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Dates for your Diary

Friday 9 February 10.30am – 12noon

New members’ meeting at the Rose and Crown Hotel, Tonbridge


Tuesday 19 May 7pm – 9pm

Angel Centre, Tonbridge

French Dance – more details to follow

Valentines Quiz Thursday 17 February 2022

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Monthly Meeting Speakers 2022

Meetings open to all members; First Wednesday of the month
2.00pm to 3.45pm

Meetings and venues will be publicised on the web site and in the monthly
Journal as they become available.

Please note: Due to Covid and / or unforeseen future circumstances /restrictions, some of the arranged events may have to be changed at short notice.

Further details on future presentations will be published on the website
and in the Monthly Journal as they become available.


2 FEBRUARY – Imogen Corrigan
The Significance of the Ship Burial at Sutton Hoo

Our February talk will be presented by Imogen Corrigan who spent nearly
20 years in the army before going to the University of Kent where she gained 1st Class Honours in medieval and Anglo-Saxon history. She subsequently got an M.Phil from the University of Birmingham. She has written a book (Stone on Stone: the men who built the Cathedrals) and she works as a freelance lecturer. She lectures for the Arts Society, U3As, the National Trust and numerous other societies as well as running study tours for ACE Cultural Tours and Martin Randall Travel.
Her presentation will focus on The significance of the ship burial at Sutton Hoo relating to the extraordinarily rich hoard found at Sutton Hoo which dates to the early 7th century and gives us a rare snapshot of the wealth of the country at the time; how the Anglo Saxons interacted with other cultures and how status operated within Anglo-Saxon society. What we cannot yet prove is who was buried within the ship in the mound, although the popular theory is that it was King Rædwald of East Anglia. This lecture uses images of the treasures found as well as Old English poetry to discuss kingship and power in Anglo-Saxon England as well as what sort of person the Chieftain might have been.


2 MARCH – Mary Smith
A Schoolgirl’s War

Our March talk, A Schoolgirl’s War will be presented Mary Smith who has
spent her career in teaching. Her involvement in the subject of her talk came about because, while she was headteacher of a large secondary school in Kent, they made two fascinating discoveries which gave a vivid and unusual insight into school life in WW2. One of these was the uncovering of an extensive set of tunnels used as underground classrooms, and the other was the discovery of a fascinating and exquisite set of paintings of wartime schooling created by a wartime art teacher who set out to document the lives of schoolgirls and their
teachers in paint and pencil as the war unfolded. These paintings provide a unique and intriguing record.


6 APRIL – Bertie Pearce
‘Now You See It, Now You Don’t’ – The Art of Visual Deception

4 MAY – Michael Smith
Captain Francis Crozier

Study Day Report by Deborah Slater

The second part of Dr Geoff Doel’s virtual study day took place, via Zoom,
on 13 November (the first being on 23 October on “The Green Man”). This
time the subject was “Outsiders – Poachers, Smugglers, Highwaymen and
Pirates”. Dr Doel provided an entertaining, informative and sometimes
lurid account of these occupations with particular reference to activities in
Kent. Once again, there was a good attendance with 25 devices logging
on. The talk concluded with a question and answer session and Dr Doel
subsequently said how much he had enjoyed meeting (virtually) Tonbridge
U3A and that he would be pleased to be invited again.

A further study day talk took place on 9 December by Toni Mount; again
circumstances dictated that this had to be via Zoom. Toni Mount is an
authority on medieval history and the subject of her talk was “A Medieval
Christmas”. 44 devices logged on for this and the talk provided a
fascinating insight into the origins of many of our present day festive
traditions, although some have clearly been modified over the centuries
(e.g. kissing under the mistletoe being a notable example of a Yuletide
tradition rendered respectable).

The next scheduled study day talk will be on Wednesday 10 February at
10am to 12 noon, when Jane Lloyd will present “Jane Eyre: a Conundrum
Revisited” (exploring the novel’s perennial fascination, and also its more
puzzling contradictions).

In the meantime – many thanks again to the Zoom team without whom
these talks would not be possible, and also thanks to those who organise
the publicity.

Review of Honey Bee Talk

In October we were privileged to hear a talk on Honey Bees by Liz Birchenough who keeps bees and is a member of the Sevenoaks & Tunbridge Wells Beekeeping Association. We learnt that a queen bee can lay up to 2000 eggs a day;  that worker bees can fly 2 – 3 miles in search of pollen & nectar;  that immature bees stay in the hive for a couple of weeks while they grow strong and drones patrol outside and fan their wings to ventilate the hive.

Very interestingly, we were shown the inside of a hive, the section where the queen lays the eggs and the section where the queen (being larger) cannot access and the honey is stored for lean times. It is this stored honey that the beekeepers, clad in all their protective clothing, head gear and marigold gloves, risk the wrath of the bees for the sweet golden delight.

