Our main meeting is held at 2.30 pm on the second Thursday of each month. Meetings are normally held in the Faringdon Corn Exchange and start with a welcome from our Chairman and notices. We have been having zoom talks mostly for the last two years, but we are starting to resume our normal meetings. The talks will in future be with an on-site speaker in the Corn Exchange unless the situation with new Covid variants of concern makes everyone change their plans.  The main event – usually a visiting speaker- is followed by free refreshments and a chance to contact Group Leaders and socialise.

If you would like to give a talk to our members or if you hear a good speaker, do please contact me. I am always on the look-out for new topics and interesting speakers.

We hope to see you all again in the Corn Exchange!

Shela Rowan Speaker Co-ordinator

Thursday 9th June 2022

The greatest contribution of bees and other pollinators is the pollination of nearly three quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food. A third of the world’s food production depends on bees. This month we are very lucky to have Richard Rickitt, the editor of Bee Craft as our speaker who keeps his bees at Westonbirt Arboretum. His talk is called, ‘Introducing the Amazing Honey Bee,’ and he explains lots of intriguing facts about bees. He is very passionate on this subject and what began as a hobby is now a job. He will also bring some of his own honey to sell and always urges everyone to buy from local beekeepers where possible.

Thursday 14th July 2022

The speaker at this month’s meeting is Helen Plumb whose talk is entitled, Glorious Coloured Gemstones. Very few High Street jewellery retailers are truly knowledgeable about gemstones. At the end of this talk members will know more about most gems than their local jewellery retailer! The talk will explain some of the key attributes of minerals that make desirable gemstones. Members will learn new facts about gems which will intrigue and surprise them. Helen will bring a selection of loose gemstones for members to handle and will encourage questions about all aspects of gemstones and gem set jewellery. She also likes members to bring gems in jewellery for identification.

Helen has a degree in Geology from Durham University and worked for 25 years in the oil industry before setting up her own gem dealing business.

Thursday 18th August 2022 No meeting. Summer Lunch

Thursday 8th September 2022

Our speaker for this month was originally looking forward to visiting Faringdon u3a in April but unfortunately had to cancel. However, we are very glad that Gordon has agreed to speak this month. Gordon Rogers will give a talk entitled, ‘Winston Churchill’s Toyshop’. Gordon discovered that the premises near hishome in Buckinghamshire were the UK’s premier weapons experimental station in WW2. When becoming Prime Minister, Churchill knew of the massive War Office red tape; to by-pass this he appointed himself Minister of Defence and created just one- Department MD1 located in Whitchurch, just north of Aylesbury. Gordon has carried out a lot of research to ensure that he knows as much of the facts around this topic as is possible. He has asked various TV channels to make a documentary and so far, the Discovery Channel has made a short TV documentary. This is an interesting talk and Gordon is a most entertaining speaker.

Thursday 13th October 2022

Martin Lloyd, is our speaker for October and the title of his talk is, ‘Becoming a Famous Author’. Many of you will remember that Martin spoke to our u3a before in  May 2018 and is back by popular demand! As well as being an accomplished  speaker at events across the country, Martin has published more than ten books on a variety of topics including the history of passports, the twin delights of sun and breakfast in Spain and a blockbusting best seller based in France.

In this talk he will, step by step expose what he had to do to get his first book published. Prepare to be shocked, amazed and amused!