Registered Charity Number 1164952

Administrators only

Coronavirus: 3rd October 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 most group gatherings will not resume until next year. This of course is wholly dependant on the progress of the virus.

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

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


The Special Events group is already planning for 2021 and several visits have been arranged, including to Highclere Castle, possibly best known as the location for filming of the TV series Downton Abbey. Further details can be found here.


New Covid-19 cases in this area are on the increase. The pandemic is by no means over, so please obey the rules.


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

Dear Members.

As you are all aware our AGM is usually held at our monthly meeting in October and I told you that we had to have our AGM. Well not so.
Because of Covid 19 we are unable to meet in the usual way. We are able to conduct our AGM as a virtual meeting which means we would be meeting with you on Zoom to carry out the AGM process as appropriate. However the committee met on the 5th August 2020 and decided overwhelmingly in line with advice from National Office that we could delay the AGM until spring or sooner 2021 in the hope that we can once more meet as normal. Feedback from some members also agreed this delay was acceptable.

We hope you understand why we are taking the decision to delay. One reason is because of the Covid situation but also because apart from one member who has expressed interest in joining as a committee member only, we have not received interest from members wishing to join the committee as officers.

We need to hold on to our existing officers to keep our U3A running. Holding the AGM in October would mean that those having served time would, under the constitution have to vacate their post. We thank Denise Evans, Jenny Carr and Alan Devenish for their continued service.

They cannot remain in post forever so I ask you again, please help by becoming a member of the committee.

Yours Faithfully.

Angela Mason.



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.


Some of you may have downloaded the ZOE Covid-19 symptom app, available at https://covid.joinzoe.com/. Researchers on the project are now reporting that skin rash can in some cases be an extra symptom of the virus. If you are interested it is not too late to join more than 4 million people in Britain using the app to help scientists monitor the spread and effect of the pandemic, and it costs nothing and only takes a minute per day.


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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.
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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 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.


Non Fiction book group meets in leaders' garden weather permitting, abiding by Covid-19 rules. We are full at present but are looking in to holding Zoom meetings soon. Our present reading is On Capel Sands by Laura Cumming.

A Little Aloud reading group is meeting in leaders' garden weather permitting, abiding by Covid rules. We are full at present.

Leaders are hoping to Zoom meetings soon.

Sunday lunch group is still on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Days out car share group. Is on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Popular Music Appreciation Is on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions.

We keep up to date with Covid-19 regulations and will be starting our groups as soon as regulations allow. We know it has been hard for some of our members to venture out and have only recently felt confident to leave home. If any H&R U3A member would like a chat I am at the Extra Care Shop next to Argos most Mondays
11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Home contact 01933 387892.


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. 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 .

September message from the chair

Hello Members.

Whenever or wherever it is you read this newsletter and past editions you will have seen that since March there has been a common theme of Covid running through every chairman's chat.

We honestly hoped it would be over by now but no such luck. The government have just announced the 6 person rule which will have repercussions for our U3A especially as some groups had begun to move forward.

But let’s not dwell on that for now.

We learn today that the Queen and Prince Philip are moving to Sandringham where they will live in a normal home with the Queen travelling to Buckingham Palace to perform her duties. I mention this as we have just missed them by a whisker, having spent a week caravanning on the Sandringham estate. It’s such a beautiful part of the country. The caravan site was very busy but sadly due to Covid all facilities were closed.

We had with us our daughter and grandchildren who managed to sleep on the made up bed whilst my husband and I slept in comfort in our bedroom.It was a real effort for all of us to get showered every day in the caravan. Those of you who may not have seen a modern caravan will be surprised to know modern caravans have separate bathrooms with all mod cons including a full shower and flushing toilet.An Electric water pump and heater keeps the hot water flowing, that is until the barrel runs dry.That job generally fell to my husband who braved a lot of very bad weather to keep the water flowing. Bless him !!!

We visited Wells by the sea and Hunstanton. Both very busy with typical English seaside activities taking place. We went crabbing at Wells where we managed to prize the iPads from the grandchildren’s clutches. You know they actually had fun and became competitive with their catch. It didn’t last long however and were soon looking at their phones once more. Can’t say we didn’t try.

I’ll be back in touch next month.Stay safe but do enjoy life.

Angela, Chairman.

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.





__________________ _________________ __________________________________________________________ _____________________
October 21st Online video talk

Alan Jones
(Wednesday) 14:00 Pre-register here.
You will receive an
e-mail with login
details, as well as
reminder e-mails.

Ever wondered why you feel attracted to some people and avoid others?
Most of us form an opinion about someone in just 90 seconds and rarely
change our mind. But it is not based on the way people speak, or even
what they say. Discover how Body Language speaks louder than words
when we communicate with each other.

November 19th
To be arranged

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.