Bearsden & Milngavie

Demonstrations and Talks etc

Scroll down to find out about previous Demonstrations, Talks, Workshops and Short Courses.

u3a Trust Learning Events

The u3a Trust is offering a number of workshops, webinars and interactive sessions delivered by members for members, which are free to join. A summary of the available events can be found by copying and pasting or clicking u3a Online Learning Event.


All Demonstrations are suspended until further notice. However, if you have an idea for a short course or workshop you could run, or a talk you could give in the future, please get in touch with Peter James by clicking Demonstrations to send an email.


Could you give a practical demonstration?

If you have a craft, skill or hobby that you think may be of interest to others and you could give a demonstration to a small informal group we would be delighted to hear from you. We can provide support and help.

Is there an interest, skill or hobby you would like to find out more about and see demonstrated? Let us know if you have any ideas for demonstrations or tasters and we will help to organise it, if possible.

We would love to hear from you - just click Demonstrations to send us an email notifying your interest.


Talks, Workshops and Short Courses

All Short Courses and Workshops are suspended until further notice. However, if you have an idea for a short course or workshop you could run, or a talk you could give in the future, please get in touch with Peter James, the Short Course Convenor by clicking Talks to send an email.

Talks given as part of the monthly meetings are continuing on Zoom; please refer to the Events page for details.

(We are using the term 'short course' to mean anything from a one-hour session to meetings taking place over several weeks or even months.)

If you are interested in giving a talk, workshop or short course, or you wish to find out about talks coming up, just click Talks to send us an email notifying your interest.


Previous Demonstrations, Talks, Workshops and Short Courses

Flower Arranging Demonstration - 19 November 2019
The Sparkle of Christmas was the theme of the Flower Arranging demonstration held on 19 November. Derek Armstrong gave a professional presentation which showed the skills of a flower arranger at his best. He made a range of pieces and it was a delight to watch as he turned each piece into a visual work of art. He chatted to us and kept us entertained while he effortlessly placed the flowers and foliage. The arrangements were put into a raffle at the end and some lucky people went home with a superb display. There were also hampers in the raffle which had been donated and put together by the Bearsden Flower Club. It was an excellent afternoon and a thoroughly enjoyable demonstration.

First Responder Talk and Demonstration - 23 October 2019
Scottish Ambulance Service Milngavie First Responders John and Andy gave a talk and demonstration to a group of members. They brought with them several resuscitation dummies and defibrillators. They gave us a very interesting and useful demonstration of how to use the dummies and explanations of why and when to use CPR on adults, children and babies. We were also given a demo of the defibrillators which are becoming increasing available in public places. We were encouraged to try out both life saving techniques and everyone was surprised how much effort is needed to maintain CPR for any length of time. The defibrillators have very clear instructions which are easy to follow.

Talk on Inheritance Tax - 24 September 2019
On Tuesday 24 September Short Course Convenor, Peter James, aided by Committee members, Jenny Maxwell and Betty Wilson, hosted a talk on Inheritance Tax. The invited speaker, Arthur Beverley, a local Independent Financial Adviser, gave a very interesting talk on how to minimise what has to be paid. There are several ways that you can give gifts and make payments without having to pay tax. Arthur talked us through these and other ways that things can be made easier for your dependants after your death. Having an up-to-date will is a big factor. The thirty or so attendees engaged enthusiastically in what was a very active Q&A session after the talk.

Gin Tasting Demonstration - 29 August 2019
This was held at Waitrose in the Community Room. The room was beautifully set up with a display of gins, mixers and herbs and spices to add to our drinks. We began the evening with a homemade gin martini made with Hestons Waitrose Lazy lemon Sherbet Gin, which was a good start to whet our taste buds. We then went on to try 4 different gins with different mixers and garnishes. They were Warner and Edwards elderflower gin, Daffy’s Small batch Scottish gin, Roku gin from Japan and Lone Wolf (Brewdogs gin). There were nibbles to accompany the gins which brought out the flavour of the various botanicals and we were encouraged by our knowledgeable and enthusiastic hosts Brian and Craig to try out different combinations. This was a super evening and our tastes in gins were broadened by the opportunity to try out some varieties that are quite unusual.

