Epsom & Ewell

Latest News

2 JULY 2020

Committee meeting update

The committee met virtually this morning using ZOOM and the
following decisions have been made.

Membership renewals

These will be deferred until 31st March 2021.

Our membership year will then run from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022
Subscriptions will remain at £15.00 per year and become due on 1st April 2021

Any new members that join in the interim period will pay a fee of £10
to cover their membership until 31st March 2021


We intend to hold our AGM virtually using ZOOM this October.

Please check the link on the events page to register your interest
in participating in this event.

We intend to mail out to all members the agenda and financial reports
that would normally be handed out on the day.

You will be asked to submit nominations for various committee posts
that will become vacant at the meeting as various members have completed
their three year term in office.

The meeting will run to the usual AGM format

AGM followed by a guest speaker
check the event page for details and booking link

U3A holiday

Linda Hollands will contact all members who have booked for this years
holiday regarding changes to the arrangements.

Christmas Lunch

Due to the ongoing situation with covid the committee feel that it is
unlikely that members would be happy to take a coach trip and be amongst
other members in close proximity bearing in mind the age and vulnerability
of a lot of our members.

We should have been going to Burford Bridge in Dorking on Monday 7th December 2020.
Having spoken to the hotel they have agreed to defer our booking until
Monday 7th June 2021.

The committee feel that a summer festival that falls in the same week as
National U3A day would be quite fitting.

Save the date


21 JUNE 2020

Late afternoon update

A member has queried what happens if they are not one of the 100 that our
Zoom pro account allows for, do they not get a chance to 'attend' a meeting?

Clarification as follows:
Our account allows 100 devices to log on to a meeting at any one time.

This would usually be sufficient for our monthly talks
For instance in March we had 115 members attend the talk.
This was made up of 38 couples and 39 single members -
assuming couples would view the presentation together,
for a virtual speaker we would therefore only need 77 devices logged in.

If there is enough interest amongst members we have the option to increase our capacity
to either 500 or 1000 devices, there is a cost for this which if there is enough interest
in ZOOM meetings from members the committee will review our spending plans and if
necessary look at increasing our capacity.

It's up to you as members to let us know what you want


21 JUNE 2020

Good afternoon members

This entry is timed at midday

Yesterday afternoon at 4.30pm we notified you that our virtual talks were going live and
that you could book via our events page.

We are really pleased with your response to our efforts

So far our bookings for the advertised monthly talks are as follows:

July 53 bookings
August 36 bookings
September 35 bookings
Virtual coffee morning 8 bookings

We're now going to add a virtual Group coffee morning for any groups that have not been meeting
for whatever reason but would like to get together for a virtual catch up.

The plan is to set up a coffee morning that you can all join and then we will split people into
their various groups for a catch up with friends they have been missing for a few months.
The booking form will have an extra question to ask which group you belong to in order that
we can assign you to the correct breakout room.

We'll gauge whether there is any interest for this from your responses.
Group leaders please contact your groups if you want to take part.


20 JUNE 2020

Please see the Events page for details of Virtual events that we are planning.

We can accommodate 100 devices for each event.

If you have two members in a household you only need to register once to each event but please
let us know for the Monday morning talks how many members will be viewing the talk.

This is in order that we can let our speaker know how many participants she is speaking to.



Good news - We are resuming our Monday talks on 6TH JULY 2020
All talks for the foreseeable future will be held VIRTUALLY using the ZOOM platform for which your committee have set up a PRO PACKAGE.

This will enable us to have 100 devices from members logged in to a talk or meeting at any one time for an unlimited duration.

We will of course put in place ALL safeguards as recommended by ZOOM and various other U3A'S who are using this system

In order to attend a meeting you will need to register an interest.
There will be a link to that meeting on the relevant event entry.
You MUST request to reserve your place on each individual talk in order that we can send an invitation to your personal email address 24hours ahead of the meeting.
This email will contain a link to the meeting with an ID reference and a password.

ALL meetings will start with all attendees in a waiting room, your host will then admit you to the meeting, when all attendees have been admitted the meeting will be locked.
This is to stop unwanted visitors accessing our meetings.

You are of course free to leave the meeting at any time by clicking on the leave button on your screen.


Please check out the group news page for information regarding group activities during lockdown.

Please check the U3A National website for details of activities, websites, online theatre, concerts,
U3A Keeping in touch Facebook page etc.

Also click on the right for the South East Region and Surrey Network newsletters - lockdown news, tips and ideas!



Update - National Trust properties have closed completely as people were not social distancing, many parks etc were busier than usual which is not helping to stop the spread of the virus.

