Richmond upon Thames


MONTHLY MEETINGS take place at 2.30pm on the last Wednesday of each month, except December, and are held at the Clarendon Hall, York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ. There is limited car parking for a maximum of two hours but York House is on the bus routes 33, R68, R70, H22 and 490 (Lebanon Court bus stop).

We usually have a speaker, with a varied programme of subjects.

Local and National U3A news items are displayed on a noticeboard in the meeting room together with other items of local interest.

Members pay £1 (please bring your membership card) and non-members £2, which includes refreshments.

Dates for your Diary
Wed Jan 31st MONTHLY MEETING Clarendon Hall, York House 2:30

Richmond Park during both World Wars by Diana Loch

Diana has always loved the park and, in 2007, became a volunteer at the Information Centre there. That meant acquiring more knowledge and general facts for the visiting public.

She became increasingly curious as to what else went on in the park especially during the two World Wars, and her research provides a fascinating insight: Military camp, the Royal Flying Corps, the Richmond and South African Hospitals, the Phantom Squad, radar installations, Starfish decoys and agriculture.
Wed Feb 28th MONTHLY MEETING Clarendon Hall, York House 2:30

China - Beyond the Wall by Paul Whittle

Highlights of a 2,000 mile journey from Beijing to the mountainous Jing Peng region of Inner Mongolia. The hidden side of China.

Paul, a retired Major, served for 34 years in the Royal Corps of Signals, Territorial Army and has written and published the history of his regiment. He has a keen interest in military history and heritage transport and is Vice-Chairman of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society.

He has been a public speaker since 2003 and gives 130+ talks each year, funding charities for young children and students in India and Burma. He is Cruise lecturer for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and Oceania.

A keen traveller, he has visited over 50 countries, including such relatively unusual destinations as Armenia, Burma, Syria, and Eritrea. He has also crossed the Sahara Desert, and recently returned from a 2,500 mile trip in Siberia.
Wed Mar 28th MONTHLY MEETING Clarendon Hall, York House 2:30

Chaucer – Life, Times and Writing by Shirley Levy

Chaucer has been described as both the Father of English Poetry and the 'first fyndere of oure faire langage’. Both his life and the times in which he lived will be looked at, to see how appropriate these titles are. Beginning by setting the scene in 14th century London, we will also consider the diversity of his work.

Shirley Levy was educated during the war, and left school "the moment I could persuade my parents to allow this". After some years performing (badly,she says)in various office jobs, the most significant of which being in the EFDS, she trained as a teacher. For 30 years she taught in an inner London Comprehensive School serving White City and Shepherds Bush. After taking early retirement, she did an English degree at Birkbeck College and followed this up by an MA in Medieval Literature and Languages. She has been a Coordinator at U3A since about 1999.
Wed Apr 25th


Wed May 30th MONTHLY MEETING Clarendon Hall, York House 2:30

An Introduction to the ‘Panorama of the Thames’ Project by Jill Sanders and John Inglis

This project is creating a contemporary record of the Thames Riverside between Hampton and Tower Bridge. The riverside is changing so rapidly that, during the course of their work, many of the buildings they have recorded have already changed or been replaced. The project includes historical panoramas, providing the opportunity to compare the present with the past. It is funded entirely by local community groups, and individuals who care about the riverside.

John’s background is in films, editing and latterly photography. As a film professional he specialised in visual effects and has put this capability to good use with the unique seamless images of the river bank in the Panorama of the Thames project.

Jill trained as a journalist and worked in various media, as well as in the charity and local government sectors. She enjoys researching and writing, and has been working with local historians on the editorial in the book and website.
Wed Jun 27th MONTHLY MEETING Clarendon Hall, York House 2:30

Egypt – from Nomads to Nation by Janet Diamond

On trying to simplify the very complex, 3000 year-long story of this amazing empire, Janet starts with the pre-dynastic history of Ancient Egypt – the time before the pharaohs. She begins by looking at the landscape and geography of the early settlers; the movement of the semi-nomadic people of the Savannah, away from the grassland to their settling in the Nile Valley. Janet investigates their unique geography, fabulous wealth, deep theology, and artistic and creative skills that were the backdrop to the development of this incredible culture.

The talk then takes you through to the unification of Ancient Egypt – ‘The Two Lands’, and to the beginning of pharaonic rule, which set the scene for the culture which went on to achieve the incredible feat of building the world’s first pyramid – The Step Pyramid at Saqqara.

Janet went to live in Cairo with her husband and young son in the early 1980’s, when her fascination with Egyptology began. It was not an easy time to be there, Egypt having experienced many changes and disruptions during its recent history. Although living there proved to be a challenging time, she describes it as "a most compelling experience – one I would not have missed, for the rewards were unique and immeasurable ... the beauty, enormity and complexity of the monuments struck me as they could never have done simply from reading. I was overwhelmed, awe-struck – and hooked!" So began a passion which has remained with her, constantly reading and learning more and wanting to share, "to entertain, enlighten and inform".