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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Oct 29

Dresden Music Festival – Trip Departs June 2014 – Details and Contacts

The Dresden Music Festival

6 days from £949 Departing 4th June 2014


4 June – Category 1 tickets at the Semperoper:

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi, soloist Hilary Hahn (violin):

• Brahms – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D-Major Op. 77

• Bruckner – Symphony No. 3 in D-Minor WAB 103

6 June – Category 2 tickets at the Palais im Großen Garten:

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center:

• Schubert – Fantasy in F-Minor for Piano Four Hands D. 940

• Schubert – Quintet for two Violins, Viola, and two Celli D. 956

• Mendelssohn – Sextet for Piano, Violin, two Violas, Cello and Double Bass Op. 110

8 June – Category 1 tickets at the Semperoper: Dresden Festival Orchestra & Balthasar

Neumann Chorus: • Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis

NB: All concerts start at 8.00pm


• All concerts included

• Full programme of included excursions & guided tours

• Central Dresden hotel

• Direct scheduled flights from London Gatwick to Berlin & transfers to Dresden

• Professional local guide for all excursions (but not to or from our evening concerts)

• Executive coach in Germany (including to & from our evening concerts)


• Dresden – guided city tour • Leipzig – guided city tour • Meißen Porcelain Museum – guided tour


• Pillnitz Castle & Gardens & River Elbe Paddle Steamer cruise through the Saxon Alps


We stay five nights on bed and breakfast at the Ibis Hotels Dresden ( or similar in central Dresden. Located near the Prager Strasse, Dresden’s main shopping street, facilities at the hotel include a restaurant and bar. All rooms are en suite and feature air conditioning, a television and telephone.


• Insurance £36

• Single room supplement £99

• Entrance fees to places visited as part of this itinerary

• Optional excursion on Day 3 • Gratuities, meals & refreshments

Flight details may be subject to change. Price based on twin share. Minimum numbers required. Normal booking conditions apply.

For more information on this tour contact your Group Organiser

Don Moore

Tel: 020 8946 3264


31 Lanherne House, 9 The Downs Wimbledon SW20 8JG

Any air holidays and flights in this brochure are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Tailored Travel’s ATOL number is 5605



TTM2228 London U3A Dresden Music Fest lo

Oct 29

In The Loop – the National Chairwoman of the U3A reflects on the 2013 Annual Conference

There are many ‘starts’ to a new year – 1 January comes to mind as a natural New Year, 1 April is the NEC start to a new financial year, but it is September that, for me, feels like the start of a new U3A year. And with the start of a new year the anticipation and excitement of new adventures, new possibilities.

The kick-off to this September ‘new year’ was our National Conference and AGM from 13-16 September in Nottingham. We look to this event to be a platform, a showcase for what your NEC will be working on during the coming year. For the first time, our Standing Committee for Education (SCE), Development Sub-Committee (DSC) and Communications Committee had displays to explain their aims, activities and the resources available to support U3As. Online Learning, Research, the Resource Centre and the National Office all presented valuable up-to-date information for delegates to take away. Also capturing attention were our new website, U3A authors’ table, ‘Talking Justice’ and intergenerational debate projects. Around every corner something beckoned!

          Meanwhile there were workshops which tackled such perennial challenges as:

  • Encouraging a Culture of Participation
  • Talking to the Outside World
  • Communications – where is your weakest link?
  • Crisis, What Crisis? (growth)
  • Study Groups’ Co-ordinators, the hub of your U3A?
  • 10 Things your Members Should Know,
  • Diversity/Social Inclusion
  • Shared Learning Projects
  • U3A-ery and Education
  • Not in my Subject
  • Making Your U3A Welcoming and Friendly
  • Inter-generational activity.

And in the spirit of our Conference theme of ‘Learn, Laugh and Live’ we added

  • Get More Fun out of your Ukulele
  • Break into Song
  • Practical Drama.

While not everyone can come to Conference, we want to make sure that everyone is included and no one misses out! So, all the handouts and mini-surveys can be found on our website:  Go to the Conference 2013 icon on the home page. And while the handouts will give us all much to consider this year, we also recorded The Right Honourable John Bercow MP’s keynote speech ‘The Modern House of Commons’- his erudition still has me running to the dictionary! Be sure to catch it on our website.

