What’s new?

  • ►How to join a Group

     October 19, 2018   INFORMATION  

    Membership of the Crouch End & District U3A entitles you to join any of the Groups offered.

    However, you must register your interest with the Convener of the Group you would like to join before you are able to participate in any of the Group's activities.

    This is because normally a Group activity has limited numbers: for example the Longer Walks Group is limited to no more than 15-18 Group members for each walk, although the number of members of the Group as a whole is much more.

    To find a Group page navigate to the menu list of Groups. Click/tap on the Group in which you are interested.

    The Group page provides a description of aims and objectives, location and frequency of meetings or events.

    To join the Group, complete the Contact Form.

    Your message will be send to the Group Convener, who will reply with more specific details about the Group and its programme.

  • ☛Your email!

     October 18, 2018   INFORMATION  

    Members are reminded to check their spam boxes for messages relating to Groups. There have been one or two instances where messages have not been read because they have been directed to the spam or junk folder

  • ►Films Group Autumn Programme 2018

     October 17, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    22 October 2018

    Room at the Top (1959)

    “Joe Lampton arrives in the thriving Yorkshire town of Warnley and sets out to elevate his social status by seducing wealthy industrialist's daughter Susan Brown. However, by the time of his shotgun wedding, he has fallen for Alice Aisgill, an unhappily married Frenchwoman, who is 10 years his senior and ruinously in love with him.” - Empire Online synopsis.

    12 November 2018

    Look Back in Anger (1959)

    “Kitchen sink. Lower middle class angry young man is married to upper class girl. They love each other but misunderstandings multiply until, on the advice of a girl friend, the wife leaves home. He and the girl friend embark on an affair which ends when the wife, having had a miscarriage, returns to her husband ... Based on the play by John Osborne. “ - BFI synopsis.

    26 November 2018

    Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)

    “In the industrial streets and factories of Nottingham, Arthur Seaton (Albert Finney) spends his days at the factory bench, his evenings in the local pubs and his nights in the arms of Brenda (Rachel Roberts), the wife of a fellow factory worker. Irresistibly handsome and brimming with animal vitality, Arthur is anti-authority and unashamedly amoral.” - BFI synopsis.

    Monday 10th December

    The L-Shaped Room (1962)

    ”A French girl, expecting an illegitimate baby, comes to live in a seedy boarding house, and gets involved with the man downstairs - which ends unhappily for both.” - BFI synopsis.

    Find out more and join the Films Group

  • ►You must remember this …

     October 15, 2018   REPORT  

    Television in the 1960s. Part 1

    The 1960s Group welcomed four new members to this latest monthly meeting. We started with a discussion about the impact of TV in the decade, the growth of commercial channels and the response of the BBC in terms of programming and the launch of BBC2. For the first time, historic events were beamed into the home from the Churchill’s funeral to the first man on the moon. By the end of the decade, the world of TV had become a more colourful place.

    Carl introduced us to the animated world of Supermarionation, a technique pioneered by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson at the start of the 60s and last used in 1969, on ground breaking series including Four Feather Falls, Thunderbirds, and Stingray, which was the first in colour.

    Life at the BBC in the ‘60s was the next topic, working alongside the likes of Jack de Manio, Cliff MIchelmore and Monty Modlin, and of being in Portland Place when news broke about the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

    Graham then lightened the mood recalling his time working in advertising agencies in Swinging London, and of the TV commercials and their catchphrases from then which are still remembered now. Commercial advertising was the training ground for a number of top cinema directors including Ridley and Tony Scott, David Pittman and Alan Parker.

    The time flew by and the conversation flowed unabated, as we recalled the stand-out programmes and the impact that television had on our young lives. So much so that we agreed to continue the discussion next month by looking at particular categories of programming from quiz shows to pop music, soaps, current affairs and drama. We are also planning to have a “Tell & Show” display of TV memorabilia!

    How to join the 1960s Group

  • ►A Sussex challenge …

     October 12, 2018   REPORT  

    To celebrate the anniversary of the Longer Walks Group, an intrepid band of 14 souls gathered in Eastbourne, for a 2 day ramble, exploring the Sussex Downs.

