U3A in London Update – 20 September 2021

This information was published on: September 20, 2021

A very warm welcome back to our home in the Old Town Hall. If there is a certain amount of chaos at first, we know you will understand that things will soon settle down.
Your blue lanyard lets you straight into the building. If you have not yet got it, please read the letter we sent out yesterday which reminds you how to do so.

Remember to wear a mask in the ‘public’ areas of the Town Hall, including Reception, the corridors and the Atrium. Masks are optional in our classrooms.

Links to the Zoom Classes

The links and/or the email addresses of Zoom coordinators were sent out yesterday in a detailed timetable. Preparing this timetable has been a big undertaking. If you spot any mistakes in it, let us know and we will put them right.

Please note: it is absolutely essential that you take a careful note of the start and stop times of each Zoom class and do NOT tune in more than 5 minutes before the class starts. The timing is very tight, and we all know how classes can be blocked if people tune in early or overrun the time. There is now a break of 10 minutes between classes, for “turnover” and sorting out the technology, which should be sufficient.

Monday Morning Talks

As we no longer have the use of the Peter Samuel Hall in the Royal Free Hospital, we have set up our three largest rooms (2.21, 1.29 and 1.22) with Video Conferencing facilities so that you may be present at the talk from any of them. The rooms are all Zoom-enabled, so that you could, if you wish, “attend” the talk from your own home. As you may guess, it will take a little time for us all to get used to the new system, but we have tested it and when things have settled down, it should work well. If your coordinators have problems with the new technology, just be patient while we help to sort it all out.

The first talk will be on Monday at 10.30. The subject will be “Streets of Inspiration – Charles Dickens and Holborn, Hampstead and St Pancras” with Tudor Allen who is the Senior archivist of Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre.  We said last week that he would be in Room 2.21 but there has been a change of plan – he will be giving his talk on Zoom and you should be able to attend from Room 2.21 or from your home.  When Room 2.21 becomes full, the talk will also be available in Room 1.29 and Room 1.22.

You will be told in advance which talks are “live” i.e. if there is a speaker actually present in Room 2.21, or if the talk is on Zoom.

From Naomi

Welcome home. This is the time to celebrate as we come back eighteen months after closing our doors. By hook or by crook, we have survived this desperate period, and are looking forward to “normality”, whatever that turns out to be.

We have tried our hardest to turn the clock back and provide you with the well-run organisation we left behind. In real life, as opposed to fairy tales, things don’t always pan out, so despite our efforts, not everything is working out according to plan. We have yet to solve some of our technical issues. Please be patient and tolerant, we are hopeful of operating smoothly soon.

You have been so supportive of our efforts to keep going during the pandemic, and we have appreciated this greatly. The spirit of family has flourished during those arduous months. With the continuation of this warmth towards each other and a sense of humour, we will show the resilience needed to be a friendly, thriving group once more.

Joanna and her staff will be waiting to welcome you back to the café on Monday.

It was lovely to see so many of you in the past week, when you came in to get your lanyards. A sense of wellbeing and excitement was already filling the air. I’m so looking forward to meeting many of you again very soon.

From Amalia

Here we go again! There are printed versions of them in the Office but they are now slightly out of date. So please make your own alterations (see below) and be prepared for some more – we will keep you informed.

Here are this week’s changes:

  1. On every Tuesday this term at 11.40, Alan Morton’s Energy and Climate Change is now in Room 1.29 and Marvin Tomkinson’s Italian Conversation is in Room 1.33.
  2. Valerie Wilson Trower is changing her Design History class to Tuesdays at 15.10 in Room 2.21, starting on 5 October.
  3. Elana Gal-Edd’s computer classes on Tuesday at 11.40 and on Thursday at 10.30 are now both on Zoom. She would be happy to give one to one iPad/iPhone tuition over the internet to up to six people, at times to be arranged.

    And from previous Updates:

  4. Hebrew classes on Tuesdays with Jeff Freeman will begin on Tuesday 26 October and on Wednesdays with Debbie Freeman on 27
  5. There is an extra French Zoom class. Pauline Malpas and Liz Goodfellow are offering Intermediate French at 12.50 on Mondays.
  6. Write your Memoirs on Fridays is starting a week late, on 1 October.
  7. Another extra French Zoom class – Post Beginners on Wednesdays at 11.00 with Judith Steinberg. 
  8. Carole Ingram’s Yoga classes on Thursdays in Room 2.21 have been postponed – possibly until next term.

From Wally Howard

Dear Film Fans,

I am afraid that the resumption of my films has been delayed as we are awaiting the restoration of equipment at the Town Hall following the long Covid break. Hopefully this will not take too long.

In the meantime, I have attached links to two folders: the first is to the Miscarriages of Justice talks which includes two cases which have never been circulated before: The Triangle Fire and The Case of Timothy Evans. All the videos should be in order in my collection and here is the link to the collection:

I have also put all the videos of recommended films into a folder so that they can all be accessed easily. Here is the link:

I am very much looking forward to seeing you in person again soon and, until then, keep safe and well.

Regards, Wally

From Sharon Theodore

I am so sorry to have to cancel Tuesday’s lessons because of a hospital appointment that I need to attend. However, I will be happy to respond to anyone who wishes to contact me. If I am unavailable, they can certainly leave me a message and I will get back to them.

From Jo Rapkin

I am looking for a part-time member of staff in the Atrium Café, Monday to Thursday, 11am to 3.30pm. Do you know of anyone who is enthusiastic, out-going and not shy of working in a catering environment? If you do, then give me a call.

Bridge Players – a repeat

If anyone is interested in playing a friendly, unsupervised game of Bridge, please let Eric Mentzer know. The group will meet on Fridays at 13.00 in Room 1.24 and the first meeting is planned for Friday 1 October, the second week of term. As Eric cannot be present every week, please also let him know if you would be willing to assist him in running the group.

From Shirley Lake – a repeat

Could you please remind members to bring any postage stamps to U3A and leave them in the office for me to collect on behalf of the Little Voice orphanage in Addis Ababa. I shall be there on Monday Afternoon – 20 September- and intend to relieve you of any that arrive.
Regards. Shirley

From Steve Stephens and Annette Morant to make you smile

And from the Thursday Art class, some more masterpieces

From Heather, Manny, Maureen, June and Jean.


Best Wishes from the Team