iU3A News

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Our Newsletter
Islington U3A produces a newsletter three to four times a year. We let every member know when there is a new one, sending them a link so that they can easily see it online. To see our latest (Winter 2017/18) newsletter click here

For previous newsletters click here

Our Bulletins
For our latest Bulletin click here.

LATEST NEWS

Last Monthly Meeting
March — ‘ResearTony Barnettching the Social Science of Pandemic Influenza: Sneezes, Panics and Spies’ by Tony Barnett, Professorial Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Tony is a social scientist researching infectious diseases such as flu, which is very infectious before symptoms begin. He stressed the importance of frequent hand-washing as the best defence against flu and told us that ordinary facemasks are ineffective. Increasing social distance can help as a defence against infection. but this conflicts with the need to help sufferers.

Important variables in infectious diseases which have an impact on social and economic life include: the reproductive rate of infectious diseases, ie the number of secondary cases from one primary case; the virulence of the disease; and its vectors or transmission agents. The flu virus is unstable and changeable as its genetic material mutates and incorporates new material from its host, defeating our immune systems and making it hard to develop a fully effective vaccine.

Zoonotoc viruses that transfer from animals to humans are of particular concern, because if the virus then becomes capable of transfer from humans to humans, a pandemic may result. This is how the Aids virus spread, initially transferred from chimpanzees to humans, and then between humans. Nowadays government and all major organisations have flu pandemic contingency plans because of the catastrophic social and economic impact of a flu pandemic, while at Porton Down work is done to assess whether an outbreak of disease is accidental, natural or intentional.

For notes of previous recent monthly meetings, see here.

Pub Quiz
Pub
                                              Quiz 2017-1Pub
                                              Quiz 2017-3We held our annual pub quiz in January in the Angelic pub at the Angel. Although it was a blustery wet evening 50 members came for this enjoyable event. Our numbers seemed to overwhelm the staff at the beginning and service was frustratingly slow but no one was in a great hurry. Jez Worsnip with his professional standards was our Quizmaster for the evening. Jez designs the questions especially for iU3A and of course the judges' word is final! As always it's a great opportunity to test the grey matter and get to know other members.

Pub Quiz 4Nine teams battled it out with mixed fortunes. Some of the early leaders from the first half slipped away in the second half and no tie break (or obscure football questions!) was necessary this year to provide a clear winner. The winning team to collect the 'delicious surprise' prize were the 'Inkspots'
. So another successful event enjoyed by all — thanks to Julie and Isabel.



Boat Outing
Boat Outing1In November 2017 eleven iU3A members enjoyed a narrowboat trip out of the Islington boat club. We were well looked after by our skipper, Amber, who steered us off in a Westerly direction. We very quickly negotiated our first lock and then headed directly to the Islington tunnel (more info here). 

Various members of the group took turns at steering the boat in a good straight line through the 960 yards of the tunnel. This was very much a highlight of the trip.

Boat Group 2On reaching the Kings Cross side we performed a “u-turn” (a non-trivial exercise) and then went back through the tunnel to Islington. We then headed East for a while before returning to dry land at the boat club. Most of the group then enjoyed a drink at the Plaquemine Lock pub (more info here) where there was a live jazz band.

There was a lot of enthusiasm for an all-day trip, to include a picnic lunch, in the Spring. Watch the "What's On Page" for further info......

Bird Quiz
Bird Quiz1Bird Quiz2In November 2017 we held a pub quiz with a 'bird' theme. There were rounds on bird visual recognition, bird audio (calls and songs) and well known phrases or sayings with a bird conotation. Four teams battled it out. The visual proved easier than the audio.....
The intent of the evening was to share knowledge on birds and have a bit of fun and all felt the evening achieved its objectives!

Theatre Visit
In December 2017 we had another successful annual outing to the Park Theatre at Finsbury Park. We saw a revival of Joe Orton's wonderful black comedy Loot, which opened one week after the 50th anniversary of the playwright's tragic death. Over 106 iU3A members (& friends) attended this enjoyable evening. The talk before the play from the director to iU3A give us some special insights into the changing values and views from its original production. Again, many thanks are due to Sue Welsford for organising this event.