But the most memorable thing we learnt was how mucky you can get if are a beekeeper!

Rosie Bairstow

Hop Picking Study Day

Our first ever whole day session, the Hop Picking Study Day in September, was sold out early and we apologise to anyone who was not able to get a ticket.Unlike our usual presentations, our three excellent speakers – Barbara Myatt, Anne Hughes and Katharine Coleman – were “in house” and all gave really interesting talks on the history of hops, the Hartlake tragedy and pubs and breweries in Tonbridge. Katharine would like to thank Ian Nicholson for allowing her to use his material which formed the basis of her lively talk.

During the coffee break we ran clips from YouTube (compiled by our own Dave Rowland) and after lunch we watched a compilation of historic clips researched by Derek Hopcroft (also “in house” of course) from the Tonbridge Film Makers Archive. There was a certain amount of audience participation, particularly after the lunch break. This might have had something to do with some of us having sampled the beer “cocktail” offered courtesy of Harvey’s Brewery and draught beer courtesy of Tonbridge Brewery!

Thank you to all the members who supported this study day and huge thanks to the Events Team and David Bell (theatre team), for the hard work that went into organising the excellent displays of information and hops, as well of course for helping on the day. Special thanks to Kate Izzard for leading the whole day.


Vintage Film and Cream Tea Report

We watched with delight as three small children played on a South Coast beach in 1903 and thought how similar they were to our own grandchildren playing on a similar beach in 2003 (though the style of the swimsuits was very different!)

We gasped in amazement as we saw a man dangling from a rope over the side of a cliff in 1908 and then swinging into a crevice to collect seagull eggs. We were fascinated by Miss Margaret Morris’s Merry Mermaids in their floaty Greek-style tunics dancing in a circle on a rather damp-looking beach, and we were stunned by the elegance of the ‘flappers’

at a seaside town in the late 1920s. All these black and white films had stylish and wittily written understanding. We then watched a film about the reconstruction of Dover after WW2, interesting but with a rather woolly sound commentary. Later films brought back happy seaside memories for most of us.

This delightful entertainment was rounded off by an excellent tea consisting of a variety of sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, some delicious fancy cakes and, of course, a nice cuppa.

It was served by ‘nippys’ in black uniforms with white aprons and white headbands, whilst we all enjoyed chatting with old friends and newer acquaintances at our various tables.

The whole afternoon was beautifully organized by the TU3A committee. We hope very much that it will be repeated another year. 

Gill Hoare


New: Presentations Archive for this website

We are now starting to add archives of presentations to the website. To access, go to News & Events->Events->Event Presentations Archive to read.

This will be a process of processing these presentations for the website. We hope to gradually build up this archive but will be a slow process so please bear with us.

If you are interested in having presentation from your own group added to the archive, please contact Web Admin. We will need to assess its value to the whole membership as well as its structure as being suitable for the website before we can then process it.

Click here: Presentations Archive

Event Presentations Archive

This page contains a list of Tonbridge U3A with links to them. They will usually be in pdf format but may also be in others such a YouTube videos

Introduction to Autism Spectrum Conditions
Liz Williams18/07/2019
End of WW1 Commemoration projectSally Morton07/11/18

Lasting Power of Attorney Event Report

Around 70 members came along on 20 February to a really interesting and informative presentation on Lasting Powers of Attorney given by Gaye Ilsley.  She talked from her own experience of problems she encountered with LPAs and what she has learned.  She is prepared to arrange “tea and a chat ” with any members who would like to meet her for advice at no initial cost.  She declared a financial interest, in that she is affiliated to a legal firm which can draft  an LPA for you but in no way promoted it at the presentation.

However, TU3A cannot of course in any way endorse her services.

Below are the slides from her talk and other notes which you might find useful, together with how to get in touch with her.

The talk raised £66 which was doubled by Santander so £132 was sent to the Alzheimer’s Society.


Claiming Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney Handout

Hog Roast photo gallery

All these memories of the Hog Roast are courtesy of Ray Fairburn – many thanks Ray!  Click on the first image to enlarge it and you will then be able to click on Next Image to scroll through.

Hallowe’en Quiz photo

Thank you to the organisers for a very enjoyable evening and nice company – please do it again next year.   John & Pauline




Great evening, really got the brain cells working!

Fantastic event, well organised as always by the wonderful Events team, a good excuse to dress up!

Many thanks to the organisers and the excellent Quiz Master and his assistant.



 Serves approx. 75


  • a summer afternoon at Tonbridge Juddians Rugby Club
  • old friends
  • new friends
  • music by Chicory Tip
  • more music by TU3A’s own DJ Dave Rowlands
  • dancing shoes
  • singing voices
  • hog roast
  • salads

Bring all these ingredients together for an afternoon of fun and laughter

This recipe worked brilliantly for our summer get together in August.  Many thanks to the chefs who put it all together.  Only hoping we will use the recipe again.  Must give my knees plenty of warning.  They have not danced like that for years!

