Magnify text ASmaller print AA

General meetings

General meetings are held in the Amersham Community Centre Drake Hall at 14:30 on the third Wednesday of each month. They are open to all Chiltern U3A members - please remember to bring your membership card with you, it will be checked at the door. Meetings last just over an hour - make sure you pay for enough time in the car park (allow 2 hours) to stay at the end of the meeting to have a cup of tea or coffee and get to know people.

Prospective members are welcome to attend two general meetings to see if you like us. Just introduce yourself to whoever is on the door checking membership cards and they will make you welcome.

There is a loop system in the Drake Hall, and you should switch your hearing aid to the "T" position to hear speakers more clearly.

Click here to see a list of previous General Meetings from January 2013 to December 2017

Click here for a video of the World War 1 commemoration concert on June 2nd 2018. This is a large file and may take some time to download and open.

Click here for Ramji  Abinashi's slides on Aspects of India, from the General Meeting on April 17th 2019

Staying safe on-line and avoiding scams.

Click here for guidance on smart devices, and click here for the presentation by Mark Godsland of Thames Valley Police Cyber Protect on May 15th 2019.


Forthcoming General Meetings:

Please note that speakers are booked a year or more in advance, and are subject to change, sometimes at short notice.

Wednesday 20th November
Chiltern U3A 20th Anniversary starting at 2:30 until 5:00pm

A look back at who started our branch of the U3A and how they went about it, with guests from within the organisation and outside, as well as a variety of other informative and entertaining items covering the last 20 years and looking forward to the future. Because of limited seating in the Drake Hall, admission will be by ticket only, and all tickets have been allocated.

Wednesday 18th December
Rupert Matthews – The History of Christmas Food

xmas foodRupert Matthews was educated at Esher Grammar School  and worked as a freelance writer and journalist and to date has written over 170 books and numerous magazine articles as well as appearing on TV and radio. He offers a range of lively talks packed with amusing anecdotes, and the one chosen for us will be The History of Christmas Food.

As an Author his books have been mostly on history or military subjects, though in recent years he has been writing about ghosts, cryptozoology, UFOs and other paranormal subjects. Rupert Matthews was a candidate for the European parliament in 2009 but eventually became MEP for the East Midlands in July 2017 following many years of campaigning on behalf of local people across the East Midlands, and as he said ‘It is not often that you arrive for your first day in a new job in the sure and certain hope of the redundancy to come, But so it was for me on Monday when I took up my position as a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands’.

And so once no longer an MEP Rupert will again be giving a series of talks around the country.

Wednesday 15th January
Lady Eileen Gershon: I wrote a memoir

In this talk Lady Eileen will talk about inspiring people to write memoirs and how she wrote about her life in her book Nurses Never Run, which is an account of her time as a student nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. She writes “I do not claim to have written a literary masterpiece, but am delighted to discover readers, both male and female, who find the book engrossing”. Based on the letters she wrote at the time of facing life’s challenges and about caring for the patients, this is a thought provoking, funny and moving book where she has been completely honest about nursing in the 1960s and bringing the times vividly back to life. All proceeds of her book sales go to The Sick Children’s Trust, specifically the houses in Cambridge. Eileen is married to Sir Peter Gershon, chairman of the National Grid

Wednesday 19th February: Speaker yet to be confirmed

Wednesday 18th March
Brian Freeland: Playing the Clown

Brian gave a talk to us last year entitled A view from the wings, about his life as a trainee theatre manager at the London Palladium. This time he returns with a tribute to George Bernard Shaw and the following review from The Cornishman I gives a taste of what is in store:   “Brian Freeland draws on his lifetime in the theatre business to present Playing The Clown, a ‘staged biography’ of George Bernard Shaw.  In his entertaining one-man show about the life, loves and writings of the prolific playwright, Brian Freeland is both narrator and player. As himself, he starts to give a talk about his hero, but soon Shaw makes his presence known, interrupting the narrator, chatting directly to the audience, and offering impressions of his contemporaries - notably the actor Henry Irving”.              

