Redbridge clubs news: U3A AGM, astro-photography and the East India Company

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 February 2015

Simon Litt, mayoress Hilary Kissin, mayor Ashley Kissin and Trudi Simmons at the meeting

Simon Litt, mayoress Hilary Kissin, mayor Ashley Kissin and Trudi Simmons at the meeting


The latest news from Redbridge’s clubs and societies.

Redbridge U3A

The University of the Third Age (U3A) urged young people to get involved at its annual meeting last week.

The group, which was set up in 1994 for retired and semi-retired members to share skills and stories, wants young people to be on its committee and help with running group activities.

The U3A also re-elected chairwoman Trudy Simons after welcoming Redbridge Mayor Ashley Kissin and Mayoress Hilary Kissin to the meeting at Gearies Adult Education Centre, Gaysham Avenue, Gants Hill.

Paula Russell was elected vice-chairwoman after retiring members Doris Greenstein, Pearl Crawford and Elsa Schwarz were thanked for their contributions.

Valentines Park head gardener Simon Litt gave a talk on the origins of the historic park in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, after the mayor talked about his year in the role.

Group member Helen Gold said: “The U3A is a valuable part of the community, which gives members an array of activities and is a boon to people who live alone.”

To get involved with the U3A email

Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society

Society members were star-struck when an internationally acclaimed astro-photographer showed of photos of far-away galaxies.

Nik Szymanek talked about how he is able to take his spectacular photos even in “light-polluted” London. He was speaking to members at Wanstead House in The Green, Wanstead.

Detail and colour in the photos can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Group president Peter Rowe said: “Nik is in demand around the world, so we were very privileged that he was willing to visit us.”

The president of the group, which was founded in 1893 and is one of the oldest photographic clubs in the UK, is calling on photographers of all abilities to get involved and is looking to host more high-profile guests.

Peter said: “We want to continue the tradition of inviting high quality speakers, such as Nik, who are willing to impart their photographic knowledge and experience.”

To find out more, visit

Ilford Historical Society

Speaker Georgina Green explored Britain’s early traders in India.

Fortunes were made in the spice and silk trade, with Redbridge seeing some of the wealth acquired after the 17th century. Sir Josiah Child, who lived at Wanstead House, was one of a few to benefit from the age of discovery.

The next talk, which is on children in wartime, takes place on Monday, March 9, at the Ilford Hospital Chapel in Ilford Hill, Ilford, at 7.30pm. Entry is £2.

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