U3A in London Update – 26 February 2024

This information was published on: February 26, 2024

Monday Morning Talk

This week’s speaker is Susanne Kord, Professor of German studies at UCL. Her talk is fundamentally about judging quality in literature. Susanne uses the poems of Friederike Kempner to explore the topic: Kempner, who has been described as Germany’s worst poet. 

Here, Susanne offers an alternative interpretation, showing that readers of Kempner’s work are free to abandon their worship of ‘great literature’ and instead appreciate the entertainment value of her poems.


if you wish to contribute to the Update, you should send your contribution to Maureen Guirdham (by Tuesday evening if possible).  Her email address is maureenguirdham5@gmail.com

From Amalia

we still need a sub editor. We are so lucky to have Maureen doing such a wonderful job as editor. However, as highlighted in a previous Update, we really need another member willing to liaise with her and take over should the need ever arise.  It’s difficult to believe that with such a large and talented membership of our U3A, only Maureen has volunteered to be the editor of this weekly Update!)

From the U3A London Office

We have another competent volunteer for the office, Carol. We welcome her to our team.  We still need a Tuesday am volunteer, so if you would like to know more please email either either gailrlevy@gmail.com or skwokmorris@gmail.com  or office@u3london.org.uk  and we can give you further details. You will only need basic computer skills and a willingness to work.  We hope to hear from you and that you will enjoy being part of our team.

Lanyards with entry passes

Thank you to those who are wearing these but for those who are not, please note that this is a mandatory requirement and we would be loath to have to refuse entry to the building or our classes.

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.  

From Maggie Wain

Remembering Daphne Gotlop  1929 – 2024 Daphne also coordinated the Friday “Write your memoirs” group from 2010 until her move to Scotland in 2019. She inspired, guided and encouraged group members with their  writing, and when necessary brought them to order with her wry intuitive wit. As a group we have much to thank her for. In the summer of 2019 a small group of us travelled to Elgin to celebrate Daphne’s 90th birthday with her. We were saddened to hear from her son that she had died on January 22nd.


New Qi Gong Class

starts 28 February 12.50 in Room 2.21

New German Reading Class

starts 28 February 14.00 in Room 1.33

From Wally Howard: Film Class

on Wednesday 28 February at 2 pm in Room 1.22

Concluding the short series of films starring the greatest screen actors of their generation. This week it is And Justice For All with Al Pacino. His films include Godfather 1 and 2, Dog Day AfternoonHeatThe Irishman, Glengarry Glen RossScent of a Woman and Serpico. Also starring Lee Strasberg and Jack Warden and directed by Norman Jewison. Next week’s choice is a lesser known film with a young  Pacino. 

From Ken Baldry: European History

Wednesday February 28th 11.40 – 12.40 (Room 2.21). This week’s is Talk 130. Denmark, Italy & Portugal with 82 slides. The talk next week is Talk 131. William Hogarth – British painter & satirist with 109 slides. The full programme to the Summer break in 2025 is on http://www.art-science.com/history-talks.html

From Rachel Tyndall – Walking by Water

Greenwich to Woolwich

For the walk on Wednesday 28th February we meet at 1pm at Maze Hill Railway Station. The 12.48 from London Bridge arrives at 1pm at Maze Hill (via Deptford and Greenwich). This walk is 5 miles along the south bank of the Thames, past the Dome and the Thames Barrier arriving in Woolwich with trains back from Woolwich Dockyard or Woolwich Arsenal stations. Walks will be cancelled if the weather is bad. 

From Yvonne Dove

Art Appreciation C, Secular and Mytholoical Art on Thursday, 9th February at 11.40 in Room 2.26. “This week we are examining the life and works of Diego Velazquez, the greatest painter of Spain’s Golden Age. These works include Las Meninas, Mars Resting,The Lady with a Fan and the Rokeby Venus.”

From Maureen Guirdham

Write Your Life Story There will be no Zoom class on Tuesday 27th at 10.30; instead those of us who can will meet on Friday 1st March at 2.30 in Room 1.22 in the Town Hall.

Advance warning

There will be no Yoga Class on Friday 8 or 15 March.

To make you smile

A couple is looking over a house for sale. The man says to the estate agent, ‘We’d really like to look at something a little higher-priced.’ The estate agent replies, ‘Ok, I can show you this house again tomorrow.’

You know, ‘Old MacDonald had a farm, EE, I , EE, I  O’?

Well how about this? ‘Old MacDonald had a digital farm, AI, AI, Oh!’

‘Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.’ Winston Churchill

Good wishes from 

Gilli Vafidis Monday talks and Zoom Queen
and Maureen