Higham and Rushden

Welcome to the home page of our website

Some exciting news!

We hope to restart our physical monthly meetings in July if Covid regulations remain the same, and also plan to have a Zoom meeting in June. Our monthly meetings will revert to the third Wednesday of the month as they were before we left the Pemberton Centre, and will be held in the Goods Shed opposite Rushden Station in John Clark Way. Our recent venue, the Wesleyan Church in Queen Street, had very limited parking but this does not apply to the Goods Shed.

For full details of our programme please see the monthly meeting calendar further down this page.

More good news!

Groups are starting to come out of hibernation. The Cycling Group goes out every Tuesday Monday, the Rock and Blues Group has held its first 2021 meeting, and others are meeting by Zoom.

The Special Events Group have arranged day coach trips between July-December including the first trip on Monday 21 June to Newmarket National Horse Stud combined with a free afternoon in Bury St Edmunds. Further details can be found here.

There is some interest in starting a petanque group so if this interests you please get in touch with Linda Walker, Groups Co-ordinator, via the Contact page.

Pilates classes will restart on Friday 2 July 2021 with a change of venue from Waitrose Community room to the MASONIC CENTRE, Wellingborough Road, Rushden NN10 9YJ.
There are some vacancies in these classes so if you are interested please get in touch with group leader Sylvia Wright via the Contact page.

Now that many of us have received at least our first Covid vaccinations please remember that this is not the time to stop taking precautions, either in our social interactions or our online activity. Covid is still out there and so are the scammers trying to take advantage of elderly and vulnerable people. If you receive a text, phone call or e-mail about vaccinations please just take a moment to satisfy yourself that it is genuine.


We post here snippets of interest to members self-isolating during the current pandemic. Please keep an eye on this area as the content changes quite regularly.


Can't find anything to watch on TV? Sky Arts is now available on Freeview, Channel 11 (although you may need to retune). There you will find a very wide range of arts-related programmes, including many featuring music of almost every genre. Worth a look in our opinion.


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One of our previous speakers, Tom Way, has produced a short video for groups like ours. He hopes it will provide a small amount of entertainment for those of us in lockdown or self-isolation. The video can be found here:

Judy Cooper, a member of Wellingborough U3A with experience as a teacher, meditation practitioner, and former holistic therapist would like to offer one of her guided relaxation/visualisation CDs, Island of Peace, as a free download for U3A members in Northamptonshire. Click here to download. #

Ideas for eating during the present lockdown from Dr Mabel Blades, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

I am pleased to write this for the local U3A as I know a lot of the members and have often spoken at U3A groups on food, nutrition and health. I thought it would be helpful to write something about good nutrition as there is a lot of misinformation on the topic circulating.
There is no diet that prevents Coronavirus warns The British Dietetic Association! Covid 19 is the condition caused by the Coronavirus.
A well balanced and nutritious diet is important in this stressful time whether you are working long hours, self-isolating or shielding or just having difficulties with shopping.
So here are a few suggestions;-

Take enough fluid, a minimum of 2 litres per day for most adults (unless you have been told to restrict fluid for a medical reason). Lack of fluid can make you feel irritable and fatigued which is not what you want to feel at present. Water is ideal for hydration but most other beverages also contribute except for strong coffees, and caffeine shots and alcoholic drinks.
Eat regular meals – so a breakfast, lunch and evening meal. Try to have some protein at each meal. Protein foods are meat, fish, eggs cheese, milk and pulses like peas beans and lentils. If you think you are not managing to take enough you can boost intake by adding dried milk powder to porridge, soups, puddings and drinks.
Include 5 portions of vegetables and fruit each day.( A portion is 80g or approximately a handful). If you find it difficult to obtain fresh items then try frozen, canned or dried vegetables. These can be useful in soups and casseroles as well as stir fries, curries and chillies to mention but a few dishes. Dried, canned or frozen fruits can be a basis of many desserts.
Try to eat enough fibre by using wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread and fruit and vegetables plus nuts and seeds.
Now is a good time to try different recipes and to experiment with cooking items in different ways. Get out the tins or packets from the back of the cupboard or bottom of the freezer and try to use these up instead of leaving them there. Then replace them with new items for variety.
It is also a time to have some sort of treat like chocolate, a glass of wine or cake but do try to not devour the whole cake or bottle of wine!
If you are not going out into the sunshine it is worth looking at taking a vitamin D supplement. It is also worth considering a multivitamin and mineral preparation.

If you are following a special diet do contact your dietitian or health professional if you have any queries.

Higham & Rushden U3A treats your rights seriously. Our Privacy Policy and Data Protection Policy set out how we deal with your personal information: click on the links to see the documents, which will open in a new tab.

What is the U3A?

Previously known as the University of the Third Age, the 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.

If you would like to join us you can find a membership application form here or among the many documents available on the Administration page (although you will need to scroll down the page).

The slideshow below is of local images. Use the arrows below the pictures to move backwards and forwards between pictures.
Many of these pictures were taken from the internet, so we need input from members! Please send us your local pictures.

There is a new page on our website entitled Wellbeing. If you know of any useful resources regarding health and wellbeing matters which we can share with other members, please let the webmaster know.

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The Special Events Group has developed an interesting programme of events for 2021, including Highclere Castle, the National Stud and the Royal Courts of Justice. You can find out more here.


