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The University of the Third Age

(Welwyn Hatfield)

General Meetings.

Doors open at 9:45, tea and coffee are served from 10:00 to 10:30. The meeting starts at 10.30 am with notices, followed by the talk.
Meetings labelled "Hat", will take place in Breaks Manor Youth Centre, Link Drive, Hatfield, AL10 8TP. If you're online, you can click here for a map.
Meetings labelled "WGC" take place in the Ludwick Family Centre, Hall Grove, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 4PH. If you're online, you can click here for a map. There's sometimes a problem with parking for cars at Ludwick - if you don't mind a walk you could try parking in Caponfield - click here for a map.

There have been complaints from residents about the parking on the road in front of Ludwick Family Centre. If you plan to park here, please could you ensure that you 'follow the trend' and park on the same side as those cars already parked. This ensures that delivery lorries and emergency vehicles can pass through. Many thanks.

If you want to display notices on the projector, or notice boards, at the meetings, contact Tony Tutton on 01707 328943, or E-mail him: "tonytutton@yahoo.co.uk".

Please note that, for health and safety reasons, we have to limit attendance at these meetings to 170

Please note that the Welwyn Hatfield U3A does not endorse any products or services provided by the speakers at our meetings.

For information on recordings of talks from past meetings, click here.

Meetings for Summer 2022

27 Apr HatGary Fisher – “St. George”
Gary works as a Costumed Interpreter at many Historical sites including, The Royal London Palaces and Dover Castle
4 May WGCJill Campbell – “Knebworth House and the Challenges of the 20th Century"
The 20th century was a difficult time for most country houses and estates. Following two world wars, in which many heirs were killed, high taxation and the costs of keeping an ageing historic building standing, many houses were sold, fell into ruin or were demolished. In this talk we discuss how the Lytton family adapted to the challenges faced and turned Knebworth House into a successful business and popular leisure attraction, whilst retaining it as a much-loved family home.
11 May HatGeoffrey Bowden – “Reviewing His Situation – the Life and Music of Lionel Bart”
Lionel Bart's roller coaster life includes a poor East End childhood; fame with pop song hits for Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele; huge success with the show Oliver! and then disaster and bankruptcy with his Robin Hood stage fiasco, Twang!
18 May WGCChris Bennett – “Apsley Cherry-Garrard – Hertfordshire’s Arctic Explorer”
Chris Bennett, Hertfordshire’s County Archivist, takes us through a look at the writings of Apsley Cherry-Garrard of Lamer, Wheathampstead, who accompanied Captain Scott on his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, 1910 – 1913.
25 May HatRupert Dickens – "Madame de Pompadour at The Court of Louis XV"
As mistress to the King, Madame de Pompadour used her power, wealth and influence to promote the arts at the court of Louis XV. She sat for portraits by the leading artists of the day, using these commissions to craft her image and ensure her survival in the precarious world of the 18th century.
1 Jun WGCMurray Craig – “Sheep Over London Bridge”
In March 2022, Murray retires as Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall in the City of London, only the 37th Clerk since 1294. He is an expert on the Freedom of the City of London and the City of London Livery Companies. Murray will explain the privileges appertaining to freemen (including taking sheep over London Bridge) and speak about various celebrities who have received the freedom during his tenure as Clerk.
8 Jun HatJulia Ladds – “Tall Ships and the Jubilee Sailing Trust"
This international charity has a mission to give people of mixed abilities the freedom to explore their ability, potential and place in the world through adventures at sea. Established for more than 40 years, over 50,000 people have sailed with the JST on their purpose-built and unique tall ships, Lord Nelson and Tenacious.
15 Jun WGCLinda Clark – “Hearing Dogs for Deaf People”
This UK charity trains clever dogs to help deaf people by alerting them to important sounds they would otherwise miss such as the doorbell, alarm clock or fire alarm. We will hear about how the dogs are trained and matched to their deaf partner, and about the difference they make.
22 Jun HatPaul Evans – “Dunkirk - Defeat, Debacle, Decision or Defiance?”
There’s more to the Dunkirk evacuation than the films portray. Paul Evans of the Army Museums Ogilby Trust will talk through the firsts, the planning, the last stands, the urban legends and the lessons learned. With 25 years’ experience in military museums he’s happy to talk about service papers, record keeping and how the systems worked then and work today.
29 Jun WGC Please note the early start!
10 a.m. - James Hinkins - "Appraisals for Older Drivers"
James is Lead Driving Assessor at Herts Ability, a charity based in WGC. He will tell us about a new service designed to "review and rev-up your driving skills" aiming to support drivers in continuing to be safe on the road and retaining their independence.
10:30 a.m. - Philippa Bernard – “Story of a Garden”
Sixty years ago, Philippa and her husband, newly married, had no money, no time, no experience and nowhere to live, but they did have plenty of energy. They found a small newly-built house with a building site for a garden and gradually created the garden they wanted. This is an account of how they set about it, learning as they went. Philippa still lives there and loves the garden just as much as ever.
6 Jul HatSimon Whitehouse – “Inside Covent Garden”
Simon is an award-winning London Blue Badge Guide, lecturer, presenter and recovering actor.
13 Jul WGCAdam Smith – “Country Houses and the Great War – Duty and Sacrifice”
Adam is a lecturer in the architectural history of the English Country House and Estate.
Please bring picnics and, if possible, garden chairs

