Bulletin no. 67 (September 2023)

Monthly talks

Our Monthly Talks are usually held on the second Thursday of the month at Hornsey Moravian Church, Priory Road, London N8 7HR.

Talks start at 10.30am with u3a notices, followed by a talk from our invited speaker and end at 12 noon. Tea and coffee are available from 10am. Members are asked to bring their own cup or mug.

Advance registration is required. Further information and registration details for our monthly talks are here.

Thursday 14 September 2023. 10.30am

Bill Aldridge: Lord Iveagh and the Art Market

The fascinating story of how the Iveagh bequest came about, allowing us to enjoy such art wonders on our doorstep at Kenwood House. Bill Aldridge has been a volunteer at Kenwood House for 10 years. As well as being a ‘Room Explainer’, a role that is self-explanatory, Bill also does Spotlight Talks on particular aspects of the house. After a business career with IBM, Bill helped arts organisations build strategies and business plans, which led him to develop this talk about how, in the 1890s, the art market took off on a trajectory that led to huge amounts being paid at auction. Not all of this can be attributed to Lord Iveagh; he was but one of the actors in the late Victorian era buying art. This is the story of how one man put together an amazing art collection of 217 paintings in only 5 years and in the process saved many great paintings for the nation. How and why they ended up in Kenwood House will be revealed at the talk.

Thursday 12 October 2023. 10.30am

Professor Catherine Hall: The afterlives of Caribbean slavery

Caribbean plantation slavery put a profound mark on Britain. This illustrated talk will focus on the entangled histories of England and Jamaica. It will discuss both the wealth produced by the enslaved for the metropole and the ideas, rooted in plantation life, about racial difference and inequality. These ideas became embedded from the 18th century in the ‘home’ culture. Catherine Hall is Emerita Professor of History and Chair of the Centre of the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery at UCL. It is an opportunity to reflect on this troubling aspect of our nation’s story with one of the UK’s leading historians of the legacies of British slavery.

Ideas for future speakers

As many of you will know, Liz Sich has recently taken over the organisation of the monthly talks from Graham Bennett. We’ve got some fascinating speakers coming up in the next few months but ideas from members – subject areas you are interested in or actual speakers – are always very welcome. The idea for our October speaker, for example, came from our Reading Race group who have been following the important work of Catherine Hall on the legacy of slavery in Britain. Do please get in touch with your ideas at speakers@cedu3a.org.uk.

Our next Open Day

We will not be holding an Open Day this year but we are planning to hold the next one in June 2024. However around the time of national u3a week (16-24 September) we are planning a distribution of our publicity leaflet to churches and faith-based organisations, community centres, libraries, doctors surgeries and so on.

Please will you help by distributing leaflets in your local area? You may only want a few or can take a bigger number, any amount will help. Please contact vicechair@cedu3a.org.uk to let us know you can help.

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. The next mornings are Tuesday 12 September (currently full, but you are welcome to go on the waiting list) and Friday 24 November. To book for November or go on the waiting list for September, contact Jacki Reason via https://cedu3a.org.uk/socialise/coffee-mornings/. Numbers are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. We also need hosts for October and from December onwards; please contact Jacki via the same link.

Monday pub lunches

The next pub lunch will be in the Mossy Well pub in Muswell Hill as usual, at 1pm on Monday 4 September. As John Wray is away, this pub lunch will be organised by Caroline Beattie. Any member wishing to attend should email Caroline on caroline1bm@yahoo.co.uk so she has an idea of the 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).

Summer parties

Those of you who came along to one of our summer parties will agree how well organised and fun they were and join in our thanks to the organisers, the musicians, and all the volunteers who helped out on each night. Too many people to name individually I’m afraid, but the Events team – Tessa Thier, Sue Picano, Brian Merison and Maggie Watters – Sarah McMahon who coordinated the delicious food and Paul Soper who coordinated the music from the Ukelele group and the Bakelites, deserve a particular mention. And the weather was dry and sunny, although a bit chilly as the sun went in but everyone came prepared for all weathers!

Quiz night

We had a great evening at our last quiz night in April. We welcome all members to our next one which will be on Friday 6 October at The British Legion Hall, (top of) Muswell Hill Road, N10 3NG. 6.45pm for a 7.30pm start.

