- ►Soho sights
May 21, 2018 GROUP NEWS
On 14 May About 20 members of the Shorter Walks Group joined Philip Messent on a walk through historic Soho, starting at the Dominion Theatre and ending at Piccadilly tube station several hours later. In this very small area we heard tales of high and low life, Royalty and crooks, musicians, and comedians, and saw a number of commemorative plaques, featuring, among others, Mary Seacole, the Jamaican nurse “Heroine of the Crimea” – she has a ward named after her in the Whittington Hospital, comedian Peter Cook, Mozart, John Logie Baird, essayist William Hazlitt, botanist Joseph Banks, David Bowie, health campaigner Dr John Snow, and landscape architect Charles Bridgeman. In Greek St we were very lucky to be invited into the House of St Barnabas, a charitable foundation with its own small church, where the Rev Dr Adam Scott, a direct descendent of the Monro family involved in St Barnabas, gave us a talk. Then on to Soho (formerly Kings) Square with many fine buildings on each side including St Patrick’s Catholic Church. In the square we saw the Tudor looking building which was only built in 1925! Originally a disguise for an electric sub station it is now used to store gardening equipment. We went down Romilly Street (home to Kettner’s Townhouse hotel, an historic Georgian building, Frith Street past Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, The Arts Theatre Club, noting that a No. 14 there was a gap between buildings, probably from a WWII bomb in the area. There is now a single storey building Garlic & Shots. At the rear stage entrance of the Prince Edward Theatre was a sign – The London Casino. It says The Worlds Greatest Artistes have passed and will pass through these doors. In Old Compton Street we saw G-A-Y, the site of the former 2 I’s Coffee bar where Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele were discovered, and the Admiral Duncan pub where in April 1999 a nail bomb killed and injured many people. After a break for refreshments in the Soho Theatre bar, we investigated Dean Street including the Kemble House apartments, decorated with plaques illustrating sailing ships, the former Royal Ear Hospital building, with year AD 1816 in mosaic. Then on to St Anne's Church, Brewer Street Market and finally Broadwick Street, and Carnaby Street.
This was another wonderful historic walk led by Philip and we look forward to future walks.
This text is based on an account prepared by member Lesley Ramm.
- ►A May garden visit and a topical tip
May 21, 2018 GROUP NEWS
Sue Morrison's garden
The weather was beautiful for our visit to Sue’s garden for the May meeting of the Gardens group, and the garden was full of lush spring growth. Sue told us about how the garden had evolved, from the sandpit years to garden ‘rooms’, with a sunny sitting and dining area, through a rose arbour covered in buds on the ‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ which will fill the air with sweet scent very soon, and down a curving path to greenhouse tucked away at the side, raised beds and a shady woodland area at the end. Colours and texture came from a deep blue ceanothus, explosions of purple alliums in the borders, the rich foliage of purple beech and sambucus, with a vivid green, feathery, acer palmatum providing a bright spring contrast. Sue has grown her long, narrow town garden to provide a delightful meandering stroll, greatly enjoyed by our group.
We had our first plant swap, with all sorts of interesting cuttings going to new homes. New owners will give progress reports in due course, and more surplus plants will no doubt find welcoming spots in gardens around the district. The possibility of co-operative watering was suggested, to help over summer holidays. People who are interested can make their own contacts.
Our next meeting on Tuesday 19th June 10-11.30 will be held at Ally Pally garden centre cafe, where the new manager is happy to make room for the increasing numbers in the group. The theme will be Succession planting - how to get colour and interest all through the year. Members - come prepared to suggest what looks best in your garden now, and what you’re most looking forward to seeing in the next few months.Top tip: some of the big supermarkets sell off droopy looking bedding plants very cheaply, and in the hands of a gardener who can tell when a plant needs watering these can turn into bargain blooms very quickly.
- ►New Group – Badminton
May 20, 2018 GROUP NEWS
Badminton - fancy a game?
Did you play many years ago or a few years ago or maybe you are still playing now?
If you are interested in playing locally, why not come along to the first meeting and help get this new group going?
We have found a hall in Muswell Hill, which is free on Tuesday afternoons: now we just need the players.
I hope this activity can combine social and physical activity as there is a small café where we can watch and chat. You won’t be playing all the time as there is only the one court. We will play doubles and take it in turns. I think a game will probably take about 20/25 minutes, and we have the hall for two hours.
Group Convener: Mandy Hurford
- ►New Group – Photography
May 20, 2018 GROUP NEWS
A group for photographers to share their enthusiasm and ideas. There will be an initial meeting to discuss and agree how the group will work, because we are likely to have different equipment, interests and skill levels. We may want to go out together to take pictures, or our interest may be in editing and in discussing our work. We may want to shoot and talk the same day, or subsequently after editing. There’ll be places to go to decide.
Group Convener: Helen Story
- ►Current Affairs Group
May 11, 2018 GROUP NEWS
The Current Affairs Group continues to meet every other Thursday. Each member brings a current topic to discuss in the 2-hour session. Every now and again we include a focus on a special topic researched and circulated beforehand. We have covered refugees and Universal Basic Income. Topics in the pipeline are fracking, inheritance tax, legalising drugs and trade.
There is space for new members.
