Newsletter from your Chairman November 2019


At the last meeting I suggested that we should look down as well as up to enjoy both the Autumn colours and the amazing fungi on display this year. The rain has probably stopped many of you from getting out into the countryside but there have been some lovely Autumn colours.


After the bumper apple crop there also appear to be many berries on our trees and shrubs. So, as the old saying, goes “a profusion of berries a severe Winter foretells”. Does this mean we are in for a very icy, snowy few months? Certainly the female holly trees in the woods around here are laden with bunches of red berries this year. 


We shall see, but the scientist in me suggests that so many berries is the result of good pollination and not the plant preparing for a Winter of snow and ice.


So to our November meeting on the 26th. Our planned guest speaker, Geoff Beer, has just let us know that he cannot make our meeting for medical reasons. Our speaker co-ordinator, Paddy, has come up trumps and found a replacement at the last minute. We now have Debbie Lewington talking on the “The History and Origins of Flamenco”. Apologies if you had hoped to find out whether GCHQ had you on their watched and wanted list, but we have the prospect of a very interesting alternative.

As your Chairman I have represented our U3A at a Kent meeting recently. In Kent alone there are 32 U3A groups running. Canterbury has the largest membership with 1470 members, and Tonbridge (1247), Sevenoaks (1044) and Tunbridge Wells (1100) are not far behind with over 1000 members each! Our current membership stands at just over 200 members with another 50 (who were members up to June 2019) not renewing yet. At our last committee meeting we decided that these members have until December to renew or they will have their membership withdrawn. So, if you are one of the forgetful ones above, renew your membership now. For the 200+ members who have renewed their membership for 2019/2020 a big “thank you!”.
Across the country there are some 430,000 people members of 1040 U3A groups. Out of this total there are some 200 groups in the South East.

NEXT year – June 3rd 2020 has been designated “U3A Day” when it will be a day to celebrate the organisation. We are open to ideas as to how we can celebrate the day to put Edenbridge U3A on the map. So if you have any ideas please share them with us on committee.

Christmas is coming – and no, I am not telling you how many shopping days are left. BUT our December meeting will be a Christmas-themed meeting a little different from our normal monthly meeting and is on Tuesday 17th December. In keeping with the festive theme our guest speaker, Pete Allen, will be looking at ‘The History of the Pantomime’. Oh no he isn’t - oh yes, he is! His talk will be followed by serving you a selection of Christmas cake washed down with some festive drink options. The finale is a 20-minute concert by our local Ukulele group. I’m not sure whether they will be selling CDs of their music for lovers of that genre! (Only kidding!)

Now to the important part – you need to tell us if you are coming as we need to know exact numbers that are attending for catering purposes.

You can do this in one of two ways:

  1. At the door of our NOVEMBER meeting (26th) where you will be asked if you want to come and if the answer is ‘yes’ you will be given a numbered ticket.
  2. By email to me [email protected] before the 15th December where I will allocate a ticket to you and it will be available on the door at the DECEMBER meeting.

Your ticket will be automatically entered for a chance to win a prize at the December meeting. As the saying goes ‘you have to be in it to win it!’.

Looking DOWN and Looking UP

autumn leaves

Look forward to seeing you on the 26th
Best wishes

Mike Collins

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