Bulletin no. 74 (April 2024)

Crouch End & District u3a bulletin No. 74 – April 2024

News and latest information at https://cedu3a.org.uk/news-2/

In this issue:

• AGM – sign up now!
• Monthly talks
• CEDu3a 2024 questionnaire
• Open Day – calling all WhatsAppers
• CEDu3a newsletter – become a contributor
• New interest groups
• Coffee mornings
• Monday pub lunches – venue and date change
• Line dancing event
• Facebook
• Membership renewal report
• Members’ posts
• Shaping the Grove consultation

If anyone has information on upcoming CEDu3a events that they would like to be listed in the next bulletin (which will be the May one), please send details to Vivien by 24 April via bulletin@cedu3a.org.uk.

Annual General Meeting

Please sign up now for our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 18 April at 12 noon following the monthly talk. This very important meeting will be at the Moravian Church Hall, Priory Road, N8 7HR. We need at least 10% of our membership present so we can continue with the essential business of the meeting. Our chair Sally Whitaker will report on our past year’s activities, members will receive the accounts for the past financial year, and elect new and re-elect current trustees to the Executive Committee. So please be there if you can – register now on our website here (if you are coming to the talk beforehand, you will need to register separately for that, see below).

Monthly talks

Our monthly talks featuring an invited speaker are held on the second Thursday of the month at Hornsey Moravian Church Hall, 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 18 April 10.30am
Martin Orkin: Bridge Over Troubled Water – The Simon & Garfunkel Story
A fascinating talk about the amazing story and timeless music of Simon & Garfunkel. Returning speaker Martin Orkin will discuss this wonderful duo, who made so many superb recordings including The Sound of Silence, Homeward Bound, Scarborough Fair and Mrs Robinson, and, of course, the all-time classic, Bridge Over Troubled Water. Copies of Martin’s latest book, Rivals of the Beatles 2, will be available to buy at a discounted price at the talk.

Thursday 9 May 10.30am
Dr Bobbie Jacobson: Against the flow: pandemic lessons from inside the battles for prevention
Dr Bobbie Jacobson, 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 Miller 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.

CEDu3a 2024 questionnaire

All members will have received a request to fill this in by now. The aim is to help the Executive Committee (EC) plan for the future by having an up-to-date picture of who our members are. This will enable them to make sure that the benefits of membership are available to all. The questionnaire has been designed to be user-friendly and simple to fill in (paper copies available). The EC looks forward to your response! Closing date: Monday 8 April.

Open Day – calling all you WhatsAppers!

Are you an active member of several non-u3a WhatsApp groups? Your road or street, sports club, friends, neighbours or community groups, for example. If so, we would like your help in publicising our upcoming Open Day on Thursday 30 May to some of those groups who might have members interested in finding out about our organisation. Let Graham know at vicechair@cedu3a.org.uk if you can help and he will send you information to put on your WhatsApp groups to spread the word.

CEDu3a newsletter – become a contributor

Do you enjoy our newsletters? Would you like to be a contributor? Our newsletters are published three times a year and contain a lively mix of items about our groups, members, upcoming talks and events, local history, wine, beer and gardening recommendations, small fun items and have the bonus of including photographs. We would welcome new contributors to our small team, so if you have enthusiasm and experience in writing or graphic design, please contact Graham at vicechair@cedu3a.org.uk for more information.

New interest groups

Reading race 2: fiction, memoirs and poetry
This is a new group for 2024 with similar aims to Reading Race 1 but with a focus on fiction, memoirs and poetry rather than non-fiction. We aim to deepen our understanding of racism, prejudice and colonialism through reading and sharing our responses to the chosen book in a monthly meeting. Texts will be suggested and selected by the group members. Priority will be given to those on the waiting list of Reading Race 1 and to new u3a members. To show an expression of interest, see our website here.

London Loop walkers
This new walking group follows the London Loop, a 150-mile-long route around Outer London. The Loop has been divided into sections of mostly 10 miles (some slightly longer), with one section being attempted each month. The first walk will start in Erith on Thursday 16 May. Subsequent walks will usually take place on the first Thursday of the month. The group is open to all but in the event of a walk being oversubscribed priority will be given to members who do not belong to one of the existing walking groups.
Further information and sign-up details can be found here.

Update: German conversation – Stammtisch
The recently created German conversation group now has a sub group for beginners and improvers, who work on exercises and grammar using a textbook. Enquiries and applications to join the group should be made to the convenor, Nat Tsolak via the CEDu3a website 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 12 April, Tuesday 14 May, Thursday 20 June or Tuesday 9 July, or to offer to host later in the year contact Jacki Reason here.

