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Announcements of Monthly Meetings that are assigned to be on Zoom

WATCH THIS PAGE: As and when connection details become available they will be contained in a notification post following this one. A general post that informs of a planned meeting may appear here in advance of the formal invitation/connection post.

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difficulty, please email u3aton.zoom@gmail.com or u3aton@gmail.com.



John English       englij@hotmail.com          07771 865413

This is a member driven interest group with presentations on a broad  spectrum of geological subjects given every third Tuesday of the month at the Evangelical Hall in Douglas Road (14.00 to 16.00). No prior knowledge of the subject is required.

Members are encouraged to bring along current geological news stories, or geological specimens, for discussion. One or two field trips are arranged each year.

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

Aldwych Theatre, London, WC2B 4DF.
Thursday 17 February, 2022 at 2.30pm – £39.50

From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, TINA TURNER didn’t just break the rules, she rewrote them.

TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the boundaries of her age, gender and race.  Her voice is undeniable. Her fire is unstoppable. Her triumph is unlike any other. Featuring iconic songs, including What’s Love Got To Do With It, Proud Mary, Private Dancer and River Deep – Mountain High.

Priority will be given to those on the waiting list of previous theatre trips. If the visit is oversubscribed a ballot with be held and any member who is unsuccessful will have their cheque returned and their name put on a waiting list for returned tickets.

The closing date for applications is Friday 17 December, 2021.

Organiser: David Bell – 01732 302088 theatre.u3aton@gmail.com

Please note that U3A Theatre Visits are open to members only

Click here for Application Form

November News

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Link to TU3A June meeting – The Good! the Bad and the Ugly

Tonbridge U3a is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Please don’t join the meeting before 1:50 but do try to be settled by 2pm.

Topic: Tonbridge U3A June meeting – The Good! the Bad and the Ugly
Time: Jun 2, 2021 02:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 817 7560 6183
Passcode: 708252


Tonbridge U3A Zoom Team

Shakespeare Play Reading Group

This group will meet 4 times a year to read Shakespeare’s Plays. Definitely no
acting experience required. This is a reading session for people of all abilities.

If you are interested in joining this group please email groups.u3aton@gmail.com

Exploring Family History

For beginners and those who have experience but would like to brush up their knowledge of recent online resources. We will review free resources online, compare paid-for websites, and look at other online resources beyond censuses and birth/marriage/death information, such as old maps and employment and school records. I am interested in the wider social contexts of past family life: what was life like for our forebears? We hope to learn from each other and share both the joys and frustrations of this addictive work.
Bring your laptop to join wifi, and your notes, ideas and previous research in your family explorations.
Note: I am not able to help with researching through DNA.
We meet on the second Monday in the month from 2pm to 4pm in Hildenborough.
If you are interested in joining this group please email groups.u3aton@gmail.com

Handbook 2021- 2022

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Joining Pack 2020-2021


Joining Pack July 2021

Click here to download JOINING-PACK 2021

Ukulele Group

The Ukes3A Tonbridge ukulele group has not had a physical meeting or
performed any gigs for well over a year now. Our normal meeting place,
the Angel Indoor Bowling Club, has not been able to accommodate us
since the beginning of the first lockdown. Even when restrictions had been
temporarily relaxed we were still not allowed to sing or use the bar/
restaurant areas because of the aerosol effect and social distancing would
be impractical for a group of our size. Some may be grateful for small
mercies but it certainly posed a challenge for us since ukuleles are
principally used to accompany the singing. We don’t want to get out of
practice or miss the important fun and social aspects of ukulele playing, so
like many other groups who want to keep everyone going during the
pandemic we have been meeting up fortnightly on Zoom in order to keep
our hands and fingers in good shape despite the occasional arthritic
Sadly, ukulele Zooming is not as easy as it may look since it is not
possible for us all to sing at the same time. Members use a variety of
different devices, WiFi connections can be erratic and Internet speeds can
vary. The result is an earsplitting cacophony rather like having everyone
talking in a meeting at the same time. So, for each song we have a lead
singer, hopefully a volunteer. Everyone else is muted and they play along
at home on their own. Not good but better than nothing. But the ukulele is
not just about playing and singing. It’s a fun and sociable instrument which
seems to make people happy whether they are playing, singing or just
listening. Joe Brown (of the Bruvvers) who is also a world class ukulele
player, famously said (and sang) that “ukuleles should be prescribed on
the National Health”. Given the experiences of many during the last 12
months he certainly has a point! So we start with a good old natter.
Recently the most frequent subject has been “Have you had your
vaccination yet”? Then comes the singing.
Three of our members have moved out of the area during the pandemic but courtesy of Zoom (otherplatforms are available) they can still take part in our sessions. We will have to find another ‘virtual’ way of including them once we are back in the real world. That is a prospect we are looking forward to very much.

