Issue 146


Registered charity no. 1108125                                                                                               March/April 2018


Newsletter Editor:            





This Newsletter is published on the Internet simultaneously with the printing.  If any material relating to any individual should not be so published, please contact the Editor.




Everybody has settled back to a new term and we look forward to some exciting speakers.  Mary

Gregory has joined the Programme team which is very good news.

Please put these two dates into your diaries – they are different from last year: The AGM will be held on the last day of next term, Monday, 25 June, and the Summer Lunch is on Monday, 9 July  and will again be held at The Spires Hotel.

Unfortunately the outing to Kew had to be cancelled due to lack of support.  It is such a shame not to make the most of these outings to places you might not get to see.

Monty Don is speaking at the Sheldonian on 20 March about Paradise Gardens.   Please ask Beverley Birmingham if you want more information.

We shall be looking for volunteers for the sound team and the Committee.  Oxford U3A were looking for volunteers and not getting them, and there are concerns they may have to close.  The same thing nearly happened to us a couple of years ago but luckily Beverley, Janet and Liz Jones came to the rescue.  You can ask any committee member for information.

Head Office produce their own newsletter which can be accessed via their website.




The Summer Luncheon will again be held at The Spires Hotel, Abingdon Road, Oxford OX1 4PS.  Full details will be given in the next Newsletter.   Despite what you may have read in the local newspapers THERE WILL BE NO CHARGE FOR PARKING.






The previous Newsletter included notice that all subscriptions will end in February 2018.  If you would like to receive the magazines from April 2018, you should contact Ian Battersby, at a Monday meeting or by post (Kambah, Harcourt Hill, Oxford, OX2 9AS) by the 19th March 2018 and include your subscription of 2.50 for the year.  You can start a subscription at any time during the year and the cost will be adjusted accordingly



TVN Study days - 2018


Please note that there is a link to the TVN website from the Links Button on this website.

This book is now red not blue, it is to be found on the table at the back of the hall.

Please keep checking this for any Events (formerly called study days) and also the TVN website.


1 March:         Photography is fully booked but may be repeated if sufficient interest.


10 May:           William Morris summer house at Kelmscott - there are a few places still available.


19 June:          Dunkirk and Little Ships....This is at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley.  Almost certainly popular so keep a look out for application forms.


4 September: in Benson - Polar Exploration.  Margaret Sherrington is organising this event and I am sure we will be kept up to date via meetings.


17 October:    in Benson -  Website Building & Wordpress.   This is likely to be a very ‘hands on’ day.


1 November:  in Benson - Medicine & Art.


For anyone wishing to go to these Event days please see Kay/Lorna/Beverley as transport maybe available, there is also a very good bus service to Benson.


More will be advertised as they become available so please keep checking the red book/board at the meetings to keep up to date.


Please check TVN and our website regularly for additions as several others are in the pipeline





                                                                                YOUR  NEWSLETTER from Elizabeth Stevens 


Please send all contributions, notices, etc. for the next issue covering May/June 2018 to: Elizabeth Stevens, 104 Kennington Road, Kennington, Oxford OX1 5PE (01865 739252) not later than Friday, 19 April 2018.


A reminder that the current issue can always be found on http://www.westoxfordu3a.org.uk/




Meetings are normally held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 2.30 pm onwards. There is always an opportunity for tea and biscuits and a chat from approx 3.45pm.  All are welcome, and we extend an open invitation to any visitors who might like to come along and meet us.  


12 March:       Rob Walters – Oxford University Press


Rob Walters is a local author and guide.  He has researched the history of the Oxford University Press and, in particular, the making of the Oxford English Dictionary.  The OUP differs from commercial publishers as its objectives are not financial profit but the furtherance of education and research, though it still has to pay its own way.

Rob’s talk will offer highlights of this fascinating department of the University of Oxford and what it has contributed to scholars, workers and general readers over the years.


26 March:       Kate Garnons-Williams - Island-hopping with the Hero Odysseus


The legendary Greek king of Ithaca, also known as Ulysses (in Latin), the hero of Homer’s epic poem, was known for his cunning and eloquence.

Kate Garnons-Williams studied Ancient Greek and Roman history and the Greek dramatist, Aristophanes.  She has published articles in classical journals, given tours of archaeological interest in Cyprus and taught at the Open University.

Kate will discuss Odysseus’s adventures and travels after the Trojan War.


09 April:          Dr. Eric Sidebottom – The History of Penicillin


Eric Sidebottom trained as a doctor at Oxford University and Barts Hospital in London.  He returned to Oxford

to do a D.Phil and then worked in the William Dunn School of Pathology for many years.  He has always been interested in the links between Oxford and medicine, writing books and giving talks on the various aspects of this subject.  The true story of how Penicillin was discovered and eventually made available for therapeutic use is well worth listening to.  Eric will also give some observations about the current use of antibiotics and the increasing problem of resistance to them.


