Monthly meetings are talks given by invited speakers on a variety of subjects. They are held at 2:15pm on the 3rd. Thursday of each month, at the Penrith Players’ Theatre, which is situated at the back of Morrisons and behind the Agricultural Hotel.
These meetings are open to all members and give a chance to meet people from other groups. Refreshments are served and Covid 19 restrictions may be in place, so please come prepared with a mask.
2.15 pm Thursday, 17 February Players’ Theatre, Penrith
OFFSHORE WIND POWER Sally Shenton
Sally Shenton, who lives locally, has worked inthe electricity industry all her life and has focused on offshore wind for the last 15 years. She is an expert in the operation and maintenance and has operated projects in England and Scotland. She now runs the successful consultancy business, “Generating Better”, and advises on the development of offshore wind-farms around the world. Her talk promises to be a ‘tour de force’ from a practising expert. Do come along, ready to enjoy Sally’s presentation and to ask any questions you may have on this burning and contentious issue.
Thursday March 17th. ‘Tullie House’ by Andrew Smith
‘SOUTH AMERICA: FROM SALT TO SILVER’
Report of Monthly meeting talk by Roger Leech, 20 January, 2022
Roger Leech gave U3A members an excellent afternoon of intriguing information supported by high-quality photographs of his experiences when visiting Bolivia, Chile and Peru, countries dominated by the Andes mountains. The geology, geography and culture of these fascinating countries were all described. Having experienced both low-lying and very high terrain, Roger spoke of the range of temperatures from searingly high to extremes of cold.
Climate and geology have, in many ways, provided the foundation of life in these regions, with volcanoes and earthquakes still active. Amongst the highest mountains are vast areas of salt near to Cusco in Peru, around Uyuni, in the Potosi region of Bolivia and in Chile. The largest and best known of these is the Uyuni salt flat where lithium, the power source for most of today’s batteries, is also to be found in very large quantities. There is much geothermal activity in these countries exemplified by the El Tatio geyser in Chile, one of the highest in the world, where pools can be seen steaming each morning with plumes of boiling water discharging into the surrounding pools. Hot springs can also be seen in the Atacama desert, allowing for very pleasant swimming.
Other interesting features can be seen in the Torres del Paine area of Chile with its massive spires of granite towering above the huge ice-fields and glaciers, making for an extraordinary landscape. From an ancient coral reef on the Bolivian High Plateau to its desert hotel, the highest in the world, each of these South American countries offers a great variety of scenery, climate and wild life. By contrast, one area of Chile is known as the Lake District, and another long series of valleys in the central part of Chile with a warm, almost exotic climate is particularly renowned for wine. Wild life is abundant in some of the lower lying areas with llamas, alpacas, vicunas and guanacos, and foxes may be seen, too.
The last part of Roger’s talk was devoted to the discovery and exploitation of silver in Bolivia, focusing on Sucre, in the limestone region and particularly on Potosi, both towns of especial significance since the 16th century when the Spanish ‘conquistadores’ discovered very large deposits of silver in the region. 1538 saw the foundation of Sucre and a few years later Potosi, at over 4,000 metres one of the highest cities in the world, was established, its mines yielding enormous quantities of silver and attracting a huge population of some 200,000. By the second half of the 16th century 60% of all silver mined in the world was from Potosi. Spain established a mint there in 1572 and its coins, known as ‘reales’, recognised for their particularly high silver content, were soon circulating all over the world. The historical significance of the wealth thereby generated was enormous, boosting the pre-eminence of Spain for many centuries.
This most informative talk prompted a range of questions and comments, indicating that the audience had greatly enjoyed and appreciated the presentation offered by Roger Leech.
Archived Monthly Meetings:-
THE HERITAGE OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN, Bernard Lockett. 20 January 2022 Players. (Read More)
THE HISTORY BEHIND VIKING VOICES PAUL ATHERTON NOVEMBER 19, 2021 (Read More)
GERMAN MINERS IN 16TH CENTURY KESWICK, OCTOBER 21, 2021, u3a (Read More)
LIFE CHALLENGES. Thursday 23rd September 2021. Jessica Hepburn (Read More)
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO. Mike Head. June 2021. (Read More)
OFF THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW: May 20, 2021 David Ross (Read More)
GOOD NEWS FROM AFGHANISTAN, JIM HOLMES, 15 APRIL, 2021. (Read More)
DAVID SARGENT 18 MARCH, 2021: POEMS & PICTURES. (Read More)
EMILY ATHERTON 18 FEBRUARY, 2021: A YEAR IN THE HERALD (Read More)
THEO WESTON 21 JANUARY, 2021: RESCUE SERVICES. (Read More)
EDEN BAROQUE, 17 DECEMBER, 2020. (Read More)
GLACIATION AND LOCAL LANDSCAPES. 5th November 2020 Richard Waller (Read More)
ROCKS AND MINERALS. 15th OCTOBER 2020. Roger Leech. (Read More)