Bulletin no. 62 (March 2023)

Monthly meetings

The following meetings are from 10.30am – 12 noon, with entry from 10.00am, at the Union Church and Community Centre (located on Weston Park at the junction with Ferme Park Road N8 9PX). Attendance numbers are limited. Advance registration is normally required. Further information and registration details for our monthly meetings are here.

Thursday 9 March 2023. 10.30am
Nick Higham: The Mercenary River

For centuries London struggled to supply its citizens with reliable, clean drinking water. One of the first serious attempts to solve London’s water crisis was the 17th century New River, which winds its way through North London, past Alexandra Palace and into Harringay, and still supplies ten per cent of London’s drinking water. In his talk, journalist and former BBC reporter Nick Higham tells the story of London’s water from the Tudor era to the 20th century, based on his book, The Mercenary River. It is a tale of remarkable technological, scientific and organisational breakthroughs, but also one of greed and complacency, high finance and low politics.

Thursday 20 April 2023. 10.30am
Kat Jungnickel: Bikes and bloomers: Victorian women inventors and their extraordinary cycle wear

The bicycle in Victorian Britain is often celebrated as a vehicle of women’s liberation. Less well-known is another critical technology with which women forged new and mobile public lives – cycle wear. In this talk, Dr Kat Jungnickel of Goldsmiths, University of London, and author of Bikes and Bloomers, reveals how some pioneering women in the 1890s not only imagined, made and wore radical new forms of cycle wear, but also patented their inventive designs. The most remarkable of these were convertible costumes that enabled wearers to transform ordinary clothing into cycle wear. Join Kat as she brings to life the little-known stories of the inventors of the 1890s and learn how their unique contributions to cycling continue to shape urban life for contemporary mobile women.


The fifth Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Crouch End & District u3a will be held at the Union Church and Community Centre, Weston Park, N8 9PX on Thursday 20 April 2023 at 12 noon, twenty minutes or so after the closing of the regular monthly meeting. In the break refreshments (tea and cake) will be offered. Please bring your own cup.

The meeting should last no longer than one hour at most. Meeting papers will be sent out nearer the date of the AGM. Included on the agenda of the AGM will be the opportunity for members to elect up to four new trustees and to approve the re-election of four of the current trustees, for a period of one year only, who have reached the end of their current tenure. Trustee nomination papers and submission instructions were issued to all members at the beginning of January.

Registration is required to attend the AGM – please register via our website here. We need to have as many members as possible join us for the meeting to be quorate, so please put the date in your diary and come along to the first in-person AGM since the easing of COVID restrictions.

Please note that even if you have registered for the April monthly talk you do need to register separately for the AGM.

Coffee mornings

Coffee mornings, which take place in members’ homes on varying days of the week, are a great way of getting to know other members. New members are particularly welcome. To book for Tuesday 18 April or Tuesday 2 May, or go on the waiting list for Friday 31 March, or if you would like to host a morning, contact Jacki Reason, via https://cedu3a.org.uk/socialise/coffee-mornings/. Numbers are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Monday pub lunches

The next pub lunch will be on Monday 6 March at 1pm at the Mossy Well pub as usual. If any member would like to go along to this lunch, please email John via johnwray99@hotmail.com by Friday 3 March so that he has an idea of numbers. Pub lunches are an opportunity for members to meet and chat in an informal and social atmosphere (paying for their own food and drink). The April pub lunch will be on Monday 3 April – if you wish to attend, please let John know by Monday 27 March so that he has an idea of numbers.

Speaker organiser for monthly meetings

Do you enjoy the monthly meetings? Would you like to organise the speakers?
Our speaker organiser, Graham, would like to step aside later this year and so we would welcome a volunteer or volunteers to take on this enjoyable role. We are fully booked for speakers until the summer, so plenty of time to get some ideas and make contacts before the Autumn meetings. If you are interested, or would like some more information, contact Graham at vicechair@cedu3a.org.uk/br>

New interest groups

Film at the ArtHouse Cinema
If you enjoy going to see a film in a local cinema this is for you. Meeting monthly on any day of the month for an afternoon film and when possible afterwards in a local cafe or bar to discuss and chat. For full information and to apply please go to the website here.

Acoustic music and singing
A group for people who enjoy singing folk and/or play an acoustic instrument such as a guitar, recorder or even a tambourine. The aim of the group is to have fun, enjoy making music and enjoy each other’s company in a convivial setting, namely McCafferty’s Bar in Crouch End on every second Thursday afternoon. For full information and to apply please go to our website here.

If you have recently joined our u3a, you may not know that we have a thriving Facebook page, where members post photographs of their group activities and where you can find up-to-date information about our talks and ticket availability. What you also may not know is that you do not have to be a Facebook user to view our page. Just click here on the Social Media page on our website and you will be taken straight there. Of course, if you wish to post your own comments you do actually have to join the group and 480 members have already done so.

London Region of u3as Summer School

Now in its tenth year, this popular non-residential event for u3a members only will be held on 25 and 25 July 2023 at its usual venue, St Bride Foundation Institute, 14 Bride Lane (off Fleet Street), London EC4Y 8EQ.

You can choose to attend for one or both days. Activities will include talks, workshops and guided walks. Wide range of subjects including: Art, Current Affairs, History, Literature, Performing Arts, Music, Sciences, Social Studies.

The cost is ÂŁ41 per day including refreshments and buffet lunch with a choice of healthy salads and fruit.

Booking will start at the end of March.

Members’ posts

If any members have u3a-related info or news items they would like to share with other members please send details to bulletin@cedu3a.org.uk. The normal deadline is the 24th of each month.


The wrong date was given in last month’s bulletin for The Re-enactment and Celebration of the British Ladies’ Football Club’s First Ladies’ Football Match of 1895 (North v South), apologies. The correct date of this event is Sunday 26 March 2023 at the grounds of Alexandra Palace Football and Cricket Club, Nightingale Lane, Hornsey. Kick off 2pm.

From Alison Miller:
Interest Groups Online (formerly known as Trust u3a)
I’ve really enjoyed being a member of Interest Groups Online, which not everyone may have heard of. This is its website https://www.u3a.org.uk/learning/interest-groups-online. To join an online Interest Group you first have to become an associate member of Interest Groups Online. There is a wide variety of classes to join. I do Intermediate Recorders twice a month. While there is nothing quite as good as meeting with other people to play music in person, meeting online has many advantages too, as some of us found out in lockdown. It is great to meet up with people from all round the country, learn new music, and all without any travel time or having to lug instruments, music books and music stands around.

From Stephen Lustig (long-time member of Table Tennis and Longer Walks groups):
Mentoring – a really rewarding way to give back
Those of us of a certain age sometimes think that we no longer have much to offer to society, but that is far from the truth. Two years ago I started mentoring a few young people, organised by a small charity called Hope in Haringey. This charity has asked me to spread the word that it needs more volunteer mentors. It is enormously rewarding to help people in their late teens or early twenties find their way in life. Once a fortnight I have an online or in person conversation with each of my mentees for about half an hour. We talk about general life skills such as resilience, communication skills and punctuality, but help with creating a CV, understanding the tax system, and finding a job also come into the mix. Learn more about being a mentor at https://hopeinharingey.com/mentoring/

From Adrienne Banks:
Fundraising walk for Moorfields Eye Charity
Over 2 million people across the UK live with impaired vision and that number is set to double over the next 30 years. Funding for the elimination of eye disease and sight loss is therefore vital and so I am asking for your support for my fundraising walk on Sunday 5 March in aid of the Moorfields Eye Charity. Here is the link to my JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Adrienne-Banks3. Many thanks in advance.