In accordance with Government advice, all group meetings are cancelled until further notice. Some groups may be making plans to have virtual meetings or to circulate a newsletter. Details will be published when available. See below:
Current Groups Situation 3rd April 2020
34 groups now reporting some planned activity
The information below is copied from Celia’s excellent Bulletin, sent 2/4/20.
Updates since the bulletin was published (gleaned from various sources!) are in green italics.
American History: currently exploring if members would like to meet on Zoom and Richard has offered to give his presentations which have been used in the past. Celia Billau
Art History and Appreciation (2 groups): while unable to meet face to face, sending a monthly newsletter to members, with light-hearted, art-related activities to try, such as virtual tours of art galleries, and art quizzes. Also, now a monthly focus for members to research and circulate. New members welcome on either a short or long-term basis. Anne Pinnock
Birdwatching:the birdwatching group have definitely had our wings clipped but not to be de- feated I’ve organised a Lockdown List. Group members are sending me their sightings from their gardens or daily exercise walks and I’m creating a weekly list of sightings which I then email to group members to help keep the juices flowing. At the end of week 1 our list stands at 34 species and with Spring migration under waye should soon be adding more. Pete Sadler
Book Group 3 (Murder): continuing reviewing the books but via email. A few of us have also formed a WhatsApp group to send on comments faster and more efficiently. Not everyone wants/can do this: personal choice, no smartphone etc. Helen Stewart
Bridge: Weekly email circulated and working on a Bridge terminology quiz Pauline Bright
Calligraphy : art enthusiasts could sign up to ArtSpeak. They have a thought for the day and a programme of interesting virtual visits. Check out the web site: https://www.artspeak.org.uk/ Apparently Stephen Fry, President of MIND, suggested learning Calligraphy online to help with keeping well mentally. See the online videos and suggestions online for help and ideas. For those of you new to the art of beautiful writing, “make friends with your pens” and have a go!” Jenny Castledine
Chess:the chess group has moved online, but currently only 4 of our 16 players wish to play this way, so if anyone else wants to play they will be welcome. I have contacted Neil Taylor at Leicester U3A, as they have a chess group. He says that if any of our groups wish to link up with Leicester online , he is willing to help. I also believe that someone runs a U3A online chess league, so I have contacted them and the main U3A chess adviser to see what information they have. I will let you know what I find out. Neil Sheffield
Crosswords: Crosswords group are working towards meeting via Zoom Kathy Shipway
Exploring Wisdom has arranged to meet on-line on Tuesday 31st March at 10.30 am. We will be looking at the topic of ‘A spiritual guide to looking after our mental
health at a time like this.’ Any U3A member is welcome to come along and join in. It is not religion based so is open to anyone. Richard Eddleston
Family History: Testing an email forum with selected members of the group. Could be very useful with other groups, as it will reduce the work of the group facilitator in collating responses. Will keep us (AP and KS) updated Chris O Brien
French Conversation (not for beginners): had trouble with different Zoom links, so I’ve not tried to play any recordings in French. However, I am sending 2 articles a week in French to members for their interest (and education) via Beacon. Ivan Jones
German: Continuing online Comment on Facebook
Lunch Group 1: As we are a lunch group so we only get together once a month over lunch. However, I am planning to send out our regular update email this weekend just to keep in touch with everyone during this difficult time and to tell them what we have got planned for when we can hopefully get together again. Shirley Cooper
Music Appreciation: The Music Appreciation Group is continuing to run on a virtual basis. Each month we have a theme and members choose a song or tune based on this theme. This month it was “Seasons.” People chose: Springtime of the Year -The Cambridge Singers Autumn Leaves – Nat King Cole Turn, turn, turn – The Byrds The Summer Wind – Madeleine Peyroux Autumn Carol – Black Dyke Mills River of Dreams Hayley Westenra A Song of the Weather – Flanders and Swann Windy City -from Oklahoma They send their choices to me and I collate them and even add a short musical ex- tract if I can find one. I then circulate everyone with all the information. Whilst not as good as sitting together it does mean the group continues to listen to music chosen by the group. Roger Coombs
The Philosophy and Religion Group has, like most groups, had to shut down its normal discussion programme for the duration. However, since much of our activity is just talking and speculating, the Group is probably a good candidate to head online, so we are currently trying to get everyone onto Zoom.com. We’ve had a trial run, which seemed promising; we hope to try a full meeting in the near future, and will let you know if we succeed. Dave Smith
Photography are sharing photos from their collections, and this is coordinated by Adrian.
