Caterham & District

Previous Events

Zoom talks 2021.

  • 11th Jan - Rupert Mathews gave a talk on The History of Buttons Today we take buttons very much for granted. When we buy a new outfit it comes with buttons attached, and when we discard the clothes the buttons go with it. But this very familiarity has bred contempt for what is really a highly sophisticated bit of practical clothing. This books starts back in antiquity before buttons were invented to show how our ancestors had problems keeping their clothing done up – and even on their persons. The invention of buttons is covered, along with the various innovations in fashion that followed rapidly. The talk also looks at the different types of button used over the centuries and at the very special uses to which buttons have been put by the fashion-conscious, spies, the military and the pearly kings and queens of London before finishing with a word about modern fashion etiquette that would be impossible without buttons.

Zoom talks 2020.

  • 7th Dec - Rupert Matthews gave a talk on The History of Father Christmas. Father Christmas is most familiar to us today as a jolly old boy dressed in a red suit with white fur trimming. He visits homes on Christmas Eve to leave presents for good children [but not for bad children] and to scoff up any brandy or mince pies that might be left out for him, while his reindeer snack on the carrots. Our jolly Santa is often dismissed as an invention of the Coca Cola company or as a Victorian whimsy, but in fact his origins are much, much older and considerably darker than most people could possibly imagine. Come on a journey back into our pagan past to discover the origins of Father Christmas and find out how he developed into the figure that we know and love today.
  • 13th Nov - Mary Brooks, a City of London Guide, gave a talk about How the City made its money. From the time of the Romans to today, the City of London has been a financial powerhouse. In this virtual tour of the City we visit the people and places with connections and stories related to its financial history. We also look at how and why the City of London has retained its unique position within both national and local government.
  • 26th Oct - David Allen gave a talk about Manners Please Dearest - the do’s and don’ts of theVictoria Upper Middle Class. Courtship, calling cards, dinner party etiquette and the mysterious language of the fan.
  • 16th Oct - Cllr Bob Milton gave a talk about My life as a close Protection officer
  • 28th Sep - John Nathan gave a talk about Yellowstone in Winter. John is a keen amateur photographer, and enjoys going to remote places. A few years ago he visited Yellowstone national Park, the first national park. It is in a remote part of Wyoming in the USA. Millions visit it in the summer, but in winter there is a lot of snow, and private vehicles are not allowed in the park. He showed many pictures of the scenery and wildlife of this magical place.
  • 18th Sep - Lesley Day gave a talk about The City of London Livery Companies. If you have ever been to or watched the Lord Mayor’s parade on TV, chances are you may be slightly confused. Why do some of the floats have strange names like ‘The Cordwainers Company’ and ‘The Worshipful Company of Loriners’? Why are they all dressed like Shakespearian characters? What is a Sheriff doing in the City of London? And just what has Dick Whittington got to do with it anyway?
  • 24th Aug - Jenny Mallin gave a talk about A Grandmother's Legacy. Her great aunt Constance was a woman of high social status and a wife of a British official, born in 1898 with a good social standing. as a burrah memsahib with a husband working for the Indian civil service in Burma during 1943 just as the Japanese attacked Rangoon.
  • 14th Aug - Roger Dale gave a talk entitled Conquering Kilimanjaro via Berlin, Warsaw and Machu Picchu where Roger, in the space of 5 years, climbed Kilimanjaro, traversed the Andes to Machu Picchu, rode a bicycle from Berlin to Warsaw (480 miles in 6 days) whilst dealing with mountain sickness, mountain rescue, Inca civilisation, saddle soreness, muggings, chats with Derek Hatton and hobnobbing with Edwina Currie.
  • 27th July - James Taylor gave a very knowledgeable talk about Forgotten Art of the Picture Postcard telling of the brilliant British humour. Artist drawn postcards were the most popular art form in the Edwardian era to the outbreak of World War II.
  • 17th July - Ian Bevan gave a very interesting illustrated talk entitled From Nell Gwyn to Willy Wonka about the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which was built in the early 1660s when Thomas Killigrew was given a patent by Charles II to put on dramas. Since then, there have been three other buildings on the site. This talk traces the history of the Theatre Royal including the productions and the characters that have graced its stage over the centuries.
  • 29th June - Dananjaya Silva gave a very knowledgeable talk on the History of Tea, about the history behind Britain's most loved beverage. From its origins in China, the East India Company's monopoly, the intrepid British pioneers who went to establish tea estates in India and Ceylon to the modern day trade.
  • 19th June - Ian Bevan gave a very interesting illustrated talk on the History of the Crystal Palace, tracing the history of the building from its inception, its role in the Great Exhibition, the entertainments on offer, and its demise in the tragic fire in 1936.
  • 29th May - our first 'Zoom talk' in which Roger Dale gave us his entertaining talk on The Trials and Tribulations of a modern Magistrate.