    Day 1 : Friston Frolics

    We assembled in hot and sunny weather outside Eastbourne pier. After dealing with leaking water bottles and a successful search for a missing camera, we faced the Downs and headed off along the sea front in high spirits. At the end of the prom, the South Downs Way Long Distance Path begins its journey to Winchester and it was the inland section we now followed. This involved a steady climb of 200 metres over the Downs to the top of Willingdon Hill, where we were rewarded with magnificent views of the south coast stretching from Newhaven to our SW to Bexhill on Sea away in the SE. The route ahead now involved a descent into Jevington, the birthplace of Banoffee Pie, and our chosen lunch spot , in the shadow of the Saxon tower of the Grade I listed Church of Saint Andrew. After lunch and somewhat inevitably, we began to climb again, this time to the top of Windover Hill and 360 degree views along the spine of the Downs to the east and west, north over the Weald and south to the coast. Cue descent number 2, into theCuckmere Valley and an afternoon stop in the tourist ‘honeypot’ of Alfriston. After a stressful experience with ‘teas’ but suitably refreshed, the group now headed south along the Cuckmere towards our final challenge, Friston Forest. A short walk from Litlington, brought us to Charleston Manor and a steep flight of steps into the heart of the forest. This was followed 10 minutes later by a monster 169 step ascent from Westdean, at the end of which we were provided with the most amazing view of the Cuckmere meanders as they snaked south from Exceat to reach the sea at Cuckmere Haven. A fitting end to the day and an appetizer for what was to come!!

    Day 2 : Cuckmere Capers

    After a shared meal in Morgan’s Bistro (a restaurant to be recommended if you are in Eastbourne), Day 2 also dawned with the promise of further warm and sunny weather. Despite some minor grumbling about the ‘early’ start, everyone made it in time to get the 9.27 Coastliner bus. Note the time……. 3 minutes ‘twirly’ for Freedom Pass holders. Cue more grumbles and an international incident with the bus driver, before we were able to set off on one of the most scenic bus routes in the country. (The most scenic one is of course in Yorkshire). Arriving in Seaford, we joined the route of the Vanguard Way, as it headed towards Seaford Head, passing on the way a Martello tower, now the home of Seaford Museum, and an angled row of colourful beach-huts.. Once on the top and continuing SE, the day’s walk was laid out before us, as the magnificent chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters were gradually revealed. For now though, we enjoyed the stroll along the cliff top to Hope Gap and then the descent to the coastguard cottages at Cuckmere Haven. Unable to cross the river, and with an incoming tide making it look as if the water was flowing the wrong way, we followed the flood bank inland to Exceat Bridge, where we crossed and headed south to re-join the South Downs Way at Foxhole. Our capering was now over for the day! The Seven Sisters are seven truncated dry valleys (not the hills between them!) which are all between 12- 18 metres above sea level. However the cliffs between the valleys reach heights of over 70 metres. So walking them is akin to walking the track of a roller coaster. Although you never get to a great height, by the time you get to the end, you’ve actually done a lot of climbing. However our intrepid CEDU3A walkers did what all good walkers do and just took it in their stride. With a few pauses for photo opportunities and a picnic stop half-way, we all emerged at Birling Gap wondering what all the fuss was about (Saturday Walkers Club – 9 out of 10 for ‘toughness’ – you are having a laugh!). Birling Gap, was not the end. Up ahead lay more superb coastal scenery, as we continued past the Belle Tout lighthouse and then on to Beachy Head. By now Eastbourne was starting to re-appear and we soon began the descent to the promenade. Thirteen miles and 6 hours after leaving Seaford, our adventure ended back at Eastbourne pier.

    Two days, 26 miles of footpaths and tracks, 12 hours of walking, 1800 metres of ascent and 14 tired walkers. Not bad for our first ‘residential’. Planning now starts for the next one!!

    How to join the Longer Walks Group

  • ►Any interest in …

     October 11, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    a Group dedicated to the war years?

    Most of us were born in the war or the following decade. Some of us find the subject interesting or nostalgic, and others want to forget it. This group will be about life in the war and how it has been portrayed.

    We will see 1939/45 through books (mainly fiction), films, and visits to places. The book list is endless (and many became films) – Mary Wesley’s Camomile Lawn, Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair, Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch, RF Delderfield’s The Avenue goes to War. There are films like The Pianist, The Cranes are Flying (Russian), Casablanca, and Dunkirk.

