U3A Science Network

2012 Abergavenny Seminar

This was the 10th annual conference held in Abergavenny, but for a time it seemed it would not happen at all, when Mulberry House went into liquidation and closed with no notice. With the help of Abergavenny U3A and the Tourist Information Office, a new venue was found at Abergavenny Thursdays Football Stadium and members scattered around various B&B establishments. Finally, in August 50 delegates arrived, a bit uncertain as to what was going to happen.
In the event we had a warm welcome from the stadium staff, and enjoyed a week of lectures, computer demonstrations, socialising and a visit to the Rhondda Heritage Park which included a guided tour and "descent" into the mine. Our programme covered a wide range of topics, from science in Dr Johnson's dictionary, to fractal art; a discourse on why carbohydrates are a greater health risk than fat, followed by a look at rainbows, fogbows and ice halos; a series of talks on sight, including John Marriage's demonstration of a camera obscura using tin cans and cardboard and, perhaps appropriately, Alex Paterson's description of designing a comfortable chair. All this plus time spent socialising with people from all over the country and more food than we could eat. Next year we continue the experience at a new venue, leaving Abergavenny with some regret.

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