Monthly meetings are held on the 4th. Friday of the month at the Edgar Community Hall, Somerton.
We open at 10am for coffee (30p) and the chance for members to meet and chat.
The meeting will start at 10.30 and after announcements and any business will be followed by our guest speaker.
The meeting closes at 12 noon.
Please join us.
Members free. Non-members £1.50p
|Dates for your Diary|
|Fri May 24th||
Following the A.G.M. we will have Kirsty Jenssen, Service Manager for the Royal Voluntary Service, responsible for the Home Library Service talking to us.
Royal Voluntary Service volunteers help in all sorts of ways:
|Fri Jun 28th||'A Freezing Horror': The wreck of the Halsewell, 1786.|
An illustrated talk by Mr. Philip Browne.
One of the most dramatic shipwreck disasters on an English shore will be the subject of our talk by Dorset writer, Philip Browne. Drawing on his recent prize-winning book he will describe the terrible events that shocked the nation when a huge East India Company ship was wrecked on the Purbeck coast. On board were the Captain's teenaged daughters, his nieces and several other young ladies, bound for India in search of rich husbands. Despite the dramatic rescue of some of the crew, Captain Peirce and all the young ladies were drowned. In 1786, the peculiar circumstances of this disaster caught the public imagination and filed the newspapers for weeks. More than two centuries later, the story of the Halswell still has the power to move us.
Philip Browne was born and educated in Ireland, graduating from Trinity College, Dublin with a B.A. and a Higher Diploma in Education. He taught English in a Dublin secondary school before emigrating in 1973 to the U.K. Then followed nearly 40 years working in education, first as a teacher and subsequently as an education adviser with Dorset Education Authority. Since retiring in 2010, he has researched and written the historical biography, 'The Unfortunate Captain Peirce and the Wreck of the Halsewell East Indiaman, 1786', published in 2016 by Hobnob Press. It is his first book. Phillip is married with two sons. He continues to live in Dorset, an area that he loves.
Copies of the book will be on sale after the talk at the discount price of £10. In July, it won the Hall & Woodhouse Dorchester Literary Festival Writing Prize 2018.
|Fri Jul 26th||
The Genes of Isis
Why Ancient Egypt is known as the Mother and Father of All Things
Somerset author Dr. Justin Newland will give this lively, illustrated talk. He will discuss what this means and how it impacts our lives today.
Copies of Justin's book will be on sale after the talk.
|Fri Aug 23rd||
Open to members and non-members alike. A chance to sign up, re-enrol browse and chat to the Group Leaders as Somerton U3A showcases the 50+ Groups available to join.
|Fri Sep 27th||
The M.G.M. Musical Story
MGM and some of the musical films and stars from the great days of Hollywood
Speaker - Terry Merrett-Smith.
For Terry this will be a return visit to U3A. His interests have always been in nostalgia and record collecting of the early years. Terry presents a programme on Hospital radio and has also been a guest several times at BBC Radio Bristol and Somerset.
|Fri Oct 25th||
Not for King and Country
This talk is about the King Edward VIII and the twice divorced Wallis Simpson. It has romance, intrigue and espionage. After eighty years the truth is emerging, piece by piece about the events that shook an empire.
About our Speaker.
Currently she travels widely as a Guest Speaker including on P&O cruises giving talks about spying and espionage. When at home she indulges her passion for horse racing. One of her favourite race courses is, as might be expected, Taunton.
|Fri Nov 22nd||
Blue Peter - Behind the Badge
Adventures behind the lens - hot rocks and high places.
Luck played its part a when Alex joined the Blue Peter programme in 1975. The presenters were John Noakes, Peter Purves and Lesley Judd. He describes pivotal events in broadcasting and memorable encounters with an erupting volcano, gorillas in Uganda and a beard of bees. These and other events like John Noakes climbing Nelson's Column secured his position as a producer for 36 years. Others caused a stir like LuLu the baby elephant who ran amok and created probably the funniest moment in Blue Peter history.