    Places to see can be the Churchill War Rooms, Bletchley Park, a London blitz walk, and the Chislehurst Caves. And museums like the London Museum and the Imperial War Museum. We can look at Mass Observation, or the Hornsey Journal.

    This list is to show the sort of way we may approach the subject. But it’s up to the people who join the group.

    Let’s meet and discuss what we’d like to do. One of our members has come up with the idea, though we don’t have a convener yet.

    If you are interested, email Jane at groups2@cedu3a.org.uk (or – only if you’re not on email – phone 020 8341 1239).

  • ►New Group : Opera

     October 11, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    We are so lucky these days to have opera shown in local cinemas at a fraction of the cost of an opera house (let alone the flight to New York). We can already see productions from the New York Met, Covent Garden and Glyndebourne.

    We’ll see the operas (buy your own ticket) at the ArtHouse or the Crouch End Picturehouse and then walk a couple of minutes to a member’s house across the road in Rosebery Gardens for a drink and a chat (except for the first outing, when we’ll gather after the performance at the cinema bar).

    Find out more and join the Opera Group

  • ►Fringe Theatre programme

     October 5, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    Our Autumn programme

    20 November 2018

    White Teeth at Kiln Theatre (The Tricycle)

    18 December 2018

    Burke and Hare at the Jermyn Street Theatre

    These are all evening performances

    How to join the Fringe Theatre Group

  • ►Architecture Group programme 2018/2019

     October 4, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    18 October 2018

    Tudor architecture and The Temple Church and Middle Temple Hall

    15 November 2018

    Introduction to architecture
    Venue : Victoria & Albert Museum Architecture Room

    13 December 2018

    Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian architecture
    Venue : British Museum : Rooms 61, 11

    17 January 2019

    Greek and Roman architecture
    Venue : British Museum : Room 18

    14 February 2019

    Gothic architecture
    Venue : Westminster Abbey, Tomb of Henry VII

    14 March 2019

    Romanesque architecture
    Venues : St Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield; Charterhouse

    18 April 2019

    Arts & Crafts architecture
    Venue : William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow

    16 May 2019

    Renaissance architecture
    Venue : The Banqueting Hall, Whitehall

    13 June 2019

    Architecture of the High Street
    A walk from the Angel Underground Station to the Estorick Gallery cafe, Highbury Corner.

    18 July 2019

    Revivalism, Neoclassicism and Georgian architecture
    Venue : Kenwood House Hampstead

    15 August 2019

    Modern architecture and the Bauhaus
    Venue : Royal Institute of British Architects, Portland Place

    September 2019 - Open House

    Venues to be agreed

    17 October 2019

    Open House review and lunch in Middle Temple Hall

    How to join the Architecture Group

  • ►Bulletin no. 11 (October 2018)

     October 4, 2018   INFORMATION  

    Bulletin no. 11 (October 2018)

    Our First Anniversary Celebration

    What a year! On Wednesday 26 September, the anniversary of the Inaugural Meeting, we held our first Open Day, showcasing our U3A to potential and existing members.

    When we launched Crouch End & District U3A, exactly a year ago, we had an amazing response, with nearly 300 people joining. We have continued to grow rapidly and now have more than 600 members. On the Open Day we welcomed around 150 new people, most of whom have signed up.

    We started with just 30 interest groups; we now have more than 60, with others in development. With a growing membership we always need more groups so do let us know if you have an idea and want to talk it over: email David Pashley on groups@cedu3a.org.uk.

    This huge response demonstrates the need and demand for such a model of community-based shared learning and socialising. Members come from all over north London including, of course our home turf of N8, N10 and N4.

    Feedback has stressed the positive tone and friendly reception experienced in our U3A. This is due in large part to the dedication and energy of our group conveners. Huge thanks also go to those working to ensure everything runs smoothly: the Steering Committee members, the bulletin and publicity team and social events and coffee morning organisers.

    We hope that the coming year will see further fascinating groups emerging from among our new members, and more social events. We will also be holding our first AGM, in March or April, when you will have the opportunity to elect members of the Executive Committee who will be in post for up to three years.

    We will remind those who were members before the Open Day about renewing your membership, in December and January.

    Thanks to you all for your support and encouragement over the past year. We always need helpers and those willing to run groups – just let us know.

