Talking Together - COPE Project

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Talking Together

Talking Together
Inspiring phone conversations for older adults
Spring 2024 series: 12 February – 21 March
Please join us this Spring for our new series of Talking Together, COPE’s six-week long FREE programme of telephone conversations.   
Our topics this season include Churchill’s Archives, Ancient Egyptian history, two different Cambridge museums: The Whipple Museum and The Museum of Technology plus a delightful six weeks of sharing short stories and lastly a chance to join local historian Mike Petty who will entertain each week with his extensive knowledge of Cambridge.
Full details of the groups and how to register are below.

Churchill Archives Centre
Monday 12 and 19  February ‑ 2 sessions  1:15-2:00pm
Allen Packwood, facilitator

The Churchill Archives Centre ,on the grounds of Churchill College, was purpose built in 1973 to house Sir Winston Churchill’s papers ranging from his first childhood letters, via his great war-time speeches, to the writings which earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Centre currently holds the papers of almost 600 important figures of his era. Join Professor Allen Packwood Director of the Churchill Archives Centre for two stimulating discussions on this world-renowned public figure and the holdings of the Archive.
An outing to the Archive for group participants only will be scheduled following the sessions.
Short Stories  
Monday 12 February to 18 March – 6 sessions  2:15-3:00pm
Liz Williams, facilitator

Short stories must act quickly to captivate us. Share your feelings  and thoughts about a story we will read together or others which have engaged you, be it this week, this year, or at any period in your life.   
Copies of stories will be provided for participants.

Exploring Ancient Egyptian History   
Thursday 15 February to 21 March – 6 sessions  1:15- 2:00pm
Benji De Almeida Newton, facilitator

Ancient Egypt has captured the imaginations of people across the world for centuries. We shall explore the history and culture of one of the planet’s oldest and richest civilizations asking six questions over the course of six weeks.  Spanning three thousand years of history in chronological order, each discussion will answer a question central to our understanding of Egyptology, from investigating the obscure origins of the first pharaohs in c. 3500 BCE to how it all came crashing down with the Romans in c. 30 BCE. Some of the key questions we will examine include: How do hieroglyphs work? How were the pyramids built? What is the connection between Egyptian history and the Bible?
The Whipple Museum
Thursday 15 February to 14 March – 5 sessions  3:15-4:00pm
Alison Giles, facilitator

The Whipple Museum was founded in 1944 when Robert Stewart Whipple presented his collection of scientific instruments to the University of Cambridge. Since the gift of the collection, the Museum has come to house many instruments formerly used in the Colleges and Departments of the University of Cambridge and it currently holds a collection of over 7000 scientific items. Pieces in the collection will be reviewed and discussed.  
Images of the objects will be circulated in advance to enhance the sessions.

The Museum of Technology  
Session 1 discussion on Thursday 28 March 3:15pm-4:00  
Session 2 outing (group members only) on Thursday 11 April 2pm-3pm
Dr. Gordon Davies, facilitator
Explore a different side of Cambridge: its steam age (past-to-present-to-future)
Session 1 Participants will be invited to read aloud the poem 'Back in Steam' (written by Dr Sarah Baylis),  commissioned to celebrate the return of steam at Cambridge Museum of Technology. Following each stanza, the facilitator will provide additional context and lead discussion among participants.
Session 2 Walking tour exploring Cambridge's historic Riverside industrial quarter
Unwrap Cambridge’s energy history, discover the social and environmental impact of Cambridge’s first Industrial Revolution: sewage-pumping, gasworks, brick kilns, and the birth of 'Silicon Fen' (Pye Radio).
A 60-minute guided tour around step-free public footpaths including:  Riverside | Cheddars Lane | Logan's Meadow hosted by Dr Gordon Davies (Cambridge Museum of Technology).

Cambridge and its Environs  
Thursday 15 Feb to 21 March – 6 sessions  4:15pm -5:00pm
Mike Petty, facilitator

Join Mike Petty as he shares his boundless knowledge of Cambridgeshire, both historical and everyday events as well as the people who have lived here. Bring your experiences and memories to the conversation as we explore the area on the phone together.
A leaflet has been distributed to all COPE members by email and post. Registration may be made by email to:, or by phoning the COPE office 01223 364 303 or completing and posting the registration form in the leaflet.
If you have any questions, please telephone COPE at 01223 364303


Talking Together – your opinions welcome!

We are always interested in gathering COPE members’ opinions and reactions to Talking Together. We would particularly like to hear the views of those who have not yet participated in the series. To gather this information, we sometimes conduct telephone surveys. We hope you will be able to give us a few minutes to share your thoughts about the current programme, as well as possible topics for future discussions.
Funding for Talking Together is provided by Cambridge Community Foundation, Cambridge City Council, The Pye Foundation, The Childwick Trust and The Leys School.
Last updated: 16 January 2024
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