a minutes’ silence after lunch which was followed by “God save our gracious King”. There were fun taster sessions of a few of our classes, a quiz, a presentation to some very special long serving members, cake and “bubbly” and a rousing sing-along.

Copies of a 40th Anniversary booklet are available to those who would like one and can be picked up in the office.

Below – Marie-Ange cutting our 40th Anniversary cake – and a few of the special people who received a well-deserved certificate of thanks and a bottle of wine. From L-R, Steve Stephens, Colette Levy, Amalia Michaels, Shirley Levy and Gerta Regensburger.

Here are typical emails received from appreciative members:

“I really enjoyed the 40th Anniversary Party.  It was good to see familiar faces again and to meet new members. Thanks to Marie and the team for running this.  I feel encouraged to step back into the Town Hall again”. 

“What a really lovely atmosphere there was in the Atrium yesterday – I chatted to many people I had never met before – all those members enjoying themselves and looking forward to the new term!!  It was a real celebration of the value of the U3A movement as a whole and of U3A in London in particular. The team are to be congratulated on the way the event was organised – never a dull moment in a very varied afternoon”.

A New Term

We hope you enjoyed the Summer programme and are now looking forward to the exciting prospect of a new term and a new academic year.
There’s good news to tell you:

  1. We have restored our usual handbook – the one you knew and loved! The 2022-23 version is pink this year and you can pick up a copy in the Office whenever you like. Unfortunately it will, in time, become out of date to some extent, but always read the full timetable carefully each week in the Update as it will contain important current details of changes.
  2. Watch out for some new classes in the Town Hall, including: a return of Wally Howard’s full programme of 5 films a week (see below); Exercise – Franklin Method; Classical Guitar and Photographic Techniques on Tuesdays; Australia on Wednesdays, Spanish, Absolute beginners on Thursdays – plus lots more! Many Zoom classes are returning to the Town Hall and some will be hybrid.

Welcome back to U3A Film Classes!

Film classes will resume on Wednesday 21st September. There is a double-bill: at 11.30am The Great Buster followed by Mississippi Masala at 2.00pm. A further double-bill is being shown on Thursday 22nd September: at 11.30am My Name is Gulpilil and at 2.00pm Shall we Dance?
All these films celebrate life in all its facets and we look forward to seeing you in Room 1.22.

A reminder – membership renewals for 2022-23

This year to celebrate our 40th anniversary, we are offering you a bargain!  Our standard annual membership fee for 2022-23 will be changed from £75 to £40. For those on a reduced rate the annual fee will be £5 instead of £15.

To renew your membership, please pay £40 (full membership), £5 (reduced) or £25 (established coordinator) – whichever applies to you. We thank those of you who have already renewed your membership by whichever method of payment you used, and to express our gratitude if you added a donation. 

You can renew

  • in person by cash, cheque or debit or credit card at the U3A office, open at our usual office hours.
  • by a cheque payable to U3A in London. Post to U3A Office, Old Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QP. Please print your name and membership number on the back
  • by direct payment into our bank account.

We are not sending out receipts this year but please look at your bank statements if you wish, to check that we have received your payment.

Jewish High Holydays

This year, Rosh Hashana (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) fall on September 26, 27 and October 5th respectively.  Some classes may be disrupted as a result. Coordinators – if your class is involved – please let Amalia and Gilli know to remind members in the next Update.

TAM (Third Age Matters)

You may remember that as an experiment we decided some time ago to offer this magazine (published by U3A National) to all our members unless they opted out of receiving it. The time has come for this situation to be reviewed.

After the September edition, there will be a new arrangement, whereby you will only receive TAM if you let us know that you want it to be posted to you.  Please email the Office by 7th October to let us know your wish.  If we don’t hear from you by then, we will assume that you no longer wish to receive it.

(Incidentally, the magazine can be read on-line from the U3A National website and there will be a few copies available to read in the Common room).

U3A National’s 40th Anniversary events

Bridge Competition

The coordinators of our Bridge classes have been informed of a 40th anniversary competition being organised by U3A National during the week of 19 September. They are in touch with members who wish to take part.

40th Anniversary walk

The U3A National 40th Anniversary walk of the Capital Ring was also a success.  Thank you, Pam Strangman and Richard Cohen, for organizing our part of it.

From Nigel Hathway re: London visits

There is a limited number of vacancies available for each of the trips shown on the atttachment. If you are interested in going on any of these, please contact Nigel Hathway.

From Steve Barry

October Open Day

In order to attract new members, we will be holding an Open Day on Tuesday, 18 October.  This will also be an opportunity to promote classes and encourage more people to return to the Town Hall in person.

Our regular classes on that day will not take place. More details will be available soon.  In the meantime, please think about helping us to make the day a success by bringing along a prospective new member.  We will also need people to guide visitors around and inform them about our classes. Publicity leaflets for the event are available in the Office for members to distribute.  There will be coverage in local media and on our website. 

Coordinators who would like their class to be represented are asked to contact Ken Baldry

From Valerie Wilson Trower

The Isokon building, the Lawn Road flats (in Lawn Road), very close to U3A in London, will be opening for free from 11am to 4pm on Sat, . 17th and Sun. 18th of Sept (for Open House Day this coming weekend).
Whilst usually one of the studios of the 1934 building is open, unusually, one of the double apartments will be open, along with the penthouse, in which Jack and Molly Pritchard, who commissioned the Lawn Road Flats, lived. Expect queues as there is no booking.

From Ken Baldry

The first talk of the Autumn Term on Wednesday 21 September will take us to Eastern Europe, Russia & Italy, with an attempt to set up a European Union by agreement, not well known about in Britain. During the term, there will be much art history, as the Renaissance really gets under way. The whole term’s programme is on:-http://www.art-science.com/history-talks.html

From Stephen Barry

The subject of my first London Miscellany talk this term on Thursday September 22 in Room 1.30 at 11.40 will be Alsatia: the 17th century Liberty of Whitefriars in the City of London.

From Keiran Proffer

Dante’s Divine Comedy. The group will start again on Friday 23 September in room 2.26 at 10.30 – 11.30. Looking forward to seeing you again.

From Paul Plant

We were due to resume on Monday 19th – obviously we will not as it’s the Queen’s funeral. The following Monday is Rosh Hashana, and as most of class is Jewish, we need to cancel it too. Normal classes will resume Monday October 3rd.

From Maureen Guirdham

We have 3 vacancies available in the Write Your Life Story class for members who would like to join. Please contact me if you are interested.

From Des Marshall

Readings from your Favourite Book  A new fortnightly class will be starting on Monday 3rd October from 11.40-12.40 in Room 1.30.   (N.B. this class is too late to be included in the new Handbook).

This is your chance to read an excerpt from your favourite book, explaining why it means a lot to you and why it moves you so much that you want to share it with others.

To make you smile

One of the County Councils has raised a complaint with the county water supplier over the spillage of raw sewage into rivers in the county.  The water company spokesman said, “People are not swimming in sewage, they are just going through the motions”.

Aging: The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting for. (Mostly because we forgot why we were waiting in the first place !!)

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra (actually, some of us quite liked Algebra).

One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.


Best wishes from