Welcome to the Senior Learners Forum...The web home of the Lancaster University Continuing Learning Group (CLG)

All visitors are invited to enjoy the site, view the content and listen to the lectures. This is an open resource for those who like to learn. see Recordings of Lectures page.jpg

Using this website you can:



At the end of a week which saw power-cuts around the bay bring our education programme to a (temporary) grinding halt, we look back over the last week with the CLG and look forward to the coming week.

Last week…

Last Wednesday we were all looking forward to hearing our good friend and group member, Jim Ring present an interesting lecture on the economic theories of Greek economist, academic and politician Yanis Varoufakis. However, the agenda was thrown into chaos when a wide scale (60,000 homes) power cut struck the whole of Morecambe Bay, taking out all electricity but for the emergency background safety lighting around the University. This began whilst the Steering Group were meeting, around 11:15, and continued for a couple of hours. Sadly, Jim’s lecture was unable to go ahead at that point.

As an alternative, we took to Fylde Coffee bar and, thanks to Chris who was a week early with her Jacob’s Join preparations, we were able to gather around a large table for a good chat, eat cake and drink lemonade. Thanks Chris, how very fortuitous!

This Week…

Now, this coming Wednesday (28th June 2017) is our least session of this term, and indeed this academic year. We have rescheduled Jim’s lecture for this week, so all is not lost. Here is a little reminder from last week’s CLG News…

‘Examining 'The Global Minotaur' by Yanis Varoufakis'

‘As you know, Jim has been a member of the Continuing Learning Group for many years now attending Lunchtime Lectures regularly and providing valuable contributions to the Research & Discussion Forum. Jim was educated at the London School of Economics and lives in Kendal. He has had a long standing involvement in local and national politics, and is an active political campaigner. We are very pleased to welcome him in his capacity as an educator. In this session, Jim will examine the contents of Yanis Varoufarkis' recent book ‘The Global Minotaur’.

'In this remarkable and provocative book, Yanis Varoufakis explodes the myth that financialisation, ineffectual regulation of banks, greed and globalisation were the root causes of the global economic crisis. Rather, they are symptoms of a much deeper malaise which can be traced all the way back to the Great Crash of 1929, then on through to the 1970s: the time when a 'Global Minotaur' was born. Just as the Athenians maintained a steady flow of tributes to the Cretan beast, so the 'rest of the world' began sending incredible amounts of capital to America and Wall Street. Thus, the Global Minotaur became the 'engine' that pulled the world economy from the early 1980s to 2008.

Today's crisis in Europe, the heated debates about austerity versus further fiscal stimuli in the US, the clash between China's authorities and the Obama administration on exchange rates are the inevitable symptoms of the weakening Minotaur; of a global 'system' which is now as unsustainable as it is imbalanced. ‘

(taken from

We also plan to have our Annual General Meeting, where we can look back at the events of the year and organise ourselves for the coming academic year (2017-2018). Please bring food and drink to share and enjoy the chance to chat with fellow group members.

Events will take place in Fylde Lecture Theatre 3 from 1pm.

Other news…

Here is some information about a ‘Centre for Ageing Research’ event which is taking place during the summer break

'Town and Gown' Event on Dementia and the Imagination: Arts and Design for Health

7th September 2017 - Banqueting Room, Lancaster Town Hall (9:30am - 4:30pm)

With the numbers of people with dementia rising and the costs of care spiraling, dementia remains a challenge that the UK cannot overlook. Tackling dementia is now a priority for the NHS. This includes helping people and their carers live well with dementia after diagnosis. Dementia can have a devastating effect on people’s cognitive abilities and with no ‘cure’ on the immediate horizon, there is a real need to think more innovatively about how we can best support individuals and families currently living with dementia in ways that will actively enhance their sense of self and identity and contribute to an improved quality of life. Interestingly, the creative, imaginative and emotional parts of a person often remain relatively strong. Arts and design may thus have an important role to play here – one that is often overlooked in the race for more effective clinical and biomedical interventions.

This year’s Town and Gown event run by Lancaster University Centre for Ageing Research is designed to bring to you some of the most cutting edge research and practice that draws on knowledge and expertise from the worlds of arts and design. From music and theatre to participatory art and design, this event showcases the work of researchers from the university together with that of their collaborators from the health, the voluntary and community sector and academia.

The event will consist of a mix of talks from invited guest speakers who are experts in this field and who will draw on some of their latest research to talk about these issues. These talks will be interspersed with short 10 minute presentations from a range of researchers from Lancaster in order to showcase their work around dementia, the arts and design as well as short films, exhibitions, posters and other interactive events.

Though the event will be of interest to other academics, the event is primarily aimed at members of the public, practitioners from health and social care, and the worlds of arts and design.

Attendance at this one day event is free but places are limited, so you MUST register for a place at this event.