Talk on the History of the Trades House - 20 June 2019
Craig Bryce gave a very interesting talk on the history of Glasgow Trades House and its 14 Incorporated Crafts. The Trades House is the name of the organisation and the Trades Hall is the building where it is based. The Trades House is now a charity which raises and distributes funds to various groups throughout the city for education, citizenship, crafts and trades. Craig can be contacted by any U3A group if they would like to arrange a tour of the Trades Hall (tel: 0141 553 1605).

Fundamentals of Photography Demonstration - 22 May 2019
Many thanks go to Frank Fisher (Photo 1) who delivered an inspiring talk and demonstration on basic photographic techniques. Frank used his slide show to illustrate how photographers should consider light, composition, exposure, focus and capture of images. He stressed that a good photograph is not entirely dependent on equipment but also the skill and forethought of the photographer. After his presentation he answered a variety of questions on a range of topics. We all went home to look again at our cameras and try out some of his ideas.

Spring Planter Demonstration - 26 February 2019
On 26 February we went to Dobbies for a Spring Planter demonstration. We had a very pleasant spring morning for the demo. Gary showed us how to plant spring plants in a container for best effect. He suggested having one large showy flower at the back with smaller filler plants at the front and a trailing plant to the side of the container. We discussed the best potting compost to use and how to care for the container. He then showed us how to plant bulbs in a lasagne form, putting taller plants on top of a layer of compost then shorter plants in the next layer. He again answered some questions about the finer points of caring for bulbs. We hope to return for more demonstrations as they arise during the year.

Flower Arranging Demonstration - 4 December 2018
Members of BaM U3A were invited by Bearsden Flower Club to join their Christmas Flower Decoration demonstration. We were greeted with mince pies, shortbread and refreshments. The theme was the Magic of Christmas and the demonstrator made six very pretty seasonal arrangements using a variety of foliage and flowers. These were then put into a raffle along with numerous hampers and gifts. Some lucky U3A members happily went home with their prizes having enjoyed a very pleasant and interesting afternoon.

Prostate Cancer Talk - 4 December 2018
On Tuesday 4 December Emeritus Professor David Stott gave a talk on Prostate Cancer to a group of members together with some of their spouses. David is a volunteer speaker for Prostate Cancer UK, a registered charity.

It was a very interesting talk giving details of the symptoms, initial investigation and diagnosis of prostate cancer. He presented facts and statistics which gave us information about the disease. He also referred to his own experience and those of friends. This made the topic more relevant and in many ways more reassuring as he has been cancer free for 11 years. He willingly answered questions from members both factual and personal.

Oktoberfest! Craft Beer Demonstration - 26 October 2018
The Oktoberfest Craft Beer Tasting was another successful evening for members. Held at Majestic, we were again hosted by the well informed and knowledgeable Danny. He had chosen an interesting mix of beers for us. We started with some refreshing easily quaffable lagers and progressed to more complex and full bodied beers. We tasted 8 beers with varying combinations of hops, grain and yeasts made with different processing techniques. Beers from Scotland, Iceland, England, Germany, Belgium and Japan were sampled along with a selection of cheese, biscuits and crisps. See the photo on this page.

Tai Chi Demonstration - 25 September 2018
The Tai Chi demonstration was another superb lesson from Debbie. She explained the beginnings of the art form and how it has developed over the centuries. Debbie then demonstrated some of the more basic forms and we all tried our best to follow. This was followed by her demonstration of some more advanced forms to music. We were shown some defensive moves with swords, fans and a stick which demonstrated the martial art uses of Tai Chi. Then we tried a longer set of exercises. The focus, strength and suppleness needed is remarkable. Debbie pointed out that because it requires mental and physical concentration it is a useful way to relax and unwind.

