Data Protection
Data Protection

                                                                                              Issue 158


Registered charity no. 1108125                                                                                                                  March/April 2020


Newsletter Editor: Elizabeth Stevens                                        newsletter@westoxfordu3a.org.uk           






Coronavirus Update (18/03/2020)


The Committee has decided that there will be no more meetings until September. You will be informed of any changes to our plans and these will also be posted on this website. There will be no Newsletter at the end of April but, hopefully, there will be some good news by the time the June Newsletter is due.


The March/April 2020 Newsletter remains on this website as originally published. Please contact Special Interest Group leaders directly for the current situation with Special Interest Groups.



This Newsletter is published on the Internet simultaneously with the printing.  If any material relating to any individual should not be so published, please contact the Editor.

Welcome to West Oxford U3A


The U3A exists for a group of people to get together to do things with everyone taking equal responsibility.

We meet on the 2nd and 4th Mondays except for July, August and December.  Our ‘year’ begins in September and ends with the AGM, either on the last Monday meeting in May or the first Monday meeting in June.   Once the membership fee is paid there is no further charge, although visitors make a donation.  Membership of West Oxford U3A does not cover membership of Oxford U3A or Headington U3A.


The meetings take place at Dean Court Community Centre, Pinnocks Way, Botley.   The proceedings start at 2.30 pm and (fairly short) notices are given before or after a talk as set out on your programme.  Tea and biscuits are always served after the talk with cake at the end of each term.   Please stay and use this time to get to know new people and meet friends


A list of the Special Interest Groups is on your programme and are open to anyone who would like to join.  Just contact the person referred to as arranging the meetings.  If there is a group you would like to start then, if you think the Committee can give you some help, please ask.


The membership fee entitles you to the West Oxford U3A Newsletter which is sent out every other month, by email or (for those without a connection) by post.  The Newsletter is full of information about forthcoming events, both those arranged by this branch and also those organised by Thames Valley Network.  Please be certain to look at the notice board at the back of the room for additional details of outings and study days and also on u3atvnnetwork.org.uk and our own website westoxfordu3a.org.uk


A membership subscription is paid annually to the National U3A office and there is a newsletter which you can subscribe to receive or can be viewed on-line.  If you would like to receive the National U3A newsletter then please contact the Secretary who will tell you the cost.  You are entitled to attend the Summer Schools and other events, details and costs are on the National U3A website.


During the year there is a New Members’ coffee morning for which an appropriate invitation is sent.


Do raise any queries when attending the meetings or write to secretary@westoxfordu3a.  


Lis Froggatt  






Please read all of this Newsletter – there is a great deal of interest.  Details are given of the many Special Interest Groups you could join – or indeed start one!  Thames Valley Network (TVN) arrange day courses at very reasonable prices; apply early to avoid disappointment and get on their mailing list for early information.

Early information – National U3A Day is Wednesday, 3 June.


 Lis Froggatt



The previous Newsletter included notice that all subscriptions will end in February 2020.  If you would like to receive the magazines from April 2020, you should contact Ian Battersby, at a Monday meeting or by post (Kambah, Harcourt Hill, Oxford, OX2 9AS) by the 12th March 2020 and include your subscription of 3.10 for the year.  You can start a subscription at any time during the year and the cost will be adjusted accordingly.

For new members: The Third Age Trust produces two magazines for U3A members in the UK: Third Age Matters is published five times a year and Sources, an educational journal which focuses on a different subject each issue, is published three times a year.  Sample copies are available for inspection on our table at Monday meetings.  The magazines are mailed directly to subscribing members’ homes.  The production costs are covered by the Third Age Trust.  A subscription charge per address is made towards the cost of postage.



