Online Talks

Forthcoming talks

All the talks listed below will be via Zoom meetings. About two weeks before each talk all members will receive an emailed invite from our Meetings Co-ordinator, asking if they wish to attend the talk. There is a limited of 95 attendees, and these will be allocated to the first 95 responses to that email. A few days before the actual date of the talk, a link to join the meeting will be emailed to those confirmed acceptances. On the day of the talk, all attendees will be automatically ‘muted’ to avoid any interruptions from background noises.  Though the talks start at 11am, you can sign in to Zoom from 10:30am.

Step Back in Time

Monday 26th April, 11am – with Paul Robbins

Great British EccentricPaul gives a hilarious account of Great British Eccentrics, taking you on a light-hearted journey that looks at some of the great characters from our past. Like the Lord who spent many hours floating in a large indoor glass water tank writing rude letters to the Prime Minister. Listeners hear from a unique singer, a comically UFO obsessed peer, and then to more recent times some of the great eccentrics of the last 30 years including some world famous characters who you will recognise immediately as well as wonderfully ordinary eccentric people. Promises to be very comical.

The History of the BBC

Monday 10th May, 11am – with Ian Barclay

In 2022 the BBC celebrates its Centenary the intervening 100 years has produced remarkable changes.  The talk explores the BBCs history and development and it covers audio recording and broadcasting even before the BBC was formed.

History of the Carry On films

Monday 24th May, 11am – with Steve Dimmer

Steve has many talks he presents, but the one that is very popular is his the History of the Carry On films. About how they were made, promises to be be very funny and interesting.

From script to stage: putting on a play in the age of Shakespeare

Monday 14th June, 11am – Niall Boyce, Birkbeck College, London

How did acting companies go about staging drama in Shakespeare’s London? This talk tracks the journey of plays from the page to the playhouse. It includes a guide to bad behaviour in the theatre, stories of how actors and authors got in (and out) of trouble, and an exploration of how Plymouth was portrayed on the Renaissance stage.


April Newsletter

The Plymouth u3a Newsletter for April 2021 is now available.
As newsletters are for Plymouth u3a Members only, a password is required for access. This is the same as for Member Area pages.

Restricted Content

To view this protected content, enter the password below:

If you have forgotten the password,
please use the Contact Form
to message the Membership Secretary and request the password. You must quote your Plymouth u3a membership number.

Risk Assessment

Templates for Risk Assessment

Group Leaders considering resuming meetings should undertake risk assessment which takes into account the latest government guidance on Covid-19.  The following Risk Assessment Templates, provided by the U3A, will help with this. Use the Risk Assessment(s) appropriate to your interest group activity.

U3A – General Activity Risk Assessment Checklist

U3A – Venue Risk Assessment Checklist

U3A – Venue Day of Use Checklist

U3A – Workshop Activity Risk Assessment Checklist

U3A – General Outdoor Activity Risk Assessment Checklist

U3A – Walk Leader Risk Assessment Checklist

U3A – Remote Activity Risk Assessment Checklist

(They are all Word .docx files)


New Groups

From Alyson Smith, Groups Co-ordinator

If all goes well, the government says that there is the potential for us all to meet up together in July.

As some of you know, I have been asking people for their ideas for new group subjects as we come out of lockdown, renew our friendships and groups start to meet up again.

Why not add to your social activities by joining or starting a new group – enlarging your circle of friends, enjoying each other’s company and perhaps learning something new too. After all, that is what the u3a is all about.

Lots of you have already replied and I have quite a list for you to peruse, choose and maybe add to.
So, in order of popularity:

  • Travel – experiences and tips
  • History of Art
  • Art (in general)
  • Music Appreciation
  • Beginners IT
  • Making Music
  • Cooking with Yeast
  • Environmental/Climate Change
  • Archaeology
  • Books/Reading
  • Anthropology
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Library Book Group (Plymouth Libraries will supply sets of 10 books, monthly)
  • Amateur Radio (see info:
  • Italian for Beginners
  • French for Beginners
  • Watercolours 2

If you would like to join any of these new groups, please email me at and then I can set up a meeting to discuss what you would like to do next.

Calling Photographers and Artists

National u3a are rehearsal for another virtual choir entitled After the Storm.

Calling all artists and photographers. The u3a virtual choir is back, this time performing a song entitled ‘After the Storm’, composed by Richard Keoghoe of Plymouth u3a. It is a song to inspire hope for the future as we come through the pandemic and enter a calmer, sunnier time.

Richard and the choir need artistic representations of the theme, which will be used to create the visuals for the YouTube clip and will showcase the song. If you can paint, draw and capture images on camera to represent the theme, please upload your contribution to:

Entries will close on Wednesday 7th April.

u3a Member Link

Member Link is a new initiative set up by the National Office of u3a to support u3as and their members to keep talking and learning together.

Member link collates in one place all the advice, tips and resources to help us stay connected.

Find out more on Member Link from the National u3a at u3a Member Link, or download the u3a Member Link leaflet.

Mayflower 400

Mayflower 400 is a video put together by the Script to Screen Group.

The video is basically in magazine format, with several short pieces on different themes. It starts with a tour round Plymouth using the App that was released last year, pointing out the various places that relate to the Mayflower. Then there’s a skit about the “Mayflower Steps” and a couple of pieces about the ship’s biscuits and other food on the journey. Next, we have a historian talking about the behaviour of the Pilgrim Fathers once they reached America and finally there’s a speech from a member of the Wampanoag tribe that was planned for the 350th anniversary, but was dropped.

Each section is broken up by images from last year’s Illuminate. The video is fully subtitled and lasts around 25 minutes. There is also a document detailing the making of the video.

A password is required to view the video and read the document. This is the same as for the Members Area.

Restricted Content

To view this protected content, enter the password below:

Let’s Write a Song

A Plymouth u3a Workshop

by Richard Keoghoe

Recently, I thought it a novel idea to run a short workshop spread over three weeks and hosted on Zoom. In the beginning of the New Year, a new lockdown was threatening to keep us at home for the winter. I had three applicants, Norma, Norman and Cheryl. We set about dreaming up a lyric in the first week. I had no idea whether the workshop would be successful or, indeed, if we could actually write a song between us. There was only one rule and that the song was written by consensus.

By week two, we had the bare bones of a song lyrics. Collectively, the group decided the rhythm and they were able to create a melody on a piece of Open Source music software called Musescore 3. To this melody, we decided on the basic chord structure. Together, we wrote a song called The Puzzle of Love.

At the end of the session, I worked on the music to tidy it up. I received two e-mails, one from Norman, who had set another verse to the music using his MuseScore. The other was from Norma, who sent me some more words. They completed the last four bars of the chorus I had been struggling with.

Our third and final week, we decided on how to arrange the verses into choral parts. Oh yes, full SATB! The song quickly grew into something very big and dramatic. What if it could be sung by a full Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass choir? The workshop surpassed my expectations. I was delighted with the result and it seemed Norman, Norma and Cheryl were as well.

I fully support the idea of workshops in U3A. They are short and punchy. But the great thing about workshops are that there is a product at the end of the experience. No doubt, you’ll want to hear the end result. You can view our efforts on this link:

Maybe there is scope to create another winter lockdown music workshop leading to the first Plymouth U3A virtual choir. If you viewed the video and you think you would like to come along to another set of workshops with a view to creating a virtual choir, I will be happy to set up another set of workshops. Any takers?

The Puzzle of Love


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