Memories rekindled at annual meeting

Memories of old London

THE 18th annual meeting of the Thurrock branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) attracted 234 members.

Chairperson Maggie Whitbread thanked committee members, group leaders and all those who have contributed to the successful running of the U3A.

It was decided at the meeting that Paul Heasmer will replace Martine Heasmer as secretary, while Martine will remain on the committee – where she will be joined by Paul Cutler.

Maggie then made a presentation to Christyne Moorland and Pam Quilter in recognition of all their work with theatre bookings. She also presented flowers to Coral Logan who is standing down from the committee but continuing with her group leadership work.

Speaker was Ann Hardy who spoke about her memories of the east end of London. Her talk was of great interest and all members present were able to relate to many of the memories which ranged from 1908 through to the 1960s.

Some memories were familiar from with members’ own experiences, others from those of parents and grandparents.  Members enjoyed recollections of  the early 1900s Suffragettes, the Titanic disaster, Charlie Chaplin’s tramp.  The flu epidemic which killed 20 million people, and eight million people who perished in World War One. The general strike of 1926, child mortality, boiling of bones for soup and taking in washing, plus the ever present pawn shops, memories of the not too distant past.

Into the 1940s with ration books, TB still around, and hats worn by all. Then to the 50s, the Festival of  Britain, the four minute mile,  the conquering  of Everest and the Queen’s Coronation  televised for the first time and viewed on TV in a few fortunate homes. Finally the 60s, the Beatles, Carnaby street, hooped skirts, and the swinging sixties.