Play Reading: Members have shared personal stories of the best (or worst) plays they ever saw and memorable events with photos, of personal stage experience. Celia Billau
Poetry Appreciation: is reading poetry and then discussing the choices by email. I am hoping that more of the members will discuss their favourite poems this way. It would be good if I as the leader could make everyone aware of each other’s email. At the moment everything has to come through me. Joan Whiting (I have responded to Joan, and explained how this can be achieved -Anne P)
Quiz: Janet and Tony Truman have been sending out a quick quiz to their members with the answers being sent out the following week, along with a new quiz.
Scrabble: Looking into online programmes for continuing playing Scrabble (Words?) Kathy Shipway
Scottish Country Dancing: I’m sending the Scottish Country Dancing group links to videos of people dancing particular dances, together with the instructions and asking them to try dancing it in an imaginary set. Sue Morrison
Singing For Fun: This can be done anytime, anywhere. Just don’t upset the neighbours! – Margaret Johnson
Spanish Conversation : Irene Brown informs us that members of the Spanish group are emailing news in Spanish to each other. Everyone is well.
Theatre Visits: Anne Pinnock has emailed the group to suggest current opportunities for watching theatre productions online, and asking for a volunteer from group to take on this role for the foreseeable future.
Understanding the Landscape is taking the opportunity to widen the scope of the Group to include the environment. This will include the effect of human interaction on the landscape, environmental issues, the effect of climate change on what we see, etc. We will rename the group Landscape and Environment. I intend to send an occasional newsletter, hopefully containing links to stories that I find relevant, and hope that others might find these interesting. If anyone would like to join the group, please email me on email@example.com Richard Dinsdale
Walks (Long): Consulting members on possible ideas eg sharing info on walks available on video. Also using spare time to collate database of past walks to support new Long Walks 2 group when they get going. Mike Allery
Wine Appreciation: The wine groups are sharing tasting notes on wines they have drunk. These are being collated and sent out weekly by John (groups 1&3) and Adrian (groups 2&4)
Writing for Pleasure: are running a series of 2-weekly challenges with different topic each time and a “winner”. All entries are being placed on our website beestonwriting.com If anyone wants to do some writing from our U3A e.g. reflections on our situation, poems, short stories, then I shall set aside a page dedicated to this on the website.
Non-group members can use the 2-weekly challenge topics if they so wish.
(information on the website) but they will not be “judged” in the way that the group’s pieces will be. Please highlight our website – not everyone outside the group knows it even exists despite rolling notices. There’s much to read and amuse on it. Helen Stewart
Yoga:The Yoga group leaders have obtained permission from all of us and people are recommending Yoga videos to each other. A lot of the group are following one particular Yoga teacher. Kathryn Coupland
Yoga – self help : Self-help yoga group have just had a very successful yoga practice using Zoom. I am stiff but feel much more cheerful after seeing and talking to the others and having a few laughs. Kathy Shipway
News from Kathy, One of Our Group Co-ordinators 28 March
The Wine Groups are sharing tasting notes on wines they have drunk. These are being collated and sent out weekly by John (Groups 1&3) and Adrian (Groups 2&4).
The Photography Group are sharing photos from their collections, coordinated by Adrian.
Self Help Yoga and Crosswords are working towards meeting via Zoom.
More news when we see how these work.
Let’s Keep Theatre Group Going!
I know that you will have been as disappointed as I was to hear the news that Eve no longer wishes to continue as Theatre Visits Group Facilitator. I am sure that you have already expressed your gratitude to her for all the hard work she has undertaken on behalf of the group over the last 9 years, and have fond (or otherwise!) memories of the productions she has organized for us to see. She has certainly given her “pound of flesh”!
I can understand how the current situation, which sees theatres closed for the foreseeable future may seem like the last straw.
At times like this, I think we have to take advantage of the little “silver linings” that appear.
One of these is various free screenings of past theatre productions.
I think it could be useful to share details of these as a group, firstly to give us information about what to watch, and secondly, to keep us together as a group until things become more normal and we are able to meet and plan the future.
These are screenings that I am aware of:
National Theatre- free screenings on their official YouTube Channel- Every Thursday 7pm (+ for 7 days afterwards):
April 2nd One man, two Guvnors
April 9th Jane Eyre
April 16th Treasure Island
April 23rd Twelfth Night
Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals- free screenings on YouTube “The Show Must Go On” channel- Every Friday 7pm (+for 48hours afterwards):
April 3rd Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
April 10th Jesus Christ Superstar
What else do you know about that I don’t? If you let me know, I’ll forward these to members next Tuesday, which would have been our monthly meeting.
Is anyone in the group willing to take on the role of collating information over the next month. They would need to be willing to give their email address to the group.
