Special interest groups: latest report

Here is current information about our Special Interest Groups: what went on last time, what is coming up, etc. Here is a list of all our Groups’ names

Feburary 15th

Group Showcase Feburary 15th

 

Art Appreciation/History Group

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The February meeting of the group was a visit to the recently set up Colony Gallery in Rochdale.  The group was treated to some fantastic art and  the chance to talk to Anthony and Richard about the work on display as well as hot drinks and much better biscuits than we usually get at our meetings.   We were able to get much closer to the work than is usually possible in the galleries we visit.  In addition we could go into Richard’s (Fitton) studio as well even if we had be careful to avoid getting covered in paint!  Anyone who has seen Richard’s work will understand this.  Some of the group came away trying to work out how to afford to purchase some of the work that was for sale.

The next meeting of the group will be on Thursday March 1st at 2 pm at The Fielden Centre.  There will be presentations by two members of the group.  Gavin will be dealing with the Prehistoric Cave Art of  Spain and France whilst Emily will be talking about the glass art of Dale Chihuly. Potential new group members are always welcome to come along to meeting to find out more about the group.

Art Club

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Our next meeting will take place at 11 am – 1 pm on Tuesday, 27th February, 2018 at the Fielden Centre.   We will be completing our joint artwork which will be presented as a commemorative piece to U3A Tod to celebrate the first ten years – 2008 – 2018.   New members are always welcome to join us.

Beginners Modern Greek Group

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The Beginners Modern Greek group will meet on alternative Thursdays at 11 a.m. in the Saltonstall room in Hebden Bridge town hall commencing on February 8th for the next 10 weeks.

Bridge Social Group

U3A cannot provide a specific Bridge Group BUT – The Todmorden Bridge Club has agreed to take on New-to-Bridge members.  I will send out information should you wish to join them. please contact me .Gail.

Coffee Club

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Our next meeting takes place at about 11 am on Monday, 5th March, 2018 at the Polished Knob, Todmorden on the ground floor.   New and returning members are always welcome to join us.

Concert Party

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Do you like to “sing along” but never thought of joining a choir? The Concert Party meet most Fridays. Please phone convenor for more details. New members very welcome. No new information.

Craft Group

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The next meeting of the group will be on Friday February 16th at 10.30 at The Fielden Centre.  The session will be catch up one whilst we are discusing possible future projects and trying to finalise our programme for the rest of 2018.  The following session led by Ann M on March 2nd will concentrate on Felted cards.  At the session on March Sally will be introducing us to making Schuletute.  Anyone interested in joining the group is welcome to come along to find out more about us and what we do as well as chat.

At the session on March Sally will be introducing us to making Schuletute.  Anyone interested in joining the group is welcome to come along to find out more about us and what we do as well as chat.

Creative Writing

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The Creative Writing group are jointly putting on their collective “thinking caps” in order to produce some pieces of writing for the Tenth Anniversary Meeting in May. Let’s hope that we succeed!

The themes for March are : -

“Tenth Anniversaries”             and/or          “Seven Ages Of Man”

There have been a few people inquiring about joining the group but the group is very full at present however we are willing to instigate setting up a second group if there is enough interest.

French Conversation

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French conversation continues to meet fort nightly in the community room at the Fire Station.    No new information.

French: ‘An Improvers Group’

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We are talking about our favourite holiday destinations and telling people what we like about them and why – always keeping in mind possible future conversations either in la belle France, or with French people we meet on our travels.

Gardening Group

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No new information. We will not be meeting again until the 9th. 2nd monday of April.  Please contact the convenor for more information.

German Group

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Andy Hollis has now taken over this group. He said that he would like to use a textbook, Themen aktuell. The group wouldn’t spend two hours going through it chapter by chapter, week by week, since it’s not that exciting. An hour per session would be enough. “I think; then we could fill up the remaining time with the kind of activities that Vicky did with the group. The book is very well structured and would give the group a sense of direction, I hope.

Golf for Fun

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All welcome, MIXED GOLF..never played  beginners, improvers. 8 to 10 weeks nets and understanding the course followed by U3A Championship. Please contact the convenor.

The Captain of Todmorden Golf Club has been kind enough to allow U3A to use the club facilities “Free of Charge”! So many thanks for giving U3A the chance of using the course.

Please try and secure the use of some clubs, we do have a few that can be used but it will be better if you can bring your own. Golf shoes are preferred but if you don’t have them, walking shoes will do fine at this stage.

We meet in the Club House for a natter and coffee (the machine takes 2 x 50p pieces) first then to the Nets, Chipping and Putting areas. The ideal figure is 6 but we may well have some of last year’s players coming back for “refreshers”.

