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Report on Brackley U3A Open Morning from a non-member
Brackley U3A, formed less than a year ago, held an 'Open Morning' on Thursday 18th August at the Methodist Church, High Street, Brackley.  I went along just out of interest and with no preconceived ideas and I was so impressed even before I had walked through the door. 
 
The Methodist Church is situated on the High Street in Brackley and has no parking of its own.  However, there were plenty of spaces available along the street.  There was no mistaking where the 'Open Morning' was taking place as a large U3A Brackley banner was hanging outside.  Two members of the Brackley U3A were also outside to welcome visitors. 
 
The first impression on entering the venue was, 'Wow, this place is buzzing!  ' The hall had a welcome table for signing in, tea, coffee and cake was available, there were small coffee tables and chairs in the middle and all around were long tables displaying information from many of the interest groups.  The hall was full of people sitting and chatting at the coffee tables, or engaged with Brackley U3A members at the display tables.  I counted over 100 people and at one point members of the Dance Group danced a short country dance with 20 people at least joining in. 
 
There was plenty of information around on the tables and many people to talk to and engage with regarding interest groups in particular or the Brackley U3A in general.  One lady told me she had spoken to more people that morning than she had in the time she had lived in Brackley! 
 
My overall impression was that members of the Brackley U3A who were there, whether of an interest group or welcoming group, were fully committed to ensuring that the morning was as enjoyable and informative as it could be.  I think they succeeded. 



Ise Valley, Kettering U3A

Every second Wednesday afternoon there is a meeting with guest speaker at the Eden Centre (Open Door Church), Montagu Street, Kettering  starting at 2pm. 

Visitors are always welcome to attend (£2 charge) and see what the U3A is all about.   See our website for a list of speakers

                                                             For more information about Ise Valley U3A:  http://www.isevalleyu3akettering.org.uk/
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Higham and Rushden U3A

Every third Wednesday there is a meeting with guest speaker at the Pemberton Centre, H.E. Bates Way, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 9YP, starting at 2pm. 

Visitors are always welcome to attend (£2 charge) and tea and biscuits are served following the speaker.

For more information about Higham & Rushden U3A:  http://www.highamandrushdenu3a.org/index.html


FIRST WORLD WAR GROUP -  NORTHAMPTON U3A
This project was started in 2011 by the group as a way of commemorating the anniversary of the start of the First World War in August 2014.  After looking at various projects it was decided to write a biography of each of the men and one woman buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Section in Towcester Road Cemetery, Northampton.  During our research we found that there were also three Czechoslovakian burials from the Second World War in the Jewish Section.  In addition, as 2014 is about commemoration we included the ten German men who were originally buried in Towcester Road during the First World War and were subsequently moved, in the 1960s, to the German War Cemetery at Cannock Chase. 
 
Local people went to war and came back to Northampton to die.  Men came from all corners of the world, mainly in the First World War, and died in Northampton.  Stories Behind The Headstones gives a glimpse into their lives.  We tell their stories and bring to the reader the tragedy of that war with families losing up to three sons; women losing husbands and brothers; and one family losing a father in the First World War and his son in the Second World War. 
 
The book is priced at £9.99 and is available from Waterstones in Abington Street and Northampton Museum.  It can also be purchased at Northampton U3A meetings in June, and September; the Picnic in August; the WW1 exhibition at St Sepulchre’s Church the weekend of 2nd and 3rd August; Heritage Day on 13th September, and by post from Chase Park Publishing, 10 Highfield Way, Yardley Hastings, NN7 1HQ.  Price by post is £12.49 to include postage and packing and cheques should be made payable to Northampton U3A. 



Oundle U3A -  Books for sale
Oundle & District U3A Poetry Group has been producing a booklet of their very high quality work for a few years now and have sold it at cost price at our Christmas meeting.  This year's booklet contains nearly 40 of the poems written by members on a range of topics from serious topics such as War to Local Bureaucracy and from The First Christmas to Spiders.  There are wonderfully constructed poems in the style of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, there are several poems about feelings and a range of summer and winter memories, all in all a wonderful Christmas gift for anyone who loves poetry.  The books are on sale at £1.50 each including postage or £1.00 if they can collect it from me in Oundle.  If interested  send an email by clicking here.  (You dont need to be a U3A member to take advantage of this offer)



One of Oundle's members  (Ray Rundle 01832 274736) has written a book called Shadows from the Past, about the men who volunteered or were conscripted into the armed services during the First World War.  The A5 book has 78 pages, about 35,000 words and 40 illustrations, of which several are portraits. The book is offered for sale at £5 before going on sale to the general public.   Click here to see more details.  ,