I will then send the collated information out to members. Please contact me if you can help.
Let’s Keep Theatre Group going, so that Eve’s hard work has not been in vain!
Anne Pinnock- Joint Groups Co-ordinator
You are probably aware that in our “Lockdown” situation several Beeston U3A groups have set up various methods of maintaining contact through social media etc. I am struggling to think of what we could do in the Long Walks group due to it being mainly an outdoor activity. Alan Beale has sent me the suggestion of doing virtual walks using YouTube and entering “Dovedale walks” to see enjoyable videos. No doubt more local walks could be found using other appropriate names. However, apart from swapping video titles, this would not give any social interaction. We could set up a forum so that members could see all the postings of other members but I’m not sure what we would put on it. The only thing I can think of is to use a forum to suggest new walks in the hope that we might be allowed out to play in the not too distant future! As part of the effort by the group coordinators to set up a second Long Walks group, I am in the process of listing basic data of nearly all of the walks the group has completed since it started in 2011. We hope to put this list on the web site for all to see and as a source for others to use. Group members might like to come up with basic outlines for future walks which I could plot in detail on my computer. Any suggestions with regard to what we might do to maintain contact would be welcome.
Art History and Appreciation
5 April 2020
Unfortunately, I have realised that 2 of the links in yesterday’s Portraits email would not work (the joys of technology!), so I have had to find another way of sending them.
Attached is Dorothy’s portrait choice with reasons (David Hockney) and
Also Janet’s portrait (Gentileschi)
One more art programme on TV this week is Tuesday 7th April, 12.30 (after midnight) BBC4- Mark Gatiss on John Minton
Hope these work this time, and thanks for sticking with my technical ineptitude.
4 April 2020
Dear AHA Members,
Hope this email finds everyone safe and well.
I am attaching the next batch of portraits selected by members:
• Janet Hunt has chosen a self- portrait by Artemisia Gentileschi (and I have attached a link to a recent article from The Guardian about her postponed exhibition)
• Fran Weden has chosen “Carnation Lily Lily Rose” by John Singer Sergeant
• Dorothy Coombes has chosen Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy by David Hockney
I will continue to circulate any more that are sent to me by Sunday April 19th. (Next batch on their way early next week), so please do carry on researching.
Art on TV this week
Saturday 4th April 9.45pm BBC2- “Titian- Behind Closed Doors” (a tour of the cancelled exhibition at the National Gallery)
Tuesday 7th April 8.30pm BBC4- Art Mysteries- Cezanne’s “The Card Players”
The AHA planning team have decided it would be better to postpone the planned talks for April and May, and instead will set a new topic that people can research and share for these months (as we have done this month).
Details will be sent soon.
Anne and the AHA team
30 March 2020
The next three Portraits chosen by AHA members are:
1) The Kitchen Maid (Vermeer), chosen by Hilary Sutherland
2) Thomas Cromwell (Holbein), chosen by Jenny Timmins
3) JK Rowling (Stuart Pearson Wright), chosen by Maggie Roberts
Thank you, all three.
The next batch will be sent later this week. Please feel free to keep sending them through.
Art on TV/ Radio this week
Monday March 30th, 9pm, BBC4- Scandal and Beauty, Mark Gatiss on Aubrey Beardsley
Tuesday March 31st, 8.30pm, BBC4- Paul Gauguin
Wednesday April 1st, 10.30pm, BBC4- Van Meegeren- The Forger who foiled the Nazis
Wednesday April 1st, 1.40am Film4- Leaning into the Wind, Andy Goldsworthy’s outdoor art works.
Saturdays 7.15pm Radio 4 Grayson Perry’s Reeth Lectures
Plenty to Enjoy!
Hope this email finds you safe and well.
Anne and the AHA Team
While we are temporarily unable to meet face to face, a regular update is being circulated to members with light-hearted activities related to art appreciation. There is also a monthly topic for members to research and feed back on.
New members are welcome on either a long or short term basis.
27 March 2020
Dear AHA Members,
We hope this email finds you safe and well at the end of this challenging week.
It is well worth signing up on the ArtSpeak website- they have been sending out daily postings this week, which have been positive and uplifting (all based around varous art themes).
Thank you very much to those people who have managed to get their brains working enough to select portraits to circulate to the rest of us, with explanations of why they have been chosen.
Janet Hoult (who was going to be leading our March session) has selected “Sewing” by Harold Knight.
Lindsay Litton has selected “Young Woman Powdering Herself” by George Seurat, after being inspired by the Art Mysteries TV programme this week.
Felicity Harrison chose “Doge Leonardo Loredan” by Giovanni Bellini.
