Welcome to the ALTON U3A

ALTON U3A, 25th Anniversary Celebratory Boat Trip

Following a number of earlier activities organised to celebrate our Alton U3A’s 25th Anniversary, they came to a climax on Wednesday 11th July when 86 Members boarded two coaches to travel to Henley upon Thames for a tea party on a two hour boat ride on the Thames.

The glorious weather we had enjoyed for several weeks continued to be extremely hot but thankfully the coaches were air-conditioned so we were all comfortable as we travelled the 33 miles, to arrive in Henley at around mid-day. After being dropped off very near to the Thames, we all went our own ways to secure lunches and much needed liquids before gathering at two o’clock to board our vessel. This was a beautiful reproduction of a ‘stern wheeler’ appropriately named the ‘Queen of New Orleans’, with a mock paddle wheel and two enormous chimneys’!

Being a large craft, there was ample room for all of us to gather on the exceedingly hot open top deck, but thankfully as we cast off we were treated to the occasional and very welcome waft of breeze!
The on-board bar soon became very busy as numerous jugs of Pimm’s and other drinks were purchased to quell the thirsts of our, by now very hot passengers.

Progressing up stream we viewed some of the wonderful, expensive properties lining the banks until the anticipated announcement came that High Tea was ready to be served down below in the beautifully appointed main cabin. Here we were met with tables full of food stretching the entire length of the cabin, all set before us on linen tablecloths were china plates, dainty cups and saucers and cake stands laden with a variety of dainty sandwiches, cakes and of course, scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Chairman Rob said a few well-chosen words before we all set too with the serious business of consuming the feast set before us accompanied by plenty of welcome tea and coffee.

With appetites satisfied, those of us capable of movement made our way back to the upper deck to enjoy the scenery accompanied by a small armada of expensive launches which couldn’t get past us until the way was clear.

All too soon our craft turned about to make the return journey back to the boat yard. Going ashore we sadly had a rather lengthy wait before the arrival of our first coach and an even longer one before the second coach hove into sight. Unfortunately both coaches had been called away to other duties and had been badly delayed by traffic whilst returning to Henley! The only low point of what had otherwise been an extremely successful outing.

Our sincere thanks were offered to Mary and Paddy for all the rather complicated arrangements involved in what was generally considered to be a fitting way to celebrate our 25th Anniversary.

We now look forward to our 50th!

Contributed by Steve Barnes, who would be happy to publish any other Members accounts of this enjoyable occasion!


BLUE BOOK Erratum July 9th 1018

Philip Threadgill’s correct address is NUMBER 10 Will Hall Close as printed on the Membership Application Form and NOT Number 9 as printed inside the BLUE BOOK.




QUESTION - What is the Alton U3A?

Alton U3A provides leisure and recreational activities for people who are retired or semi-retired.

We have over 500 members and run a programme of over 40+ different activities where members can learn together, not for qualifications but for the joy of discovery; in addition, we run talks, excursions, theatre and concert trips and holidays.

Activities are run for members by members (so everyone has an opportunity to share their skills and experience). If you can’t find an activity that matches your interest you can talk to us about starting a new one!

All you need to join are: Enthusiasm and a willingness to join others who share your interests - Being open to meeting new people.

To find out more:

Visit our website at or telephone our Membership co-ordinator Steve on 01420 89116

Our Annual Registration Day this year is in Friday August 10th. From 2pm at the Alton Community Centre.