Isle of Man



The u3a Isle of Man meets on the third Thursday of every month at 2pm in St John's Mill. This is an opportunity to listen to a variety of speakers, meet fellow members, find out more about special interest groups, meet group co-ordinators and find out about new groups and events. You will find the dates and details of the speakers for 2021 in the list below. All the meetings are held at St John's Mill - just past the Tynwald Mills shops on the left. You can either park in the shops car park and walk or use the car park off the Poortown Road and walk from there. There is limited disabled car parking outside the Mill. There is a charge of £1 to attend.

If you are interested in the u3a but are not yet a member, attending a Network Meeting is the ideal introduction. The Groups Co-ordinator will be able to explain which groups are running and how to join them. Membership for the year ending 31st March 2022 is just £15.

Meeting Speakers and events - 2021/22
21st October Out of Africa - Graham Harvey
18th November A Manx child in the 18th century - Mike Hoy
December 2021 - Christmas Lunch! - no meeting

Future speakers and events:
January 2022 - Jo Overty - Manx Biosphere (see article in the latest Independent)
February 2022 - Leigh Morris - St Helena and working with Manx Wildlife
March 2022 - Cilla Platt - Beekeeping on IOM
April 2022 - Fenella Bazin -(comparing Tynwald with Icelandic parliament)
May 2022 - AGM + Christopher English - The history of No 10'
June 2022 - Talk by Manx Bat Group

Events/Visits 2020-22
We hope that the Dance Therapy Workshop will finally happen, sooner rather than later, after having had to be postponed several times already!


At our September network meeting we had a talk by Henry Teare entitled “Oil – Too Good to Burn”, in which he compared the various types of sources of energy for (i) causes of deaths, (ii) greenhouse gas emissions, and (iii) cost. It was an interesting and emotive subject, which gave rise to a lively discussion and a little controversy.


On Friday 30th July a group of u3a members gathered at Douglas Corporation Recycling Centre to hear about what it does with the kerbside collections of paper, cardboard, tins, cans and plastic.

We found out that the only true recycling taking place in the Island is of glass, which is (re) processed by Corletts of St Johns who crush the glass into sand for use in drainage, road surfacing etc. Everything else is shipped to the UK for recycling.

Aluminium is separated from the steel, with most of it used to produce more aluminium cans. It is the most valuable commodity out of the 5 materials collected. Next valuable is steel, which is made into all sorts of products for the steel industry. Plastic is shredded and made into bottles again or drainage pipes etc. Paper is made into more paper, and cardboard into more brown cardboard, or ultimately into MDF.

Network meeting u3a on 15 July 2021

At Thursday’s network meeting we welcomed Maureen Cowbourne, Deputy Chief Executive of Age Concern Isle of Man, who gave us a most interesting, informative and humorous talk about the work of this very worthwhile charity. This is a completely separate charity from Age UK, and it benefits only Isle of Man residents. It has 2 shops – one in Port Erin which has been completely refurbished recently, and one in Ramsey. The aim of the charity is to improve the health and wellbeing of the elderly residents in the Isle of Man, and thus to improve the quality of life of older people living here.
Amongst the types of activities they perform, apart from manning the charity’s two shops which raise much needed funds to carry out these activities, are organising walks for those who need assistance or special care; putting on film nights in Castletown (which will be recommencing soon); arranging pilates classes; arranging craft activities and providing extremely helpful advice about IT gadgets or other matters affecting the elderly . They provide invaluable services which help prevent loneliness in the older population.
They have even thought “outside the box” and have bought 2 rickshaws to give older people trips either along the prom in Port Erin, or along North Quay in Douglas – who knew about that? They are however seeking secure and dry storage for the rickshaws – if anyone can help please contact them on 631740.
This charity is 25 years old. They are desperate for volunteers to help them carry out these many and varied services they perform. If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Maureen on 631740. You never know when you yourself will need their help or advice.

AGM and Bob Harrison talk on 17.06.21

After the AGM on 17th June, we enjoyed a very entertaining talk by Bob Harrison. We heard about his early career as an apprentice civil engineer working on part of the M1 in Northamptonshire, and his progress to becoming Deputy Borough Surveyor in Devizes in Wiltshire in around 1980. However, during this time Bob, a lifelong jazz fan, also worked on local radio, first of all at a local hospital radio station, then with Wiltshire Radio, where he learned the skills of interviewing. In due course his hobby became his day job. In 1990 Bob made the move to the Isle of Man, since when he has been a regular presenter on Manx Radio.

Bob has interviewed many famous people over the years, including Donald Sinden, Bill Maynard, Judi Dench, Des O’Connor, to name only a few. He kept us amused the whole time with titillating titbits from some of these interviews, and left us looking forward to hearing more of his anecdotes of meeting celebrities at a future U3A network meeting.

Knockaloe Part 2 talk - Alison Jones

At Thursday 20th May’s network meeting, Alison Jones, the driving force behind setting up the Knockaloe Visitor Centre for WWI Internment, gave us a very interesting talk about the camp which housed over 23,000 enemy alien internees, mainly German, but also some Italian, Polish and Danish. It is 10 years since the project started, and this year will be the second season that the centre at Knockaloe will be open to the public during the summer months. Alison brought three of the internees to life for us, and gave us a taste of what life must have been like in the camp, with 1000 men in each of the 23 compounds, most of whom had to wait until the end of the war to be released.


Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.