Showroom lectures

We will return to the Showroom for the resumption of the monthly lectures from Friday April 22nd. The programme up to December is below.
We will be mindful of the prevailing public health situation as regards Covid. The Showroom has maintained excellent standards throughout the pandemic. The current statement regarding the precautions taken at the Showroom is here
We will continue to operate an online registration process to help us estimate numbers and to remind members that lectures are taking place. If attending please bring your membership letter or email (copy on your phone is fine).
Please contact Philip Long at if you have any questions and/or if you would like to volunteer to join our ‘meet and greet’ team
These lectures are free to all members. There may occasionally be a retiring collection for the speaker’s charity. There is normally no booking system.
Lectures are held in Cinema 4 at the Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row, starting at 11.00 am, and finishing by 12.30 pm. The Showroom café serves refreshments from 10.00 am and now also sells pre- prepared lunches. Greeters wearing U3A lanyards are at the door to welcome new members.
A voucher, obtainable from the box office, enables half-price parking at Q-park (the Cheesegrater) on Charles Street off Arundel Gate.

TourTalk system

The Showroom theatre does not have a loop system for hearing aids. However, Sheffield U3A have purchased a TourTalk system that can be used by both people who have hearing aids and others with slight hearing loss. We have a transmitter that is connected to the sound system and individual receivers (14) that can be used with (a) your own headphones, (b) one of our earpieces in one ear only, or (c) with a neck loop which works with a hearing aid ‘T’ position.
Please book a device in advance by sending a request to on a first-come-first-served basis.
NB If the receiver stops working, please check that the channel number on it is 40, that you have your hearing aid set to the ‘T’ position (if applicable) and that you have adjusted the volume control on the left. To switch on and off hold the bottom right button down for a few seconds. Do not touch the other buttons.


Dates and topics for 2022


17 June Regional Democracy, Devolution and ‘levelling up’ – Nigel Slack, Active Citizen, South Yorkshire Nigel Slack is an active citizen in the Sheffield Civic scene. He is a steering group member for Sheffield for Democracy, a tutor for the Workers Educational Association and works with other community groups to help them hold decision makers to account. He is currently, alongside others, helping drive the transition process for Sheffield City Council as they change from a Leader & Cabinet model to a Modern Committee model of Governance for the city.
When devolution to City Regions was first mooted he worked with Sheffield for Democracy to better understand the proposals and the consequences of the plans for South Yorkshire. Sheffield for Democracy undertook a WEA course to help explain the process to the public and, across various platforms, made representations about the impacts for local Councils and residents of this approach to devolution. He was also called upon to participate in and provide evidence to the pilot Citizen’s Assembly in Sheffield (Sheffield University/Electoral Reform Society/University of Southampton) that gave the public their only opportunity to express their opinions about and priorities for devolution.
Nigel will discuss his experiences of this process of devolution and what comes next.
22 July Sarah McCleod, CEO of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust Title and abstract to follow
16 September Immersive Theatre – Beck Gadsby, Inside Theatre Abstract to follow
28 October Reforming Social Care in Sheffield – Simon Duffy, It’s Our Community Dr Simon Duffy is President of Citizen Network, a global cooperative, created in Sheffield and now extending to 34 countries. He was awarded with the RSA’s Prince Albert Medal and the Social Policy Associations’ award for contribution to social policy. Simon developed the concepts of Personal Budgets and Personalised Support and has been very active in advocating for change in social care to advance citizenship and human rights, nationally and internationally. Simon will argue that the current social care system for children, adults and older people is deeply flawed. Problems go far beyond chronic under-funding. The system pushes people out of family and community life, encourages abuse and undermines the development of good neighbourhood-based care. Simon will propose an alternative Progressive Model of Social Care, one that could be politically attractive, but one which, if it had the will, Sheffield could adopt today.
18 November 100 years of women climbing together – Jill Croskell, Hilary Lawrenson and Hazel Jones, The Pinnacle Club The Pinnacle Club is a UK-wide club of women climbers, which celebrated its centenary in 2021. When the Pinnacle Club was founded in 1921, women climbing independently from men was very unusual. The Club’s development over the last century is an illustration of the journey of female emancipation and independence. This history is embodied in journals, photographs, films, letters and the memories of our members, some now in their 80s and 90s.
Our presentation will provide glimpses of the exciting and pioneering climbing and mountaineering exploits of Pinnacle Club women over the last 100 years, illustrated by stories of prominent members past and present. The presentation will draw on photos, film clips, journal articles and memories and anecdotes from current members, many of whom have gravitated to Sheffield because of its status as the Outdoor City and its world-famous climbing crags.