U3A in London Update – 28 February 2022

This information was published on: February 28, 2022

From Amalia

I am delighted to let you know that Gilli Vafidis has accepted the nomination of her fellow Executive Officers to be our Chairman.  We are so fortunate to have such a competent and dedicated chairman to lead us at this difficult time.

At a meeting following the AGM on 4 April, the new Executive Committee will elect a chairman for the following year from amongst its members.

From Gilli

For the full timetable for the week beginning 28 February, click on the link below:


Monday Morning Talk

We look forward to hearing from Pippa Pawlik who will be telling us about a music festival in Provence.

Our Updates

Our team is now reduced to two and we are exploring new ways of staying in touch with you, our members.  We are trying to keep the timetable accurate but it may not be possible just yet to include late notifications about the following weeks’ classes. Coordinators can help by giving us their information as soon as they know about it, ideally by Wednesday night the week before the Update appears.

Please bear with us if there are any errors or omissions.  It will all get better, I’m sure, as we familiarize ourselves with a new system.

As many of you did not receive last week’s Update some of the content is repeated this week.

A letter from Naomi (from last week)

Deciding when to make changes is often soul searching.  When I retired from a wonderfully happy career it took many weeks before I concluded that it was the right time for me to move on.  That led me to U3A where I have spent the first 14 years of my retirement in such an unexpectedly happy and fulfilling way.

I’ve now reached another milestone in my life, where after months of self-examination, I’ve realised that it is time to make necessary changes.  It is hard to let go but now is the right time to do so.

U3A has filled my life and given me the opportunity to set new goals and challenges.  For me, my greatest tangible achievement was to lead the negotiations for a new lease back in 2017-18.  We gained a new 20-year lease, which came into effect in 2020, thereby securing U3A’s home until 2040.

Just as important, probably more so, are those wonderful intangibles that come with being associated with this inspiring organisation.  My philosophy has always been to give of my best, and by doing so I wanted U3A to shine even brighter.  I’ve had many talented people around me to help make our U3A feel as warm and welcoming as possible.  To me, and so many others, it has become a second home and we are an extended family.

The pandemic caused so many problems, but we found ways to overcome most of them and were able to offer a lifeline in such a traumatic period for all of us.  Sadly, we lost some members, yet we became even closer and more determined to look positively to the future.

It is the leadership in that future I’m passing on to others.  It is the right time for a fresh start.  U3A was flourishing when I joined, it has continued to do so under my leadership, and I expect it to do so without me.  Please help it to do so.

I would like to thank those of you who already have sent me such kind and generous letters of support.  I intend to answer them all.  If you want to stay in touch, my email address is naomi_stuart@yahoo.com

Best wishes, Naomi

From Hazelanne Lewis (our Company Secretary)

Our AGM will be held on 4 April 2022. One of the duties of the AGM is to elect an Executive Committee. Members of the committee do more that attend meetings. They take on roles to facilitate the smooth running of U3A in London. If you would like to stand for election to the committee you need to be nominated by someone. You cannot nominate yourself. The Nomination Form needs to be signed by both the proposer and you in accepting the nomination.  You can pick one up in the Office or ask for it to be emailed to you.

The completed, signed nomination form needs to be received in the office no later than 12 noon on 3 March 2022.

Zooming In

You can, if you wish, “Zoom in” on your smartphone, iPad or laptop to a coordinator who is giving a Zoom class from home, wherever you may be. However, if you want to join in from a screen in one of our rooms in the Town Hall this can easily be set up.  It’s not difficult – you only need to switch on, click on the Zoom icon and know the meeting ID and the passcode which you can find in the full Timetable. All we need is to have a “Zoom Buddy” in each class to set it up.

Zooming Out

(enabling in-person classes in the Town Hall to be available to Zoom viewers at home}.   So far, rooms 1.33 and 2.21 are set up to enable this.  Managing it, however, does need some training.  Let us know if you are interested.

