Interest Groups Online Noticeboard

IGO July News Extra

Summer is the time for both outdoor and indoor events of all kinds. I live ‘Up North’ and the events I’m looking forward to are The RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park, and both the Manchester and the Buxton International Festivals.

We’d love to hear from you about events in your neck of the woods - those you’ve enjoyed in the past and those you are looking forward to in the near future. I missed the Manchester Jazz Festival in May – so I’ll have to wait a whole year before it comes round again.

Summer is also the time for holidays and travel. In days gone by we had our Wakes weeks in July – the whole town took their holidays over the same two weeks. 

a brightly coloured collage of photos of summer.
Photo by Ann, Smartphone Art Member

Those days are gone but not entirely forgotten. Drop us a line or two if you have a story to tell us about a memorable holiday, or fill out our poll about dream holidays!

Helen, Trust Volunteer – IGO News Extra Editor

Groups to Join

Do any of these groups interest you? You can join any of these groups by following the instructions on the Interest Groups Online webpage. 

Rome and the Romans

a photo of crumbling roman ruins of a building, with a grassy hill behind
Sheila's Photo of the Foundatin of Trajan, 104 AD

I have been attending the IGO Group Ancient Rome and the Romans since it started, and find it absolutely fascinating. We meet on Zoom once a month and Robert, the group leader, gives us a wonderful insight into life in ancient Rome. As well as learning about famous people such as Cicero and Julius Caesar he has also covered subjects such as the life that Roman soldiers led; how the empire was "governed", and religion. 

Occasionally one of the group delivers a short, illustrated talk about somewhere they have visited or a subject they have studied. These have included the Antonine Wall (near Falkirk), Roman coins, and the British Museum exhibition on Nero.  

My husband and I finally managed to visit the fantastic ruins of Ephesus this Spring, and you can see a photo from this trip above.

Sheila, member of Rome and the Romans

Armchair Travellers

a photo of an old looking booklet entitled 'TSS Earnslaw Song Book, Welcome Aboard'.
Sonia's photo of the TSS Earnslaw Song Book 'Welcome Aboard'

We had such good fun at the recent meeting. I had shown the above booklet, telling the group about a Steamboat Trip we had during our stay in Queenstown, New Zealand. Another member picked up the story by telling us about her paragliding adventure whilst in Queenstown. Then another member told us of a similar experience whilst on a skiing holiday, when she tried paragliding.  She was explaining that someone took a video of her landing while she started to run on impact but was still “up in the air”! She HAS promised to show us the video sometime, as we were all having such a good laugh!

Come and join us! Many group members have been on wonderful holidays, and it is great to share their experiences in Egypt, Thailand, China and more. For those of us who don’t get away as much now as we used to, and for those who are looking for somewhere NEW to experience, sit down for an hour with Chris on a Wednesday afternoon and ENJOY, you won't regret it.

Sonia from the IGO Armchair Travellers Group

Why I Love IGO

This month we hear from Richard, who is a member of both his local u3a and Interest Groups Online. Richard enjoys the IGO Exploring Classical Music group, and the Short Story group. Read Why I Love IGO by Richard, and hear about the positive impact that being a u3a member has had on Richard's life.

What the 'Science in the News' group have been up to

Science in the News meets on the second Wednesday of every month to discuss just that! News articles about science.

Helen gives us a snippet of what each member's contribution was for their last meeting. Have a read of the IGO Science In the News Group Update, and join via the Beacon Members' Portal.

a screenshot of 5 people on a zoom call

Quiz Time

Where in the world are these Roman remains? 

1. In what modern-day country is Ephesus? 

2. Heliopolis is now known as Baalbek in which Middle Eastern country? 

3. Jerash is a wonderful site, where in the Middle East is it?

4. Leptis magna is in which North African country?

5. Which country is home to Herculaneum?

Get the answers in next month's News Extra!
a view of roman ruins. it's a sunny day.

An interview with Stephen, Concise Talks group leader

Can you say a little about yourself - For our readers?

"I have an eclectic range of interests. I'm also a Volunteer Guide at two museums in Edinburgh."

What is your relationship with Interest Groups Online?

"I joined Interest Groups Online in 2021, and I'm a member of Slow French 1 and Psychology. While Concise Talks is my first time as an online group leader, in Edinburgh u3a I've led six Explore the Museum groups on series of seven one-hour tours.

What can members look forward to if they join Concise Talks?

"A concise (10 to 18 minutes), stimulating, upbeat talk every Tuesday evening on Zoom. Every six weeks, it will be your turn to tell the rest of the group of six about something/anything positive or neutral that interests you. In between, you will listen to the other five concise talks, and you will join in the discussion and banter afterwards. Later, hopefully you will think, 'that was great,' but what you won't think is, 'but it was too long.'"

New Groups 

Local History

No access to a Local History Group?  Willing to do a little research and share it with others?  This group will meet monthly from September, numbers permitting.
Group Leader, Sandra

Modern Pop for Third Agers

Have you ever felt you know next to nothing about the music young people listen to these days? If yes, here’s your chance to catch up. Each month, this group will listen to and study one great album from the last 20 years.
Group Leader, Richard

Bilingualism: How to cope with neuropsychological challenges in later life

There is good evidence that bilingual people with a neurological impairment can function better. This group will help to develop some bilingual skills.
Group Leader, Ed

Writing Fiction and Non-fiction

Our group welcomes all prose writers, new and experienced, fiction and non-fiction.
Group Leader, Sandra

Family History for Absolute Beginners

We will be exploring the basic sources to get a family tree started.
Group Leader, Dawn

Film Reviews - Start Up Group

This group meets once a month to discuss a film which they will all have watched.

Update on Coffee and Chat

IGO hosted its first coffee and chat session on Wednesday 19 July at 11am. We had about 20 attendees, and everyone broke into smaller breakout rooms of 4-5 people. 

This format worked really well, allowing people to get to know each other and talk about all things IGO (and whatever else they fancied!). 

We have decided to make this a regular occurence in the calendar. Please join the Coffee and Chat group on Beacon to get emailed the zoom link for the next session which we will be hosting on Friday 25 August at 3pm. 

A colourful stripy mug outside with sunshine rays coming down on it

Update on IGO Online Fair

Despite a slight name change, plans are in coming together for the schedule of IGO taster sessions in the first week of October. This will be advertised to IGO members, u3a members, and anyone external who might be interested in joining.

If you would be willing to host a half an hour taster session of your group, we would be very grateful. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express an interest. 

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