August Newsletter.


Welcome to the August Newsletter.

The National Office has been working hard to complete the work for the conference, coming up very soon. I am looking forward to meeting many of you there.

We have had a good response from MPs who have all received a copy of the report Learning Not Lonely (Living Life, Expanding Horizons and Challenging Conventions). The great enjoyment that members have from learning together, being together and sharing their skills and the huge difference that they make to local communities is being recognised.

We are now spending some time looking at what materials local U3As use in the interest groups and how we can provide and share material that is of interest to them. We will be guided by Subject Advisers, Shared Learning Co-ordinators, Research Ambassadors and of course local U3As in what they feel is useful.

Sam Mauger
Chief Executive

In this issue…

News on Volunteers
Hearing Access protocol
U3A in the press

News from the Trust

Shaping our tomorrow

A small number of places remain available at this year’s national conference – book online at as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

There are a range of workshops on offer, the chance to meet and share ideas with colleagues from U3As around the country, and of courses the all-important AGM.

If you cannot make it to the AGM this year, be sure to tune in to the live video stream. We will be broadcasting from approximately 09.00 on our YouTube channel and at
National programme of workshops

The Third Age Trust national workshop programme for U3A members and committee members is proving extremely popular and there are a number planned around the country.

The workshops have been designed to provide support, information and knowledge to the U3A movement.

Please visit the events tab of the website:  for further information and details of how to request a workshop or to book on to an existing one.
News on volunteers

Trust Volunteers continue to make a hugely significant contribution across the U3A movement.

This includes a group of Volunteer Trainers who are working with Research Ambassadors and Subject Advisers to develop a workshop on presentation skills. This will be rolled out to also to any interested U3A group leaders as a second stage. Trust volunteers will also be centre stage in supporting signposting and registration at this year’s conference.

There are several regions where more volunteers would be welcome so if you would like to get involved or find out more about the roles please contact

Lifelong learning

Research and News

Read the latest news on Shared Learning projects and research such as Cottonopolis and the Philatelic Society, published next week at

Hearing access protocol

Members of Forth Valley U3A and Callander U3A have played a key part in the launch of a new Hearing Access Protocol that aims to make meetings and events less stressful and frustrating for people with hearing loss.

To read more on this and the latest news please go to

Educational events

National summer school

A successful National Summer School has taken place at Harper Adams University in Shropshire. Members taking part from U3A’s across the country. Cryptic Crosswords, Garden History, Mathematics just some of the courses offered.  The next Summer School takes place in Cirencester in September.  See more on our social media pages at

Other national events

Places are now booking for three exciting new national U3A events in October taking place around the country.

At the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester members will get an in depth look at one of the largest global collections of textiles and wallpapers dating from the 1st century AD to the present day.

·  Unravelling the Whitworth’s Collections

·  The National Museum Cardiff  with a Performance from the Welsh National Opera

Exploring the Solar System at the Royal Institution

Learning resources

U3A Plus

Chairman of U3A Plus, Hilary Jones, writes: “At the recent national Summer School in Shropshire,  it was good to see U3A members with mobility issues or impairments feeling enabled to enjoy the wide range of learning opportunities on offer.   All members took a full part in the courses from Play Ukulele to Garden History.

The organising team were ever present and willing to try and sort out any problem. Members were given any assistance requested, accessible rooms, help at mealtimes, lifts to seminar rooms and help with luggage.

I was delighted to see first-hand, that U3A learning is accessible to all.

You can learn more about U3A Plus and access the information and learning at

News from the subject advisers

The latest updates and news from the national subject advisers are now available on the Subject Advice section on the website.

·  Genealogy

·  Jazz appreciation

·  Living history

·  Mah jong

·  Play reading

·  Storytelling

The Trust wishes to thank Margaret Tomlinson and Geoff Preshner who are stepping down after many years supporting U3As as subject advisers.

News from the Board

Chairman of the Third Age Trust, Pam Jones said:
“The very hectic NEC year has come to a close and there will be some changes to the Board from September.  This year the ‘object’ clause was changed, the Trust constitution updated, we had to formulate policies on Safeguarding of vulnerable adults, Diversity, Equality and that GDPR, which is still something of a mystery to some.  Hopefully, the next year will mean less work for everyone but don’t relax just yet!

Those of us retiring will miss the camaraderie of the NEC.  Serving on there can be frustrating and at the same time rewarding and we will miss it. We send our  love and Very Best Wishes to all those who follow us.  We will be watching from the sidelines!”

Other news

U3A in the press

The U3A movement has been featured in this month’s edition of the newspaper The Mature Times.

