Redbourn U3A


The inaugural meeting took place in the village hall on 23 February 2013.

The U3A now meets at 2pm on every third Wednesday , with a talk at 2.30

Newsletters in PDF format click here

If you wish to join either pay at the next Meeting on October 15 or send a cheque for £25 made payable to Redbourn U3A , plus a stamped addressed envelope to Membership Secretary ( 4 Flint Copse, Crown Street, Redbourn AL3 7QE)



Remember, you must be a member of the Redbourn U3 A to join an interest group.

Members are reminded that they must contact the group coordinator if they wish to join a group, even if this list indicates that there may be space

If members are interest in groups that are not currenty running ,in the first instance please either email or or Diane Whiskin ( )

Special Interest Groups Details


Meet monthly, day of week and time of day varies. Spaces 3 Meetings for discussion and study of specific periods and styles of architecture. Visits have included Claydon, Ashridge and Waddesdon Manor.During winter we propose discussion groups on the “Picturesque” period and its various influences.

Birdwatching Meet third Tuesday of the month. Spaces—3 or 4. Visit bird sites in Hertfordshire and sometimes further afield. May have longer trips depending on members’ wishes. All members need to have binoculars and be reasonably fit as sometimes have to walk over rough terrain.


Meet monthly on the third Monday at 2 pm. Spaces—a very few due to limits of space as meetings are in each other’s homes. We select books in advance, often something new to us all, then discuss at the next meeting. The library service orders books free of charge. We never fail to be amazed at our differing views and opinions! All agree that reading a book for the group is different to a normal read.


Beginners meet every Tuesday 2-4 pm at Inger’s house.Spaces—Yes Improvers meet Mondays or Fridays Spaces—Yes 9 beginners at present, with 4-6 on average playing each session, which is ideal for learning. New members welcome.

Bus/train passes/exploring London

Meet monthly, Thursday, mid- morning to mid-afternoon.Spaces 6 Arrange outings by bus or train to local places of interest. We are hoping to organise outings to London venues in the coming months. Diary dates organised until Christmas ending with lunch at The Six Bells Public House in St. Albans.

Cake Decoration

Meeting every 4 weeks to start The aim is to marzipan, coat and decorate a Christmas cake and see how we go from there!


Meeting monthly on the second Wednesday at 2.30 pm.Currently 14 members, but could easily double that. Playing cribbage

Current affairs

Meet monthly on third Monday at 3 pm. Spaces 3 Participants bring a story in the news which they want the group to discuss and then a schedule will be agreed for each monthly topic. A visit to Parliament is being planned.

Flower arranging

Meet monthly on fourth Wednesdays at 2 pm in the small hall behind the Hollybush pub.Spaces 2 At the end of each session members are given a list of things that are required for next time and informed of the type of arrangement we will be creating. Members bring their own flowers and foliage. I have a supply of florist items which are available at wholesale cost.

French (Intermediate)

Meet fortnightly on second and fourth Mondays, 2.30 to 3.30 pm. Currently full with 12 members, but a vacancy may arise. Meeting starts by sharing any news, then a previously agreed theme is discussed. Impromptu conversation is encouraged. Members have asked for some more formal grammar for the last 15 minutes.


Meeting in members’ houses or Parish Centre if computer facilities required. Spaces—a few if Parish Centre used for meetings. Currently 15 members and setting up a buddy scheme for using computers. Parish Centre is ideal for meetings as IT and internet is free to public

Grumpy Old Women

Meets monthly Dates to be agreed with members Spaces—Yes At the first meeting in September, we had a good moan about things that niggled us that week. Next meeting 22nd October. Topics decided by members.


Initially agreed to meet monthly on fourth Tuesday afternoon of the month at 3.30 pm. Spaces—A few The first meeting was held in September when the group decided to discuss the cousins war series of novels by Phillippa Gregory. The group is seeking a coordinator.


Improvers meet for Italian conversation on alternate Tuesdays in member’s home or occasionally in a café. Spaces—Yes - one or two but some knowledge of Italian is needed.

Jazz Appreciation

Meet second Monday of month in member’s houses at 7.30 pm. Spaces— 1 or 2 We listen to different types of jazz and musicians, talk about it and hopefully appreciate and enjoy the music as well as the opportunity to meet up with friends in the process.

Mah Jong

Meet on Wednesday mornings once a month.Spaces 4 Chinese game played with tiles, along the lines of Rummy, but more complicated! Lots of etiquette to learn, but great fun!

Music Appreciation

Meet monthly on Wednesday afternoons.Spaces 2 We focus on one or two pieces of music and Jane talks about them and guides the group towards things to listen for, then we listen. Also discussion about instruments and some technical musical elements. What we do is determined by the group at the previous session.

Natural History Walks

Meets monthly on Thursday mornings.Currently 10 to 12 on average of the 30 members turn up, which is an ideal number. Spaces—none at present Walks to date have included Ashridge, near Potten End to visit Alpine Meadow nature reserve, then Dunstable Downs for spectacular orchids, College Lake near Tring for birds, bees and butterflies. More locally from Redbournbury Mill to Shafford and in September circular walk behind Willows Farm, where interesting lakes attract wildfowl and insects. There is usually not too much walking and Maxine is very observant and points out the wildlife to the group, with relevant information.


Meet monthly on the fourth Monday morning in the Cricket Pavilion Spaces—a few Meeting starts with the group deciding where to sit to paint a view and usually includes tea or coffee at about 11.30 am. In September, the venue was Redbournbury watermill. Members can bring a picture or photograph to copy if they wish.


