Lea Valley U3A


The Virtual U3A

The Virtual U3A (vU3a), which went live in January 2009, is an online-only U3A experience for those who are rendered isolated in some way by circumstances or geography and unable to play a full part in a terrestrial U3A. More information is available on the public website where one can also apply for membership.
Why not pay it a visit?
Virtual U3A Website

If you know anyone who might benefit, please pass the information on.

Exploring London Group 8

Walk around the Royal Parks.

Hoddesdon Heritage Weekend

June Crew's Good Friday Nature Walk
Hertford Heath


Our newsletter has been produced as a downloadable (pdf) file, which should be compatible with any computer. It contains information covering meeting dates, forthcoming events, all our Groups etc.

To view the latest edition please "click" on the link:- 


Please note that contact details (phone numbers, e-mail addresses etc) for Group Leaders and Committee Members are not shown in this on-line version of the Newsletter, as this is open to anyone with access to the internet, and we wish to protect this information. Therefore members need to refer to the paper copy you may have collected at a meeting (or a copy may have been emailed to you direct), as those versions contain personal contact information.

Anyone can use the club's email system to make contact with us - please refer to the left hand margin on the 'CONTACTS' page for details.



We spent a week in Worcestershire recently, and really enjoyed the carpets and clumps of snowdrops everywhere as forerunners of spring. Today, though, a cold snap has hit us, and snow lies on the ground with a promise of more to come. Winter seems to have returned.
Yet I can’t help but feel optimistic as I look ahead to what Lea Valley has lined up for you in the coming months.

On March 19th at 2pm, another of our Interest Afternoons – “Bygone Artefacts” – will be held at the Parish Centre. Jeff Nicholls will be bringing along some objects for us to identify in a light-hearted competition.

John Mills is holding another of his popular Quizzes on April 30th. They are always great fun, and good for the brain!

On May 21st, Lee Rayner, Alison and Malcom Gordon will be performing ”Made in Heaven”, an informal presentation about Love and Marriage, with music. This will also be held at the Parish Centre. More details of these events can be found elsewhere in the newsletter.

Finally, some advance news about our July meeting. Our speaker will be talking on “All My Loving”, the lives and music of the Beatles, and we plan to have various Beatle-themed activities and events during the afternoon. We intend to involve our Groups in some way, but details are not yet finalised.

I hope you agree that there is plenty here to look forward to. In closing, I would like to wish you all a “Happy Easter”!

Mary Cole

Learn                 Laugh                 Live


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Congratulations and well done to everyone who helped with the display in the High Street this year.  It was our 5th year and was again a huge success.  Photos (above) are also currently on the National U3A Office website. Our fame is spreading across the UK and we are already well known locally for our work.  When we were installing it, members of the public were watching and asked if it was the U3A again!  Our beautiful Christmas Tableaux which were on display at our November meeting were also installed in Hoddesdon Library.  Special thanks to Elaine Penrose – our designer – and to all those who knitted for us.  Wonderful effort!

To see more photographs and comments please click on this link:


Barbara Cordina                                                                     
Joint Group Leader with Elaine Penrose and Anne Northcott


The DVD capturing the highlights of our anniversary meeting on 10th July 2017 made by John Astin is now available on YouTube, and can be seen by clicking on this link:-


Our thanks go to John for making and sharing this DVD. An extended version of the DVD can be purchased from John, for you to keep as a permanent reminder.

Other items produced at the time of the anniversary, namely "The History of Our Groups" and a "Silver Anniversary Brochure" can be found further down this page.


Lea Valley U3A Line Dancers celebrated Christmas and Halloween 2017 in style. You can see pictures by clicking on the link below:


Make your New Year Resolution to come along and join us, keep fit and have a lot of fun !!

We meet on a Monday 11am – 12.30pm at Barclay Hall in Hoddesdon (opposite Morrisons). This is our 'improvers' class.

**We are starting an Absolute Beginner class on
Monday 9th April 2018 at 10am, before our Improvers class.**

If you have never tried Line Dancing before, come along and have a go.  It’s a good workout for your body and brain.  We are a very sociable and happy group.

Cyndy, our tutor, makes the whole session fun and is very patient with all of us.

If you are interested please contact us at Line Dance table at Lea Valley Meeting, or send an email using the CONTACTS button (top left of this page), then the email address is in the left margin.



We are delighted to announce that two new groups launch in 2018:


First meeting will be held at 2pm on Thursday 18th January, then the first and third Thursday of the month. Meet at Hoddesdon Library.


The first visit will be in conjuntion with General History group, and will be a guided tour of The Wallace Collection  on Moday 26th Februray 2018, cost 10.


Spring Wedding for Harry & Megan

As I packed away the Royal Family display after our Summer Celebration little did any of us expect they would make an appearance for some years. So without doubt the Royals will be back on show once again  In readiness for the day we need to refresh and add a few figures to our tableau.

So if you enjoyed helping us in the past, your help would be appreciated for this special outing…..   

Please contact me, Elaine Penrose, or Barbara Cordina who will be  on the "Boys Toys.." table at the January meeting,

For more information please click on this link:

quizimage.JPGLVU3A's 11th FUN QUIZ - MON 30TH APRIL 2018 quizimage.JPG

Back by popular demand, our 11th Fun Quiz will take place at the usual venue, St Augustine's Parish Centre, Broxbourne on the date shown above.

