Brackley & District


Brackley U3A Monthly Speaker Meetings

The Monthly Speaker Meetings take place at 10:00 on the 3rd Thursday of each month, at Brackley Methodist Church, High St, Brackley, Postcode: NN13 7ZX

Next Monthly Speaker Meeting (Posted 18/11/2021)

Thursday 16th DecemberChristmas Social Meeting

Information about all our coming speakers for 2021/22 are detailed below.

2021 Meeting Schedule

Thursday 16th SeptemberAGM followed by Ken SmithAGM followed by Ken Smith's "Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro"(AGM 2021 - Supporting Documents)
Thursday 21st OctoberDavid Bell ("The Plague Doctor")Eyam and The PlagueDavid lives in the famous Derbyshire village of Eyam and he recounts the story of how the village got together to cope with the outbreak of The Great Plague in 1665. His talk is less formal lecture and more entertainment.
Thursday 18th NovemberU3A member speaker(s)Brackley Family History Group
Thursday 16th DecemberChristmas Social Meeting

2022 Meeting Schedule

Thursday 20th JanuaryRoy SmartWallis Simpson & the 1936 Constitutional CrisisRoy writes as follows: Recently I completed a topic  that has , coincidentally,  an uncanny relevance to current ‘Royal’  news and events, and one that captured forever the world’s attention and imagination :     Wallis Simpson and the Abdication crisis of 1936 – the year of Three Kings !   This of course concerns the life of American  Wallis Simpson and her role in the extraordinary constitutional crisis  in a year that saw Britain and the Empire have three monarchs  as we moved inexorably towards the second World War.  This dramatic story is also richly illustrated and given additional pathos, humour and intensity  with musical interludes.
Thurday February 17Christine GreenWorking for AuntieChristine was a graphic designer who worked for the BBC for many years, producing work for various shows (Tracey Beaker, Foyle’s War, Our Friends in the North, the Queen’s Christmas Speech, the Holiday Programme, Hamish Macbeth and others). She was BAFTA nominated for her work on Cambridge Spies. Christine shares her work, her storyboards and various graphics, astonishing us with her versatility and attention to detail. I have had many emails from our members to say how much they enjoyed the talk and how impressed and amused they were by her clarity and energy in the presentation itself.
Thursday 17th MarchDavid Skillen5 years in 50 mins (American Civil War)The talk is a comprehensive summary of the American Civil War, from April 1861-April 1865, almost exactly 5 years to the day, which had such devastating consequences for a still developing nation but also transformed the nation’s position on slavery.
Thursday 21st AprilJohn HopeExtra Time, the story of the 2004 TsunamiForty Thousand people lost their lives in Sri Lanka in the Tsunami of 2004. This story pays tribute to them but covers details of how my wife and myself survived, including the escape and what happened next. The latter includes a return to the country, providing employment but also to encourage overseas investment in order to help local people. It also explains how we overcame problems in operating in the country but then faced further challenges.
Thursday 19th MayRosemary LeeperThe History of BrackleyA short talk following the AGM on Old Brackley, how the town developed
Thursday 16th JuneCatherine JonesFrom Guns & Roses to Hearts & FlowersCatherine is a former Army officer who has been writing romantic novels since 1990, She is the twentyfourth elected Chairman of the Romantic Novelists' Association.
Thursday 21st JulyCaryl (Carol) BillinghamBrackley’s new hospitalCaryl will speak about the new Brackley Community Hospital
Thursday 18th AugustOpen meeting
Thursday 15th SeptEve BaconEdward Jenner & History of VaccinologyPerhaps never has the subject of vaccination been so relevant to our way of life than during Covid. This talk explains how Edward Jenner (1749-1823) an English physician and scientist, first developed the technique of vaccination and how he got it accepted by a sceptical society. The story of its development is considerably more complicated than we may think.
Thursday 20th OctoberDr Charles LeeOscar SchindlerCharles Lee is a retired former teacher, who now lectures to institutions and groups both nationally and internationally on a wide range of subjects. This talk is called Oscar Schindler: The Making of a Legend and is a look at the true life story of the man who inspired Stephen Spielberg’s film ‘Schindler’s List’
NovemberBrackley Family History Group

Previous Speakers:-

November 2021 Speakers - Brackley u3a Family History Group.

