How Electric Cars Work– Colin Robinson

Colin gave an entertaining short talk on how electric cars work. He described the various energy sources (including electric) available in principle for automotive propulsion and compared them in terms of cost, efficiency, endurance, etc. He gave a comparison between lead-acid & Li-ion battery types. It was pointed out that the basic commercial costs of petrol/diesel and electric propulsion were approximately the same, but that electric propulsion would clearly win out in that respect unless taxation rules were changed. However, there were significant logistical implications for electric cars (availability of charging points, exchanging batteries, use of solar charging, etc.) Perhaps in the short term hybrid vehicles may prove to be a pragmatic interim solution, although currently costly and still lacking in endurance if mainly reliant on electricity.

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Food & Wine – November 2018

First World War remembered

At our November meeting we remembered the home front in  WW1. We learnt that rationing didn’t start until 1917 when the country had only enough food stocks to last for six weeks..  By WW2 Britain had learned this lesson.  Instant custard and soup came onto the scene. We tasted some interesting recipes from WW1, thankfully not all of them in use today.

Avril Neighbour

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Concert and Ballet

On Sunday 18th November 2018 a large group of us went to the Swan to hear the RPO play music byVerdi, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky and what a wonderful concert it was!  We were treated to a free pre-concert talk before the concert and the place was heaving – couldn’t get to the bar without a severe struggle!  We did manage to buy an ice cream in the interval at £4.00 a tub!  A lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon and for those of us who went on the “little green bus” Peter Johnson was as ever an excellent and thoughtful driver.


On Monday 3rd December 2018 we went to an evening “live” cinema showing in Aylesbury of the Royal Ballet dancing “The Nutcracker.”   The performance was so good I felt I could have sat through it and watched it again. It was beamed all round the world.  Before the show and during the interval  we had Darcy Bussell explaining and talking us through the roles and watching rehearsals and talking to the two leaders.    Altogether a wonderful evening and again “the little green bus” came up trumps with another lovely driver Tim who was helpful and considerate. 


Penny Young U3A theatre group Leader.  

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Walking – November 2018

Long Walk 7th November led by John Stallwood

10 of us gathered together at the Wheel pub just before 9-30am. It wasn’t raining at the time but the forecast was horrible ! I handed in our pre-ordered menu to the pub and off we went. First we headed towards North Dean through fields and woods, on up the hill towards Speen then down towards the former pub, The Plough, then up the hill opposite towards Lacey Green where we stopped for a coffee break. We had had drizzle and a shower but not a lot yet ! Continuing on we went round by church lane down a path towards NT car park in Small Dean lane nr Saunderton. Here the weather did start to change for the worse so I changed my intended route so that we stayed mostly in the wood, sheltered from the full force of the wind and rain before going diagonally across Bradenham/Napill commons to the pub arriving a bit bedraggled but surprisingly not too wet. Good food awaited.   A excellent walk, with stunning views of the autumn colours. A few too many stiles which were very slippery due to the wet. About 7.7 miles long.    Continue reading Walking – November 2018 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

“Autumn Flowers of the Peloponnese” Talk by Richard Jones

We were whisked away from a gloomy November afternoon, into the sun and blue skies of Greece .  Richard gave us a superb talk about the Peloponnese peninsula, it’s scenery, history, archaeology, customs and, above all, it‘s wonderful wildlife and wildflowers.  Everywhere there were  beautiful cyclamen, crocus, sternbergia and intriguing exploding cucumbers to name but a few of  the plants.  Richard’s photographs showed us the ruggedness and wildness of this part of Greece, unspoilt by tourism.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Monthly Meeting November 2018

The speaker at our November meeting, was Dr Martin Hodson, who has given us several talks so is very popular.

This time he talked about “How I got into cancer research, food science, archaeology, beer and much more.

He mostly talked about silicon in plants, and how it is also found in some beers. He mentioned that silicon in

beer is good for osteoporosis, so we were pleased to think that beer is doing us some good.

As usual his talk was very interesting and we look forward to his next talk.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

How to Stop Radars Tracking You – Garth Wilkinson

Garth concentrated mainly on self protection of military aircraft against radar-directed terminal threat weapon systems, though pointed out that there was read-across to other platform environments and jammer resource deployments.

His talk covered briefly aircraft tactics, but emphasised the role of “soft-kill” electronic countermeasures (ECM) in terms of the use of passive decoys, and onboard and offboard active electronic techniques and technologies.

He described noise, deception and angle jamming techniques which could be used against sophisticated radars employing pulse doppler multiple target tracking & monopulse angle tracking techniques (e.g. using phased array antennas). A number of advanced repeater jammer techniques & technologies were described, including those regarded as most difficult to implement (counter-monopulse). Examples of implementation in specific aircraft types were given.

Electronic Protection Measures (EPM) used by radars to try to defeat jamming were also briefly addressed.

His talk was illustrated with a number of video clips:

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Walking – October 2018

Long Walk 3rd October led by Chris Mansfield

Nine of us met at the Black Horse, Lacey Green on a dry but cloudy day. We set off at 9.15 to walk down Kiln Lane then soon branching off along a bridleway to reach Lily Bottom Lane. After such a hot dry summer this bridleway which is usually extremely muddy at the best of times, was quite dry and we reached Lily Bottom in record time! We then took a path up though woodland to Redland End then on through more woodland to finally reach the track leading to Solinger House. Here we turned right to reach and cross the road continuing on and up past Dirtywood farm and into more woods where we stopped for a coffee break, seated on a large log. Continue reading Walking – October 2018 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Current Affairs Report 5th November 2018

8 members and 2 visitors were present.

Brenda welcomed Pamela Haytor, a Community Officer for Natwest Bank, to the meeting .  She was with us to talk about ‘Friends Against Scams’.  We were all looking forward to Ern about how to stay safe and avoid getting caught by scams.  Pamela started by showing a video of the types of scams and the common incidents were people can get caught. Continue reading Current Affairs Report 5th November 2018 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Learning Together