Dorridge U3A

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    Speaker Notes - JANUARY & FEBRUARY 2019

    Speaker names marked with an asterisk  *  are Dorridge U3A members

    Date:   Thursday 3rd January

    Topic:  Tanzania revisited

    Speaker:  Mike Wilkes

    Mike has been photographing wildlife for the past 40 years. He has taken wildlife photographic trips to Tanzania, Galapagos, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Gambia. and has also run photographic schools on Wildlife photography


    Date:   Thursday 17th January

    Topic:  Neil Roberts

    Speaker: The end of the end of the pier show

    Neil has an extensive theatrical background covering most areas of the business. He developed an early interest and talent for magic and illusion that has continued throughout life.
    Neil is often to be found behind the scenes devising and directing shows, but he is also an accomplished stage and cabaret performer. He has worked with many of today’s top magicians as advisor/producer; helping to design and develop new and original routines which have resulted in a number of prize winning acts, and commercial routines. He is also able to devise routines suitable to be incorporated into stage performances and can teach actors and non-magicians to present convincing magical sequences. Award-winning appearances in the 1980s on major magic competitions have lead to appearances on Gala Shows at magical conventions in Britain and Europe.
    Neil was magical advisor to Blackpool Tower Circus, summer season 1992, helping to devise illusions for the "Magical Water Spectacular" show and he is regarded as Britain's top magical Stage Director, able to combine his vast magical knowledge with extensive experience in all branches of the theatre and showbusiness. He spent 1997/8 Christmas season as company stage manager on "Wizard's World of Wonder" nation-wide tour. Having co-written the show he was responsible for sound, lighting and effects and made several on-stage character appearances. He has also held the office of Stage Director to the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians since 1995 to the present day; where he is responsible for staging all the shows at their annual convention, working with both top international stars of magic and neophyte performers, often making their first stage appearance.


    Date:   Wednesday 23rd January

    TopicLas Vegas (‘Sin City’) Nevada

    Speaker:  Ron Gallivan


    This talk is a potted history of the culture and flavour of Las Vegas (‘Sin City’) Nevada– a story from the dawn of time until the present day.It starts with its historical Spanish origins and ‘Mob’ connections to the ‘Vegas’ of today, the self-styled ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ with its famous ‘Strip’ and some of its ‘big winners’. Up state Nevada is not neglected when we take a helicoptor ride down the Colorado River and the unique bridge that spans it.

    It is a good story! Don’t miss it and bring your suntan lotion!


    Date:   Thursday 7th February

    Topic:  A virtual trip around the Outer Circle

    Speaker:  David and Pam Humphries

    David Humphries had a career in telecommunications and after 30 years at the GPO & BT started his own telecoms company. Pam joined him in the business after careers as a nursery nurse, in retailing and then in recruitment management.
    But what happens when you sell the business? Live the life of the idle rich? No such luck. In 2011 they arranged historic bus tours, mainly around Birmingham’s Outer Circle bus route giving them an interest in the history and heritage of the Second City. Then they both became volunteer tour guides at the National Trust Back to Backs in Hurst Street and at the Coffin Works in Fleet Street, Birmingham. Together, they are now delivering talks supporting these two heritage attractions and have created a talk entitled “A ‘Virtual’ Tour of the Outer Circle”. For anyone who wants to ride the Outer Circle the full tour is available on line. Not content with this, they are also now conducting guided tours at The Hippodrome Theatre and have added “A Brief History of The Hippodrome” to their repertoire of heritage talks. There’s nothing like retirement to keep you busy


    Date:   Thursday 21st February

    Topic :  Remembering the Back to Backs

    Speaker: Helen Lloyd

    Helen worked in radio for much of her life, including many years as a freelance reporter for the BBC Radio 4 programme, Woman’s Hour. She recorded over one hundred life-stories of people in the West Midlands for the BBC’s Millennium oral history project, The Century Speaks, and used these to produce an award-winning radio series which was broadcast on BBC WM and on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire. She then gathered 150 life-stories for Birmingham City Council's Millennibrum oral history project, and these are now housed in the Library of Birmingham.
    Since then she has run her own oral history consultancy, and records life-stories for anyone who will pay her!
    She has recorded filmed interviews for the Association of Jewish Refugees, which are now in archives around the world, and created an oral history of diabetes website for the University of Oxford, called Diabetes Stories. She has recorded oral histories of the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, and the Birmingham Assay Office and recorded all the voices heard on the tour of the National Trust Back to Backs in Hurst Street, Birmingham, as well as making a CD for the National Trust called Memories of Back to Backs which sadly sold out last year.
    In recent years, she has offered training in oral history to community groups and has lectured on oral history all over the UK and in Copenhagen, Boston and San
    Francisco.


    Date:   Wednesday 27th February

    Topic 1:  Building Dorridge Village Hall

    Speaker:  Paul Burley

    Paul Burley is a retired architect and a past President of Birmingham Architectural Association. He was formerly a senior partner for S.T. Walker & Partners, and was the architect of Dorridge Village Hall. He also served a term as Chair of the Dorridge Village Hall Association.
    He was also formerly a member of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.
    He now lives in Stratford and is a member of the Grumpy Old Men Group in the Heart of England U3A!

    Topic 2:  5,000 miles by land and sea to see the midnight sun in northern Norway.

    Speaker:  Stephen Boulton

    Stephen Boulton is currently treasurer of Dorridge U3A