iU3A News

 Libeskind London Met Carlton Cinema Sweet Thursday

Our Newsletter
Islington U3A produces a newsletter three to four times a year. We let every member know when there is a new one, sending them a link so that they can easily see it online. To see our latest (Winter 2017) newsletter click here

For previous newsletters click here

Our Bulletins
For our latest Bulletin click here.


Last Monthly Meeting
Frances SpaldingOn a very warm spring morning about 100 members turned up to hear Professor Frances Spalding from Clare College, Cambridge, give a very enlightening talk on ‘John Piper and the Making of his Vision’.
Piper had a vast sprawling career as a landscape painter, printmaker, reviewer, guide, photographer, theatre designer and stained-glass designer. But his abiding love was for architecture. Even as a child he would take his entire family around the countryside to admire architecture, while he busied himself doing pen and ink drawings.

Piper had a passionate interest in the past and whilst looking backwards for inspiration, was always rooted in the present and saw the old and the new in sympathy with each other. For years he questioned whether there was an English vision and was very interested in trying to define the identity and character of ‘Englishness’.

He worked alongside, and drew inspiration from, many other well-known artists and writers. His early pen and ink drawings imitate the etcher F.L.Griggs. In the mid-1930s, after a visit to Paris where he met Kandinsky and Mondrian, he began experimenting with abstract painting. He also explored creating simple abstract shapes, influenced by Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. After the war, he was Benjamin Britten’s right-hand man as a stage designer. John Betjeman renewed Piper’s interest in topography and Betjeman commissioned him to write the ‘Shell Guide to Oxfordshire’. Piper’s wife Myfanwy also influenced his thinking and together they produced an avant-garde magazine entitled Axis.

John Piper had a real sense of belonging to a locality and the sense of identity that goes alongside this. He was thought by some to be provincial and parochial but the Second World War was to change his vision as he and other artists confronted the old world in new and shattered circumstances. His iconic photographs of the destroyed Coventry Cathedral were sent around the world and he became increasingly aware of the effects on ordinary people of the destruction of architecture.

For notes of previous recent monthly meetings, see here.

Computer Sessions
Computer imageWe have now held three of these popular drop-in help sessions. These allow iU3A members with any query they have regarding their computers or tablets to drop in and receive guidance from other iU3A members who could share their enhanced knowledge in these areas. Again we had a wide range of queries and problems. Some simple ones (to some) were easy to give guidance on, others were harder to solve with much cross-learning and use of Google search. Again all the "clients" went away very contented and with increased confidence to try things for themselves.
Thanks again to all the volunteers who came along to share their knowledge with other iU3A members. A general tutorial on some points raised previously is available here.

Open Day, 3 October 2016

                  Day 1We have just had our Open Day and our 3rd birthday celebration. Again this proved very popular and enabled non-members to meet us and find out about all the things iU3A does. There was an excellent turnout with 224 people in total attending of whom 67 were new to iU3A. 33 joined immediately and many of the others took away forms so we expect to hear from them again very soon. There were also many existing members who turned up to see if there were any other groups they might like to join. Everybody also enjoyed our delicious birthday cake and had a good natter. This year the actor Barbara Flynn cut our 3rd birthday cake. She talked of the joys of being able to take up a new interest or activity. She herself, when having a break in her busy career, had tried several hobbies. She looked forward to retirement to be able to pursue these and other new interests — possibly through U3A.

Open DayWith nearly 50 interest groups on display there were many great displays. Visible and audible displays charmed the audience as they strolled around. All the existing Group Coordinators did an excellent job of explaining what their group did and hence encouraged many to sign up. Hopefully this exercise also encouraged more members to be brave enough to volunteer to be Coordinators.

A special thanks must go to the sub-committe that organised another successful day, particularly to Sue Welsford for coordinating the whole event. The Open Day is our major showcase for members and to the public who might be interested in joining.

To see more photos of the day click here.

Clues Trail, 6 June 2016
Clues TrailOn a beautiful sunny afternoon, 35 members assembled in the Paternoster pub near St Paul’s Cathedral for the Clues Trail.  After being briefed about the rules of the game — no use of GPS for example — the 7 teams plotted their strategy and awaited their departure slot.  Then we set off to solve the clues, including those for the names of some of the pubs along the way and the photo clues where we had to identify the locations of the various items pictured.

The route stayed close to the Cathedral but revealed nooks and crannies most of us had never seen before such as the site of the King’s Wardrobe, which was destroyed by the Fire of London and the beautiful but sadly dilapidated original St Paul’s Choir School which is now a Youth Hostel.

We were allowed up to two and a half hours to complete the course before assembling in the Lord Raglan or, as described in the clues the Rag and Roll, for our answer sheets to be marked and the winners ("Team 7") announced.  It was a great way to spend an afternoon, getting to know each other better, learning more about the City and supporting Islington Giving at the same time.

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