Medicinal Garden Tour

On 3 August, our new U3A was fortunate to be given a special guided tour of the Royal College of Physicians’ Medicinal Garden by Dr Henry Oakley, the Garden Fellow at the college. As soon as the tour was flagged up on our website it was fully booked, and we had to establish a second tour for the afternoon.

Henry Oakley showing U3A members the garden

The Royal College of Physicians’ garden was established in 1964, and it contains over 1,100 plants all with links to medicine. The innumerable stories they tell come from diverse cultures, different countries across the globe, and from every age in recorded history.

We were very fortunate to be led by Dr Oakley who entertained us with so many anecdotes and stories. He also explained why and how plants have been used as medicines, as he is an expert in this field. Dr Oakley has also written several books about the history of medicinal plants and about the college’s Medicinal Garden, as every plant has a story to tell.

Dr Oakley recounts a story about one of the plants

The garden has been exquisitely designed and is a pleasingly tranquil space in the centre of London. The pleasure of the garden is in its unique collections of plants that offer living examples of the history of medicine.

The event was such a success that Dr Oakley has offered our U3A another tour next year; so do look out for this event on our website.

Report by Daphne Berkovi, photos by David Powers

Huge Response to Enrolment Day

HGS U3A got off to a flying start on Thursday 18 May with a long queue waiting patiently outside the Hampstead Garden Suburb Free Church before the doors opened at 10 am for Enrolment Day.

Local residents queue for enrolment

More than 200 people had signed up in advance, and dozens more joined on the day. The event gave members and potential members an opportunity to find out about the 50 or so interest groups that have been established, and to sign up for them. Some groups rapidly filled up and now have waiting lists. The Groups Organiser will be using the information gathered during the day to determine where we need to add new interest groups and/or duplicate courses.

Members signing up for courses

Our special guest at Enrolment Day was the distinguished war correspondent and former MP, Martin Bell OBE. Martin is a long-term resident of Hampstead Garden Suburb. In a brief speech, he stressed that you never stop learning. Judging by the enthusiasm of everyone who attended, that’s certainly true of “third agers” in Hampstead Garden Suburb and surrounding areas.

Martin Bell addresses members watched by HGS U3A Chair, Jack Berkovi (left)