ALEX LEGER Television Producer, Director and Cameraman
Alex Leger has led an extraordinary life. For 36 years and working for the BBC he was a prolific film maker. He produced Blue Peter, the iconic children’s programme, and other programmes.
|Fri Jan 24th 2020||The speaker this month is David Boag.|
David has visited our U3A before when he gave us a brilliant illustrated talk about Kingfishers! We look forward to what will be a tremendous start to our new year.
David writes: 'I am a wildlife photographer and the author/photographer of 18 published books. My first book 'The Kingfisher' was published in 1982 and contained a wealth of unique photographs illustrating the life of this remarkable bird.
Encouraged by my publishers and driven by my enthusiasm, my next book was about another spectacular bird, and 'The Atlantic Puffin' was published a couple of years later.
For several consecutive years my work became the subject of the television programme 'Out of Town' and I have since been involved with both television and radio, either in an advisory capacity or as a knowledgeable guest or presenter.
I lecture regularly throughout the country to a wide variety of natural history, photographic and general interest audiences. On numerous occasions I have spoken at major conferences for organisations such as the National Trust, the RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology and the Royal Photographic Society.
A more confidential aspect of my work are the books I have created for prestigious, private estate owners. I have produced over 20 of these one-off, handcrafted tomes that are leather bound, photographic essays; regarded as heirlooms by my clients
I regularly led African wildlife safari trips to destinations that included Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
More recently I was asked to undertake a corporate commission to photograph, write and design a book about the wildlife and natural beauty of a quarry! This led to several more major commissions throughout Britain and Ireland and eventually to working for 3 years in the USA.'
|Fri Feb 28th 2020||
The Splendid Isolation of Tristan da Cunha
An introduction to the island's wildlife, history and the way of life of it's people.
Tristan da Cunha is the world's most isolated inhabited island, home to fewer than 250 islanders who are all farmers and rely on a flourishing fishing industry which provides their main income.
A presentation by Richard Grundy who worked as a teacher on the island between 1982 - 85 and now works on a voluntary basis to help the community by editing the Tristan Govt. website - www.tristandc.com and the Tristan da Cunha Newsletter. The latter is a full colour magazine style publication, printed in Glastonbury and sent to Tristan da Cunha Association members across the world, as well as to every family on the island.
|Fri Apr 24th 2020||
GARDENERS ???? TIME
The Sartin experience of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of gardening in verse and song.
The Speaker is Bonny Sartin.
|Fri Oct 23rd 2020||
England in Tune
An unashamed ‘Celebration of Englishness.’
Not the jingoistic ‘Last Night of the Proms’ style but a collection of music, readings, poems by our own countrymen including Flanagan and Allen, John Maseﬁeld, Noel Coward, A. A. Milne … and many more, which combines a merry mix of subject matter in word and song with something to suit most tastes.
Our speaker for this month writes:-
|Fri Nov 27th 2020||
Wildlife of Dartmoor
John Walters is a life long field naturalist who explores the natural world through field sketching, photography and video. He grew up on Hayling Island in Hampshire and has lived in Devon since 1990. He works as an ecologist, artist and public speaker and is based in Buckfastleigh. He has published several books and guides including The Wildlife of Dartmoor and has appeared in many television and radio programmes.
The talk will use photographs, field sketches and video clips to explore the amazing variety of wildlife to be found in Dartmoor National Park including cuckoos and their meadow pipit foster parents, dancing adders, ring-running roe deer and the worlds largest slug!
|Wed May 22nd||
Somerton Area Dementia Action Alliance
are holding a meeting at Edgar Hall on Wednesday 22nd may at 2pm to start the "safe places" scheme in Somerton. The scheme is with Wessex House/Avon & Som Police and if anyone is found wandering or confused in this area then they can be looked after safely until Police can find out where they live. We will have a "live" scenario to discuss and answer any questions on the scheme. Could you please let all your members know.
As the Somerton U3A have been big supporters of the dementia friends scheme where we are aiming to have 500 friends in this area we will be holding 3 sessions on that day for anyone who might have missed the last ones. They will be 12noon, 1pm & 3pm. Please spread the word. Please see the NEWS Page for further information.