If you are interested in joining this group please email

Go to Ukulele Music Sheetsgroups.u3aton@gmail.com

Study Day Talk recording on Gardens and Wildflowers

The recording of the talk that Maureen Rainey from Kent Wildlife Trust gave to us as part of the study day on Gardens and Wildflowers is now available. You are welcome to access it using the link and the passcode below.  We enabled subtitles for this talk, we hope some members may find this feature useful.
Passcode: 5=hb#@bj

u3a Events

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Tonbridge U3A Privacy Policy

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Date to be confirmed – Travelling with Camels – John Hare

John Hare will be giving an illustrated talk on his three wild camel surveys in the Gobi Desert which were undertaken in 1999, 2005 and 2011.
John has led seven expeditions into Mongolia and Chinese Gobi to study
the critically endangered Wild Camel. He was the first foreigner to visit
Kop Nur (a nuclear test area) for over 45 years and the first foreigner in
recorded history to cross the Gashun Gobi from north to south. He also
discovered two unmapped valleys and a spring holding naïve populations
of wildlife.
He established a UK charity www.wildcamels.com to protect the wild
camel and in 2008 it was recognised as a new and separate species.
He has also crossed the Sahara with camels and has taken camels
around Lake Turkana in Kenya to raise awareness of the wild camel.

New branding for u3a

A fresh look for u3a 

u3a unveiled a fresh look for the movement at the Annual General Meeting.

The bright colours, lower case font, friendly language and new imagery better reflects the energy, connection and learning of this amazing movement.

Over the last year we have embarked on many conversations with the movement in this brand process.  The u3a movement is the living embodiment of positive ageing. We hope to position the movement at the centre of the national debate around ageing.

See more information on the National website https://www.u3a.org.uk/

Update on activities via Zoom

Currently Zoom is being used by some as an alternative way to keep connected at least to some extent.

Tonbridge U3A has purchased licences for Zoom, if any group leader wishes to use one of these licences please contact David Bell (u3aton.zoom@gmail.com).

We are now planning to have monthly meetings and study days via Zoom.

Please let us know if you would like to be able to view these meetings by emailing u3aton.zoom@gmail.com (initially numbers may be restricted and allocated on a first requested first served basis) full details of how to access the meeting will be published on the website (https://www.tonbridgeu3a.com), make sure you know your web account name and password (if in doubt email the web admin team at u3aton@gmail.com ).

If you are uncertain about using Zoom please read the article in last month’s journal and contact one of the Zoom mentors listed there if necessary.


Zoom Meetings

This page shows Tonbridge U3A scheduled Zoom meetings. Each planned meeting will be posted here, depending on the organiser’s wishes.
The title of each meeting will be displayed but to see more information you will need to login. Then the meeting’s ID, password and Zoom meeting link will be shown sometime before the meeting is scheduled to begin. Please try clicking the the link first before going on to use the ID and password.

Covid 19 scam advice

We have been told of the latest scam, please click below to read what to do

Covid 19 scam advice

How to install and use Zoom

Communicating with U3A friends

Here is a document discussing ways of communicating with other members, singly or as a group. There is paticular emphasis on Zoom: installation, setup and usage. Zoom has proved really useful and reliable. It is currently being used by at least 2 Tonbridge U3A groups.

Click the following link to access the document:

Communicating with others within our U3A


Contact Us (for members)

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Online Events from u3a National Office

Our relationship with leading organisations, built up over many years, has meant we are in a position to offer selected national events online ensuring that learning is still available to our U3As and their members. This includes events with the National Gallery, Royal Institution, Guildhall Art Gallery, and the British Library (for which there may be a charge).

We are also offering a number of workshops, webinars and interactive sessions delivered by members for members, which are free to join.

Many online events are being delivered via the Zoom video conferencing/webinar platform. We have some ‘How to Guides‘ and are offering ‘Online Tutorials‘  for using Zoom that may assist you if you are not familiar with this tool.

Click below



BBC Sounds Podcasts

As we are likely to be confined to our homes for some time, Kate Izzard has produced three information leaflets to show members how to access BBC Sounds.  To view of download, please click on the following links:

Information Leaflet 1

Information Leaflet 2

Information Leaflet 3

How to Use Zoom and WhatsApp

The U3A national website www.u3a.org.uk have produced ‘How to ..’ Guides on using Zoom and WhatsApp to keep in touch with each other.

Ctrl + click on this link to go to appropriate page.


