THURSDAY Meetings and the COVID-19 Pandemic

We will be continuing with having our Thursday talks online, using Zoom video conferencing software, for the forseeable future. Dates and details of the talks for the remainder of the Winter term are shown below and we are in the process of arranging further talks into the Summer of 2021.
The talks are run using Zoom video conferencing software - see our GROUPS page for more information on Zoom. Ealing U3A has now purchased a large user Zoom licence so we can accommodate 500 participants but, for those unable to access the talk 'live', we plan to record each talk and make the recording available to our members afterwards.


Even with a Covid Vaccine on the horizon, we still think it will be some time yet before we are able to resume Thursday morning meetings at Ealing Green Church, so we have scheduled a series of 'virtual' Coffee mornings and Talks for the term from January through to Easter. This also includes our AGM which will be held in March over Zoom. Details of all these events are shown below.

  • Thur 4 March, 10.30am - Ealing U3A 'virtual' Coffee Morning.

An opportunity for Ealing U3A members to talk to small groups of other members on a variety of topics. These sessions are run using a feature of Zoom called ‘Breakout Rooms’ where we put meeting attendees into separate rooms with 6 – 8 people in each for a discussion.

  • Thur 11 March, 10.30am - The Brontes and Politics: Revolution and Reform by Dr Simon Avery, Reader in 19th Century Literature and Culture, University of Westminster. Dr Avery has a long standing interest in women’s writing of the period and the ways in which 19th century writing generally engaged in political debates. Dr Avery last spoke to us in February 2019 on 'The Life and Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning'.

Our images of the Brontë family are often ones which emphasise their isolation, hidden away in the gothic-like Parsonage in Haworth, wandering out onto the moors, and somehow creating astonishing novels like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall out of nowhere.
In this talk, Simon Avery will offer a different way of looking at this extraordinary family which shows just how politically engaged they were throughout their lives. From the family’s Irish background through ideas about war and revolution, leadership and the nation, slavery and women’s rights, the lives of the Brontës were intertwined with many of the major social and political debates which shaped the first half of the nineteenth century. And it was these debates which would also shape the Brontës’ remarkable creative output in their poetry, fiction, essays and art. As Charlotte Brontë’s friend Mary Taylor put it in the 1840s, the family were nothing less than ‘furious politicians’

  • Thur 18 March, 10.30am - Ealing U3A 'virtual' Coffee Morning.

Another of our Coffee Morning sessions to provide an opportunity for Ealing U3A members to talk to small groups of other members on a variety of topics. These sessions are run using a feature of Zoom called ‘Breakout Rooms’ where we put meeting attendees into separate rooms with 6 – 8 people in each for a discussion.

  • Thur 25 March, 10.30am - Ealing U3A AGM plus a talk on the American artist Georgia O'Keeffe: Deserts, Flowers and Skulls by Jill Thumpston, Ealing U3A member.

Our Annual General Meeting which is needed to consider the Chairman and Treasurer reports and elections for a new Committee. Details and a full Agenda will be published nearer the time. (Our AGM scheduled for March 2020 was cancelled due to the start of the Covid pandemic, but relevant reports are available on the INFO page).
Following the formal AGM, there will be a short talk on the American artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) by Jill Thumpston, a leading member of the Ealing U3A Art Appreciation group

The SPRING term begins on Thursday 8 April 2021 with a 'virtual' Coffee Morning.

When we are in a position to consider a resumption of meetings at Ealing Green Church, the Committee will advise members of the arrangements for these meetings. It is likely that we will not be able to accommodate a full attendance, so the Committee is investigating how to broadcast these talks via the Internet. Further information will be published on this page as the situation evolves.


Details of past Zoom talks we have had this term are shown below. This also includes information on any recordings of these talks that are available.

  • Thur 25 February - Keeping You Safe From Frauds and Scams (Before the pandemic our speakers would have been out and about visiting groups such as ours, schools, youth groups etc educating and presenting on scams awareness and financial capability lessons. In this talk they gave advice, hints, tips and ways to help you to spot scams and how not to become a victim) by Sally Schofield with Mark Mullally from NatWest Bank, who are both Community Bankers for NatWest with over 60 years experience between them.
  • Thur 11 February - "Turpin: The Notorious", adapting the Real and Imagined for Television (This talk considered the 18th century outlaw Richard (Dick) Turpin who was the most famous criminal of his time. 'Turpin: The Notorious' is a practice as research PhD, with a four-part TV series script as its artefact. The thesis looked at how a hierarchy of sources, from contemporary newspaper reports to adaptations in a variety of media (ballads, literature, comics, theatre, film, TV), can be used to create a re-telling of the Turpin story which synthesises historical 'fact' with creative surmise) with Alastair Hagger, a Doctoral Researcher in Creative Writing at the London School of Film, Media and Design at the University of West London.
  • Thur 28 January - “Nothing so “ex” as an ex MP” (This talk covered aspects of his life since he retired from the House of Commons and also reminiscences from his time in Parliament) with Stephen Pound, ex-MP for Ealing North who left Parliament at the December 2019 election.
  • Thur 14 January - How Tropical Rainforests work (Tropical rainforests are the most biologically diverse and complex habitats on the planet. In this talk, David outlined the main ecological processes that keep the forests functioning, and described the current threats that surround their long-term survival) with Dr David Jones of the Natural History Museum and a Lecturer at Imperial College who is an entomologist specialising in rainforest insects and soil ecology.

Details of past Zoom talks during 2020 can now be found through the Zoom Talks 2020 link on the rhs of this page.

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In normal circumstances our Meetings are held weekly, on Thursday mornings in Ealing Green Church (almost opposite Ealing Film Studios).

These Meetings usually start at 10:00am. They begin with announcements and any in-house business. This is followed by the speaker's presentation (from around 10:15am) during which there is a break of approx. 15mins. There is usually time for a Q&A session after the talk and the proceedings finish by 12:00 noon

The committee would like to pay thanks to our two Speaker Organisers, Rosemary Richardson and Yvonne Hughes for the talks they have organised for this year, and we have an excellent selection of speakers to look forward to. If you have any suggestions for talks or possible speakers, please speak to Rosemary or Yvonne at a Thursday meeting, or email the Talks Organiser.

The committee would also like to thank Marie Todman on the fine job she did in arranging the talks for 2019, which we are sure that people would agree were an interesting and stimulating selection.


Photos of our most recent speakers are displayed on this page. Photos of previous speakers are shown on the relevant sub-page