Bulletin no. 11 (October 2018)

Bulletin no. 11 (October 2018)

Our First Anniversary Celebration

What a year! On Wednesday 26 September, the anniversary of the Inaugural Meeting, we held our first Open Day, showcasing our U3A to potential and existing members.

When we launched Crouch End & District U3A, exactly a year ago, we had an amazing response, with nearly 300 people joining. We have continued to grow rapidly and now have more than 600 members. On the Open Day we welcomed around 150 new people, most of whom have signed up.

We started with just 30 interest groups; we now have more than 60, with others in development. With a growing membership we always need more groups so do let us know if you have an idea and want to talk it over: email David Pashley on groups@cedu3a.org.uk.

This huge response demonstrates the need and demand for such a model of community-based shared learning and socialising. Members come from all over north London including, of course our home turf of N8, N10 and N4.

Feedback has stressed the positive tone and friendly reception experienced in our U3A. This is due in large part to the dedication and energy of our group conveners. Huge thanks also go to those working to ensure everything runs smoothly: the Steering Committee members, the bulletin and publicity team and social events and coffee morning organisers.

We hope that the coming year will see further fascinating groups emerging from among our new members, and more social events. We will also be holding our first AGM, in March or April, when you will have the opportunity to elect members of the Executive Committee who will be in post for up to three years.

We will remind those who were members before the Open Day about renewing your membership, in December and January.

Thanks to you all for your support and encouragement over the past year. We always need helpers and those willing to run groups – just let us know.

With warmest wishes

Chair, Crouch End and District U3A

Monthly Meetings

Thursday 11 October 2018 : Poetry and passion on the front line – A French Poet at War: Guillaume Apollinaire 1914-1918

In the centenary year of both the signing of the Armistice and Apollinaire’s death, David Hunter will give an illustrated talk that will explore the poet’s life and work during 1914-1918 and ask what his poetry can tell us about France’s distinctive experience of the Great War. An actor will read a selection of poems in French, with English translations provided.

Thursday 8 November 2018
Francine Bates: The golden age of the music halls – the stars, the theatres and the song.

Venue: Union Church and Community Centre, Weston Park, N8 9PX.

Talks start at 10.45am, doors open at 10am for tea and coffee. Union Church is a plastic-free zone, so please bring your own cup or mug.

Monthly meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month. They are open to all members, who are welcome to bring a guest. Please bring your membership card. It is possible to join at the meeting.

Groups : our first year

Crouch End and District U3A has come a long way in just one year. As you can see from the list at the end of this bulletin, our groups cover an enormous range of interests. In some cases the response has been such that a second and even third group has been formed to satisfy demand.

If a group in which you are interested doesn’t currently have space, don’t be put off, you can always put your name on the waiting list. Some groups have instigated a booking system so that all members who have signed up have an equal chance to participate. Details of these groups are also given at the end of the bulletin.

To join any group, fill in the contact form on the relevant page of our website

The website is the first port of call for all CE&DU3A news. You can find information on existing and forthcoming groups, contact group conveners and book events. It also has photos and descriptions of many past events and outings and links to other U3A events in London.

We are aware that not everyone has access to the website. If so, you can contact Jane Clarke on 020 3638 2330 or 07957 756665 for all group information.

For those with email, always check your spam folder in case there are U3A messages that have gone astray.

Group news

These new groups are now confirmed – see website for details

Theatre visits: fringe
Jazz and improvised music
Crime fiction

New groups being developed include:
Opera, which will involve going to broadcast performances at local cinemas
Mental health/Psychology

For groups in preparation, you can express interest by emailing groups2@cedu3a.org.uk or by contacting Jane Clarke, on 020 3638 2330 or 07957 756665.

With our constantly growing membership we are always keen to encourage members to come forward with ideas. There is interest in a Knitting group, and in a Second World War group – how diverse can you get?

All our groups are run by volunteer conveners, often in their own homes. Once you have joined a group it is helpful to tell the convener if you can’t attend a meeting. Many of our groups are very popular so if for any reason you no longer need your place, please let the convener know so that it can be offered to someone on the waiting list.

Social news

‘First Monday’ Pub Lunches

We are launching monthly pub lunches on Monday 5 November 2018 at 1pm at the Mossy Well in Muswell Hill. This will be an opportunity for members to meet and chat in an informal and social atmosphere.As the name suggests, our pub lunches will be on the first Monday of every month, so the second will be on Monday 3 December, also at the Mossy Well. We plan to try out other local pubs next year. Members will, of course, have to pay for their own food and drinks. If you are interested in coming along on 5 November, please email crouchendanddistrictu3a@gmail.com.

Members’ Ceilidh

Tickets (£10.50, pay bar) are still available for our first ceilidh, with the Muswell Hill Ceilidh band and caller, on Friday 16 November 2018 at the Royal British Legion, Muswell Hill Road, N10 3NG, 7.30-11.00pm. No experience needed – just come along and have fun. Members are welcome to bring guests. Book at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cedu3a-ceilidh-tickets-49278663810

Coffee Mornings

These monthly get-togethers, held in people’s homes from 11am to 12.30pm, are a great, informal way to meet other members. The next two mornings, on Thursday 25 October in Crouch End and Wednesday 14 November in Muswell Hill are full, but you are welcome to go on the waiting list. There is space for the December morning, Thursday 13 December in Crouch End.

To book please contact Jacki at info@jackireason.co.uk If you would like to host a coffee morning please contact Jacki. Expenses can be reimbursed.


Thanks to everyone who has joined our new Facebook group. This is currently the only place that you can independently upload photographs of your group experiences and post comments on your activities to share with other members. There are 81 members, but this is a small proportion of our overall membership, so do join up if you have not already done so.

Some of you may follow our old Facebook page, which was more difficult to navigate, but it is not well-used and we hope you will switch to the new page where you will have more control over what appears.

You must be a Facebook member to join the group but if you are notthere is a direct link from our website which anyone can follow. Try it now and see the wonderful photographs which some of our members have posted.


Many thanks to everyone who completed the questionnaire: most of the new groups emerged from that exercise. There was also a strong message about more social activities, which we are now following up. Importantly, many respondents made suggestions about improving the diversity of our U3A, which we will explore.

Current Groups

More are in preparation

The 1960s
Art Appreciation 1
Art Appreciation 2
Art – Beginners
Art – Intermediate
Book Group
Crime Fiction Book Club
Current Affairs
Exhibitions and Galleries
Family History
Felt Making
Foreign Films
French Book Club
French Conversation
Gentle Exercise (Feldenkrais)
Italian Conversation 1
Italian Conversation 2
Jazz and Improvised Music
Local History: Introductory Course
Local History: Further Research
London Loop Walk
Longer Walks
Machine Embroidery/Surface Textiles
Music Appreciation
Pètanque (Boules)
Play Reading
Poetry for Pleasure
Poetry Writing
Science and Technology
Shorter Walks
Singing for Fun
Singing: Part Songs and Harmonising
Spanish Conversation
Table Tennis
Theatre Visits: Fringe
Theatre Visits: West End
Wine Appreciation
World Literature

Groups with a booking system

Exhibitions and Galleries (places may be offered to members outside the group)
Foreign Films
London Loop Walk
Longer Walks
Shorter Walks
Theatre Visits: Fringe
Theatre Visits: West End