John Betjeman is best known as the twentieth century’s most popular Poet Laureate. His verses were easy to understand and encouraged people to read poetry for the first time. Yet his work as a writer and commentator on English architecture both old and modern had, arguably, more impact on our perception of the built heritage than almost anyone else.

This illustrated lecture introduces us to the architectural writings and opinions of John Betjeman, discussing the history of the buildings he used as examples and exploring structures as diverse as churches, houses and pleasure piers. A man who made the unpopular fashionable and who was a pioneer in the subject of the sociological impact of buildings, John Betjeman was a popular but controversial figure. His work at the Architectural Review and his idea for a series of Architecturally-based guides should be as well known as his poetry, and it is a reflection on today’s society that they are so often eclipsed by his more popular verse.

John Vigar was personally encouraged early in his career by John Betjeman and is a Trustee of a national charity of which Betjeman was a founder. He is an architectural historian by profession, specialising in ecclesiastical architecture of which John Betjeman was such a protagonist. He also lectures for several universities and colleges and until his retirement worked for The Churches Conservation Trust.

Betjeman and Buildings

betjemang

Our Zoom talk on 7 September by John Vigar was about the poet John Betjeman, not about his poetry, but his life and his passion for architecture. John told us how Betjeman had, from childhood, a great curiosity about his surroundings. This grew into his critical conviction that buildings belonged to their locality, were shaped particularly by the local building materials, and had to be understood in their context.

Dr Sue Gattuso is the Howard Carter Curator at the Swaffham Museum

The talk Coincides with the centenary of Howard Carter’s discovery of that tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings

Mike Green past Development Director at Birmingham Hippodrome, member of NNU3A Music Appreciation and Jazz groups presents a selection of musical pieces from around the world with seasonal flavour.                                                                    

Did Tulips cause the first great financial bubble?

At our July monthly meeting, speaker Charles Lewis answered this question for us. Yes, they did.

Tulipmania was the title of his talk, and the name of the highly speculative market in rare tulip varieties in 17th century Holland.

Tulips originated in Istanbul and featured heavily in Ottoman ceramics. No-one knows quite when or how they came to Europe, but possibly it was with the trade in carpets from Turkey. They were first described growing in Europe in 1561 known as Tulipa Turcarum (they were known in Turkey as Lali). The “Father of all the beautiful gardens” was a man called Carolus Clusins who published an illustrated book in Leiden in 1590, “Hortus Botannicus”. He began to develop varieties of tulips in the late 16th century including multi coloured blooms. Variegated blooms became known as “Broken Flowers”.

Genealogy Group - Stephen Dyer - Early 20th Century Family and Social History

Stephen Dyer is a national expert subject advisor for genealogy for the U3A. The Genealogy Group have arranged for him to give this talk on early 20th century family and social history. The 1930s, an era of defining events that would change the course of many families for decades to come. Victory in 1918 inspired a robust sense of patriotism, yet the inner war years were marked by class conflict and inequality and living through the depression in the 1930s.

Peter is a retired Scotland Yard Police Officer and is now a tutor in history. He lives in Norfolk and has become a popular U3A speaker on local and London history.

ALL MEMBERS OF ALL U3AS IN OUR REGION ARE INVITED TO JOIN US FOR A FUN QUIZ ON FRIDAY 10TH DECEMBER 2021 FROM 2PM.

TOP TEN SCORERS WILL RECEIVE A U3A BEANIE HAT.

THE EMPHASIS ON THIS IS 'FUN' AND A GOOD START TO THE CHRISTMAS SEASON FOR US ALL.

GOOD LUCK!  THE MORE THE MERRIER!

Next Event at Blakeney Village Hall

TITLE                Monthly Quiz    

DATE                Tuesday 6th September - 2022

QUIZ MASTER Denis Lascelles

DETAILS           Click here for details

Booking            No need to book, just turn up

Location           Blakeney Village hall

Time                 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Cost                  £3.00 per person

Click here for the full programme

Next Event - Zoom

TITLE            The History of The Glaven Ports Blakeney and Cley Part 1 - Up to 1800    

DATE             Tuesday 5th July - 2022

SPEAKER      Jonathan Hootton

DETAILS        Click here for details

Location        Click here for the Zoom link

Time              4:30 pm

Click here for the full programme

Steve and Carol Robson perform a mixture of songs and will reveal their stories and mysteries.