Bulletin no. 72 (February 2024)

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 8 February 10.30am

Tim Craven: Trees in British art history from Thomas Gainsborough to The Arborealists

Tim Craven, curator, artist and founder of The Arborealists, will discuss the role and importance of trees in British art from Gainsborough onwards.

– Thursday 14 March 10.30am

Martyn Bond: Hitler’s Cosmopolitan Bastard

This is the captivating story of the man whom Hitler labelled a “Cosmopolitan Bastard” and who became the model for Victor Laszlo of Casablanca fame. Martyn Bond will talk about Count Richard Coudenhouve-Kalergi who was a politician, philosopher and founder of the Pan-European Union whose vision was peaceful, democratic unity for Europe, with no borders, a common currency, and a single passport.

– Thursday 18 April 10.30am

Rachel Morley: Friends of Friendless Churches

Over the centuries, churches have fallen out of use for many reasons. Friends of Friendless Churches believe that these buildings represent the spiritual and artistic investment of generations, that they belong to all of us, and should be preserved for the future. Director Rachel Morley will talk about the organisation’s work.

– Thursday 9 May 10.30am

Dr Bobbie Jacobson: Against the flow: pandemic lessons from inside the battles for prevention

Dr Bobbie Johnson, a former public health director who has worked internationally and across London will talk about four decades of working on the front line to prevent ill health.

– Thursday 13 June 10.30am

Douglas Miller: Death and afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Douglas Millar will discuss how and when the ancient Egyptians developed their cult of the afterlife and show how the ancient Egyptians treated their dead in pre-dynastic times and the New Kingdom, using burial artefacts that are presently exhibited at the British Museum.

Buddy scheme for monthly talks

The buddy scheme for our monthly talks will be running from this month. Members who would appreciate a personal welcome on arrival and company during the meeting should email Sarah Dearman via sarah@cedu3a.org.uk. Sarah will then ensure that the volunteers taking names at the door refer these members to her on arrival. A note will be included on Eventbrite saying that the scheme is on offer. Reminders regarding the scheme will also be sent to registered participants a week or so before the meeting. We will review the uptake regularly and may extend it to our social events if appropriate.

Annual general meeting – call for trustee nominations

A reminder that this year’s AGM will be held on Thursday 18 April 2024 at 12.00 at Hornsey Moravian Church, immediately after the monthly talk.

This is your opportunity to elect up to four new trustees and to approve the re-election of five of the current trustees, for a period of one year only, who have reached the end of their current tenure. All members should now have received trustee nomination papers and instructions on how to complete them. Nominations must be submitted to the CEDu3a Secretary, Jackie Langford (secretary@cedu3a.org.uk), to arrive by noon on Friday 2 February 2024.

Open Day 2024

We are holding an Open Day on Thursday 30 May 2024 from 10.30am to 12.30pm at a new venue, the Hornsey Vale Community Centre, 60 Mayfield Road, London N8 9LP. We have many more groups than when the last Open Day was held two years ago and have outgrown our previous venue! Perhaps you have a partner, friend or neighbour who is interested in joining us and this would be a great opportunity to introduce them to our wonderful organisation. Look out for more information on the Open Day in the coming months.

Volunteers for the Open Day

We need a lot of help putting on an Open Day. The group conveners of course, who are key to the event, but we also need help with distributing leaflets and posters throughout the area before the event, then on the day itself we need volunteers to set up and take down the tables and chairs, put up signage, help on reception, direct visitors around the building and answer queries, help with catering etc. We now have a volunteer database and you may already be on that list, but we welcome new volunteers so please let Sheena or Vicci know at volunteers@cedu3a.org.uk if you would like to be involved.

Interest group updates

German Reading Group

This group, revived for 2024, welcomes both past and new members interested in German language and literature. They will hold monthly gatherings to discuss short German novels, enhancing language skills and cultural understanding. While discussions will primarily be in German, English will be used when needed to ensure inclusivity. This group is perfect for those looking to improve their German in a sociable, engaging environment, and delve into the world of German literature. The group meets on the last Friday of the month at 2pm in a local pub. To join the group for lively discussions and a chance to connect with fellow language enthusiasts, see our website here.

Social Strollers – continuing group

This group is a chance for less able walkers to meet up in a café in a local park, and then walk at their own speed as far as they wish. From January 2024, they will meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 11am. Members will be emailed details of which café to meet at, and how to get there, well before each meeting.


