If you are a member of our U3A you can register via the Administration page.


(reserved for committee-approved announcements: routine announcements can be found further down the page.)


Most of you will by now be aware of the changes to membership coming into effect in September and which will affect many of our members. The changes to the membership system can be summarised as follows:

  • A change to a rolling renewal system: after this year everyone's membership will be renewed on the anniversary of the month in which he or she first joined Higham and Rushden U3A. Further details are available in the document here.
  • Reduced membership of Higham and Rushden U3A will no longer be offered to members of another U3A: see here for a fuller explanation.
  • The reciprocal arrangements with Wellingborough and Thrapston U3As, under which a member of one U3A is able to join an interest group of a different U3A without paying a membership fee, will be terminated. Please see this document for more details.
  • If you are still not sure how you will be affected, please also see the FAQs (frequently asked questions) in the document here.

What is the University of the Third Age, or U3A as it is often known?

The University of the Third Age (U3A) movement is a unique and exciting organisation which provides, through its U3As, life-enhancing and life-changing opportunities. Retired and semi-retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward: the sheer joy of discovery! Members share their skills and life experiences: the learners teach and the teachers learn, and there is no distinction between them.

Further brief details about the movement can be found here, or for the full story of the U3A movement's national organisation, the Third Age Trust, click here to open the national U3A homepage in another tab. For further details of the Higham and Rushden U3A, please carry on browsing this website. Membership application and renewal forms are among the many documents available on the Administration page (although you will need to scroll down the page).

The slideshow below, which you can pause by holding your cursor over one of the dots in the progress bar below it, is of local images.

Many of these pictures were taken from the internet, so we need input from members! Please send your local pictures to us via the blog page.

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Other Higham and Rushden U3A events:

On 9th November we are organising a coach trip to the Christmas Spectacular at Thursford in Norfolk. Full details are available here but don't leave it too long as there are only a few places left. (the link will open in a new tab)

The Days Out Car Share Group has the following planned events:

  • 22nd August Kelmarsh Hall and MacDonald Gill illustrated maps
  • 11th October Hamerton Zoo

TABLE TENNIS resumes on 27th September.

MAH-JONG starts on the 1st of September and meets on the first and 3rd Fridays of the month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Windmill Club in Glassbrook Road.


Can you fix a zip? Sew on a button? Turn up a hem?
Do you need help with your sewing? With your dressmaking?

We are here to help! Please contact Carole Rider on 01933 350406 or email carolerider12(at)aol.com.

First meeting to be held at home of Linda Grace, 2 Shortwoods Close, Raunds NN9 6NF on OCTOBER 19 at 14.00

First meeting to be held in September after the group leader's holiday.
(Contact webmaster(at)highamandrushdenu3a.org.uk).

Looking for the groups calendar? It is now further down the page.

Chairman's monthly message for August

The Spring issue of Third Age Matters depicted a grey haired couple in a touching embrace, kissing. The letters page in the latest issue contained many letters that deplored the use of the photograph. Some were intended to be humorous, asking if a new group was being formed or imploring the Editor not to contemplate moving on to include a “page 3” photo or “readers’ wives” type feature.

However, others were incensed at the image. One said that the photo would not encourage them to join! There was also concern that the front cover photos on recent issues were presenting an image of U3A as an organisation concerned with geriatrics and social issues such as care of the elderly. Another said that the cover pictures did not do justice to the “…dynamic educational features of the organisation…” and continued saying “…we are educationalists first and foremost, we are an educational institution not Age Concern.”

I was disheartened by such comments. Whilst some “diehards” will maintain that U3A is all about lifelong learning I thank that does an injustice to the social aspects of our organisation. We are what we are; U3A is what WE make it.

I would not want to lose the undoubted benefits of social interaction and engagement that come from membership of U3A. We offer friendship and companionship, the opportunity to enjoy pursuits and pastimes together with like-minded people. If there is some learning alongside that so well and good. And to quote the national U3A website that describes the U3A as “…a learning co-operative….which enables people to share many educational, creative and leisure activities.”

Phil Grace

Current weather for the Rushden and Higham Ferrers area.

National U3A news

The remaining U3A Summer Schools are in Cirencester from 11-14 September. See or download the full programme here.

U3A has negotiated discounts for block bookings at various events:

Click on any of the links above for more information.

If you are looking for other sources of information on virtually any subject, whether related to what you do in the U3A or elsewhere, U3A has produced guidance on MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) which you can find here.

The Third Age Trust, parent organisation for all U3As, has now moved from Bromley to Central London.

Higham and Rushden U3A monthly meetings

Make sure you don't miss our interesting lectures on the third Wednesday of the month by making a note in your diary.
Meetings now start at 1.45 pm prompt at the Pemberton Centre, HE Bates Way, Rushden, NN10 9YP. Visitors are welcome at £3 per meeting for a maximum of 2 meetings.

Information about public transport to the Pemberton Centre can be found here.

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September 20th Victorian Ghosts Andrew Selwyn

October 18th Victorian Sewers Andy Tipping

November 15th Life as a sea Captain/Ships Pilot Capt William Wells

December 13th
(2nd Wednesday)
Northamptonshire in Winter Jon-Paul Carr

Higham and Rushden U3A groups calendar

The calendar below is live and being continuously updated by group leaders.

To look at group activities further in advance, please use the scrollbar to the right of the calendar (if there is one) rather than the scrollbar on the right of the web page. If you are only interested in the activities of one particular group, you can select it from the dropdown list next to the word "Group".