And, and, and – we are also producing a DVD for you to get the overall flavour, camaraderie, and fun that Conference gives to U3Aers from all parts of the UK . We ‘Learned, Laughed and Lived’ – not a bad way to start this new U3A year. If we did not see you this year at Conference, I hope you will put 9/10 September 2014 in your diary NOW. We will build on this year’s success and I look forward to seeing you at Cirencester next year.


Barbara Lewis, NEC Chairman

October 2013



Oct 21

3 New Shared Learning Projects – find out more

U3A SLP at the British Postal Museu

British Postal Museum & Archive, Fenton House and Bethlem Hospital

The BPMA is opening a new museum in 2016. In this exciting venue we want to tell the fascinating stories of the hidden heroes and heroines who worked for the postal service.

The aim of this project is to conduct research to find out real people’s stories. Your research will help the BPMA and visitors to understand the remarkable contribution made by individual workers to the Post Office.  The research will also be used by costumed actors to bring these people to life in the new museum.


Fenton House is a 17th-century merchant’s house in Hampstead in North London which belongs to the National Trust, bequeathed to them in 1952 by Lady Binning, its last resident.  Since then other collectors have made significant donations to the house.  The project will research the history of 4 connoisseurs (George Salting and his niece Lady Binning, as well as Major George Henry George Benton Fletcher and Peter Barkworth) who in the late 19th & 20th century donated their collections of ceramics, musical instruments and pictures to the house. In particular Fenton House would like to know more about what led these connoisseurs to start collecting and how they made decisions when refining their collections. In some cases we know the collections were split and bequeathed to different organisations, so we would like to know more about why National Trust and Fenton House were chosen, what expectation the donor had of the National Trust and what happened to their other items.

Bethlem Flyer – Table formatfinal

Bethlem Royal Hospital, the original Bedlam, has its own archives and museum telling the stories of the staff and patients who have been associated with the hospital over its 750 year history.  We hold the archive of the hospital, with documents going back to the 12th century.  It includes patient and staff records, photographs and administrative records.  We also have an extensive art collection of nearly 1000 pieces.  Much of our collections can be viewed online at  Bethlem Archives and Museum is situated within the grounds of Bethlem Royal Hospital and is moving to a brand new display area on site next year.
We have an extensive collection of items and have already chosen a long list of artefacts for likely inclusion in the new museum. We need your help to make further progress. U3A members will be able to select various items for research in order to produce captions and guides. The information we display in the museum should come from verifiable sources. Detective skills will be useful.

To find out more and apply to take part click  on the links above

Oct 21

Interesting Events in Kingston Libraries – An Assortment!

Computer classes across Kingston Libraries for the older and in some cases more nervous user! Not free but not to expensive.

computer sessions across the branches Oct 13


swishing 4  HOOK Library –  Nov 7th

Bring along an item of clothing and swap it for another one to gain a new item for your wardrobe! Come on your own or bring a group of friends!


UPCYCLING2  HOOK Library Nov 21st  £13.00

Fancy breathing life into an old garment? Perhaps you’ve purchased something that doesn’t quite have the ‘wow’ factor? Fear not! Help is at hand at Hook Library’s clothes upcycling workshop in partnership with ThinkMakeDo. These talented ladies will help you revamp that garment and turn it from drab to fab!


Oct 14

Fabulous Fashionistas – Channel 4

If you have not seen this do watch it, the women involved are amazing and full of life and energy. “This Cutting Edge documentary meets six women with an average age of 80, who are determined to look fabulous, have fun and redefine old age.” Click on Read More to find the live link ;