National office have suggested that as many members as possible sign up to Facebook, although we realise that many members are unsure of social media sites this is a closed group, therefore it is only open to members.
When signing up you will be asked which U3A you are a member of, you just need to enter Epsom and Ewell, they do not need to know which groups you are in.
Once you have requested to join National Office will approve your request and then you can view the various messages that many other members are posting.
The Facebook page is called U3A keeping in touch
There are lots of ideas that other members have come up with to ease the isolation and also quite a lot of humorous posts that certainly help to lighten the gloom.
If you have difficulty signing up email U3AEpsom@gmail.com for assistance.



Ideas for social distancing and getting fresh air


National Trust

National Trust sites are open free of charge during the crisis, please note the coffee shops and houses are closed but the grounds and car parks are free to use check the website before visiting

Surrey sites are as follows: Headley Heath, Claremont Landscape Gardens, Morden Hall Park, Bookham Common, Box Hill, Reigate Hill and Gatton Park, Polesden Lacey, Ham House and Gardens, Denbies Hillside, Holmwood Common, Hatchlands Park, Abinger Roughs and Netley Park

Check the National Trust website before departing



Our nature reserves remain open and we hope that visitors will continue to enjoy these amazing places for wildlife observing while observing physical distancing measures. All car parking charges will be waived so people can enjoy these sites at no cost.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will be helping people to share their wildlife encounters and provide ideas for things you can do for wildlife close to home.

Nearest RSPB site to Epsom and Ewell that we can find is Farnham Heath, The Reeds Road, Farnham. GU10 2DL


Indoor pursuits

Have you tried virtual visiting of museums

Check out the following from your armchair and plan for when this crisis is over

The British Museum - London
Guggenheim Museum - New York
Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam
National Gallery of Art - Washington DC
National Museum of Modern Contemporary Art - Seoul
Pergamon Museum - Berlin
Van Gogh Museum - Amsterdam
The J Paul Getty Museum - Los Angeles
MASP - Sao Paulo
Uffizi Gallery - Florence
National Museum of Anthropology - Mexico City
Musee d'orsay - Paris


The following links are from our National office regarding Covid-19

Covid 19-keeping in touch
This link highlights ways for members to keep in touch during the period of social-distancing

U3A day coronavirus
This link explains to members about the planning for U3A day which was due to take place on 3rd June 2020 but has been postponed until 1st October

The next link is from our social team Rosie and Sue regarding the cancellation of outings.
Coronavirus-Social cancellations

We also advise members to check the National Office website which you can do via the button at the top of the page marked U3A.


During this next few months we are advising members to keep checking on our website as we will update the site regularly with any new information that we receive.

We consider that it is very important for our members to keep in touch with each other, either through social media (several groups have set up WhatsApp groups) or by email or telephone. Please also remember that some members may access their emails via local libraries and are therefore technically offline if the libraries close.


The National office have advised that there is a U3A Facebook page which is called U3A day that is a closed group (therefore it is for members of U3A's only) (currently 879 members) and it contains lots of ideas of how to survive the next few months when we are all so used to being very sociable, which is after all what the U3a is all about.


Out and about

For instance we have noticed a post that says that National Trust properties are suspending charges at their properties to enable people (whether you are a member or not) to enjoy the countryside. Their cafes, houses and shops will close by Friday 20th March so you will need to take a picnic, however if the weather is nice you will almost definitely be able to stay 1 metre away from anyone else enjoying the sunshine. (see details on their website)


If you have any ideas that you would like to share with other members that your group is doing to keep in touch, or information that you would like to share please do so by using the Epsom and Ewell enquiry email u3aepsom@gmail.com


Monday 16th March 2020

Covid-19 and the U3A

An email from Chris Grayling MP was circulated to all members last week which gave useful information from official sources.

Following on from that several groups have been unsure on what guidelines to follow with regard to group meetings. A couple of the group leaders have emailed their ideas as follows:

  • We follow Government guidelines but continue to meet so long as members want to.
  • Those hosting meetings should encourage attendees to wash their hands on arrival and before departure.
  • If anyone develops the symptoms (persistent cough, high temperature) they should immediately inform the other members.
  • No-one should feel they have to continue to attend meetings, we shall fully understand, but please let us know if you wish to stop coming for the time being.
  • Similarly, those who host regularly should not feel that they should continue to do so if they feel it puts them at extra risk.
  • We know that numbers may be down over the next few weeks so if you are unable to come to a particular session please let the 'host' or group leader know, even if it is at the last minute.
  • One group has set up a WhatsApp group to stay in touch, ideas like this keep us linked and also give us a chance to update each other as to our current status and also alert friends if you need help of any sort.

