Maldon U3A - Meetings 2018

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

15th January 2018 James Gilroy, Political Cartoonist
by Ian Keable.
19th February 2018 Tax, Care and Toy Boys
by Roderick Barr.
19th March 2018 My Life in Radio
by Steve Scruton & Ian Wyatt.
16th April 2018 Artists Who Paint Horses
by Paula short.
21th May 2018 The Witches of Elizabethan Essex
by Kate Cole.
18th June 2018 AGM and strawberry tea.
16th July 2018 The Play What I Never Wrote
by William Shakespeare.
20th August 2018 The Secret Life of a Wood
by Roger Hance, Wildlife photographer.
17th September 2018 The Hidden Meaning in Nursery Rhymes
by Vic Botterill.
15th October 2018 18th Century Essex Workhouses
by Dr Jane Pearson.
19th November 2018 Crossword Setting
by Tim Moorey.
17th December 2018 Christmas party with Steve Galler
International Banjo Entertainer

March Monthly Meeting

A full house showed that U3A Members were pleased that the 'Beast from the East' snows had receded, and they packed the Wickham Bishops hall to hear a presentation by former BBC presenter, Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt who acted as his sound man.

It was called My Life in Radio – basically the realization of the dream of Steve as a youngster to be on the radio in later life.

He started the story by saying he was born in 1951 - much to the amusement of all present who were born a year or two earlier! To refresh memories Ian played a series of high quality sound recordings which were the favourites of the BBC in the early years. Starting with Children’s Favourites with Uncle Mac and finishing with Family Favourites where you could smell the roast Sunday Dinner, maybe with burnt Yorkshire Puddings.

Then Steve required the audience to remember Radio Luxenberg on 208 Metres in the Medium Wave Band but as such could only reliably hear it in the UK after it was dark.

Next was the entry in 1964 of Radio Caroline positioned off the Essex coast on 199 Metres and staffed by a new generation of disk jockey playing nearly non-stop pop music – much to the annoyance of HMG and the BBC. Radio London soon joined Caroline until the HMG introduced the Marine Offences Act in 1967. Steve was fascinated by Radio Caroline as so were the young generation who continued to listen to Radio Caroline as an illegal transmitting station – serviced from Holland.

By this time Steve was leaving school and still wanted to be involved with radio but choose a career as a TV Repairman which he enjoyed for some 20 years.

In 1976 he joined Hospital Radio at St John’s Hospital and the slowly made inroads into the newly formed BBS Essex Radio running the Afternoon Show from 1990 for 22 years.

Ian had an idea of enhancing the BBC by staging BBC Pirate Radio in Harwich in 2004/2007/2009 and last year – culminated in meeting the Queen through their efforts of promoting Harwich.

Steve and Ian have been requested to compere the 2018 Clacton Air Show so if you go there and meet them, tell them you listed to this presentation today.

Thank you both for a very pleasant afternoon’s entertainment. For their website, visit

John Bowen

December Monthly Meeting

On a mild afternoon, the Members packed the hall at Wickham Bishops to the strains of Christmas music and a large screen displaying the safety instructions.

The stage was nicely decorated with Christmas wrapped boxes and a christmas tree by Marrie Webster and helpers.

Once people had signed in and collected their Newsletter, it was reported “there was good news and bad news – the entertainer had phoned in two days ago to say he had a dreadful throat”– loud groans from the audience – “but today he said he thought he could make it” – cheers. “However to start things off, a number of members had put together a few things to amuse you” – more cheers.

Andy Simmonds – started off by reciting a poem.

This starts off: -
I have a little Satnav, it sits there in my car.
A Satnav is a driver's friend it tells you where you are.
I have a little Satnav, I've had it all my life.
It's better than the normal ones, my Satnav is my wife.
It gives me full instructions, especially how to drive

and finishes with these words:
Despite all these advantages, and my tendency to scoff,
I only wish that now and then, I could turn the lovely thing off.

With thanks to Pam Ayres for such a nice poem when driving home for Christmas.

Judith Johnstone – then stated the “EU’s Health and Safety Guidelines for Santa":
Please be advised that all persons planning to dash through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, going over the fields and laughing all the way, are required to undergo a Risk Assessment addressing the safety of open sleighs.

It finishes with these words -
Finally, in the recent case of the infant found tucked up in a manger without any crib for a bed, Social Services have been advised and will be arriving shortly.

Next it was the turn of Veronica Smith & Malcolm Case and a rendition of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' by John Julius Norwich.

This included the following samples: -
25th December - My Dearest Darling – Thank you for sending a Partridge in a Pear Tree
29th December – 5 Gold Rings
31st December – 7 Swans trying to get into the Fish Tank
4th Jan – Man from the Council has just raided us to take away some of your noisy inhabitants.

The main entertainer, Banjo artist Steve Galler was introduced by Veronica to a rousing clap from the audience.
Steve said he was pleased to be in Essex with only a slightly poor throat. He then introduced us to the Banjo and how it differed from the Guitar which is what he thought his mother was going to buy him as a 9 year old child.

He then kept the audience occupied singing songs from the 1500s through to the early 1960s – with the request that they joined in as well – what an invitation.

A well-earned break by Steve produced plates of lovely food and drinks provided by Shirley Macro, Andy Simmonds and helpers.

For his second half Steve told numerous musical stories involving his Banjo.

He was thanked by Veronica and a tremendous clap from the audience.

A very good afternoon's entertainment with party food and drink.

The Audio/sound system was by Alec Fraser and Ken Cooper.

Report by John Bowen with the assistance of Veronica Smith.

Click here to go to the top of this page

This page opened in a new window. Close this window to go back to the previous page.

Last revised 22nd December 2018.