Ivanhoe Ashby de la Zouch U3A Group Logo

Monthly Meetings

We meet at 2 pm on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Congregational Church, Kilwardby St, Ashby.
There is normally a guest speaker or, in December, musical entertainment.
This is followed by tea, coffee and biscuits and a chance to meet and talk with other members.

Future programme
DateSpecial EventsSpeakerSubject

Tue 28th AugCream Tea served by the Committeenonenone
Tue 25th SepAnn FeatherstoneThe baby-killer and the thief - Victorian crimes
Tue 23rd OctAlan Gray'You cannot be serious' - an ex-Wimbledon umpire
Tue 27th NovRoger HailwoodThe National Memorial Arboretum
Tue 11th DecChristmas EventTBAMusical entertainment
Tue 22nd JanJohn WinterIntercare - Medical Aid to Africa
Tue 26th FebWilliam J FrenchA Butler to Royalty
Tue 26th MarRalph Jerram The history of Desert Island Discs
Tue 23rd AprPaul Newsham

Tea Rota, Meeters & Greeters, Reporting Groups

MonthTea GroupMeet & GreetReporting Groups
Tue 28th AugThe CommitteeThe CommitteeNo groups reporting
Tue 25th SepLiz Banns & Mary JagerSupper and Trips & Outings
Tue 23rd OctJean Preece, Brenda Dummer, Cynthia Wells and Sandra FoxWalking and Arts & Crafts
Tue 27th NovJenny & Pete Slawson, Bridget & Jim FairwayBird Watching & Bridge
Tue 11th DecThe CommitteeNo groups reporting

24th July
Subject: The Variety Hall
Speaker: Mark Walsh

We started with our Annual General Meeting chaired by treasurer Colin Ellis in the absence of Tony Smith, our Chairman.

As well as the various Chairman's, Treasurer's and Group Coordinator's reports (details will follow later) Colin thanked Dorothy Chapman and James Bloor for their service to the Committee now that they are standing down. To replace them, 4 new members were elected to the Committee: Colin Woodland, Val Reed, Bill and Avril Wilson as was Iain Banns who was co-opted onto the Committee earlier this year to assist and then supersede Dorothy in the role of membership secretary. Anne Donegan, Isobel Salt and Colin Ellis were re-elected for a further 2 years. Kevin Green was confirmed as auditor. Colin W will be taking on the role of Groups Coordinator, posts for the others will be discussed at the next committee meeting.

After the AGM, Colin introduced our speaker Mark Walsh.

Mark, despite his seemingly impossible youth, has been in the entertainment industry for 19 years having started with the Danny La Rue Revue at the age of 13 as a ukulele player and singer. After his audition, Danny asked him to perform 4 songs in the show but Mark pointed out that he only knew two! He was told to go away and learn 2 more including "My old man said follow the van" which he learnt by listening to his gran's vinyl records.

Mark started by giving us some of the history of music hall which is reputed to have started in the back of a pub in London in 1837. He also explained some of the well-known sayings related to Music Hall. In the theatre the audience is called 'the house' and in the early halls there was always a bar at the back where many of the audience would congregate. If an act was particularly good, they might draw 'the house' down to the front to listen, in doing so they would 'bring the house down'!

Mark also gave us many anecdotes about the many famous variety performers such as Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno, Arthur Askey, Tessie O'Shea and George Formby whilst also giving us a wonderful impersonation of Max Miller and his sometimes risque jokes. Mark is a virtuoso ukulele player and treated us to several tunes on his two rare and precious ukuleles. These had belonged to Billy 'Uke' Scott who had performed on stage from 1937 to 2004 and who had invited Mark to perform with him on his last ever performance. At the end of the show he gave one ukulele to Mark and gifted him the other in his will on his death just a few months later. As Billy Scott was considered to be the Larry Adler of the uke, and Mark was then only 18, it shows the quality of Mark's playing and the esteem in which he was held. Not that the very modest Mark would have told us that.

We were treated to an outstanding performance by Mark. His story telling, his jokes and above all his ukulele playing were wonderful. An excellent hour's entertainment.

Our meetings normally include reports from one or two of our groups and this time it was due to be the Recorder Group, however they decided to give us a short performance instead, not knowing that they would have to follow Mark Walsh. Nonetheless the trio gave us an excellent set consisting of a variety of short pieces very well performed. Well done.