    With warmest wishes

    Sue Chair, Crouch End and District U3A

    Monthly Meetings

    Thursday 11 October 2018 : Poetry and passion on the front line – A French Poet at War: Guillaume Apollinaire 1914-1918

    In the centenary year of both the signing of the Armistice and Apollinaire’s death, David Hunter will give an illustrated talk that will explore the poet’s life and work during 1914-1918 and ask what his poetry can tell us about France’s distinctive experience of the Great War. An actor will read a selection of poems in French, with English translations provided.

    Thursday 8 November 2018 Francine Bates: The golden age of the music halls – the stars, the theatres and the song.

    Venue: Union Church and Community Centre, Weston Park, N8 9PX.

    Talks start at 10.45am, doors open at 10am for tea and coffee. Union Church is a plastic-free zone, so please bring your own cup or mug.

    Monthly meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month. They are open to all members, who are welcome to bring a guest. Please bring your membership card. It is possible to join at the meeting.

    Groups : our first year

    Crouch End and District U3A has come a long way in just one year. As you can see from the list at the end of this bulletin, our groups cover an enormous range of interests. In some cases the response has been such that a second and even third group has been formed to satisfy demand.

    If a group in which you are interested doesn’t currently have space, don’t be put off, you can always put your name on the waiting list. Some groups have instigated a booking system so that all members who have signed up have an equal chance to participate. Details of these groups are also given at the end of the bulletin.

    To join any group, fill in the contact form on the relevant page of our website

    The website is the first port of call for all CE&DU3A news. You can find information on existing and forthcoming groups, contact group conveners and book events. It also has photos and descriptions of many past events and outings and links to other U3A events in London.

    We are aware that not everyone has access to the website. If so, you can contact Jane Clarke on 020 3638 2330 or 07957 756665 for all group information.

    For those with email, always check your spam folder in case there are U3A messages that have gone astray.

    Group news

    These new groups are now confirmed – see website for details

    Theatre visits: fringe
    Jazz and improvised music
    Crime fiction

    New groups being developed include:
    Opera, which will involve going to broadcast performances at local cinemas
    Mental health/Psychology

    For groups in preparation, you can express interest by emailing groups2@cedu3a.org.uk or by contacting Jane Clarke, on 020 3638 2330 or 07957 756665.

    With our constantly growing membership we are always keen to encourage members to come forward with ideas. There is interest in a Knitting group, and in a Second World War group – how diverse can you get?

    All our groups are run by volunteer conveners, often in their own homes. Once you have joined a group it is helpful to tell the convener if you can’t attend a meeting. Many of our groups are very popular so if for any reason you no longer need your place, please let the convener know so that it can be offered to someone on the waiting list.

    Social news

    ‘First Monday’ Pub Lunches

    We are launching monthly pub lunches on Monday 5 November 2018 at 1pm at the Mossy Well in Muswell Hill. This will be an opportunity for members to meet and chat in an informal and social atmosphere.As the name suggests, our pub lunches will be on the first Monday of every month, so the second will be on Monday 3 December, also at the Mossy Well. We plan to try out other local pubs next year. Members will, of course, have to pay for their own food and drinks. If you are interested in coming along on 5 November, please email crouchendanddistrictu3a@gmail.com.

    Members’ Ceilidh

    Tickets (£10.50, pay bar) are still available for our first ceilidh, with the Muswell Hill Ceilidh band and caller, on Friday 16 November 2018 at the Royal British Legion, Muswell Hill Road, N10 3NG, 7.30-11.00pm. No experience needed – just come along and have fun. Members are welcome to bring guests. Book at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cedu3a-ceilidh-tickets-49278663810

    Coffee Mornings

    These monthly get-togethers, held in people’s homes from 11am to 12.30pm, are a great, informal way to meet other members. The next two mornings, on Thursday 25 October in Crouch End and Wednesday 14 November in Muswell Hill are full, but you are welcome to go on the waiting list. There is space for the December morning, Thursday 13 December in Crouch End.

    To book please contact Jacki at info@jackireason.co.uk If you would like to host a coffee morning please contact Jacki. Expenses can be reimbursed.


    Thanks to everyone who has joined our new Facebook group. This is currently the only place that you can independently upload photographs of your group experiences and post comments on your activities to share with other members. There are 81 members, but this is a small proportion of our overall membership, so do join up if you have not already done so.

