Latest Group News

  • ►New Group : Theatre Games and Improvisation

     July 15, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    An opportunity for absolutely anyone to have fun. No experience necessary,  all you need is a desire to have a go, laugh, support and learn. It’s great for quick thinking, using the imagination, creating drama … the opportunities are as far as your imagination will take you.

    More details and how to join the Group


  • ►Anyone for netball/walking netball?

     July 15, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    We have had a kind offer from a netball coach to set up two or three taster sessions in netball and/or walking netball.

    In order to set this up we need to know how many people might be interested in taking part, at least in the taster session.

    Men and women are both welcome.

    If this appeals please us know which of these two groups you might be interested in. If enough people are interested in the taster sessions we could then set up regular groups in Netball and Walking Netball.

    We shall need a Convener if a Group is established, but in the first instance please contact Sue via

  • ►New Group : French Book Club

     July 15, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    This group will read short, simple novels in French by French authors. We’ll share our reactions and appreciations on various aspects of the novel – themes, plots, characters, style and so on. A reasonable knowledge of French to intermediate level is desirable. You will be strongly encouraged to speak in French, and not to worry about making mistakes or speaking in English if you need to. We will support and help each other franglais where required, and gradually build up our confidence to express ourselves in simple French.

    The first book that we will be reading is Un Secret by Philippe Grimbert. You will need to obtain the paperback in French (available on which is about 174 pages in font type size 12. We’ll start the first month’s meeting with taking it in turns to read aloud from the book, and/or listening to the audio recording by the author, followed by a discussion on what we’ve read, the translation of any vocabulary and so on.

    We’ll also discuss and agree how we’d like the group to run and what other short, simple French novels we might like to read as a group.

    Lire un bon livre; quel plaisir. Mais ce n’est rien comparé au plaisir d’en parler avec quelqu’un qui l’a lu. S’inscrire au notre club de lecture pour lire et discuter ensemble d’Un Secret par Philippe Grimbert.

    Start date : 27 September 2018
    Frequency : Monthly
    When : Last Thursday of every month (except August), 10.30 a.m. - noon
    Where : Upstairs flat, Womersley Road, N8
    Group Convener : Brenda Taverner

    ►How to join the French Book Club

  • ►New Group : Poetry writing

     July 14, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    "Anything is fit material for poetry”. Come and use yours with me, Josephine. Turn your three, four or five words into poems on Monday afternoons. Writing, reading, playing.

    Start date : 20 August 2018
    Frequency : Fortnightly
    When : Monday, 2 - 4 p.m.
    Where : Hornsey Lane, N6

    Group Convener : Josephine Zara
    Contact Josephine on 07811 279157 (please leave a message if there is no answer)

  • ►Badminton Group

     July 14, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    Badminton Group Summer Timetable

    Tuesday 17 July : 1.30 - 3.30 p.m. Tuesday 24 July : 3.30 - 5.30 p.m. Tuesday 31 July : 3.30 - 5.30 p.m. Tuesday 7 August : 3.30 - 5.30 p.m. Tuesday 14 August : 3.30 - 5.30 p.m. Tuesday 21 August : No session Tuesday 28 August : No session Tuesday 4 Septempter : 1.30 - 3.30 p.m.

    ►How to join the Badminton Group

  • ►Happy Valley

     July 13, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    The first July walk of the Longer Walks Group started at Coulsdon South station and involved an immediate climb to the top of Farthing Down. At 150 m above sea level, the Down usually provides good views north to the Thames Valley. Unfortunately this was not so today, as early morning cloud obscured the view. From the open Downs we descended into Devilden Wood, following the tree-line and emerging into a beautiful swathe of chalk grassland known as Happy Valley, an area of special scientific interest managed by Croydon Council. We now turned to face south-west and made our way to the mediaeval Chaldon Church for our first stop of the day. This was an opportunity to see one of the earliest known examples of English wall paintings, the internationally renowned doom mural on the west wall of the church which dates from about 1200. The mural consists of an image of the Last Judgement, in which souls were being consigned to Heaven or Hell. Apparently such images were very often painted on the west wall of churches, so it was viewed by the largely illiterate congregation as they left the church.

