The View From The Chair
Here we are at the beginning of another new year.
My suggestion is that this year you try something new. We have over 100 Interest Groups covering more than 50 subjects for you to try, we are going to be pushing to get more of our members to join some of the smaller Groups we have. In addition we will be advertising a Current Affairs Group and a Creative Writing Group shortly. So watch the web-site and listen out at the Monthly Speaker Meetings for more details.
As usual, I will add that if there is a subject that we don't cover then contact us and we will help you to set up a new group. It may take a while to arrange but I am sure that we can satisfy your needs, the only exceptions we make are that we cannot sanction anything that may be dangerous, remember the problem we had when we ran the Lion Taming Group! You don't need to be an expert on the subject, remember that all of the Group can contribute to the learning process, but we will need someone to co-ordinate these new groups. We will give advise and guidance to who ever takes the role of running an Interest Group. So, step forward and offer your services to our membership. Who knows? You may enjoy it!
Well, we have come safely through Friday the 13th. We were still waiting for further information following the eruption of the Volcano on Whakaari or White Island in New Zealand that had occurred on Monday, but we got through Friday without further mishaps. It was, as every year, World Violin Day and most importantly it was the Thorpe Bay U3A monthly meeting. This month, being December, we had some festive fun for you.
The meeting commenced with a performance by the Southend Harmony Singers. A local choir formed in 1975 and led since 2006 by Janice Gray. The choir have won many trophies at the Southend and Leigh Music Festivals, whilst continuing to entertain audiences throughout the borough with their lively and varied concerts. They entertained us for 40 minutes, finishing with a medley of seasonal songs.
After refreshments we came to the main act. A pantomime performed by many of your very own members. Written for us by a Shoebury & Thorpe Bay U3A member, Steve Bishop, and directed by Carole Jonas it was the tale of everyday members of a U3A in Thorpe Bay. The pantomime was enthusiastically received by the audience, and the actors enjoyed every minute of the show (Oh yes, they did!). There were many great moments from the cast, although I am not sure about the antics of that nasty villain who managed to forget which scene he was in at times!
My thanks and those of the Committee go out to the Southend Harmony Singers and to all the talented performers who entertained us so well and managed to make it such a successful afternoon.
I hope you are all looking forward to a wonderful afternoon's entertainment on Friday.
We will open with half an hour in the company of a gifted choir in the shape of the Southend Harmony Singers. Then after the obligatory tea or coffee and biscuits we will have some of our own members treading the boards to bring you "Thorpe Bay - The Pantomime". I am sure you will recognise some of the characters and their performers (Oh! Yes you will!) and will be ready to join in and give them your full support.
Don't forget that, as has become expected for our December meeting, it is one week earlier than the usual date and will start half an hour before the normal time at 1:30pm (13:30).
See you there!
Having just returned from an hour of Pilates in the local gym it has reminded me just how much we need to keep moving.
There is an old adage Use it or lose it! and I have to remind you all that this is as true for us as for a teenager (I know we are all teenagers at heart).
We do have a number of groups that include some exercise. We have the London Walking Groups, Local History Walking, Walking for Health, and one of our longest running Groups the Walking Group who have pre-planned routes for the serious Rambler (if I am allowed to use that description).
We also have Cycling and various Dancing Groups, more sporting pastimes such as Ten Pin Bowling and Table Tennis. Have a look at the list on the Groups page and see what you fancy.
I can't guarantee at this point that any of those will have spaces but if they don't then perhaps you can help set up another group to provide that activity to others waiting to join in.
In addition, if you know or want to take part in an activity that we don't list then contact our Group Co-ordinators via the contact page on this web site and we will provide help and support for your new venture (with some big festival coming up we may be slow in responding but we will get back to you).
Some disciplines or activities (such as Pilates and Yoga) we cannot offer without a trained teacher as we do not want to risk injury to any of you, but perhaps you do have a suitable qualification and wish to impart your knowledge to others?
By this time next year will we have one of our members competing in the World's Strongest Man or Woman competitions?
My thanks to Barry Linton for stepping up at short notice to fill the session left vacant by the non-availability of Pam Jones the ex-Chairman of the UK U3A.
Barry managed to end his presentation at exactly 3:00pm (much to his own surprise) and I think we all learnt something new from his presentation on Cyber-Crime (Yes! Even Me!).
So don't forget, if you wish to live in a modern world, not just online, you must take some simple but important steps.
Just a reminder to you all - The Monthly meeting is on Friday 2:00pm at Shoeburyness & Thorpe Bay Baptist Church.
Be prepared to learn how to protect yourself from Cyber Crime. This is not just online but also the protection of your Debit and Credit Cards whilst out on the street.
Now a call out to you all.
Our U3A is an organisation run on your behalf by volunteers. The volunteers come from within our own members, in other words YOU!
All of the Group Leaders / Co-ordinators are volunteers and the Monthly Meeting can only continue with the support of the volunteers.
We do not expect that any one person should work 24/7 to provide their services to help us survive, rather we would like to see many, or even all, of the membership taking part in running our business.
None of the roles are onerous and many just involve a few minutes work or attendance at the Monthly Meeting.
If you feel you are able to lead an Interest Group, and remember you do not need to be an expert in the field you are studying just able to contact other members of the Interest Group each month, or act as a member of the Refreshments Team, or a Fire Steward at the Monthly Meetings.
Additionally we will, or even do, need Committee Members to run Thorpe Bay U3A. Anyone who comes forward for this will be helped to understand the tasks required by shadowing existing Committee Members and then taking over from them in a later year whence they, too, will have a shadow they can train up for the future. For instance, do you want to look after this website or our Newsletter or e-magazine? Do you want my job in a few years time?
So please consider whether you can help us make our U3A even greater than it is now!
Contact me or any other Committee member and we will give you more information.
If you wish to contact me directly please use the following e-mail address
Thorpe Bay U3A
As promised a couple of titbits that some of you may find interesting.
On this date in 1922 - British archaeologist Howard Carter and his team found the entrance to Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
If you want to see the treasures that were removed from the tomb they will be on display for the last time in this country from the 2 November 2019 - 3 May 2020 at the Saatchi Gallery in the Kings Road London.
And in 1890 – The City and South London Railway: London's first deep-level tube railway opened between King William Street and Stockwell. The C&SLR was the first major railway to use Electric driven engines. The tunnels now form a part of the Northern Line.
Welcome to all of you who have visited this page wondering what is behind the button!
I hope you had an uneventful All Hallows Eve last night and are now able to relax without the threat of hundreds of young children pleading for chocolate and candy.
At all sorts of odd intervals I am going to be typing short messages that may be useful to, or interesting to, all Thorpe Bay U3A members.
So check back whenever you visit the website and see what I have for you.