Wednesday, 8 April:      Cyber crime ‘Protect your world’, Kings Church, Amersham - plenty of places left. Sounds like a must for those who use                                                                computers a lot.
Thursday, 23 April:         Architecture Day, Benson  – full, but we hope for a repeat.
Friday, 29 May:               Geology of the Thames Valley and why we don’t have volcanoes in Benson, Benson.
Wednesday, 24 June:     RHS Wisley.
Friday, 3 July:                  Environment and Biodiversity at Benson.
Friday, 23 September:   Understanding Architecture, Benson.  This is a repeat of the Study Day on 23 April.
5-11 October:                 TVN holiday to Istanbul.
Friday, 9 October:          At Benson there will be a Quiz day.  This will be on all aspects of quizzing and, after lunch, teams will take part in a quiz.

As usual, I shall release details/application forms as they become available but please keep checking the website if there is something you are particularly interested in as they may be released in between meetings.




YOUR  NEWSLETTER  from Elizabeth Stevens


Please send all contributions, notices, etc. for the next issue covering May/June 2020 to: Elizabeth Stevens, 104 Kennington Road, Kennington, Oxford OX1 5PE (01865 739252) not later than Friday, 24 April 2020.


A reminder that the current issue can always be found on http://www.westoxfordu3a.org.uk/




Meetings are normally held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 2.30 pm onwards. There is always an opportunity for tea and biscuits and a chat from approx 3.45pm.  All are welcome, and we extend an open invitation to any visitors who might like to come along and meet us.  



9 March:         Martin Holmes: Harold Macmillan:  A reputation Revised?

Dr Martin Holmes is a local historian specialising in post-war and contemporary British politics.  As well as being a well-known lecturer in U3A circles, he taught politics at St. Hugh’s College 1987-2009, where he remains a member of the SCR.  He has published six books and many articles on Governments and Prime Ministers from both sides of the political spectrum and each decade.  He makes a return visit to West Oxford U3A to talk on the intriguing title “Harold Macmillan: A Reputation Revised?”  A prime minister remembered for patrician unflappability, the Profumo scandal, the winds of change; what is his true legacy? 

23 March:        Shelley Edwards: Keep Safe!  Avoiding Conmen and Other Risks


Scams, identity theft, conmen on the doorstep and the telephone and the web … The list of risks that modern technologies expose us to can seem to be ever expanding.  But there are many ways that we can protect ourselves, often simply through greater awareness and taking straightforward precautions.  Shelley Edwards, Community Liaison Officer with Oxfordshire County Council, will enhance our awareness of the kinds of risks we may be open to, and will give us advice on keeping safe both ourselves and our neighbours in the community.



6 April:            Jenny Malin: Five Generations of my Anglo-Indian Family


Jenny Malin, award-winning author and broadcaster, will be reaching back over her family history to tell us about ‘Five generations of my Anglo-Indian family during the British Raj’.  Based on her recently published book, ‘A Grandmother’s Legacy’, Jenny’s talk will cover many aspects of life in India in those days from the railways to food, with recipes handed down from generation to generation.

27 April:           John Butterworth: Hotel with a Famous Guest list


Career journalist for 44 years, 28 of them as a newspaper editor, John Butterworth now speaks nationally on a wide range of topics.  His subject today will be ‘The Hotel with a famous guest list’, a historic hotel in the Midlands that, as a result of a decision taken in 1779 that brought new jobs and industries to the region, found itself frequented by wealthy and influential guests.






ART HISTORY/APPRECIATION           (5 members)             Contact:  Terence Carter (01865 863379)


Visits to the Ashmolean Museum normally take place on the second Tuesday or the second Thursday of each month, meeting just inside the main entrance to the Museum. For other locations, directions will be given. There are spaces available in this group.   

Tuesday 10 March at the Bodleian Library.

Exhibition – “The Art of Advertising”, in the Treasury, Weston Library, Broad Street. Meet just inside the main entrance to the Weston Library at 2.30 pm. The exhibition follows the story of early advertising communication, drawing from the Bodleian’s renowned collection of printed ephemera (one of the largest in the world). It illustrates how advertisements reflect social attitudes, as well as showing some of the finest examples of advertising illustration and commercial art. Admission is free.

April 2020 – There will be no meeting, due to the proximity of Easter. In May 2020, we shall hope to visit the Young Rembrandt exhibition in the Ashmolean Museum. Watch this space!