Oct 2019.
At our open meeting Howard T'Loosty spoke on My Life in Showbusiness. As an entertainment agent he worked with many famous names and faces and related many tales of his experiences of working with them.
We also held a Quiz Night with Fish and Chip Supper, at the United Reform Church, Caterham. Phil Wright, was our popular Quiz Master.

Sep 2019.
At our open meeting we had a talk on the Kenley Airport Revival project - about the protection and conservation of this local airfield.
We organised a Skittles Evening with Buffet Supper, which was held at the Limpsfield Royal British Legion Club.

Jul 2019.
At our open meeting we had an illustrated talk by Neil Sadler entitled "California Dreaming". Alcatraz to the Grand Canyon via Route 66, with fascinating stories of places visited along the route. A road trip in western America .... with a twist!.
We also organised a Summer Lunch at Bletchingley Golf Club.

Jun 2019.
At our open meeting we had at talk by Michael Grillo entitled "Two Kinds of Teardrops". It told the "stranger than fiction" life stories of Roy Orbison and Del Shannon.

May 2019.
At our open meeting we had at talk by Neville Lyons on 'How Post War Austerity brought Glamour to the Lyons Teashops'. Neville was a relative of the company's co founder. He told the story of how, in the 1940's, the Lyons Teashop directors commissioned 30 artists to produce lithograph prints to decorate the walls, these include L S Lowry, John Piper and John Nash. The resultant lithographs decorated the walls from 1947 until their closure in the 1970's.
We arranged a Coach Trip to Cambridge. Following our very successful trip to Oxford last September we decided to redress the balance and offer a coach trip to Cambridge.
We also held a New Members Lunch for recently joined members of Caterham U3A at the Crown and Pepper restaurant in Caterham. This was an informal lunch, which gave new members an opportunity to meet the committee and other new members in relaxed and friendly surroundings.

Apr 2019.
At our open meeting we had at talk by David Allen entitled "The Weird and Wonderful World of the Law". Great fun and plenty of big laughs. A hugely enjoyable romp through the legal world, drawing on over 25 years as a locum solicitor traveling around the country encountering raging judges, dotty clients and weird cases. We joined David on a sideways journey through bizarre true life oddities, daft old laws still in place and political correctness gone mad.

Mar 2019.
At our open meeting we had at talk by Beth Wood on the work of the Prospero Theatre.
Exhibition. Our U3A took a stand at the Warlingham Hobbies exhibition at All Saints Church Hall in Warlingham. About 20 local groups took part.

Feb 2019.
At our open meeting we had at talk on Lasting Powers of Attorney, by Chris Chippendale, Managing Director of “LPA’s Made simple” explaining why it is important to make and register a Lasting Power of Attorney. He pointed out some of the problems which might arise if you do not have an LPA in place, and he guided us through the various steps to be taken to complete the task.

Jan 2019
Our Art group staged an exhibition in Caterham Valley Library.

Sep 2018
We had a visit to Kempton Park, a twilight event with a meal in the Panoramic restaurant, overlooking the finish line.

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Some photographs taken at past social events and visits are displayed below

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