Planned meetings for Autumn 2022

14 Sep WGCTony Earle – “The Thames Barge”
Thames Barges we see today are survivors of a fleet of over 2000 that carried goods to London. Tony’s talk outlines their history and use up to the present day, illustrated with a model and pictures.
21 Sep
U3A Day! - details to be announced later.
28 Sep WGCSteve Dimmer – “Walt Disney – the Struggles of a Legend”
Walt Disney is a name that conjures up magic and happiness. Yet in his life, Disney was constantly battling to realise his ambitions. Steve explores the life of this extraordinary man and the trials he overcame. Liberally illustrated with clips from landmark films and sprinkled with anecdotes that will inform, entertain and surprise.
5 Oct HatGill Hodgekinson-Price – "Highgate Cemetery"
In this talk we will learn about the construction of the Victorian burial ground and explore many of the famous (and perhaps infamous) current day occupants
12 Oct WGCDavid Callaghan – “René Lalique”
Lalique is better known to the general public for his work in glass, but this talk introduces some of the extraordinary jewels he created. Lalique’s ideas and technical achievements became a huge inspiration to other designers and craftsmen. The talk concludes with a “tour” of his lasting monument – the “Glass Church” of St. Martin in Jersey.
19 Oct HatStephanie Bevan – “Hertfordshire Careline”
Established by North Herts Council in 1982, the Herts Careline supports the independence and safety of thousands of residents by the provision of sensors, alarm buttons and other devices which call for help in an emergency. Their control room, in Letchworth, takes around 1800 calls every day.
26 Oct WGCDavid Felton – “Walking from Lands End to John O'Groats”
On 15 May 2017 David Felton set off on the adventure of a lifetime, walking from Land's End 1,269 miles north to John O'Groats in 82 days. In this talk, David outlines the highs and lows of his long walk, using 100+ beautiful photos.
2 Nov HatTony Eaton – “The Curious Disappearance of Major Glenn Miller”
Tony has a particular interest in unravelling some of the hitherto unresolved air mysteries of the 2nd World War and is a recognised authority on the disappearance of the famous bandleader Glenn Miller. Having been a member of the Glenn Miller Society since 1955, Tony is the main contributor to its International 'Moonlight Serenader' magazine.
9 Nov WGCCarole Hawkins – “Tales from the Chalk Face"
Carole is 21 with 46 years experience! She has been Head of 3 schools and has worked as an independent advisor to independent schools for many years. She has also written several books including the biography of Peggy Batchelor, "Never a Dull Moment" and she is an occasional public speaker and presenter.
16 Nov HatRoger Wotton – “Angels, Putti, Fairies & Dragons”
Artistic impressions of these beings usually depict them as having wings, enabling them to move from the realm of their existence to another world - ours. We will survey images of angels, putti, fairies and dragons and consider how each uses their wings for flight.
23 Nov WGCChris Truran – “A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Old Bailey"
Criminals sometimes do unbelievably stupid things that get them arrested. While fingerprints and Forensics capture many there are plenty more times when they have brought about their own downfall. Very much a light-hearted look at the criminal world
30 Nov Hat Colin Oakes – “Christmas Traditions – Samain to Twelfth Night”
Colin is an archaeologist who, as well as giving talks, takes groups on walking tours and coach tours in London and the South East.
11 Jan HatDamien O’Dell – “Adventures of a Ghosthunter”
(postponed from Feb 2022) Damien will share with us personal encounters with ghosts in over 20 years of investigating haunted properties.

For proposed meetings dates for 2023, click here (PDF). (PDF)

For those helping set up the hall for the Wednesday general meetings...

Preparing tea & coffee: please click here (PDF).

Setting up the computer & projector: please click here (PDF).

For an overview of the outings planned by the various study groups, click here..

For an overview of when the study groups meet, click here.

Web-site created by Roger Swaine.