Introduction to Autism Spectrum Conditions

On 18 July Liz Williams gave a two-hour presentation on Understanding and supporting people with autistic spectrum conditions, explaining the terms and indications associated with such conditions and giving ideas for supporting people of all ages with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and Social Communication Disorders. Liz has over 30 years’ experience in this field supporting children and young people in schools and adults in the workplace.

The session was oversubscribed and very well received. Liz has kindly agreed to publish the slides which supported her talk. View it by selecting the News & Events Menu, then choose Events and then Event Presentations Archive and then click on her presentation.

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

Tonbridge U3A Geology Group – Visit to Godstone Caves, May 2019

At the end of May a group of 10 people from the Geology group visited Godstone Caves in Surrey, escorted by members of the Wealden Cave and Mining Society (WCMS), including members Mike Stace and Paul Sowan. The club explore and maintain this dis-used quarry belonging to a local landowner.

The Godstone Caves complex is a former underground stone quarry, an extensive labyrinth of tunnels which in one area sits under the A22 between Caterham and Godstone. The hill side here was ‘mined’ for hearthstone and firestone dating back several hundred years

Post medieval times Godstone Caves produced stone which became renowned for refractory material due to its heat resistant properties, and termed ‘firestone’. It was used in hearths, chimneys, ovens, lime kilns and glass furnaces. It was also used as a mineral pigment for whitening stone floors, hearths and doorsteps (and known as ‘hearthstone’).

The quarries tunnel under the Upper Cretaceous chalk formation of the North Downs. The rock at Godstone Caves is a pale silicious sandstone, with carbonate content, formed about 110-100 million years ago in shallow marine conditions during the Upper Greensand and Gault division of the middle Cretaceous Period. The silica content is thought to be chemically precipitated and not detrital (derived from sand grains).

The quarry is now entered and exited via two narrow steel security gates. Many years ago the tunnels exited into an open quarry which was later filled with ash from Croydon power station to facilitate the construction of the A22 Caterham by-pass. In this area an escape shaft from the caves rises up to a man-hole cover in the pavement at the edge of the north bound carriage way.

Many of the passages are of stooping height only but occasionally open out into larger chambers of normal walking height. The floors in many places have been slightly elevated during a period when the caves were used as a mushroom farm. Large caverns open up from the main haulage routes, some of which were later backfilled with quarry rubble. At certain times of the year the caves are inhabited by a colony of bats.

Quarrying followed the dip of the beds, which is 4 degrees to the north, and took advantage of the natural jointing. A pillar and stall technique was used to extract the stone which was hauled out on iron tracks, or plate ways, by pit ponies which left distinct ‘whipple tree’ (harness) gouges in the walls of the main haulage routes. The stone was initially transported away on horse drawn carts and subsequently by rail from Godstone station.

In one of the passages a geological fault can be seen which offsets the roof stone by about 3 feet (below). During the late Mesozoic/early Tertiary era the south of England was subjected to the stresses and strains of the Alpine mounting building period in Europe which created the Weald Dome, a regional fold (anticline) of rock strata which has now been eroded into the landscape we see today.

There is a chamber where a skull and flipper of a Plesiosaur, a large marine reptile, were exposed in the roof by the quarry men .


Also of interest is the ‘Pretty Pool’, an area where calcium carbonate (calcite) precipitates from percolating ground water onto the wall and floor creating a ‘frozen waterfall’ effect

There are many former quarries along the trend of the North Downs. Stone from west of Godstone was hewn for use in building and valued as a ‘freestone’ suitable for carved ornamental work in buildings such as Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, and Rochester and Canterbury cathedrals. In the early to late 19th century good quality sands, varying in colour from dark brown through red to almost white,were extracted from the Folkestone Sands formation of the Lower Greensand Group at Reigate.  Sand from the ‘Reigate Mines’ was particularly prized for glassmaking.

Our tour of Godstone Caves took about 2 hours and after much head banging (we were wearing helmets) and stooping we were glad to be re-united with the exit and straighten up our aching bodies.

We would like to thank WCMS for their time and for showing us around safely.

John English

Geology Group Leader

A Reminder to All Members

On reviewing our advice on safety procedures we have decided to issue this reminder to all members.
Anyone who is the designated leader for any group outing, whether in town or country, should make sure everyone on that outing signs in on the day with a contact number.
In the event of any kind of incident involving that person, then the leader will know who to contact.
No one who is unwell or unable to continue should be left on their own.


Members’ Handbook 2018-2019 (reduced public version)

Handbook 2018-19 Public version

Committee Documents

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How to join pack

You may view/download a version of the Members’ Handbook here which (for data protection reasons) excludes contact details but will give you a taste of what Tonbridge U3A has to offer.  Please note, printed versions of this are not available.

