3 November 2021

What’s on next week

Wednesday 10 NovemberWednesday Lecture entitled Artificial Intelligence – what is it and will it take over the world? will be given by Alastair Breward, over Zoom.

Artificial Intelligence progresses rapidly. Will we end up building intelligence comparable to our own, or even surpassing us? If so when, and what does this mean for the future of the human species?

Alastair Breward graduated in PPE and has had a lifelong amateur interest in the human mind. The talk will be an overview adapted from his U3AC course “The (Social, Political and Ethical) implications of Artificial Intelligence for Humankind”.

This is a change to the original programme. As reported previously, we are unable to bring you a face-to-face lecture next week. Meanwhile, we hope to re-schedule John Keyworth’s lecture later in the year.

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. This season the concert will be held on Saturday 4 December at 7.30pm in the West Road Concert Hall. The programme includes Aaron Kurz on piano. For more information about the CCSO please see www.ccso-online.org

Tickets are now on sale from the U3AC Office. Cost £18 adult, £16 concessions. Payment must be made in person using a credit or debit card.

CCSO have asked for two volunteer stewards. In exchange they will receive a complimentary ticket; please let the U3AC Office know if you are interested.


New course – please email the Office to enrol

LEI 27: Online duplicate pairs (BBO)

Coordinators: Anne Swinney & Fred Peirce

Day and time: Tuesdays 14:00 – 16:00, throughout the year

Venue: Online

Start date: 16 Nov

This course has been set up for those who would have liked to attend LEI 03: Duplicate Bridge, but would prefer to play online. We would like to throw open the online course to other U3AC members too. It is recommended that students have completed 2 years of Fred’s ‘Introduction to Bridge’ or be of a comparable standard. You will take part in an online Duplicate Pairs Tournament on Bridge Base Online (BBO), for which there is a charge by BBO of $1.50 per person per session. There is a partnership desk for those without a partner.

Format: Course or activity without teaching

About me: Anne: I have enjoyed playing bridge for about 7 years now and my bridge partner and I want to play online rather than face to face at Newnham


Tutor Mentors coming soon

The Courses Committee and I are pleased to say that we now have a number of tutors who have volunteered to be tutor mentors. The details about what they are offering in the way of support to other tutors will be on the website a little later this month. The item will be in the Tutor Support section.

This is a very positive step in providing another form of tutor support and we would like to thank these volunteers on your behalf.

Maggie Balshaw DoS (Courses), on behalf of the Courses Committee tutor support team


Help needed

We are looking for some additional help with running some of our future hybrid sessions.
This will entail being in the U3AC premises for a whole day, opening and closing the Zoom classes as a host on our licenses.
You will need to have a good understanding of where things are on our website, and also to have attended some Zoom classes.
This will be very much like the volunteering role of the past on the front desk, as a warm and welcoming face to greet members and tutors as they arrive, but with the addition of being on Zoom.

Please email the Office if you are interested.


Reminder from the Chairman

Now that term is underway and we are back in Bridge Street and our classrooms, the need to continue to observe sensible covid precautions still applies. We have had a number of members withdraw from courses due to concerns about others not wearing masks. While the general level of mask wearing in the wider community is reducing, our demographic cohort has particular reason to be careful. Ultimately, we have a collective responsibility for protecting ourselves and fellow members. So, regardless of your personal view of the risk, please continue to wear a face covering when moving around the building and in classrooms. If for no other reason than as a courtesy to our tireless staff who are in the building continually, five days a week.

In classrooms, please open the windows, until such time as the weather makes it impractical, and use the air conditioning to keep air circulating within the room.

If you are coming into Bridge Street, please take a lateral flow test once a week before attending your class. These are available free of charge from https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway, for emphasis) please do not come in if you have even the mildest signs of covid, have cold symptoms or are unwell. Many of our members are vulnerable to infection, so we would appreciate your co-operation. In the event that you are unfortunate enough to catch Covid and have recently attended a U3AC course, please contact the office staff.

The guidance notes can be found on our website https://www.u3ac.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Covid-guidance-8.9.21.pdf

Tim Ewbank

Reminders – Other

U3AC Film Group – Spring Term 2022

I am delighted to be able to report that almost two years on from our last film the next season of the U3AC Film Group films will recommence in January. Having assessed the responses from the recent consultation, although the responses were fairly divided between the three options offered it was clear that more members supported retaining our traditional Tuesday slot albeit at the higher cost of £45 per term.

The increase in cost still represents very good value for money even compared to the Picturehouse’s Silver Screen presentations. I hope that it will still be possible to show a wide range of classic and world cinema films which will give members a chance to see such films on the big screen and as they were meant to be seen. All our shows will of course be subject to Picturehouse guidelines and any future government policy in respect of Covid-19.

I am currently finalising the choice of films for the Spring Term in conjunction with the Picturehouse central co-ordinator and I hope to give you a further update shortly.

Jeremy Buncombe

Vacancy list

The list of courses with vacancies is on the homepage of the U3AC website and is updated regularly. To apply for a course, please contact the Office, preferably by email.

Lockdown Artwork

20 Course members from Anything Goes and Anything Goes in the Summer (ART 02 and ART 03) have contributed to the display in the exhibition area on the first floor at the Bridge Street premises. All the artworks were produced between October 2020 and June 2021.

Maggie Balshaw, Course Tutor, with Samara Philpott and Maxine Fay.

Environment group seminar

A recording of the seminar held on 7 October is now available to view on our website: https://www.u3ac.org.uk/social/xtra-groups/environment-group/environment-workshops/