U3A in London Update – 4 April 2022

This information was published on: April 04, 2022

Monday Morning Talk:

We look forward to a talk by one of our members, Susan Cohen, an independent fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She will be talking about Eleanor Rathbone: the woman behind the portrait.

The Easter Break:

Below is a draft of the Easter Progamme which will take the place of our regular classes from 11 April until we return for the Summer Term.  The final version of the programme, with links, will be sent out next week.  Please keep it available as it cannot be repeated and I’m afraid we can’t be responsible for any last-minute unavoidable changes.  The Update for the week of 3 May will be sent to you, as usual, before we are due to return.

Unless coordinators decide otherwise, all in-person classes in the Town Hall will have a well-earned rest.  Probably the Zoom classes will also take a break, but if coordinators wish to continue, they will let their members know and supply the necessary links and details.

The Sir Tom Harris Memorial Lecture

This will be a Grand Finale to our Easter Programme and will be held in the Town Hall in room 2.21 and will be available on Zoom.

We remember Tom with great fondness and were greatly saddened by his sudden and untimely death.  This lecture, to celebrate the time he spent with us, will be given by one of his colleagues, Sir Rodric Braithwaite. We look forward to seeing you in room 2.21 – drinks and refreshments (catered by Joanna) will be available for everyone to enjoy after the lecture.


All the talks are on Zoom unless stated otherwise.


Mon 11th April
10:30 – 11:30              Richard Arthur           
America enters the First World War   1/2

14:30 – 15:30              Shafeeq Siddiqi
How these people are changing the world: Elon Musk  1/3                                                      

Tues 12th April
10:30 – 11:30              Linda Shannon           
The Magic of Shakespeare

14:30 – 15:30              Stanley & Valerie Clingman 
Irving Berlin
He has no place in American music — he is American music! Thus one great songwriter, Jerome Kern, giving his opinion on another, Irving Berlin, a man whose life began badly and ended sadly but oh! what an in-between. Our talk will be on that life and the great man’s songs.

Wed 13th April
14:30 – 15:30              Judith Kasriel              ???

Thurs 14th April
10:30 – 11:30              Stephen Barry            
A tale of two Chinatowns. From the original in 19th century Limehouse to 21st century Gerrard Street.

14:30 – 15:30              Stanley Volk              
Bing Crosby and Franks Sinatra, legends in their Time                                                                1/2

Fri 15th April            GOOD FRIDAY

Mon 18th April         EASTER MONDAY

Tuesday 19th April   
10:30 – 11:30              Richard Arthur           
America enters the Second World War          2/2

Wed 20th April
14:30 – 15:30              Shafeeq Siddiqi         
How these people are changing the world: Imran Khan   2/3                                                  2/3

Thurs 21st April        
10:30 – 11:30              Stephen Barry            
A look at the history of Battersea and the current massive regeneration schemes currently taking place .

14:30 – 15:30              Stanley Volk              
Bing Crosby and Franks Sinatra, legends in their time.                                                                2/2

 Fri 22nd April            
10:30 – 11:30              Maureen Guirdham    
‘Through Jade Gate and Central Asia’ by Mildred Cable and Francesca French.
An illustrated talk about the travels of two British missionaries in China, the Gobi desert and beyond.     

Mon 25th April                      
10:30 – 11:30              Micky Watkins           Henrietta Barnet                       
14:30 – 15:30              Stanley & Valerie Clingman    Mozart
He flew into our world then, too quickly, flew away. Amadeus (God’s love) has forever left us his legacy to hold onto. The life, the letters, the music!

Tues 26th April
10:30 – 11:30              Linda Blandford        
What’s in a Short Story: from Anton Chekhov to John Burnside.   

14:30 – 15:30              Linda Blandford         ???

Wed 27th April          
14:30 – 15:30              Shafeeq Siddiqi         
How these people are changing the world: Xi JinPing      3/3                                                 3/3

 Thurs 28th April
10:30 – 11:30              Stephen Barry            
Flying high. The fascinating history of Croydon Airport, both in war and peace. 

