Unless otherwise stated the monthly meetings will take place at the Union Church and Community Centre, Weston Park, N8 9TA. Doors open at 10.00 a.m for tea and coffee. Talks begin at 10.45 a.m.
Robin Lustig : My Life as a Newsman
Robin Lustig started presenting of BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight in 1989. He has extensive experience of covering major world events for the BBC, and has broadcast live programmes from Abuja, Baghdad and Berlin to Harare, Hong Kong and Teheran. He has also interviewed several major world leaders, including Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, and the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Graham Bennett : Diaghilev and London: How a Russian Impresario’s Ballet Russes Won the Heart of London, His Ballerina the Heart of an Economist, and their Legacy Today
Digital photographer and theatre consultant Graham Bennett is the convener of our U3A group Art Appreciation 2. He was the first director of the Old Bull Arts Centre in Barnet, before launching and managing the Millfield Theatre in the London Borough of Enfield. A full profile of Graham may be found here
Haringey First World War Peace Forum : WW1 Conscientious Objection Remembered, the Haringey Experience
Jennifer Bell, John Hinshelwood, Valerie Flessati and Joanna Bornat from Haringey First World War Peace Forum, described the work of the group. Since 2014 they have been researching the lives of men who resisted conscription during the First World War in what is now the London Borough of Haringey.
They shared the fascinating and hidden stories of a part of London which saw the highest proportion of conscientious objectors in Britain between 1916 and 1918, and spoke about a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid to erect a local memorial to the 350 local men who stood out against war.
Our first meeting of the year in our new venue attracted a record turn-out of members, to hear a polished presentation on the plans for Hornsey Town Hall by the project architect, Katy Ghahremani, a director of Make Architects. Planning permission for the scheme was granted by Haringey Council in December 2017, and work is expected by carried between 2018 and 2020. The main thrust of the presentation was how an at-risk and Grade II* listed building from 1935, built to the designs of architect Reginald Uren and an outstanding example of Modernist architecture, was to be restored to its former glory. With the help of specialist conservation teams and drawing on archive sources, Make Architects will oversee the restoration of the former town hall to include workspaces, event venues and a hotel. The scheme also includes the redevelopment of the square in front of the building. The cost of the restoration will be funded by a number of residential blocks to the rear of the town hall. Judging from the questions posed by a number of U3A members, the residential element of the scheme seems to be the most controversial.
For our final Monthly Meeting of 2017 we welcomed art historian Estelle Lovatt for her talk on Fun and Irony in Art. Illustrated with a series of paintings ranging from the Renaissance to contemporary art, her presentation pointed out the use of hidden, deceptive or playful images by the artists, and was both enlightening and entertaining. Estelle’s presentation helped many of us to better understand the work of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, advising us to “just think of it as a self-portrait” when Emin’s ‘unmade bed‘ came up on the screen. Once again this was a very well-attended event with the welcome addition of mince pies and mulled wine to finish.
Our November speaker was historian and sociologist of economics Tiago Mata, Lecturer in Science and Technology Studies, University College London. His current research involves a study of “economic journalism”. His talk was essentially a history of The Economist magazine, and its role in disseminating and interpeting news of the economy, from both a liberal and conservative point depending on its editorship and ownership.
At the October meeting Peter Cox read excerpts from his book Growing Up in London. The book is based on interviews with over 100 U3A members, aged between 75 and 95. For the audience of about 100 members of the Crouch End & District U3a Peter’s talk was a nostalgic trip, evoking many memories of growing up in war-time London, and the austerity period thereafter … memories of life at home and at school, illness (before the National Health Service, food, shopping, the outbreak of war, the Blitz, being evacuated from London, military service, leisure entertainment, and love and marriage.
Inaugural meeting of the Crouch End & District U3A
Photographic images on this page © Julian Osley