Past Speaker Meetings

The New Speaker Meeting Team in 2016

The first meeting organised by a new Speaker Team,  inaugurated in 2016 and led by Sue Watkinson, was given by Vivienne Parry on the 100,000 Genome Project, Personalised Medicine, the future on Thursday 6 October, This presented the fascinating story of the search for solutions to certain types of cancers and  rare diseases.

This talk was very well received and attended. If you missed it or are interested in volunteering as a participant in the programme, here is the link to North West Coast Genomic Medicine Centre website.

The new team also arranged the 2016 Christmas Concert.

Speaker Meetings in 2017

February saw our own Pearl E Webster, performer, poet and U3A supporter, presenting a humorous, illustrated story entitled ‘My Favourite Tails’ – the waggy sort. Pearl has long been a supporter of Animals in Need, a charity founded by the late Carla Lane.

March 2017: Understanding Tomorrow’s World: Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and their implications for future health care. This was an update by our own Dr Jack Brettle on the Tomorrow’s World Group activities.

Click on the Poster to view it full-size.


6 April: Richard Noble with ‘By the skin of your teeth’: Richard is a friend of Andrew Beeston, one of our long serving members.  He has written a book about Old Testament quotations that are still in use today and will tell us about the origins of them.

4 MaySankey Canal Restoration Trust.  So near to us and so little known, the Sankey Valley provided the venue for one of our longer walking groups when members were fascinated at the work being done to restore the historic canal, the first industrial waterway in England.  Peter Keen, Secretary to the Trust, told us stories about the history, decline and re-birth of the area.

June: No meeting because of the AGM.  

There were no Speaker Meetings in July and August.

7 September: We had a very special and interesting speaker,  Colin Wright, an academic who has studied the art and mathematics of juggling.  He  explained and demonstrated his skills in Christ Church at our first Speaker meeting of the autumn season.  More information can be found here.

5 October: Joe Riley, 50 years a Journalist and Art Critic of the Liverpool Echo for 35 of those years. His title is “Who do you think you are?” – a humorous backwards look at the rise of instant media critics.

2 November: We welcomed classical pianist Andrew Wilde with a popular programme including much Chopin

7 December was our annual Advent Celebration with our own U3A Choir and guests.

Speaker Meetings in 2018

Thursday 1 February – Yvonne Taylor, one of our own members, told the story of her Polish Mother, Genovefa, (try saying it aloud and you will hear the English equivalent) and her wartime experiences.  Deported from Soviet occupied Poland and taken to the wastes of Siberia at the age of 15, she undertook a long and hard journey to join the Polish Free Army in Persia.  At the end of the war she began a new life in Lancashire.

Thursday 1 March – Ron Hutchinson, in his life story, spoke of the years when he was chauffeur to Lord Leverhulme.  It’s a fascinating and moving account of a young man seeking and finding a job that became a life’s commitment to one man, the experiences they shared and the people he met, including members of the Royal Family.

Thursday 5 April – Dr Penny Foulds spoke about Dementia – Facts, myths and challenge.
Penny works in clinical research with partners and is the founder of the ‘Dementia defying campaign’ using community endeavours to support those living with dementia and carers.
Can we pop this one onto the front page for the two weeks before the event please>

Thursday 3 May – fellow U3A member from Upholland & District, Neil Stevenson is now the  U3A Egyptology National Adviser.  His topics is Gods and Goddesses – a fascinating mix of history and archaeology, CANCELLED

Dr John McGarry, the University of BoltonThe United Kingdom is one of the oldest in the world and yet many of its most important facets are not well known. John McGarry teaches and writes about the UK constitution and in this talk he discussed some important aspects of it.

Thursday 5 July – Ken Pye, well-known Liverpool local historian presented the story of the Slave Trade in Liverpool.

Thursday 6 September – Norse Mythology. We welcomed Paul Atherton who told us all about Norse Mythology.   He’s no stranger to our U3A as he has spoken to the Local History Group but the subject is endlessly fascinating.

Who are Odin, Thor and Loki?  Where is Valhalla?  What are the Valkyrie and to which of the nine worlds are they riding?  Norse Mythology is ancient and has its roots in the Germanic world, not just Scandinavia.  It’s full of amazing and dramatic characters who have fascinated and influenced many leaders, authors and composers.

Thursday 4 October  – ‘Carbolic Smoke Balls updated’

Our speaker at the monthly meeting was our Chairman Ian Grant.  His intriguing talk was about a case from 1892 that has gone into legal history.  It concerned compensation claims and awards and relates to the way the law deals with them today.

Thursday 1 November – ‘World class music on your doorstep’.

Our speakers in Christ Church were two members of  Douglas Music Parbold, a local society that has grown and developed over many years, bringing professional musicians to a local village hall.

Brian Pilling writes ‘One usually has to make costly and inconvenient journeys to hear top class music. However, something amazing happens in our neighbouring village of Parbold.  There, from September to May each year, Douglas Music presents a succession of truly world class concerts’.  This illustrated talk will explain how this came about and give recorded examples of the music available now.

Thursday 6 December – U3A Advent Celebration

Join in well known carols, listen to readings from Dickens and enjoy the U3A Choir and the Recorder Group in solo items.

Speaker Meetings are held at 10.30 on specified Thursday mornings throughout the year, usually in Christ Church, Aughton. Coffee is available in the Scout & Guide HQ (very nearby the Church and its Ministry Centre) from 09.30 to 10.15 before the meeting. Everyone is welcome, so bring family, friends and neighbours.

Speaker Meetings in 2019

Thursday 7 February – Chocolate
Many thanks to Andrew Thwaite, who kick-started the 2019 programme with an entertaining and informative talk on the history and manufacture of chocolate. A great many people braved the elements that wet and windy morning and were rewarded with a most enjoyable talk and freshly made chocolate!
Thursday 4th April – Carolyn Kirby talking about her debut novel ‘The Conviction of Cora Burns’
Carolyn writes

My novel ‘The Conviction of Cora Burns’ will be published in the UK and USA in March 2019. This is a historical thriller set in 1880’s Birmingham about a troubled young woman, Cora Burns, who was born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse. Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of a scientist, Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora?
The novel is inspired by some real Victorian lives and events. My talk will give an insight into the research that underlies the fictional narrative of the novel and will highlight three controversial Victorians: Arthur Munby, W. T. Stead and Francis Galton. This will be followed by Q and A’s and a chance to buy a signed copy of the book.

Speaker Meetings from Bygone Times

Click on the Poster below to view a slide-show of full-size photos of a very successful talk from Mr Niall O’Donnel in May 2016.  This was the final Speaker Meeting organised by Dr Mia Faza before he “retired” from this U3A role.

Mr O’Donnell provided us with a most informative and relevant talk about eye conditions, particularly those prevalent in later years, and their treatment. Over 220 attendees benefited from this interesting and helpful lecture.

Speakers in past years have also included:

  • Angela Danby, a journalist for 20 years, working predominantly as a crime correspondent and news editor
  •  Duo Gold where Jill Fielding performed a selection of Irish, 60s & 70s music
  • “Pilkington and the Pursuits of Perfection” by David Martlew
  • “Noél Chavasse and other Liverpool Heroes” by William Sergeant
  • And many more on a wide variety of topics

Last Updated on March 23, 2021