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Photo by Brian Eastcott

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.

Sept AGM and Membership for 2020-2021

Our May Newsletter warned that alternative arrangements for this year’s AGM would probably be necessary.

With the continuing Government restrictions affecting the gathering of large groups of people resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic, our AGM, planned for 7th September, will not go ahead.

Adopting guidance issued by the Third Age Trust, the AGM will now be conducted, adhering to normal AGM procedures, by the current elected Committee on Monday 21st September at 11.00 on Zoom.

As a result of these new arrangements members need to make a note of the following points:

    • AGM – Any questions you wish to raise arising from the 2019 AGM minutes, which were included in the April issue of ‘Update’, should be sent to the Secretary to arrive no later than Wednesday 16th September. You will receive a response to your query following the meeting. Any member who wishes to view the AGM (view only, no audio input for members) via Zoom should contact Jim Dwyer ( to receive an invitation. 

      Click here to see the Agenda for the AGM

    • Applications from anyone wishing to join the committee must reach the Secretary no later than 4th August. Applications must be supported by a proposer and seconder as usual. This should be a signed agreement by the proposer and seconder, neither of whom should be a partner of the applicant or a current committee member.
      If obtaining signatures on the actual application form is difficult because of Government restrictions, the Committee has agreed on this occasion only to accept a written or email statement from the named supporters sent to the Secretary.
      Application forms can be downloaded from our website via the Committee page.
    • Existing members – Many of you normally pay your annual subscription at the AGM. As this will not be possible this year, you are requested to send your membership renewal form with a stamped addressed envelope to the Membership Secretary at our PO Box address along with the 2020/21 subscription of £12.50 per person. A new membership card will be sent to you in the post. (PO Box address: Saffron Walden U3A, PO Box 248, Saffron Walden CB10 9EU)
    • New members are always welcome. For new members who want to join click here to print an application form and click here to download a gift aid form. ( If you are a tax payer we can claim back 25p for each £1 of your subscription from HMRC so it is a great help to us if members are able to complete the gift aid form – thanks).
    • Members wishing to join particular activity groups must contact the appropriate group coordinator to reserve a place. The coordinator will need to know your name, address, telephone number and email address and have sight of your 2020/21 membership card. Please be aware that previous membership of a group does not guarantee automatic inclusion for the new academic year. Any fees associated with the group must be paid to the coordinator by the second group meeting. Non-attendance at group meetings once fees are paid does not give entitlement to a refund.  Any problems relating to group admission should be referred to the Activities Organiser, Mary Curtis ( Please remember that if you have not renewed your membership you will not be allowed to join a group.

Any questions relating to the above should be addressed to the Secretary. Tony Treglown, Secretary (


Update Magazine articles and photographs


We hope you’ve been able to continue with your U3A activities during lockdown and would love to hear from you if you have – are you using Zoom, FaceTime or something else? Please email me your thoughts and how you are continuing your U3A activities, with any photographs, to so they can be seen in the next issue of Update.

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.

Coronavirus Update

Due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, we have closed classes and cancelled all events until further notice, please check with your co-ordinators. 

Please see our Theatre and Travel page for information regarding refunds for trips already booked.

Download the latest Uttlesford Frontline Factsheet here for support available for those who cannot leave their homes (to get latest factsheet go to and in circular logon box type in virus and your postcode and then press search)

Get the latest National U3A advice and bulletins on the National U3A website – 

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


JUSTGYM Active Ageing Hour

Please note that this is not a U3A activity but we thought that it might be of interest to our members

“As we get older our bodies start to slow down and muscles start to lose their strength and stability. At JustGym we are here to help you keep fit and healthy.
A dedicated member of staff will be on hand to help with any questions you may have, demonstrate equipment, offer tips on exercises and show you ways to get started on your fitness journey.”

Tuesday and Thursday from 2-3pm at JustGym, Shire hill, Saffron Walden, CB11 3AQ   01799 510 766 or
£6 per visit or £25 unlimited monthly membership.

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Shingles Vaccinations

“We are currently encouraging people of age 70, 71,72, 73, 74, 78 and 79 years to get their free shingles vaccination from their GP surgery. Shingles can be a painful illness, especially in those who are older or have a weakened immune system.”

Screening and Immunisation Coordinator, Public Health England/NHS England, Midlands and East (East)