- Apologies for absence were received from seven members. Two members have resigned.
- Update on our request for a speaker from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. We have completed their booking form, and have suggested dates of either 4th June 2018 or 2nd July 2018. More news next time.
- We talked about other options for meetings, including Medical Detection Dogs , a visit from the Fire Prevention Service, a discussion on recycling. More of these in the New Year.
Continue reading Current Affairs Report – 6 November 2017
DVD and afternoon tea
On Monday 13th November 2017 the Theatre Group had a DVD and cream tea afternoon in the Carrington Room which was a great success. 48 people came and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
The DVD was called “What we did on our Holiday” billed as “hilarious…British comedy at its best”, starring Rosamund Pike, David Tennant and Billy Connelly.
A big thank you to Avril who made 100 scones – delicious and to our other helpers including collecting monies clearing tables and washing up!
Royal Philharmonic at the Swan
Theatre group had a very enjoyable evening at Wycombe Swan on Wednesday 25th October 2017 to hear a Concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play Mendelssohn, Chopin, Vaughan Williams and Elgar. The theatre was fully booked, excellent music and a wonderful evening! We are already looking forward to their next concert.
Prof Johnson had conducted a fundamental review of natural environmental services at the University of Liverpool in partnership with Merseyside County Council. He had held a lectureship at Liverpool, & had then been offered a chair at Imperial College, London. However, the Rio Tinto Company had endowed a personal chair for him at the University of Liverpool, following which he sometime later moved into the private sector as a consultant to the mining industry.
He had studied the estuaries & coastal waters, & particularly pollution of the Mersey Basin. High levels of toxic metals (Hg & Cu) had been found in the fish in these waters, with peak levels of Hg in ~ 1980 thru 2015. Discharge from local chemical industry was found to be the source of this pollution. There were also toxic organic pollutants (e.g. pesticides & PCBs) found in estuary fish. By comparison, the Dee estuary was much less polluted. Continue reading Is there life after industry? – Prof Michael Johnson
For the November meeting sadly, we had a low number of attendees. However, those who attended were pleased to welcome Jenny along with her Hearing Dog Tazzy – a two year old black Labrador and also her former HD Molly who is now retired. Liz (a hearing dog socialiser and group member) bought along Eden a 7 month old Cockerpoo. We were able to see the full spectrum of Hearing Dogs – 1 just learning, 1 a young qualified working dog and 1 former working dog who still happily lives with Jenny alongside Tazzy.
Jenny was able to explain life as a deaf person both before and after a hearing dog and how life changed for her when she was given her first HD Jango so many years ago. Jenny ‘went’ deaf later in life and so she was able to function with communication skills formerly learnt as a hearing person. However, life became more and more difficult for her and it was suggested to her that a hearing dog may be the answer. Enquiries were made of the Charity who were in their infancy and she qualified. She went on to tell us that the Charity is celebrating 30 years this year and have gone from strength to strength, now with a successful breeding programme they are able to help the rising number of people with hearing problems. Both adults and children are now considered – they have come a long way in the 30 years !
Jenny, was able to answer questions explaining that although deaf, she could lip read. All too soon it was teatime although members continued to chat and make a fuss of the dogs. (They were both hopeful of a chocolate biscuit but unlucky !!)
Sally gave out U3A notices regarding the next couple of months and thanked those members for coming.
In October we once again had a visit from Debra and David Rixon who produce their own professional set of DVDs of their walking tours. Today we watched a DVD of Tuscany which included visits to Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Siena. These visits were made partly in their Smart car, which, as it had ‘Passion’ emblazoned on the side, they named their Passion Wagon, and a trip in a Fiat Cinquecento but most of their touring was on foot.
We were treated to the beauties of Florence, including the Uffizi Gallery and saw the hustle and bustle of the Rialto Bridge. They then travelled on to Pisa and its famous Leaning Tower. After that they went on to the beautiful town of Lucca, ending up in Siena. Siena has an unusual shell-shaped piazza, the Piazza del Campo, divided into the 17 contrade or districts, of Siena. Twice a year the contrade compete in a horse race called the Palio which David and Debra had filmed and told us about. After that they walked part of the pilgrim trail known as the Via Francigena which actually begins in Canterbury and ends in Rome. The section David and Debra walked was from Francigena to San Gimignano, some of which looked very muddy in parts!
What makes the Footloose in Italy films so eminently watchable is that they are not just impersonal descriptions of towns, with an off screen narrator. The audience sees both Debra and David onscreen as they walk, climb hills and occasionally very high towers. They try the local cheeses, enjoy some wine tasting, and engage with the local population. As with all their previous films, it was most enjoyable and informative.
Long Walk 4th October led by John Stallwood
There were 12 of us walking gathering at the start in Lane End car park. After phoning the pub with our lunch order (important!), giving Health &Safety speech we set off at about 9-35. We took a roadside path towards Boulter End then crossed the road at Lacey’s farm and continued on across fields towards Fingest, then on around under the windmill hill towards Turville. where we encountered a film crew filming next to the footpath. They were BBC America filming a thriller called “Killing Eve “. Time for a coffee break! – which went on longer than anticipated. Then on up the side road out of Turville, across fields towards wood on the far side, then a circular route through a wood taking us to the far end of Skirmett. Because of extended coffee stop I decided to alter the route slightly and go up the track to Parmoor then across fields to Frieth. A short walk through this lovely Bucks village brought us to the Prince Albert pub for lunch, only 5mins later than ETA! After an enjoyable meal in a nice friendly pub, a short walk through a wood and along a short road walk led us back to Lane End. An interesting walk done by joining up some familiar paths and others I’d never walked but it worked well and I had no complaints.
Continue reading Walking – October 2017
On October 16th, we visited RHS Garden Wisley to see the Autumn colours. We were not disappointed; the trees and shrubs were golden and russet and the flower borders were still magnificent with grasses and beautiful Autumn-flowering plants. Wisley is lovely at any time of the year and richly deserves the award of the nation’s favourite garden. The morning was fine and misty but in the afternoon we experienced the eeriest phenomenon of a red sun and dark skies caused but a storm over Ireland bringing sand from the Sahara. However, this did not spoil what was a very enjoyable day.
Report on a meeting on 26th April 2017
“The music of Rachmaninoff” was the title of David Dennis’ presentation. He described his life and we listened to a number his pieces of music including preludes, symphonies and concertos particularly his “Song without words”, “Vespers” and his “Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini”.
Report on a meeting on 24th May 2017
Martin Schulze presented a programme of music written in the baroque period specially for trumpet with organ accompaniment, and we enjoyed watching and listening the performers on video.
Report on a meeting on 28th June 2017
Richard Jones gave an illustrated presentation based on “The short and brilliant career of Pergolesi”. This had been adapted from a presentation he previously gave at an “Aspects of Italy” Interest Group meeting but having more emphasis on the music rather than on the country.
Report on a meeting on 26th July 2017
Margaret Hawkes and Edna Gay shared leading this meeting and played a selection of music that they would take if marooned on a desert island.
Report on a meeting on 23rd August 2017
Peter Willett gave an illustrated presentation on Mendelssohn’s ten visits to the UK and played a selection of his music which had been inspired by his visits or written for specific music festivals here.
Report on a meeting held on 27th September 2017
Barbara Lowe used the “title, “Best of British” to play a selection of music from British composers including Eric Coates, Edward Elgar, George Butterworth. Ralph Vaughan Williams,Richard Addinsell, Charles Williams, Karl Jenkins, Gilbert & Sullivan and Ronald Binge.