Dart Valley

Monthly Meetings

2nd THURSDAY of the month, except August, 10 for 10.30 am. Currently Zoom only.
For the programme of talks for 2021 please download the leaflet '2021 Programme' on the right.

Report of the last talk on the Natural World of Winnie the Pooh by Kathryn Aalto

On Thursday 10th December, members of the Dart Valley u3a were treated to a talk via Zoom on the subject of the much-loved Winnie the Pooh. Around thirty-five members listened in to the talk given by Kathryn Aalto, an American historian and writer who has lived in Devon for many years.

This subject is of local interest as Christopher Robin Milne owned The Harbour Bookshop in Dartmouth for 35 years. Kathryn gave us a very lively and informative talk on how the books came to be written. After attending Trinity College, Cambridge, A.A. Milne wrote for Punch magazine where he befriended E.H. Shepard who illustrated his books with simple but charming black and white drawings. The audience was asked to guess how much the original Pooh sticks bridge illustration went for at Sotheby’s and was astonished to hear that it went for £314,500. Daphne Milne, Christopher’s wife, bought all the stuffed animals with which we are now so familiar, for example, Piglet, Roo and Tigger. Interestingly, they are all now on view at the New York Public Library! It was suggested that a more appropriate home for them would be the children’s toy museum in Greenwich!

If you are interested in reading more about this subject, Kathryn has written a book entitled The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh which is available at the bookshop in Foss Street, Dartmouth.

Next month’s u3a talk, given by Peter Edwards, will be on the Death of Venice and will take place by Zoom on 14th January 2021 at 10:15am. All members will be sent a link nearer the time.

Wendy Rayment Cullen Dart Valley u3a Committee member

Dates for your Diary
Thu Feb 11th Old Dartmoor – Paul Rendell
The editor of Dartmoor News invites us to come on a wonderful journey and look at things that have changed over the years from travel to houses to villages and towns. Paul Rendell will be using old postcards and photographs of Dartmoor to help bring back memories of the ‘Good Old Days’.
Thu Mar 11th The Great Exhibition of 1851 – Adam Hart Davis
The Industrial Revolution had been gathering pace for some 75 years, and in 1851 the movers and shakers staged a ‘Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of Nations.’
Six million people flocked into London to visit the Crystal Palace, and marvel at the envelope folding machine, the leech-powered tempest prognosticator, the stuffed elephant, the Koh-i-Noor diamond and 13,000 other exhibits, not to mention public lavatories, where 327,000 people chose to spend a penny
Thu Apr 8th Agatha Christie: Her Life and her Deadly Poisons – Janet Sellick
Agatha Christie’s life was as dramatic as her fiction. Janet Sellick will reveal her deadly dispensary of poisons. Agatha’s books were only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare. Find out how Torquay’s famous daughter came to enjoy worldwide success and leave a legacy both local and global.
Thu May 13th Restoring the Balance – David Ramsden
David Ramsden, Head of Conservation at the Barn Owl Trust, will show how the changing farming practices impact on the lives of barn owls. David will illustrate the close links between barn owls and people and show the environmental consequences of everyday human activities.
Thu Jun 10th The Human Face of Dartmoor Prison
Glossing over the origins of the oldest working prison in the UK, its initial purpose and its first occupants we take a closer look at some of the events, staff and “characters of the last 150 years. Although there is a darker side to Prison Life, I will be including some anecdotes and stories which will present a lighter side to the subject
Thu Jul 8th Cybercrime snapshot
Providing an insight into cybercrime in Devon and Cornwall, with the latest local and national threats and advice and guidance on how to protect yourselves whilst online
Thu Sep 9th A Photographic Tour of 50 gems of South Devon.
Gary Holpin is a professional photographer who has explored Devon extensively. He presents a whistle stop photographic tour of his pick of the gems of our beautiful county. Some are well known such as beautiful Regency Sidmouth but many are hidden gems like Scorhill stone circle or Brentnor church.
Thu Oct 14th New Orleans to New York.” A Musical Journey from Jazz to Musical Theatre.
Pianist Roger Browne, will be creating live jazz interpretations of the music, written for the stage, by greats such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and Jimmy Van Heusen, whilst relating hilarious stories of the people, places and events that have coloured this remarkable life making music in Europe and the USA.
Thu Nov 11th Being a Yeoman Warder
Our Speaker John Keohane was Chief Yeoman Warder, the most senior member of the Sovereign’s Bodyguard based at the Tower of London, and often referred to by visitors as “Beefeaters”. One ceremonial role of the Chief Yeoman Warder involves the nightly closing down ceremony of the Tower known as the Ceremony of the Keys.
Thu Dec 9th The Clown Prince of Denmark
Jim Redman will give a brief biography of the famous Danish musician/comedian Victor Borge with video excerpts from his performances on Television and on stage.

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