Bookham and District U3A
Bookham and District University of the Third Age

14 March 2017March 2017 announcements
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March 2017 announcements
Tuesday 14 March 2017


Bookham & District U3A

March 2017 Newsletter

Announcements Made at the March  Meeting

First time attendees
Lynn welcomed four members who were attending the monthly meeting for the first time - Barbara Henry, Chris Bridges, David Snow and John Newman.

Bletchley Park Visit
Lynn thanked Pippa Carter for organising a very successful visit to Bletchley Park. Photographs of the visit were posted on a noticeboard and a report on the visit will be published in the next edition of Senior Moments.

Social Secretary
There has been no response to the appeal for a volunteer to take up the role of Social Secretary. The May event is the last one that Jan Dicker will organise. She always has a happy band of helpers and is very happy to assist a new person in the early stages. Ideas for the events are discussed at Committee meetings and the role of social secretary is to ensure it all happens. With over 550 members, surely there is someone who is prepared to offer their services!

May Social
The next social event (Jan's last!) is titled 'Dine and Divas'. It will be held on 24th May, 7.00 for 7.30, and will consist of a sit down meal and entertainment with a selection of well know arias, songs from light opera and the musical shows.
Tickets are £20 each and will be on sale at the April and May meetings as well as being available directly from Jan Dicker. A flyer for the event can be found
here and more details of the organisation providing the entertainment can be found here.

Surrey Network and South East Forum
Lynn reminded members of some of the upcoming events which I always cover at the end of this email and provide links to the appropriate booking forms. For those without internet access, or indeed a printer, Anne Glynn usually has a number of booking forms.

The croquet group are on the lookout for more mallets. If you have one that is surplus to requirements and happy to donate (or sell!) it, please contact Martin Pulsford. The croquet group is one of the largest and most popular within the U3A.
Group Vacancies
Lynn drew members' attention to a number of sign up sheets:

Knitting/ Needlecraft Group       (new group)
Wine Group 2    (vacancies)                               
London Walking    (new group)
Tai Chi 2      (vacancies)
Travel Experiences      (new group)
Science & Technology  (new group)
A second Gardening Group (new group)
Suggestions for any other group activity not already catered for.
Please contact the Groups' Coordinator if you wish to add your name to any of these sheets

Senior Moments
There has been a suggestion that the time had come for a new title of the quarterly newsletter. The idea did not seem to be well received, but if you do have a suggestion pleas contact the Chairman or Secretary by April 4th.

St Nicolas church are holding a bridge event on April 7th. Tickets are priced at £40 per table.

Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting is April 4th.



Anne Glyn asked for expressions of interest in three proposed trips. No firm dates have been set and the viability of these depends on the responses she receives, but from the number of members milling around her table there appeared to be a high level of interest. The trips were:

  • The Royal Pavilion, museum and gallery, during July
  • Historic Rochester in September
  • Houses of Parliament in October or November

In addition, Viv Bignall is suggesting a visit to the Stanley Spencer Gallery and a walk. Details of the gallery can be found here. Contact Viv or Anne to express interest.

Group News

This has been covered in the Chairman's announcements, but group leaders are free to provide me with text to advertise their activities or look for new members.

The revised website has been live for a few weeks. I have not been advised of any issues arising from this change but feel free to contact me if you encounter and problems. Or if you have any suggestions for improvements!


The March speaker was Janet Diamond with a presentation titled 'The History of Egypt in 6 Objects'. Billed before the event as 12 objects, time constraints meant that she had to discard some of these objects! Such was the pace of her talk that 12 objects would have left the audience quite tired!

Her excellent talk, inspired by the Radio 4 programme 'History in 100 Objects', began by outlining how little was recorded about Egyptian history until the exploration by Napoleon during the period of 1798/1801. he charted the Nile valley leading to the publication of 24 volumes of finding, much of which had been covered in sand for over 2000 years.

She discussed a number of people closely connected with the exploration  and documenting the finds including Sir Flinders Petrie (the 'Father of Egyptology'). She encouraged members to visit the museum that bears his name (details found
here)  and details of his life can be found  here. In addition she talked of Giovanni Belzoni (click here) and Bernardino Drovetti.

Her six items were:

The Gebelein Man, affectionately known as Ginger who can be found in the British Museum, click
The Narmer Palette, the foundation stone of ancient Egyptian civilisation, now in the Cairo museum, click here
The Royal Jewellery, in particular the  Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, click here
The Sarcophagus of Seti, in the Sir John Sloane museum, London, click here and here
The Statue of Karomama in the Louvre, click here
The Rosetta Stone, again in the British Museum, click here  and here

Anyone volunteer to arrange a visit to Egypt? Or perhaps to the Met or Louvre?

April speaker  will be Dr Carole Maddern, talking on Social History of the English Language.

Dr  Maddern is a full-time lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She has taught  for over twenty years, specializing in Old English and Literature of the Later Middle Ages. Gender and medieval romance are her main areas of specialization and research. During her career she has taught at several different colleges of London University as well as numerous adult education institutes.  
For U3A groups, she has developed a talk which covers the development of the English language, as a product of centuries of invasions and cultural revolutions, with a little 'local' history thrown in.


