Bulletin no. 68 (October 2023)

Monthly talks

Our monthly talks featuring an invited speaker are held on the second Thursday of the month at Hornsey Moravian Church, Priory Rd, London N8 7HR.

We start at 10.30am with u3a notices, followed by our invited speaker. We finish 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 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.

Thursday 9 November 2023. 10.30am
Kathy Henderson: My disappearing uncle – how stories make us
Award-winning writer, poet and illustrator, Kathy Henderson will talk about her new book, My Disappearing Uncle: Europe, War and the Stories of a Scattered Family. Memoir, detective work and political history come together in this vivid and moving family biography told through the stories passed down by its undaunted women over two hundred years of European turmoil. It is a look at narrative and the way it works on us, the strange places stories lie and the accidents that bring them to the surface, how oral stories bring us the lives of the women before us, how they shape our understanding of the past and make us.

Thursday 14 December 2023. 10.30am
Andrew Lycett: Conan Doyle: The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes
Biographer, author and broadcaster Andrew Lycett will talk about the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and the inspiration behind Conan Doyle’s creation of the world’s greatest fictional detective. Andrew will discuss the events which shaped Conan Doyle’s times, the places he knew and visited, and the intellectual currents of the age, with a special emphasis on science and detection. Booking will open soon.

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 17 October, Friday 24 November (currently full, but you are welcome to go on the waiting list) and Tuesday 12 December. To book for October or December or go on the waiting list for November, 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 2024; 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 2 October. Any member wishing to attend should email John Wray on johnwray99@hotmail.com so he 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).

Quiz night

There are a few tickets left for our quiz night on Friday 6 October at The British Legion Hall, (top of) Muswell Hill Road, N10 3NG. 6.45pm for a 7.30pm start. Find out more here

Social events survey results

Alongside the many group activities and monthly meetings, CEDu3a offers additional social events at low cost throughout the year. The Social Events Team has been successful in organising events such as quizzes, dance evenings and summer parties and now wishes to expand this. It conducted a survey to identify members’ priorities carried out at the larger members’ events in the summer including a monthly meeting and the two summer parties. With 130 members completing the survey we now have a significant representation of members’ views – the full results can be viewed on our website here.We are very grateful for all the responses to this survey and have already reacted to the results by organising our first live classical music recital planned to take place in November (see below). A jazz evening will be planned for the New Year. Proposals for other events to follow.

CEDu3a’s first classical and folk music concert

This musical concert will take place on Sunday 5 November at the United Reformed Church (Pond Square Chapel) at Pond Square, Highgate N6. The concert starts at 3pm and finishes at 4pm. Please be at the venue by 2:45pm. Refreshments will be served immediately after the concert, (fizz, soft drinks and nibbles). A selection of music will be played including Haydn, Debussy and Chopin plus Irish folk song arrangements for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano. All new members are particularly welcome to join in all our events.  Book via our website here.

Revised policies

At the Executive Committee meeting held on 8 September 2023, the following revised policies were agreed at the meeting and are now on the website – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; Complaints Policy and Process; Code of Conduct for Members and Safeguarding Policy. Full details are here. The policies will be reviewed again in 3 years’ time, unless circumstances dictate an earlier revision.

Should CEDu3a consider a name change?

At this year’s AGM on 20 April there were a number of questions raised about diversity, and whether the name of Crouch End and District u3a inhibited those from a range of ethnic, racial and other groups from seeking membership. The CEDu3a Executive Committee (EC) asked a team of Trustees to consider these questions carefully; a paper was drafted and discussed at the EC meeting on 7 July. After much discussion, it was decided that, given the history of u3a in Haringey, together with the number of issues outlined in the paper, a name change would not be considered at this time. Rather, CEDu3a would look at how it could enable the development of other local u3a groups in Haringey by using the experience gained in setting up and sustaining CEDu3a.

The full paper outlining the reasoning behind the decision is now available on the website here under EDI Reports.

