U3A in London Update – 28 March 2022

This information was published on: March 28, 2022

Re: Thursday’s EGM

Thanks are due to all of you who attended the meeting and especially to those who contributed to the discussion.

Electronic voting and hand-counting have their limitations. But it was clear that the resolutions were defeated both in the electronic poll and on show of hands except for Item 1 which was passed almost unanimously. Item 7 calls for a report on the lease and its validity for the future. This will be pursued after the AGM.

Now we must all work together to ensure that our U3A continues to thrive.

Monday Morning Talk:

We look forward to the return of Alfred Bradley and Sue Morris. They will be taking about Mary Elizabeth Braddon, the Female Dickens.

From Wally Howard

Film Classes week commencing 29 March

Monday 28th March at 2pm – Brick Lane – based on the novel by Monica Ali and directed by Sarah Gavron, follows Nazneen, a young woman transported from Bangladesh to London when forced into an arranged marriage with an older man.   This film, however, avoids any stereotypes and “has characters of depth and reality who change and learn and it keeps on surprising us right to the end” (Roger Ebert).

Wednesday 30th March at 2pm – After Love – a sophisticated story of love,  loss and betrayal on either side of the English Channel with the BAFTA award winning actress Joanna Scanlan in a complex role.  Pamela Hutchison in her review in Sight and Sound described the film as being “balanced in time and place, bookended by two baptisms taking place in towns that echo each other in locations and industry”.  

Thursday 31st March at 2pm – Norma Rae – directed by Martin Ritt and filmed in Alabama is a story of unionism in the rural south of the USA and the efforts of one young New Yorker to bring justice to a tiny town where Norma Rae, her father, mother and husband to be, together with most of the townsfolk, are dependent on the cotton mill which is the town’s only industry. Sally Field gives a standout (and Oscar winning) performance in the title role in a film which “places its characters in a recognisable social context that neither parodies nor patronizes them and dramatizes the limits imposed on imaginations by both poverty and tradition” (NYT Review).  

From Gilli

At the Executive Committee Meeting held on 18th March, the Committee agreed to lift our mandatory vaccination policy for coming to the Town Hall from the beginning of the Summer term. Members are advised to continue taking all necessary precautions and keeping rooms well ventilated.

From Gerta

Re: Office Helpers’ Rota.

We need someone to come and join our happy team of office staff on a Tuesday morning as one of our regulars is leaving.  It’s a wonderful way of finding out how out U3A “ticks”.

Ideally you should be familiar with basic computer skills but don’t worry, you will be trained.   

From Marie Firestone

I attend an informal chat group on Zoom every Friday morning at 10.30am.  The meeting is hosted by Jim Taylor and we would love you to join us.   

From Paul Plant

My politics class has requested an in-person meeting for Monday 4th April at a local pub.   IF this is a success then we may do it say, once a month This meeting will start at 11.30 for 1 hour and I will take my iPad so others can log in. This is just to inform you of our intention.

From Eric Mentzer

Social Bridge.  On Friday afternoons during term time, a group of people meets to play bridge socially from 13.00 – 16.00 in Room 1.24.  If you would like to join us, you should be at intermediate level (unless a table of 4 beginners wishes to attend).  Tea, coffee and biscuits are available for a charge of 30p per person.  Other arrangements are usually made during term breaks.

From Ken Baldry

European History on Wednesday at 11.40 in Room 2.21 this week is about the Holy Roman Empire etc from 1328 to 1420-ish.  The full programme is always on line.

From Stephen Barry

My London Miscellany talk on Thursday, March 31 is entitled London’s dairies – the Welsh connection.

From Valerie Wilson-Trower

The Design History group will be visiting The Salter’s Hall (a wonderful example of Brutalist architecture) on 29 March.  Members will be sent instructions with a map for everyone. 

Here is a picture of the group enjoying a cup of tea after our last outing.

From Amalia

My talk on Tuesday 5 April will be about Marie Curie – that amazing woman who won two Nobel prizes for her discovery of radium.  Next term I’ll be starting a course on the History of Astronomy.

From Alan Morton

My next scheduled Energy and climate change class on 5 April is cancelled, so the next meeting will be next term on 3 May.

From Moragh Gee

Sharing some of our stories – this class meets once a fortnight on Thursdays at 10.30 – 11.30 in Room 2.26.  We all have a store of memories and stories to share.

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, but we are experiencing some problems in Room 1.33.  Please bear with us while we try to sort things out.  Managing it needs some skills and we are doing our best.  Let us know if you are interested in “having a go”.

From Danny Cash

I am a member of Hampstead Garden Suburb U3A and I have been asked by Janet Lewis of Watford Croquet Club tell you about a U3A day which is being organised by this club and various interested U3A groups will be attending.   She asks if our branch may also be interested in this event.  Personally speaking, I’ve played croquet for the last 4 years and find it truly enjoyable and a great way of meeting people.  Regards, Danny Cash.

To make you smile

(This came from a friend with no medical qualifications, but I thought it was worth sharing).

What are the causes of mental confusion in the elderly?  One of them is dehydration.  This may cause mental confusion, increased heart palpitations, angina (chest pain), and even coma or death.
People over 60 generally stop feeling thirsty; they don’t feel like drinking water because their internal balance mechanisms don’t work very well.  They have a lower water reserve and they can quickly dehydrate.  This is part of the natural ageing process.

If you are irritable, breathless or display a lack of attention, these may be symptoms of dehydration.  So get into the habit of drinking liquids every two hours. Liquids include water, juices, teas, coconut water, milk, soups, and water-rich fruits, such as watermelon, melon, peaches, and pineapple.  When travelling, take a supply of drinking water. 

• Before / after exercise, drink 1 glass of water.
• Before / after eating, drink 1 glass of water.
• Before going to bed, drink 1 glass of water and when you wake up, drink 1 glass of water.

People say drinking a lot of water makes them go to the toilet more often but that’s better than having a stroke!

From Mike Bostock

U3A National Robot Challenge

Back in 2019 U3A’s nationally were challenged to build a wheeled robot to undertake a number of challenges. There is no point issuing a challenge if there is no opportunity to test against others. Therefore u3a “robots” and their human accomplices made their way to Stafford to compete with others. This event was very successfully created and run by Cannock Chase U3A, and in true U3A style they were willing to let others host the challenge day and spread the word.

It is now 2022, and things are getting back to “normal”, and it is with trepidation that Gloucester U3A have volunteered to host the event – there were none in 2020 and 2021. 

So why am I telling you about it? Well maybe there are some of you who would like to attempt a practical construction challenge. Couple that with electronics and computer coding, and within a few months you have created a wheeled robot.  Contact me on 40annrobot@u3agloucester.co.uk if you are interested in taking part.


Best Wishes from Gilli and Amalia