Members may view/download the full version at Members > Publications and Documents)

Who to contact

Click here for Membership Application Forms in the How to Join pack

We always welcome new members and if you would like to join Tonbridge U3A please complete the Membership forms in the How to Join pack and send them to the Membership Secretary. If you have any queries, please email Membership Secretary

Annual membership is just £15 for one person, £25 for two people living at the same address.

What membership will offer

Monthly meetings: First Wednesdays 2.00pm – 3.45pm with guest speakers, followed by refreshments and the opportunity to introduce yourself to Committee Members (wearing blue badges), our Meet & Greet team (yellow badges), Group Organisers and other members.  Angel Centre car parks are Pay & Display.

Travel Team Outings monthly & several Theatre Visits:  Details and application forms provided in the monthly diary and on noticeboards at the monthly meeting.

Annual Handbook:   Management Committee contacts and general information. Lists of dates, topics or places for the next year’s Monthly Meetings and Outings. Description of each group’s activities with Organiser’s contact details. Published in July each year.

Groups:  Over 100 special interest groups. Contact the Group Organiser to join (listed in Handbook and updated in the Diary). Waiting lists kept if full. Details of next meeting dates, location & topic appear in the  monthly Diary.

Short Courses and Study Days:  National, Regional and Local. Advertised in TU3A Diary, Third Age Matters and their websites.

TU3A Diary:   Monthly 16 page diary reviewing what has been enjoyed and what is on offer next. Sent as pdf by email and available on website. Also provided in print for collection at monthly meetings or posted, to those preferring this version.

TU3A Website:  with a members-only area.

Members’ Welfare:  Please inform a committee member if you know of any member who is in hospital, unwell at  home  or  bereaved. We will arrange a phone call, visit or card with the good wishes of the Committee and members.

Third Age Trust:  Our national representative body provides support and resources.  Contact on 020 8466 6139 or at info@u3a.org.uk

Third  Age  Matters  Magazine:  posted  5  times  a  year from National U3A Office.

About U3A, U3A Benefits and Tonbridge U3A

National U3A Forthcoming Events

Watch the events page on events, U3A national website: (https://www.u3a.org.uk/events)

Further information on any of these from www.u3a.org.uk/events

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Venue List

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Tutorial Post no 1

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Not a Member of Tonbridge U3A?

As a member of the public you are prevented from seeing Tonbridge U3A private content.

If you are interested in joining Tonbridge U3A go to : How to Join


Members: Gaining Access to all the Website

To access most of the private member areas of this website you must:

  1. Be a member of Tonbridge U3A
  2. Then be registered as user on this website
  • As a member, you will receive email notification that you have been registered as a website user (usually within a few days of your membership taking effect):
    • Please read the Website Users Guide about how to log in
      • if you do not have a Tonbridge U3A Website Users Guide contact Web Admin
  • If you have used the instructions but still cannot login contact Web Admin
  • If  you do not receive notification of your registration within a reasonable period after joining them please contact Web Admin

The Website Users Guide gives you details about how to login. It also gives some guidance on areas on the website and how to Navigate them.


Logging in: The Three Most Important Things to Know!

There are only three important things to know when logging in:

  1. The website is tonbridgeu3a.com, not tonbridgeu3a.org
  2. Know how to create your pre-generated Username – see the Website Users Guide
  3. Know how to create your pre-generated Password – see the Website Users Guide

Navigation tip: the quickest way to a specific Interest Group after you log in:

  • Use the link on the Home Page:
    • To view our list of all Activity Groups – Click here: All Groups
  • or navigate through the menu:
    • Activities > All Groups Alphabetically

The Website Users Guide gives you details about how to login. It also gives some guidance on areas on the website and how to navigate them.

If you need a copy contact Web Admin

List of Booking Forms

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All Saints’ Church Tudeley – polite request for advance notice

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Advice on running groups

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Incident (formerly Accident) Report Form

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Tonbridge U3A General News

This page shows general information for all visitors to the Tonbridge U3A site.

History – World Affairs

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World Affairs

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Hot News

Lewis Hamilton wins Brighton Grand Prix three wheeler.

Latest News

Possible new group WAG 3 (Wine Appreciation)

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

The Drifters Girl – 26 January 2022

Redacted Handbook 2021-2022

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

Exploring South West Wales – Saturday 23 April to Saturday 30 April 2022

Our holiday for 2022 will be 8 days exploring the history and heritage of this area of the UK.

Fancy a Cuppa? Next meeting – Friday 19 November