Tadley & District


Welcome to the Tadley & District U3A

The U3A (University of the Third Age) is a self-help organisation offering people who are no longer in full-time employment opportunities to share their life-long knowledge, skills and experience with like-minded people in a wide range of interest groups. This is a two-way process with all who want to learn having the opportunity to help with the teaching. Learning is carried out in an informal atmosphere, free of the stress of exams, with the emphasis purely on fun and friendship. "If it's not fun, it's not U3A".

Regular monthly, outside speaker meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday in the month from 10:45-1pm at Tadley Community Centre, New Church Road. These are always very informative and often very amusing and cover a wide-ranging variety of topics. Group Leaders are in attendance so making it easier for everyone to see what groups are on offer. Everyone can catch up with the latest new groups and meet with and make new friends. Membership provides access to all groups plus a regular U3A magazine. A nominal charge is made for attendance at all groups as a contribution to hall hire and other running costs etc...

We now have an amazing 43 group activities and we encourage our members to suggest or volunteer to run new groups. Recently we appealed for a Group Leader for a German for beginners Group. Fortunately Frank stepped forward to take this on on a 6 week trial basis and we are now pleased to announce that this group will start on Friday 11th April. The new Bus Pass Trippers Group is up and running but we still need an Italian speaker to provide the tuition for the Italian for beginners Group. The "teacher" has no need to be the Group Leader, that role can be taken on jointly by members of the group. So if you have some knowledge of the Italian language then please consider passing your knowledge onto an enthusiastic and eager group that needs you!!! If you are interested in starting up any group then please contact Mike (Group Liaison) via the Contact page.

At our March monthly speaker meeting we were entertained by Commodore Ian Gibb MBE with his amusing tales of life at sea. He started his career at 16 as a cadet with P&O and spent a remarkable 43 years reaching the pinnacle of his career as Commodore of the fleet. At the age of 16 a guest having a tour of the ship he was serving on commented on the new-fangled radar. He promptly launched into a detailed presentation of the subject only to learn later that the quietly spoken Scotsman who had politely thanked him for the information was the inventor himself - Sir Robert Watson-Watt KCB, FRS, FRAeS!!!

Commodore Gibb went on and served 17 years as Captain of the Canberra and his most memorable event was when waiting to enter the port of Miami, he received a 'phone call from the British Police enquiring as to whether Miss Whiplash (Carla Davis) was on board. She had left her Jaguar on the top of Beachy Head and the Police needed to know whether they should be looking for a body!!! Needless to say once her presence on board was discovered she played up to her reputation!!!

Commodore Gibb concluded his service with P&O when he was asked to be the first Master of the newly built Oriana which was launched in 1995. Surprisingly who should be on board in the next cabin but none other than Miss Whiplash herself. He jokingly commented that he slept next to her, albeit with an inch of steel between them!!! After he retired Commodore Gibb was honoured by joining Prince Philip as 1 of the 31 "elder brothers" of Trinity House which administers the lighthouses and lightships around the coast. It was set up 500 years ago by Henry VIII to safeguard the navigation around the coast of Britain. Shortly afterwards Princess Anne joined them to become the first female elder brother. In the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours List Commodore Gibb received an MBE for his voluntary services to maritime charities and so in lieu of a fee T&DU3A are making a donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

At the March meeting Tadley & District U3A celebrated our 2nd birthday. In a remarkable 2 years we have reached a membership in excess of 500!!! We held an Open Day in order to share with the community what the U3A has to offer to them. It was a huge success, the committee couldn't have asked for a greater response. Group leaders and members manned tables, displayed work and photos of what they get up to at meetings. The event was literally "buzzing" with activity and enthusiasm. On that day alone we had in excess of 60 new members!!!

Membership forms can be found via the membership drop-down menu heading and costs a mere £17.50 for the year - this has been maintained for the 3rd year running. You can attend one monthly meeting on a trial basis to see if membership appeals to you as well as attending one group meeting free of charge. All new members are very welcome.