U3A in London Update – 7 March 2022

This information was published on: March 07, 2022

Monday Morning Talk

We look forward to hearing Micky Watkins, Historian and Archivist, who will talk about Dame Henrietta Barnett, creator of a place very close to us – Hampstead Garden Suburb. Also, in place of the scheduled AGM on April 4 (see below), Susan Cohen will be speaking about Eleanor Rathbone: The woman behind the portrait. This is the fourth of four talks about famous women in this Spring programme.

Our Updates

Please bear with us if there are any errors or omissions as we get used to our new system.

From Amalia – a correction

To clarify a statement I made last week – shortly after the AGM the new Executive Committee will meet and will be electing the chairman for the following year.

From Hazelanne Lewis (our Company Secretary)

Our AGM date has changed so that members not on email have been notified in accordance with our Articles of Association. It will now be held on 16 May 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. If you would like to stand for election you can pick up a nomination form in the Office or ask for a copy to be emailed to you.

A number of people have already been nominated. These forms have been accepted and those nominees will be on the ballot paper for the May AGM.

I must apologise to U3A in London. It is said that if you make assumptions someone will make an ass out of you. I assumed that the weekly Update automatically goes out to those members not on email. It doesn’t and I didn’t check.

From David Bramson (our legal advisor)

I thought that we should try and deal with some of the misinformation and rumour circulating about our lease, The history is explained and is being sent to all members.

From Wally Howard

Film classes for week commencing Monday 7 September:

The Meryl Streep season has come to an end and this week’s films are all examples of European cinema.

The events of Monday’s film 1945 take place on a single day in August only hours before the end of the Second World War. In Ferenc Torok’s drama, the inhabitants of a small village in Hungary have come together to celebrate a wedding but this happy day is about to be marred by secrets spreading through the hamlet which are about to surface with the arrival of two strangers … . 

Wednesday’s film, Colonel Redl is a biographical drama by the acclaimed Hungarian director Istvan Szabo and is loosely based on John Osborne’s play A Patriot for Me and the life of Alfred Redl, an officer from a modest background.  The film catalogues his meteoric rise and inevitable fall.  The film won the BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film and the Jury Prize at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.

Thursday’s film, directed by Iosif Kheifits, is based on Anton Chekhov’s short story The Lady with the Dog and follows the burgeoning romance between Dimitri and Anna who meet in the holiday resort of Yalta whilst vacationing without their spouses. Will love or duty prevail in this charming film?

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 Stephen Barry

The topic for last Thursday’s London Miscellany talk was ‘Leytonstone, from village hamlet to London suburb’, However it did not take place because of the tube strike, and will now be given next Thursday (March 10).

From Caroline White

I have found the collapsing of my system very stressful so I have decided to cancel my class at 15.10 on Tuesdays, until a new system is in place. I will let you know as soon as I can when Social Anthropology classes will resume.

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 time we met, 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 will be on March 22 as I am involved in a hospital appointment on 8 March. It will be about the Russian/American race to dominate space and the launch of “Sputnik”.  Rather topical, I fear, in the present situation!

From David McGowan

I am cancelling my fortnightly Art practical D class on Tuesdays at 14.00 because of lack of support.  But please do come along to my weekly Tuesday class in Room 1.30 at 15.10 and enjoy classical drawing.  No previous skills are needed.

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!

Barry Rae

Barry, who sadly died recently, was our Chairman before Naomi and the pictures show him in the office, enjoying joining the Belly dancing group and at our 30th Anniversary celebration.

For many years he was the coordinator of Presenting Poetry and the Drama Group which, under his leadership, entertained us happily on many occasions. We are planning a celebration of his time with us and the date will be announced soon.

From Jo Rapkin

I was so very sad to hear about Barry’s passing. He was a wonderful person and I shall miss him very much. I knew him enough to feel very fond of him. Perhaps there is someone who would be willing to organise a memorial meeting and I would like to offer my help if needed (to make a cake or serve some tea…). Love, Jo

From Morris Peckman

I spoke to Barry on the phone two weeks ago. He told me that he had recently taken a two mile walk using a walking stick and that he felt he was improving. He had worked hard using physiotherapy over the past months after his two strokes. His voice sounded firm and reasonably lively. We agreed that we would speak again on the phone. However, on Thursday, 24 February David Nelson, Barry’s partner, phoned me. He was in a distraught state and told me that Barry had died on the previous Sunday. In my final conversation with Barry two weeks ago I told him that it was rewarding to work with him because he had a lifetime of artistic and administrative experience in Drama and he was sympathetic and encouraging to me and to the other actors. I am very pleased that I had the opportunity in this final phone call with Barry to show my appreciation of him during my time with him in the Drama group.

From Sylvi Edwards

Barry touched so many hearts within the U3A,
Particularly the Drama Group – in each and every way.
He encouraged each of us in turn by believing we could be
Much better than we thought we were – this is his legacy.

He was the master of his art, considerate and kind
And albeit talents varied, gave us all the chance to shine.
Throughout his years in U3A he gave his very best.
To have Barry as our mentor made us all feel very blessed.

Because of him much joy was spread to all we entertained,
With satirical plays and funny skits – too many to be named.
Though recent times have been so hard to cope with the pandemic, There’s hope that in a few months’ time this may all be academic.

In Barry’s name the Drama Group will do its best – and strive. To continue both to entertain and keep his name alive.


St Bride Institute,14 Bride Lane (off Fleet Street), EC4Y 8EQ
(Easy access: 5 minutes from Blackfriars underground station or City Thames Link)

This year’s theme is: ‘London – past, present and future’.
Activities will include 18 talks, 3 workshops and 8 guided walks. Wide range of subjects including:-
Art, Current Affairs, History, Literature/Drama, Music, Sciences, Social Studies and Travel.
£39 per day including refreshments and cold buffet lunch. Members can choose to attend for one or both days.

The full programme and application forms (online and in hard copy) will be available from early April.

See London Region events website page: https://u3asites.org.uk/london-region/events
A reminder will be disseminated closer to the time.

Kind regards,
Catherine Ware, Talks and Summer School Coordinator

To make you smile

About a month ago, I remembered some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included: Carbon copy, You sound like a broken record, and Hung out to dry.

The other day a not so elderly lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy; and he looked at her, quizzically and said, “What is a Jalopy?” He had never heard of the word jalopy!  She knew she was old … But not that old!

Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.

Back in the olden days, we’d put on our best bib and tuckerWe were living the life of Riley and couldn’t be accused of being a nincompoop. Not for all the tea in China!

Life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell?  Swell has gone the way of pageboys, knickers and pedal pushers.

We wake up from a short nap, and before we can say,“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” Or, “This is a fine kettle of fish!” We discover that the words we grew up with, have vanished.

Long gone: Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper, Fiddlesticks!  I’ll see you in the funny papers. Wake up and smell the roses.

It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. (Carter’s Little Liver Pills are gone too!)

See ya later, alligator! 



Best Wishes from the Team