U3A in London Update – 26 October 2020

This information was published on: October 26, 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

We are in for a treat. This week we welcome back the very popular duo of Alfred Bradley and Sue Morris – this time talking about the writings of Sir Walter Raleigh with illustrations. ‘He was no slug’ – Sir Walter Raleigh is best known for his seafaring (tobacco, potatoes), and for his death by execution – and then, of course there was the cloak and puddle routine. But his writing is fascinating too. Letters, poems and prose poured out of him at key moments in his life: funny, angry, moving, powerful. This talk will cover his extraordinarily glamorous and turbulent life in his own words.

Next week – we bring you seafaring in the 20th Century as Brian Biggs, former tugboat captain tells us about the time when he was ‘Shipwrecked on the Way to the Falklands’. Brian served on Tugboats on the River Thames and at sea from 1953. He worked his way up from cabin boy to master, eventually becoming a Training Officer for the Company at the Training Centre, Waterman’s Hall in London.


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 – please email the Office. Recordings of some other talks may also be available. Please check with the coordinator to request a link.

From Naomi

A Tier 2 lockdown for London is not the good news we were hoping for and is just another of the disappointments and frustrations we’ve had to cope with.  I was brought up to believe that if you look hard enough there is always a silver lining.  For me and many of you that is our Zoom programme.  For many years I’ve been working in the office, having to resist the temptation of joining a class.  Now, provided I organise my day, and I can start and end at any time I choose, I’m able to indulge myself by taking part in more classes.

I want to say a big thank you to all the coordinators who have taken up the challenge of Zoom.  For some it has been easier than others, and the results are impressive.  We now have 93 classes, giving our members an enormous range to choose from.  If you try to attend all you want, there’s probably little time left during the week to do anything else!  The positive impact this is having on our members’ lives is incalculable.

The driving force behind this is not only the motivation of our coordinators but the optimism and determination of Gilli and Amalia.  Their combined efforts have made the possible into the achievable.  We have so much to thank them for.

We’re near the end of October; as Chairman my thoughts normally would already have been on the end of term entertainment and party.  Sadly, there can be no party this year.  However, with flexible thinking, I don’t see why we can’t organise some entertainment.  We need the opportunity to share and lift our spirits.  I have suggested that we share our talents on Zoom.  Amalia has spoken to Ralph Bermudez, one of the Drama Group coordinators, to get the ball rolling.  If you would like to perform at our entertainment, please let Amalia or I know and we will put you in touch with Ralph. You may be a singer, dancer, a story teller, a stand-up comedian, a reciter of poetry, a musician, a magician or have another talent.  You may be able to video your act in advance or perform live on the day.  Please remember this is a way of helping each other.  So if you think you can do it, be brave and volunteer.

Again, the only way for you to renew your membership at present is to email the Office and ask for your pre-printed form to be emailed to you. (If you have printer problems, ask for it to be posted to you.) 

Take care everyone.

Membership – From Amalia

As we are all aware, our U3A is in a new and strange place compared with its former buzzing social self.  Nevertheless, it is wonderful and gratifying that so many of you have already renewed your membership for 2020-2021 by emailing Naomi, as above, for your membership form.  As far as on-line rejoining is concerned, I’ve begun to paraphrase the song of Snow White: “Someday,on-line will come”.

But … our main concern is the recruitment of new members.  For years, the inevitable loss of older, frailer members has been compensated for by a roughly equal number of new ones joining us.  So far unsurprisingly, this year has been an exception and the number of new and prospective members is well down.  However, as a result of the Covid pandemic, there must be many people facing early retirement and redundancy.  Coming to our Zoom meetings could provide many of them with valuable ways to spend their time, so we hope that you will join us in a recruitment drive. If each member can recruit one new member, this should more than compensate for “natural wastage”. So spread the word!  Remember, there is no upper or lower age limit.  Encourage your friends to sample the delights of our U3A!

From Wally Howard

A triple bill this week!  Not only has Wally recorded Part 4 of the Morata Affair in the’  ‘Miscarriages of Justice’ series and  Part 10 of his Memories at 95,  he has also recorded a stand-alone talk in the memories series: a ‘Digression regarding Eating out’.

Watch “The Morata Affair – Part 4” on Vimeo:

Watch “Memories at 95 – Part 10” on Vimeo:

Here is the next one which is a stand alone in the memories series. It is a digression regarding eating out: Watch “Memories at 95 – digression” on Vimeo:

Class News

Don’t forget that Ralph Blumenau is making a comeback on Thursday 29 October at 17.00 (note the time). It will be a pleasure to see and hear him again from the comfort of his own flat.  Welcome back, Ralph!

Also watch out for Design History starting on Thursday 5 November, weekly at 15.30 with Valerie Wilson Trower.  She writes: “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”.

Class news From Stanley Volk

The Play Reading/Zoom Theatre Class is now on Thursdays at 12.00.  We are looking for actors to do monologues.  Scripts sent online.

From Susan Woodford’s Creative Writing Class

Click here for another contribution from the Thursday class.

From Maxine Jason’s Monday Art Collage class

From Pieta Ruck Keene

For the recorded Iliopsoas class link and the handout for this week email the Office..

Move better and feel great. Helping people to ️ their bodies from the inside out. 

When living through a global pandemic gets you down – read the handout. Stay well, Pieta

From Franca Cerudi

I’m sure Franca won’t mind me sharing this lovely email:

Dear Naomi,

Finally I was able to pay my membership through a bank transfer and I thank you for your patience and kindness. Many thanks to Anthony for his help, I quoted my membership number as reference and I had no problems.

Let me take advantage from this email by saying that I am so happy to continue my classes on-line. I was worried at the beginning, but now I have learnt how to use Zoom thanks to one of my students who very kindly offered me his precious help and so I have the joy to go on with my lessons. U3A is really a source of deep and human experiences! Thank you! All my very best wishes, Franca

To Make you smile From Martin

Dear Gilli, I am doing exercise snacking twice a day and would recommend U3A members to do the same. For the over 50s muscle mass falls by 1% a year and muscle strength at up to 2%.  Exercise snacking consists of five one-minute sessions with one minute’s rest between each.


Scientists at Rolls Royce built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners and military jets all travelling at maximum velocity.The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne birds to test the strength of the windshields.

American engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains.Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the American engineers.

When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer’s back-rest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin like an arrow shot from a bow..
The horrified Yanks sent Rolls Royce the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the British scientists for suggestions.

Rolls Royce responded with a one-line memo:
“Defrost the chicken.”

London Region of U3As:  Winter Talks Programme

Following the popularity of our fortnightly online Summer Talks, the LRU3A Committee feel that a similar series of fortnightly online Winter Talks in the late afternoon might be something to look forward to as the evenings draw in.

Please click on the link to the Flyer that contains information about 4 events in November and December – three talks in November and a Quiz in December. Please note slight difference in the day and time for the first session.  Further information about the Quiz will be disseminated at the beginning of December.

Each event has a link to its own registration form, so click on the link specific to the event(s) you wish to attend. You should automatically receive a confirmation email.

The Zoom meeting link for each session will be sent to you 2 days before the event – please don’t leave it to the last minute as you may miss out.

If you think you’ve not received the booking confirmation or meeting link you were expecting, please check your spam/junk folders for this information. If you want to change anything, or have any queries, please email the enquiry point rather than applying again.

Kind regards,
Chair – London Region of U3As