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

We're not going anywhere....Yet!

Bet that heading has caught your attention! I apologise for the fact that some people are uncertain about where the monthly meeting is to be held.

We have made the decision about WHERE we will hold the monthly meeting (see below) but not WHEN the changeover will take place. We will remain at the Pemberton Centre for as long as possible. Rest assured that we will make it absolutely clear when we move, the date of the first meeting at the Windmill Club.

You'll not miss that announcement!


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

Relocation from the Pemberton Centre: the search is over!

I think members know that we are going to have to leave the Pemberton in the near future. Those of you who were present at the monthly meeting in February will have heard that the Committee has reached a decision. But first, a big thank you to those members who came up with suggestions and ideas for possible venues.The Committee has considered many potential, possible venues across the area, from Rushden to Raunds, and as far out as Irthlingborough. We have sussed out the schools, contemplated the churches, mused over the Masonic Hall, and briefly considered Rushden Bowls Club. In addition, we searched further afield, looking at the Saxon Hall in Raunds and the Crow’s Nest Community Centre in Irthlingborough: all to no avail.

We carefully assessed every venue, looking at issues such as capacity and availability, facilities such as Audiovisual and Public Address, parking and ease of access for all members. The review process weeded out almost all of the possible venues.

The Committee has now reached its conclusion: we will relocate to the Windmill Club on Glassbrook Road. We had little choice – no venue jumped out as a perfect location. Some places would have required us to set out chairs every month; others could not be blacked out meaning some of our speakers would have had problems. A number that had a lot going for them had no parking and we regarded that as an essential matter: the show of hands that took place at the Pemberton in February revealed that the vast majority travel to the monthly meeting by car .

For those who do not know the Windmill it is on Glassbrook Road that runs parallel to Wellingborough Road. Click here for a map showing the location, or here for a page describing how to get to the venue by public transport. If you have any questions please get in touch with me or any Committee member or drop me an email.

Phil Grace, Chairman


We need more "meeters and greeters" for the monthly meetings. If you would like to help out in this role please get in touch with Lynn Gale (Groups Co-ordinator) via the Contact page or on her mobile phone (see Members page for details).


A step in the right direction...?

When Phil Grace had a meeting with Freedom Leisure (FL) last year, they discussed ways in which our organisations might work together. Little could be agreed at that time since FL had to seek funding from East Northamptonshire Council. However, an article in Nene Valley News seems to indicate that some funding has been agreed. FL and ENC are launching a joint initiative to set up a Walking for Health Scheme across the district. Volunteers are sought to undergo training that will allow them to lead walks, develop new walking routes and provide general support for people who wish to participate.

Walking delivers proven benefits including helping the heart stay healthy, lowering blood pressure, keeping weight down and strengthening joints, muscles and bones. In addition, walking as part of a group provides companionship, helping to lighten the mood and increase one's sense of wellbeing.

If anyone is interested, further details can be obtained from Joe Bailey, jebailey(at)east-northamptonshire.gov.uk

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 and Rushden U3A group news:

Classical Music Appreciation

Due to declining attendance there is a serious risk that this group will have to close. The April meeting will be the last unless we can recruit some more members, so if you are interested in classical music please think about whether you would enjoy spending a couple of hours each month listening to the themed musical choices of all the group members in a comfortable friendly social setting. Linda Walker is the group leader and will have a table at the April meeting in the Pemberton Centre if you would like to express an interest, or you can contact her via the Contact page.

A NON FICTION BOOK GROUP has been formed by Linda and Chris Walker. Click here for more details.

The SINGING FOR FUN Group are fund raising for Charity in May, and are collecting raffle prizes at present. Chris and Linda are happy to receive any of your unwanted Christmas presents or other contributions at their group meetings.