23 April:          Marina Hamilton Billie – History of the National Garden Scheme

 The National Garden Scheme was set up in 1927. It enables people who wish to do so, to open their gardens to members of the public on certain days so that they can share the joy with them The public are charged an entry fee and the proceeds go to charitable causes

Marina Hamilton Baillie has been the local County Organiser for some years. She was born in Germany but came to England to work for the BBC. After 13 years she left, married and became an ‘Army wife’ When they came to Oxon she took a German/Italian degree at Oxford University and has, since then, been involved with the Continuing Education programme teaching German. She enjoys both this and her work for the NGS



ART HISTORY/APPRECIATION           (10 members)             Contact: Terence Carter (01865 863379)


Visits to the Ashmolean Museum normally take place on the second Tuesday or the second Thursday of each month, meeting just inside the main entrance to the Museum. For other locations, directions will be given. Please let Terence know if you would like to attend. There are spaces available in this group.


Tuesday 13 March, at the Ashmolean Museum: Drawings.

  1. Michelangelo: a remarkable group of drawings spanning Michelangelo’s career, recently returned from an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
  2. From Drawing to Painting in the Italian Renaissance: explores how Italian artists produced whole sequences of preparatory drawings to hone the form and content of their major works.

Meet at the Museum at 2.30 pm for these free but unguided exhibitions.


April – No meeting.



BRIDGE                                                                                    Contact Annie Lorton, 01367 718331


We are a friendly group of around 19 players who have a game every Wednesday starting at 2.00pm and finishing around 5.00pm.  We meet in each other’s houses and all can play bridge to an enjoyable level.  We alternate the sessions with one being a bit more structured playing Chicago, and the other {Splinter} session being a time to learn through playing Rubber Bridge, with pauses to discuss hands as required.


This is not a group for total beginners but please enquire if you have a basic knowledge of Bridge and would like to know more.



I am wondering if there is any demand for people who enjoy cards, who might be interested if we started a new group for total beginners.   Knowledge of Whist would be helpful but not essential.

Please contact me if this something that you would like to pursue


Annie Lorton 01367 718331



CHURCHES AND PUBS            (15 members)                         Contact:  Brian Cox (01865 872720)


We visit a church monthly on the first Friday of each month and lunch together afterwards, usually at a nearby pub. Any member of WEST OXFORD U3A can join at no extra charge.  The only conditions are to pay for one’s lunch and to arrange and lead one of our visits from time to time.  Further information and a copy of our programme can be obtained from briancox30@btinternet.com


CINEMA GROUP – 1   (new members welcome)                  Contact:  Lis Froggatt  (01865 249828)


Cinema Group 1 is the renamed Cinema Group 3, but that is the only difference.  We meet monthly on the second Tuesday at The Punter pub on Osney Island at 12.30 pm to discuss over lunch films we have seen and plan to see.  New members most welcome   lis.froggatt@entitledto.co.uk

CINEMA GROUP - 2    (10 members)             Contacts:  Pam and David Eyton  (pameyton@gmail.com)


We meet on the second Thursday of the month to discuss a variety of films (mainly from the Phoenix) over a shared meal in a member’s house.   The membership is restricted to 10 because of the dining arrangements. 

If you are interested in going on a waiting list or being invited when space is available, please e-mail Pam.  


COMPUTER  USERS’ GROUP  (7 members – new members welcome)   Contact: Richard Sills (01865 721644)


All meetings will be held at The Map House, Vernon Avenue, OX2 9AU at 10.30 am.  We meet as usual on 5 and 19 March and 16 April.  No meeting on 2 April (Easter Monday).



CRAFT GROUP                                                                        Contact:  Sally Strang (01865 240310)


Our next meeting will be held at Sally’s on Friday March 16th.



DISCOVERING MUSIC   (7 members – new members welcome) Contact: John Grimshaw (01865 861949)


These convivial meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of each month, at 2.15 pm.  We meet in members’ homes and the host introduces and plays recordings, usually on CD or DVD, of broadly classical music which can be secular or sacred and can include extracts and arias from opera.  Members freely express their reactions.  We may finish with something in lighter mood.



FRENCH CONVERSATION                                                      Contact: Lyliane Doumeche (01865 429281)


Meetings take place at 10.00 am on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month for advanced French speakers and at 10.00 am  on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month for intermediate French speakers, with some exceptions for holidays, bank holidays etc.  If you are new, please contact me beforehand either by phone or by e-mail at doumechehall@hotmail.co.uk    Soyez les bienvenu(e)s!



GARDEN CLUB                                                                                    Contact: Mary Gregory (01865 865887)


Events for the next couple of months include a “domestic” visit, a plant swap session and a group visit to an NGS garden in Islip. All interested are welcome to join us – Mary@nandmg.me.uk



LANGUAGES                                                                           Contact:  David Taylor (01235 525455)  


We have completed our study of German for the time being, and we shall now turn to Spanish.  Due to the limitations of space, we cannot unfortunately accommodate any more in the group.



                                                                        Contact:  Margery Dent (01865 862534)

The group meets mostly on the 3rd Monday of the month or on an agreed alternative, from 2 – 4.30 pm. We meet in the homes of different members.  Please ring if you are interested in coming.



WALKING GROUP      (15 members)             Contacts: Sally Roberts (721596) and Norman Robinson (862845)


Walks normally commence at 10 am on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month and are arranged a few weeks in advance.   It is important to note that if bad weather threatens, you should ring the named leader of the walk, on the day, to check whether it is going ahead; otherwise you may have a wasted journey. (If it is actually raining, the walk will almost certainly be cancelled).

Walks are planned for the second and fourth Fridays in 2018.  Info will be shared on our e-mail link.  Walking boots are always recommended.