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

This is a reminder to members that henceforth our monthly meetings in the Pemberton Centre will be in the sports hall not the main hall: to the left on entry into the building. Please where possible no stiletto heels as they will cause damage to the floor.


A number of members have requested and been issued with a user name and password for this website. The committee has now decided that there will no longer be a "members only" page on the website, and logins will henceforth only be issued to group leaders and other administrators.

Members wishing to contact group leaders more urgently than by e-mail can now find their telephone numbers via Beacon: see the foot of this page for details.


We still need more "meeters and greeters" for the monthly meetings. If you would like to help out in this role please get in touch with Steve Evans (Front of House) via the Contact page.

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.

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:


"Wait Until Dark" at the Sharnbrook Theatre

An edge-of-your-seat thriller, set amidst the social turbulence of 1960’s London. The play follows the story of Suzy, a blind woman, who, left alone in her apartment, becomes embroiled with a group of con-men hatching an elaborate scam. As the tension mounts, Suzy is left to fend for herself. But with the phone line cut dead and the house plunged into darkness, can Suzy outwit the murderous visitors? From the author of Dial M for Murder..

This production is not suitable for under-12s due to intense scenes. (unlikely to affect our membership, however!)

I would like to know, by the next Pemberton U3A meeting, numbers for a visit to Wait Until Dark on Wed 13th March. We are able to get tickets at a reduced rate, £9 instead of £10 . We need 10 to qualify for discount. Last bookings and payment at the Pemberton meeting on 20th February.

Please contact leaders for payment details and offers of/ requests for transport.


Coach trip Sunday 11/8/19

The trip starts with a visit to Springfields Shopping Centre in Spalding, a good place for lunch or you can take a picnic to enjoy in the garden. In the afternoon we visit Burtey Fen Collection for a Compton and Wurlitzer organ concert with Nigel Ogden (recently retired presenter of Radio 2's The Organist Entertains).

BOOKING NOW. Check the link here for more information on Burtey Fen: it's a lovely venue, very small.

To reserve a place please contact Linda & Chris 01933 387892 or at the February monthly meeting.


30/4/19 Coach trip to Chenies Manor is now full with a waiting list.

Payment is due at the next Pemberton Hall U3A monthly meeting on 20/2/19: £22 per person, cheque payable to H&R U3A.

Contact group leaders Chris or Linda if you wish to cancel ASAP.


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.

February message from the chair

This month has arrived so fast. On Wednesday we once more go to the Pemberton Sports hall for our meeting. It wasn’t the best of starts but we needed to go through it to see what, if anything, we need to, or could, change.Following a few emails and personal contact from members after the meeting I will say to you all what I have said to them. We CAN NOT improve on the heating, light or sound in the room aside from asking all members to be on the one side of the curtain and ask that everyone is quiet as sound carries in that hall. We do not have any more chairs. I sent out a memo to group leaders before our last meeting asking that they bring with them a chair of their own but only if it had bars in contact with the floor and not feet as these will damage the surface. I counted 30 people who did not have a chair. I have also been asked why I don’t suspend monthly meetings until we can move. I can only say that option is open to us and will be used if we consider members are no longer able to enjoy the meetings. On a further point regarding speakers and the length of time they have to speak: we give them an hour. True, many go over their time, but we do try to prevent this. Ideally the hour should include questions. In the event of speakers over-running we will dispense with questions. I only wish I was able to chat to you all on more pleasant subjects but I’m sure that will come in time. Keep Learning.

Angela Mason


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

National U3A news

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 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. Note also that from January 2019 we will be in the sports hall (turn left at Reception) rather than our traditional venue of the main hall.

At some point in 2019 we will have to relocate our meetings to the Rushden Historical Society "shed", although the date of our last meeting at the Pemberton Centre has not yet been agreed. In the meantime smaller events such as Group Leader meetings and Committee meetings will with immediate effect use the shed. Directions to the shed can be found here.





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February 20th Pemberton Centre The Life and Times of Franz Lehar and The Merry Widow Mr. David Price
With video, music and artworks.
March 20th Pemberton Centre

‘Oh Matron’ The History of the Carry on Films

Steve Dimmer

With video,music and artworks.

April 17th Pemberton Centre Discovering MacDonald Gill Caroline Walker
MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill (1884-1947, brother of the sculptor
and typographer Eric Gill), was an architect, graphic designer,
best known for his pictorial maps. He created painted maps
for houses such as Kelmarsh Hall and Lindisfarne Castle,
magnificent murals for Cunard liners and eye-catching
publicity posters for organisations such as London Underground.
An enduring legacy is his alphabet for the Imperial War Graves
Commission used on all British military headstones since WWI.
May 15th Pemberton Centre Sing a Century Andy Smith

Songs and Instrumentals written and recorded over the last
century. Performing at least one song from each decade, it’s
a lovely musical journey spanning 100 years! Everything from
Cole Porter and Charlie Chaplin to Elton John and Adele.

June 19th Higham and Rushden U3A 10th Anniversary

. Celebration tea party with entertainment
July 17th ‘Flush with Success’

Kevin Varty
The History of the Smallest Room in the House - the Toilet. With
Historian and Lecturer, Kevin Varty.

August 21st To be advised
(Details to follow)
September 18th A soldier's journey Luke Wigman
An inspirational speaker who has raised over £1M for charity
(Stanford Hall and RAF Benevolent Fund). Was badly injured in
Afghanistan and has won medals at the Invictus Games. He
speaks briefly about the Defence and National Rehabilitation
Centre followed by his life in the Military.
October 16th "Dancing with Diana" and our AGM Colin Hill
A talk with photographs by the man who was Princess Diana's
bodyguard for 8 years. Also our AGM.
November 20th Forging ahead Steve Dimmer

'Operation Bernhard’ was the code name of a secret Nazi plan
devised during the Second World War by the RSHA and the SS
to destabilise the British economy by flooding the country with
forged Bank of England £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes. It was the
largest counterfeiting operation in history. A talk about the setting
up of the operation with an opportunity to handle an actual
forged £5 note.

December 11th The Corby Male Voice Choir
Note: Second

Sixteen to twenty singers, entertaining us with Christmas and other
popular songs and inspiring us to get into the Festive Spirit.

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".


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.