Registered Charity Number 1164952

Administrators only

Coronavirus: 25th June update

Dear Members.

The Committee continue to follow the advice from the government. By now we had hoped that our monthly meetings would have resumed. Unfortunately we anticipate group gatherings will not resume until the autumn (but see the monthly meetings calendar below for details of a virtual meeting in July). This of course is wholly dependant on the progress of the virus.

As some of you may be aware our area is still in the grip of this virus which has not yet reached its peak, we must all stay alert.

Should the government advice change we will of course make further announcements on the noticeboard.


Can you help?

The NHS in Northamptonshire are looking for people to make face coverings for use by patients at hospitals and GP surgeries to save the surgical masks for the clinicians. Anyone able to help can obtain further information by emailing nccg.logisticsandppe.covid19(at)nhs.net.

Completed face coverings can be posted to, or dropped off at: Francis Crick House, FAO Logistics and PPE, 6 Summerhouse Road, Moulton Park Industrial Estate, Northampton NN3 6BF.

Government guidance on face coverings can be found here and there is also a lot of information elsewhere online about how to make them.


New Covid-19 cases in this area are now very low, so we have removed the tracker. The pandemic is by no means over, and remember that there will probably be a spike very soon when the effects of lockdown easing are felt. Please obey the rules.


(reserved for committee-approved announcements: routine announcements can be found elsewhere on this page.)

Dear Members.

Regardless of what happens we have to hold our AGM in October. We will be in desperate need of new Committee members to join us from November onwards. You can serve up to three years as a committee member or opt out at the end of your first term.

We are saying a farewell to Jenny Carr who has done a sterling job as Speaker Secretary for the past 3 years. So we are looking for someone to take over from her.
We also see Alan Devenish stepping down as Vice Chair. We will be looking for someone to step into his shoes.

We can not run with a slimmed down Committee so please get in touch and help. We certainly have a challenge ahead.

We also need members to be on the committee as an extra pair of hands.

Best Wishes.




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.


Zoom events organised by National U3A
We are delighted to offer a brand new series of online events starting with two one-off free taster event sessions. U3A members are invited (3 July) to join online with the National Gallery to explore Rubens’s Samson and Delilah (1609-1610), a story of impossible love and tragic betrayal. Courtesy of The British Library (23 July) is the Discovering Children's Literature. These events will be held on Zoom and can be booked into on the Events Page.
(If you do not pre-book you will not be sent the login details and will therefore not be able to take part.)


17th June update. As a small compensation for the fact that we can’t get together for the June talk about Les Miserables, the webmaster invites you to have a look at the second volume of his e-book trilogy “Best Idea” about some of America’s less well-known National Parks.

The book, entitled "4 Corners", is available as follows:

  • standard resolution version here,
  • downloadable pdf version here,
  • and the high resolution version here.

The first volume, entitled “93 to 96”, is still available: the standard resolution version can be found here, a downloadable pdf version can be found here, and the high resolution version can be found here .

For both volumes if you have a very good internet connection or don’t mind waiting a couple of minutes for images to load, we recommend clicking on the fullscreen icon in the top right corner of the high resolution version. All versions will open in new tabs.

Please let the webmaster know if you enjoy his e-book: he may publish the final part in July.


Calling all readers!
As we all seem to have had extra time since the lockdown to pursue our interests, I’m sure many of you have been reading more than usual. With this in mind, Linda Walker has decided to extend the U3A Book group to the wider U3A membership during the Covid-19 crisis so that all members can share with others the details of any authors and titles that they have enjoyed. Although it won’t be possible to have the full discussions that the members of the Book Group so enjoy, we are asking anyone who is interested to send Linda their suggestions of an author and book title, with a very brief description of the type of book (detective novel, autobiography, historical fiction etc.) and a star rating from 1* to 5*. Linda will then compile a list for inclusion in the Quarantine newsletter with a selection of titles for people to read and enjoy. This will hopefully give us all new ideas for our reading and help to guide people towards authors they may not yet be familiar with in their own particular area of interest.



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.
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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, 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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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 car share trip to Courteenhall House arranged for 6/7/20 has had to be cancelled as the family are living in the house.

I will be contacting everyone booked on the trip. The booking company offered to rearrange for later in the year but with the present uncertainty over Covid-19 and our U3A insurance I feel this unwise.

We will review booking as soon as U3A meetings are up and running. Please feel free to contact us if you don’t hear from me before Sat 13th July regarding refund.



Non-Fiction Book Group :

New members welcome. Contact Linda 01933 387892. Details of the book we are reading:

Among the Bohemians:Experiments in Living 1900-1939 by Virginia Nicholson.
Racy, Vivacious, heart warming. Offers an illuminating and well researched portrait of life among the artists a century ago.

Interested in Travel, History, Biographies etc? The group meets on the 3rd Monday of each month at the Group Leader’s home. At present we email to keep in contact.

Members need to commit to buying the books we will be reading, on Kindle or online.

As we are members of Thrapston and Wellingborough U3As we welcome their members.

Sunday Lunch Group meets bi-monthly on the last Sunday.

We welcome singles and new-to-U3A members. Booking essential -contact Linda on 01933 387892.


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 .

June message from the chair

Dear Members.

We are on lockdown day 79 as I write to you. I want to say well done to those of you who have held on in there. It’s not easy I know.

I don’t usually use this platform for anything other than U3A but I have an important message for you all.

Those of you who know me well know I am also a hospital Governor so, at first hand, I have been able to see what has been happening in our community. Things are slowly returning to some degree of normality and once again visitors are being allowed access to their loved ones with obvious measures in place.

There has been a very bad turn of events due to Covid 19 in that sick people have stayed away from the hospital even though they have been in a great deal of pain.

This has led to treating patients made much more difficult as a result of their deteriorating condition.I have been asked by the Board Chairman, Alan Burns, to tell you the hospital IS open for business.

But onto better news. Jenny Carr and I have put together a zoom speaker event (see details in the newsletter and in the monthly meeting calendar below) which many of you have confirmed. All members with access to a computer can attend - you don’t need to ask. I will post the zoom invite as soon as I get it. We are looking for other speakers to do the same.

I fully expect that come October our speakers will be in person. The church is large enough to socially distance. However, we need to work out how to give you a cup of tea/coffee afterwards. All this dependant on the church being open and government approval.

Stay Safe All.


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.

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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July 16th Online via Zoom The Art of Trickery

This talk will be given via the Zoom app at 14:00 hours. Further details
will be published nearer the time.

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 Meeting Cancelled Rev Kelvin Woolmer
Amusing talk 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.
September 17th Wesleyan Church To be advised
October 20th Wesleyan Church Life in the Music.

Andy Smith
Instrumental guitarist/singer
November 19th Wesleyan Church “Every Body Tells a Story.” David Sweeney
A forensic detective involved with many murders, unexplained deaths &
funny stories. He has featured on tv on at least two murders. He
investigated the White House Farm and the Meat Pie murders of

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.