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Ramblers back again!

Great to see some groups able to meet up again particularly those meeting outdoors.

Ramblers 2 at the start of their walk around Sawston and Whittlesford recently.

Ramblers 2 on their walk in Strethall recently.

See our Ramblers page for more information.

New Group – Exploring Churches

St Mary the Virgin Elsenham

Group Co-ordinator: Christine Hall – 01279 815 662 –

Stop Press: 31 members have expressed an interest to date – so this group is definitely going ahead.

Jesus College Chapel

If you’re interested in history, art or architecture, then this may be the group for you!

East Anglia has a wealth of wonderful medieval churches – large and small. They provide a fascinating insight into the lives of our ancestors. Of course, there are more modern churches too, and over time some of these will be visited too. Each month from April to October, we will visit two churches on the second Friday morning of the month. The churches will be no more than one hour’s drive from Saffron Walden (and usually much nearer). Participants will need their own transport – some churches are in remote rural locations. As the group develops, then car-sharing and lifts may be possible (that will be for participants to organise themselves). The first visit will be at 10.30am, then we will drive to the second church (which will be in roughly the same geographical area). The length of visits will depend partly on the size of the church and the number of interesting features, partly on the participants’ interest in the church, and partly on the weather! Churches can be very cold, which is why there will be no visits from November to March. Please remember that church floors can often be uneven and there may be steps in some places. If you have any special access requirements please let the group co-ordinator know.

The group coordinator will provide a brief written introduction to each church which will be emailed in advance, but visits will be self-guided. Occasionally we may have a talk from someone at a church.

The longer-term plan will be to arrange an optional pub lunch following the second church visit. However, this will start some time in 2022 when we’re all a bit more relaxed about Covid. It would be great to have someone help to arrange these lunches – volunteer(s) please!

Kings College Chapel

Providing Covid regulations allow, our dates for visits in 2021 (before the winter break) will be:

Friday 13 August
Friday 10 September
Friday 8 October

Please email Christine Hall to express your interest in joining the group.

Christine Hall

June 2021

Shakespeare Summer School

In celebration of the end of lockdown it is proposed that SW U3A will hold a Shakespeare Summer School at some time after the 21st June. The summer school programme currently planned will be over six days: three days on week 1, then another three days on week 2. Monday and Tuesday of week.

It will be devoted to a reading of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, and on Wednesday there will be lectures and study groups on the play. The same format will take place during week 2 but the play will be ‘Twelfth Night’.

It would be helpful to know if there is interest in pursuing the summer school. If it is something that might interest you, please send an e-mail to accordingly. Dates and locations have yet to be determined.

Congenially yours,
Alex Reeve

Imaging Saffron Walden 2021

‘Imaging Saffron Walden 2021’

Saffron Walden Photography Competition. The Saffron Walden Initiative and the Saffron Walden Camera Club have organised a photographic competition entitled ‘Images of Saffron Walden 2021’. We are invited to photograph our lovely town and nearby area and celebrate the landscape, townscape, environment, street scenes and activities.

Click here or on the image on the right for further details.

And there are prizes to be won!

18 and Under = 1st Prize £50; 2nd Prize £30; 3rd Prize £20
Over 18 = 1st prize £100; 2nd Prize £50; 3rd prize £25

Coronavirus Update

Due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, most classes are closed and events cancelled until further notice. Please check with your co-ordinators as some classes are meeting on Zoom. 

Current UK Gov National lockdown: Stay at Home  Restrictions 5 January 2021 – click here

Government Roadmap out of Lockdown – summaryin detail

BBC – Local lockdown rules: Check Covid restrictions in your area – just type in your postcode.

Latest Government Advice re Coronavirus

See the latest news about Coronavirus on the BBC News page here

NHS Track and Trace and the scams  that go with it, from Essex Police  – NHS track and trace

See also the NHS page on coronavirus:

For latest news in Essex go to – Update on Births, ceremonies and deaths

Visit the Uttlesford Frontline website  for local support organisations.

New Group – Landscape and Literature

Writers of prodigious talent have plied their trade while living in Hertfordshire, Essex and Cambridgeshire, and the landscape has influenced their work: George Orwell found inspiration for Animal Farm in the village of Wallington; E.M. Foster’s home Rook’s Nest in Old Stevenage is the model for Howard’s End; Berkhamstead is revealed as Greeneland, a place inhabited by many of Graham Greene’s exotic characters; and G.B. Shaw fantasises moving in with the village postmistress in Ayot St Lawrence in his play Village Wooing. Rupert Brooke probably suffered from homesickness in Berlin when writing of his beloved Grantchester in Berlin; and H G Wells wrote Mr Britling Sees It Through at Little Easton.

Read the books then visit the places that inspired some of the greatest literature of the last five hundred years in a series of walks around diverse and delightful corners of our region.

The walks will be by arrangement with participants. Please contact Alex Reeve at – 01799 522 818 for further details.

Some Seated Exercises to Keep you Fit

Keep yourself moving with Six Simple Seated Exercises

Download this page here

Find yourself a chair, perhaps a dining chair where your knees and hips can be a similar height. Sit yourself with your bottom at the back of the chair and have your feet hip width apart under your knees. Now sit tall in the chair lengthening the crown of your head to the ceiling. This is your starting position. Try to maintain this position throughout the exercises. With all the following exercises please only try them if they feel comfortable and only take the exercises as far as you are happy with. With the situation we are in it’s all about keeping healthy and not over-doing things.

Ex 1 – Breathing
Sit as described above and inhale into the sides of your ribs, then exhale. Get the feeling of breathing like this, and then breathe in for 3 and out for 3 and repeat 6 times. If at any point you feel a little light headed just return to your normal breathing. On the other hand, if you feel that this breath comes fairly easily to you and you want to increase to a count of 4, then try.

Ex 2 – Rolling your shoulders
Whilst sitting tall circle your shoulders forwards, up and around and repeat x 6. Then reverse the movement circling backwards, down and around.

Ex 3 – Floating Arms
Sitting tall as before, with your arms down to your sides, try to keep your body still as you lift your right arm out to the side and float it up towards your ear keeping it as long as possible. Try to keep the weight of the body centered trying not to bend the spine to help, the movement should come from the shoulder. Repeat x 6 and then swap sides and repeat with the left arm.

Ex 4 – Ankle turns
Lengthen the right leg away in front, trying to keep sitting tall all the while. Turn your foot clockwise at the ankle x 6 and then anti-clockwise x 6. Bring the leg back to starting position and do the same with the left leg.

Ex 5 – Knee lifts
From your starting position lift your right knee trying to keep the rest of your body still. Then repeat the same on the left side. It may be difficult to keep the body still when swopping legs but try to keep that lengthening from your bottom through to the crown of the head going all through the exercise.

Ex 6 – Waist Twist
Fold your arms in front and relax the arms so they are resting on your front. From your starting position turn your head to the right, and then turn chest and ribs keeping the arms relaxed on your front so that your arms do not try to turn you. Turn back to looking forwards and do the same to the left. Try not to let the spine bend and just go as far with the exercise that feels comfortable.

Finish with a Big Smile!

Take care everyone and if you would like some more chair exercises just say.