As a volunteer to take on the leadership of the Backgammon group has not come forward, the group has been closed. However, it is still not too late to bring it back to life. If anyone would like to discuss what is involved, please get in touch with John Hemingway (groups coordinator) at groups@cedu3a.org.uk

Writing groups

Buy a good read and raise money for a local food bank! Reflections and Echoes 3 – the Writing Groups’ third collection of short stories – is now on sale. The book contains several pieces from 14 members of the three groups. All proceeds from the book will go to three food banks in Haringey areas covered by CEDu3a. We ask for a minimum donation of ÂŁ5 per book. If you would like one or more copies, please send proof of online donation to Hornsey Foodbank, and/or Bounds Green Foodbank, and/or Muswell Hill Foodbank to Nicci Iacovou via nicci37@btinternet.com. Please give some serious thought to buying one or more copies – it’s a good read being sold for a worthy cause and makes a good present.

Accident reporting

A reminder that any accidents, illness or injuries that occur on u3a activities (whether outdoor or indoor) should be recorded and reported to the CEDu3a secretary (secretary@cedu3a.org.uk) using our Incident Report Form. The form can be downloaded from our website using a link that can be found here.

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. For details and to book for Friday 15 March, Friday 12 April, Tuesday 14 May or Thursday 20 June, go on the waiting list for Friday 23 February, or to offer to host later in the year contact Jacki Reason here.

Monday pub lunches

The next pub lunch will be at 1pm on Monday 5 February at the Mossy Well in Muswell Hill. The pub lunch is open to all members of Crouch End and District U3A. If you intend to come, please email John Wray johnwray99@hotmail.com so he has an idea of numbers. The pub lunch after that will be on Monday 4 March. Pub lunches are an opportunity for members to meet and chat in an informal and social atmosphere (paying for their own food and drink).

Jazz evening Friday 15 March

Book now for this event on Friday 15 March at the British Legion, Muswell Hill from 7.30pm. The band, the Bakelites, was enthusiastically received at both summer parties in 2023. The repertoire designed for enjoyment takes a healthy measure of jazz, blues, soul and even some rock and roll – all with a jazz twist from artists as diverse as Horace Silver to Jimmy Reed, Kenny Burrell to Sam the Sham, Stevie Wonder to Dusty Springfield – music guaranteed you’ll enjoy and maybe even dance to. The venue has good transport links, free parking and a pay bar. Tickets are ÂŁ12.50 each.

Focus group invitation from the EDI team

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team is planning to hold a focus group to look at diversity and inclusion issues: how we can reach out to and include the diversity of our local population, particularly those that are currently under-represented in our membership. If you are interested in joining the discussion, please contact Paul Wedgbury at edi@cedu3a.org.uk.

Calendar of multi-faith and other events and festivals 2024

The calendar put together by the EDI group can be found on our website here. Members can refer to it when planning events, to promote awareness and to celebrate the very diverse population in the London Borough of Haringey.


There are lots of new members who may not be aware that we have a thriving Facebook group, where group participants can share photos and news of their activities, as well as items of general u3a and local interest. The group now has 656 members (compared with Islington u3a’s 212) and has proved to be an excellent promotional tool. The Facebook posts can be viewed by any of our members, even those who are not regular Facebook users, by clicking on this link. We urge you to have a look and see if you, too, can contribute in any way. Items do not have to be posted by the Convener. Any CEDu3a member can share news of their group.

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 Peter Stachniewski:

HOWL (a musical ensemble which my daughter is part of) are premiering songs written by Robert Macfarlane in Night Creatures at Kings Place on Saturday 6 April. The evening will start with an in-conversation event with Robert Macfarlane followed by the songs celebrating the mysterious lives of owls, moths, glow-worms, sea turtles and other night-creatures. Tickets, which are ÂŁ20 each, are available on the Kings Place website.

From Mary Mcilroy:

As I am very keen on environmental issues, I have bought an ancient woodland (with my husband) in The Chilterns and I am happy to offer CEDu3a members a guided tour. It’s a beautiful and very old wood which is easily accessible from London. It was originally part of Lord Monckton’s estate so it has been relatively well preserved in many ways. The guide – my husband – is very informed and has a genuine passion for the environment so those who care for saving the planet are particularly welcome. This is quite an historic area with Great Missenden being the nearest village. There is a quaint pub nearby for drinks or lunch if you wish. Please contact me via mcilroy.mary@gmail.com if you are interested in visiting the woodland and for further details.