Haslemere U3A


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Month Subject Speaker
February The Silk Road from China to the Mediterranean
Alan begins with a description of silk manufacture. He will then trace this 8000 mile route which religions, commerce and conquerors have travelled for the last 3000 years. Starting from Xian, the talk follows the Great Wall and passes over the Roof if the World. The caravans en route are drawn by camels, yaks, mules and horses. The journey continues through Samarkand and Isfahan to Syria and Turkey and thence on to Constantinople, Athens, Venice and Rome.
The talk, which will last an hour, was accompanied by beautiful colour slides, very many of them taken by Alan himself.
Alan Bott
March Racing by sledge to the South Pole
What persuaded a 60-year-old grandmother from Haslemere to abandon the comfort of home, train in daunting conditions for two years, raise over 40,000 for herself and a similar amount for her partner and join the New Year 2009 Scott-Amundsen race to the South Pole? Tess Burrows went into severe training to prepare herself for the ordeal. Among other preparations equally tough she ran the London Marathon; did the 630 miles of the South-West Coast Path; climbed the fifteen 3000+ foot peaks of Snowdonia in 24 hours; undertook a fierce winter acclimatisation expedition in northern Norway; and walked the South Downs Way with a heavy tyre strapped to her waist. She then felt ready for the rigours of Antarctica.
The story of her participation in the race - prompted by her desire to raise funding for the 6 schools in Tibet that she has had built, to raise awareness of ecological issues in Antarctica and elsewhere, to promote the theme of peace and the interrelationship of all human beings - is a story of immense determination against the starkest odds.
Tess Burrows
April Captain on Concorde
David had a life-long career in flying, going from the RAF to commercial airline.. After being Flight Manager for the VC10, he was asked to join the team preparing to fly Concorde and was involved in the project for over 15 years. In due course he became chief pilot and flew all over the world. He has a fund of amusing and dramatic stories to tell of this great and much loved aircraft, probably the most exciting ever to have flown. As chief pilot he flew many of the world's most famous golfers and other sportsmen on Atlantic and other flights and his talk will range over this and many other interesting topics.
Captain KD Leney, Chief Pilot
May The Life and Music of Kathleen Ferrier
Writer, composer and BBC radio broadcaster Christopher Fifield is the country's most knowledgeable expert on the life and music of the iconic Kathleen Ferrier. Coming from a humble background in a small Lancashire village, the singer with the unique voice went on to become world famous before dying tragically early in 1953.
Christopher, who has written a major work about her life, presented her story, illustrated with recordings of some of her remarkable music.
Christopher Fifield
September 'Don't forget the diver'
David is a member of Haslemere U3A and also a renowned diving adviser, trainer and doctor. After leaving Oxford with a medical degree he joined the Royal Navy's research team in deep-sea diving and, over 40 years later, is still advising world-wide on diving practice, training and medical and legal issues. An experienced deep-sea diver himself, he brings a fund of knowledge to his presentation, which is illustrated with photos of events that are variously exciting, illuminating, instructive and downright scary. Recruited at different times by the US Navy, Shell Oil Company and various European governments, he brings a fund of knowledge and humour to his treatment of a subject about which few of us have any deep knowledge.
Professor David Elliott, OBE, FRCP
October As light as a feather: building the 2012 London Olympics Velodrome
Chris Wise is one of the country's leading engineering designers. Formerly Professor of Creative Design at Imperial College, London and Professor of Architecture at Yale University, in 1999 Chris co-founded Expedition Engineering, one of the UK's foremost engineering design companies. He is Past-Master of the RSA's Royal Designers and is acknowledged as one of the most creative engineering designers of his generation. Chris is also an experienced lecturer and broadcaster. His firm is the designer of the renowned Infinity Bridge on the River Tees, opened in 2009, but its key project is the design and construction of the Velodrome for the London Olympics, described recently by Kevin McCloud in the Telegraph magazine as 'a magical, anti-gravity thing'.
George Oates is a colleague of Chris at Expedition Engineering, illustrious in his own right. He was recently awarded the highly prestigious Institute of Civil Engineering James Rennie Medal for his project 'Designing out risk in the London 2012 Velodrome'.
Together Chris and George gave a presentation about the building of the velodrome, and many other aspects of the preparation for the Olympics
Professor Chris Wise and George Oates