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Monthly Archives: May 2014

May 20

3 New SLP’s 1. Kingston’s 2nd Shared Learning Project at the Langdon Down Museum 2. The British Museum 3.The Museum of London. Details below

1. The Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability (2nd Shared Learning Project)

 The museum at Normansfield in Teddington tells the story of Dr John Langdon Down, Normansfield and the Royal Earlswood Asylum through exhibitions and events. It displays objects made by the savant James Henry Pullen. The building includes a Grade II* Victorian theatre containing original ornate fixtures and fittings. Langdon Down and his family brought a revolutionary and enlightened approach to the care of those with all forms of learning disability from 1868 until 1970.

The museum conducts research into the social history of learning disability and is conducting an oral history project. It welcomes group visits including schools and universities. The museum is a member of the London Museums of Health and Medicine and the Open University Social History of Learning Disability Group.

For further information see:

Website:   Museum Blog:  Normansfield Hospital Oral History Blog:

The Project for 2014: Long stay Institutions for People with Learning Disabilities

Where were long stay institutions and asylums for people with learning disabilities in the 19th and 20th centuries located in London and the Home Counties? How were they founded? How did they compare with each other and with Normansfield? How did living conditions and quality of care compare?

We ask volunteers to:

  • Be available to attend all meetings at Normansfield between 11am and 1pm on the following Wednesdays: 10, 24 September; 8, 22 October, 12th, 26th November; presentation 3 December.
  • Visit local history archives as required in Greater London and / or the Home Counties.
  • Work on the project between meetings.
  • Be computer literate: Microsoft Office. Use the internet and email.

 What’s in it for you?

  • To work as part of team
  • To make a contribution to the history of Normansfield. Material will be used on the museum website, blog, in talks and kept in the archives for future researchers.

Why we want you

We need volunteers to produce original research that contributes to our knowledge of the social history of learning disability and Normansfield.

 Location for meetings

Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability, The Langdon Down Centre, Normansfield, 2A Langdon Park, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 9PS.

Nearest BR station: Hampton Wick, then a 10 minute walk. Buses: 281 and 285 stop outside. Free parking.

To Apply

For an application form contact: Les Stratton

Closing date for applications: 12th July 2014


2. U3A  Shared Learning Project at the British Museum

Handling Collection Researchers

Thursdays for 10 weeks: from October 2nd – December 4th 2014

The Handling Collection at the British Museum comprises of 555 objects, representing a range of people and cultures from around the world. The Handling Collection is in the care of the Community Partnerships Team who uses these objects with a range of audiences, supporting individuals to hold these objects and engage their senses, and to inspire discussion and informal learning. The Collection is poorly provenanced, and little is known about many of the objects. As part of an ongoing project to deepen our understanding of the Collection, we would like your support to carry out object research.

Would you like to handle objects from the British Museum’s Handling Collection? Would you like to find out more about these objects, exploring the theme of ‘Food and Feasting around the World’? Would you like to spend time as a researcher at the British Museum?

As a Handling Collection Researcher, you will develop study skills and use these to research a selection of objects independently or in pairs, contributing to the Museum’s understanding of the history, use, meaning, and design of the objects. We will introduce you to the objects and how we engage different audiences with these objects, guide your research process, and will provide resources and a space to conduct research. You will be asked to write up your research notes in a Microsoft Word document, to be ready by the end of the project.

For more information about the work of the Community Partnerships Team at the British Museum, please visit:

For more information and an application form contact Christine Cranidge

There are six places available on this SLP and applications must be completed and returned by Friday 8th August 2014.

The project will be based at The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.

The project will be led by Christine Cranidge (U3A Coordinator) and Lorna Cruickshanks (British Museum Community Partnerships Coordinator)


3. A U3A Shared Learning Project at the

Museum of London Archives

Role Title:

Archaeological Archive Volunteer

Role Purpose:

The Museum’s Archaeological Archive stores and curates over 200,000 boxes of London’s Archaeology. Our Volunteer Programmes have been involving volunteers to assist with the repacking and reorganisation of its archaeological collections from early C20th excavations. This work helps increase access to the collections whilst creating extra space for future archaeological material. We also promote archaeology and the use of archives via public tours and outreach events. The project offers the chance to develop public engagement skills as well as archaeological knowledge.

Role Description:

Volunteers will learn basic collections care skills focusing mainly on pottery collections from one excavation. Volunteers will then use these skills to engage visitors in interactive handling sessions at the Museum of London.

