Life-long learning celebrates 25 years

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Members of retirement organisation the University of The Third Age celebrated 25 years of running meetings in Bedfordshire.

The U3A held an indoor garden party at the Addison Centre, Kempston, for 195 members.

The party started with a welcome speech followed by a strawberries-and-cream tea.

Rosemarie Evans, who chairs the Bedfordshire branch, said the organisation was started in 1982 in France as a way for retired people to share their knowledge and socialise with others with similar interests.

The Bedford U3A was set up in 1989.

Mrs Evans said: “We have about 863 members and hold two open meetings a month.

“Groups will also organise trips, or those with specialist knowledge can help others and lead groups in topics, such as gardening, music appreciation, yoga, French, and many others. We have 61 interest groups.”

She added: “Sometimes when people retire they can feel a bit isolated.

“The U3A is a great way to socialise and find new interests.”

During this summer, the branch has organised trips to such destinations as Southwold and the filming location of the TV hit programme Midsomer Murders.

For more information about the organisation and fore meeting times, visit