U3A in London Update – 5 October 2020

This information was published on: October 05, 2020

From Gilli The Monday Talks

This week humorist and presenter Stephen Horne takes us behind the scenes of the World’s greatest retail emporium with ‘Are you being served – Harrod’s Style?’ Have you ever wanted to know how to progress from salesman to senior manager? What is it like to be in daily contact with big personalities and powerful chairmen? Click in at 10.30 on Monday to find out.

For 25 years, Stephen was surrounded by the then movers of retail, including the Chairman of Marks and Spencer, right across the retail spectrum to the Chairman of Tesco and many personalities in between. Stephen managed and administered the charitable institutions for which they were honorary chairmen. Retail was close to Stephen’s heart when he made the move to Harrods, first as a salesman and then to become one of their most senior managers.

Next week on 12 October we look at ‘Witches in History’ with Susanne Kord. Susanne is Professor at the School of European Languages, Culture and Society at University College London and author of 20 books. She offers a whistle-stop tour of the history of witch beliefs, the justification for witch hunting, its methods and procedures, defenders and detractors, and asks why we began to believe in witches or whether we’ve really ever stopped.

This week we welcome Sunridge Court Care Homes to join us in The Monday Morning Talk.

Click here to see the latest timetable.

Zoom – Urgent

We are experiencing a problem with new (I think) zoom users who click on links so as to be ready for classes (or just to test them out) and either forget they are connected, or become otherwise distracted, leaving the class link ‘blocked’ possibly for hours. I came across one such user on Tuesday this week who had logged in at 7.20 for a class not scheduled to start until 12 midday (recorded on video). Note: if you join one of these classes too early, you are recorded too, which uses up valuable recording space and takes time and effort to be deleted. NEVER attempt to record a talk yourself.

PLEASE do not log in more than 5-10 minutes early. There is no need to do so! However, there’s no allowing for the person who logs in at the correct time on the wrong day – as I have found.

I hope these are just teething problems although there are drawbacks to having a ‘click here’ link.
When I can, I will police the link and shut down rogue clickers.


Recordings of the Monday Morning Talks will be available for a week or two afterwards. If you would like to have the link to a recording – or of that of an outside speaker such as Cindy Zurias, please email the Office Recordings of some other talks may also be available. Please check with the coordinator to request a link.

Naomi’s contribution

Naomi is much better but unfortunately because of a fault, has no telephone or email connection at present. She has been promised that all will be put right on Monday. Meanwhile, she is still happy to receive any requests for renewal of membership, but asks you to be patient as she cannot reply until communications have been restored!. The membership fees this year have not changed and the basic contribution is still £75.

From Chris Maslin

These are the details for Anne’s funeral on Monday, 5th October. We are having a service at St Mary’s, Hendon followed by a cremation at Golders Green. It will take place at 11am at Hendon, 12 noon at Golders Green.
We are restricted to family plus 25 at each venue so are asking friends to attend only one event.

From Wally Howard
The next topic in my talk on miscarriages of justice is entitled The “Mortara Affair”. Watch part 1 on Vimeo:

I also attach a link to Part 7 of my Memories at 95.

Watch “Memories at 95 – part 7” on Vimeo:

From Sue Kwok

Another contribution from the Thursday Creative Writing class. It’s called “Happiness” – we could all do with some of that!

From Maureen Betts

More contributions from the Thursday Art class.

From Pieta Ruck Keene
Hi all,
This week we’ll cover ligaments of the sacrum and the piriformis muscle (the one that often hurts when we have sciatica). A soft scrubbing brush is a useful tool to have on hand to massage the piriformis. So, if you feel like cleaning a scrubbing brush – enough to feel comfortable rubbing it over your trousers – that would be great.

From two loyal members in France

We want to pay our membership fees for the current year, but I see that it’s not yet possible to do so on the new website (which is looking very impressive despite the hiccough with providing the facility to join directly through the website.)

Wally and I are currently staying in France for a few months to escape Covid threats in London (we’re in a small village which our epidemiologist son advises in far safer than being in a City.). At the moment, we don’t know when we will return, but plan to continue our Zoom classes which have worked extremely well during -and after- the UK lockdown. We’d like to pay the fees by bank transfer, but I can’t find the U3A bank details (I know I’ve seen them on a Weekly Update, but don’t seem to be able to locate them again.)
I’m happy to download the registration forms but would be grateful if you could send me the account number and sort code for the U3A bank.

From another loyal member
Dear Naomi,
By unfortunate timing I had an appointment at Moorfields at 1.30 on the day of the recent AGM. WIth drops in my eyes I couldn’t read but thanks to zoom and free hospital WiFi I was able to hear most of your presentation It was encouraging to know that there are plans afoot for the day when we return to normal life.