Barbara Burns






Isle of Wight Holiday Review – June 2017

Isle of WightThe holiday organised by the TU3A Travel Team took 41 members to the Isle of Wight.  The group stayed in a hotel in Sandown and in the course of their 5-day stay visited Shanklin (including the Christmas Shop – in June!), the Royal Estate of Osborne House (to see St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham as well as the house itself and the Swiss Chalet), the Chine and the WW2 pipeline, Brading Roman Villa, Ryde, Alum Beach and The Needles, and Yarmouth.  For a full review of this action packed trip, visit the Travel Team’s website:—review.html

TU3A Holiday in North Wales – April 2018

We are grateful to Eva Trippett for a witty and lively review of the TU3A holiday to North Wales in April of this year.  Places visited include the National Arboretum, a hydro electric plant and other industrial heritage sites, the National Slate Quarry with workmen’s cottages and steam train, the Copper Museum, Bodnant Garden and Portmerion.  This bland list doesn’t go any way to giving a flavour of the wonderful holiday that all clearly had.  For more, go to the Travel Team website:

April 2018 North Wales

TU3A’s End of WWI Commemoration Project

 Aim of Project:   Commemorate the Centenary/100 years since the End of the First World War 1914-1918
Acknowledge the contribution & sacrifices  made by our Parents/Grandparents
Appreciate the impact of WWI  on the lives of our Parents/Grandparents
Individual Activity Suggestions: Establish what each Parent/Grandparent contributed/experienced

Compile a War/Campaign Diary/Timeline for relatives who served Find family items from that era: medals, documents, cards, ephemera

Digitise family photos of the period for younger generations

Watch WWI related films/documentaries, perhaps with other members

Group Involvement Possibility: Each group devote at least one meeting to a group-related WWI theme Write up their activity for a TU3A website project page with photo(s)

Whole TU3A Event: Wednesday 7 November 2018:  Angel Centre Meeting devoted to WWI Performing Arts then Craft & Memorabilia Display & Tea upstairs Poetry tributes, Recorders, Sing-a-Long of WWI songs with Ukuleles

Slideshow throughout of our digitised photos, some with commentary

Display Art and Crafts made by Individuals/Groups

Show our Ephemera and Family Photos Exhibition of photos and newspaper clippings etc of Tonbridge in WWI

Tea with WWI recipe cakes & biscuits Rooms decorated with homemade bunting & Poppies

Attendance in period dress encouraged

Barn Dance Photos

Oberammergau Passion Play & Austrian Lake District: Postponed until 2022

Once every ten years the people of Oberammergau are all involved in producing a Passion Play in response to a vow that was made by the village elders in 1633 at the time that the great plague swept through Europe. People from all over the world come see the play and we are hoping that some of you would like to join us in this spectacular event. We are combining it with a holiday in the Austrian Lake District. We have to apply early as the places for the play and the overnight stay are fully booked years ahead. The holiday includes Salzburg, cruise on Lake Wolfgangsee, St Gilgen and St Wolfgang, Hallein Salt Mines, Berchtesgaden, Kaiservilla at Bad Ischi, Hallstat plus some optional visits. You will stay at the Hotel Gasthoff Brauwirth in Lengfelden and one night in Oberammergau.

The cost includes all the outings mentioned above, accommodation and half board throughout the stay, tickets for the play, coach in Austria, flights and a tour manager. The cost is £1,299 (the night stay in Oberammergau and the play tickets are expensive). We ask for a deposit cheque of £150 per person,  which is fully refundable until the end of January 2019. The full amount is payable 60 days prior to going. If you are interested in coming on this once in a lifetime event please return the form below with a deposit of £150 per person made out to Tailored Travel and enclose an A5 stamped addressed envelope for the full details to be sent to you.  Send to Margaret Pavlidis, 70, Mabledon Rd, Tonbridge, TN9 2TG.  ( 01732 359241)



Intrepid travellers of the Travel Group on their recent holiday in Italy

Italy Holiday 2017

Copyright Geoff Sharp


Tonbridge U3A flyers

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Latest News

Dates for your Diary

Friday 9 February 10.30am – 12noon

Valentines Quiz Thursday 17 February 2022

Medway Hall, Angel Centre, Tonbridge

TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL – Thursday 17 February, 2022 at 2.30pm

Aldwych Theatre, London, WC2B 4DF.

Possible new group WAG 3 (Wine Appreciation)

At present there are 2 Wine Appreciation Groups (WAG 1 and 2).

Redacted Handbook 2021-2022

Please click here to read our Handbook 2021-2022 which has personal details removed.

Fancy a Cuppa? Next meeting – Friday 21 January 2022