ON Wednesday, February 29, the Thurrock branch of U3A held its monthly meeting at the Civic Hall, in Grays.

Chairman Maggie Whitbread introduced the members to the newly elected committee before introducing the guest speaker John Knowles, a Pearly King who, dressed in his full regalia, told the origins of the tradition from 1855.

He continued by leading a singalong of Cockney and music hall songs, accompanying himself on guitar.

The next meeting will be held on March 28 at the same venue.