Registered Charity Number 1164952

Administrators only

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.


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


U3A Main Office (Third Age Trust) has issued brief guidance to all U3As and asked that this be disseminated to members. The document can be found here and will open in a new tab.


We have been advised that U3A Main Office (Third Age Trust) has been closed due to environmental issues. There are members of staff trying to man a couple of phone lines but members need to made aware that there is a much reduced service. It is unknown how long this situation will continue.


From now on the monthly meetings will be held in the Wesleyan Church ("The Church In The High Street") accessed from Queen Street in Rushden town centre. Monthly meetings are also a day later, changing from the third Wednesday each month (except in December) to the third Thursday of the month except in December.

There is a note here from Angela Mason explaining the reasoning behind the move, and details of the venue can be found here.

A45/A6 junction (Chowns Mill roundabout)

We have been advised that serious disruption is likely as follows:

  • The A6 northbound and southbound, and A45 eastbound and westbound will be reduced to one lane each on the approaches to the roundabout from 20:00 each evening until 06:00 the following morning on weeknights until 20th February.
  • The A45 between Chowns Mill and Rushden Lakes roundabouts will be completely closed in both directions from 20:00 on Friday 21st February until 06:00 on Monday 24th February, and again the following weekend.

If your journey is likely to take you past the roadworks you may wish to check the latest situation on the Highways England website here. (Opens 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, 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 news:

# The U3A Northamptonshire Network has arranged a talk by author Gervaise Phinn in Wellingborough on the afternoon of 23rd April.

The event costs £5 per person including refreshments after the talk. The booking form with full details can be found here (and will open in a new tab).

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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 University of Leicester has invited U3A members to a free evening of neuroscience talks and demonstrations in Leicester on Wednesday, 18th March 2020. Full details are on the Wellbeing page.

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Our Chair aerobics teacher moved out of the area in December, and the two weekly Friday classes at 2pm and 3pm have now changed from chair aerobics to Pilates for Seniors. If you are interested, please get in touch with Sylvia via the Contact page.

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Days Out and Car Share:

In January we visited Wellingborough Museum for Holocaust Memorial Day talk from Uri Winterstein. He was inspiring.

February 1st: 9 adults + 2 grandchildren (5 and 11yrs old) went to the Trench experience.Dan our soldier-speaker kept us enthralled for 90 minutes. We were allowed to handle clothing, guns and hand grenades. Outside we went into a replica officers’ accommodation trench. We experience gun fire and grenade explosions. Everyone but Chris and I had not been to this great museum on our doorstep. There’s lots for children to do in the holidays.

We are always willing to consider trips members can recommend,

We will have a table at the February meeting, representing all our groups

Car share trip to Courteenhall House and kitchen garden tour 6/7/20 1:30 arrival. This trip is now full with a waiting list. To be added to the list please contact Linda on 01933 387892.

The property is only open for private tour visits.It is only 30mins from Rushden.Offers of transport gratefully received.

We are happy to arrange a meal locally after the visit. Let us know if you would like to join us.

Courteenhall House, built in 1792, is a stunning example of classic Georgian architecture, built by Samuel Saxon. The property is only open for private tour visits and is only 30minutes from Rushden. The grounds were designed by Humphrey Repton and the arboretum is internationally recognised for its collection of rare and beautiful trees and shrubs.

Courteenhall House was commissioned by Sir William Wake (10th baronet), and retains almost all of its original features. It remains the home of the Wake family to this day and is a treasure trove of family and national history. The house is very rarely opened to the public. The grounds were designed by the legendary Humphrey Repton and can be viewed in detail. The arboretum, planted by Sir Hereward Wake (14th baronet), is visited by the International Dendrology Society and the Royal Forestry Society, amongst others, for its stunning and rare specimens.

Contact leaders to offer transport or if you require it.

Sunday Lunch Group:

Next lunch is on March 29th at the Bowls Club Northampton Road. Booking essential. We had 24 in January. New singles and couples welcome.This is an ideal group to learn about Higham and Rushden U3A.

U3A.Non-Fiction Book Group:

The group is now accepting members from Thrapston and Wellingborough U3As. We meet on the 3rd Monday of the month at the leaders’ home 2:15-4pm.

Contact Linda on 01933 387892 email spidar.girl(at)btinternet.com for all our groups


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. Initially (if not permanently) the box will be on the membership desk near the entrance.


Riviera Travel will give 10% off the price of booking a cruise to our U3A when a member books and mentions Higham and Rushden U3A .

February message from the chair

Dear Members.

We are promised colder weather so wrap up well!!!!

A big thank you to JP Carr for stepping in to give a talk last month as the dreaded flu bug hit the expected Speaker from the Air Ambulance. Of course, we now have more to worry about with the Coronavirus so keep aware and wash your hands regularly.

As a nurse I did a fair bit of work in infection control with hand-washing a priority. It was surprising when we came to test those who had washed their hands tested under a special light which showed up areas where they had missed. It really does take good lathering of soap under running water to clean your hands with the area between the thumb and index finger being the area often missed.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people never wash their hands when leaving the loo. I see it all the time because I look for it. I know, odd person I am. Use alcohol hand cleanser and we can all, as far as possible, stay healthy especially when we are all gathered closely together.


Big thank you to the Group Leaders Without You We Can’t Function.

NB The Newsletter is available online from the Sunday before each monthly Meeting.

National U3A news

Third Age Trust AGM 2020

This will be held at The East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham on Thursday 27th August 2020, commencing at 11:15. Further details will be available nearer the time.


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 talks on the third Thursday of the month by making a note in your diary.
Meetings start at 1:30 so that the talk can begin at 1.45 pm prompt at the Wesleyan Church ("The Church in the High Street"), accessed from Queen Street in Rushden town centre. Visitors are welcome at £3 per meeting for a maximum of 2 meetings.





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March 19th Wesleyan Church
Don’t Dilly Dally Tricia Thompson
The History of The Old-Time Music Hall. With a Sing-a-Long.
Talk & presentation.
April 16th Wesleyan Church Mullucks and Memories Tom Partridge-Underwood
An amusing walk down Memory Lane, Discovering the ‘memories’
behind the ‘mullucks’ that the speaker possesses.
May 21st Wesleyan Church My Farcical Career as Liaison on a Cruise Ship Colin Bowyer
The speaker is a retired actor who will have you in stitches with his
very dry delivery coupled with an amazing sense of timing.
June 18th Wesleyan Church The Truth behind Les Misérables David Price
The phenomenally successful musical based on a novel by French
author Victor Hugo who was actually living in exile in Guernsey while
writing it.
But why did people rebel and what were they fighting for? And are the
main characters Jean Valjean, Fantine, Colette, Javert, Eponine and
Marius actual reflections of real-life people?
With slides and musical extracts.
July 16th Wesleyan Church Magic as depicted in art through the centuries Ian Keebler
Early Magicians symbolised the mysteries and the unknown. Later,
cartoonists and satirists associated magicians with political skulduggery.
Magicians themselves used the skills of the lithographer and engraver
to promote their own shows: the resulting posters are highly collectable
in their own right. There is also another more secretive way that art is
used in magic: to help the aspiring magician learn the tricks. As Ian
shows, this is one of the few arts that can be illustrated both on screen
and in performance. Talk with magic tricks included
August 20th Wesleyan Church ‘Nicker to Vicar’ Rev Kelvin Woolmer
Amusing walk of his life from the Metropolitan Police to Vicar. Vicar of
the Olympic Construction - also gave an inspirational talk on Three
Counties Radio. Rev Kelvin’s wife is the author Jean Fullerton.

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 link 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 150+ 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.