BRIDGE                                                                                       Contact:  Pauline Martin 01865 250870


We are a group of 20 players meeting every Wednesday afternoon, starting at 2.00pm and finishing around 5.00pm, with a break for tea. Players sign up for the dates that suit them, some more regularly than others. Partners are decided on the day.  Anyone who is free to play can do so.  We meet either at West Oxford Community Association (where everyone pays an agreed small fee to cover the costs of renting the room), or in each others’ homes, (at no cost), playing a Chicago system of scoring and table moves and taking time to discuss bidding and card play, informally, as required. 

Whilst this is not a group for total beginners, we welcome new players who have a reasonable knowledge of the game, enjoy playing socially and might like to join us.



CHURCHES AND PUBS           (30 members)                         Contact Brian Cox (01865 872720)


The group meets on morning of the first Friday of each calendar month to visit a church followed by lunch together afterwards, usually at a local pub.

We are currently a very large group, so it is not possible to recruit additional members at present.  Further informationcan be obtained from the co-ordinator who  is briancox30@btinternet.com.



CINEMA GROUP – 1   (new members welcome)                Contact:  Lis Froggatt  (01865 249828)


Cinema Group 1 is the renamed Cinema Group 3, but that is the only difference.  We meet monthly on the second Tuesday at West Oxford Community Centre, Botley Road, at 12.30 pm to discuss over lunch films we have seen and plan to see.  New members most welcome   lis.froggatt@entitledto.co.uk



CINEMA GROUP - 2   (10 members)                                      Contacts:  Pam and David Eyton  (pameyton@gmail.com)


We meet on the second Thursday of the month to discuss a variety of films (mainly from the Phoenix) over a shared meal in a member’s house.   The membership is restricted to 10 because of the dining arrangements. 

If you are interested in going on a waiting list or being invited when space is available, please e-mail Pam.  



COMPUTER  USERS’ GROUP  (7 members – new members welcome)   Contact: Richard Sills (01865 721644)


All meetings will be held at The Map House, Vernon Avenue, OX2 9AU at 10.30 am.  

The next meetings are on 2 and 16 March and 6 and 26 April.




CRAFT GROUP                                                                         Contact:  Sally Strang (01865 240310) 


The next meeting of the Craft group will be on Friday 20th March. We hope to go to an exhibition of Alice Kettle’s work at the Said Business School & I will confirm with Craft Group members when I have the details.



DISCOVERING MUSIC  (7 members – new members welcome) Contact: John Grimshaw (01865 861949)


These convivial meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of each month, at 2.15 pm.  We meet in members’ homes and the host introduces and plays recordings, usually on CD or DVD, of broadly classical music which can be secular or sacred and can include extracts and arias from opera.  Members freely express their reactions.  We may finish with something in lighter mood.



GARDEN CLUB                                                                        Contact:  Mary Gregory (01865 865887)


Activities will pick up soon as gardens emerge from winter dormancy. Since these are arranged on an ad hoc basis anyone not on the mailing list should contact Mary Gregorymary@nandmg.me.uk


LANGUAGES                                                                           Contact:  David Taylor (01235 525455)


At present we are reading a number of texts (mainly short stories) in English, of Russian literature from the 19th and 20th centuries.  This should take us a further three months or so.



SCRABBLE                                                                               Contact:  Margery Dent (01865 862534)


The group meets mostly on the 3rd Monday of the month or on an agreed alternative, from 2 – 4.30 pm.  We meet in the homes of different members.  Please ring if you are interested in coming.



WALKING GROUP      (15 members)                                  Contacts: Sally Roberts (721596) and Norman Robinson (862845)


Walks normally commence at 10.00 am on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month and are arranged a few weeks in advance.   It is important to note that if bad weather threatens, you should ring the named leader of the walk, on the day, to check whether it is going ahead; otherwise you may have a wasted journey. (If it is actually raining, the walk will almost certainly be cancelled).

Info will be shared on our e-mail link.  Walking boots are always recommended.