General Meetings on 'Zoom'
The following talk meetings are held on ‘Zoom’ in place of our normal face to face General Meetings at Dorridge Village Hall. A few days before each meeting, members will receive an email containing a link for joining the 'Zoom' meeting. To join a meeting, click the given link a few minutes before the meeting is due to start – usually 2.0 pm.
Zoom Help: click here for more guidance on handling Zoom meetings. (Username and password required).
Member Comments - If you would like to comment about a recent speaker, or make a suggestion about meeting topics, please use the form at the bottom of this page.
2021 - Forthcoming Zoom Meetings meetings start at 2.0 pm
To join a meeting use the link given in the email sent to members a few days beforehand.
Thursday, 20th May - "California Dreaming"
From San Francisco to Grand Canyon via Route 66: an illustrated road trip with a twist.
The speaker is Neil Sadler.
Neil trained as a school teacher and worked on the Isle of Man before
returning to England for a very brief spell as a civil servant based in
Bristol. In 1978 he decided that an office-based job was not for him and he
joined Sussex Police.
He spent much of his 30 years’ service as an operational officer in various ranks across Sussex, working briefly in Hong Kong, Trinidad and Abu Dhabi ... he even survived Bognor Regis, Haywards Heath and Crawley!
Following retirement in 2008, he now offers his talks to groups and organisations throughout Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, and South London.
Wednesday, 9th June - "Writing for Other Comedians".
The Speaker is Brad Ashton, a comic writer who has written for most of our top comedians. In the second of his talks, Brad will tell us how comedy writers get their ideas and adapt them for specific comedians.
Thursday, 17th June - "Living the African Dream"
Speaker: Aison Mees
Alison had a passion for wildlife and photography. She had a strong desire to be in Africa, especially with cheetahs. Over 16 years ago she arrived in South Luangwa, Zambia undertaking various roles in hospitality, and after a lot of hard study, a dream came true and she became a qualified safari guide.
Alison then worked in Serengeti, Tanzania, where her passion for photography and wildlife continued to grow. She was fortunate to spend time with the researchers from the Serengeti Cheetah Project where her knowledge developed in learning about individual cheetahs, their behaviour, how to identify individuals and photograph them.
For 3½years, Alison worked in Mara North Conservancy, Kenya where she found time to continue observing cheetahs and supporting the researchers with data and photographs. She also dedicated time working with the local Masai Community with education and health related projects and since April 2020 Alison has been working as a volunteer for the Cheetah Conservation Fund UK on various projects including fund-raising, where her love for cheetahs continues.
Thursday, 1st July - "Vitamin G"
Speaker: Our own - Roger Williams
You will be taken down the garden path and it is hoped that whether as a horticulturist or just someone who loves beauty you will glean something new and may be a little surprised. You may also have a better idea as to what the “G” stands for".
Thursday, 15th July - "The hoarder next door"
Speaker: Steven Bruce
Steven started his
career when he was 18 and has worked all over the United Kingdom including a
few years in Scotland. After owning his own auction room and acting as managing
partner of a well known midlands firm of auctioneers and valuers he now acts as
a consultant and agent.
Steven is now in his 53rd year as an auctioneer and has many unique and interesting stories to tell. He is a very active and well known speaker in the midlands, and has been involved in raising funds for many charities He also undertakes valuations for insurance and probate and acts for religious organisations and the regular and Territorial Amy in assisting them in valuations.
Earlier 2021 Zoom Meetings
Thurs, 21st January - 'Dorridge Parish and the Rebuilding of St Philips Church'
Speaker: Richard Arbuthnot *
Richard will be giving a brief review of the history local parish and its church, St Philips in Manor Road. He will then bring us right up to date with an insight into the redvelopment of St Philips and the planned community facilities which many will have seen going up in Manor Road.
Richard trained initially as an engineer in the automotive industry; then having worked in the white goods industry, experienced the joys and pains of a management buyout, he eventually spent the last 24 years of his life working for a very diverse PLC which operated in the automotive, aerospace, storage and materials handling, and housewares markets, eventually becoming its chief executive. Retirement has not slowed things down - Married to Gill, with three sons, enjoying six grandchildren with one of the families now citizens of Canada, keeps him pretty active together with involvement in many different areas and when the need arose to review the church and its hall in Dorridge, he was volunteered for the job!
