Monthly Meetings

We are delighted to report that we shall be resuming our monthly meetings at the Union Church and Community Centre from December 2021.
   Attendance numbers will be limited
   Advance registration is essential while there are restricted numbers
  If COVID-19 rules preventing indoor gatherings are re-imposed the monthly meetings will be cancelled
   Members are asked to observe any restrictions in place at the venue such as the one way entrance and exit system, social distanced seating, use of sanitising and so on
   Members should not attend CEDu3a monthly meetings if they or a close contact have recently been diagnosed with or shown any COVID-19 symptoms, are awaiting test results or are self-isolating under Government guidance applicable at the time of the meeting for which they have registered.

Our Monthly Meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month at the Union Church and Community Centre, Weston Park, N8 9PX.

   They are open to all members (please bring proof of membership) and you are welcome to bring a guest: it is possible to join CEDu3a at a monthly meeting.
   Talks start at 10.30 a.m. with u3a notices, then the main speaker at 10.45 a.m. Please could you kindly ensure that you arrive by 10.30 a.m. to avoid causing any undue disruption. The meetings end at 12 noon. Members arriving after 10.30 a.m. will be asked to access the venue via the entrance to the right of the main door (up the ramp). Tea and coffee are available from 10 a.m. – please bring your own cup or mug.

Thursday 9 December 2021
Graham Bennett: Our wonderful West End
followed by festive refreshments

In London, we are privileged to have a quite unique collection of about 40 historic theatres within strolling distance of each other forming our wonderful West End Theatreland. But how did this come about? It’s a fascinating story, involving the plague, executions, fire, murder, ghosts, jealousy, licentious behaviour and hissy fits. The very best collection of theatres in the world is on our doorstep in central London. In this talk you will discover how this came about and how Theatreland in London was born and how it moved around London before ending up in such a compact area. It might not have ended so happily. Between the 1960s and 1980s a nationwide theatre cull saw over 1000 theatres demolished. But the West End largely survived this onslaught and London’s theatres have also survived plague, the Puritans, fire and war. And now COVID-19!

Graham Bennett is a member and trustee of our u3a and a retired theatre manager, in charge of the Millfield Theatre in Edmonton for thirteen years and before that the Old Bull Arts Centre in Barnet. Graham was a committee member for the Friends of Alexandra Palace Theatre which kept the idea of restoring the theatre alive, resulting in the successful lottery grant. He also worked on stage in the West End at the London Coliseum, Royal Opera House, Palladium Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

▷ Register

Past monthly talks

▷ 2017

Peter Cox : Growing up in London
Tiago Mata : A history of The Economist
Estelle Lovatt : Fun and irony in art

▷ 2018

Katy Ghahremani : Plans for Hornsey Town Hall
Haringey First World War Peace Forum presentation
Robin Lustig : A life in broadcasting
Graham Bennett : Serge Diaghilev and his legacy
Alexander Zhuravlyov : The rise and rise of Vladimir Putin
Louise Stewart : Plans for Alexandra Palace
Carl Parker : What is terrorism?
Luke Alder : The Estorick Collection of Modern Art
Margaret Greenfields : Britain as a nation of immigrants
David Hunter : Guillaume Apollinaire and the First World War
Francine Bates : The golden age of the music hall
Elizabeth Woodcraft : Hi-heel sneakers – growing up in the 60s

▷ 2019

Peter Cox : The history and development of John Lewis and Waitrose
John Withington : Living to 100 – The secrets of the centenarians
Sandra Clark : Singing witches, authenticity and innovation: Macbeth on the Victorian
John Hinshelwood : Crouch End and District: a photographic record from 1860 – 1920
Jayne Forbes : A solo traveller’s tales
Roger Hamilton : Climate change – where are we now
Jan Marsh : The Pre-Raphaelite sisters
Hugh Hayes : A Park for Finsbury
Ian Christie : Rescuing a pioneer: Britain’s forgotten creator of cinema
Oonagh Gay : The pioneer women MPS

▷ 2020

Dave Clarke : Untangling the Web – Demystifying Spiders at ZSL London Zoo
Andrew Ellis : Art UK: Democratising Access to the Nation’s Art
James M. Taylor : Brilliant British Humour in the Forgotten Art of the Picture Postcard, 1840-1950s