24 April 2024

What’s on next week

Tuesday 30 April at 1 pm The Film Group screening will be The Big City at Arts Picturehouse

Wednesday 1 May at 2.15 pm – Wednesday Lecture entitled Lord Kelvin, First Baron of Largs: a Father of the Digital Age? by Professor Mark A Girolami, Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering, Cambridge University. Booking is now open to attend in person in the Pink room – please contact the Office.


New items

CCSO concert

The City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra has a link with U3AC, whereby for one concert each season U3AC benefits financially from tickets sold via the U3AC office. The concert programme including Shostakovich, Piano Concerto 2 and Tchaikovsky, symphony No.4, will be held at 7.30 pm on Saturday 11 May in the West Road Concert Hall. Tickets are now available from the U3AC Office, cost £20.

Visit to Henry Moore Studios and Gardens, Hertfordshire

A visit to Henry Moore Studios and Gardens has been arranged on Thursday 11 July. Cost £45. Application forms are now available from the Office and on the Trips and visits page of the website. Cost £45. Closing date for applications is Thursday 6 June.

One-off talk – contact the Office to enrol

Surviving Saudi

Speaker: Maggie James

Date and time: Friday 31 May, 10.30 – 11.30

Venue: U3AC, Pink room


Maggie James lived in Saudi Arabia for five years during the 1980s. She travelled there with her husband, an architect, and two small children. Initially, there were problems obtaining visas for the family but Maggie organised her own visas by getting a teaching job in a school for Muslim expatriates. She experienced a school life that was challenging and needed all of her ingenuity to acquire teaching materials and strategies to circumvent the high-handed edicts that were imposed on the western teaching staff. Life in general was equally bizarre, perplexing and sometimes downright dangerous. The various events, (camel races, sandstorms, camping in the desert) and sometimes hilarious encounters are described in her talk. Her experiences form the basis of her novel, No Way Home, which explores the trials and tribulations of a young family living in an alien culture.

Revd Dr Stephen Cherry lecture

Following the wonderful Wednesday Lecture presented by The Revd Dr Stephen Cherry, Dean of King’s College, Cambridge, which was so appreciated by those who attended, I thought members would like to know that his book on which the lecture was based, ’Unforgivable? Exploring the Limits of Forgiveness’, has now been published (Bloomsbury).

Philip Stott, Chair, U3AC


Reminders – Courses and talks

One off talk – contact the Office to book a place

Direct – and Self-Publication with Amazon/Kindle: a Practical Guide

Speaker: Emeritus Professor Philip Stott, Chair U3AC
Date and time: Thursday 16 May, 11.30 – 12.30

Venue: U3AC, Pink room


Until recently, direct- and self-publication was not well regarded. Today, however, with traditional publishers difficult to find and slow to publish, Amazon/Kindle have laid down a real challenge, with higher royalties, good production values (quality paper and covers), fast publication, automatic coverage, and an extraordinary ability to make a correction to the text or cover within 24-72 hours. Paperback, hardback, and Kindle can also be published simultaneously. Moreover, with on-demand printing within 24 hours, prices are kept competitive. This illustrated talk will present a guide to a brave new world of publishing.

About me: As an academic and composer, Philip has published very widely in the traditional manner, but has now embraced direct-publishing with two novels. He is currently writing a third and also a book on wild flowers. He is fascinated by the role AI is playing in this revolution.

Attending courses when unwell

To prevent the unnecessary transmission of germs we kindly request that you do NOT attend courses if you are experiencing cough or cold symptoms. Please consider your fellow U3AC members, some of whom are particularly vulnerable to infection. Thank you for your cooperation.

Vacancy list

If you are interested in applying for additional courses, there is a Vacancy list on the website showing all courses currently with spaces; this is regularly updated.


Reminders – Events and Visits

Visit to Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker and Flatford, East Bergholt

A visit has been arranged to visit Kelvedon Hatch Secret Bunker and Flatford on Tuesday 18 June 2024. Application forms are now available from the Office and on the Trips and visits page of the website. Cost £36.50 (or £33.00 for National Trust members). Closing date for applications is Friday 31 May.

Reminders – Other

Wednesday lecture help needed

Now that the Wednesday lectures are available on Zoom there is a need for one of the Zoom audience to act as a ‘moderator’.  Questions from the Zoom audience are submitted via the ‘Chat’ function on Zoom and can be seen by the ‘moderator’ – who has the job of editing and sometimes combining questions. Also the moderator can pass on comments from the Zoom audience. The ‘chair’ of the lecture in the room will usually put the first question while the ‘moderator’ assembles the questions ready to put them to the speaker. After Zoom questions there is time for questions from the room and then any supplementary questions from the ‘moderator’. We have one member who has said that he will act as a ‘moderator’, ideally we would like one or two more. Please contact us on: lectures@u3ac.org.uk.

Nicholas Russell and Suzan Griffiths (Co Directors of Studies – Lectures)

Cycling Group

The U3AC cycling group is open to all U3AC members, and we welcome riders of all abilities including those with electric bikes. Our rides are in small, friendly groups and we cycle between 12 and 30 miles, with a refreshment stop. We start from various locations in and around Cambridge. No commitment is required – you can join as many or as few rides as you wish. If you are interested in joining the group, please contact the co-ordinator, Derek Morris at u3ac.cyclingclub@gmail.com.

We have recently published our Programme of Rides for April and May, and these can be found on the U3AC website Login to the site, and then visit https://www.u3ac.org.uk/extra-groups/cycling-club/

During April, we have rides of between 12 and 24 miles, all ridden at a gentle pace, and at the speed of the slowest riders. If you are interested in joining a ride, please email the ride leader in advance of the ride. Full details of each ride and contact details for the ride leader can be found in the Rides Programme.

Gallery area

The art exhibition starting on the first day of term and running for four weeks is by members of the Art Class Anything Goes (ART 02). We hope members enjoy looking at it and will appreciate the imagination, skill and creativity of the class members.

Maggie Balshaw, Tutor ART 02

Members’ noticeboard

Are you organising your own event, have something to sell or simply have a query you want to put to other members? We now have a public and a members only online noticeboard section on the website – please note this is not an interactive page and it is managed and moderated by the Office. Please contact the Office if you would like to post something on the Members’ noticeboard.


Remember to check out our Facebook page to see the latest photos – shared with permission – of U3AC courses, activities and events. Facebook does not replace our Weekly Bulletin and will not be used for communicating directly with members about courses or cancellations. Please follow, like and share U3AC’s Facebook page if you have a Facebook account.

Other organisations

U3AC supports other local organisations by listing their activities on the Other organisations page of our website https://www.u3ac.org.uk/news/other-organisations/