University of the Third Age Newsletter

Our Chairman welcomed members old and new and visitors to the meeting. The usual housekeeping notices were read out, with a reminder that tables and chairs in the foyer were reserved for those less able.

Jane Cusworth supported by David Morris laid a wreath on behalf of the R&D U3A on Remembrance Sunday, 10th November. The trip to the Black Country Living Museum was enjoyed by all who took part. One highlight was the cinder ice-cream, which turned the tongue black. It is hoped that the hearing loop will be installed in the Community Centre, starting on 28th November.

Our holiday for 2020 will be ‘Irish House Party’, 29th June to 3rd July price £535 per person with a single supplement of £69, four-night half board terms, the cost includes the ferry crossing, free drinks, a trip to Waterford Crystal.  Family and friends are welcome on this trip. Deposits need to be paid to Greatdays Travel. Day trip to the Houses of Parliament and River trip Saturday 18th April price reduced to £52 pp, we have more places available, the pick-up time 8.00am. Hampton Court Palace 17th July price £45, finally, Peckover House and Elgoods brewery on 23rd October price £25. Deposit for the day trips is £10 per person (non-refundable). If you are interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheets.

 Our Christmas Party takes place on Tuesday 10th December at the Community centre, starting at 2.00pm. An entertainer has been booked to keep us amused during the afternoon. All tickets have now been sold, sorry, if you have been unable to get tickets for this event.

The next Anglia region meeting takes place in Ely on the 6th March 2020, any interested member wishing to attend, please contact any committee member.

The Groups co-ordinator read out the Group news for this month. The display this month was from the Cycling group, well done Linda for an interesting display. There are now 29 activity groups for new members to take part in and we have a suggestion box if you would like to put any new ideas forward.

Music appreciation will now take place on the first Friday of each month from 10.00 to 12.00. Board Games, only two had signed up, so may not be worth continuing. Hand Chimes at 10.00 to 11.30. Short Tennis (would like more members) and Metal Detecting have revised start times and a new venue, see Website for timings. The Lunch Club will meet during the August break and if any other groups would like to meet during August, please let the Groups Co-ordinator know.

Would all members, please pass emergency contact telephone numbers to their respective Group leaders, so that Beacon can be updated via the Group Co-ordinator.

Jane then introduced the speaker for this afternoon’s talk, Martin Lloyd.

Martin’s talk this afternoon was entitled “Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies,” and he would tell three stories on this very theme.  Martin spent twenty-four years as a Civil Servant, working for the Immigration Service. He has written several novels about his experiences and had books for sale after the meeting.

The first was about Count Orsini and the attempt to assassinate Napoleon III. On the evening of 14 January 1858 as the Emperor and the Empress were on their way to the theatre in the Rue Le Peletier to see ‘William Tell’, Orsini and his accomplices threw three bombs at the imperial carriage. The first bomb landed amongst the horsemen, the second wounded the animals and smashed the carriage glass, the third landed under the carriage and wounded a policeman. Eight people were killed and 142 wounded.

Orsini himself was wounded on the right temple, he tended his wounds and returned to his lodgings, where police found him the next day. Because the bombs had been made and tested in England, it caused a brief anti-British furore in France because of British involvement.The upshot of this assassination attempt was that all passports were withdrawn and day trippers from France and Belgium were denied entry to England

The second story was about a WW1 German spy, name Carl Hans Lody. He was provided with a substantial amount of money and an American passport in the name of Charles A. Inglis. He arrived in Edinburgh on 27th August 1914 by ship via neutral Norway and found lodgings. He was set to spy on the Royal Navy Fleet in the Firth of Forth and would send coded messages by letter and telegram to his superiors in Germany. He did not know that his letters were being intercepted by MI5 and Lody was detected in his very first message home.

He travelled to Dublin on 29 September, travelling via the port of Liverpool, he sent letters back describing ships in the harbour, this contained information of real value to the Germans. MI5 ordered his arrest and he was caught by the Irish police on 2nd October 1914. Lody was put on trial for “war treason,” he was found guilty and executed by firing squad on 6th November 1914.

The passport he was issued with, had got ‘lost’ in the German Embassy when the true owner took it to get an exit visa. At the time, there was no photograph in the document. This was quickly changed and all passports now have photos affixed.

The final story relates to the Second World War and the last execution for treason in the UK was when William Joyce (known as Lord Haw Haw) stood accused of levying war against King George VI, by travelling to Germany early in WWII and taking up employment as a broadcaster of pro-Nazi propaganda to British radio audiences.

Joyce was born in the USA to an Irish father and an English mother but moved to Britain in his teens and falsely applied for a British passport in 1933, which was still valid when he defected to Germany and under the law, he owed allegiance to Britain. On 28th May 1945, he was captured by British forces at Flensburg. He was gathering firewood and when his voice was recognised, asked if he was Joyce. Reaching for a false passport and was shot, (they thought he was going to draw a weapon). He was then taken to a border post and handed to the British military police. He was then taken to London and tried at the Old Bailey on three counts of high treason. He was found guilty and hanged on 3rd January 1946.

The chairman thanked Martin for a most interesting and edifying afternoon

We then broke for coffee. tea and biscuits.

U3A National Website

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Next Meeting

 Our ticket only Christmas Party will take place on Tuesday 10th December at the Community Centre, Stocking Fen Road, Ramsey, starting at 2.00pm.

And Finally

The London Glassworks in Chatteris have invited R&D U3A members to their Christmas Exhibition and Seconds Sale. They will be open to visitors on 7th December 10am – 5pm and 8th December 11am – 4pm when ‘seconds’ will be on sale. You can also watch Stewart, Alex and John demonstrate their craft. Have a look at their website at for more details.

Car Parking – Please remember to park your car considerately and use car sharing, if you are able.


My friend’s wife was checking her emails and told her husband that her password was “mickeyminniebatmanrobintomjerryLondon.” He asked her why it needed to be so long?

“Because,” she replied, “I was told it had to have at least six characters and one capital.”

Did you hear about the monkeys who shared an Amazon account? They were Prime mates.