    Our walk now continued towards the south, gradually climbing until we reached the top of the North Downs at Tollsworth Manor. We were now over 200 m above sea level and were able to enjoy fine views, south towards the Weald and east and west along the crest of the Downs.

    After lunch, the route continued east along the North Downs Way, before turning north and descending towards the village of Chaldon. From here, we headed across the fairways of the Surrey National Golf Club to the very edge of Caterham, following the perimeter wall of the former Caterham barracks to reach Coulsdon Common.

    After walking around the edge of the Common, we re-entered Happy Valley directly opposite our morning viewpoint. By now the sun was shining brightly and the temperature had risen, so our final climb back onto Farthing Down was rather more challenging than the one completed at the start of the day. Fortunately the café in the Coulsdon Memorial Grounds was only a short walk away, providing the group with refreshment before the journey home.

    How to join the Longer Walks Group

  • ►Unusual wines

     July 13, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    Tired of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc? At our July meeting of the Wine Appreciation Group we explored some unusual and interesting varieties from around the world.

    Photographs by Liz Hart

    How to join the Wine Appreciation Group

  • ►Upcoming shorter walks

     July 10, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    Monday 23 July 2018, 11.15 a.m.

    A rural walk around Forty Hall, Enfield : a walk led by Sally Geeve

    At Gordon Hill station we embark on a pleasant stroll through Hilly Fields Park and along Turkey Brook into the grounds of Forty Hall. We will stop for lunch in the cafe garden at the rear, and will find time to wander around the charming walled garden. A doorway at the rear of Forty Hall leads onto a path that joins back up with Hilly Fields, taking us back home via Gordon Hill station. Estimate around 5 miles and taking about 4 hours including lunch stop.

    Gordon Hill station is only 15 minutes train ride from Ally Pally station! There is a train from Finsbury Park at 10.54, getting to Harringay at 10.56, Hornsey at 10.58 and Alexandra Palace at 11.02 and arriving at Gordon Hill station at 11.16. With a Freedom Pass it is free. The walk and the cafe are dog-friendly, but there’s a bit of a shortage of loos en route.

    Wednesday 8 August 2018, 1.30 p.m.

    Fitzrovia and Bloomsbury : a walk led by Philip Messent

    Starting outside Warren Street and finishing in Russell Square, a walk that takes in beautiful squares, homes of the Bloomsbury set, a beautiful former hospital chapel, the Ministry of Information (1939-45!), a Hawksmoor church, a home for foundlings, an auto-icon and hidden gardens.

    How to join the Shorter Walks Group

  • ►Foreign Film Group

     July 7, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    Next Foreign Film Group visit - Sama (1988), NFT3, 18 August 2018, 5.30 p.m.

    How to join the Foreign Film Group

  • ►London Loop Stage 3

     July 6, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    4 July 2018

    London Loop Route 3: Petts Wood to West Wickham Common

    On this stage of the London Loop we walked in the footsteps of giants, reached one of the Loop’s highest points, came across the source of a Thames tributary, walked through an ancient sunken green way curiously called Bogey Lane, and passed through a dingly dell, grassy glade and timber revetment. We weren’t going to get lost either, amongst the 9 walkers I counted 3 versions of the guide to the Loop, 2 sat navvy type things and an Ordnance survey map. And the Loop itself was exceptionally well marked, so all bases were covered.

    We soon made our way into Jubilee Country Park full of beautiful blue flowers, which I since discovered are chicory, then into first Sparrow and then Darrick Woods. These like the several woods that were to follow, provided a welcome shade from the sun. We stopped at a pub in Farnborough for a quick (coffee!) break and then headed off through the open grassland of High Elms Country Park with spectacular views south to the North Downs.

