Introducing Chairman Erik Johannesen

I am delighted to have been appointed Chair of Chorley u3a. Chorley was one of the early u3a’s, having been founded only 4 years after the start of the u3a movement in the UK. Nationally the u3a celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2022 and I’m proud to be leading our local u3a into this jubilee year.

After more than 40 years working in the defence industry, I took early retirement in 2014. Although I had trained as an Engineer, I spent much of my working life in Business and Project Management. Hopefully this has left me with a few skills which I can now bring to my role as Chair.

The challenges which the global pandemic presented are now behind us and we can look forward to a strong future. My principle aim as Chair is to increase our membership – and not only our numbers, but our diversity of membership. I would like to see us start new groups and activities which can attract those who are just starting their retirement years and, of course, offer a wider range of offerings for our current members. Chorley is a thriving town and it deserves a thriving u3a to support its residents in retirement.

My job took me to many interesting places, especially in North America and the Middle East - though travelling for work is never the same as travelling for pleasure. Since retiring my wife Marian and I have been able to explore other parts of the world including the Far East, South and Central America, and Africa. I enjoy walking, watching football and eating out. The pandemic encouraged me to broaden my skills, editing the monthly u3a newsletter and even building a model boat. With foreign travel still a distant prospect, my wife and I have had the opportunity to travel a bit more in the UK, visiting some delightful and interesting places.

If you are reading this because you are thinking of joining Chorley u3a, please do get in contact with us. We’re a friendly group of around 400 people who are no longer working fulltime. We welcome new members who can bring new ideas to help us develop and grow in the future.