iU3A News

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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 (Spring 2017) newsletter click here

For previous newsletters click here

Our Bulletins
For our latest Bulletin click here.


Last Monthly Meeting
Brian FenderJune 22 Sir Brian Fender Chair London Waterway Partnership of the Canal and River Trust London Canals: from London’s Greatest Park to “village greens”.

We were treated to an absorbing and entertaining talk on the history of the canal system from the beginning of the last century and our continued fascination with water.
In 1946 the Inland Waterways Association was formed in the days when the transport of freight by canals was still in operation. But, after the really hard winter of 1962, freighting failed and the canal system became a dumping ground. The regeneration of the canals began in the 1980s, navigable waters became fashionable again and there was recognition of the heritage potential of canals.
In 2012 the Canal and River Trust was formed and is today a huge charitable organisation with considerable assets including 1,500 locks and 2,700 listed buildings. There are 10 regional groups covering England and Wales of which the London region is one.
The canal system has acted as a catalyst for new building, the development of green spaces and towpath activities such as walking, cycling, and fishing. There are also water sports such as canoeing and paddle boating and many people have made their permanent homes on narrow boats. The canals also provide a retreat for wildlife. There are many challenges for the Trust including over-mooring, sileage, huge numbers of cyclists and the continuing protection of wild life. But, it is a very populist pastime there are 4.5 million people who use the canal system every two weeks
The London region has seen many innovative projects which have grown up along the canals including Granary Square in Kings Cross, the transformation of Paddington Station, many interesting housing schemes and the Olympic Park. However, there are still tranquil spots to be found and many adjoining parks and green spaces. Brian finished by stressing the continuing need to find volunteers and was very impressed by the variety of question asked by the audience.

For notes of previous recent monthly meetings, see here.

Islington Giving Events — Clues Trail, 4 June 2017
Clues TrailAnother successful Clues Trail was held this year as part of our efforts to raise moneny for our local charity — Islington Giving. 37 bought tickets for this event, which was held in the City. After being briefed about the rules of the game — no use of GPS for example — the 6 teams plotted their strategy. This year the teams set off radially for a circular circuit of 35 clues. There were also points for photo images identified around the circuit, the number of Halls seen also on the circuit and some cryptic clues for pub names. This sundial caught most teams out — being high on a building wall in Cheapside.

The route ran through back streets and cut through many hidden alleys and we were amazed by the areas we didn't know in the City. Also holding it on a Sunday this year meant seeing the City at its best without worrying about the traffic. This year all teams made it back early to the centre, to Ye Olde Watling — avoiding any time penalties. After the answer sheets were scored the results were announced with "Longer Walks — 2" being the winners and collecting their prizes. But all agreed it was the taking part that mattered most and 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.

Islington Giving Events - Walk to the Borough, 14 June 2017
This year, for a change, we didn't walk around the borough but instead started at Barnet then walked in to the borough of Islington. We started at Totteridge & Whetstone, followed the Dollis Brook, through Hampstead Garden Suburb, to Highgate then Queen's Wood and eventually down Parkland Walk to Finsbury Park. 32 members took part by walking at least a part of the full 11.5 miles and we raised over £410 for Islington Giving. Some photos along the route can be seen here.

Islington Giving Events 2017 — Your generous support for the iU3A activities during June to raise money for Islington Giving has resulted in our exceeding our target and collecting a total £2,003 for this worthwhile charity. Thank you so much for all your efforts and a special thank you to Derek Harwood for all his hard work which has enabled us to achieve this excellent outcome.
The Cripplegate Foundation covers Islington Giving's administration costs, so all the money we raise goes to support organisations and projects that are working with people in Islington who are suffering from the effects of poverty or isolation. 

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.
To help us gauge interest in holding any more of these could you please complete our survey here.

Open Day, 3 October 2016

                  Day 1In October our Open Day was also 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.

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