You can read the article at

Kathleen O’Donnell (Paisley U3A) has featured in a film for the Scottish Opera Pagliacci Community Chorus.  You can watch here at:

In Focus

David, Rochester U3A

“I was a police officer and I then changed career and taught horticulture to teenage children with special  needs for 14 years.  So It was so funny to be back at Harper Adams Agricultural University for this year’s national summer school.

“I joined U3A about 5 years ago because friend recommended it and I go three times a month to my Ukulele group.  It’s very friendly – everyone supports everyone else and we learn. In fact I learn something new every time I go. We have fun all the time but there is some serious learning going on – I have learnt some difficult chords for example but you are encouraged and you practice until you get it.

“I am disabled and I find everyone at U3A has always helped and supported me.  When you think what you get for just £12 a year – it is really fantastic –  I get learning, friendship and support. Now I am trying to persuade my neighbour to join


Company 01 The Third Age Trust • Registered Charity 288007 • Registered Company 01759471

Where do Medicines come from

Time: 10.30-12.00, Registration 10.00.


Venue: G21/22 Devonshire Building, Newcastle University, NE1 7RX


Organiser: Voice Global/Newcastle University.


The events sub committee have been working with ‘Voice Global’ on events and we are pleased to announce the first one ‘Where do medicines come from’.

Understanding scientific and medical research, aims to achieve broad understanding and acceptance of humane animal research in the UK to advance science and medicine.

Sometimes controversial to some, this is a very important element of scientific and medical research and we should understand the reasons animals are used and have the opportunity to debate the subject.


More details will follow shortly including the agenda and details of the speakers delivering the session.

Please read the attached notice which included details of how to register. Although the University will be managing the registration, could we also ask you to advise us by email after you register so that we can keep a track on the numbers.

Regards Mike Martin and John Lloyd



Seaham Field of Remembrance Project


As part of the fundraising for the poppies in aid of Seaham Field of Remembrance Project, Alan Smith, one of our members, will give an illustrated talk on Seaham, Pre-Londonderry to the present day.


This will take place on Monday 

24th September at 2pm in Seaham Town Hall.

Tickets at  £2 each are available from Malcolm and Alan.

All are welcome and tickets will be available on the door.

There will also be a raffle.

Photographs from The Farne Islands and North/South Shields

The photographs were taken in June on the Farne Islands; the Artic Terns attacked us, pecking our heads and leaving deposits on our clothes.  I’m just glad we do not have flying Elephants! The Puffins looked at us as if we were mad.

(Double Click on Image to Enlarge)

This set of images, taken in South & North Shields, much more civilised, and they have Coffee Shops.

We caught the ferry from South to North Shields to have a look at the fishing fleet and Ray Lonsdale’s Sculpture named Fiddlers Green on the Fish Quay, a memorial to honour those fishermen who died doing their job after leaving port.

We finished our time there with lunch, what else but fish and chips, and then we headed back to South Shields.


Edinburgh Tattoo

On Thursday 16th August 2018, forty nine Seaham Harbour U3A members set off for a two day break to the Edinburgh Tattoo. We had a one hour break in Jedburgh for a light lunch (for some) and a spot of shopping for others.
Back on the very comfy coach through some wonderful scenery to Helix Park Falkirk to visit the Kelpies who were well photographed by all.

The Kelpies name reflected the mythological beast that  possess the strength and endurance of 10 horses; a quality that is analogous with the transformational change and endurance of Scotland’s inland waterways. The Kelpies represent the lineage of the heavy horse of Scottish industry and economy, pulling the wagons, ploughs, barges and coal-ships that shaped the geographical layout of the Falkirk area.

After a very short journey from the Kelpies we arrived at our hotel The 4 star Airth Castle Hotel & Spa in time to change and have a pre-dinner drink.
There were three choices for the meal which was very good and enjoyed by everyone it was served quickly and in a lovely spacious conservatory.
Dinner over it was time to get wrapped up for the tattoo, as we all knew it was going to be cold. It took us about an hour to get to Edinburgh and after a short walk we were in the queue to enter the castle arena, after a slight hold up because of a medical emergency we were shown to our very high up seats which gave us a superb view of the tattoo.
The show was fabulous, lots of wonderful music and dancing, storytelling, fireworks and a light show on the castle and arena and it stayed dry and not too cold (if you were well wrapped up). Because of the hold up at the beginning it was a little late finishing so we didn’t get back to the hotel till about 12.30.
On Friday we returned to Edinburgh for the day, some to enjoy shopping and the Edinburgh Fringe and others to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia. Everyone agreed they had enjoyed the day and again it stayed dry.
We left Edinburgh at 4pm had a short stop on the journey home and arrived back in Seaham at about 7.30.
I am sure everyone would agree with me that Alan did a great job arranging this break and we would like to thank him very much.
Also a big thank you to Les our coach driver.

(Information on the Kelpies from Wikipedia)

(Double Click on Image to Enlarge)