u3a rare stonewallersA former professional indexer has collated for the first time all the unusual U3A interest groups from around the country to be put in an accessible online index.    

Deeside & Wirral U3A member and Network Chair, Arthur Maltby has put his considerable past professional experience to good use creating the first U3A Index of The Rare.  To be included in the index,  subjects had to be unusual and offered by less than 20 U3As.

Each of the more than 1000 U3As offer hundreds of different learning groups with subject ranging from Art and Music, to Psychology and Zoology and everything in between.

The index won’t include Art, but does include ‘Art as Therapy’.  Not French, but languages like Turkish or Danish.  Subjects that made it into the index include Sex in Ancient Times, Bolsheviks, Fungi, Zulu War Studies, Walking Netball and Writing Limericks.

Arthur said  “This came about from my love of ‘organizing’ knowledge plus a zest for U3A networking. 

“Larger U3As were naturally the most fertile hunting ground for my research and the national U3A subject advisers were a great help. Hundreds of themes were indexed and the U3A offering the group cross referenced. This  means members who are thinking of setting up a more unusual group where they can go to draw upon the experience of others.

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“Indexing is itself educative both for those using it and the person putting it together. I hope this proves of value to all our members, potential members and the wider world as a snapshot of some of the fun third agers are having!”

The Index of the Rare will be available on the National U3A Website in the coming months.