Italian group

Bill Black; Tel 07593 596670bill@wjblack.co.uk
Mondays, 10:30 to 12:00 noon, Todmorden Golf Club.

The Italian group met for the first time at 2pm on Wednesday 7th February in the upstairs room at the Fielden Centre with 13 members present.  Some had a clash with another group at 3pm, and the group decided to make the normal meeting slot 1.30 till 3.00 pm, subject to confirmation of availability, feeling a 90-minute session would be preferable to 2 hours.  The majority of the group are approaching Italian as beginners, although 3 or 4 had substantial prior experience of learning the language.  In the first session, we looked at pronunciation and dialogue for meeting and greeting people. A free on-line course, designed for US military personnel, provided amusement with its emphasis on the different ways in which to address superior officers and enlisted personnel.  Members of the group are also going to look at the commercial language-learning app Babbel and see whether they think it would be a better investment than a conventional book, CD, grammar and dictionary package.

Jazz Joy

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Jazz Joy meets alternate Tuesdays in the Fielden Centre Upstairs Room from 2.00pm to 3.30pm.  The next two meetings are on 6th and 20th February.

Let’s Go

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The first outing of the year is on Thursday 22nd March to Blakemere Craft Village in the morning and then on to the Lion Salt Works in the afternoon where we will have a guided tour,  Please contact Linda Cook on 01706 817254 or email landcook@talktalk.net for further information.

Lunch Club

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If you are not a member and would like to join  (or if you are willing to organise one of our monthly lunches in 2017) please contact Gisela Lea-McCann, details on the link above.

Our last lunch club meeting was 24th January at the AyaSophia in Hebden Bridge, the next one will be at the White Hart in Todmorden, on the 21st February. The numbers of people attending have risen, so that we have between 12 and 20 people attending.

Mah Jong

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We are about to celebrate our 2nd anniversary on 21st February, during Chinese New Year celebrations.   There will be a Chinese style of lunch, with special achievement awards and the adoption of a Tod U3a Mah Jong Special Hand.  Members have submitted ideas for this Special Hand that reflects Todmorden and the 10th Anniversary of Todmorden U3A.

New members, including beginners, are welcome.  If you’re interested, please contact Harriet

Modern Greek

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We now have some vacancies in the improvers’ group because some of our number have joined the beginners’ group.  We would welcome visits from people interested to see if we are right for you.  Peggy Thomas  or give me a ring – 01422 646 744

Music

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The Music Appreciation Group continues to meet every two weeks. No new information. Please contact the convenor.

Natural History

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This group has closed. The convenors could not continue and have been unable to find a replacement.

It was a friendly group and covered a wide variety of topics over the past three and a half years.We are concerned that science is so poorly represented in U3A Todmorden.

If anyone feels they could run this group we would be pleased to give help and support in its revival.

Novel Appreciation

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We entered the dramatic world of Cold War espionage this month with ‘Smiley’s People’ by John Le Carre where ‘process is progress’. The methodical pace of the novel matched the methodical nature of its protagonist as he sought to close in on his Russian rival, Karla, of the ominous ‘Thirteenth Directorate’. We focused on characterization: certainly the author told us things, but also he illuminated character through different narrative viewpoints and dialogue, and made us observe as watchfully as Smiley. There was some concern that a knowledge of the previous Smiley novels might have helped, but the consensus was that that would have added depth to Smiley’s character and roundedness to the world of spies it depicted rather than its being a pre-requisite to enjoying the novel in isolation. We all felt it was a pretty gloomy world that Le Carre was portraying and that Smiley’s victory, however great an achievement it may have been for the British Secret Service, was neither here nor there for Smiley himself who, as one of us pointed out, was at the end shrunken inside his voluminous coat.

Next month on Monday, 12th March we will be discussing ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini. Same time, same place – 11.00 in Todmorden Library.

Old English

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We reached Chapter 9 of our textbook at the year end, and have also been helped by the various resources available on the Internet, particularly the videos produced by Leofwin and Cefin. It’s been interesting to see the connections between Old English, modern English, and also other northern European languages.                                                          Please contact Emily if you are interested, it is difficult to catch up with the course content.

Opera Appreciation

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Our Opera Appreciation group met in January for a New Year celebratory lunch and viewing of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, said to be the greatest Russian opera.  We had a long but successful day.  The date of the next meeting has been changed to Tuesday Feb  20th at the usual time of 1pm at the Stubbing Wharf pub, Hebden Bridge. Keith Coates is convening the meeting and showing L’Elisir D’Amore , a delightful opera by Donizetti.