Oct 14

Dorich House Museum – Evening Tour Oct 24th


The museum has had an exciting year, with two new acquisitions which are now on display.  The lost bronze portrait head of Sir Kenneth Clark (of the tv series Civilisation fame) turned up in Toronto in Canada, thanks to the internet.  The University raised the funds to buy it in to the collection, and it is now in the Gallery, with the plaster cast.
Secondly, a plaster model of Gordine’s sculpture known as The Crowning Glory came up for sale, and we were able to buy it.  The plaster model was made for the window displays in hairdressing salons, advertising the Eugène Permanent Wave product.  Dora was commissioned in 1947 to make the sculpture to launch a competition for fashionable hairstyles using the perm, with £3000 worth of prizes.  The competition ran in magazines such as Vogue and in The Times.  The new display on our first floor landing tells the story.
On Thursday 24 October we are running an Evening tour at 7pm (£8) which includes a free glass of wine for those of you who need to relax after a hard day’s work.   For our younger visitors, we have a Family Workshop (£4 per child, adults free) during the half term week, on Friday 1 November  (10am – 12 noon).  There are also tours for the general public at 11.30pm and 2.30pm.
Once again we will be running our popular Christmas Café event (£6.50) on Friday 6 December, when you can bring your friends to the museum and enjoy refreshments and a mince pie.  Our Christmas decorations will be up, the house warm and welcoming as usual.  Guided tours will be at the usual times of 11.30am and 2.30pm.  Free parking on site.
Last but not least, students from the Music and Drama schools of Kingston University will be showing off their talents at a Christmas Music and Poetry Evening on Thursday 12 December.  Tickets are £15 and include a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and Italian cake before the programme which starts at 7.30pm, and finishes at 9.30pm.  Tickets are reserved by sending a cheque to Dorich House, made payable to Kingston University.  This is a popular event so book early to avoid disappointment.  Free parking on site.



Oct 13

BFI Seniors Programme of Free Film Showings

Free matinee showings and talks  from Sept 2013  to Jan 2014   click on the link to see the programme

BFI Seniors Programme1-2

Oct 10

London Region Music Study Day – Sat 22 March 2014

Entitled Music of the Americas, this day is at the Bechstein Room of the Wigmore Hall, from 10 until 4.  Morning and afternoon coffee/tea is inclusive. Lunch can be taken at any of the several nearby eating houses, or you can bring your own sandwiches.  The outline programme for the day is

1000    Registration and coffee

1020    Introduction by our Chairman, Gwen Wright

1040    Paul Farren, Hackney U3A:  The sounds of Latin America

1130    Stan Freed, U3A in London:  Gershwin on the Concert Platform

1215                            Break for Lunch

1345    Karl Bettelheim, U3A in London: The Symphony in the USA in the 20th century

1430                            Tea and biscuits

1445    Stan Clingman, U3A in London: The Great American Songbook 1920-1950

1535    Gwen Wright will lead Discussion and Summing Up


The Contributors

Gwen Wright is in her last year of office as London Region Trustee, and is Chairman of the London Region of U3A. She will chair the day and lead the concluding discussion.

Paul Farren’s background in Latin American music dates from hearing his first gramophone record – a Cuban rumba – at the age of 3. As well as amassing a huge collection of recorded material, Paul has also played the music on a variety of instruments, has helped to found such groups as Achalay, and has visited 8 Latin American countries, discovering the individual characteristics of their national music.

Stan Freed has coordinated music appreciation groups for U3A since time immemorial, and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of music.  His tastes are catholic, and embrace both serious and light music.  His presentation on Gershwin today discusses the more serious aspects of this great composer, focussing on his music for the concert hall.

Karl Bettelheim will explore a vast but relatively neglected topic by focusing on 2 American composers in depth and reviewing some others. He brings to his topic a lifelong love of music, and special interest in exploring new trends. A PhD in biological sciences, his wide experience includes spells in Austria, China, New Zealand and Australia. He currently tutors a U3A London class on the symphony in the 20th Century.

Stan Clingman leads classes on music theatre for U3A in London. He describes his hobbies as listening to jazz and classical music, playing Mozart and Beethoven on the piano, collecting antiquarian books and maps, and American fiction. His presentation today will explore the stories and songs of the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart, and Cole Porter.

The Wigmore Hall is conveniently located near Bond Street tube station, and Freedom Passes rather than driving to the venue is strongly recommended. Parking is limited and expensive, and regretfully we cannot confirm disabled parking. The Bechstein room is located on the lower ground floor, and is accessible by lift.

An application form for this event, priced at £17 per head, follows this notice, and return of the form together with your cheque, will confirm your place. There are no tickets – simply turn up and register on the day.