Our very own Roger and Carol Lewry gave a very professional presentation that included some extremely interesting colour slides and facts about Cleopatra’s Needle and how it was transported to the UK. What a journey! It turned out that engineers involved and were around at the time were related to Roger and Carol. Many years later Carol and Roger met and married. What a small World!

Next, we had the leader of our Family History group, Graham Irvine, talk to us about Ellis Island in New York. This island was the main dropping off point for immigrants entering America and in particular one of them was a distant relation to Graham. Graham then explained in detail just how difficult it was to actually gain entry, especially if you didn’t travel 1st or 2nd class. Millions of people who could only afford to travel ‘steerage’ were exposed to some gruelling interrogation upon arrival.
Again, a well-researched and interesting insight into ‘Family History’.

A huge ‘Thank You’ to Carol, Roger and Graham

October 2021 Speaker ....David Bell (The Plague Doctor)
Thank you to those members who turned up to our speakers meeting, and weren’t we treated to something quite special!
Our speaker, David Bell, enthralled us with the story of the Derbyshire village of Eyam and how the entire population were all but lost to The Plague. David also gave us some hilarious insight as to how certain ‘medical conditions’ were treated all those years ago. We were introduced to Samuel Pepys (or at least a life size dummy of him) along with the surgical instruments that would have been used on him to rid him of his ‘personal’ problems. David was a brilliant presenter and his anecdotes, including some from his own family life, were very amusing. Well done to our own John Moore for finding and booking this entertaining speaker.

September 2021 Speaker .... Ken Smith. - "Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro"
Following the AGM we were entertained by a fascinating talk from Ken Smith. As a dashing young man Ken travelled to Africa to become a teacher. His colourful slides gave us an insight into his early teaching career along with the great adventure he had when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Ken, a brilliant mathematician, went on to become a pioneer in the magical world of computing, a world we’d never heard about all those years ago.

October 2019 Speaker .... Andy Smith.
For those of you who came along, thank you all for your support, it really is very much appreciated. Just over 100 members enjoyed some wonderful anecdotes and songs from the brilliant and very talented Andy Smith. When Andy finished with us in Brackley he had to dash off to a theatre in Malvern to put the finishing touches to a show he had written and produced. I'm told that the show was to run for two days and was completely 'sold out'. He also works extremely hard for his chosen charities, a hospice in Rugby and 'Ovarian Cancer Research'. Andy's wife died just last month from this terrible disease and although he and his whole family were obviously devastated he contacted me and said that he would still very much like to come along to entertain us.

What a truly inspirational man.

The September 2019 'Speaker' meeting
A huge 'thank you' to those of you who came along to our September meeting to hear our speaker, Alan Tumber. Wasn't he good !
He could play the guitar, sing, tell some funny stories and recite some hilarious 'poems'. Alan's last song, 'Only Remembered', from the show War Horse was so moving he brought tears to our eyes. He had yours truly in floods ! According to many of you Alan is one of the very best entertainers we've featured in Brackley.

For those of you who could not make the June 2019 meeting
The presenter was Graham Short a 'micro engraver' and an absolute genius at his art. Graham, a colourful energetic speaker came all the way from the other side of Birmingham to see us. What a character he was, with his yellow/black shoes and white jacket emblazoned with colourful flowers! He shared some wonderful and very amusing anecdotes with us, including some lovely memories involving members of the Royal Family. Graham has his own studio in The Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, but as he works mainly from midnight to sunrise you probably won't see him at his bench! Have a look online, you'll be amazed at what he does!