Newsletter from your Chairman July 2022



Hi everyone,

I hope this newsletter finds you all well. For once we had a wonderful spell of weather to coincide with the Wimbledon fortnight – it has been a great fortnight of tennis!

This month sees the start of our new u3a year and membership fees are due now.  There is no increase in subs for the next year (July 2022 to June 30th 2023) - £20 for a single membership and £35 for a couple.  Details of how to make payments are on the website at Despite the recent surge of covid19 cases we are all hoping that the next year will not be interrupted by any more lockdowns and we will be able to have a full year of monthly meetings and group activities. Details of next year’s timetable can be found at

Talking of groups – news of another new group starting up.  Parlez vous Francais? Mais oui – un petit, merci! 

Many of you will have learnt French in school. Some succeeded and moved on to great and fluent things, others did not reach such dizzy heights and some felt they had failed and gave it up totally.  But one thing we have all retained, regardless of the above, is a basic knowledge of French which is tucked away in a part of your brain somewhere! Yes, even if you think you know nothing, you do! 

With a little conversational practice we are all perfectly capable of speaking French to the French – and they won’t laugh, regardless of ability.  They all want us to speak their language.  They’ll help, they won’t mock and they will encourage us just as we would them if they were trying to speak English.


eiffel tower

We are looking for between 8 and 10 members who are willing to meet in an informal group twice a month.  We’ll create many day-to-day sitiuations – a bar, a walk in the country, a visit to Paris, an art gallery or whatever else comes to mind – and discuss anything related to the chosen location or scene. All abilities from beginners to fluent speakers are welcome – the aim being to learn, improve or just enjoy the conversational French language.

Please email Brian at [email protected] to register your interest.

The next meeting (on 27 July) includes the AGM. This is the time when changes to our constitution, our committee and rules can take place.  This year we say goodbye to Lynn Swift from the committee, one of our founder members, who has managed our new membership for many years (and managed her role extremely enthusiastically while being a great committee member as well!).  Her place will be taken by Maggie Buckingham for the next year.  Maureen Young will also be joining the committee and taking on the role of Speaker Co-ordinator for our monthly meetings.  We still  have a vacancy for a vice chairman and it is not too late to put your name(s) forward.

The formal part of the next meeting is scheduled to take just 15 minutes, so for most of the meetimg we will be entertained by Michael Smith talking about Captain Francis Crozier who was Northern Ireland’s greatest ever Polar explorer and a major figure in the three epic quests of 19th Century Polar exploration.


Best wishes

Mike Collins

Email [email protected]

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Previous editions  of our newsletter can be found in the Newsletter archive