Latest News from our Interest Groups & External Events (National U3A & TVN)
New Interest Groups
Updated on 7 November 2019
Click the link below to find out about the new Interest Group and register you interest in becoming a member
Posted on 23 October 2019
We had a full day excursion to visit the Forman’s Smokehouse, Britain’s original salmon curer, and one the world’s oldest producers of smoked salmon. The factory is situated in the East End of London on Fish Island in Hackney Wick.
On arrival we were served tea/coffee/pastries in their own restaurant over-looking the water. The tour started with a talk on the history of H Forman & Son, which goes back over a hundred years.
We were given protective clothing to descend into Forman’s famous London Smokehouse. We were shown the process of producing the world’s finest smoked Scottish salmon including a smoked salmon carving demonstration by the Guinness World Record holder, who previously won a carving competition against Gordon Ramsey!
After the tour we collected our specially prepared picnic lunch (a smoked salmon bagel, salad, drink and chocolate brownie) and departed from Forman's by boat for our own private two hour cruise along some of the forgotten rivers of East London and through the beautifully landscaped parklands of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Click on the above link to see the full set of pictures of our trip.
Posted on 23 October 2019
THE COMMANDANT’S PARADE is the full dress rehearsal for the official passing out ceremony,
The Sovereign’s Parade, which takes place two days later in the presence of the Queen when the cadets become Officers. It involves all the cadets marching out onto the famous parade square in front of the Old College with music provided by a variety of corps of Army.
The group who made this trip had a lovely time and all of us came away inspired by the spectacle we had the privilege of witnessing.
Posted on 18 October 2019
Recently we all agreed to write a story based on the theme of “Amazing Grace”. These are short stories so they won't take up too much of your time to read through them! So go and see what you make of them. Enjoy!
Posted on 30 September 2019
Your Christmas celebrations start here. Our concert, including popular carols, Christmas music, audience participation and seasonal readings will send you home singing. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served in the interval and there will be an address on an item of interest.
Bob Porter, Musical Director of the Brandenburg Singers, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and he has worked with every major professional orchestra in London. He is a Freeman of the City of London and is passionate about Choral Music, cricket, red wine and jazz.
The Brandenburg Choir is a rich and experienced group of musicians, drawn from choral societies, gospel choirs, cappella ensembles and chamber singers.
St James Church is the second building on the present site. The foundation stone of the present building was laid in 1882 by Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. Two years later, Oscar Wilde married Constance Lloyd in the completed church. During the second world war St James suffered considerable damage and it was reopened in 1958 by the Duchess of Kent. The present organ is one of the finest in any parish church.
The church is within walking distance of Paddington Main Line and Tube stations The concert will begin at 2:00 pm and will finish at approximately 4:15 pm. Tickets are £19.50 to include the concert, mulled wine and mince pies.
For further information call 01491 825864
The link below will take you to the application form for the concert…
Posted on 31st August 2019
We have two thriving groups for table tennis which meet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.
Recently both groups combined to gather a team for a match against Bicester U3A. Fortunately our groups were able to win most of the matches, which comprised singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
The photograph shows our members grinning like Cheshire cats having won by the slender margin of 22 games to 2. 🙂
We are planning a return match and will keep members posted on the date.
If you want to find out more about our table tennis groups then visit the link below.
Our First Stroll!
Our first stroll with 18 members took place in perfect conditions and everyone declared it a success!
New Members Welcome!
We have purposely not set any limit on the numbers of members who can join the group. Please send an email via the link below if you're interested in participating in the group…
The Pub Discussion…
The discussion that took place in the pub after our first stroll produced several ideas about the way forward for the group.
The priority of the group is to find walks which are flat and to walk at a comfortable pace, compatible with ‘strolling’.
Our aim is to be less concerned about distance and to aim for walks of between 2 and 4 miles initially.
In terms of frequency, there were those in favour of monthly and those who favoured twice-monthly. In practice, it may prove to be more irregular, at least until the group settles down.
Individual members are expected to propose, plan and lead the walks, and will liaise with the Group Convenor, Val Hadfield, to organise and communicate with members.
This is a collaborative group so that the planning and leading are shared amongst us all. Val wants to receive suggestions for walks and does expect help from the group members.
Posted on 12th August 2019
The group had a splendid day out to this National Trust property which is down in Wiltshire.
We took fifty members by coach, leaving Chalfont St Peter shortly after 9am and arrived there at around 11am.
First stop was a drink!
We then made our own way around the gardens, the Abbey and the house that was built on the side that the Fox Talbot family lived in.
William Henry Fox Talbot FRS FRSE FRAS was an English scientist, chemist inventor and photography pioneer who invented the salted paper and calotype processes, precursors to photographic processes of the later 19th and 20th centuries.
He wasn't, as is often believed the inventor of photography as others, around the same time, were coming up with alternative means of recording a picture. His contribution was to do with being able to make multiple copies with light sensitive paper.
The museum of photography wasn't large but it was packed with some amazing information about the pioneers of photography.
Click on the link below to go the gallery we've put together of the trip, and there is also more information about Fox Talbot if you want to find out more about him and his work.
The short video below will tell you a little more about Fox Talbot and his life. It runs for about four minutes.
It's made for kids. (Little ones and big ones!)
It's a youtube video so it may be interrupted occasionally by an advert. Just click the little x in the right hand corner to make it go away.
