Cultures & Customs
Thorley U3A Cultures and Customs group has been set up to explore and celebrate the diversity of the cultures that make up our society, both locally and further afield, including learning more about the history of English culture. It does so by arranging meetings with, and visits to, various cultural or ethnic groups or related activities, generally once a month. Examples include visits to religious centres, eating experiences at restaurants run by various nationalities, musical events, talks, etc.
People must be members of Thorley U3A before they can join the Cultures and Customs group. Membership of the group itself is free, members covering the cost of each activity separately. Details of events, including location, date and costs, are circulated beforehand so that members can decide if they wish to attend.
Hi folks, this is to tell you about some events at the planning stage for 2022. But before that, I need some help from you when you are signing up for events. Expected attendance at last Friday’s meeting went up and down like a yo-yo in the period leading up to it which is why I asked for confirmation of those intending to come in my email of 15th November. Several people dropped out and others signed up in the days that followed so I thought I had a pretty good idea of what the final number would be. But in the event only 23 of the 42 I had on my revised list turned up. You can imagine what that did for my catering and financial planning!
There will always be unpredictable illnesses and emergencies. Some of you let me know when this happens; a courtesy that I appreciate. Some members kindly offer to pay despite missing the meeting, but I prefer to avoid this. I try and run the group with a small surplus and I haven’t yet had to charge anyone for an event they had to miss. Thankfully, I have enough of a surplus to cover the loss on last Friday’s meeting. But it’s not just about the money; it’s also about respecting the time and effort put in by the person giving us a presentation. (Dave Willett had put in a lot of research and was very interesting, by the way, and enjoyed by all who attended)
So when you are signing up for events, please do so with intent and make a note in your diaries! If your circumstances change, let me know as soon as possible. That will help me considerably. There are nearly 200 people in the group and although quite a number don’t participate often, it’s still a job to manage!
Right, that’s enough of that …
January: Scottish Country Dancing on Monday 31st January 2022 as my email of 25th November. Plenty of spaces still available.
February: I have advanced plans for our first restaurant outing since we went to the Smoke BBQ in January 2020. The date planned is Thursday 17th February 2022 and the numbers will be limited. Don’t respond yet but look out for details and booking arrangements will follow in the next few days.
April: I am arranging for a coach trip to Cambridge on Thursday 28th April 2022. In the morning we will be going to the Woolf Institute to meet some of the staff and learn about the research that the Institute undertakes. To quote from the Institute’s website: The Woolf Institute's vision is a world in which collaborative discussion and constructive engagement overcome prejudice and intolerance. The Institute combines teaching, scholarship and outreach, focusing on Jews, Christians and Muslims, to encourage tolerance and foster understanding between people of all beliefs. Don’t respond yet as I am looking at an activity for the afternoon and will then send out details.
June: I will be emailing before long to find out if there is sufficient interest in making a repeat trip to St Albans Cathedral for the annual pilgrimage re-enactment. We last joined in the pilgrimage in 2018: it was a very enjoyable and colourful day. The date for next year is Saturday 25th June 2022.
Cambridge Icons tour: This is the tour that I booked us for in August 2020 and then had to postpone because of covid. City and Village Tours are putting the tour back on and have been trying for several weeks now to pin down Cambridge Central mosque (a main feature of the tour) to some dates. Hopefully they can get this sorted so I can offer the tour again to our group before too long. I have asked for Tuesday 23rd August but this is very much subject to confirmation.
Another Traditions and Customs talk: Dave Willett has offered to give us another of his presentations on our, sometimes, strange traditions and customs. The audience last Friday were enthusiastic about this so I will sort out a date with Dave and let you know.
Enough to be getting on with for now I think!
The group Co-ordinator is Jim Hook. For information on joining the group and current events, please contact Jim by using the button on the right-hand side of this page, or by phoning him on 01279 505138, mobile 07391 580466.