MONTHLY MEETINGS 2011
|November||‘Mozart built my garage’
Anne, until her retirement, was internationally renowned as a mezzo-soprano who sang many solo roles in famous opera houses around the world. She is now a teacher of the next generation of opera singers, at the Royal College of Music, and had an evocative and extremely amusing tale to tell of the life of an opera singer in the second half of the 20th century. She also brought recordings of some of her performances to delight us.
|October||The magic of Glyndebourne
Almost on our doorstep, in East Sussex, is one of the world’s most famous opera houses. Started a little over 80 years ago by impresario John Christie and now run by one of his grandsons, it is home to some of the world’s great opera singers and many of its best loved operas. Katie and Julia will give an illustrated talk about its history and about some of the famous singers and performances that this great opera house has brought, and continues to bring, to our small corner of England. They also showed us a DVD of a recent Youth project Knight Crew involving local young people and which appeared last year on BBC TV featuring the inspirational young conductor, Gareth Malone.
|Katie Tearle, Head of Education and Community Projects, and Julia Aries, Glyndebourne Archivist.|
|September||Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
The first presentation of the new U3A year is given by Dr Jon Taylor, who works at the national headquarters of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) in Godalming. He works on preservation of endangered species and conservation of water and spent over 20 years working in Africa on related projects. His presentation showed the effects of climate change on both wildlife and people. He discussed important questions - and suggested possible answers - to some of the most challenging questions of our time.
|Dr Jon Taylor|
|June||Saddle-sore in Montana
Ann Chance is something of a force of nature. In a long career before becoming an after-lunch and after-dinner speaker she was variously the President of the London Ironmongers' Association, a musician, a scuba diver and a paraglider. Later, at the age of 56, she learnt to fly and gained her pilot's wings at Biggin Hill. Not content with this, at the age of 64, she learnt to ride a horse because she had an urge to take part in a genuine American-cowboy cattle drive. She did cattle drives in Wyoming and Oklahoma, and finally in Montana - which gives us the title for our presentation. A colleague who organises speakers for another organisation said to me a year ago, 'Whatever else you do next year, you must get Ann Chance - she's hilarious'.
|May||Inventing and Inventors
Trevor Baylis is one of Britain's most famous and most articulate inventors. Perhaps his most famous invention, for which he achieved world-wide fame in the '90s, was the wind-up radio, which brought immense benefits of contact with the outside world to millions of African peoples and others elsewhere. Trevor is a passionate advocate of inventors and invention and speaks eloquently of the difficulties that inventors encounter in getting acknowledged and being funded.
Oliver Miles was already a distinguished Ambassador to Libya in 1984 when WPC Yvonne Fletcher was murdered by a member of the Libyan embassy staff. His career achieved some notoriety as a result when he and his staff were barricaded inside his embassy by Colonel Gaddafi's police and his wife and children inside their house.
Oliver continued to have a distinguished career in British government service after this and, when he subsequently retired, he set up a company which has deep and sustained business dealings with Libya and other countries in the region. His knowledge of the area, and particularly of Libya, for which he has a deep love,is at present unparalleled and he finds himself in constant demand by TV and radio stations and by several newspapers to comment on the present situation in the region. He is above all intelligent, calm in his appraisal, very balanced. His experience in the region goes back nearly well over 40 years since he joined the Foreign Service.
At his talk on 11 April Oliver talked about Libya, about Colonel Gaddafi, about the Libyan people and about the current situation in which that country and the region now find themselves.
|March||Bletchley Park and RAF Bomber Command
John Stubbington served 25 years with the RAF and then 20 years within the UK Defence Industry. For most of that time he was working directly with Defence Intelligence and Electronic Warfare activities. He has written extensively on this and related topics and is well qualified to talk about the very special intelligence activities at Bletchley Park during WW2.
Bletchley Park of course played a highly significant part in the war effort and its activities have been well chronicled in books, TV and film. The presentation by W/C Stubbington helped members of Haslemere U3A to get closer to that story, and how the intelligence product ULTRA was used by numerous committees to decide on the way Bomber Command was used.
|Wing Commander John Stubbington|
|February||The Joe Lyons Story: Food for Thought
Neville Lyons is a second-generation relative of Joe Lyons, who founded and ran the famous cafes and corner houses which were a feature of England for most of the 20th century. Neville is a historian and archivist for the family business. The talk that he gave explored the social history of one of England's most famous institutions.
The presentation, with many archive photos, told a story which stretches from 1887 to 1998. It was a trip down memory lane for many people: memories of the Teashops; the Corner Houses; the Hotels; and of course the Nippy waitresses. The presentation included amusing anecdotes and some surprises as well.
The presentation, with many archival photos, stretched from 1887 onwards, from the time when Joseph Lyons - a born entrepreneur but with no previous experience of the catering industry - set up a small catering company to the time when his company became the world's first food empire. As well as the many well-known catering outlets Joe Lyons often fed 15000 guests at Royal Garden Parties, managed a big wartime ordnance project and developed in-house the first business computer.
|January||Haslemere Hospital: its Past, Present and Future
Vincent is a member of Haslemere U3A and also a renowned doctor and professor of medicine. In a distinguished medical career covering more than 50 years he has been a pioneer in vital fields of medicine and has been one of the world's leading authorities on hypoglycaemia. Famously involved in the von Bulow case, he was often called upon as an expert in suspected crimes involving insulin or hypoglycaemia and is a well known author in the field of medical writing. He was professor of medicine at Surrey University until his retirement.
For residents of Haslemere, Vincent has a less notorious but probably more important relevance. He is the chairman of the League of Friends of Haslemere Hospital at a most crucial time in its history and is one of its most ardent champions. At a time when the future of cottage hospitals is under serious national discussion, Vincent gave a presentation on the hospital's past, present and, critically, future. He explained where the hospital comes from and outlined some possibilities for its future development. He spoke with authority, insight and wisdom and his presentation was of importance to all who have an interest in the future of medicine in Haslemere.
|Professor Vincent Marks|