Play second Friday of month at 10 am in St. Albans. Waiting list for members to form a Redbourn group. Mainly by U3 A? members from different groups, including 3 members from Redbourn. There is potential for us to have our own group and facilities if more members are interested.


Meet monthly but no set date or time.Spaces—2 or 3 Group members should have a digital camera. Not intended for basic instruction. The group decides on a theme and each member takes 10 photographs which are discussed next time. So far we have had one visit to take site specific photos. There may be more in the future.

Play Reading

Meeting monthly, usually on the second Wednesday of the month at 2.30 pm.Spaces—Yes, especially for men! There are about a dozen members, including 2 men, who have started reading Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink.


Meet monthly on Monday— Wednesday evenings to accommodate members other commitments Spaces—1 Exploring the wide range of psychology and following the interests of members.

Pub Lunches

Meet occasionally on Tuesdays. Spaces—a few. Currently 14 members. Meeting in a pub for a sociable lunch. The last meal was at The Farmers’ Boy at Kensworth and then a Christmas lunch is being arranged for December.


Meeting fortnightly at Hollybush on Tuesdays or Thursdays 2-4 pm.Spaces—Yes Playing scrabble for fun.

Sew, Knit and Stitch

Meet fortnightly on the second and fourth Monday afternoons Spaces—Yes, more members would be welcome Group started by bringing their own craft project to meetings and working sociably together. At a future meeting, members will learn how to do Tibetan crochet.

Spanish (Rusty)

Meet twice a month on first and third Monday, 11am —1 pm Spaces—1 or 2 We have a brief 15 minutes chatting about what we have been up to (in Spanish). We are reading a Spanish novel about a murdered girl (GCSE standard) and spend some time each meeting on grammar, but in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.


Every 2 weeks on Friday mornings with dates agreed in advance with the members. John Ridgwell keeps the list of dates and sends an e-mail reminder to group members one week ahead. Spaces—No but a second group is starting up. We set out on foot at 10.15 and walk at a moderate pace usually between 4 and 6 miles, sometimes starting from Redbourn. When going further afield, we meet at the Cricket Pavilion earlier to share cars. A pub lunch is an option at the end of the walk. There are currently 3 regular walk leaders and 22 members with more than half on any one walk.

Wine Appreciation

Meet monthly on Wednesday evenings in each other’s homes. Spaces—currently full with a waiting list! With the help of tasting notes, members sample 5 or 6 bottles of wine on a theme chosen by the host for the evening. No wonder there is a waiting list! Would anyone like to set up Wine Appreciation (2)?

INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS this is intended for members who want to learn basic computer useage such as sending emails or surfing the net




Speakers Secretary: Pauline Ridgwell

Monthly meetings are held in Redbourn Village Hall, High Street, Redbourn on the third Wednesday of each month. Doors open from 2.00 pm when refreshments are served and talks, lasting about an hour, start at 2.30 pm followed by notices and business items. Monthly meetings and refreshments are free of charge to members of Redbourn U3 A but there is a charge of £2.50 for visitors and potential new members who may attend two meetings before becoming a member.


2015 Speaker Programme

April 15 (Peter & Christine Padwick) "Banned & Censored - A light entertainment"

May 20 (Elizabeth Gowing) "The Rubbish Picker’s Wife – an unlikely friendship in Kosovo"

June 17 (Helen Leonard) Life as a Child in the Tower of London

July 15 (Elaine Trevor) Concert - Dunstable U3 A? Choir

Aug 19 (Ken Brazier) Mercy Ships

Sep 16 (Kate Bretherton) Good Trees, Bad Trees

Oct 14 * (Elizabeth Hamilton) Walking the Hertfordshire Way

Nov 18 (Rhys David) A Soldier in WW1 in the Near East

Dec 16 (Martin Sirot-Smith) Tudor Christmas



History of Redbourn U3A Group

The Launch Meeting of the proposed U3A was held on the afternoon of Wednesday 20 February 2013 in the Village Hall. It was extremely well attended, and such was the overwhelming interest we ran out of chairs, agendas, and questionnaires! This was very rewarding for the Launch Team who have been working towards the event since November.

The audience heard from 4 speakers who described their own experiences of being members of a U3A, and also the links and support at county, regional and national levels. So convinced were the audience of the benefits and enjoyment to be had, they voted without any hesitation in favour of forming a branch in the village.


Although the name “University of the Third Age” would seem to imply an in-depth academic experience, the word in this case means a group of like minded people who gather together to enjoy social and leisure activities, to learn from each other through participating in a wide spectrum of interest groups at a level suiting them. The first analysis of completed questionnaires from the meeting indicate the top ten interest groups for Redbourn are theatre trips, walks/health walks, garden visits, local history, history, books/reading, French, practical gardening, music appreciation and bus pass outings. However, there will be many more on offer to suit all tastes. In fact any member is encouraged to start up a group that they would like to see on offer.

The audience were told that any U3A is a self help group and needs its members to be involved. Already many people have volunteered to be members of the steering group which will see the newly formed branch through its first year. Likewise, a number of people have also volunteered to be Group Co-ordinators of the interest groups. This is very encouraging and positive, and augurs well for a very successful Redbourn U3A..

The inaugural meeting was on Wednesday 20 March, in the Village Hall, followed by a series of monthly meetings with a varied programme of speakers. If you are retired or semi-retired, you are very welcome to attend. The entrance charge for visitors is £2.50 and the talk starts at 2.30 pm.

Contact us by e-mail on for further information or 07528741947

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Topic revision: r43 - 24 Mar 2015 - 18:07:17 - Pauline Ridgwell
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