The monthly speaker meeting is our most high-profile activity. Every interest is catered for, be it Our Place in Space, Bronze Age Dartmoor, the Pre-History of Malta, the Future of Local Journalism, Plymouth under the Blitz or The Building of Exeter Cathedral – to name just a handful of past topics.
We welcome recommendations from our members, but are happy also to respond to offers from professional speakers. Our members can derive a lot of social and intellectual satisfaction from participating in the various interest-groups, but the monthly meeting is the forum which best demonstrates our commitment to the U3A principle of life-long learning.
Speaker Programme 2020-21
Thursday 19th November – 10.30am on zoom
The Art and Artiface of Fleet Street – with Geri Parlby
Shock! Horror! Probe! Since the end of the 15th century, the term “Fleet Street” has been synonymous with newspaper journalism. This lecture looks at the ups and downs of this notorious “Street of Shame” via the art that illustrated its stories.
Having trained as a journalist on the Mirror Group scheme in Plymouth, Geri worked on several Fleet Street papers in the 1980s before going into entertainment PR.
Thursday 17th December – 10.30am on zoom
Lundy: a Landmark 50 years with Simon Dell
The past 50 years have seen major changes in the ownership and management of the island and this talk photographically charts those changes which have made the island what it is today – a vibrant, secure and well-known wildlife reserve and so much more.
Simon is well-known to us as a speaker. He is currently the Director and Co-ordinator of Moorland Guides, but his career was spent in the police force, including a spell on Lundy, and 17 years based in Tavistock.
Thursday 21st January – 10.30am on zoom
An alternative history of Pony Herds on Dartmoor with Joss Hibbs
A gallop through 500,000 years of history of ponies on Dartmoor, dispelling some modern myths along the way. Were all pony herds on the moor once made up of the Dartmoor Pony breed until someone ruined it in the 1950s? Were they all originally bay/brown and piebald is a modern disaster? What role did the Duke of Cornwall play in their existence?
Along the way, we will learn a little more about Dartmoor’s olde feudal manorial system (which still exists to a large extent), some genetics and recent government policy.
Joss is an Essex girl, who landed on Dartmoor in 1999 to work as a potter near Postbridge. she works at a moorland pub, where she has listened to Dartmoor wisdom over the top of a pint glass for 21 years.
Thursday 18th February – 10.30am on zoom
Ghosts, Royals and Ferrymen: Tales of Britain’s small working ferries with Brian Margetson
Based on a unique photographic archive and an intriguing catalogue of anecdotal stories of Britain’s small working ferries, this is a light-hearted presentation focusing on river, estuary and inshore ferries, from rowing boats up to the Isle of Wight ferry, and telling the weird and wacky stories that go with each one.
Having spent a career designing buildings and other structures Brian has now semi-retired allowing time to focus on public speaking, having given talks to audiences as diverse as The NHBC, Civic Societies, Women’s Institutes and Retirement Homes.
Thursday 18th March – 10.30am on zoom
Canaletto: Picture Postcard Painter Par Excellence with Professor Peter Edwards
Was Canaletto a picture postcard painter? There was no doubt he pandered to tourists who wanted views of Venice and elsewhere. However, in his defence, remember that there were no postcards or photography in those days, so at least he was fulfilling a need of producing the postcards/photographs of the day.
Before retirement, Peter was a Senior Lecturer/Professor of Engineering Mathematics Education at Bournemouth University, and for 35 years was an Associate Lecturer/External Examiner with the Open University. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His background is Mathematics, but his love is for things Italian and he is a regular visitor to Italy.
Thursday 22nd April – 10.30am on zoom
Enigma-tic – Bletchley Park, the Enigma Machine, codes and cyphers with Mike Wabe
A look at the history of Bletchley Park, its personnel and the invention of the Enigma Machine; the need that all nations had for secrecy; the differences between codes and cyphers, and the way they were cracked.
Mike spent 29 years as a police officer, followed by 4 years as a manager for Autoglass, then 10 years as a prison officer, ending with 3 years as an Inclusion Manager in a secondary school. He is now a Town Crier and a wedding Toastmaster and runs his own murder mystery business and has been a speaker for over 14 years.
For further information about our Speakers or to contact the Speaker Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org