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

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February 2017 announcements
Thursday 09 February 2017

Bookham & District Newsletter February 2017

Bookham & District U3A
February 2017 Newsletter

Announcements Made at the February  Meeting

First time attendees
For the first time in living memory, The chairman, Lynn Farrell had no new members to welcome to the meeting!

Senior Moments
The February edition of Senior Moments was available for collection. The electronic version is available on the website.

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!

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 is one of the largest and most popular within the U3A. However there is room for more beginners and if you would like to give it a try before joining the group, a taster session is being arranged for April 8th at Polesden Lacey. As always, contact details are on the website. Click here.

Group Vacancies
Lynn drew members' attention to a number of sign up sheets, details can be found in the Group News section of this email.

Anne Glyn reminded members visiting Bletchley Park on February 22nd that the coach will leave Lowershott bus stop at 09.00 hrs. This is the only pickup point. There are no group tours but you can get a timed ticket on arrival. Finally, they do not allow you to consume your own food in the cafeteria.
Anne thanked Joan Morgan for reporting on the events at the National Trust property at Petworth House. The Turner exhibition is on until March 12th, and in July, Allan Chubb, a Petworth House volunteer, is our monthly speaker, speaking on Turner and Impressionism.
From 25th March until 21st May the winner of Sky Landscape Artist of the Year will showcase their work produced during the making of the show, as well as the commissioned winner's painting inspired by Petworth. Please note that this is for information and not a U3A outing.

Details of events at Petworth can be found on the NT website by clicking here.


Group News
I have covered the Croquet taster session earlier. In addition there were sign up sheets for:

  • A new Science & Technology group
  • A Tai Chi Beginners group
  • Wine 2 Group
  • Travel Experiences group
  • Flower Arranging

and finally a sheet for suggestions of other new groups.
To request for more details, or to express an interest, please contact either the group leader or  the groups coordinator, Mike Farrell.

A number of changes have been made to the website. Members may have been aware of an issue whereby, having logged on with the password, your status changed to 'Non Member' for no reason. The fault was hard to identify but was part of the security built into the system to ensure that members' telephone numbers were not available to non-members.
The website has now been changed to remove the requirement to log on, with the protection of telephone numbers achieved by holding these in PDF files in the document store, these documents being encrypted and only available in readable form by entering a password. This is the current log on password which is on your membership card.
Also, with the increased use of smart 'phones, the current layout of the website was not conducive to easy reading and, in common with very many websites, the layout on a smart ‘phone is now different to that on a PC or tablet.
For more details, have a look at the ‘Site Guide’ subsection of the ‘About Us’ part of the website. To access the website click

One of many memorable photographs shown by Tom Way

The February speaker was Tom Way who stood in a very short notice after the cancellation of the planned speaker.
Tom talked about how, after leaving university with a sports science degree, he travelled widely and developed a desire to maintain a lifestyle that would enable him to continue travelling and learn more about wildlife. His richly illustrated talk covered trips to Borneo, the Falklands and Africa and creatures such as Orangutan, Silver Leaf Monkey Blue Whale, Mountain Gorilla, King Penguin and the chap shown above, a Gentoo Penguin. He paid particular attention to understanding the character of the animals and his photographs capture this aspect brilliantly. Asked what we can do to support animal conservation he recommending buying one (or two) books, the proceeds of which all go the conservation projects.  These were 'Remembering Elephants (click here) and 'Remembering Rhinos (click here, but the book does not get published until later this year). Well done Frank for getting such an accomplished speaker at short notice, especially on a rugby weekend! To see more of Tom's work, or to book on his next trip to Africa, click here.

The March speaker will be Janet Diamond with a presentation titled 'The History of Egypt in 12 Objects'. She writes on her website about a talk about ten objects. It will be fascinating to understand  the nature of the extra two!              



The inspiration for this presentation came from two sources:
The Radio 4 programme, ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ – first broadcast in 2010 and presented by Neil MacGregor – then Director of the British Museum.
And ‘Ancient Egypt: A History in Six Objects’ – a course I undertook through the University of Manchester.
And finding them both so interesting, I was inspired to make my own selection and write this presentation:  ‘Ancient Egypt: A History in Ten Objects’ – which features a series of items taken from across the main periods of ancient Egypt; beginning with Predynastic times (c. 4400 BC) and finishing with the Ptolemies (323 – 30 BC) in the dying days of the Egyptian Empire some 4000 years later.
With my selection I endevoured to choose items with differing purposes, artistic styles, materials and periods, and from different museum collections around the world – each item with its own story to tell.
I really enjoyed the process of selecting the objects:  I thought it was going to be so difficult to decide on exactly which 10 objects to include from such a rich and enduring culture.  However, it was easier than expected, and perhaps the clue is that I could really just call this presentation ‘These are a few of my Favourite Things’.
I hope you will find it an informative talk which will also be entertaining and enlightening – especially to those groups who are interested in art and design, as well as ancient Egyptian history.



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.
There two events for which tickets are available.

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

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
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!


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.
On Friday, 17th February 2017   at The Menuhin Hall, Stoke d'Abernon,  the study day will consist of three speakers:

MY LIFE IN CRIME    Speaker:  Richard Hawkins
MY LIFE IN RHYME   Speaker:  John Griffin 
CRIMESTOPPERS     Speaker:  Ian Chandler

Richard Hawkins will outline the highlights of his forty years applying the law.  He will describe what this implies and how practice has changed. Richard  was called to the Bar in 1963 and took Silk in 1984. He became Recorder of the Crown Court in 1985.  He was appointed a Circuit Judge in 1989 and an Old Bailey Judge in 1992.  He retired from the Old Bailey in 2012 and joined Kingston U3A (now chairman).

Ian Chandler, a retired Detective Superintendent, will explain the function of Crimestoppers and outline present crime trends.
John Griffin will outline his life as a poet and how Surrey has inspired him. John was born in Dunfermline and later his family moved to Surrey.  From his schooldays at Box Hill he began writing, reciting and delighting in poetry.  More information and a booking form can be found 

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

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