The only way we have found to send these on Beacon is via the attachment, so hope this works for you, including the links.
If anyone else is able to research and send through their chosen portrait, we will forward these to members.
We will be in touch regularly and will selct a topic for April soon.
Anne and the AHA Team
Dear AHA Members,
We hope this newsletter finds everyone safe and well.
For those of you disappointed at the enforced cancellation of Art History and Appreciation this month, we are sending you a few suggestions to keep everyone busy.
Some of the smaller U3A groups are sharing email addresses to help continue their group’s discussions. However, AHA now has over 100 members, so this idea isn’t really practical, and we have to make do with the rather basic and clunky Beacon system to pass on information. Please do send through any suggestions for next month’s AHA newsletter.
We hope you find these helpful:
If anyone has researched for a portrait that they were intending to show this month, and would like to write a short piece about it, please send it to me. If it has an internet link to the portrait itself as well, that would be better still. I will then forward your piece to the rest of the group.
• Virtual tours of Art Galleries
Google Arts and Culture have teamed up with over 500 museums and galleries around the world to bring everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world. https://hellogiggles.com/news/museums-with-virtual-tours/
• Art Quiz
Thanks to Hilary Sutherland for sending through the link to this art history quiz-
• Recommended Website for Art
Art UK is a very good website- I used it to research last month’s talk on local art. It includes lots of paintings, as well as discussion groups which may be invaluable at this time of enforced self-isolation:
• Paint Yourself Happy
You may be interested in this free demonstration of a painting at 1pm on Wednesday from The Norfolk Painting School. This will be on the Norfolk Painting School page on Facebook Live, when you can see how to paint a peaceful Norfolk beach scene.
Thanks to Richard Eddleston for this very calming suggestion in these unceratin and stressful times.
• Recommended TV Programme
On Tuesday evenings, there is a series on BBC4 at 8.30pm entitled “The Art Mysteries”, presented by Waldemar Januszczak.
This week it explores the hidden meaning in Seurat’s painting “Les Poseuses”.
Last week’s programme (presumably available on iplayer) focused on Van Gogh’s “Portrait with Bandaged Ear”
Hope this gives everyone a few ideas to keep them busy with art.
Keep well and we look forward to seeing you again in person in a few months. If you can help by keeping in touch with any members you know who do not have email addresses, that would be a great help.
Anne and the AHA team.
Music Appreciation Group
The Music Appreciation Group is continuing to run on a virtual basis.
Each month we have a theme and members chose a song or tune based on this theme. This month it was “Seasons.”
Springtime of the Year -The Cambridge Singers
Autumn Leaves – Nat King Cole
Turn, turn, turn – The Byrds
The Summer Wind – Madeleine Peyroux
Autumn Carol – Black Dyke Mills
River of Dreams Hayley Westenra
A Song of the Weather – Flanders and Swann
Windy City -from Oklahoma
They send their choices to me and I collate them and even add a short musical extract if I can find one. I then circulate everyone with all the information. While not as good as sitting together, it does mean the group continues to listen to music chosen by the group.
Poetry Appreciation Group
The poetry group is reading poetry and then discussing the choices by email. I am hoping that more of the members will discuss their favourite poems this way. It would be good if I as the leader could make everyone aware of each others email At the moment everything has to come through me.#
Anne Pinnock one of our Group Coordinators writes: In last week’s email of March 17th, we said that email addresses could be shared as long as members had given you their explicit written permission.
You need to get each of your members to email you saying something like “ I agree that my email address can be shared with other members of Beeston U3A Poetry Appreciation Group”
The chess group has moved online, but currently only 4 of our 16 players wish to play this way, so if anyone else wants to play they will be welcome. I have contacted Neil Taylor, who I believe is your equivalent at Leicester U3A, as they have a chess group. He says that if any of our groups wish to link up with Leicester online , he is willing to help.
I also believe that someone runs a U3A online chess league, so I have contacted them and the main U3A chess adviser to see what information they have.
I will let you know what I find out.
Exploring Wisdom Group
Next on-line meeting is on Tuesday 14th April at 10.30 am using Zoom.
We will be looking at the topic ‘Happiness not Pleasure’. What is it that makes us really happy?
All members are welcome to join in that meeting. Contact Richard Eddleston on firstname.lastname@example.org
Philosophy and Religion Group
The Philosophy and Religion Group has, like most groups, had to shut down its normal discussion programme for the duration. However, since much of our activity is just talking and speculating, the Group is probably a good candidate to head online, so we are currently trying to get everyone onto Zoom. We’ve had a trial run, which seemed promising; we hope to try a full meeting in the near future, and will let you know if we succeed.