Latest News

Monthly Meeting: Wednesday 20 February 2019 - 10.30am
Venue: Beccles Public Hall
Speaker: Graham Higgins Tales from the Bench - a magistrate reviews his work
Admission: Free to U3A Members, £2.50 for Guests

Monthly Meeting - 16 January 2019

The Chair, Graham Jermyn opened the January monthly meeting by wishing everyone a Happy New Year and welcoming 114 members and guests and 6 new members who were introduced to the audience.

  • Two important dates were mentioned.

The first relates to Membership Renewal. Packs will be sent out during the next couple of weeks and members will be able to either renew via the post or pop into Beccles Public Hall on Friday 15th March between 9 am and 12 noon where they will be able to renew their membership, have a cup of tea or coffee and meet some group convenors. Members can also renew by the March (20th) and April (17th) monthly meetings.

The monthly meetings nearly always take place on the 3rd Wednesday in the month. However, the December meeting will clash with the pantomime this year so the December meeting will take place on December 11th 2019.

  • Arrangements for outings trips and events are well under way. Next up is Anglesey Abbey on 4th February. Price including transport is £40 reducing to £25 with National trust membership.
  • Thursford has been booked for 11th November and a deposit of £10 will secure your booking but numbers are now limited.

Monthly Talk - Dr Stephen Ashwork - How Lasers Work

Dr Stephen Ashworth Dr. Stephen Ashworth, a Senior Lecturer UEA, delivered an extremely entertaining and informative presentation on the subject of lasers and how they work. He incorporated a series of practical demonstrations throughout his talk and managed to explain this somewhat complex subject in terms we could all understand.

“Laser” is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A laser is created when the electrons in atoms in special glasses, crystals, or gases absorb energy from an electrical current or another laser and become “excited.” The excited electrons move from a lower-energy orbit to a higher-energy orbit around the atom’s nucleus. When they return to their normal or “ground” state, the electrons emit photons (particles of light).

These photons are all at the same wavelength and are “coherent,” meaning the crests and troughs of the light waves are all in step. In contrast, ordinary visible light comprises multiple wavelengths and is not coherent.

Laser light is different from normal light in other ways. First, its light contains only one wavelength (one specific color). The particular wavelength of light is determined by the amount of energy released when the excited electron drops to a lower orbit. Second, laser light is directional. Whereas a laser generates a very tight beam, a flashlight produces light that is diffuse. Because laser light is coherent, it stays focused for vast distances, even to the moon and back.

Lasers are now used in optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fibre-optic communications, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment. Research is also taking place into potential usage in the healthcare arena such as helping ‘clean’ arteries of plaque

To read Vicki's full report and to see up and coming talks for 2019 please go to Monthly Talk

Updating your group web page

I understand that there have been problems encountered logging in to the U3A Site Builder to make changes to some group pages.

Please can I remind all Convenors/Page Editors that all logins and passwords contain a mixture of Uppercase, Lowercase and Numbers. This is to satisfy the criteria set by the web designers to reduce the possibility of hacking.

Obviously I can't give and example of an actual login and password here, however below is an example of how your login and password has been constructed.

Login Example

The characters in red are Uppercase Letters and those in blue are numbers i.e. 010 = zero one zero (as opposed to 'O' 'l' 'O')

The characters in black are lowercase letters.

Please forgive me if I am pointing out the obvious, but if any of you, like me, learned to type in the days of old typewriters, it was common to use letters instead of numbers where possible as it made typing so much quicker! If its any consolation I still do it now and as for two spaces after a full stop, just don't go there!!!

Anyway, if anyone has any problems at all logging into their page, please let me know just so I can double check that I have given you the right login and password.

Events News

Dates for the Waveney 'Stardust' cruises are now available on the outings page

Date change for the'Munnings' visit - this will now be on the 25 March 2019 and not the 15th as previously advertised.

Group News

Walking 3 - The 2019 programme of walk has now been uploaded to the website. Hope you all enjoy your walking this year.

New Group - Computer Confidence - If you lack confidence using your computer, this is the group for you. Meeting between 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm on the 1st Wednesday and 3rd Tuesday of the month at Beccles Primary Academy (prev Crowfoot Primary School) Ellough Road, Beccles, the aim is to give you a grounding in what can be done on a computer. If you have a laptop, please bring it along. I'm afraid I do not have the name or contact details for the convenor, but as soon as I have them I will put them up.

Rowing - As the weather seems to be holding, the (summer) Rowing group has decided to continue getting out on the river on a Friday morning, weather permitting.

Group Grants If your group is in need of a little financial help, you may be able to take advantage of a Group Grant. Find out more about it by reading the Group Grants Notes then download the Group Grants Application

Badminton If you are looking for a fun way to keep fit over the winter, why not try your had at Badminton?