Dart Valley

Monthly Meetings

2nd THURSDAY of the month, except August, 10 for 10.30 am

NEXT MEETING - 13th June 2019 - Annual General Meeting

Once again Jennifer Wright, Dart Valley U3A’s energetic and resourceful speaker secretary, came up with a first rate speaker for our monthly meeting in the Flavel on Thursday 9th May.

Before Brian Freeland was introduced to us our chairman Gail Richmond announced plans for our 20th birthday celebrations on 10th October - Judi Spiers the BBC radio and TV presenter as our speaker, birthday cake and buffet lunch. Following a very successful Open Day last month a second book group has been formed. We were also represented at the recent Dartmouth Together event.

Jack Richmond then welcomed our speaker Brian Freeland with his illustrated talk A Trip Down the River Charente, described by Henri IV as ‘the most beautiful river in my kingdom’. After National Service, Brian’s started his career as a trainee manager at the London Palladium, followed by stints with, amongst others, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sadlers Wells and Scottish Opera together with a couple of circumnavigations of the globe. Approaching retirement Brian decided to branch out into directing amateur operatics and giving talks, hence to-day’s presentation on the meandering 371 miles length of the River Charente with barely 50 yards going in a straight line. It is certainly a beautiful river as Brian’s photographs showed, but over the centuries it has been the border between warring forces (usually France and England), the invasion route for the Vikings, and, until the arrival of the railways, a vital transportation route. Now, with man-made lakes and beaches it is a popular tourist attraction. Cognac, with its huge distillery, is on the River Charente producing cognac of which only a small amount is consumed in France – quite a lot goes to England hence VSOP Very Superior Old Pale in English and not a translation. Brian also told us that a significant amount, about 3 per barrel, is lost annually by evaporation and this is known as the Angels Share.

Following questions, an entertaining vote of thanks was given by Stuart Rostron who, until fairly recently, owned a house in the Charente region. Chairman Gail Richmond concluded by reminding members of our next meeting, the AGM, on Thursday 13th June.

Dates for your Diary
Meetings
Thu Jun 13th Annual General Meeting

Talk by Mark Cooper, the Harbourmaster, followed by a short business meeting, then a glass of wine.

The business meeting will cover the usual AGM items: Chairman’s report, Accounts, Election of Officers etc. together with the approval of the Constitution.

To shorten this part of the meeting we will put all papers online (website) and include in the electronic mailing. For those not online we will print off the papers for them.
Thu Jul 11th Our Marie
A one woman performance based on the life of Marie Lloyd, the greatest star of the British Music Hall. Deidre Dee unfolds Marie Lloyd’s as a mixture of early riches and overnight success, unhappy marriages and brushes with an easily shocked
establishment.
Thu Sep 12th Oliver Twist: Providence, Parable the Poor
Dr Keith Hooper, a former student at Exeter University and author of a recently commissioned biography of Charles Dickens, provides a new perspective into the much loved story of Oliver Twist.