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
2.30 pm in Clarendon Hall, York House

‘If only I knew then …’ by John Bowers

John Bowers talks about his experiences as an offender within the criminal justice system. After 15 years of crime, culminating in a particularly traumatic experience in solitary confinement, he resolved to ‘turn his life around’. Since then he has been a regular speaker at literally hundreds of schools and colleges throughout the country. "I paint a powerful, realistic picture of how criminal activity can impact on so many lives, and the problems faced by offenders of all ages – particularly the young".
2.30 pm in Clarendon Hall, York House

Groups-R-Us – a Celebration

Ever wondered what goes on in other groups? Come and join us for tea and scones, and to meet other members. A number of groups will have displays and demonstrations of what they get up to and members will be available to chat to you and share experiences!
2.30 pm in Clarendon Hall, York House

A Child in a Polish Ghetto by Barbara Marlow.

In 1939 Barbara, a Catholic of Jewish origin, was living in Warsaw, Poland with her family and enjoying the carefree life of a 9 year old girl. On September 1st, when war was declared, all that changed. Her father and elder brother were fortunate enough to leave Poland early in 1940 but, through a stroke of bad luck, Barbara and her mother were left behind.

Today, she will be talking about her life over the five and a half years of the German occupation which included 2 years in the Warsaw Ghetto and 2 years living with a false identity separated from her mother. During this time she took part in the Warsaw Uprising and, in the summer of 1944 whilst acting as a messenger, she was captured by the Germans. She managed to escape and was eventually reunited with her mother.
Together they left Poland in November 1945 as illegal migrants and were finally reunited with her father who was a member of the Polish Armed forces. Sadly, her elder brother, George, who was a navigator in the RAF and subsequently in the Polish Air Force in the UK , was killed in action in 1944. Barbara came to England in August 1946. After graduating from the London School of Economics, she had a long and successful career as an economist and statistician.
2.30 pm in Clarendon Hall, York House

Theatrical London by Diane Burstein.

This talk treats you to historical vignettes and anecdotes about some of our famous theatres. Discover how theatre developed from the Elizabethan playhouses of Bankside and Shoreditch, through the rise of restoration drama in Covent Garden to Shaftesbury Avenue’s Edwardian and Victorian theatres. Bringing things up to date, we’ll discover the birth of the Fringe and the current vogue for site specific theatre in unusual venues. The illustrated talk will include anecdotes about theatrical personalities, superstitions and traditions.

Members may remember Diane’s highly engaging talk to us on ‘Literary London’ a year ago. She has 20 years experience of working as a registered London Blue Badge Tour Guide, makes regular radio broadcasts on BBC London on the subject of “Secret London” and is a tutor on London themed courses for two leading adult education Institutes – City Lit and Bishopsgate Institute.
2.30 pm in Clarendon Hall, York House

Turner and the Thames by Catherine Parry-Wingfield.

This talk explores the inspiration of the Thames in Richmond for England’s greatest landscape painter, and the lure of this part of the river.

Members may remember Catherine’s fascinating talk to us about Venice in June, when she kindly stepped in as a replacement speaker. She is an art historian specialising in 18th century British and European painting and sculpture, has lectured for NADFAS (now The Arts Society) and major museums and galleries, and founded the Richmond society.
2.30 pm in Clarendon Hall, York House

Christmas – A Celebratory History by Andy Thomas.

In a fascinating and uplifting presentation, Andy uncovers the long and intriguing background to the festive season. The history of Christmas has not been straight forward: banned in Puritan times, its traditions splintered into many guises before it was rehabilitated by the Victorians.

Andy is a historian and researcher. He has written many books, lectures in Britain and abroad, and has made numerous radio and TV appearances. Members may remember Andy’s gripping talk to us about crop circles in November 2017.