Wednesday, 17 December 2014

U3A South East Forum 2015

(Kent U3A Network, Surrey U3A Network & Sussex U3A Network)
More Learning; More Enjoyment
One–Day Conference Open to all U3As in the South East Region On Wednesday 22nd April 2015 at Meridian Hall, East Court, College Lane, East Grinstead RH19 3LT

The South East U3A Forum Conference will again be held in 2015, bringing together U3As across the South East. This popular and valuable event gives members across this large region an opportunity to meet, exchange views and news, and hear of innovations and examples of good practice.
We are very pleased to welcome Carole Millin, National Training Support Officer of the Third Age Trust, and Anthony Hughes, Trustee for Wales; Carole will be talking about learning developments in the U3A movement and Anthony will be talking about use of technology within U3As to aid learning, sharing and their efficient running. Our new Regional Trustee, Hilvary Robinson, will be present and she will be talking about her vision for the future of the South East Region. There will be opportunities to learn about interesting U3A activities across the South East and to take part in discussion groups on topics which we hope include some of your current interests and concerns.
Again this year we have support from the Trust’s Regional Support budget which helps us to communicate with our U3A members, so we are able to offer free attendance and a light buffet lunch. Attendance is on a first–come, first–served basis and is open to all members, who should apply individually. Members from new U3As will be especially welcome. The conference will close at 15.30 to make travelling home easier.
The Forum comprises Alison Gaitonde, Arthur Browne, Ian Funnell and Yann Trevou from Surrey, Helen Turner and Patrick Thomson from Kent, and Brian Dalby, Chris Senior, Gill Pitt and Jeff Staniforth from Sussex, plus Hilvary Robinson, Trustee for the South East Region.
Your U3A is again invited to contribute to a display of work from U3As across the region; see enclosed form. Please copy the booking form if more are required.
Please book by 14th April 2015, or earlier where possibleForms should be sent to:– Alison Gaitonde, 7 Ashurst Road, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 5ET Email:
South East U3A Forum Summer School
University of Chichester
Monday June 22nd – Thursday June 25th 2015
Previous Forum in Chichester

There are courses to interest everyone. If you are interested in going or would like to find out about the courses, click HERE.

If you would like to download a Booking Form, you will find one HERE

For more information, contact Molly, our Chairman at

Sunday, 14 December 2014

How to sign up

26 Tweets and counting. 
Why not find out what's going on when it's going on
by checking out how to sign up HERE?
Here's what one looks like. Don't miss out!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Twitter Sign-up

Signing up with Twitter

As you know we are now on Twitter. What's that, you may ask and why should I join?

We hear on the media so many bad and good things about Twitter. Well, this is one of the good ones. If you have an account and many of our members do, you can follow us and get reminders, information and links about what is going on in Edenbridge U3A. None of your details, except for the username you choose, are ever displayed on the web. You'll find us here

So, if you want to join millions of others, just follow the simple steps below and be an Edenbridge U3A follower......

To create an account on the web:

  1. Go to and find the sign up box, or go directly to
  2. Enter your full nameemail address, and a password.
  3. Click Sign up for Twitter.
  4. On the next page, you can select a username (usernames are unique identifiers on Twitter) — type your own or choose one we've suggested. We'll tell you if the username you want is available.
  5. Double-check your name, email address, password, and username.
  6. Click Create my account.You may be asked to complete a Captcha to let us know that you're human.
  7. Twitter will send a confirmation email to the email address you entered. Click the link in that email to confirm your email address and account.
For more detailed information, why not go to the 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Edenbridge U3A Christmas 2014

Edenbridge U3A Christmas Party
16th December 2014

Over 50 members joined the committee for our second annual Christmas Party in Rickards Hall. We can now say that it's firmly a tradition not to be missed. 

Without doubt, it was amazing value at £3 per head which gave members a finger buffet, Mulled Wine, Irish Coffee, The Edenbridge Songsters, a Free Raffle and Quizzes as well as entertainment by two Local Fairies!

Everybody had a great time and not much needs to be said as we'll allow the pictures to speak for themselves. If you want to see a close up, just double click on a picture.

We would like to thank all of the Committee for their hard work throughout the year and especially for putting this party together. It was great having the Songsters back again and it was wonderful to see our two brave fairies!

Eating and Quizzing
Finger Buffet
Irish Coffees and Mulled Wine
Cheers !!!!
Free Raffle
Working out the Quiz
Singing Christmas Carols
Our Two Local Fairies
The Edenbridge Songsters entertain
If you are interested in joining the Songsters, 
they meet every Wednesday afternoon in the Eden Centre.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Charles Dickens by Ian Porter

November Monthly Meeting
Tuesday 25th November 2014
Charles Dickens
by Ian Porter

We are going from strength to strength. At our November Monthly Meeting we found ourselves with a packed hall with almost every chair taken up. We were welcomed by our Chairman, Molly Ward who introduced us to Ian Porter who kept us entertained for well over an hour about the life of Charles Dickens.