Clues Trail
Due to the popularity of these events a second was organised this year. In August on the day 22 members turned up to form 5 teams then follow the trail and seek out the clues. Additional points were awarded for spotting the location of some photographic images during the trail and a special round at the end back at the pub tested team's knowledge of the London Guilds. Again everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event. Thanks to Elizabeth Mansbridge for organising this one — and we all look forward to the next one.

Islington Giving Events 2017
Clues TrailYour generous support for the iU3A activities during June to raise money for Islington Giving has resulted in our exceeding our target and collecting a total £2,250 for this worthwhile charity. Thank you so much for all your efforts and a special thank you to Derek Harwood for all his hard work which has enabled us to achieve this excellent outcome.
The Cripplegate Foundation covers Islington Giving's administration costs, so all the money we raise goes to support organisations and projects that are working with people in Islington who are suffering from the effects of poverty or isolation. 

Clues Trail - Another successful Clues Trail was held this year as part of our efforts to raise moneny for our local charity — Islington Giving. 37 bought tickets for this event, which was held in the City. After being briefed about the rules of the game — no use of GPS for example — the 6 teams plotted their strategy. This year the teams set off radially for a circular circuit of 35 clues. There were also points for photo images identified around the circuit, the number of Halls seen also on the circuit and some cryptic clues for pub names. This sundial caught most teams out — being high on a building wall in Cheapside.

The route ran through back streets and cut through many hidden alleys and we were amazed by the areas we didn't know in the City. Also holding it on a Sunday this year meant seeing the City at its best without worrying about the traffic. This year all teams made it back early to the centre, to Ye Olde Watling — avoiding any time penalties. After the answer sheets were scored the results were announced with "Longer Walks — 2" being the winners and collecting their prizes. But all agreed it was the taking part that mattered most and it was a great way to spend an afternoon, getting to know each other better, learning more about the City and supporting Islington Giving at the same time.

Walk to the Borough — This year, for a change, we didn't walk around the borough but instead started at Barnet then walked in to the borough boundary of Islington. We started at Totteridge & Whetstone, followed the Dollis Brook, through Hampstead Garden Suburb, to Highgate then Queen's Wood and eventually down Parkland Walk to Finsbury Park. 32 members took part by walking at least a part of the full 11.5 miles and we raised over £410 for Islington Giving. Some photos along the route can be seen here.

Computer Sessions
Computer imageWe have now held five of these popular drop-in help sessions. These sessions allow iU3A members with any query they have regarding their computers, tablets or smartphones to drop in and receive guidance from other iU3A members. The last session was held in March 2018 with 10 members requesting help with over 20 query areas. Again we had a wide range of queries and problems. Some simple ones (to some) were easy to give guidance on, others were harder to solve with much cross-learning and use of Google search. Again all the "clients" went away very contented and with increased confidence to try things for themselves.

Thanks again to all the volunteers who came along to share their knowledge with other iU3A members. A general tutorial on some points raised previously is available here.

See the 'What's On' page for details of the next of these sessions (if there is one scheduled).

Open Day 2017

Open DayIn October our Open Day was also our 4th birthday celebration. Again this proved very popular and enabled non-members to meet us and find out about all the things iU3A does. As in previous years there was an excellent turnout with 155 members and 75 non members attending. Out of the 75, 34 joined iU3A on the day and many others took away forms so we hope to hear from them again soon. The existing members who turned up used the chance to see if there were any other groups they might like to join. Everybody also enjoyed our delicious birthday cake and had a good natter. This year the 'star' to cut our 4th birthday cake was our latest volunteer, Liz Connell, who has volunteered to set up and run a 'Green Issues' group.

Open Day 2017With over 50 interest groups on display there were many great displays. Visible and audible displays charmed the audience as they strolled around. All the existing Group Coordinators did an excellent job of explaining what their group did and hence encouraged many to sign up. Hopefully this exercise also encouraged more members to be brave enough to volunteer to be Coordinators.

A special thanks must go to the sub-committe that organised another successful day, particularly to Di Austin and Sue Welsford for coordinating the whole event. The Open Day is our major showcase for members and to the public who might be interested in joining.


To see more photos of the day click here.

To see more of our previous events and outings look here (link not live yet).

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