From Wally Howard


Monday 28th February at 2.00pm
Academy Award Winner: Meryl Streep Kevin Kline Peter MacNicol in SOPHIE’S CHOICE A shattering tale of sacrifice and survival
Running time: 150 minutes

Wednesday 2nd March at 2pm Another great film
Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Klaus Maria Brandauer in a Sydney Pollack Film
OUT OF AFRICA  The true story of Karen Blixen.   Winner of seven awards.
Running time: 161 minutes

Thursday 3rd March at 2pm
Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood in THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
A Clint Eastwood Film
Running time: 135 minutes

From Stephen Barry

The topic for Thursday’s London Miscellany talk on March 3 will be, “A look at Leytonstone, from rural hamlet to busy suburb”.

From David Castle

Support our Chess Club!

Chess is good for helping concentration and memory and we play Chess in a friendly, supportive atmosphere.  However, Covid has killed our Chess Club – which was doing well.  I started it again in January but only 3 people came, and it stopped again.  So please note – the Chess Club re-started on Friday 25th February at 10.30am in Room 1.33.

PLEASE HELP US FILL THE ROOM – there is plenty of space.  Players of all abilities are very welcome.

From Ian Orkin

I run a Tai Chi class on Thursdays at 12.50 in room 2.21.  I have been a professional Tai Chi teacher for 25 years.  Please do come along!

From Irene Fine

I am looking forward to returning to teach my bridge class on Thursday, 3 March at 14.00 in Room 1.24.

From Amalia

My fortnightly Alchemy to Chemistry course (14.00 on Tuesdays in room 1.33 and Zoom) has finished and I hope the members who attended have enjoyed it as much as I have.  Last week, we agreed that I would begin a series of talks on the History of Astronomy next term.  I suggested that, for the rest of this term, I would fill in with some one-off talks.  The next one, due on 8 March will be “All about Sputnik”.  Rather topical, I fear, in the present situation!

However, I have just heard that I may be involved in a hospital appointment on that day.  I will clarify the situation in the next Update.

From Michael Baum

I have informed my group that the lecture was my last. I’ve enjoyed teaching undergrads, postgrads and U3A for over 50 years.  It’s been a real pleasure working with you and I remain in awe of your ability to keep going! 

With great respect and affection, Mike

From Michael Goodman

I shall be away in France from 9 February until 6 March. Therefore there will be no Cercle Français on Tuesdays at 11.40 during that time (i.e. on 15 and 22 February and 1 March).  I have let my regulars know.

From Amarita Narain

I am now on holiday for four weeks.  Cook Indiahh will be resuming next term.

From Pauline Malpas

The coffee chat group has agreed to meet on Tuesdays at 4:30pm alternate weeks commencing 15th February and Fridays at 3:30pm alternate weeks commencing 25th February.  You can contact me for details.

From Susan Cohen

I’m giving a Zoom talk for the National U3A on 8 March for International Women’s Day and would be grateful if this information could be circulated to our members  – booking is through Eventbrite. The subject is, ‘Eleanor Rathbone 1872-1946: The woman behind the portrait’.

From London Region of U3As

This is a request from UCL’s Dept of Speech, Hearing & Phonetic Sciences. 
They would like to know how well commercial hearing aids perform in situations that you may often experience. Many hard-of-hearing people complain about their hearing aids in noisy or reverberant places, for example in a restaurant, a car or kitchen. However, manufacturers rarely try out their products in such daily environments, typically using artificial sounds in laboratory settings. Hence, it is difficult to know which hearing aid works best in different real life situation.
All the details are in this information sheet, so if you would like to be involved, contact Dr.Gaston Hilkhuysen (you will find his email and phone number in the link). The initial part of this project can be carried out from home, using equipment supplied by the university.

To make you smile, maybe!

From an old Update – worth repeating!

  1. The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.  He acquired his size from too much pi.
  2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
  3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
  4. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  5. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  6. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  7. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hall. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’
  8. A backward poet writes inverse.
  9. If you jumped off a bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine.
  10. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’   


Best Wishes from the Team