Role Reports To:

Linda Crook (U3A Coordinator) & Glynn Davis (Archaeology Collections Manager)


Weeks 1- 7: LAARC (Museum of London) Mortimer Wheeler House Eagle Wharf Road N1 7ED Weeks 8 – 10: Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN


October – December 2014


1 afternoon per week (13.00 – 16.00) over 10 weeks from Wed Oct 1st – Wed Dec 3rd


Potential applicants are required to book introductory tours on any of the following dates Wed 20th Aug, Wed 27th Aug or Wed 3rd Sept to see the archive (essential). Thereafter you will have the opportunity to submit a formal application for the project (deadline: 12th September). A willingness to interact with museum visitors

A willingness to organise a group visit to the museum from your local U3A (essential) An interest in archaeology is desirable but not essential as SLPs are designed to allow U3A members to share new experiences

Commitment to you:

We will provide training in basic collections care skills through a hands-on experience We will provide training in basic public engagement skills We will reimburse volunteers for expenses for travel and lunch of up to £10 per day

What’s In It For You:

To work as part of a team To handle archaeology and learn how it is curated To experience working in the World’s largest archaeological archive To develop public engagement and public speaking skills

Why We Want You:

To improve the storage and access of our collections To promote archaeology and the Archaeological Archive to new audiences

For more information about the project/to book an introductory tour please contact: Linda Crook:

May 19

National and South East Region Summer Schools 2014

1. Cirencester  at the Royal Agricultural University is from the 18th to the 21st of August

At you can choose from the following topics:

Light and Sound in Nature;

The Transforming Language of Poetry;

Making Friends with the Great Composers;

Literature ,

Women’s Voices of WW1;

Making gardening more of a pleasure than a chore;

Acting Jacobean and 20th century plays;

Artistic recreation using Photoshop;

The Arts and Architecture of the Arts and Crafts movement;

Singing for Pleasure, in a variety of styles, some experience desirable.

Cost £285 for full board in en-suite accommodation with an initial deposit of £75 payable on booking. Download an application form from the website of the Third Age Trust, or phone National Office on 020 8466 6139 for hard copy by post.


2. Harper Adams University in Telford runs from the 14th to the 17th of July

Offers the following:

Recorder ensemble, for which some experience is needed;

Introduction to Philosophical Metaphysics;

A quick dip into the Latin language;

French life today;

Through the Ages of British drama;

Creative writing; 100 years of Hollywood cinema;

Political and Social studies in

Current Affairs;

Canal history;

Ancient Civilisations of the Americas.

Both Universities are in rural locations needing taxi rides from the nearest stations but with easy parking. There are some ground floor rooms, but lifts in the teaching areas. Members need to be able to participate independently. These are great opportunities to meet U3A-ers from other parts of the country and get stuck into a topic in depth. Only one course can be studied.


 Cost £285 for full board in en-suite accommodation with an initial deposit of £75 payable on booking. Download an application form from the website of the Third Age Trust, or phone National Office on 020 8466 6139 for hard copy by post.


3.South-East Region Summer School at the University of Chichester  The 24th to the 27th of July 2014.  This is residential but can be attended as a non-resident

Charges are £320 residential full board en-suite, £290 residential standard, non-residential from £150 to £200 with or without evening meal.

Booking forms on the website             u3asurreynetwork.

Courses include:

Singing for Pleasure;

Creative writing workshop;

Wool – The Ups and Downs of an Industry;

The Joy of Mathematics;

Jazz, Blues and Folk Music in the USA;

Play Reading for Pleasure;

A Memory workshop;

Mediaeval and Georgian Chichester;

Design and research a WW1 project;

the Basics of Life Drawing;

Women, Art and Society;

Great Houses and gardens of West Sussex;

The Psychology of Interpersonal Behaviour.

Again, only one topic can be chosen and early application for this, and the other, schools is recommended as they get booked up quite early.For further details and booking forms or contact Surrey Network phone 012 9377 1794 or email


May 19

U3A Science Technology & Society Network – Annual Summer Seminar

This will take place at Harper Adams College, Telford   on   Monday 11th – Thursday 14th August 2014

The programme starts at 2pm on Monday and finishes after a buffet lunch on Thursday. The seminar aims to appeal to anyone with a general interest in science and the world around them and includes a mixture of talks on a wide range of topics, a visit to the Wedgwood Centre, and the opportunity to socialise with U3A members from round the country. Speakers are from among the delegates – volunteer experts and enthusiasts from within the U3A – we would welcome offers.

 Cost £250 residential; £110 day only.  Booking forms and other information are available on the web at  or email to be added to the mailing list.

Topics should include :

Electricity … The industrial Revolution  … The Physics of Colour … Handedness … Newton /Hawking …  Medicines … The Pyramids … Strange/Unusual Vehicles … briefing from Head of Engineering at Harper Adams … useful free software demos …. mathematical games … and lots more

May 15

Digital Photography – New Group Starts – See What you Might Achieve!

Jane Legate has now taken over the running of this group from Peter Molesey.  The course is now full, but Jane is willing to run a second group from her home in Hampton Court.   She is a professional photographer specialising in people and gardens, but will most subject areas.

“Photography is such a wonderful thing to learn about,” she says.  “It helps you to look at the world in a different way and see beauty in unexpected things.  The course caters for all levels of interest:  you can either learn about all those weird camera settings or just keep it simple and concentrate on point and shoot!”
Jane can teach you:
§      digital photography
§      retouching and editing using Lightroom software and Portrait Professional
§      how to make a printed book using free Blurb software

She has made a website for the course and you can see this at:

Please email her at if you’re interested, letting her know whether you have a compact or SLR camera and what you’re interested in photographing.  Send a couple of your best pictures if you can.