Wine Tasting Demonstration - 6 July 2018
This was a very enjoyable demonstration. Danny, our host from Majestic, welcomed us with a glass of cool Prosecco. Just the thing for a hot summer evening. We then sampled 3 white wines and 3 red wines which he had chosen to give us a range of different wines with different characteristics. Starting with a Krasno Sauvignon Blanc Ribolla 2017, then a Domaine Chatelain Chablis 2016 and followed by an Edna Valley Chardonnay 2015 the whites started dry and then became sweeter with more body. The reds started with a Pinot Noir Domaine de Valmoissine 2015 Louis Latour, followed by Chateau Tronquoy-Lalande St Estephe 2013, leading on to a Kangarilla Road Shiraz 2016, McLaren Vale. Danny gave us a lot of interesting information about the types of grapes used, where they like to grow and the conditions they need to produce the best wines.

Then we were able to try each of the wines with different foods. Some were delicious paired with tomatoes, smoked salmon, pate, chorizo, spicy snacks and chocolate. We learned the wines which are better to drink with certain types of foods and which wines can be drunk alone. It was a most enjoyable evening and we hope to arrange another tasting in the near future.

Tai Chi Demonstration - 21 March 2018
This was a very popular demonstration. Debbie introduced us to the concept of yin and yang, the forms of Tai Chi, and explained the history of the various movements. She then demonstrated and the group took part in some of the moves. She explained that it is a gentle form of exercise and can help maintain strength, flexibility, and balance. Tai chi can help people aged 65 and over to reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength. Debbie then continued with impressive demonstrations of moves using a sword, a fan and a stick. The group then tried to follow her moves for the 24 step Yang style form which requires concentration and balance and may take several months to master. It was a really super demonstration and many of those present were interested in continuing learning at a class.

Internet Security Demonstration - 27 February 2018
The demo was held in Waitrose Community room. We had 2 gurus from O2 to give the presentation and advice as a free service. Topics included online banking fraud, online shopping scams, malware, ticket scams, romance scams and holiday scams. We also learned about Social Engineering – Vishing (scam phone calls), Phishing (bogus emails and websites) and Smishing (fake text messages). Avoiding and dealing with malware and tips for online safety were also discussed. It was very informative and at the end members had the opportunity to ask about particular problems and areas of concern. There is a photo of the demo on this page.


Seagull Trust Canal Boat Trip
BaM U3A member Bob Lynch took two groups of members on a thoroughly enjoyable trip on the Forth and Clyde Canal in July 2017 and again in May 2018. Bob has for several years been a member of the Seagull Trust, a charity which provides canal trips for people with special needs on specially equipped boats. During the trip, Bob gave an interesting insight into the history of both the Trust and the Canal. Bob has kindly indicated that further trips may be offered in the future, so keep an eye open for further announcements.

Isabel Howat gave a lecture on 23 May 2017 on The Spanish Civil War, something that has interested her for many years.

Fungus Forays took place in September 2016 and October 2017 at Mugdock Country Park, led by ranger Alan Macbride. Alan led the group through the woods and pointed out a wide variety of fungi.

Pat Maciness gave a fascinating talk on Plant Dyes, the Origins of Tartans and Other Plant Uses on 23 August 2016. The photo on this page shows the huge amount of material that was available to accompany this talk. Pat had sourced or grown her own plants - only found in Scotland - and used them to dye small pieces of fabric. This enabled us to see the soft colours of the 'true tartans' before Sir Walter Scott invented some brighter colours and patterns. The types of wool available and how it was woven were described in detail, and we also learnt how various plants such as heather and bracken were used.

Pat Macinnes gave two sessions on The Massacre of Glencoe in April 2016. Pat's meticulous research, much from original sources, and her enthusiastic delivery, brought vividly to life the personalities and events of this very significant, tragic and sometimes misunderstood episode in Scottish history.

Ruth Tillyard ran a Finding your Artistic Voice short course for a group of members over a period of around 14 weeks. A description of the course can be found in the June 2016 BaM U3A newsletter, which can be downloaded from the BaM U3A Newsletters page.

Some short courses that were held in autumn 2015 were on the topics of 'Scottish Shellfish', 'Fungus Foray' and 'Dealing with Conflict'. The 'Fungus Foray' was run by a ranger at Mugdock Country Park and the other two were run by members of our U3A. All were enjoyed by those who attended.


Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.