Odiham District

Monthly Meetings

On the first Wednesday of every month (except August when we take a summer break) there will be a monthly meeting in the Cross Barn in Odiham. The event is free and is open to all Odiham and District u3a members - you don't have to join a group to take part.

You must book your place at the meeting

Because there is an upper limit to the number who can be present in the Cross Barn in Odiham, you must book your place at the meeting.

A few notes on using the booking application:

  • Ignore the "login" button at the top right of the first screen. It is for administrators only.

  • THIS POINT IS ABSOLUTELY KEY : You must add at least one place to your booking before you select the "Add to Cart" button. The default number of places is zero, so if you don't select at least one place, you will have no booking. If you don't subsequently receive an email with your booking in it, then this is almost certainly because the default of zero places was used in your "booking".

  • If you have booked but cannot attend the monthly meeting, please send a message to Tech Support so that we can cancel your ticket and release the place for someone else.

For those who cannot attend the meeting in person there will be a zoom recording sent out after the meeting, subject to the speaker agreeing to this. There is help on using Zoom.

1st May : Unnatural selection. Katrina van Grouw

Katrina van Grouw is the author of The Unfeathered Bird and Unnatural Selection, is an experienced and highly qualified artist, a writer, and a self-taught fledgling scientist.

A former curator of bird collections at the British Natural History Museum, Katrina is now studying for a PhD in palaeo-ornithology at the University of Cambridge while working on two new books!

When Charles Darwin contemplated how best to introduce his controversial new theory of evolution to the general public, he chose to compare it with the selective breeding of domesticated animals. Katrina explains why this analogy was more appropriate than even Darwin had realised. Artificial selection is, in fact, more than just an analogy for natural selection – it’s the perfect example of evolution in action.

5th June : SAS in action - The Iranian Embassy siege. Guy Bartlett

The SAS assault, codenamed "Operation Nimrod", was broadcast live at peak time on the 5th May 1980. It was viewed by millions of people, mostly in the UK, making it a defining moment in British history.

Both the BBC and ITV interrupted their scheduled programming to show the end of the siege.

Now discover the inside story of what lead up to the raid, how it almost went tragically wrong, and how it cemented the Special Air Services as one of the elite Special Forces.

3rd July : The 1908 London Olympics. Ian Porter

The 1908 London Olympics was in real terms the first modern Olympics, the previous three Games being very limited in scope.

It's a tale of cheating, drug abuse, politics, poor organisation, snobbery, ugly nationalism, aggression and unhealthy rivalry.

Not exactly what was envisaged by its founder. No change there then!

4th September : Steaming On! - The best of Britain's heritage railways. Paul Whittle

Train travel from a more leisurely time, featuring many of our 120+ preserved railways.

The scenery, the stations, locomotives and carriages lovingly restored, and the many volunteers who give their time and enthusiasm to recreate the ‘romance of the rails’.

2nd October : Bees & Honey: Tradition, Myth, Symbol & Magic. Peter Smith

Bees and honey have been with us from the earliest times so it's no wonder they appear in many of our oldest myths and legends.

We take a light hearted look at some of these stories to influence us and how different aspects of bees and honey permeate our popular culture.

We also take a look at some of the old traditions in beekeeping and how many of them are still alive and well.

6th November : Satellite imaging isn't just pretty pictures. Robin Wilson

Hundreds of satellites orbit the Earth every day, collecting data that is used for monitoring almost all aspects of the environment.

This talk will introduce to you the world of satellite imaging, take you beyond the 'pretty pictures' to the scientific data behind them, and show you how the data can be applied to monitor plant growth, air pollution and more.

Robin can adjust the talk to be more or less technical, as required by the audience, and if he's given enough notice he'll try to include satellite images of the area where the group he is speaking to is based.

4th December : The golden age of children’s TV. Jeff Evans

Join author and TV historian Jeff Evans on a journey through your childhood as he tells the fascinating story of children’s television in the UK.

Jeff’s colourful talk covers the period from the start of television to the 1970s, truly a golden age for those of us who grew up glued to the small screen when we returned home from school.

Some people will remember the earliest TV stars such as Muffin the Mule and Andy Pandy; others will recall with great fondness series such as Crackerjack, Ivor the Engine, Thunderbirds, The Magic Roundabout and the rather spooky The Singing Ringing Tree.

This talk features them all, and much more besides.