Maldon U3A - Meetings 2016

Click on an underlined title to go to a report of that talk.

Monday 18th January 2016. "Where is the Fog?"
by Andrew Wiltshire.
Monday 15th February 2016. "The Fascination of Canals"
by Clare Urry.
Monday 21st March 2016. "The Thames Barge"
by Tony Earle.
Monday 18th April 2016. Celebration of our Queen’s 90th birthday & Maldon U3A’s 18th birthday
Monday 16th May 2016. "Stage Costume designer to Jewellery Maker"
by Amanda Sutherland.
Monday 20th June 2016. AGM
Monday 18th July 2016. "Black Tulips and English Ferns"
by William Tyler.
Monday 15th August 2016. "History of Punch and Judy"
by Brian Collins.
Monday 19th September 2016. "The Journey to Citizenship"
by Linda Scoles.
Monday 17th October 2016. "My Life as a BBC Comedy Screenwriter"
by Nick Thomas.
Monday 21st November 2016. "The Duties of a Magistrate"
by Peter Mockford.
Monday 19th December 2016. A special Christmas meeting

January Monthly Meeting

Andrew is a retired Management Consultant who has travelled throughout the World and has therefore been involved in many situations which can happen, some due to the translation of foreign languages to English.

In starting his presentation he said he was going to read a number of extracts from a new book he has written in aid of The Salvation Army.

He said we could have all met the usual the instructions written to welcome the new guest to the hotel with variations of "You are kindly invited to take advantage of the Chambermaid” – “The Maid is here to serve you” – “The flattening of your Underwear with pleasure is the job of the Chambermaid”. Also signs which say ”Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time”, and “Customers who find our Waitresses rude ought to meet the Manager”.

He had been required to lead a management team to Portugal for 6 months and it was thought he should learn the language. After a time it was considered he should try out his Portuguese on the client only to be met with hilarious laughter and some red faces when the lady CEO replied in perfect English “Thank you for asking but I am not a Lady of the Night”. On subsequent occasions when Andrew met the lady involved she reminded him that she had not taken up the occupation he had originally enquired about!

In 2011 the Daily Telegraph reported the Government had released all documentation regarding Unidentified Flying Object so Andrew had written a “Letter to the Editor” in which he had included a nice brochure from an up market Chinese hotel which was headed “Guide to Aliens visiting China” and the letter was duly published – no aliens were seen however.

After another three quarters of an hour telling more of his experiences while travelling the world, he concluded by telling us the story which made the heading “Where is the Fog?”

He had been contracted to organize a 30 person delegation of senior Chinese Government officials to the UK. They had landed at Heathrow and were being driven to Central London by coach on a beautiful June day when suddenly the most senior member on board wanted Mr Andrew to tell him “Where is the Fog”. After a while of discussion it appeared the Chinese had been studying English and this had included watching the 1964 David Lean production of Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations which included many scenes of the then typical London Smog. 2 weeks later there was a heavy early morning mist so Andrew was able to say “Here is the Fog”.

April Monthly Meeting

Maldon & District U3A came of age on the 18th April and celebrated this milestone with a special party also celebrating our Monarch’s 90th Birthday with musical entertainment and a grand birthday tea complete with birthday cake. The afternoon ended with rousing choruses of “Land of Hope and Glory”, Jerusalem”, “Rule Britannia” and finally the “National Anthem”

Past and present chairmen:
Alan Buck, Joyce Cottrell, Malcolm Case, Sheila Epps, Beryl McDonnell

June Monthly Meeting - AGM

We had a higher than expected turn out for the AGM, particularly as the morning had been the wettest for a long time with pools of standing water.

Spirits were high as all the committee places were filled – several of the existing committee had to retire as they had served the 3 year period allowed.

Malcolm Case presented his final Chairman’s Report by thanking the many persons both on the Committee and helpers who had made his period in Office enjoyable.

The Treasurer, Martin Cook, was also retiring and he gave an up-beat report as to the finances. The subscription for 2017 was agreed to remain at £20.

John Bowen proposed a vote of thanks to the outgoing committee.

Brian Johnson, the new Chairman (who is also the leader of the newly formed Aviation Group) gave an introductory speech in which he itemised the many roles each member of the past Committee had fulfilled and finished by saying “I feel that it will be a hard act to follow Malcolm as Chairman”.

Just before he left the platform, Malcolm handed the Blue Book of the Third Age Trust Guidelines to Brian.

A bowl of chopped strawberries and cream were distributed to everyone by the U3A ladies - soft drinks and biscuits were also consumed.

There were static displays of “The Museum in the Park” and “A collection of Postcards” – mainly taken by Fred Spalding from the turn of the century. Both stirred memories.

November Monthly Meeting

Peter Mockford was introduced but said he thought the scheduled talk was boring so he would present “Beer and Balls – Southwold”. This had the audience guessing. He went on to explain that Adnams Brewery at Southwold produced a range of beers about a battle in 1672 – so he decided to investigate – this talk was the result.

No one in the audience had heard of Sole Bay, so a slide was shown which showed it is the bay of Southwold. It appears that in the 1670s England wanted to stop the Dutch from leaving their ports in Holland but they had anticipated this and put together a fleet of 75 warships under the command of de Ruyter and with a following wind sailed across the North Sea.

On the 28th May 1672 they attacked the 90 ship Allied Fleet of the French and English which were taking on fresh supplies at Southwold. So started the Third Anglo-Dutch War of 1672-4. Somehow in the turmoil 40 of the French ships sailed south and did not take much part in the battle – history does not record why.

The fighting was terrible with canon and rifle fire and there were high losses on both sides. The Dutch seized the advantage of the following wind and sent in a number of fire ships which inflicted great damage on the English fleet.

Fortunately, the wind changed and blew off the English coast – the French fleet were thought to be returning so the Dutch fleet withdrew. Although the battle was inconclusive, both parties claimed victory – the Dutch however had forced the English not cross the North Sea and thus prevented them from supporting the French with their battles with the Dutch – so Peter thought the Dutch had really won.

To defend Southwold, cannon were made and mounted looking out to sea but were withdrawn on the outbreak of WWI & WWII to prevent the enemy attacking what looked like a modern fortress. They were put back after WWII.

Report by John Bowen




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Last revised 12 January 2017.