                         WIGMORE HALL 22 MARCH 2014


                                       Application Form


I/we would like to come to this study day, and return this form together with my/our cheque (£17 per person) payable to London Region.











Your U3A………………………………………………………………………….



I understand this confirms my participation at the event; no further tickets will be issued.



Please return this form, together with your cheque, to Don Moore at 31 Lanherne House, 9 The Downs, Wimbledon SW20 8JG, or by email attachment to (telephone 020 8946 3264 for urgent queries)


Important notes


*          If the event is fully subscribed when your form is returned, you will be      notified and placed on a waiting list. Your cheque will be returned if you are       ultimately unsuccessful.


*          If for any reason you are unable to attend, please notify Don Moore           immediately so that wait-listed members can be accommodated. A refund of         your fee cannot however be guaranteed.

Oct 09

Quakers in the City of London

This free history walk focuses on Quakers who were in business in the City from about 1660 to 1850.

Led by a Quaker, this walk explores the little known contribution Quakers have made to the business and commercial life of London and the United Kingdom.

We start at the Bank of England, and wander through Lombard Street, Gracechurch Street, Bishopsgate and finally along Worship Street to Bunhill Fields Burial Ground and Bunhill Quaker Meeting House.

A walk of about three miles, with frequent pauses [and a coffee stop] to hear about the people and places as we pass through.

After lunch at about 1345, your guide will take you to the Guildhall Clock Museum, where there are examples of a Quaker clockmaker’s work.

If you wish to stay for the visit to the Clock Museum, there are plenty of places to have lunch locally near Bunhill, or  bring your sandwiches to eat the in garden.  You would also be most welcome to join in a light, shared lunch with Bunhill Quakers, which starts at 1315.  We finish the walk at about 1530.

When:  Third Wednesday of each month:2014    January 15,  then every third Wednesday of each monthMeeting Place:  Bank Station – Near the statue of Wellington on his horse

Start time:    1030     Bank UG Station, by the statue of Wellington on his horse, opposite the Bank of England entrance.

Please EMAIL   to reserve your place.

Numbers are limited on each walk.


Oct 02

FutureLearn Learning for Life – Nature: Conservation v Utilisation? Free Online Courses.

Do you think nature should be conserved for future generations, or is it a resource to be exploited for profit?

How can government policies provide economic benefit, whilst being environmentally sustainable and delivering social fairness for all those affected, even the most disadvantaged groups?

Join our free online course about the management of our natural resources and how we can make better decisions when faced with tough environmental issues.

Sign up to ‘Fairness and nature: when worlds collide’

Course starts on 21 October For 2 weeks, 4 hours per week

FREE ONLINE COURSE  created  in this instance by the University of Leeds

Sign up at

More courses starting early 2014 from leading UK and International Universities.

Oct 01

Interested in the past lives of South West Londoners, researching & writing about them? New SLP starts Jan 2014

Are you interested in the past lives of South West Londoners? Are you interested in researching and writing about them?

 Following on the success of the South West London U3As’ Shared Learning Project which led to the production of the booklet “Out and About in South West London” earlier this year, we are proposing to research the past lives of South West Londoners with a view to producing a similar booklet. The project will begin in January 2014 and will be completed by April. Meetings will be held in Kingston as before and we will proceed as follows:

  • Members of the team will decide on the people who they wish to research. They will probably work in pairs and decide between them a theme such as people from politics, music, science, literature etc.
  • As a team we will have to decide on the parameters of the research as there is an almost inexhaustible fund of notable people.
  • The historical figures to be researched will come predominantly from people who lived in Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth.
  • Each section of the booklet will be written by members of the team.
  • A final section of the booklet would incorporate walks showing where the subjects lived/were born/ died, so some research into the accessibility of places mentioned will be necessary.
  • We will meet fortnightly starting on 15th Jan 2014 until 26th March from 11am – 1pm in the Community Room at John Lewis in Kingston.

If you enjoy researching and visiting places and have an interest in the history of South West London this could be the project for you.

Access to email with some computer skills is essential – as is a commitment to attend all the meetings. As always with U3A SLPs your enthusiasm is paramount!

It is expected that the project will appeal to U3A members living in South West London but this is not a pre-condition.

For more information and an application form, please email Sue Leigh at . Applications close 15 November 2013.