Latest News

Jan 19

CANCELLED – U3A in London Easter Conference 21st, 22nd and 23rd APRIL 2020


Freedom and its Consequences
The highly awaited and popular Easter Conference includes a fascinating, intriguing and challenging programme of talks over three days given by a range of speakers.
The subject is explored from a variety of different standpoints: art –‘Freedom and Art’, music –‘How music has been a potent force in expressing dissent and motivating social reform’ and science –‘Freedom in Medical Science’, that have all impacted on social reform and on our society today. Further topics include ‘Our Planet: Spirituality and Responsibility’ and ‘Curtailment of Freedom: Indefinite Detention of Immigrants to the UK.’
In addition, the historical background is explored in the following talks: ‘Liberalism and its enemies since the Enlightenment’; ‘Diplomacy Lessons from the 1930s’ and ‘The Fear of Freedom: Erich Fromm on the Authoritarian Personality’.
The keynote address,  ‘Literature: When Literature Became Free’ given by Professor Susan Kord, a cultural historian and Professor of German at UCL, introduces the conference. She has written on many aspects of cultural and social history and will explore Patronage and Poverty in the 18th century.
The final talk ‘Overcoming Prejudice and so-called Traditional Roles.’ How Women won the fight for Freedom in Education provides a fitting end to the three-day programme for this thought-provoking conference.
Application forms are available by post (please send a stamp-addressed envelope) and phone. The cost is £50 for all three days and includes all coffees, teas and delicious lunches from the Atrium café.
U3A in London, Hampstead Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QP
Tel.020 7692 5440

Jan 18

June 3rd 2020 National U3A Day – Spread the Word

What will you be doing on U3A Day?

The very first national U3A Day – celebrating the learning, activity and fun that happens every day in U3As across the country – will take place on Wednesday 3 June 2020.

Each U3A is invited to mark the day by showcasing what they do – from displays, parades, flashmobs or performances – the day will show all the learning, activities and fun that make the movement so amazing.

Coordinating the day, Regional Trustee, Sue Stokes, said, “We are so excited that from now on, every year, there will be a day dedicated to learning, staying active and having fun in your Third Age – that’s people who are retired, semi-retired or no longer bringing up a family.

“We hope this day will help to challenge negative perceptions of older adults and will bring together all Third Agers in the community to learn about the contribution U3A makes to the quality of life for retired people”.

We will post regular updates in the monthly national newsletter – which you can sign up for here

Below is a presentation to be used when raising awareness of U3A Day with your members, with your networks and with any external partners.

“If you want to find out more about organising U3A Day, and what other U3As are planning, you can join the closed (U3A members only) Facebook group. This website will also have downloadable templates and materials to assist U3As in making our first U3A Day a success.

If you are not currently a U3A member, we’d love you to come along to your local U3A event and help us celebrate the new experiences and fun we are having in the third stage of our lives. And if you want to get involved but you are not yet a member – why not consider joining? You can find more from your local U3A – find it here

documentU3A Day Presentation (414 KB)

imageU3A Day banner (308 KB)

Nov 27

11-15th May 2020 Historic Houses and Gardens in the Peak District

Day 1: Travelling by executive coach from our designated pick-up points, our first stop is the National Trust’s Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire, home of the Ferrers family for 500 years. Much of the house was built in the late

1500s by Henry Ferrers, a lawyer, diarist and antiquarian. It was a sanctuary for the Ferrers family and for persecuted Catholics who were concealed from priest hunters in its secret hiding places. We’ll continue to the 4-star Copthorne Hotel in Sheffield for our four-night stay.

Day 2: Our guide accompanies us throughout the day as we visit Bakewell in the morning before continuing to Chatsworth (home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire). One of Britain’s most famous houses and estates, it featured in the film Pride and Prejudice. With its works of art and beautiful gardens, Chatsworth is set in the magnificent landscape of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park.

The gardens at Chatsworth Photograph courtesy of A J Hall

Day 3: We visit Renishaw Hall and Gardens, home to the Sitwell family for almost 400 years, before continuing to Hardwick Hall and Gardens, another National Trust property. It was built by the famous Elizabethan Bess of Hardwick and is testament to her wealth and status. Hardwick Hall is almost unchanged since she lived there in the formality of Elizabethan courtly life.

Day 4: In the morning we spend some time in Buxton before driving to Haddon Hall, a fortified manor house dating back to the 12th century, and surrounded by terraced Elizabethan gardens.

Day 5: On our way home from Sheffield we visit the Crich Tramway Village in the heart of Derbyshire overlooking the Derwent Valley. This restored period village is home to the National Tramway Museum and its archives.

Hotel: 4 nights in 4-star Copthorne Hotel, Sheffield

Cost: £469 (including executive coach, hotel for four nights sharing a twin/double room on half-board basis, Blue Badge guide for days 2,3 and 4. Single room supplement: £99)

If you would like to join this holiday, please complete the enclosed application form and send it with an sae (not too small, please) to:

Gisela Zürcher-Feiß, 37 The Byeways, Surbiton, KT5 8HT Tel: 020 8399 4990

Nov 26

U3A Network of SW London Interested in Theatre History?

A project is starting early next year at Kingston University archives to be based on the Cary Ellison Theatre Programme Collection.

Cary Ellison was a talent spotter who worked for the casting directory Spotlight and as part of his work he went on twice yearly tours of repertory performances around the country in order to find up and coming actors, directors and plays. The programmes of these productions, heavily annotated by Ellison, are now at Kingston University. They cover theatre performances from around the UK and also the London West End from the Fifities to Eighties when Ellison was touring the country.

Actors he spotted early on their careers include Derek Jacobi, Richard Briars and Judi Dench. He also made notes on established actors as Lawrence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Vivien Leigh at the peak of their fame.

His engrossing and entertaining programmes with their detailed notes are being conserved at Kingston University archives. U3A has been asked to work on a project to research aspects of the history of the programmes and the British theatre during the Fifties to early Eighties relating to Cary Ellison’s work.

This project will interest anyone with a love of the theatre in this country. A small number of members have already registered that they would like to be involved and we would like to extend involvement to other members of the U3A. If you wish to know more about these programmes and the archives at Kingston University contact Dayna Miller, the archivist at

If you would like to register an interest in working on this project please email Sue Leigh (Wandsworth U3A) at and further details on the arrangements for the project and an application form will be sent to you.


Nov 24

6th & 7th Dec Brandenburg Traditional Christmas Concerts

Accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies, these concerts are guarantee to get you into the Christmas spirit with a wide range of festive music, seasonal readings and opportunities to join in with a few traditional and well-known carols. The Brandenburg Singers, directed by Bob Porter, will be performing.

There’ll be an interval presentation on the history and architecture of the two churches where the concerts will be held.

Friday, 6 December 2pm   St Bartholomew the Great, 6 Kinghorn Street, London, EC1A 7HW

Saturday, 7 December 2pm  St Stephen Walbrook, 39 Walbrook, London EC4N 8BN

Tickets: £19.50 See the TicketSource website []

For group bookings, please email