Visit to Penrith Summer School

My husband and I are members of Burnley U3A.We were recently brave enough to venture to summer school in Penrith, run by the North West region. It was a brilliant experience.

We arrived at a residential agriculture college at Newton Rigg with over one hundred and twenty other “ U3A students and tutors” (the agricultural students were on a summer recess). People came from as far afield as London, although most were from the North West. Ages varied from 60s to probably late 80s… (the U3A has no age limits in either direction, being for anyone not in full time employment.)

I continue to be impressed by the number of older single men and women who travel many miles to these events.We were given student quarters which immediately “tickled my fancy” separate en suite rooms with walk in shower and a shared kitchen. Having met my husband over 40 years ago when we lived in student accommodation in Cartwright gardens in London .. it was like going back forty years and very therapeutic to feel you could be silly again! ( Although that was not the reason we were there!)

We all met for wine and general chat and then supper and a quiz.
The food was superb, the ladies waiting on behind the counter full of fun and relaxed.The ambience was brilliant. The following day we divided to go to our selected subject tutorials. On offer was archeology (post Roman years in the North West), etymology (the study of the development of language), geology of Cumbria, art, art appreciation (of Lancashire and Cumbria artists) and philosophy and literature and of course,learning the yukele .I had selected literature and philosophy. I am a borne again scientist and so this was a challenge, out of which I tried to wriggle when presented with the prospect of reading three novels by Henry James (The golden bowl, The figure in the carpet and The portrait of a lady). I am sure anyone who has read James will agree, he is not an easy author! I started to read The Golden Bowl ,my mind kept wandering until eventually I decided to listen on audiobook… I got to the end not an awful lot wiser and then found an old YouTube film….ahhh that’s what it was all about! Learning from my attempt to read one book, for the next, Portrait of a lady, I went immediately to the 1960s film with the beautiful Richard Chamberlain….cracked it. Our tutor was amazing, a lady, older than myself, full of knowledge and energy whose preparation for the tutorials was exceptional. (She is a member of Clitheroe U3A). Our study of James ventured into philosophy and psychology through the additional study of his brother William who was one of the first psychologists to think about what consciousness might be (another of my interests).

My husband had meantime signed up to the archaeology group, whose tutor was the curator of Blackburn museum. He was enthused by her knowledge and keenness to impart that knowledge. They concentrated on the North West after the departure of the Romans, 400-900 C. E.and the reversion of the local society to primitive ways, loss of coinage, loss of law and the loss of writing which laid open the way for Christian missionaries. The group were taken to Carlisle museum where they were allowed to examine Roman artefacts and given talks by the curators;, to the church in Dacre near Penrith where they saw artefacts from the reign of king Athelstan. All tutors do these courses for free and anyone who has knowledge and the ability to put several days of learning ,for others, together could be considered as a tutor.

We enjoyed a trip to the Theatre by the Lake “ in Keswick to see a production of the “Lady Killers”. All meals were provided, all diets catered for. On the final day we were treated to a recital by the ukulele group and to an art exhibition by the art group.

The final evening saw a gala dinner followed by a lecture by Dr Steve Barrett “the lighter side of astronomy” from Liverpool university astronomy department . He gave us a insight into the development of telescopes from Galileo to Hubble and beyond ,as well as updates on astronomical findings.The whole three days were exceptionally well organised and very enjoyable. Learning for the sake of learning from those who have deeper knowledge of different specialities than ones own, is wonderful and the U3A uses anyone with lifelong knowledge or deeper interest to teach others. And in summer school… it was an excuse to have a REET good time. Look it up on Google….!


First Aid Training Session

The First Aid Training Session will take place at the  Unitarian Chapel, Padiham on Wednesday January !5th 2020. It commences at 10 a.m. and runs until 12 noon.

Please note this is a one off session only and not the extended course advertised earlier.

U3A Calendar for 2020

The 2020 U3A Calendar produced by our photography  group is now available and can be picked up at the monthly meeting. The price is at cost this year and represents great value at only £4.00. If you would like one and cannot get to the meetings call Stuart Thorn and we will get one to you or tell you where you can pick one up.

December Open Meeting

The December  Open Meeting will be held at Nazareth Unitarian Chapel, Knight Hill, Padiham BB12 8JH on Thursday 12 December 2019 commencing at 2:30 pm. The meeting will feature the Pendle Jazz Men.

A full list of our Open Meetings for 2019/2020 is available on our Schedule of Open Meetings Page.

Fancy Becoming A Member?

If you fancy joining Burnley and District U3A and attending one or more of our Special Interest Groups please visit our How To Join Burnley and District U3A page. Guests are welcome to attend up to two monthly meetings at a fee of £2.00 per meeting or to attend one Special Interest Group meeting as a taster session. If you have questions or just want to know more about the local U3A you will be welcome to chat with one of our Greeters at the monthly meeting from 2:00pm. The monthly meetings are held at Nazareth Unitarian Chapel, Knight Hill, Padiham Lancs BB12 8JH (see our location) and commence at 2:30pm on the fourth Thursday of each month. Download our Introductory Brochure (PDF).