Interest groups

Currently there are 105 interest groups in operation, but we are always keen to expand the number of interest groups and the range of activities we offer. The recent social events survey of members produced a huge list of suggestions for new groups, from archaeology to chess to snooker to big screen singalongs! Then of course there is also demand to provide extra groups in some of the really popular and over-subscribed activities such as wine tasting, walks, outings and visits.

As a mutual aid organisation, in order to provide these new activities or to expand existing ones, we rely entirely on our members to come forward and help out. Thanks to members volunteering in this way, in recent months we have been able to set up new groups in activities as diverse as cycling, polymer clay, contemporary philosophy and ‘real’ food, for example.

So, if you have an idea for a new group and are prepared to invest a little time to make it happen, the groups team would love to hear from you. Contact us on groups@cedu3a.org.uk and one of the team will get in touch to discuss your idea and offer help and support with implementing it. If you would prefer to do a little research into what setting up an interest group entails, you will also find a lot of helpful information in our conveners’ handbook, available on our website at: https://cedu3a.org.uk/handbook-for-conveners/

Interest groups update

Economics and finance group
Members discuss a wide range of matters related to experience of daily life or individual interests. This is not the dismal economic theory practised by government economists. The group explores the reasons why services and industries in some countries are run well, while some are not. They have, for example, examined UK housing and land, Brexit, City of London, and across the world subjects like water, transport, national health, energy, and financial crises. No special knowledge or preparation is required. The convenor or a member normally prepares some background notes, which are sometimes circulated ahead of meetings. The group meets at 2pm via Zoom on the first Friday of the month, and would welcome more members. More details here.

Book group 3
The aim is to enjoy reading and discussing books which have been suggested by group members. This provides the members with a wide range of literature both current, old favourites and classics. Currently on the reading list are a Booker prize finalist, a Children’s Laureate, an Academy Award winner and a popular British comedian. The book nominee provides a brief resume of their choice of book and this is followed by a discussion on that book by fellow members. The group meets at 2pm on the second Tuesday of the month for two hours, allowing enough time to discuss that month’s book and catch up over tea and biscuits. More details here. This group is currently full but please add your name to the waiting list so we know the level of interest.

2023 People’s Day

Hosted by Tottenham, Wood Green and Hornsey Pensioners’ Action Groups with Haringey Over 50s, 2023 People’s Day is taking place on Tuesday 10 October, 12 – 5pm in the Sports Hall at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, 1 Philip Lane, London N15 4JA. There will be stalls offering items of interest, refreshments, many speakers on different topics, plus live entertainment and a tombola. CEDu3a will have a stall at this event, so come and say ‘hi’ if you’re there. Stall helpers are also very welcome – contact Sally on chair@cedu3a.org.uk .

National and regional u3a online talks

We have updated the list of online talks arranged by both the National u3a and London Region of u3as. Most of the talks, which cover a wide range of topics, are presented by u3a members themselves, sharing their knowledge, skills, enthusiasms and experiences, but there are also contributions from invited specialists. The list is regularly updated, as new talks and presentations are announced. Find out more on our website here.

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 Michelle Sinclair:
If you are interested in the arts both fine and decorative, enjoy lectures, visits and tours then the Arts Society Highgate is for you. A new year of activities started in September. You can contact info@theartssocietyhighgate.org.uk for more information and to join.
See the website www.theartssocietyhighgate.org.uk

From Ruth Elder and Mouijn Bok:
Happiness Habits is a secular, science-based course for people who want to learn how to live happily and to spread happiness to those around them. It was created to help people tune into what really matters in their life, connect with people around them and find small ways to start taking action. We will be talking about gratefulness, self-care, relationships and other topics.

A Happiness Habits course is starting on Tuesday 31 October for 6 weeks, 7 – 9 pm on Zoom. This course is being run by volunteers Ruth Elder and Mourijn Bok, both CEDu3a members. However, this does not mean that CEDu3a recommends or endorses this course. The course is also being promoted outside u3a so that there is a mixed group.

Cost is by donation to Action for Happiness, with £60 suggested. For further information and to join the group please check the website https://actionforhappiness.org/ You can also call either Ruth on 07505046732 or Mourijn on 07986873348, or email mourijnb@gmail.com . Feel free to share this information with non U3a members.