- ►Spanish Conversation Group
May 10, 2018 GROUP NEWS
The group met at a house in April, instead of our usual venue at The Maynard, to celebrate a member’s birthday. We also welcomed two new members on that occasion and ate copious tapas. Needless to say much of the Spanish conversation centred around food and recipes. All agreed it was un día muy geníal
- ►New Singing Group
May 9, 2018 GROUP NEWS
Harmonising and/or Singing parts (2, 3, or 4 depending on participants) with scores but skilled sight reading is unlikely to be essential. The Group convener is willing to provide scores and host the group but would like participants to contribute their skills and anyone willing and able can improve the sessions or take over! She has a piano, and a keyboard to help members learn their parts.
Group Convener: Anne Heagney
►How to join the Part Songs and Harmonising Group
- ►Next up – Rioja
May 9, 2018 GROUP NEWS
▶︎The next meeting of the Wine Appreciation Group will be on Thursday June 7th, the subject Rioja -Spain's flagship wine
►How to join the Wine Appreciation Group
- ►Bluebells at Osterley
May 5, 2018 GROUP NEWS
The Outings Group had great weather for its bluebell walk at Osterley. The bluebells really are stunning and you can see successive carpets of them, with the house in the background and get right up to them, too (in some places they've had to fence them off because of dangers of trampling). It would be hard to find a better place for viewing them and there's also an impressive wisteria along one side of the house (in full scented bloom now) and extensive gardens including a walled garden.
- ►Crocheters at work
May 4, 2018 GROUP NEWS
The inaugural meeting of the Crochet Group took place on Tuesday 24 April. It is a group both for beginners and experienced practitioners sharing skills and information in true U3A spirit.
- ►Declutter Workshop
May 1, 2018 GROUP NEWS
The date of the next Declutter Workshop date has been changed.
It is usually the 3rd Wednesday of the month but the Convener is away on 16 May so it will be Wednesday 30 May instead, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m., the usual time.►More about the Decluttering Group
- ►Science and Technology Group
May 1, 2018 GROUP NEWS
May 3rd: Tony - Where 25% of your gas bill goes: natural gas distribution and transmission
June 7th: Helena - How like us are animals? with a look at the theory of mind
July 5th: Lesley - Diabetes
August 2nd: Charlie - AI and knowledge representation
*August 30th: Clare - Being mortal: a discussion around Atul Gawande's splendid book (a Wellcome Collection publication)
*The September meeting►How to join the Science & Technology Group
- ►An alternative M25
April 27, 2018 GROUP NEWS
Members of the Longer Walks Group are following in the footsteps of author Iain Sinclair in tackling the M25 for pedestrians, or the London Loop. So far only one section has been completed, so there is plenty of time to join them.
- ►Gordon Hill
April 27, 2018 GROUP NEWS
On 26 April members of the Longer Walks Group met at Gordon Hill station and as there was little to delay or amuse us in the immediate vicinity set off promptly towards Hilly Fields Park. At the park entrance, our route took us downhill and over Turkey Brook (a tributary of the River Lea) before climbing out of the valley to reach Clay Hill. From here we headed north-west on a bridle path that descended to reach the London to Hertford railway. With no footbridge or tunnel, we carefully crossed the line, before another climb took us across a golf course and into Crews Hill. With lunch booked for 12.30, we had to leave the undoubted charms of the garden centres for another day, instead continuing north towards the first of our ever-popular M25 crossings.Once under the motorway, we carried on to reach Goff’s Oak, where we enjoyed a pub lunch (last one for the time being!) at ‘The Wheelwrights’. Our route now turned to the south east as we made our way towards Bury Green, where we joined the New River to head south past Theobald’s Park. By now we were enjoying typical April weather, with rain drops one minute and sunshine the next, and so it was with somewhat dizzy waterproofs that we crossed the M25 for the second time and reached the highlight of our walk, the Tottenham Hotspur training facility. Having managed to get our Arsenal supporting members away without serious incident, the group continued south, to pass Myddelton House (regrettably with no time to stop for a look) before meeting Turkey Brook again. At this point we also met the London Loop, following it and the brook through the Forty Hall Estate and back to Gordon Hill.
►How to join the Longer Walks Group
- ►RSPB Rainham Marshes
April 22, 2018 GROUP NEWS
RSPB Rainham Marshes
A smaller than usual Outings Group had an excellent trip to Rainham Marshes and we were very pleased to find that entrance was free for first time visitors. We enjoyed a wonderful walk around the whole site in the glorious sunshine. It wasn't at all busy so there was almost a feeling of having the place to ourselves, though we benefited from the experience of a regular twitcher. We visited all the hides and and a saw a variety of birds including a Wagtail, Little Egret, Lapwing and numerous ducks and geese, although we think the heat may have caused some to lie low. A very noisy marsh frog attracted the attention of visitors near the site entrance and we heard a cuckoo, once common but harder to hear these days. After lunch in the cafe half the group walked an additional 5 miles along the Thames Path to Rainham station, and made their way home via Barking and the London Overground.
Visit Essex says "RSPB Rainham Marshes is a unique nature reserve which has been restored to a grazing marshland following 100 years of use as a MoD shooting range. A fully accessible nature trail allows you to experience nature firsthand throughout the seasons. You can explore this lovely nature reserve throughout the year, and get close to the amazing wildlife. There are a number of hides that give great views of wildlife, even without binoculars."
- ►Play Reading Group update
April 20, 2018 GROUP NEWS
Sue Lewis, Convener of the Play Reading Group, writes:
We've now had three meetings with two more planned before the summer break. We decided to choose plays based on the availability of play scripts and we now have a list of those held by Haringey Libraries. We take it in turns to select, sometimes randomly sometimes a known favourite. This certainly makes for variety though up to now the plays have all been comedies at least in part. The group has eight members which is a good number and we all get the chance to display our talents.