Quiz will commence at 1.30 sharp and usually finishes around 4pm. Admission charge remains at 2 (2.50 for non-LVU3A members) which includes tea and cake and prizes for the winners. How do they do it I hear you ask!

Tickets will be on sale at our March and April monthly meetings. Tickets will also be available on the door, subject to capacity of the hall, but we would much prefer if you can buy tickets in advance (or phone or email us to let us know you are coming) as this helps us with the catering and so we know how many tables to set up at the venue.

Either arrange your own teams on tables of up to 8 people, or just come along by yourself or with a colleague and join a table when you get there and make some new friends.

Come along and exercise those brain cells at a quiz that we have designed to be not too taxing.



You are probably not aware that U3A members from the South East are involved in a Shared Learning Project at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich – one of the world’s greatest heritage destinations.

A major conservation project of the Painted Hall is underway, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Painted Hall walls and ceiling are being cleaned and conserved to return clarity of colour and vibrancy to Sir James Thornhill’s 300 year old masterpiece.

Eight U3A photographers, selected from U3As around London, have been recording in pictures the volunteers, staff, contractors and members of the public who are involved in the project as it happens.

Learning Project coordinator Roger Mead from London South East U3A said, “This is a very interesting project because we are not looking at the ceiling but at the workers making the project happen, capturing the moments, the hard work and commitment of everyone involved. The photographers are also learning much about their art from taking on this project. We are working towards an exhibition next year.”
The Painted Hall is open to the UK Public for ceiling tours until summer 2018 - www.ornc.org.



We send our congratulations to Hoddesdon Library as they reach their 40th Anniversary.

Our Busy Fingers Group  made a Garden Tea Party display which was on show in the library from 3rd to 14th October, as part of their celebrations.

You can see pictures of the display by clicking on the links below:



To mark our 25th Anniversary in 2017 our Group Leaders contributed to a commemorative booklet entitled “HISTORY OF OUR INTEREST GROUPS, 1992 – 2017”.

The content was then compiled by our then Chairman, Barbara Cordina, and the result can be seen by clicking on the link below. This is a wonderful record of the multitude of Groups we have, which are the lifeblood of our U3A.
(Please be patient, as it is a large file, and may take some time to open, depending on the speed of your computer.)



As part of our 25 Year Celebrations, Lee Rayner and Joan Underwood produced a 25th Anniversary brochure. 

This contains details of our 25 year history since 1992, with photographs, and is very interesting.  We thank them for their hard work on this project. which can be seen by clicking on the link below.


The Third Age Trust issues a monthly national newsletter with news from the national office as well as from UK branches.

Visit the national  U3A website page (go to the 'Links' page in the the top left of the margin). Under "Other Websites" you will find the U3A National Website.

On the 'About' tab on the website you can view the Newsletter Archive. You may need to register on the site and set up a password to access all content.

You can also arrange to have their new Newsletters emailed to you each time they are published.



Can you spare an hour or two a week to listen to children read in a local primary school? Schoolreaders is looking for more volunteers in Hertfordshire to carry out this important role. Reading time for many children at home and at school is often insufficient and one in four children are now leaving primary school unable to read to the required standard.

Please visit the website www.schoolreaders.org to join or call 01234 924111 for further information, or click on this link:



We are looking for somebody to take over our National Trust group.  This involves organising visits to National Trust Properties.  Joan Ellis has run this group very successfully for many years but feels she needs to stand back for a while, for personal reasons, although she will be very willing to help whoever takes the group over.

These are very worthwhile visits for our members.  Please let me know if you would like more information about what is involved.  It would be a shame to see this group close because of lack of interest.

Please.contact our Group Co-ordinator Dennis Bruce or any committee member.



Many of you are members of our Interest Groups and they cover a wide variety of subjects and activities.

However, we are always looking for new ideas for different groups from our members, and our Group Co-ordinator, Dennis Bruce, will help to set up new groups.

Just speak to any member of the committee if you have any suggestions, we are not asking you to be involved yourself unless you want to, we just need the ideas.

A few suggestions are:-  Scrabble, Quilting, Exploring Local Churches, Current Affairs, Wine Appreciation etc. There is no end to subjects which may interest others.

Please help us to provide more for our members.


Celebration of 1000 U3As, Plus Special Offers For Members

The Third Age Trust (National Office of the U3A) have placed a copy of the video recording of the Celebration of 1,000 U3As on YouTube. This can be viewed by clicking on this link: 


They have also announced a special offer which are available to members.

This is from a company called "My History" who are specialists in genealogy (family history) supplies, where if you enter the dsicount code U3A2017 you will get 10% off.


U3A Merchandise

By clicking on the link below you can see a poster displaying the available, and their (very reasonable!) prices.
Do stop by the Sales table in the Foyer.


Broxbourne Arts Forum ("BArts")

Lea Valley U3A is affiliated to BArts, and one of our members is present at a table in the bar area at all monthly meetings, with leaflets and information.

BArts offers activities and events which are not usually provided by the Borough of Broxbourne's Leisure and Entertainments programme.

It also represents the arts interests of individuals and member groups and negotiates with the Borough, so that the arts community may enjoy greater recognition and leisure facilities on a par with the provision for sports.

For more information either come to the table at our main meetings or visit the BArts website at:



Lea Valley Discussion Group

This local society, founded in 1976, meets on Monday evenings usually twice a month at the Methodist Church Hall, Middlefield Road, Hoddesdon.

For more information and contact details please click on the link below:

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