Stay safe and well


Monday 2nd March 2020

Monday morning meeting

This mornings speaker was Jane Turner from Watts Gallery which quite a few of the audience have visited at various times. Jane explained that there had been some major restoration going on at the gallery that has made a big improvement to the visitor experience. She gave us lots of details about the various buildings that are open to the public for viewing including the very popular tea rooms.
She had leaflets for members to take away giving details of the Gallery for visitors.
It was a very interesting talk attended by 116 members.

The new members table had to be relocated to the Azalea room as there was some storm damage to the roof in the main foyer that was being repaired, luckily it didn't inconvenience our morning too much.

The next Monday morning meeting is on April 6th when the speaker will be Malcolm Wells MBE


Tuesday 25 February 2020


The vice-chair has received an email from a member regarding the item on page 7 of February TAM magazine.

The member is asking if we are going to get involved in the Woodland Trust initiative to help our planet.

Are there any members with any knowledge of this scheme, the vice-chair has checked the Woodland Trust website and it appears that we need to find a piece of land, a 6 digit gps reference and obtain permission from the land owner before we can even submit a form.

This is a call to all members, does anyone have expertise in this area and also do any members want to get involved with this scheme.

You can email the vice-chair via the link on the contact page with your thoughts.


Monday 17th February 2020


A very warm welcome to all the new members who joined us for morning coffee to meet the committee and learn what U3A is all about and has to offer. We hope you enjoyed the morning and found it informative.

If there are groups that you are interested in then message the leader of that group on the groups page by clicking on the relevant 'bluebird'.

If the group you want is full then contact the group coordinators, Jenny and Brenda and they will compile a waiting list for a new group. As soon as they have enough enquiries they'll get you all together to discuss
setting up a new group. The sooner they know what you would like the sooner they can get you involved.

Our next members event is our Monday morning talk on Monday 2nd March at Bourne Hall, Ewell.


Thursday 13th February 2020


Yesterday our February copy of TAM magazine arrived.
As usual, it's time to settle down with a cup of tea and a biscuit for some very interesting reading.
The letters page struck a cord this month, Page 85 in particular.
This was ironic as it was something that Rosie and Sue - our social secretaries had spoken about at our last committee meeting.
If you read the earlier post for February 3rd you'll see how at this month's Monday meeting we are trying to make a difference.
In her letter one lady talked about a negative first impression of the U3A.
On arriving at a first visit to a U3A group she was told 'you can't sit there, it's Gwen's seat'.
Luckily as she points out in her letter 'I am big enough to handle myself'
What a difference five little words could have made, instead of a negative, what if the greeting had been 'that's Gwen's seat - but you can sit here.
They may have struck up a conversation and a firm friendship.
We're all guilty of guarding our own space, especially as we get older, but the U3A is about new beginnings and new friendships. Embrace it




Lots of new innovations for this month's meeting.

Rosie and Sue - our social secretaries suggested at our recent committee meeting that we set up a welcome table for new members at our monthly meeting.

This was our first month of trying it out and it got some very positive reactions from current and new members.

On arriving at Bourne Hall our new format means that new members and visitors are shown to a welcome table for a coffee and a chat with Jenny and Brenda - our group coordinators

Then a member of our meet and greet team escort them into this month's meeting to a reserved seat next to a U3A 'buddy' to enjoy their first speaker.

Also this month Clive - our hall and speaker liaison has designed a powerpoint presentation for our members to watch while they are signing in and getting settled ready for our guest speaker. The presentation was very informative and lots of members made very flattering comments.

Norman Brice - presented a very informative talk about the work of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission

The talk was very professionally executed with lots of detail, he obviously knows his subject very well.
At the end of the talk there was a question and answer session when our members asked a variety of questions on what was a very interesting subject.



Our open house event this year is on Monday 4th May at Bourne Hall, Ewell

This is the day to decide to do something different, what have you always
wanted to learn, what have you been putting off??

If we don't already have a group that you fancy why not set one up.
Talk to our group co-ordinators who will be at the event to explain exactly
how to get a group up and running.

Over 100 members have already taken that step - you could be next and who
knows how many new friends you'll make and new things you'll try.

It's up to you to take the plunge.

Our committee members are always looking for rising stars to take over the
reins when their term in office ends.
Each committee member serves for a term of 3 years.
Do you like organising events - join our travel team.
Do you miss the buzz of achievement since retirement
Join us
What difference could you make to YOUR U3A!!!