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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Higham & Rushden U3A calendar

Group leaders: if you see any errors or omissions please notify the webmaster via the contact page.

U3A Summer Schools 2017

Details of this year's courses are now available. The courses are in Newport (Shropshire) from 17-20 July and Cirencester from 14-17 August and 11-14 September. Amongst the wide range of topics are Cryptic Crosswords, Garden History, Creative Writing, Singing for Pleasure and various courses on literature and aspects of history. See or download the full programme here.

Current weather for the Rushden and Higham Ferrers area.

(Click on the widget for more weather detail)

Chairman's monthly message for April

We had seen it on the television: now we were going to see it in the flesh! Two intrepid members set off for London in early March to attend the “Exploring Science” event held at the Royal Institution. It was very humbling to sit in the ancient lecture theatre with its steeply banked seating. However, the audience were not the eager children that appear on the Christmas Lecture broadcasts but older people, U3A members, but still with an appetite for science, new experiences and challenging ideas.

Alison Fairbrass described how her studies at University College London involved the use of acoustic technology to improve the way we monitor wildlife in cities. She is specialising in monitoring the echolocation sounds that bats use to both navigate and hunt down their prey of juicy moths! Then Chiara Ambrosio talked about the relationship between the arts and science and each has influenced the other.

Finally, Chris Darby, a cryptographer, talked about cybersecurity and how encryption is used to protect secret data. Chris started his talk saying that he felt both humbled and inspired – standing where Michael Faraday had lectured and wearing a Madonna style microphone. As he said, perhaps a cross between Beyonce and Brian Cox!

Once again it has been proven that U3A offers something for everyone. And, in case you are wondering; the lecture theatre seemed smaller than it does on television (!) and yes, there was a request for volunteers from the audience to help with an experiment!

Phil Grace

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

Other 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 places are limited.

(links will open in a new tab)

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 start at 2.00 pm 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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May 17th James Gillray Satirist To Insanity Ian Keeble

June 21st Nell Gwynn Lesley Smith
NB: the June talk will be ticketed. Click here for further details.
July 19th Royal Mistresses
(note change of topic and speaker)
Roger Powell MA

August 16th Showbiz journalism Graham Keal

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

Members may be interested to read about Beacon, an online membership management system introduced nationally about 2 years ago and which Higham and Rushden U3A is in the process of joining. Further details can be found on the Members page (only accessible if you are logged in).