Bulletin no. 04 (February 2018)

Letter from the Chair

Can you help? Following our launch last autumn, Crouch End & District U3A membership has grown to almost 450. Our U3A is member-led and run. We have a tremendous team of group conveners, Steering Committee members, PR group and helpers at our meetings. However, our success and increasing membership means that we now need more people to cover a few areas of our work.

These are:

Organising Monthly Meetings: this could be either overseeing the preparation of and setting up the meetings, or one of the components such as the refreshments rota or ensuring enough supplies. (NB this does not include arranging speakers.)

Setting up the audio-visual equipment at meetings: we have our own screen, projector, microphones and speaker so we need people to help at the beginning and end of each meeting. Some of us are receiving training so can support you for the first few times.

Speakers organiser for our monthly meetings. We need someone to book speakers for future meetings. We have speakers booked until May, and a long list of possible speakers. This would involve just a few hours a month and could be done entirely at home, whenever suits you.

We also need general helpers at events throughout the year as well as some admin support. This can be just a few hours a month, to suit your commitments.

If you commit to any of the above, it does not mean you must be around for every meeting or event. We hope that by recruiting more helpers we will all be able to share the work more evenly. If you want to talk over what any of this involves, do get in touch with Sue, on chair@cedu3a.org.uk. I’d be happy to talk it through.

I hope to meet you at one of the Monthly Meetings.

Sue Felgate

Chair Crouch End & District U3A

Monthly Meetings

Our first meeting of the year in our new venue attracted a record turnout of around 130. Katy Ghahremani, a director of Make Architects and project architect for the controversial redevelopment of Hornsey Town Hall, gave a presentation which was followed by an extended question and answer session.

The Town Hall, a Grade II* listed building from 1935, built to the designs of architect Reginald Uren and judged to be an outstanding example of Modernist architecture, is to be restored to include workspaces, event venues and a hotel. The scheme also includes the redevelopment of associated buildings, open areas and the square in front of the building, and links across to Hornsey Library. The sale of properties in a number of proposed residential blocks to the rear of the town hall will contribute to the cost of the restoration. Work is expected to be carried out between 2018 and 2020.

The next Monthly Meeting will take place on Thursday 8 February, when Haringey First World War Peace Forum will give a presentation on WWI Conscientious Objection Remembered, The Haringey Experience.

Venue: Union Church and Community Centre, corner of Ferme Park Rd and Weston Park in Crouch End, N8 9TA. Doors open at 10am for tea and coffee. The talk will start at 10.45am.

The Science of Health

This new series of monthly speaker meetings is open to all our U3A members and begins on Monday 5 February with We need to talk about Alzheimer’s, presented by Professor Paul Whiting, Chief Scientific Officer of Alzheimer’s Research UK UCL Drug Discovery Institute.

Venue: Union Church, as above. Doors open at 10am, The talk will start at 10.30am.

Future Meetings in this series will be:

5 March: Professor Marianna Fokati: What makes for a healthy heart in society? Marianna Fokati is Professor of Business Ethics at Warwick Business School and a visiting professor at Manchester University.

4 June: Dr John Ford: The global burden of disease study and a health profile for England. John Ford is Senior History Lecturer, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Essex.

Group News

The Book Group, which meets monthly, would welcome two or three new members. If you are interested please contact the convener via the website.

Singing group. A group for people who would like the opportunity to sing with others. You’re equally welcome whether you sing well or you’ve been told you ‘can’t sing’, and whether or not you’ve previously sung in groups or choirs.

At the first session, you will have the words of an initial set of songs to choose from (in a reasonably large font, and with no musical score): you will probably already know at least 60% of them. After that, words will also be provided for songs members suggest. If different or specialist interests emerge, it should be possible to create other groups.

No scores, no piano or guitar to begin with; just the words and voices. Whenever you’re singing a song well together, you’re welcome to try harmonising. No criticism if you sing the ‘wrong’ note, or at the ‘wrong’ time. We will sing for an hour, and then have a drink and a chat.

The group meets fortnightly on Wednesdays from 2 to 3pm at a house in Grove Avenue N10 and has room for about 12 members at each session. The first February date will be on Wednesday 14th. Please contact the group convener, Anne Heagney, via the website https://cedu3a.org.uk for details.

New Groups

New groups are starting in Decluttering, Foreign Film, Gentle Exercise (Feldenkrais), Music Appreciation, Spanish, Ancient Greek, Family History and Play Reading.

Some existing groups are starting additional sessions because they have waiting lists, including Art Appreciation, Longer Walks (London Loop walks), Poetry, Singing (yes, already!) and World Literature. A Sixties group is in preparation.

We may also be able to organise Beginners German and Knitting and Crochet groups, if there is sufficient interest. If these appeal please let the Groups Organiser know at groups@cedu3a.org.uk

SAILING: Do you fancy sailing a yacht? A member who’s an experienced and qualified sailor would like to hire a yacht for a group of 6-8 people for a long weekend off the Isle of Wight in spring or early summer. It will need to be a mix of experienced people and novices willing to learn the ropes and muck in. If you’re interested in meeting to hear more, please email info@dave-robson.com

To join any group, just visit the website , go to the group page you’re interested in, and email the convener.

