St Neots & District


Monthly meetings with a speaker are held in the Great Hall of the Priory Centre in St Neots at 2pm on the third Tuesday of each month. September's meeting is given over to the AGM and December to a Christmas celebration.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are served after the conclusion of the talk.

There is a quiz after the meeting.

Dates for your Diary
Tue Feb 18th Our Speaker is: Fran Sandham
Subject: The Sea Route to India

The extraordinary story of how the fifteenth-century Portuguese explorers braved everything from natural obstacles to superstitious dread, in order to discover a sea route around Africa to reach the rich spice markets of the East, and how their journeys were originally inspired, not so much by commerce, but by the quest to find the mythical Christian Emperor Prester John.
Tue Mar 17th Our Speaker is: Cherry Mullins
Subject: Tales of a Tour Manager

Tales of a Tour Manager is a light hearted look at Cherry's journey and excerpts from over 30 years of experience of being a European Tour Guide – told through slides, stories and poems of places and people she’s encountered.
Tue Apr 21st Our Speaker is: Mark Walsh
Subject: The Ukulele Sensation

Mark appears all over the World in Theatre shows and in Cabaret. In recent years he has become a regular guest on BBC Radio 2 on the long running programme ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ Born in London Mark has been working on stage from the age of 8. Mark’s first professional engagement was given to him by the Legendary Danny La Rue and the two worked together for many years. Mark as a musician is regarded as one of the finest Ukulele players in the world today. He has appeared with some of our greatest stars including Dame Barbara Windsor, Dame June Whitfield and the late Danny La Rue. Mark and Danny La Rue were great friends and Mark appeared in Danny’s tribute show at the World Famous London Palladium. Since 2012 Mark has been a regular guest performer on BBC Radio’s “Friday Night is Music Night” with live shows coming from the Hackney Empire London.
Tue May 19th Our Speaker is: Charlie Haylock
Subject: The History of Spoken English

This is not a talk on split infinitives, and what the differences are between the past participle and the past tense. Definitely not! Charlie shows how the seeds of spoken English was first sown, and how each invading force affected the English language with the different sounds they brought. Charlie includes a dialect tour of the British Isles, demonstrating the different facial expressions of each dialect. He also shows how some people he knows that lip read can tell what dialect a person has.
Tue Jun 16th Our Speaker is: Robert Good
Subject: Understanding Contemporary Art

Would you like to know more about contemporary art? Perhaps it feels a bit mystifying, baffling or confusing. Maybe you don't get it, or think a child could have done it. Or maybe you already enjoy contemporary art and would like to find out more about the latest artists and ideas.

This is a subject where there are no right answers, but there are plenty of opinions, so whatever your views come along to discover what's behind the hype and hyperbole of the contemporary art scene.
Tue Jul 21st Our Speaker is: Philip Caine
Subject: Barrow to Baghdad and Back

Philip has over thirty five years’ experience, operating projects across 3 continents, within the Oil & Gas Industry, providing support in facilitates & project management, to first and second tier clients, in remote and hazardous locations.
He worked the pioneering years of the North Sea, for over fifteen years on Oil Rigs, Barges & Platforms, then moved to onshore projects, spending three years in North & West Africa.
Seven years were spent operating in the ‘Former Soviet Union’ where he managed multiple projects in Kazakhstan & Russia, again supporting the O&G industry; primarily in the massive Karachaganak Field & Caspian Basin.
The end of the Iraq War in 2003 produced a change of client that took Philip to Baghdad, where he directed the operations and project management, of multiple accommodation bases for the American Military. A challenging, hazardous & demanding location that required Philip to provide and deliver full support to the client, servicing over 30,000 troops, on nine separate locations, throughout Baghdad and Northern Iraq, a major project in the world at that time that lasted almost seven years.
Tue Aug 18th Our Speaker is: Roy Smart
Subject: Wallis Simpson

Roy smart was a Naval Officer, Fleet Air Arm pilot and Air Director of many great national events.
He is also an entertaining speaker with an interest in history and has much to tell about the subject and characters of that extraordinary 1936, pre-war event. Roy has been with us before speaking about Admiral Beatty.
Tue Sep 15th AGM
Tue Oct 20th Our Speaker is: Mike Haynes
Subject: Getting Rid of the Big Stink

I am an almost completely retired UK academic who has lectured to general audiences on a wide range of topics both in the UK and abroad. If you are impressed by titles I have a PhD and I am an emeritus professor – if you are not then I have experience of talking to audiences that have ranged from school kids to the U3A and in number from a handful in a pub on a wet Monday evening to hundreds at major events. So you can be sure of an informative, challenging and entertaining talk. My media appearances include Radio Four (Thinking Aloud, More or Less, PM), Radio 2 (the Jeremy Vine Show), TV ( News 24, Midlands Today), local radio and in – wait for it – Weatherspoon’s News. I have written for the local and national press. I have also authored, co-authored and edited five books. My published research has ranged across British and European history to the story of death and killing in war onto the controversies about the economy today whether at home or globally.
Throughout history millions have been killed by typhoid, cholera, diphtheria and even simple diarrhoea. Drawing on years of research into the history of public health in the UK and Europe, this talk looks at the ways in which a healthier environment was created for us all – less by doctors and the medical world than by the great nineteenth century engineers building an infrastructure that is still used today. If you have ever wondered what a world without indoor plumbing and sewers was really like Getting Rid of the Stink takes you into the fascinating history of dirt and disease.
Tue Nov 17th Our Speaker is: Bernard Lockett
Subject: The Musical Theatre of Gilbert & Sullivan

I am an author and speaker and have spoken at many organisations including U3As, WI, Rotary, Festival and theatrical events over the past few years.
I am a Trustee of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival that takes place annually (now in its 25th year) in Harrogate and also tours every autumn mainly within England.
Tue Dec 15th Members Christmas Party