Thurs, 28th January - 'Why is Russia Different?'
Speaker: Professor Gerald Seaman
Professor Seaman last gave a talk to Dorridge U3A in April 2019, on the subject of Shostakovich. He was due to give us a talk in April 2020 but this naturally had to be postponed. We're delighted that he is now in a position to offer his lecture via Zoom.
Professor Seaman is a world authority on Russian music, and his publications include a History of Russian Music and books on Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky. For many years he was Professor of Musicology at the University of Auckland before returning to the UK where he joined the Staff of Oxford University. He has lectured extensively throughout the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
Thurs, 4th February - Memories of Winter 1962/63
Speaker: William Foster *
William is a member of Dorridge U3A committee and in charge of our General Meeting programme, which is not an easy task at the moment because we can't have our usual face to face meetings in Dorridge Village Hall.
So this will be another 'Zoom' meeting and will include pictures and memories of the 1962/63 winter submitted by members. It was inspired by the recent talk featuring the memories of Kitty Gundy in wartime.
Thurs, 25th February - 'From Paris to Warwick' - the story of Tony Dury
Speaker: Paul Baker
We are pleased to welcome back Paul Baker who gave us an excellent talk almost exactly a year ago on the lost railway of Warwickshire. Now he tells the fascinating story of Antoine Dury, born in Lyons in 1819, studied in Paris, subsequently worked in Warwick and Liverpool. It brings to light the story of an artist who deserves better recognition for the contribution he made to the heritage of Warwick.
After spending some 24 years in the airline business and just over 6 years at the National Trust where he was a Property Manager at Biddulph Grange Garden, Paul returned to live in Warwickshire on retirement. After spending some 24 years in the airline business and just over 6 years at the National Trust where he was a Property Manager at Biddulph Grange Garden, Paul returned to live in Warwickshire on retirement. Since then he has been involved with both Rowington Parish Records Group and Lapworth Local History Society and carried out research on various topics for both groups that formed the basis of either exhibitions or talks.
Thurs, 4th March - 'My Childhood Home' -
Another Memories afternoon where members can share their pictures and stories
Speaker: Robert Beckham *
Thurs, 11th March - Quiz Afternoon
Presented by: Bob Mansell
Thurs, 18th March - "The Story of the Manchester Ship Canal"
Speakers: Bob Cannell and Les Green.
Bob Cannell and Les Green are two volunteers of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society (Daniel Adamson or Danny, is a former working canal tugboat). Bob is the Volunteer Co-ordinator besides being a Presenter. Les is one of the Trustees and is also in charge of the Fundraising Group.
Thurs, 25th of March, The Job of a Laughtime
Speaker: Brad Ashton
Brad is a comic writer and has written for top comedians such as Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Frankie Howerd, Bruce Forsyth. Expect lots of jokes and backstage anecdotes.
Thurs, 8th April - Another memories afternoon, "My First Job"
Wed, 28th April - Lasting Powers of Attorney
Speaker: Chris Chippendale
A Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is a legal document that allows you to appoint chosen representatives who will be responsible for you and your affairs should you be unable to do it for yourself in the future, in advance, and it allows you to place restrictions on and give directions to the people you choose. An LPA comes in two parts, Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare.
Thurs, 6th May - 'The Royal Letters Mystery'.
Speaker: Janet Cowlard
Janet tells an intriguing story of an investigation into five unsigned letters hand-written on headed notepaper from Royal residences, the research for which resulted in a book published in 2014.
Janet trained as a home economics teacher, which was her role during the 1970s. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 21, and over the last 40 years she has overcome the difficulties caused by her disability, to become a respected expert in arthritis self/pain-management.
In 2004 she embarked on a six-week Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to the west coast of the USA and Canada to study pain management programmes. This study led to her co-writing the internationally recognised and researched 'Challenging Pain' training programme, which is now being delivered throughout the UK and in Australia. Janet received her Winston Churchill Fellow medallion for this work from Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2006.
She has been awarded the 'Citizen of the Year for Services to the Community', by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, and the ‘Plymouth Women of Achievement’ Community award.
Since retirement, she has developed a series of talks around the theme of royalty. She has written a book called The Royal letters mystery, which forms the basis of this afternoon’s talk.
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