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Since 2020, u3a members have been sharing their memories of different periods of history, creating a valuable historical resource and collection of material.  

All Our Yesterdays

Our current initiative is called ‘All Our Yesterdays’, and involves a collection of stories from the 1950s and 60s which stand out in members’ memories. 

So far members have contributed stories about such things as Anthea from Bromsgrove u3a’s time overseas in Aden, Sheila of St Austell u3a’s sugar sandwiches and Barry of Cheadle Hulme u3a’s discovery of rock ‘n’ roll.  

Share your memories on the All Our Yesterdays page. 

All of these initiatives have been facilitated by Trust Volunteer Carole Chapman, who is a member of Portsdown u3a. She says,  

“As the Trust Volunteer associated with the current All Our Yesterdays Learning initiative, I should like to encourage u3a members to get involved in the project. 

My own background is in the study and teaching of History, and I have enjoyed developing my interests in retirement, through continued involvement with the Imperial War Museum and with my u3a colleagues. Hence my participation in initiatives on the Battle of Britain and the Blitz and on the Kindertransport. In u3a, we have such a tremendous resource – the experiences and enthusiasm of our members – and it is fascinating to see how people relate their rich personal histories to great events. Our recent recollections of Her Majesty the Queen come to mind. Sharing our memories helps to preserve our heritage for the future. 

In my own case, I have revisited my memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and tried to recall its impact on my ten-year-old self. As I thought about that, I also recalled the words of the American writer William Faulkner in Requiem for a Nun: 

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” 

Previous Collections

As Carole mentioned, we have previously facilitated two other memory collection initiatives. The first was in Autumn 2020 when Carole, working with the Imperial War Museum, collected member’s memories of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of these events.  

To commemorate National Kindertransport Day 2021 we held a special online event hosted by Dame Esther Rantzen, featuring many u3a members whose lives had been forever changed by the Kindertransport migration. At the event, we heard first-hand from those who had fled Nazi occupation as children, from the host families who took them in and even of one member’s grandfather who had helped rescue and find homes for over 250 Kinder.  

You can read members' memories of the Kindertransport.

Thank you so much for getting involved with our archives and, contributing to the valuable consolidation of historical events using members’ personal memories.  

If you have an idea for a memory collection initiative, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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