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Those who teach shall also learn & those who learn shall also teach

U3AC Projects

Energy Efficient Housing

We aim to investigate the energy efficiency of our homes, to find out what schemes our local authorities are running to improve the efficiency of the housing stock, and what research is being carried out by our local universities into energy efficient buildings.

To this end we will:
• Survey our membership to find out what measures we, as individuals, have taken to make our homes as energy efficient as possible, and what we might be interested in doing in the future;
• Collate the policies and actions of the local authorities in the U3AC area;
• Review the work being done on energy efficient buildings by Anglia Ruskin and Cambridge Universities.

Brian Wallis, Pat Hartley, David Smith, Bob Thornton, Beth Morgan


Oral History Project

Our intention when developing this project was twofold:

  • To provide a means for U3AC members to talk about their lives whilst being videoed, giving them a record which they could give to their descendants
  • To provide an in-depth body of knowledge about the current and future membership of the U3A, which could be used in research projects in the future

We ran a workshop in March this year which was attended by 25 people. Professor Alan Macfarlane, an anthropologist and historian from Kings College gave an inspirational talk showing clips of a few of the many interviews he has recorded. Participants were then divided into 3 groups to discuss what they had seen and to raise questions. At a plenary session the views of the 3 groups were fed back and the outcome was that everyone at the workshop signed up to be trained as an interviewer or to be interviewed or both.

Our next step is to train those who wish to be interviewers, although we know we do not have enough equipment. We currently have 2 or 3 privately owned camcorders with the possibility of borrowing another. Our intention is for participants at the workshop to interview each other so as to master the equipment and the process. We will watch the clips together and discuss them in a positive way to set standards and ensure that listening skills are adequate. We have drafted guidelines for interviewers which will be discussed in the workshop as it is important that all interviewers are fully aware of issues of privacy, confidentiality and copyright.

We envisage that although copyright rests with the photographer, once a DVD has been given to interviewees it will be their own or their families responsibility if they wish to publicise it through YouTube or social media. We suggest there is a short and clear indemnity to the interviewer and U3AC against any claim from their doing so in return for the DVD. We suggest that master copies of all interviews be stored in a U3AC digital archive and that interviewees would have the right to bar general access for a period of their choice. We hope however that all would give their consent to genuine social historians, or obituary writers etc, with names being anonymised if necessary.

Ken Turner is willing to train people to edit film and is prepared to run a course, which would provide a small team of editors.


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