To reserve your place to attend please e-mail Jan Lyons at:

Alternatively you can telephone Jan on: 01524 593309

Regarding George…

As you know, it was our dear friend and fellow CLG member, George’s funeral last Tuesday. Janet Ross-Mills, Gill Robinson and myself attended. The afternoon started with an intimate ceremony of reminiscence and silent reflection, the preferred Quaker way of remembering a departed friend. This took place at the new Crematorium at Beetham, just up the road from Lancaster. Family and friends attended, including George’s three sons who live in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Following the cremation ceremony, friends and family then travelled on to the beautiful Brigflatts Early Quaker Meeting House, near Sedbergh in Cumbria, a place where George spent a lot of time. Another session of reminiscence and silence took place in the meeting house, with those attendees who felt moved to speak taking turns to share their thoughts and feelings with those present. There were also periods of silence to reflect. We were all able to learn more about George, and had the chance to thank him for his valued friendship and companionship. Janet kindly spoke on behalf of the CLG and Fiona (our programme founder).

Tea, coffee, biscuits and cake were served in the attractive cottage-style garden outside the meeting house, and the sun shone brightly in George’s honour. All in all it was a lovely day, and I know George would have been extremely delighted with the events.

And finally…

So, we have made it to the end of the term… and the academic year. It has been a wonderful year, full of great learning opportunities. We have said goodbye to a friend (George Henson) and welcomed another (Benjamin Simon Daly). We begin our brand new term on October 11th 2017. We currently have a fine range of lectures in the pipeline covering such diverse areas as the Aurora Borealis and The Human Genome Project. We hope you will join us for the journey.

With best wishes,

Dave and the whole Steering Group

Interview with George...

This is an audio interview conducted a few years ago with George on the subject of 'Learning Methods' in which George told us a little about his life.
The interviewer is David Pedder.

Thoughts #1 George Henson CLG short film_0001 by CLGshortfilms

An Outline of the CLG...

The Continuing Learning Group is an educational group based at Lancaster University aimed primarily at those middle aged and beyond, but open to everyone.

We are an independent group based in the Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR) in the University's
School of Health and Medicine.

In this Wikispace we aim to provide information and resources for those either enrolled on the
education programme, those who just want casual involvement or even those just browsing the web.
All are welcome.

This is a place to find up-to-date news and information relevant to older learners, listen to
lecture recordings, enjoy presentations etc.

This site exists for your benefit.
We hope you enjoy it!


A varied selection of Lunchtime Lectures delivered by academics take place during term times on

Wednesdays at 1pm in Fylde Lecture Theatre 3 including Question and Answer Sessions.

This is then followed by the Research & Discussion Forum, also in Fylde Lecture Theatre 3.

If you're planning to attend either or both of the above, check the programme:

Lunchtime Lectures

Research & Discussion Forum


If you would like to contact us direct, you can do so by sending an email to:

Please Note: This Wikispace is entirely owned and run by the Continuing Learning Group
and as such Lancaster University and the Centre for Ageing Research are not responsible for the content.

If you would like to make a donation towards our running costs please do so here, thank you:


At the end of a week in which we learned that Hillary Clinton is to quit politics to open the world’s largest donkey sanctuary, and a parliamentary inquiry has been opened into the growing phenomenon of so-called "fake news", we look back over the last week with the CLG and look forward to the coming week.

Last week…

Last Wednesday, Professor Gill Baynes presented the first of her two lectures on Forensic Radiology.
Gill expertly took us through the elements of radiology which are used to determine gender, such as pelvic width and skull details. We then moved on to age determination based on bone development and also looked at ethnicity indicators.
There were some challenging photos in the presentation illustrating the types of case that Forensic Radiologists deal with. For the benefit of the sensitive amongst us, Gill was kind enough to warn us beforehand. This was a fascinating start to the two lecture series, and we look forward to Gill’s next lecture, which will take place on Wednesday 15th February 2017.

We followed on from Gill’s lecture with a vibrant and far reaching discussion in the RDF….

I will post the audio recording of the lecture on our website in due course:

This week…

This coming Wednesday (8th February 2017) Debbie Parkinson (Innovation Agency) & Andrew Michaelson (Care Innovation) visit to present their session, 'Get Active: Improving Physical Fitness and Quality of Life through Group Activity'.

A little information about ‘Care Innovation’...

"Care Innovation is an assistive technology solution founded by specialists in practical technology-enabled care solutions that engage, support and benefit people with the widest possible range of needs. Care Innovation’s flagship programme is Get Active, an innovative digital physical activity service that supports groups or individuals. Get Active can transform health and wellbeing across a wide range of ages and needs through directed physical fitness promotion aimed at extending healthy lifespan and addressing issues such as social isolation and digital exclusion."

A little information on ‘The Innovation Agency’...

"We are the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast, covering Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and South Cumbria, with around 4.1 million residents. Our footprint includes 22 NHS providers, 20 CCGs, nine universities and a large number of life science industry partners.

Our core purpose is to spread innovation, improve health, and generate economic growth.
We are catalysts for the spread of innovation at pace and scale - improving health, generating economic growth and helping facilitate change across whole health and social care economies.
We connect regional networks of NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry - responding to the diverse needs of our patients and populations through partnership and collaboration.
We create the right environment for relevant industries to work with the health and social care system.​"

Following the lecture session there will be the Research & Discussion Forum where attendees will get chance to discuss many of the ideas raised.

We hope you can join us.



(on behalf of the CLG Steering Group)