Keeping Up To Date

Many of the Teesdale U3A activities have been suspended in view of the lockdown imposed by the government to limit the spread of the Covid 19 virus. This includes the monthly speaker meeting held in the Witham and also the meetings of the 35 interest groups. Although it may not be possible to meet in the normal way for some time, the Committee and several groups have decided to continue in a different way using Zoom and Google Meet until the lockdown is eased.

Mike Sweeting, the Chairman, has held 2 virtual committee meetings using Google Meet and will be holding these on a monthly basis. He has advised us to put on our make up beforehand and to tie up the dog and the cat in the kitchen.

The Art Appreciation Group has been looking at videos, particularly the excellent video narrated by John and Dorothy Cornish based on the recent exhibition in the Bowes Museum. Roger Stanyon is also sending out links to interesting arts and culture websites.
The Geology Group has held its first virtual meeting with a power point presentation from Trevor Morse. The presentation is being sent to all those who were unable to attend. The second virtual meeting is scheduled for June 23rd and a future programme involving speakers and power point presentations has been drawn up for the rest of the year. Bob Tuddenham is producing a monthly newsletter.

The new virtual Spanish Group are learning a word a day (hopefully) and the original Spanish Conversation Group are submitting pieces on a topic each month to Lusia McAnna.

Bill Heyes is sending music links to the Classical Music Group which includes a quiz.

The Wild Flower Group is also producing a monthly report and Rose Pude has provided a photographic summary of flowers which have recently come into bloom. Members are encouraged to send photographs to her for identification.

Two of the Book Groups are exchanging ideas and comments via email.
The Wine Tasting Group has even met virtually although the tasting was real.
The Historic Environment Group has been running monthly quizzes and members are submitting short written accounts of historical relevance to Tim Meacham to incorporate into a monthly booklet.

Ruth Sansom has held the first remote meeting of the Philosophy Group which will be looking at a paper prepared by James Dykes at its next meeting.

Although the U3A monthly booklet, the Forum, is not currently being printed, Annie Clouston and Celia Chapple are collating a monthly online newsletter to include submissions from members. This will indicate how members might make the most of lockdown opportunities, including foraging whilst taking daily exercise and enjoying the fruits of our beautiful open spaces. The Teesdale U3A website, teesdaleu3a.org.uk displays this booklet together with lots of information on what Groups are doing during the lockdown.

U3A has played an important part in the social life of many retired people and the current safety restrictions are making it very difficult for people to meet. The recently announced easing of the restrictions may help to some extent but many of our members are in the ‘vulnerable’ category and some are not comfortable with remote meetings. There is only so much that can be done remotely so let’s hope that it will shortly be safe enough to return to some kind of normality.

Ian Reid