Newsletter from your Chairman June 2022



Hi everyone,

Here we are halfway through the year and I still feel we are trying to catch our tails after the two years of lockdowns and restrictions.  We are just one month away from the end of our u3a year with the AGM set for Wednesday 27 July.

I’m sorry that I missed Andy Thomas’ talk on the bonfire traditions of Lewes.  Feedback to me reported that he was his usual brilliant self.  There was considerable surprise when Andy pointed out that there were in fact six Bonfire Societies in Lewes – while Edenbridge has just one!  It certainly makes Lewes unique in the way it celebrates Guido Fawkes.

Back here in the UK  we have witnessed some magical scenes and events around the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  I may be biased but we do events like this in such a polished and brilliant way in the UK.  The opening to the Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace with the Queen and Paddington Bear having tea was just brilliant, and the technical organisation of the concert was incredible particularly the drone display in the sky over Buckingham Palace at the end. Most of us would struggle to handle one drone let alone the 400 that were used to create the stunning images in the sky.  Well done team UK!


Hopefully, now that most of you have had your fourth dose of vaccine,  you will feel less vulnerable to the coronavirus – but it is still out there and, at the time of writing this newsletter, the number of new infections has started to rise again.  There appear to be two new variants of the virus causing this surge in new infections.

As a child I was brought up on the saying ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ The latest edition of u3a ‘Third Age Matters’ has an interesting article saying that some GPs are recommending joining their local u3a as a positive way to ‘keep fit and help keep the brain going’!  Not sure how your local doctor would phrase that on your prescription, but it is one of our key aims here in Edenbridge u3a to ‘Keep you active, healthy and a believer in lifelong learning’.

We are fortunate that so many of our members are willing to share their hobby or expertise with you as group leaders.  In our u3a we have fifty such people who willingly give up their time for free to share their knowledge and skills with you on a regular basis. Much of their communication to you is through email or WhatsApp. Please, if you are unable to attend their next group meeting, do remember to let them know as  some group leaders have told me that their members are not always doing this .

Lady Crabtree

This month our meeting on 29th June sees a welcome return of Lady Constance Crabtree who entertained us wonderfully talking about how to grow old disgracefully.  This time her talk is entitled ‘Glad to be grey’ where she will be continuing her celebration of maturity and how to survive the advancing years with the plethora of modern wizardry today - bar codes, QR codes and many more  that we battle against. The photo on the right shows her talking to our group a few years ago.


Finally that message that I have issued so many times in recent years. The  Government’s decision  to offer cash sums to help with fuel poverty and the cost of living has provided new opportunities for scammers to get hold of your money.  Do not respond to ‘out of the blue’ telephone or email requests to ‘get your money to you quickly’.  They are from merciless scammers who see this as yet another opportunity to scam  you out of your entitlement to money!

Best wishes

Mike Collins

Email [email protected]

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Previous editions  of our newsletter can be found in the Newsletter archive