Bulletin no. 39 (March 2021)


Well, finally the future is looking brighter – here is hoping we can happily continue down to the light at the end of the tunnel with the recently announced roadmap.

I imagine most of us have now at least had our first vaccination, which is excellent news. We also have warmer spring weather and longer days, and the daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops coming into bloom – all of which just have to be positive and uplifting.

In the interest groups update below, Diana sets out what the 4 stages in the roadmap will mean for our interest group activities.

We will continue to offer our talks online for a while yet, but are exploring the possibility of combining the physical meeting and online delivery in the longer term – especially for those of you who may not yet be comfortable meeting in a larger venue.

We will also start to plan our events, such as the Open Day, summer reception and conveners’ meetings, which have had to be on hold for the last year, with the hope that they can go ahead in the summer and early autumn. Let’s hope so – I don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to meeting face to face rather than via Zoom!

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has renewed their membership. We are so very grateful for your continued support. We were worried that numbers might drop significantly during this renewal period as we haven’t been able to operate normally, but I am delighted to say that was quite unfounded.

As always please be safe and take care.


Any queries please email Sally at chair@cedu3a.org.uk

Annual General Meeting

Come and join us at the

3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) online on 15 April 2021 at 11am

Following last year’s successful use of the online format, our AGM is to be held again via Zoom. Please tell any members you know who do not use the internet that they will be able to join the meeting by telephone.

Join us to hear how we have managed and adapted our activities during the past year, despite all the difficulties during this Covid pandemic, and hear our plans for the coming year. You will also have the opportunity to elect a new trustee, see how we’ve managed our finances and question the Executive Committee. As in previous years we need to have a minimum number of members present to enable the meeting to proceed. This year we need at least 70 members to be quorate so please sign up and be one of them.

Meeting papers and instructions for joining the meeting will be sent out to you nearer the time. Meanwhile you can register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/crouch-end-district-u3a-annual-general-meeting-tickets-141460773983

We’ll look forward to seeing you (online) on 15 April.

Online talks

Thursday 11 March, 11.00am – 12.15pm
John Pearson: Blessed are the cheesemakers

Tuesday 23 March, 11.00am – 12.15pm
Mike Black: The seedy side of life

Tuesday 8 April, 11.00 am – 12.15 pm
Martin Wilkinson: Inequality: its effects on mental health and climate change, and what we can do about it.

Thursday 29 April, 11am – 12.00pm
Fool’s Gold presents: Dark Light

Recorded talks

Most of our online talks are recorded and available for you to watch at leisure. Please email cedu3a@gmx.com with your membership number, stating which recording(s) you would like, and copies will be sent to you.

Schlegel-Tieck Prize

Many of us will have enjoyed the recent online talk from Martyn Crucefix Exploring the Refugee Experience through Poetry. We are delighted to hear that Martyn has been awarded the 2020 Schlegel-Tieck Prize for his translation of These Numbered Days by Peter Huchel (Shearsman Books). Many congratulations, Martyn. Winner 2020 Schlegel-Tieck translation prize: Peter Huchel’s poems translated https://www.shearsman.com/store/Peter-Huchel-These-Numbered-Days-p139332796

Interest groups update

No hard and fast dates for easing restrictions are set yet but the 4-stage plan does provide a focus for interest groups, their conveners and their members, in planning future activities. Significant dates for interest groups are:

March 29 when groups of up to 6 people will be able to socialise outdoors, in our gardens, and with the return of outdoor sports, including tennis courts reopening.

No earlier than April 12 when socialising will be confined to outdoor tables of pubs and restaurants, zoos will reopen.

No earlier than May 17 when life will resemble that in late summer: it will be possible to visit art galleries and museums, gatherings of up to 30 will be permitted outdoors and 6 people will be able to mix indoors. Cinemas, concert halls and theatres will be able to reopen, as will adult indoor group sports such as badminton and table tennis.

No earlier than June 21 all restrictions to be eased. Social distancing measures could be lifted.

It’s early days, further guidance will inform arrangements and many of you will be cautious, but thanks to the vaccination programme there is real optimism that interest groups may resume ‘near normal’ activities in the future.

Exploring poetry writing

Were you inspired by Martyn Crucefix’s recent talk to try your hand at writing poetry? Our u3a has an Exploring Poetry Writing group, convened by Susan Critchlow, and welcomes new members. Contact the group using the following link https://cedu3a.org.uk/interest-groups/exploring-poetry-writing/ if you are interested.


Our Facebook group is considered by National u3a to be so successful that we have been asked to lead an online discussion on 28 April at the south-east region’s Spring Gathering. Recognition indeed. However, the success of a Facebook group is entirely dependent on members’ input and we encourage you to keep us all updated on Facebook with news of your groups’ and independent activities. Be assured that all posts inspire us and generate interest.

An intriguing question

Can anyone tell me more about a tree planted in Finsbury Park to mark the 50th anniversary of the LCC? It’s on the west side of the path that runs past the Alpha Dog Training centre towards the athletics track. The plaque beneath says:




1889 – 1939

It isn’t mentioned in Hugh Hayes’ book on Finsbury Park, nor on the Finsbury Park Centenary Information board, and it’s not even mentioned in the special LCC Jubilee edition of the Times dated 21 March 1939.

Did the LCC plant a tree in each park, or was Finsbury Park a special case?

If you have any information please contact johnhinshelwood@btinternet.com,
Local History Group Convener.

Access to public toilets in London

Many of us are curtailing our walks not just because many are closed due to Covid-19, but also because of the decline in public conveniences.

I’m working with Positive Ageing on London’s campaign to get councils to increase public toilet provision capital-wide and take seriously the associated health issues with the current poor situation. Help us to create a map of available loos across all London boroughs by letting me know of any that are open in any London location not mentioned. We already know about: Ally Pally boating lake and Garden Centre, Finsbury Park station, Priory Park, Sunshine Garden Centre, Woodberry Wetlands, Morrisons Wood Green, Vauxhall Bus station (radar key). It would also be useful to hear how you have been affected – please contact me roslyn.byfield@live.co.uk.