Most of you will know Linda Walker, who has now taken over as Groups Coordinator. If you are a group leader, even of a group which has now closed, please get in touch with Linda to let her know the state of your group(s).

As far as her own groups are concerned,
Sunday lunch hopefully resuming on the last Sunday in July. We will keep you updated. New members welcome.
A Little aloud 2nd & 4th Fridays on Zoom 10.00 & 11.00 (see U3A calendar), or at leaders home from 10-12. New members welcome for Zoom meetings at present.
Non Fiction Group contact group leader and check U3A calendar for date, usually 3rd Monday in the month at 2pm on Zoom or leaders home. New members welcome on Zoom.


The financial year of our U3A runs from September to August. Our treasurer Mike Wood has produced the accounts for the 2019-20 year and these can now be found on the Administration page.


At least 2 members collect used postage stamps for charity, so from now on there will be a box at each monthly meeting into which members can deposit their stamps, secure in the knowledge that they will go to a good cause.

April message from the chair

As this is my first Chair’s Chat I will begin by introducing myself. In normal times we would have had the opportunity to meet in person and begin to get to know each other but we are living through unusual times so ......
My name is Trish Dewar and I joined Higham and Rushden u3a the month before lockdown in March 2020. I was so looking forward to joining some groups. I have very little knowledge of u3a and I was hoping that would change last year. So what I do bring to this u3a? I worked in the Voluntary sector in Kettering running the volunteer centre for many years. During that time. I was part of a few organisations as Trustee and board member. I have a lot of experience in being on committees and chairing them. Enough of me.

What do we have to look forward to now?
Firstly as of 12th April we will (if we choose) be able to physically go shopping, go to the hairdresser, library and the gym and enjoy ‘substantial’ meals in pub gardens! Then from 17th May - possibly see friends and family outdoors. Hopefully we will be able to go to theatres, cinemas and sporting events. 21st June – possibly ‘back to normal’ whatever that may be………
Finally we say Farewell to Angela this month. I thank her for her encouragement to join Higham and Rushden u3a committee. I hope I will be able to follow in her footsteps If everything goes to plan we hold our July meeting in the Goods Shed – a very different venue! I was lucky to be able to visit it recently – as I said it is very different but I am excited that we be able to use such a remarkable venue for our meetings. It now has a new roof and floor so you won’t get wet!

Trish Dewar

NB The Newsletter is available online from the Sunday before each monthly Meeting (or the official date of the meeting in these strange times).

National U3A news

Third Age Trust AGM 2020

It was decided that the capitation fee which each U3A has to pay the Third Age Trust anually should increase to £4.00 per member

In case you missed it, there is a notice on our noticeboard about the national U3A newsletter available from https://u3a.org.uk/newsletter (opens in a new tab).

Higham and Rushden U3A monthly meetings: physical meetings are currently suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic but we plan to resume on 21st July.

Make sure you don't miss our interesting talks on the third Wednesday of the month once we are able to resume normal activity.
Doors open at 1:30 and the talk will begin at 2:00 pm prompt at the Rushden Historical and Transport Society's Goods Shed in John Clark Way, opposite the old Rushden Railway Station. Visitors are welcome at £3 per meeting for a maximum of 2 meetings.
Date Venue Topic Speaker
16th June Zoom meeting Turkish Shirley Valentine Jenny Gibbs
21st July Goods Shed History of Madame Tussauds Lucy Swales
18th August Goods Shed Coming Back to Butterflies Neil Dickinson
15th September Goods Shed Every Body Tells a Story David Sweeney
20th October Goods Shed TV Licencing Officer Michael Long
17th November Goods Shed Nicker to Vicar Rev. Kelvin Woolmer (ex-policeman)
15th December Goods Shed Carols and Seasonal Songs Singing For Fun Group
19th January Goods Shed Animals Behaving Badly Dr. Michael Leach
16th February Goods Shed To be advised
16th March Goods Shed Stranded in Gambo Craig Fisher

Higham and Rushden U3A groups calendar

Some changes have been made to Beacon which have impacted how the groups calendar can be displayed. At present it is unfortunately not possible to show them within this page, as we did before.

It is still possible to see the calendar without having to log into Beacon, simply by clicking on the large button below. The calendar page will open in a new tab (which may not be obvious if you are viewing this on a phone or small tablet) and you can return to this page by closing the other tab.


Beacon is a dedicated database system developed by the U3A nationally which Higham and Rushden have joined along with several hundred other U3A's.
This allows automation of many aspects of administering our branch including tracking of membership, branch calendar of events, details of our interest groups and financial reporting. Generally speaking members will not need to interact with it, but can log in to Beacon by clicking here to check and change their own personal details and also find telephone numbers for group leaders.

Note that there are no separate login details for you to remember: just your membership number, name, postcode and e-mail address as submitted on your last renewal forms.

Please remember that this website is run by our members for our members.

Please submit anything you would like to see on the site (pictures, videos, items of general interest, breaking news, useful links to other websites etc). Email the Webmaster or the appropriate group leader via the contact page and keep our website interesting: any pictures of U3A activities would be much appreciated.
If you find any links which don't work or any spelling mistakes PLEASE also let the Webmaster know via the contact page.