U3A in London Update – 9 May 2022

This information was published on: May 09, 2022

Timetables for the week of 9 May

Copies of the timetables and the Monday talks list are available in the Office, or you can view them on our website.

Last week

We hope you were not too puzzled that last week’s Update was split into two halves.  The reason was that since our IT support has been withdrawn, we have had to email the Update to you from the Town Hall each Friday to send it from the database. But last week we could not do this. Some of the attachments had to be sent in a separate email. 

We are back to our usual routine now, but need people to come forward and share the responsibility of sending out the Update each week.  We will show you what to do – it’s not hard!

Voting for the new committee – the last chance

We have more than twelve candidates standing for the Committee this year and need to hold an election. Please note that completed ballot papers must be returned to our Office in the Town Hall before 12:00 noon on Wednesday 11th May. A copy of the ballot paper can be picked up in the Office. Do not forget to sign it – and add your membership number if known.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM)

U3A in London’s Annual General Meeting will take place at 10.30 on Monday 16 May 2022 at Hampstead Old Town Hall. This year you may attend either in person in Room 2.21 or on Zoom. You will receive the Zoom link shortly before the meeting. If you are unable to attend, proxy voting papers are available in the Office.

From Wally Howard

Here are the films for this week – all in Room 1.22 at 14.00

Monday 9th May – Un Secret – based on Philippe Grimbert’s book about his own family history, is not only the story of a complicated and extended Jewish family and their fate under Nazi occupied France but also a reflection that secrets are rarely singular.  Writing in the NYT where the film was the critic’s pick, A.O. Scott said ” Un Secret  leaves in place a sense that something horribly and splendidly strange can lie under the surface of ordinary experience. … In this haunting film Claude Miller artfully and gently gestures towards enormous themes without spelling them out that serves both to intensify and delay the emotional impact of the film’s climatic disclosures.”  

Wednesday 11th May –  Belfast – is Kenneth Branagh’s memoir of growing up during “The Troubles” which drives the central conflict of the film:  Should the family leave Belfast, the only home they have ever known, or risk the safety of the children and remain.  Largely shot in black and white, there are explosions of colour as the youngest son Buddy is exposed to the arts.  The film does not labour on the difficult questions such as violence, religion, identity and politics but instead we experience events through the eyes of Buddy, in this warm and moving childhood memoir. 

Thursday 12th May – 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.

From Margaret Mitchell

I am writing to ask you to remove my ‘Discovery Walks’ from the programme. The position with my knee is such that I would have to give up this year anyway. Even if I get help with it, I feel I am unlikely to be able to resume walks soon. In the meantime I am still getting enquiries from new members who think the class is a going concern and much more vigorous than it actually is, and it is not fair to mislead them.

Yours sincerely, Margaret.

P.S. From Amalia

Margaret has been a loyal walks leader for so long that we have been in danger of taking her for granted.  I’m sure you will join me in thanking her for her dedication and wish her well.

You may have noticed that before Covid we were offering three walks each week and we can’t allow them to disappear completely!  We really need one or more of you to come forward and keep us healthy and active.

For Spanish Speakers

We are often asked for a Spanish conversation class. Is any Spanish speaker out there willing to ‘have a go’ at running a group? Let us know.

From Stanley Volk

“Singing for Pleasure”. Please note we are back live in Room 2.21 on Wednesdays at 15.10. Our singing includes Choral work, Jazz, as well as Popular music. New members are welcome and you don’t have to read music. Come and join the fun!

From Ken Pullen

Our Music Recorders Group welcomes new players in Room 2.26 at 10.00 on Tuesdays. We play a great variety of music at all levels – however sight reading is necessary and you should feel comfortable with that. If you wish to join in.  Please email: kenpullen@hotmail.com or simply come and join us.

From Muriel Hirsch

Hello everybody.
Thanks for you faithfulness and your motivation, unfortunately I have a medical appointment next Thursday at 11.00 that I can’t postpone. So – no meeting on the 12th. I am so sorry. But of course you can laugh, breathe and clap by yourselves!

From Ken Baldry

European History on Wednesday May 11th at 11:40 in Room 2.21. This week we will be talking about the third part of the Hundred Years War between England & France, taking us up to 1396, with 76 slides.

From Philip Maher

I have started my ‘Mathematics in Civilisation’ class again in Room 1.26 on Thursdays at 11.40. All are welcome. N.B. this information has not have arrived in time for this week’s full timetable.

From George Wood

Gnosticism on Mondays at 12.50 in Room 1.26 starting on 9 May. This term we are looking in depth at the hidden history of Persecution/genocide /beliefs of the Gnostics from the year 325 to the present.

Barry Rae

We have just heard that his funeral, which has been delayed, has now been arranged. It will take place on Tuesday, 31 May at 12.30. As soon as we have more details, we will let you know.


St Bride Institute,14 Bride Lane (off Fleet Street), EC4Y 8EQ

To make you smile

You say dis-ability. I say this ability is what I have.
OK, you won’t see me walk down the road but hey, can you fly? Don’t even try,
I’ll tell you why – you were born without wings. It’s just one of those things,
You’re not pathetic, it’s genetic, the arithmetic of your DNA just worked out that way.
At some double helical intersection, one of my nucleotide bases faced the wrong direction.
My C, G, A, T have done the dirty on me. I can’t change it, I accept it.
The least people could do is respect it, make adaptations in places like stations
To lay the foundations so we’re all included.
I ask you, in future never look down on a wheelchair user.
ATOS and Capita “assessed” my condition, used a technician, not a clinician
And so began the demolition of my independence.


Best Wishes from Gilli and Amalia