Philosophy

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We have discussed a range of more modern philosophers such as Peter Singer and Edmund Husserl as well as referring to women philosophers including Simone de Beavoir and Onora O’Neill. We had a guest speaker who gave a thoughtful presentation on modern business ethics. Recently we have been discussing the philosophical implications of topics such as ‘ Can we trust robots to make moral decisions’ and a moral dilemma possibly requiring the managing director to act not in accordance with his company’s standard operating procedures.

After the meeting members often retire to a local hostelry to refresh any exhausted brain cells. New members are always welcome.

Photography

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For the benefit of several new members, we are going back over the basics. Our first February meeting dealt with exposure in general and in a few weeks time we will focus specifically on the use of aperture. A practical session on Still Life produced lots of enthusiasm and images. The photo topic for next time is night photography. Preparation is underway for our exhibition in the Todmorden TIC in April.

 Our sessions are now held on 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 10:30 to 12:30. We are currently full. Please inquire about a waiting list.

Photography Group Two

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Photography 2 Next meeting Tuesday 6 March at Community Room, Tod Fire Station, Stansfield Rd. Subject: images altered in some way by “picasa.”

Poetry Appreciation

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The next will be on 9th March with poems on the theme of ‘optimism’. Excellent choice.

Already looking forward to it.

Poetry Enjoyment

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A great meeting last month with poems on the theme of travel – geographically and along life’s journey.

Thanks to Margaret for delicious provisions. Sheila has taken on the role next time. Thank you both.

The next meeting will be on 22nd February with poems on the theme of ‘desire’.

Practical Art

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Corinne has been demonstrating how she uses oil pastels as resist to create wintry or atmospheric landscapes with the addition of paint. We have also experimented with paper collage and at the last session drew reflective surfaces —Silver vases, ice buckets, teapots etc.—in pencil or pastel. Our next class will be on how to paint material. We are still looking for a venue for an exhibition to showcase the paintings of our talented group.

Quiz Group

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The next Quiz is on Thursday 22nd February   10.00 at Central Methodist. Please note members do not have to set a quiz. It is voluntary for members who wish to. New members are welcome. Hope you will try us out.

Science Group

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We are now on Week 3 of the course on supercomputing. Having learned about the hardware of supercomputers, we are learning about methods of programming supercomputers.

The first activity is centred around a traffic simulation example, which hopefully will help us understand the concepts of parallel computing better.

The second activity will teach us about different programming models and how they relate to machine architectures.

Finally, in the last activity we will talk about performance – we will learn how to determine if a parallel program uses computing resources efficiently.

Scrabble 1

See contact details and information about the group — Please phone for details.

Scrabble 2

See contact details and information about the group — Please phone for details.

Social History

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The Social History Group meets again on Febuary 16 at 10 15 am to discuss the autobiography of Walter Greenwood at our usual venue . The meeting in March will be on the 16 March when we will move on to Neville Cardus and his autobiography about growing up in Edwardian Manchester.

Spanish for Improvers

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Old members and new ones with some knowledge of Spanish will be welcome. Looking to the future, I said last September that I’d do another year with the group and indeed I’m happy to stick with that.

Despite my best efforts I haven’t managed to persuade any of the people I know or have come across to take over as convenor.

ANY OFFERS Please?

Table Tennis & Badminton

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No new information available.

Tablet Club

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The iPad group met on the 6th. The group is still following the same format. Those who now know enough tend not to come again.We get new members who have just acquired an iPad. There is also a small group who attend regularly and share their knowledge with those members that need help.

Walking Group

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The Walking Group Convenor, Anne Beard has now stepped down after several years of doing a great job with the group. Our thanks go to Anne for all her hard work.  There are now Joint Convenors for the group, Peter Gibson (ToddyPG@gmail.com) and Bill Griffiths (bill@gryffon.co.uk).  The group meets on the last Tuesday in each month and group members take it in turn to organise a suitable route.  Walks are usually around 4 to 5 miles in length and details of the walk, including starting point, starting time, approximate length and degree of difficulty, are sent out to the group by email a week or so beforehand. Anyone wishing to join the group should contact Peter or Bill.

Wine Appreciation

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FWe held our monthly meeting last Friday when we tasted and compared two Sancere wines from the same vinyard one 2016 vintage and the other 1991.We also tasted a red argentinian wine called waxed bat which was a blend of three grapes Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Our next meeting is on March 9th.

Everyone seemed to have a great time with lots of conversation. The final wine was a complete contrast, Waxed Bat Shiraz Cabernet Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina courtesy of Laithwaites. A full bodied smooth red wine packing a strong punch of flavour.

World Affairs

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The continuing progression of  Brexit proved to be a fertile ground. We had a guest speaker who talked about his experiences as a visiting lecturer in universities in the former German Democratic Republic. Topics are agreed by members of the group and those which have been mentioned above are only a small indication of our wide ranging discussions.