Our main meeting is held at 2.30 pm in Faringdon Corn Exchange on the second Thursday of the month. Meetings begin with a warm welcome from our Chairman, Jenny Braithwaite and any notices from the groups. The talk, from a visiting speaker then follows. After the talk there are free refreshments and a chance to talk to Group Leaders and socialise.

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

We look forward to seeing you in the Corn Exchange.

Shela Rowan

Thursday 9th February 2023

Chris Taylor is our speaker this month and his talk is entitled, Being a Test Pilot. Having wanted to be a pilot for as long as he can remember, Chris Taylor gained his private pilot’s licence at the age of seventeen.  He joined the Royal Navy whilst studying for a degree in Electrical Engineering and after serving as a Navigation Officer on numerous ships. This talk attempts to draw on the experiences of Chris’ career and to explain why test pilots are necessary, how they go about their jobs and how they make aircraft safer for us all to fly in as a result. The comprehensively illustrated talk is deliberately light- hearted and humorous with only enough technical information to be able to understand the particular story being described.

Chris has written a book which will be available to buy and he will be happy to sign copies of his book which might make a good present for someone!

Thursday 9th March 2023

A rather unusual title has been given to this month’s talk, Cloth from Thread, Curd from Milk and Ring of Gold which was scheduled for September 2020. The talk will consider three ways of looking at the world. David Lacey, is the speaker and he intends to examine the thinking framework which we use to interpret the facts. He considers that they are the glasses through which we see the world and hopes to open our eyes to seeing the world afresh. This will certainly be rather different from many of our talks which are mainly about facts and unfamiliar life situations.

Thursday 13th April 2023

We all enjoy a good mystery and this month we welcome Lynda Warren who will talk about Agatha Christie, her life, her books and characters including her disappearance. Agatha Christie is the world’s best known mystery writer.

In a career spanning 60 years she wrote more than 120 short stories as well as plays, poetry and an autobiography. Lynda will also talk about some of her most famous characters like the retired Belgium detective Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple the amateur detective and elderly spinster. She also includes Agatha Christie’s alter ego Mary Westmacott. Lynda’s talk will remind us all about many of our favourite books.

Thursday 11th May 2023

We all love a walk down memory lane and our speaker this month, Jeff Evans will tell the story of 60 years of music on television in this fully illustrated talk called Pop on the Box. He will remind us of shows like Six-Five Special and Oh Boy and continue through the decades to Juke Box Jury and many more that you might have forgotten.  Expect lots of warm memories and more than a few surprises.

Jeff is an acknowledged expert in popular culture and has written numerous books about television. He is a man of many talents having appeared on quiz shows and is on the Mastermind question setting team. His talk is sure to bring back memories of times gone by.

Thursday 8th June 2023

Our talk this month is by Marie-Louise Kerr and the title is Oxford’s Penicillin. We all link Sir Alexander Fleming with penicillin but think again!  The drug we use today was developed by a group of scientists based in Oxford. In this talk learn about the wartime struggles to make this life-saving antibiotic.

When Alexander Fleming was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1945, he shared it with Howard Florey and Ernst Chain. Why? Because while Fleming first observed and named penicillin, it was Florey and Chain and a group of scientists working in Oxford who developed it into a viable drug. In this talk Curator Without Museum will tell the story of the life-saving work carried out in the Dunn School, the trials and tribulations the scientists faced and the experiences of the first patients to be treated with penicillin. This is bound to be an interesting talk.

Thursday 13th July 2023

We have all wondered from time to time which is the correct bin to put an item of waste into. Our speaker today is Jessica Beare who works for the Vale of the White Horse District Council and is the Recycling Education Officer. She spoke over two years ago on Zoom to our u3a but this time will be here in person. She will attempt to clarify exactly what happens to our waste after it is collected from the doorstep and also to answer our queries about what can or not be recycled. So do come with any questions for her.