Group report

This is an article published in the Spring 2018 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter....

Since the last Newsletter, we have been treated to three fascinating but very different talks. The first was on the subject of encryption where the history of the technology was covered from elementary codes used by our ancestors leading up to the sophistication of the Enigma machine and the brilliant analyses that were applied to break the code, a state secret that remained secret for many years after the conclusion of the war. We are eagerly awaiting Encryption part two that will deal with the modern techniques of private and public keys. The talk is still to be scheduled so watch this space.

The second talk was on the science of business analysis that is now being applied in companies to resolve complex situations and to identify the best policies for future growth and survival in a very competitive world.

Our third talk was about Gunpowder Engines and covered the history of man’s attempts to create mechanical movement from gunpowder since the 16th century.  Virtually all were failures but an amazing revelation was that many aircraft engines and even modern torpedoes have been started with a controlled gunpowder explosion! One remarkable coincidence was that one of the pioneers in the early 19th century was an ancestor of one of our members!

The S & T Group meets on the 4th Weds of each month at St Patricks Church Hall at 2.30 pm. Any member of the U3A is welcome to attend for a contribution of £2 or alternatively, one can join the group for a fee of £5 which lasts for around 8 months. Until now, we have relied upon our own members to give talks as many have great expertise having spent a lifetime in various fields of Science and Technology. But we have now reached the stage where most members have already presented and so we are liaising with all the other S & T groups within the Southern Central Network of the U3A to explore the possibility of exchanging speakers.

Paul Chapman