Bulletin no. 76 (June 2024)

Crouch End & District u3a
Bulletin No. 76 – June 2024
News and latest information at www.cedu3a.org.uk
In this issue:

• Monthly talks
• Ed Allen
• Open Day Thursday 30 May
• Interest groups update
• Coffee mornings
• Monday pub lunches
• CEDu3a questionnaire
• EDI focus group
• Volunteers needed for events team
• Facebook
• Walking tennis offer
• Members’ posts

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

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 13 June
Douglas Miller: Death and the afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Douglas Miller will discuss how and when the ancient Egyptians developed their cult of the afterlife and show how they treated their dead in pre-dynastic times and the New Kingdom, using burial artefacts that are presently exhibited at the British Museum. Please note: Douglas’s talk will feature photographic images of human remains, and there will be discussion of how the bodies of ancient Egyptians were prepared for the afterlife. This will be done respectfully, but if you are offended by seeing human remains or hearing details of their preparation, this talk may not be for you.

Thursday 11 July
Jasper Jennings: Biting political satire: cartoon etchings in late Georgian Britain

Jasper Jennings, an expert in antique prints, will examine what caricaturists such as James Gillray, considered to be the father of the political cartoon, and Richard Newton brought to the debate over political reform. In this illustrated lecture, he will explore the impact of satirical cartoons within and outside what we now refer to as the ‘Westminster bubble’. He will shed light on how they were marketed and consumed by their primary audience, and reflect on how we in the 21st century should engage with these humorous yet often challenging images.

Future talks – more info on website shortly

Thursday 12 September
Andrew Whitehead: A devilish kind of courage: anarchists, aliens and the siege of Sidney Street

Thursday 10 October
John Withington: The history of fireworks

Thursday 14 November
Estelle Lovatt: How artists change art history

Thursday 12 December
Food historian Pen Vogler, author of Scoff and most recently, Stuffed

From Speaker Organiser Liz Sich:
Thank you for all your suggestions for speakers and subjects for 2025. Please keep them coming by emailing speakers@cedu3a.org.uk

Ed Allen

It was with great sadness that the Executive Committee, and many others, learnt of the death of Ed Allen recently. Ed had been involved in our u3a from the outset in 2017. In fact, his input as Membership Secretary, setting up a database of members as they signed up, was essential to getting everything started and running smoothly. He was a member of the Steering Committee; he welcomed us to his house for meetings; was one of the first trustees in 2018 when the u3a became a registered charity; and was elected on to the Executive Committee in 2019. In 2017 he became co-convener of the ever-popular wine group and continued this involvement for nearly six years. He was also a member of the Interest Groups team before the pandemic and belonged to other CEDu3a interest groups. Ed resigned from the Executive Committee in 2020 and handed the membership reins over to Charlie Sharp, our current Membership Secretary. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his partner, Cathy, who is also an active CEDu3a member. Ed will be greatly missed by us all.

Our Open Day is this week!

A reminder that our Open Day is this week on Thursday 30 May from 10.30am to 12.30pm at the Hornsey Vale Community Centre, Mayfield Road N8 7HR. Why not introduce a friend, neighbour or partner to our wonderful u3a? Many of our groups will be represented, along with information about our other activities, including talks and social events. If you are a new member this is also a great opportunity to discover more about what we offer. More info on our website here.

Interest groups at Open Day
Group conveners and their members have responded enthusiastically and in large numbers to our invitation to support the Open Day. Around 90 groups are likely to be represented. The groups team are currently working on the table layout and guidance for the event and will provide further information for those who are attending in due course.

Any queries or last-minute requests to attend should be directed to: groups@cedu3a.org.uk

Interest groups update

Healthy Eating Lunch Group
The group has morphed yet again, and is now meeting in members’ homes – still on the second Monday of each month – and everyone brings a dish (carefully co-ordinated by the convener). But because numbers in homes are limited, there will be a sub-group of existing members who continue to meet in Hokka Brasserie, but probably on different days. Members can choose to be in one group, or the other, or both. More details on our website here.

Writing for Wellbeing – June/July workshops
After the success of her writing for wellbeing workshop on the theme of Online Dating in Later Age, Jo Eastop is running this again on Tuesday 18 June 2.30 – 4.30pm. Whether you are currently dating online or planning to, the workshop will enable you to explore all your emotions around this courageous endeavour! Your fears, hopes, wants, who you are now and how we might feed this into a profile.

Jo will also be re-running her series of six weekly workshops on the theme of transitions from Tuesday 25 June – Tuesday 30 July 2.30 – 4.30pm. For all those who have recently retired, been bereaved, suffered an illness, going through a divorce or any other similar transition and would like to explore feelings around this. See our website for further details and to sign up.

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 Thursday 20 June, Tuesday 9 July, Tuesday 17 September or Tuesday 8 October, 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 3 June in the Mossy Well pub in Muswell Hill as usual. 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 the morning of Friday 31 May please, so he has some idea of numbers.

CEDu3a questionnaire

Thank you to everyone who took part – we had responses from 497 people, or 47% of our membership (the usual response rate for a survey of this kind is 15% – 30%). We are currently analysing the findings, looking at what they tell us about our members and how best we can use them to plan for the future. We will keep you posted!