Posted on 7th August 2019
The U3A Choir under the leadership of our new Choir Master, Mr Ben Ewert, performed their first concert on Friday, 26th July at Woodland Manor Care Home.
We were welcomed by the staff and residents . Ben, with his usual excellent skills, guided us through songs from the shows:- My Fair Lady, Music of the Night and Sound of Music. We also sang Fields of Gold, Heal the World, Danny Boy and Molly Malone.
It was lovely when the residents and staff joined in the choruses. With the absence of Reg, who is still recovering from surgery, we had just one male singer. Well done Geoff, an excellent job, move over Pavarotti. Seriously though, we need more male singers so if you feel you can hold a note please join us.
I feel sure we will perform at many venues in future. How lucky we were to find such a talented Choir Master.
Posted on 22nd July 2019
Members of our group met together to mix culture and cake at their summer afternoon tea.
They listened to Richard Burton reading “Under Milk Wood”.
"His voice is beautiful bringing the language alive- we’d thoroughly recommend listening to this.
Afterwards we had a treat of sandwiches, homemade cream tea and cakes!"
This is the opening few words (listen to Richard Burton's voice in your head!)…
"To begin at the beginning: It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboatbobbing sea."
If you want to hear Richard Burton reading the first few minutes of the story instead click on the link to the youtube video on the right.
(Don't forget that you may get the odd advert at some point…)
Posted on 19th July 2019
Group Convenors &
On Thursday 18th July 2019 our Group Coordinators, Sue Fisher and Nigel Trotman, held their annual meeting for the Chalfonts U3A Group Convenors and RUGs.
Not all of the convenors/rugs could make it to the meeting but the photograph on the right shows most of them.
Posted on 2 July 2019
We now have three independent groups that can help our members with learning and improving their Spanish language skills. Which group you choose to join is up to you.
All groups are meeting in members' homes.
To find out more please contact the convenors for the groups…links to all of their main pages is on the right. From there you will find the link to their Contact Form (on the left hand side of the page.)
Posted on 24 June 2019
New Experiences Climbing The 02! - June 2019
32 of our group members made the trip to south London to climb the 02. Fortunately we all managed to do this safely and all 32 made it back to our home base!
To see more pictures of their adventure together follow the link to the gallery page below.
If you want to join this group visit their Interest Group page and ask the convenor to join their list.
Posted on 27 May 2019
Canal Boat Trip - 23 May 2019
Several members went on our first canal boat trip of the year.
To see the pictures of their day together (in glorious bright sunshine!) follow the link to the gallery page below.
If you want to join this group visit their Interest Group page and ask the convenor to join their list.
Posted on 27th May 2019
This month we visited Langley Park, famous for its connection to the landscape gardener, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.
A number of us went to see the rhododendrons, which are often at their best in May in the Temple Garden. Several of us managed to make the short trip and we've now started to build a gallery of some of the pictures taken on the day.
There are plenty of opportunities to capture the park in this delightful setting. If you want to look at the photographs please click on the link on the right and it will take you to the Photography Group Gallery page.
From the left: John Hardwick, Joan Brewell, Steve Patel, John Brewell, Vince Barker, Johnny Baker, Phil Larman and Cathy Williams.
Posted on 4th April 2019
Excursions - Visit to Loseley Park,
Watts Gallery & Artists' Village
We've planned a visit to the world famous house near Guildford, Loseley Park. The gardens are some of the finest formal ones to be found anywhere in the world.
In addition we've arranged a visit to the Watts Gallery and the Artists' Village where there are some splendid works to be seen.
To find out more please visit the link below where you will find a fact sheet and a booking form.
Posted on 26 March 2019
From the left (standing): Robert, John B., Richard, John H.
Seated are Grace and Margaret.
Photography Group - Visit To Black Park
Our bunch of fair weather photographers had their first trip of the year to see what they could capture at Black Park.
Apart from the odd few spots of rain it stayed dry. Seven members made the short journey and spent an hour or so seeing what pictures they could take.
Black Park was chosen by our Cathy. She set a simple challenge; to take a picture of a single tree or one that had a reflection in it. We were also allowed to take pictures of anything in the park, just in case there were no trees or reflections to be had. 🙂
We ended with tea and coffee at the cafe before venturing back home.
Some of the pictures taken are now on the website. Follow the link below if you'd like to view them.
Posted on 22 March 2019
Garden Visits Lunch Party
The Group held its first Lunch Party at the Chalfont St Peter Community Centre.
Our guest speaker was Timothy Walker, who talked to us about how to encourage wildlife in the garden.
He was born and brought up in South Buckinghamshire and at the age of 13 went to school in Abingdon. From there he read Botany at University College Oxford. In 1995 he was awarded a Master of Horticulture by the Royal Horticultural Society of London. From January 1986 to July 2014 he worked at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden & Harcourt Arboretum, firstly as General Foreman, then as Horti Praefectus (from 1988) and finally as Director (from 2002). Between 1992 & 2000 the OBGHA won 4 gold, 2 silver-gilt, and one silver medal at the Chelsea Flower Show London. Since 1986 he has been giving lectures to gardening clubs, horticultural societies, WIs, and many other types of group. He has given more than 1,500 talks in Britain, Ireland, North America, and Australia to more than 100,000 people in audiences ranging from 20 to 350.
Posted on 17 February 2019
On Friday 15 February the group made a trip to the Baps Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden.
We have now posted a gallery of the photographs taken during the trip. Click on the link below…
Posted on 10 February 2019