    The next section was an uphill walk through the Holwood Estate where, at the top, a historic site awaited in the shape of a stone bench and the remains of an old oak. This was/is the Wilberforce Oak, a tree that hosted a major historical event. Here William Wilberforce held a conversation with then Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger that eventually led to the abolition of slavery. The oak tree isn’t much to look at now; just the hollow remains of an old tree trunk. A replacement tree was planted in 1969 using acorns from the original, although storms put paid to it in 1987. However another sapling – a third generation – was planted, and grows next to its parents. And it was around these trees, and their remains, that we ate our lunch.

    The route entered Keston Common, with its two small lakes that sit at the source of the River Ravensbourne. This bubbles up from a spot called Caesar’s Well, and then starts its journey through south east London eventually to join the Thames at Deptford.

    The path continued pleasantly alongside Hayes Common and then West Wickham Common to reach the end of this section before reaching Hayes Station where a train was waiting to take us all back to London.The GPS calculated that we had walked a distance of 9.9 miles. Our final stretch of the journey through London Bridge to the tube, we decided, would easily take us over 10 miles!

    ►If you like to join us on our orbital walk round London please register with the Longer Walks Group

  • ►Hot in Hampstead

     July 5, 2018   GROUP NEWS  


    On a very hot June afternoon members of the Shorter Walks Group met at Hampstead Underground Station for a walk discovering what Hampstead had to offer.  Opposite the station we could not help noticing the prominent the clock tower of the old fire station and the  nearby Horse and Groom public house. In Church Row we saw some lovely architectural features on the houses including demi lune door lights, nice ironwork window features and small balconies and the floppy fleur-de-lys brickwork over one window.  Next we visited the lovely 1745 parish church of St John where John Constable, John Harrison and many other famous people are buried in the church yard. Another church on our walk was the  French Catholic Church of St Mary, next door to which  is the old 1830s Watch House of the Hampstead Police Force on the corner with the very narrow Holly Berry Lane. Then on to Mount Vernon, and  a fading plaque to Robert Louis Stevenson. Above one door a hard to decipher fire insurance plaque and on a garden wall a blue plaque to Sir Henry Dale,  a Physiologist. An unusual house had a plaque to George Romney, the painter. Having seen the lovely Holly Bush pub sign we then past the pub up yet another hill (Holly Mount) , before returning to Heath Street, before finding Flask Walk and the
    The Wells and Campden Baths and Wash Houses, an impressive 1888 Grade II listed building. On to Well Walk where there is a plaque to Marie Stopes, and Chalybeate  Well . In Willow Road some nice cottages and an  old Metropolitan Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough, now planted up.
    And a house with a red, white and blue roundel window over the door –  an RAF connection?

    Then, at 1-3 Willow Road, the 3 Modernist, pre-WWII houses designed and built by Erno Goldfinger (No. 2 which is a National Trust property, but was not open). 

    At 23 Downshire Hill was a plaque to the wonderful, female photographer Lee Miller (and her husband Sir Roland Penrose).

    Across the road was the lovely Grade I listed St John’'s Church.
    The last stop was the shady garden  Keat's House in Keat’s Grove  It was here he wrote Ode to a Nightingale. We finished our most enjoyable walk at The Garden Gate pub in the cool garden with drinks and an opportunity to discuss the walk with each other, and to thank John for leading us so well.



    How to join the Shorter Walks Group

  • ►New Local History Group

     June 26, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    This is a group for people with some experience of conducting local history research who would like a forum to discuss their interests and or research.

    Meetings will be informal and will allow members of the group to discuss approaches to projects they have started, or are thinking of starting either as an individual or in collaboration with others.

    Individual members will benefit from a form of peer review of their work and be able to draw on the experience of all members of the group. All members will benefit from a wider exposure to other knowledge of methods of research than they would otherwise have working on their own. Any members wishing to develop a joint research projects will be able to use the group for coordinating different strands of work.

    The actual agenda for each meeting will be determined by the needs of those attending and who wish to present the results of their research.

    This group, for paid up U3A members only, is an addition to the monthly Public Local History Surgery run by John Hinshelwood, which provides individuals with advice and guidance, at the Hornsey Historical Society. If you are interested, email

    Start date : September 2018
    When : First Saturday of the month at 2.30 p.m.
    Where : Hornsey Historical Society