The first half of the talk was about Young Dickens before he became famous - his life as a boy in Chatham and London, his silly father, his first jobs, how the budding actor became a
writer, his first love and how all these things were later recreated in his stories. 

Then we heard about how he was discovered and became famous, and how he became a great public speaker. Ian took us on an 'armchair walk' around London, telling us of things still there today which Dickens used in his novels. Ian is a London Walks' Guide and does over 40 different walks and has a wealth of knowledge about Dickensian History.

One thing is for sure is that he knows how to entertain and keep everyone focussed and interested on the topic. Without the aid of photographs or projector, he wove a mental picture of the great man which helped us to bring to life all of the stories he told.

Ian has written two novels, the second of which "Suffragette Autumn, Women's Spring", he described to us and was on sale at a bargain price at the meeting.The story begins in spectacular, if shocking fashion, aboard the Titanic as it's sinking. An important scene, which Ruby later realises was the genesis of her becoming a Suffragette, takes place in a lifeboat. Ruby and Nashey are left traumatised and horrified not just by the disaster itself, but by the failures of the ship's officers. Ruby is also profoundly affected by the misplaced trust in, and subservience to, these men. Readers are then taken to New York, and on to Halifax, Nova Scotia, before the novel unfolds in Suffragette London, 1912-1914. Much of the story takes place within the militant struggle for Votes for Women, into which both main characters become drawn through different avenues.

The book is available on Amazon and has readers' reviews of five stars.

Just two little bits of information for those who were not able to attend the meeting. We have
purchased a notice board which will be at every meeting and will have the latest information about groups and any events which may be taking place as well as some reports on recent visits. So, you'll have something to read whilst you're waiting for your refreshments. We really are keen that you will be kept well informed and that the U3A will continue to develop.

In line with this, we are now on Twitter. For many, the response is "What's that?" but in actual fact almost 60 of our members have a Twitter account but no so many of them use it. So now is your chance to sign up or put your unused account into good use. 

We will Tweet whenever a significant update is written on the website or there are important events taking place to remind you. All you have to do is sign up, find @edenbridge u3a and click on the "FOLLOW" button and every time you log on you will be able to read what is going on with links to the relevant pages. If all this is gobbledygook to you, we'll give a more detailed explanation on the website in the coming weeks. 

Click on the link below to go to Twitter

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Hindu Temple Feature

London Studies Visit to

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

November 2014

The Deity
 We have the richness of London close by and yet so much of it lies undiscovered to many of our members. I think I speak for myself but others also. Each month we go somewhere planned by one of the group members, to a different place of cultural interest within the capital

In November 2014 we visited the Hindu Temple, commonly known as the Neasden Temple, of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in North London. It was a trek to get there by bus, underground and train but it was worth all of it. 23 of us joined the tour led by Lynn and Brian who ably guided us through the pitfalls of London Transport to a totally different world. Within a stone's throw of the Temple is the New Webley Stadium which was an added treat.

Mandir from the gardens

The Mandir is about twenty years old and is the inspiration of the 5th generation guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj who was the inspiration, planner and master builder for the temple. It was built using 100 full time volunteers and 1,000 who worked part time. Over 27,000 pieces of stone including marble were quarried in the UK and shipped to India where craftmen shaped every individual piece which were returned to the UK for assembly like a giant jigsaw. The result is truly inspirational about human endeavour and about the power of volunteering.

The day was conclude by an excellent lunch in the Mandir's restaurant which served a buffet with an amazing selection of vegetarian foods.

I will not give more detail but allow the photographs to speak for themselves

Stephen Harding

Inside the Mandir where we attended a prayer service

The Master Builder
and his creation

New Wembley Stadium
If you want to find our more go to the website 
of the Mandir

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Walking Group Feature

First Group of Walkers Venture Out!
November 2015

Despite being a cloudy day sandwiched between two gloriously sunny days our walk went well and, at least, it didn't rain on us!

Fifteen people went on the walk and most of those came on to the King & Queen for refreshments and to discuss the " modus operandi " for future group walks.

It was generally agreed, that, to start with, walks of 3-5 miles should be the norm and at a frequency of once-a-month.

The third Wednesday of each month suited most people best and a constant starting time of 10.00 am for each walk was also decided upon.

As we are walking just on one Wednesday in each month, hopefully, those members who find Wednesdays difficult due to other commitments will be able to join us on the odd occasion.

It would be a nice idea to have the option to visit a pub or cafe to enjoy a sandwich, drink, or coffee together afterwards as we did on Wednesday. Apart from giving the walks a social aspect, this would also give us the opportunity to discuss the Group's progress and make plans for future walks together.

A programme for the next few months was planned out and a big thank you to those of you who volunteered to lead a walk for us. (The programme of walk dates and their Leaders can be found above).