Meanwhile I have been enjoying the amazing selection of zoom talks and exercises provided by our talented coordinators – all made available thanks to you and your hardworking committee

From Ronnie Dellal
Hi Amalia,

I’m willing to give tutorials to people who would like to contact me via the office.
1) With a view to helping with Zoom sessions i.e.
a) how to download an App if needed, b) how to join a meeting, c) contribute to chat, holding up hand, muting/unmuting with or without video etc,
2) How to play bridge on Bridge base online for bridge players who don’t know how to start.

To Make you smile

From Ron Tucker

Sarah had several hundred young pullets and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs. She kept records and any rooster not performing well was made into chicken soup and replaced.

This took a lot of time, so she bought some tiny bells and attached them to her roosters. Each bell had a different tone, so she could tell from a distance which rooster was performing. Now, she could fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells. Sarah’s favourite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen, but this morning she noticed old Butch’s bell hadn’t rung at all! When she went to investigate, she saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover. To Sarah’s amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring. He’d sneak up on a pullet, perform, and go on to the next one.

Sarah was so proud of old Butch, she entered him in a Show, and he became an overnight sensation among the judges. The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the “No Bell Peace Prize” they also awarded him the “Pullet surprise” as well. Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could work out how to win these coveted awards by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace when they weren’t paying attention?

From Steve Stephens
Excellent questions looking for answers

  1. If poison passes its expiry date, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?
  2. Which letter is silent in the word “Scent,” the S or the C?
  3. Do twins ever realize that at least one of them is unplanned?
  4. Why is the letter W, in English, called double U? Shouldn’t it be called double V?
  5. Maybe oxygen is slowly killing you and It just takes 75-100 years to fully work.
  6. Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty.
  7. The word “swims” upside-down is still “swims”
  8. 100 years ago, everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.

From Alison May Learning Manager

U3A Radio Podcast is here! On our YouTube channel: https://www.u3a.org.uk/learning

The first ever u3a radio officially launched at 2pm on 29th September directly after the national AGM. The national office learning team have been working with member volunteers who are skilled in broadcasting and you can keep listening to u3a radio wherever you are as it is delivered as a recorded podcast. This pilot will feature a series of interviews and features from across the movement – for the launch – all themed around looking forward. We are very excited about this project which we aim to grow and develop over the coming year. There will be another pilot before Christmas. We hope you enjoy our first broadcast.

U3A Radio – Episode 1
Please tell your friends and colleagues to tune in!

If you have an interesting story to tell – get in touch – you can email us at communications@u3a.org.uk

From Catherine Ware, Chair – London Region of U3As
On Monday 5 October 2020 beginning at 11 am, via zoom, we will have the opportunity to hear Patricia Gentry speaking onThe History & Highlights of Kew Gardens
*Surprising stories from the greatest botanic gardens in the world.

Meet me on Zoom to hear fascinating stories of suffragette arson, giant waterlilies, and the world’s smallest Royal Palace. Meet “the loneliest bachelor in the world,” plants that save people from illness, and get useful advice on what not to miss on your next visit to the Gardens. You will learn that it is not only a place of natural beauty but also a scientific institution at the forefront of saving our planet from extinction.

Patricia Gentry’s Profile:
She has a MA in Japanese and Japanese history and has been working as Blue Badge Guide in the UK for more than 20 years now. She is living in Kew and works as a guide and lecturer ( in 5 languages including Japanese ). She also runs a company organising educational tours to Britain. Her interests are broad and she offers a range of in depth tours on historic subjects in London and around Britain. Her personal favourite is the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew and she guides there regularly.

The Royal Botanic Gardens is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003, but an internationally renowned garden which contains the largest living plant collection in the world.

You will be able to ask all your questions at the end. This virtual tour will be given via zoom with high quality photos and films and will give you lots of tips for your next real life visit to Kew Gardens.

The charge for this reading will be just £6 per person. The lecture will be approx. 50 min-1 hour + 15 min time for Questions and Answers. If you are interested in taking part in what promises to be a fascinating look behind the scenes at Kew, please contact Peter Lewinson,who will answer any questions you may have, and ensure you are sent a zoom link.

With thanks to Peter Lewison of Palmers Green & Southgate U3A.

Also From Catherine Ware
The next talk that Ealing U3A have by Zoom that is open to other London Region u3a members is entitled “Shakespeare on Stage and Page,” and starts at 10.30 a.m. Thursday, 8 October.

Professor Emma Smith is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Oxford. She will illustrate her talk with examples from Shakespeare’s own theatre and more recent performances. (Her latest book, “This is Shakespeare,” is published in 2020.) This talk will not be recorded.

If u3a members would like to join us, please could they get in touch with Ealing U3A’s Chairman, Derek Atkinson, so that he can send them the Zoom link the day before.

With many thanks to Ealing U3A,

Catherine Ware
Chair – London Region of U3As