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


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

Where shall we go?

Most members know that we will have to leave the Pemberton Centre at some point this year. We have been talking to the management of Freedom Leisure and whilst the plans to develop the hall are progressing there is as yet no "start/finish date".

We have been assessing possible alternatives on the basis of several key factors:

Location, Capacity, Parking, Accessibility, Afternoon Availability and Suitability (availability of equipment, refreshment facilities etc.)

We will let you know more when we are in a position to do so..


The search for a new venue prompted me to look at members’ home addresses.

Higham Ferrers11218%

Members living in Rushden and Higham account for 74% of membership, which justifies our name; even if there might be a case for saying it should be reversed. (Only joking!) And the five communities listed above account for 90% of our members and I feel this does justify our search for a venue that is close to where the majority of our members live.

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:

A NON FICTION BOOK GROUP has been formed by Linda and Chris Walker (01933 387892). 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 (contact details above) 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 so far:

  • Sun 15/4/18 Carpetbaggers Secret Warfare Museum, Harrington NN6 9PF with guided tour.
  • 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 (but this will not be staffed in February or March). 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 next year. This notice is issued to avoid clashes with any other Interest Group which may be considering the same dates.

The Days Out group is running a coach trip to Wimpole Hall on Monday 23 April. The cost is £13.00 per person for the coach + £15.30 ticket entry includes: Hall, Gardens & the Rare Breed Farm – Free ticket entry for National Trust members. Picking up at Rushden 9am, and also Higham Ferrers.

Wimpole Hall is the largest country house in Cambridgeshire and the creation of Wimpole Hall as it appears today began in 1640 when Thomas Chicheley began to build a new hall on the Estate which his family had leased since 1428. Explore inside the Hall with its many rooms including the spectacular yellow drawing room and unusual plunge bath, plus a fascinating glimpse of life below stairs. Enjoy the gardens and the colourful parterre. Discover the Shire horses and the rare breed cattle. There is also a restaurant and shop.

BOOKING: Phone Linda Walker on 01933 387892 or e-mail: spidar.girl(at)btinternet.com

The Events Group now has some dates for your diary. See the January newsletter for details. If you are interested please contact Jean Mole (Treasurer) via the Contact page or phone (see Members page for details).

Chairman's monthly message for February

Osborne’s Sports and Toys in High Street was the first independent retailer to sell Lego 60 years ago. To mark the anniversary the toy giant offered to make a Lego model of the shop front – and it was in place over the weekend.

The replica facade was built at a Lego factory in the Czech Republic and shipped over. It is made out of more than 277,500 bricks weighing 610kg and measuring 4m tall by 16m wide. The replica took 639 man hours to make and was made by 41 team members.

Shop manager Will Osborne said: “My dad was the first person in the country to sell Lego and with that in mind they said what they would like to do was make a replica of the shop. “I said ‘will it be about 3ft?’ and they said ‘no, no, it will be the whole front of the shop’.

Will said. “We were astounded to be honest. It’s phenomenal. “To think the little Lego brick can create something like that is amazing and the attention to detail is superb.”

(Photographs are available in this month's newsletter)

Phil Grace

Current weather for the Rushden and Higham Ferrers area.

National U3A news

The national U3A newsletter for February can be seen by clicking here.

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.

Information about public transport to the Pemberton Centre can be found here.

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March 21st Tales from Rockingham Castle
Trisha Woods
You may have visited but Trish will give
an insider's viewpoint.
April 18th My favourite dive yet
Lee Bishop
A much requested return visit to talk about
his favourite dive.
May 16th Forensic Podiatry Professor Mark Curran
Much more than a talk about feet!
June 20th 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 Hunters of the sky Jennifer Anderson
A wonderful audio visual experience with
breathtaking photography of birds of prey.

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".