These decisions and this plan will give the U3A Walking Group a solid, regular basis to work from.

However there will be some members who wish to walk farther or maybe on a different day. There is no reason that longer walks or different days cannot be accommodated and offered. So, if you would like to plan one you are prepared to lead just let me know and I will circulate the details to all the group members.

Thank you all for a great turn-out on Wednesday and I hope we can look forward to many happy hours walking together in the future,

Best wishes

Striding Out

Friday, 31 October 2014

A Wealdon Woman's War

A Wealden Woman's War
October 2014 Monthly Meeting

Colin Fairman, our Vice Chairman, introduced the proceedings with a resume of the new groups being offered, the suggested short courses, and the groups we are sharing with Westerham U3A. To find out more about these, click HERE

He introduced Penny Harris, our speaker for October, who gave us a fascinating talk entitled "A Wealdon's Woman's War" based on a true story of two people who met around the second world war and became publicans and small-holders in the local area, All this was based on the book by Edwina Hall - Potholes, Pigs and Paradise.

She brought to life the real life stories of these two people and took us back nostalgically to the trials and tribulations of their lives.

We thank you, Penny, for such an entertaining insight into the lives of these people.s during the war, including the joys, the love and the funny side of the tale.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

London Studies Visit to Freemasons Hall and Foundlings Museum October 2014

London Studies Visit to

Freemasons Hall and Foundlings Museum

October 2014
The October trip of London Studies organised by Tony Pearson showed the extremes of London past and present - from great wealth to the extremes of poverty with a little classical music thrown in on the side.

We started our visit at the Freemasons Hall near Holborn. The bland exterior belied a superb and very large Art Deco masterpiece with its gold decorations, mosaics and stained glass windows. After a quick look round of the museum our guide gave us a short history of the organisation before taking us through the room where the dignatories don their elaborate gowns in advance of entering the grand Temple for the ceremonies and meetings. The Temple itself was on a grand scale and has been used in both films and TV. In between we had the opportunity to see the elaborate memorial hall to the masons killed during the Great War. It was a fascinating introduction to a hidden gem of London and we learnt about the organisations generous charitable donations. However many of the mysteries of this sometimes secretive organisation remained! No photos allowed!

We then moved on to the Foundling Museum where we heard about the origins of the Foundling Hospital set up in the 18th Century by Thomas Coram to take in and subsequently educate unwanted babies at a time when many were simply abandoned and left to die. Cabinets displayed poignant trinkets left by the unfortunate destitute mothers - most of whom never saw their children again. However the building itself was a tribute to the founder and we were able to see parts of an earlier building dating from his time including the room where it was decided whether or not to accept the babies and the court room as well as a superb art collection - most of it donated. We concluded the visit in a room dedicated to the composer Handel who was a benefactor to the hospital and it was to the strains of his music that we ended a thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable day.     

Friday, 3 October 2014

A Walk in the Clouds

Edenbridge U3A
Monthly Meeting 30th September 2014

Speaker: Kev Reynolds 

“A Walk in the Clouds”

Anyone who has ever walked in the Alps or Pyrenees, or indeed anywhere where there are mountains in the world, is likely to have heard of Kev Reynolds, one of the most prolific writers on walking and climbing of the past many years. Now resident in Edenbridge, his latest book, “A Walk in the Clouds”, tells of memorable moments culled from a lifelong experience of exploring high places.
Illustrated with an enviable selection of photographs taken over the years, the real theme of the talk, like that of the book, was the benefits of ‘living in the moment’. “We all have these moments”, he writes, “moments as big as years, when we experience something so powerful or profound that, although it may last for only a very short time, it can be recalled decades later in all its vivid intensity… All I know is that life is an adventure and we must cherish every moment to live it to the full.”
And it was some of those moments that he relived with us as we sat spellbound listening. His first trip to the High Atlas Mountains, where he and a companion scrambled from valley to valley, sleeping rough and only coming down to Berber villages when food ran short; his many experiences in the Alps; his times in the Pyrenees, which he knows probably better than anyone alive today, and the joy of spending chilly nights on mountain tops so as to catch the sun rising from the valleys below; his later trips to Nepal and the Himalayas, getting lost in the valleys of Dolpo in the far west (way beyond any normal tourist trail or proper maps) and trekking to Kanchenjunga in the far east, with many visits since.
What came through most strongly from his talk was his love of adventure, his acute awareness of everything around him, the people he met and the friendships he made along the way, the dazzling beauty of the mountains themselves - together with what would seem to most of us pretty extreme discomforts accepted as a matter of course – all told with great humour and humility.
He stressed that however permanent the mountains may seem to be, they are never still, are always subject to erosion and rock-fall, while, with global warming, glaciers are receding at an alarming rate, so that even the best most carefully researched guide books become outdated over time.
Do get a copy of the book. It’s a great read.
Stephen Mills 1.10.14