DAYS OUT CAR SHARE has these proposed trips for 2018:

  • Sun 13/5/18 (Postponed from 2017) Twinwoods Airfield MK41 6AB: 1940s museums.
  • Mon 2/7/18 Wrest Park MK45 4HR. (English heritage members entrance free). Optional Archaeological store collection tour.
  • 30th July or a Monday in August. Apethorpe Palace, PE8 5DJ
  • Visits to Stantonbury Theatre in March and April: see the group page for details of all our events.

All dates to be confirmed. More information on the Days Out table. Please come and tell us if these trips are of interest to you. If you need or can offer transport please contact Chris and Linda, who will be taking names from January meeting onwards.

The HISTORY GROUP has already arranged its' trips to take place on the first Thursday of each month May to September inclusive this year. This notice is issued to avoid clashes with any other Interest Group which may be considering the same dates.

Digital Photography and Garden Groups are jointly arranging a coach outing to Warwick on Thursday 14th June, to visit two venues. Morning visit to the Lord Leycester Hospital which, since the 16th century, has been home to retired servicemen; free time for lunch; afternoon visit to Hill Close Gardens, a site of Victorian hedged gardens. Both venues are Grade listed. Cost of £32.50 includes guided tour and refreshments at both venues, coach fare and tip for driver. This visit is open to all U3A members. Please contact Group Leaders for more information.

Chairman's monthly message for April

From the view out of the window, it looks more like November than April. It has been misty and wet all day. Any thoughts of gardening, grass cutting etc have been quickly shelved. It’s a day for reading! There is a proverb that says, “April showers do bring forth May flowers” – well if that’s the case, we should have a profusion! I am tempted to think that T S Elliot was nearer the truth when he said, “April is the cruellest month....”. But the weather forecasters, on all the channels, are saying that the weekend will bring about a change in the weather. They are predicting we will be basking in warm sunshine by the time you read this!

Although we all like to talk (moan?) about the weather it is a fact that we have some of the most changeable weather in the world. And whilst we all feel that it snows too much too often, that it always seems to be raining and that our summers are just far too hot (that was a joke!) nothing seems to last for long. We only have to consider the latest snowfall. Although a few very remote locations needed the assistance of Army helicopters most of us were back on the roads in a few days.

Finally, an apology. Last month’s newsletter said that April would be the first month in our new venue. That was incorrect! We have not received an update from Freedom Leisure regarding their progress nor when they will “need us out”. So until you hear otherwise we are continuing to meet at the Pemberton. Phil

Current weather for the Rushden and Higham Ferrers area.

National U3A news

Interested in a regional U3A Email newsletter as well as our own local one?

Visit u3a.org.uk/email and fill out your details for news, events and regional updates direct to your inbox: you will need to decide whether East Midlands or East of England is more appropriate.

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.

At some point we will have to relocate our meetings to the Windmill Club, round the corner in Glassbrook Road (see the top of this page), although the date of our last meeting at the Pemberton Centre has not yet been agreed.

Information about public transport to the Pemberton Centre can be found here, and for the Windmill Club here.





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May 16th Pemberton Centre Forensic Podiatry Professor Mike Curran
Much more than a talk about feet! Mike travels often to
America as he is an expert in his field.
June 20th Pemberton Centre Life in War-torn Middle East Philip Caine
Philip is a published author, drawing upon his
experience whilst working in Iraq and other places.
July 18th Pemberton Centre Hunters of the sky Jennifer Anderson
A wonderful audio visual experience with
breathtaking photography of birds of prey.
August 15th Pemberton Centre From leeches to laxatives Tricia Thompson
Details to follow when available
September 19th Pemberton Centre The Little Book of Monarchs Tony Boullemeir
A wonderfully fascinating, amusing, and accurate guide
to English Monarchs.
October 17th Pemberton Centre Subject to be advised
Details to follow when available
November 21st Pemberton Centre A photography special Tom Way
Details to follow when available
December 12th Pemberton Centre The complete history of Christmas Mike Kennedy
N.B. Second
Mike is a colleague of Lesley whom you may remember
as Nell Gwynn, so expect something a little different.

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".