Monday pub lunches – venue and date change

The next pub lunch will be at a different venue, the Maynard Arms, 70 Park Rd, London N8 8SX at 1pm on Monday 8 April (to avoid the bank holiday). Pub lunches are an opportunity for members to meet and chat in an informal and social atmosphere (paying for their own food and drink). Anyone wishing to attend should let John Wray know by email at johnwray99@hotmail.com by Friday 5 April please, so he has some idea of numbers.

Line dancing event

Join us for an afternoon of heel-tapping, thigh-slapping fun. Time to dig out those cowboy hats and boots and book now for the line dancing event:

• Moravian Church Hall, Priory Road N8 7HR
• Saturday 20 April from 2.00 – 4.30pm
• Tickets £10.00

There’ll be a professional caller, experienced in working with senior cowboys and girls. Beginners and all levels very welcome. You don’t need a partner and it’s up to you how much you dance. There’s a prize for best costume. A glass of prosecco in the interval with water, soft drinks and a few snacks to keep us going!

For information and to book see our website here.


Is your group under represented on our Facebook page? Currently we have over 100 interest groups, yet a quick glance shows that around fifty never appear on our page. We are extremely proud of what all our groups achieve and would like them to be celebrated widely. So, instead of being invisible, please share what book you are reading, an exhibition you have been to, a poetry, current affairs or language discussion or any other group activity you have participated in. The number of people who engage with our Facebook page shows that people ARE interested!

Membership renewal report

From Membership administrator Charlie Sharp:
Thanks to everyone for their patience with membership renewal this year.

For those renewing online with the Beacon system, the need to set up a password was an extra step. Nonetheless around 700 of you managed it. This is the quickest and administratively easiest way to renew. PayPal charge us 62p per transaction, that’s about £400 we pay them. We cannot change that as it is part of the national Beacon system.

Around 200 of you made bank transfers to our account. If you email me about this, then it is also a very efficient way of paying. Zero fees! We had some delay getting access to our bank statements. It was more difficult to cross-check payments to make sure everybody received their renewal.

Finally, 100 or so of you paid by cheque. This is also a perfectly reasonable way of paying. It takes a bit of time for me to credit these cheques in the bank, so apologies if cheques cleared later than expected.

This year we started renewal in January. Overall, I felt this was easier for members. It was for me! Around 200 of you renewed immediately you got the renewal notice. It’s great to see such keen members. By the end of January 70% of you had renewed. By the end of February that figure was near to 90%.

Every year people leave our branch. They move away, or somewhat more sadly feel that they’re not able to participate. This year about thirty-five people formally resigned. It’s nice to hear them say they have enjoyed the benefits of our branch.

We don’t hear from about 100 members and they drop off our radar. It’s something we keep an eye on to make sure that people who do join feel it worthwhile.

So that’s it for another year. Thanks again. If anybody wants to have a try at running the membership system, I’d love to hear from you!

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.

Two items from Stephen Lustig:

Haydn Chamber Orchestra concert
I am a member of, and publicity person for, the Haydn Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra’s next concert in Islington features a varied programme, much of which may be new to you. The conductor is Graham Ross.

• Delibes: Le roi s’amuse
• Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 (soloist: Reuben Moisey)
• Mayer: Symphony No. 1

Time: 7.30pm, Saturday 20 April, 2024
Location: Christ Church, Highbury Grove, Islington, London N5 1SA
Tickets: £15 (Concessions £5) www.hco.org.uk

Financial matters to help your children, grandchildren, and you!
Want to help your grown-up children save money for their first property purchase, or for their pension? Lifetime ISA: the government gives 25% on top of contributions of up to £4000 pa for 18 – 39-year-olds – so £4000 becomes £5000! Details: www.gov.uk/lifetime-isa

Want to start nest eggs for grandchildren? Junior ISA: invest up to £9000 pa tax free on top of other ISA investments; but can’t be drawn out until the child is 18. Details: www.gov.uk/junior-individual-savings-accounts

UK ISA: tell the government what you think about this proposal for 2025 (announced in March budget): consultation open until 6 June 2024. www.gov.uk/government/consultations/UK-isa-consultation

Shaping the Grove consultation

We have received the following request for help from Unit38:

We are currently working with Alexandra Palace on a community engagement project to explore potential improvements to the Grove in Alexandra Park. We have an online survey here: shapingthegrove.com. Several respondents recommended we got in touch with you. If you are able to share the survey with your members that would be really appreciated. And if you have any specific ideas or views, please drop us an email anytime

Many thanks
Jamie Hignett (jamie@unit38.org)