Recent Events

New Year Lunch 2023

New Year Lunch 2023_1 New Year Lunch 2023 2 The New Year Lunch in the Village Hall on January 25th was enjoyed by over 90
u3a members. They enjoyed an excellent meal with friends and chatted about the forthcoming year of u3a activities.

u3a 40th Anniversary

u3a 40th Anniversary cake Members celebrated the 40th birthday of the u3a in September with afternoon tea, served by very willing helpers, followed by entertainment provided by Steve Ridge, who is the pianist for the Ashtead Choral Society. The beautiful cake was made by Rosie Bennett who runs St. George’s café and was cut by our current Chairman, Penny Weaver and Diana Seabold whose husband, Yan, was the founder Chairman of the Ashtead branch of u3a.

Wine Appreciation 1 Summer Party

Our summer party was held on August 2nd at the Dell Centre. Beryl and Ian McLaughlin chose some excellent reds and whites - all of which went down extremely well with the amazing amount and variety of dishes all prepared by our members.

Wine Appreciation 3 outing, June 2022

On June 8th Wine Appreciation 3 had an interesting trip to Leonardslee for a “Wine and Cheese pairing” taster session. We had a coffee, explored the upper gardens and a visited the amazing and fascinating Dolls’ House Museum before the Tastings. The venue for this was the Courtyard Café and started with a glass of “bubbly“. Our wine guide gave us a quick background to the Leonardslee estate, the new owner, Penny Streeter and an insight into her vision for the development of Leonardslee. The wines on offer at present come from Penny Streeter’s Benguela Cove Wine Estate in South Africa. At some time in the future when Leonardslee’s own vineyard vines and wines have reached sufficient maturity the tasting will include their English wines. We tasted five wines each paired with a different local Sussex cheese, chosen to enhance the wine. We first sampled each wine without cheese and then again with the cheese to assess the change in flavour. Anyone who had “inadvertently“ finished their glass before the cheese was supplied was topped up! After this informative and delicious tasting session, we had lunch and then the opportunity for further exploration of the gardens, lake and sculptures. Drizzly rain did not dampen our spirits and, although most agreed that it was a shame we had been unable to find a mutually convenient date earlier in the year when spring bulbs, camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons would have been at their height, the outing was voted a great success.

Recent Ashtead U3A Speakers

At each Monthly Meeting a speaker is invited to give a talk on a specialist subject, these can range from history, arts, science, etc.
Below are some examples of recent talks that the members have found both varied and interesting. Please see the events page for a list of the future planned speakers.

Month Speaker Talk Subject
June Clive DriscollEx-Detective Chief Inspector for the Metropolitan Police
MayAna SampsonThe Hidden History of Women Writers
AprilTim CollettHistory of The Stock Exchange and my career as a Stockbroker
MarchHelen YoungBehind the Scenes at the BBC, and climate change
FebruaryBrian FreelandA View From The Wings
JanuaryStephen ChaterA Medieval National Gallery
DecemberHelen NaylorWestminster Detectives - Fact or fiction
NovemberSarah SlaterKirtles, Corsets and Curtains
OctoberSue & Nigel BondCaring for the River Mole
SeptemberSteve Ridge40th Anniversary Party plus 30 mins of entertainment on the piano
JulyStephen ChaterThe Social Life of Tea and Coffee
JuneGerald SmithHistory of Nonsuch Palace
MayAndy ThomasConspiracy History of the World, 2018 Crop Circles, 2019 History of Christmas
AprilColin SummerhayesClimate Change, Energy Use and Peak Oil, 3 sides of a triangle
MarchAGM + Ian BevanClimate Change, Energy Use and Peak Oil, 3 sides of a triangle
FebruaryMark LewisNotable Watercolourists of the 20th Century
January David AllenBlack Teeth & Dirty Fingernails- The Great Unwashed of Victorian London
DecemberClive WoodwardA Celebration of Life - Poetry
NovemberMike KingThe Sacred & Ancient Art of Bodging
OctoberPaul BarwickThe Mystery of the Body in the Bag -The Gareth Williams Story
SeptemberChris GraylingSocial eventRefreshments and chat!
JulyJenny MalinMy Grandmothers Legacy5 generations of the British Raj - Life, Occupations and history during the Raj
JunePeter StammersHow WW2 endedLittle known detail of exact moves to bring about peace
MaySteve ShortMorecambe & WiseThe life story of how they met and entertained the world
AprilHelen NaylorThe Spirit of WestminsterThe Story of Gin
MarchAlan BlowerRoyal Parks & PalacesA walking tour of royal properties near the Thames
FebruarySally Schofield - Bank community Liaison OfficerScam AwarenessIncluding COVID scams
JanuaryPaul WhittleBurmese DaysTravel & history
NovemberDavid WilliamsChurchill, His Most Agonising DecisionHis family background, army career, early politics, marriage and family, World War 1, his 'wilderness years' and the most agonising decision he ever had to make after Dunkirk in 1940.
OctoberAndrew BakerDonald TrumpCan you believe it? America's 45th President is like no other: a vivid portrait of Trump's past, his style, his ruthlessness, his ego, his connections
SeptemberIan KeableCentury of Deception!8th Century Hoax tales, Hoaxes of the 18th century, cartoon history, 18th century mysteries
MarchLiz Lee-KelleyFrom Laundry to Chop SueyWhy the Chinese came to UK and what they did
FebruaryIan KeableCharles Dickens, ConjurorDickens' hobby as amateur conjurer, and some of his tricks from shows
JanuaryProfessor David PhillipsChemistry in the Atmosphere and Climate ChangeChemical composition of atmosphere, ozone layer, various accords to address climate change