    Some of you may follow our old Facebook page, which was more difficult to navigate, but it is not well-used and we hope you will switch to the new page where you will have more control over what appears.

    You must be a Facebook member to join the group but if you are notthere is a direct link from our website which anyone can follow. Try it now and see the wonderful photographs which some of our members have posted.


    Many thanks to everyone who completed the questionnaire: most of the new groups emerged from that exercise. There was also a strong message about more social activities, which we are now following up. Importantly, many respondents made suggestions about improving the diversity of our U3A, which we will explore.

    Current Groups

    More are in preparation

    The 1960s Architecture Art Appreciation 1 Art Appreciation 2 Art – Beginners Art – Intermediate Badminton Birdwatching Book Group Bookbinding Bridge Crime Fiction Book Club Crochet Current Affairs Decluttering Exhibitions and Galleries Family History Felt Making Films Foreign Films French Book Club French Conversation Gardens Gentle Exercise (Feldenkrais) Geology History Italian Conversation 1 Italian Conversation 2 Jazz and Improvised Music Latin Local History: Introductory Course Local History: Further Research London Loop Walk Longer Walks Machine Embroidery/Surface Textiles Music Appreciation Outings Pètanque (Boules) Philosophy Photography Play Reading Poetry for Pleasure Poetry Writing Recorder Relaxation Science and Technology Scrabble Shorter Walks Singing for Fun Singing: Part Songs and Harmonising Spanish Conversation Table Tennis Textiles Theatre Visits: Fringe Theatre Visits: West End Ukulele Wine Appreciation World Literature Writing

    Groups with a booking system

    Exhibitions and Galleries (places may be offered to members outside the group) Films Foreign Films London Loop Walk Longer Walks Outings Shorter Walks Theatre Visits: Fringe Theatre Visits: West End

  • ►New Group : Wine … and More

     October 1, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    The aim of this Group is to bring wine lovers together, to learn about the fascinating world of wine, spirits and more. The evenings are informative, fun and convivial. This is therapy of the liquid kind! You will learn how to taste and to discover new and unusual wines, as well as appreciating new facts about well-known wines.

    The tastings are tutored by Luisa Welch, a wine educator who holds the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma in Wine and Spirits. Luisa is also a wine judge at international competitions and a freelance wine writer. She is supported by Vivienne Smith, who has had a keen interest in wine for many years, has toured many wine regions around the world, and actively attends wine events.

    The group will meet in Muswell Hill, in the home of Vivienne Smith, who has kindly offered her home to get the Group started. As the Group develops and gets established, the idea will be to rotate the venue. We also plan to offer visits to restaurants, trips to vineyard ... and much more. Join us and discover the joys of good imbibing!

    The cost will be in the region of £15 per person, to include 5 or 6 quality wines for the tasting, plus two bottles for drinking afterwards, when a light buffet supper will be provided by our host. Glasses, jugs, and crackers are all included in the cost. You are invited to bring your own notebook and pen.

    As costs are incurred in advance in buying the wine and food, it is important that members are prepared to commit to attending regularly.

    Find out more about the Wine ... and More Group

  • ►New Group – Fringe Theatre

     October 1, 2018   GROUP NEWS  

    There is a wealth of fringe and local theatre to explore in London. We define “fringe” broadly, virtually anything but the big West End names. So we may go to the Young Vic as well as the Gatehouse. The Off West End website lists about a hundred venues, so there is a lot to see in pubs and halls as well as theatres proper. There is a wide range of genres to delve into from the classics to musicals, drama to pantomime, dance to comedy.

    We will aim for lower prices (£12-£30-ish), and the idea is that members buy their own tickets beforehand (otherwise it gets complicated) from a programme we will send out well in advance. We will meet in the theatre bar or a nearby cafe or pub, and maybe stay to chat afterwards.

    This is the general idea. Let’s discuss how to proceed at our initial meeting, which the conveners will organise for October - register your interest at groups2@cedu3a.org.uk now to be invited.

    When: This will depend on what we decide to see, with a leaning towards Mondays and Tuesdays, usually in the evenings with some matinees. We will begin with a get-together in October (after the U3A Open Day) in a local venue to discuss the sort of events we’d like to see.
    Where: Initial meeting in a cafe/pub.

    Conveners: Gill Shiel, Jennifer Pulham, Jane Saunders