As highlighted in our Chair’s letter, our U3A has grown very quickly and consequently we do need more groups. If you’re at all interested in helping ­– you may be in a group and feel you could help set up a second one, or sitting frustrated on a waiting list, or you may have a new idea – please e-mail David, the groups organiser, at groups@cedu3a.org.uk, who’ll give you support, guidance and enthusiasm.

Coffee mornings

These monthly get-togethers, in people’s homes, are a great way to meet other members. The next two will be on:

Thursday 15 February 2018 in N22

Wednesday 14 March 2018 in Muswell Hill, N10

Our coffee mornings are organised by Jacki Reason. To book please contact Jacki on info@jackireason.co.uk. If you can’t attend a coffee morning you’ve booked for, please send a message to say you can’t make it.

If you would like to host a coffee morning please contact Jacki. Expenses will be reimbursed.

Quiz night

We are holding our first quiz night on 27 February, 7pm at the Maynard Arms in Park Road, Crouch End. This is your chance to meet other members and test your general knowledge. Tickets are only £7, and include a buffet supper. You are welcome to bring along a guest; tables will be allocated on the night.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite, at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ced-u3a-quiz-night-tickets-42705123173. Only 50 places available – so book early, before they all go.

U3A London Region Network

There are currently 43 U3As in the London Region, with a total membership of over 23,000. Individuals become members of the London Region of U3As by virtue of their membership of a constituent U3A branch. Further information can be found on the London region website: https://u3asites.org.uk/london-region/events. Online booking via the events tab at https://www.u3a.org.uk/events

Forthcoming events planned by U3A London Region Network:

February 26: Active Learning and Research: A workshop for Enquiring Minds. 10.00am-4.30pm at Canada Water Library.

July 31 – August 2: London Region Summer School 2018. This is a popular non-residential three-day event at St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, Fleet Street with a choice of thirty-two talks, two workshops, and six guided walks around the City of London. In addition to the usual wide range of topics, we are also including some talks to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage. Cost: £36 per day. Members can attend for one, two or three days. Lunch is included, and this year we have plans to reduce congestion at lunch-times. Online and postal booking to be launched mid-February. Members can register now to receive programme details in advance. Contact: Chris Feldman ccris@waitrose.com

Forthcoming national events in London:

February 13: Blue Skies and Fruit Flies: Patterns in Biology 1.30-4 pm at the new Francis Crick Institute near Kings Cross. Free of charge. Booking now.

March 13: Study Day: Spanish Paintings at the National Gallery Cost: £25 Booking now.

March 19: U3A at the RI Study day for U3A members at the Royal Institution on a range of scientific topics. Cost: £21.50 Booking now.

March 26: U3A at the British Library: Study day for U3A members at the British Library. Details TBA.

July 18: U3A Jazz Study Day at Cecil Sharp House in Camden, London NW1 7AY. Save the date – details TBA.

Forthcoming national events outside London:

March 21: Third Age Trust Extraordinary General Meeting. 10:30-15:30. The Great Hall, Birmingham University. Booking soon. Register interest now.

April 5: ‘Keeping it Legal’ Workshop 10-17:30 Horsley. A national training workshop for committee members. Details/online booking available now.

April 18 &19: Wales Study Break, National Library of Wales Aberystwyth. Details TBA

July 23-26: National Summer School, Harper Adams University. Details TBA.

August 6-9: Science Network Summer School, Nottingham University. Details TBA.

September 11-14: National Summer School, Royal Agricultural University. Details TBA.

Regional events near London:

June 18-21: South East Forum Summer School, University of Chichester. Details available now http://u3asites.org.uk/code/u3asite.php?site=465&page=3

U3A National Communications

The monthly email newsletter is the new ‘hub’ for all information directly relevant to U3A members and includes:

  • News – national, regional, local
  • Subject newsletters
  • Events – national, regional, subject, organisational
  • Media opportunities
  • Offers for members

The newsletter is emailed directly to all U3A members who sign up. Recipients will never have their email addresses disclosed to third parties, and will have the opportunity to unsubscribe at any time. To read previous issues and subscribe, click here: https://www.u3a.org.uk/about/newsletter

London LGBT Group

An interest group for LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transsexual) members and supporters has been created. Although the group is run under the aegis of Wandsworth U3A, it welcomes members from any London U3A, and meetings will take place in central London. The group has support from the U3A at regional and national level and is intended for any U3A member (gay or straight) as a social and learning group – especially looking at the historical LGBT protest movement and campaigners.

The next meeting is on Tuesday 20 February. 

For further information see https://u3asites.org.uk/wandsworth/page/79610

Social Media and the U3A

We appreciate that not everyone uses social media and some of you may even think it is a modern evil. Facebook can, however, be a useful tool to provide information about our U3A groups and meetings, both to members and the wider community. You can use our Facebook page to share your experiences. If you’ve hugely enjoyed a trip to the theatre with our Theatre group, then you can provide a review to show others what they missed. Likewise, if you heard an interesting talk at the Gardening group you can enthuse about it. If you’ve found your research in the Local History group fascinating then tell everyone about it – and provide photos (with permission).

The Facebook page is your page for you to give a more comprehensive picture of our activities. We hope that convenors and group participants alike will go to Visitor Posts and contribute their experiences. You can look at the page now by clicking on the button on our website and see what fun some people are having.

If you find using Facebook difficult, it is also possible to email comments, reviews, photos etc to the page administrator: jacquiosley@yahoo.co.uk