Shipston-on-Stour Area



Update April 2021

Let us all work and enjoy life together!
Welcome to this month’s UPDATE newsletter. We thought Spring had arrived but now we are not too sure! However with the lifting of some of the lockdown restrictions we can look forward to meeting our friends for a coffee, albeit out of doors, but what a difference that makes! Hopefully we are on course for further lifting of restrictions later in the month. So, reasons to be optimistic!
Your committee wish you a very Happy Easter weekend and hope that you are able to meet friends and family, perhaps whom you haven’t seen for many months.

April monthly meeting
April’s talk “A Schoolgirl’s War” will be given via Zoom by Mary Smith on Tuesday, 27th April 2021 at 2:00 pm
When Mary was head teacher of a large secondary school, two fascinating discoveries were made which give us a vivid and unusual insight into school life in WW2. One of these was the uncovering of an extensive set of tunnels used as underground classrooms, and the other was the discovery of a unique set of exquisite paintings created by a school art teacher as the war unfolded. She set out to document in paint and pencil the lives of school children and their teachers. Her work features the disrupted schooling, air-raids, doodlebugs, and underground lessons, which were experienced by so many children. Mary’s talk includes a selection of these paintings, together with some anecdotes from wartime pupils.

The meeting is open to all members and is free. Numbers are limited to 100 so pre-booking is necessary. All members with email will be sent an invitation to register for this event. Subsequently, those registered will be sent an email with a link to the talk.
There is no need to download Zoom, just click on the link up to 10 minutes before the time of the talk and follow the instructions.

The National u3a

The u3a newsletter provides information about Spring Learning Initiatives and u3a news and matters of interest.
Click here to open the newsletter in your browser, in which format you can zoom in to make it easier to read.

Here are some upcoming u3a events. Hold down control and click on the underlined date and time for further information and to register.

Grinling Gibbons: The Michelangelo of Woodcarving
Thursday 8 April, 10am

In this pre-recorded film launch, leading curators from the Wallace Collection, Royal Academy and the V&A discuss Britain’s famous woodcarver: Grinling Gibbons. Working between 1671 and 1721, Gibbons' trademark baroque sculptures are instantly recognisable.

Taste of Japan Repeat Talk
Tuesday 13 April, 2pm

Due to high demand, the Japan talk this month will be repeated in April. The talk will look at an exploration into Zen in everyday life and Temples, Shrines and Gardens.

Discovering Japan
Thursday 22 April, 10.30am
This exciting new talk looks at the Japanese Summer festivals, Japanese food and also offers a personal insight into living and working in Japan.

These and more can be found on the online events page.

Many online events are being delivered via the Zoom video conferencing/webinar platform. There are 'How to Guides' and 'Online Tutorials' for using Zoom that may assist you if you are not familiar with this tool. .
The West Midlands Region, have arranged a special online subject week devoted to Exploring World Faiths running for five weekday mornings on 12 – 16 April 2021. The week is being fronted by the National Subject Adviser Dr Peter Rookes and it will include contributions from many faith leaders. Registration for each of the five sessions is via Eventbrite and can also be accessed through the West Midlands u3a website on

Further links:

News from the Interest Groups
Whilst the Covid-19 restrictions still curtail some Groups, others are active, and more are making plans to restart as set out below.
• Ancient Greek - via Zoom.
• Art Appreciation – via weekly email
• Book Group - via Zoom. This month’s book is Home Going by Yaa Gyasi.
• Current Affairs - via Zoom.
• Latin - via Zoom.
• Mindfulness and Meditation - via Zoom.
• Orchestra - via Zoom on last Tuesday of each month. A particular piece is agreed in advance to practise in preparation for a splendid reopening.
• Painting and Drawing - The u3a Drawing and Painting group has been working at home and now meet once a month via Zoom. If anyone would like to join please email Jean at:
• Spanish Conversation – via Zoom.
• Walking from Shipston – Walking in groups of six has resumed on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10am.
Work is underway to introduce a new group Playing the ‘Ukulele’. More details will follow so please watch this space or to express an interest in joining the group contact the group coordinator via the web site.
If you are interested in joining a group, whether currently active or not, please make contact with the leader via

We are looking for volunteers for leaders to come forward for the 'dormant' groups, without leaders. This does not have to be a long term commitment but as a short term way to keep those group members informed of any developments etc. Please contact Lynne if you want to help out. Groups currently without a leader include Amblers, Photography and Wine Appreciation.

There is a fine exhibition of work done by the Painting/Drawing group and can be viewed on our website. Well done to everyone concerned!

Other matters of interest

Healthwatch Warwickshire would like to hear from people who are carers or provide care and support for a relative, friend or neighbour.
They want to:
1. Understand their health and wellbeing needs. What matters to them? What do they need to help them maintain their health and wellbeing?
2. Reach out to those who but don’t identify with the term ‘Carer’, but do have caring duties in order to raise awareness of support services available to them and their rights as a Carer.

Follow this link

Contributions for UPDATE

I would welcome members’ ideas and contributions for the monthly UPDATE.

Additionally the web manager (Christine Russel) welcomes news and items of interest from the groups. Please contact her so she can update the website.

Therese Woodward