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U3As in Action

Here you can find local news from U3As up and down the country. Many of these reports also feature in Third Age Matters, the national magazine.



Weston TurvilleFlowboarding was the latest activity for members of the Weston Turville U3A Extreme Activities Group. Some 30 members attempted, with varying degrees of success, to ride the waves at an indoor surfing facility near Bedford. Having donned their wetsuits and been given a safety briefing, the participants had plenty of time to accustom themselves to a fight against a powerful surge of water – thankfully warm – and use muscles they had not used for many years. Everyone survived the experience and the instructors, who had been reluctant to work with surfers of such an age, were amazed at the resilience of the group.  In celebration of the performance, member Trevor White composed the following verse:  The Flowrider  The water gushed from the front to the back The surfers dived in with guts and attack For some it was tough as they fell with a smack For others it was easy, they just had the knack  Some surfed on their knees, some surfed on their belly They all had fun and gave it some welly  There were aches and pains the following morn Age inappropriateness was beginning to dawn But no-one complained, they agreed with a grin They’ll be there in a flash to do it again!

The History Group celebrated Thanksgiving Day 2016 with an American style meal. Following a Clam chowder starter, we progressed to Roast Turkey with 2 choices of stuffing & trimmings, and sweet & mashed potato, green bean casserole with fried onions, sweet corn pudding with white cheddar and thyme. A pumpkin tart was washed down with American beer. Oh, and we also explored the origins of Thanksgiving and the colonisation of New England, supported by pictures of Jamestown, Williamsburg & the Plimoth Plantation.

Sherburn and VillagesIt was Saturday night at the De Lacy Motor Club in Brotherton and the place was buzzing.

West WiltsWest Wilts U3A’s monthly meeting in January started with an authentic and dramatic ‘clear the road’ call on a 51 inch posthorn by Martin Horler, who was presenting a fascinating talk on Royal Mail Guards. Martin came dressed for the part of course!  The Royal Mail dates back half a millennium, at which time the Mail really was Royal, having been created by King Henry VIII for his personal communications. Initially ‘Post Boys’ carried messages, with the Post becoming public in 1635, and the first regular Mail Coach running between Bristol and London in 1784.

Rayleigh GrangeRayleigh Grange U3A held their second open meeting recently, when many of the groups displayed or demonstrated their various activities. The meeting began with the Singing for Pleasure group, followed by the Line Dancing group and then the Ukelele group, all showing us how much they have been working at developing their talents and skills. The members were then free to explore all the activities set up around the hall.

The Harwich Peninsula Astronomy group have followed FutureLearn courses. Not everyone in the group does every course and some joined for one term to follow a course advertised as the next subject through the local quarterly U3A magazine and website. Those not following the current course continue as associate members, informed by email of meetings but not attending.

Most members find keeping to the course plan and keeping up each week is a good plan. Those who fall behind tend not to finish but are aware they could rejoin the online course. The group email each other locally about tangents or books or helpful websites as well as joining course discussions. At monthly meetings the group have presentations giving a summary of "the course so far". There is some competition on the assessment scores but sharing these is voluntary and some don't mention their scores.  The courses the group have followed are described below:  Gravity is with Paris Diderot University but it is in English (although the professor's French accent seems to be setting some hearts a flutter!) No maths and no previous science required. The first week takes you through early understandings of gravity and concludes with Einstein's theories of relativity. Much of the teaching is done with video or on screen questions. Visual and thought experiments are used to explain the concepts and train the mind and there's a quiz every step to check you have got the point. Thankfully you can go back and do the quizzes again and again after re-reading or re-viewing the previous lesson...some members have done so several times - necessary to get a "creative writing" mind into science mode!


Remembering, Listening, Learning:Is there anything that can be learned from the Holocaust?

A U3A Day at the National Holocaust Centre, Joint Learning Project.

It all began in January 2016, when an email from Louise Stafford of the National Holocaust Centre was forwarded by our Network Contact to all the U3A representatives in the Notts. Network of U3As.
We are very lucky to have the National Holocaust Centre close to us in rural Nottinghamshire.


U3A recorder players gather in Staffordshire  ON Saturday October 1st 2016 , 60 U3A recorder players from all over the East and West Midlands gathered at Hilderstone Village Hall in Staffordshire for a “playing day” led by Alyson Lewin and organised by Uttoxeter U3A’s recorder group. Anthony Barrett, of Barrett Recorders was also there to carry out running repairs and offer advice.

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