16:00                           THE SIR TOM HARRIS MEMORIAL LECTURE Given by Sir Rodric Braithwaite

In the TOWN HALL (Room 2.21) and on ZOOM   To be followed by a reception in the Town Hall for those attending in person.

From Wally Howard

Film Classes for the week of 4 April – all in Room 1.22 at 14.00

Monday 4 April – Trial by Fire – based on David Grann’s painstakingly researched article in the New York Times from 2009 subtitled “Did Texas execute an innocent man”, Trial by Fire is Edward Zwick’s blistering polemic against the shoddy investigation by the authorities, rushed trial, appeals and subsequent execution in 2004 of Cameron Todd Willingham who was accused of murdering three of his children in 1991. Jack O’Connell plays Willingham with Laura Dern as Elizabeth Gilbert, a playwright who engages with Willingham through a prison outreach programme and becomes an impassioned advocate for Willingham’s innocence.

Wednesday 6 April – Mon Oncle Antoine – directed by Claude Jutra – is “a beloved Canadian film, rich in characters, glowing with life in the midst of death” (Roger Ebert).  The key events of the film take place over a period of 24 hours in a small Quebec mining town during which a young orphaned boy (Benoit), who lives with the local store keeper and undertaker (Antoine), has his life changed forever.

Thursday 7 April – The Citadel –  is based on A J Cronin’s book of the same name.  Directed by King Vidor it follows an idealistic newly qualified doctor working in the Welsh mining village of Blaenely who becomes disillusioned and ends up working in an unethical medical establishment in London before finding redemption following a tragic event.   A wonderful film from 1938 which was shown at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival as part of the King Vidor retrospective.  

All the best, Wally.

From Gerta

I have not forgotten to offer you one of my quizzes, but somehow the last one got overlooked.  So here it is (attached) to keep you busy during the break. The answers are also attached.

I am pleased to say that there was some response to my request for an Office helper on a Tuesday morning.  However, we always need reserve helpers, so please get in touch with me if you would like to join us. It’s a good way of finding out how our U3A functions.  Don’t worry, you will be trained.   

From Linda Shannon

You may be interested in joining a walk on I do each year. It’s on Tuesday 5 and Thursday 14 April and will focus on Edward Alleyn, principal actor at the 16th century Rose Playhouse. It’s a gentle, 2-hour walk through the Barbican and Clerkenwell areas, visiting the sites of two of his theatres and hearing about his life. You will also hear about Shakespeare, Elizabethan theatre practice and various other facts from a knowledgeable guide from the Rose Playhouse. We start at 2.00 from Moorgate Underground (exit 1/2 on the West Side), outside Caffe Nero] and end at Farringdon.
The cost is £8. Tickets can be booked via www.trybooking.co.uk [There is a 15p booking fee].

From Ken Baldry

European History on Wednesday at 11:40 in Room 2.21 this week is about Religion and other Troubles 1400 – 1480

The full programme, including next term, is always on:- http://www.art-science.com/history-talks.html

From Stephen Barry

My final London Miscellany talk this term is called ‘Wimbledon – it’s not just about the tennis’.

From Amalia

My talk this week will be about that amazing woman, Marie Curie.  It will, I’m afraid, not be a hybrid session but an in-person talk only in Room 1.33.  I have spent some time trying to sort out my Zoom problem with sound in that room, with no real success.  Obviously, I need some more lessons!  I hope I will be more successful when I start the History of Astronomy course next term.

From Valerie Wilson-Trower

A picture of the Design History group enjoying their outing to The Salter’s Hall last week

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 there appear to be some problems in Room 1.33. Please bear with us while we try to sort things out during the Easter break and let me know if you are interested in “having a go” or if you can help in any way.

To make you smile

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America
MARIA: Here it is
TEACHER: Good, that’s right. Now, class – who discovered America?
CLASS: Maria.
TEACHER: Can anyone explain – what is ‘Hard Water’?


Best Wishes from Gilli and Amalia