National U3A events
Events organised at national level can be found on the U3A website by clicking here. Please be aware that these events are usually fully booked soon after announcement so it pays to access register on the U3A website and you will then receive emails directly when events are announced.
You will, of course, need to register before you can access all of the content.

Spring Concert - Brandenburg Festival Chorus
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 from 14:00 to 16:00 (BST) Temple Church
EC4Y 7BB London

At the time of writing there are 51 tickets remaining.


The concert will be introduced and conducted by Robert Porter, the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London’s Artistic Director. The programme will include a selection of a cappella and organ favourites, and the ever popular Vivaldi Gloria. The Brandenburg Singers is a small hand-picked group drawn from the finest of the members of the 150 choirs that perform in the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London – the largest choral festival in the UK.

Seating is unreserved. There is a maximum of 2 tickets per booking.

Interval refreshments, including wine, available for a modest extra charge.


U3A Explores Science at the RI
Thursday, 16 March 2017 from 13:15 to 16:45 (GMT)
The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street

At the time of writing there are 69 tickets left.
1.45pm Introduction by Pam Jones, (Chairman of The Third Age Trust), who will act as chair for the afternoon followed by:
Alison Fairbrass – New technology for monitoring London’s wildlife
Although one of the world’s major cities, London is also home to an astonishing array of wildlife. In this talk, Alison will discuss the acoustic technology being developed at UCL to improve the way we monitor wildlife in cities and the creation the world’s first live biodiversity monitoring system at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which will be deployed in the summer of 2017.
Chiara Ambrosio – What does art have to do with science?
Chiara is a Teaching Fellow in Philosophy of Science at the Department of Science and Technology Studies. Her research interests include the relationship between science and the visual arts in the early 20th century
Chris Darby – Cryptography
Chris has a degree in electronic and information engineering from Imperial College. He worked as a software engineer for various companies around the world, developing everything from industrial control systems to karaoke software!

West End Sing Out
Tuesday, 9 May 2017 from 11:00 to 16:00 (BST)

Working with Louisa Ridgeway.

The Ambassador Theatre Group’s West End Creative Learning team has created this one day bespoke event to bring together up to 150 U3A members from across the UK to enjoy the experience of working together with a professional West End Musical Director.

The group will fill the auditorium of one of our West End Theatres with a series of songs from various West End musicals. You’ll be taken through a series of warm-up exercises , spend time learning songs, working with the MD on vocal qualities, tone and harmonies in preparation for a recording of the pieces before the end of the day, a CD copy of which will be sent to you after the event.

Previous choir experience and the ability to read music is not necessary and the Sing Out is designed for all abilities and all voices.


Surrey Network Study Days
The information below is taken from the Surrey U3A Network website which can be accessed by clicking here.  Reproduced below is information on the various study days for which booking is open. The website has more details on conferences and summer schools as well as an outline of events and study days running through 2017.

Friday, 17th March 2017  is the 100th Study Day, as always at  the Menuhin Hall, Stoke d'Abernon where there are a number of speakers, led by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey. The programme includes talks on various aspects of Surrey, including:

  • A Surrey Poet – Poems from John Griffin
  • The Archaeology of Surrey by Jon Cotton
  • Leith Hill Place by Anna Trenter
  • University of Surrey by Mr Greg Melly
  • The Surrey Landscape by James Herd

More information and a booking form can be found here.

Friday, 21st April 2017 the talk is by Professor Marilyn Palmer entitled
Visiting country houses is a very popular leisure pursuit in the UK, and those who run such houses are becoming aware that their visitors are not just interested in architecture, paintings and furniture but in how the household and their servants lived and worked, inspired by popular TV programmes such as Downton Abbey and The Edwardian Country House. After this study day, you will not look at a country house in the same way again!
More information and a booking form can be found

Friday May 19th 2017 The talk presented by Val Woodgate is entitled Signs & Symbols - The Hidden Messages in Paintings. Val is a lecturer and guide at Tate Britain, Tate Modern & other London Galleries and for the National Trust etc.
The language of symbols is a fascinating study, and one that is essential for a full understanding of art, whether mediaeval or modern.  During this Study Day she will  look at works of art from the 14th to the 20th centuries to examine the way in which artists have used signs and symbols to give deeper layers of meaning to their work.
More information and a booking form can be found

Friday  Jun 16th 2017 Einstein 101 & His Continuing Legacy, presented by Roger Luther.
An elementary introduction to Einstein’s contributions to modern physics, together with a brief look at the life of the man himself.  On the 101st year since he published his theory of General Relativity - spectacularly confirmed in Feb 2016 with the discovery of gravitational waves - we will look at the entire range of work of this iconic scientist.  No previous knowledge of maths or science is required! 
More information and a booking form can be found

South East U3A Forum
The South East Forum Summer School will be held at the University of Chichester from Monday 19 to Thursday 22 June 2017. Full information is available by clicking the following links and the course fees are lower than in 2016. The summer school poster has the list of courses, the synopsis of all eleven courses will enable you to choose a course and the booking form has prices and notes about the accommodation and booking process.

The Annual Conference on the theme Learn, Laugh and Live! will be held at the Meridian Hall, East Grinstead on May3rd. The keynote speakers are Sam Mauger, the new CEO of the Third Age Trust, and Marianne Talbot from Oxford University talking on "Is moral truth relative or absolute?"

More details can be found on the South East Forum website by clicking