History of Ealing U3A

This note records the early history of Ealing U3A. Information about the history of the U3A movement in the UK can be found via the national U3A site.

The first meeting in Ealing was called by Community Tutor Amaryl Heatley on 15 March 1988: attendees included Hilary Smith and Ronald Stent. Ealing Education Department provided accommodation at Elthorne Education Centre. About 10 members attended the first few meetings, about 30 by 1990 and 80 by 1994. By 1995 membership had grown to 110, reached 190 by 2005, 260 by 2012 and 280 in 2014. The number had outgrown the Elthorne Centre by 1995 and the weekly meetings moved to the Liz Cantell Room in the Town Hall. Significant landmarks in Ealing U3A's development include the Constitution in 1993, Charity Status in 1994, and a Website in 2003.

From the start, Ealing U3A established contacts with local organisations such as Ealing Arts, Age Concern, the Voluntary Services Council and Questors - the local theatre group. Like all other UK U3A's, the main activity takes place in small interest groups which meet mostly in members' homes. This provides a more intimate environment for social contact and new friends.

In addition to established interest in the Arts, Literature and Current Affairs, early interest groups included European History with special emphasis on British History, German and Religious Quest which followed an Open University course. There are now (2018) some 40 interest groups. Features of the Ealing U3A which distinguish it from most other U3A's include weekly instead of monthly meetings with invited speakers and a general pastoral concern for the health and welfare of members. But the main driving forces remain a curiosity which makes learning enjoyable and a willingness to teach and share knowledge and expertise.

Below is a list of the principal officers of Ealing U3A since its start. The weekly meetings also involve the help of several other members who act as ‘meeters and greeters’, and look after the seating and audio-visual equipment. The demanding task of enlisting speakers was originally carried out by the secretary but, in recent years, this is now the duty of the Talks Organiser (see INFORMATION page).

Year: Chairman; Vice Chairman; Secretary; Treasurer

1988: Hilary Smith; ---; Agnus Tumilson; Maud Musselwhite
1993: Anne Grubb; Ronald Stent; Kelvin Jones; Pauline Booth
1996: Audrey Tompkins; (Marilyn Hurwitt, Mary Hamilton); Pat Kiff; Derek Martin
1999: Hugo Briggs; Christine Edwards; (David Marks, Margaret Martin); Elizabeth Shindler
2002: Christine Edwards; Anne Appleby; Margaret Martin; Marianne Black
2005: Ella Marks; Malcolm Hurwitt; Margaret Martin; Barbara Kinn
2008: Mike Black; Laurence Valentine; Margaret Martin; Barbara Kinn
2011: Mike Black; Tony Constable; Margaret Martin; Barbara Kinn;
2012: John Deighton; Jill Thumpston; Margaret Martin; Barbara Kinn
2015: George Martin; John Deighton; Margaret Martin; Barbara Kinn
2016/17: John Deighton; John Moore; Margaret Martin; Barbara Kinn
2018: John Moore; Phil Broomsgrove; Sylvia Stirling; Barbara Kinn
2019: John Moore; Derek Atkinson; Sylvia Stirling; Sue Peach
2020: Derek Atkinson; Mike Stott; Sylvia Stirling; Sue Peach