EDI Focus Group

The 26 June meeting has now been postponed until the Autumn as over 70 of those who responded to the questionnaire indicated they would be interested in taking part in a focus group – a lot more than we had originally planned for, and we may well get more from the Open Day. We are currently looking at the possibilities for engaging a larger number of people together with exploring other formats, for example, workshops and/or a conference.

Volunteers needed for Events Team

The Events Team needs new members to help fulfil some of the living and laughing aspects of CEDu3a, including summer parties, quizzes, concerts, music gigs, supper clubs, exhibitions and dances to attract the broad diversity of our members and reflect their interests. We meet once a month and, with the support of the group, each member leads on organising a different event.

Sadly we have recently lost some of our most experienced members – a big thank you to Tessa Thier and Sue Picano for all their hard work and achievements.

We have a busy programme of events planned and we need help in delivering them. With the support of the group, you will:

• generate ideas
• research venues, service providers/acts
• propose an event budget (agreed through our Executive Committee members)
• promote the event through CEDu3a Facebook page and monthly bulletins
• request Eventbrite joining
• attend the event and get feedback

As a member-led, self-managed organisation, CEDu3a relies on the active participation of our members, so come and share the load. If you enjoy organising successful social and family events, the Events Team wants to hear from you. Please contact volunteers@cedu3a.org.uk with a few words about why you are interested.


We have noticed that occasionally posts appear on our Facebook page which do not meet our guidelines. Often they are from local businesses, which pay Facebook to promote their services to any group with ‘Crouch End’ in its name, but sometimes they are scam posts aimed at getting people to pay for non-existent items such as football tickets. We do monitor our page daily but this may not be until the evening and rogue posts can slip through the net before then. Please be vigilant, therefore, and email facebook@cedu3a.org.uk as soon as you spot inappropriate content, which we will delete and block the offending poster. 

u3a Future Lives Group

One of the important questions for us as we grow older is how can we maintain our independence and quality of life for as long as possible? This is one of the drivers behind u3a Future Lives – a group made up of u3a members across the movement –which aims to share information and resources to inspire, influence and inform about how we can improve our future lives. The chair of the Group is CEDu3a member Janet Sutherland.

The next online talk Making plans for the future from home, for free is on Wednesday 5 June from 2 – 3pm. If something unexpected happens tomorrow or at some point in the future, how prepared are you? The speaker is James Norris, who, over the last 13 years, has developed and explored the use of technology to help improve end of life communication, planning and care. Join us to find out what you can do now. To register for the talk, or find out more about the group, please see our website here.

Walking tennis offer

Highgate Cricket and Tennis Club is piloting walking tennis from 4 June 2024 and would like to invite CEDu3a members to join them. Here are the details:

• Walking tennis drop-in session on Tuesdays 11.00 – 12.30pm starting on 4 June
• The sessions will be coach-led for the first 60 minutes followed with match-play for the remaining 30 minutes
• Free sessions for the 8-week pilot but you do need to book in advance

If you are interested, please book here as soon as possible.

Walking tennis is played at a slower pace, it is ideal for those who are just starting out and want to build their confidence, are returning from an injury or just need a bit more time to get to the ball. It is designed to be accessible for all – tennis with a few tweaks – played with orange balls, you can let the ball bounce twice and players can’t run or jump. Walking tennis is safe, fun and inclusive and a fantastic way to stay active!

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 Anne Hutchings:
Muswell Hill Chorus is a new, independent, unauditioned choir. We aim to provide a home for our local community of singers, taking on challenging choral repertoire in a welcoming and friendly environment. We will be starting weekly Saturday morning rehearsals in September. In the meantime, we are holding three open all-day workshops over the summer (on 8 June, 22 June and 6 July), each focusing on a different aspect of choral singing. All are welcome! For more information please email anne.hutchings@me.com.

From Jacki Reason:
Jacksons Lane Community Centre turns 50 next year and, as one of the founder members, I am involved in collecting memories of the early days. If you have any memories to share – maybe you and/or your children used the Centre – please send them to me at info@jackireason.co.uk. Thank you.

From Alex Kempner:
Crouch End 2030: how would you improve it? If you live in Crouch End and care about its future, the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum wants to hear from you. Join us at Hornsey Library, Haringey Park on Saturday 8 June 2024 from 1-4pm. This is your once in a decade chance to help shape the future of Crouch End’s Neighbourhood Plan, be heard by Haringey Council and have your say on how to spend £600k, which is the money Haringey has to spend that can be influenced by projects and priorities decided by local people.

From Joan Reardon:
Verdi’s Missa di Requiem: You are invited to the final concert of the North London Chorus’s 23/24 season at St James Church, Muswell Hill on Saturday 22 June. Led by guest conductor Chris Hopkins, NLC will be joined by soprano Philippa Boyle, mezzo-soprano Sophie Goldrick, tenor Ruairi Bowen and bass-baritone Frederick Long. Hear Verdi as never before; we will be performing the 2013 version for small ensemble by Berlin-based choir director and music educator Michael Betzner-Brandt. It will be a wonderful showcase for NLC accompanist Catherine Borner who is joined by soloists from the Meridian Sinfonia. Please book your tickets now to avoid disappointment.