There will be 8 tables of 6 – 8 people, members only
We expect members to welcome all comers to their table in the spirit of the u3a and be aware that 8 per table is the absolute maximum
Please note that food is not provided (apart from crisps in the interval) but it works really well if everyone brings some food to share with their table for a pot-luck meal, although there is no obligation to do so
Pay bar
Free parking at the venue
£7 per ticket. There is a maximum of 64 tickets, so book now! We ask that members book for themselves with their membership number rather than block booking. 
If you are coming on your own that is great. Let us know on the door if you want to be guided to a table to join
Book your place here

Important Update to the Beacon Members’ Portal

The Beacon website, which many members use when they renew th­­eir membership, has changed. It used to ask for names, membership number, email and postcode to authorise your access. It now has moved to using an email and user-chosen password.

However, you now must convert from the old way of logging in to the new one. We will need to do this before renewal in December otherwise it will become very complicated. We will be inviting members to change over in the next few weeks.

Please expect a personalised email from membership@cedu3a.org.uk asking you to do this. There will be full instructions, but the process is a bit complicated. Please read the instructions carefully and follow each step. There is also a link to a video explaining the process. Do contact us at the above email address if you have problems or concerns.

New interest groups

Contemporary political and social philosophy
This new group is seeking members to discuss key debates coming out of the continental philosophical tradition of the 20th and 21st centuries. Themes such as justice, human rights, equality, and climate change/the environment will be explored. The work of thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil, and Frankfurt School writers, plus still living figures in the 21st century, will be discussed. Some background knowledge in some or all the above is desirable. The group will comprise a maximum of six members and will probably meet bi-monthly. Basic reading in advance of meetings is expected. For more information please contact David Evans, the group convener, via our website here.

Real food
An explosion of foods over the last 30-odd years has transformed what we eat in restaurants and in our kitchens. We still cook our grandmothers’ recipes, but we also embrace the diverse food available in Britain today. The group will celebrate and explore everything to do with food, including recipes and foods from across the globe, showcase favourite ingredients, share and perhaps cook food, embrace seasonality, explore plant-based foods and the health benefits of foods. Members will choose monthly themes. Most meetings will be in the homes of co-conveners Sally Shaw and Lesley Holland, in Crouch End or Muswell Hill from 2.30 – 4.30pm on the third Thursday each month, starting in October 2023. Max capacity: 12. Passion is the only required qualification to join the group! More information and sign up details here.

Interest groups update

Play reading
The play reading group is open to new members. The group meets monthly on the third Monday of the month at 2.00pm, with the option of attending either in person or via Zoom. Members take turns to choose plays from the many which are available online, and choices have been very eclectic, from Oscar Wilde to Tom Stoppard. If you would like to join this group, please apply via our website here.

Writing for wellbeing
After two successful courses on the theme of transitions, the convener, Jo Eastop will be running a further series of six workshops from Tuesday 26 September – Tuesday 31 October. This group will enable you to explore your feelings about transitional stages such as children leaving home, bereavement, illness, divorce, retirement or any other similar experience, through writing and discussion in a supportive environment. Find out more and apply here

Seeking a new Membership Secretary

The New Year in 2024 will mark the fifth year of Charlie Sharp’s involvement in CEDu3a’s member renewal. Charlie has enjoyed doing this work and we are tremendously grateful for all of his input.  Charlie now wants to stand down from this role and we are looking for someone who would be happy to be making a bigger contribution to CEDu3a and take over this role, preferably for a period of at least three years.

The Beacon membership system automates a lot of the work, but there are additional tasks. It’s busy from December through to March, and you might spend 30 minutes a day on average on things. After that it tails off to about an hour or less a week.

You don’t have to be an IT expert, but you do need IT familiarity with email etc., and your own PC/laptop. Experience of working with a membership system or similar, such as a personnel system, would be useful background. Charlie and others in the team would offer training and support in the first year when you would ‘shadow’ the process. After that Charlie would be happy to continue support and/or cover as needed.

Charlie is available to contact and more details on membership@cedu3a.org.uk, or please contact any Executive Committee member if you are interested.

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 deadline is normally the 24th of each month.

From Jacqui Osley:

Haringey Council is organising a celebration of creativity called Haringey Feast at Alexandra Palace in November and we are very pleased that members of some of our craft groups have been invited to participate. They have been asked to decorate two chairs as part of the Bruce Castle Story Telling Chairs contribution to the festival: one will be covered in mosaic, découpage and crochet by our craft group members and one is to be decorated in public allowing newcomers to join in under guidance. So if you fancy trying out a new skill, head to Hornsey Library (upstairs in the former cafe space) on Wednesday 20 September from 2 – 5pm.

Progress on the chair(s) will be posted on Facebook here. More information from Jacqui Osley at facebook@cedu3a.org.uk