Wednesday 15th April:
Major (retired) Paul Whittle TD: Treasures of the Nile

A military historian, railway enthusiast and Freeman of the City of London, world traveller Paul Whittle gave a talk to us in 2013 on The Slow Train to Damascus. This time his talk takes us from the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to Alexandria and then westwards to the WW2 desert battlefield at El Alamein. Next stop is Giza with its mighty pyramids and we then travel along the banks of the Nile as far south as the impressive temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. At over 4,000 miles, the Nile is the world’s longest river, flowing from Lake Victoria in Uganda to the Mediterranean Sea. It is called the father of African rivers and was highly important in ancient Egypt for its water supply.

Wednesday 20th May: Chiltern U3A AGM
Followed by a talk on: The Lasting Power of Attorney by Gaye Illsley

Gaye is a U3A member and gives educational talks on Lasting Power of Attorney to U3A groups throughout the South East and is involved with the Alzheimer’s charity. Her educational talk will cover:

Enduring Power of Attorney; Lasting Power of Attorney; Selecting appropriate attorneys; Dispelling the myths surrounding LPAs; Registration process and costs; mFees can be reduced by 50% or waived completely; Pros and Cons of DIY LPA versus using a solicitor; No LPA – Deputyship ; Already registered EPA or LPA – do you qualify for a refund?

Wednesday 17th June
Paul Heslop: Culloden – The Jacobite Rebellion 1745

Paul writes: “It could have been so different, with James Francis Edward Stuart in exile, the Jacobites were determined to seize the throne, and in 1745, Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) led an attempt to unseat George II, only to be defeated by the Duke of Cumberland’s government forces at Culloden. This is the story of the Jacobite Rebellion and showing how, had the Jacobites been successful, the Kings and Queens of Great Britain since would never have been crowned.”

On completion of the history of the Jacobites, Paul takes a photographic tour of every British Monarch from George I up to the present day’.

Paul Heslop was born in Northumberland, he joined the then Newcastle upon Tyne City Police in 1965 and after 30 years service he retired as a Detective Inspector in 1995, by which time he had moved to Hertfordshire. He wrote about his time in the force The Job, 30 Years a Cop, now he is a public speaker and author, having written several books on old murders and other articles, and as a keen walker has written about his passion for walking around selected areas of Britain with his wife Kate, and about a hero of his, Alfred Wainwright, saying he has climbed the 214 ‘Wainwrights’ over 2,300 times, inspired from the start by Wainwright’s guides and later by his other work.

Wednesday 15th July
David Hunt: British Bridges through The Ages

David Hunt writes: “Bridges range in style and complexity from a few stones thrown across a stream to a large modern bridge such as the Humber suspension bridge or the Severn crossing.” The talk presents a historical sequence of British Bridges, including samples of many different types, and a few unusual ones; the talk is of general interest to a non-technical audience. David Hunt did a physics degree and retired a few years ago after working in the computer industry for nearly 47 years. He is a long-term National Trust enthusiast and visits many areas of countryside and coastline, as well as enjoying the houses and gardens with which the trust is more commonly associated. He has been a keen amateur photographer since his schooldays and since retirement has been a volunteer tour guide at Shalford Mill a National Trust property near Guildford

Wednesday 19th August
Colin Oakes: The Streets of London; How the Roads got their Names

Colin makes a welcome return; his very first talk at a general meeting was in 2006, when he talked about Dickens’ childhood. His most recent talk for a general meeting was in 2018 when the subject chosen was Chesham – Boots, Brushes, Baptists and Beer, which was well received. The subject this time should be of equal interest; a journey through our capital city along roads with names we take for granted, but how did they get to be called that? This is a chance to find out.

To suggest a guest speaker, or to offer to speak, please email u3aspeakersecretary@chiltern-u3a.org.uk


Copyright © Chiltern U3A 2014 - 2019. This page updated October 27, 2019