Mayfield & District

Beginnings

Ann Scott recalls how the Mayfield and District U3A Branch came into existence and how it developed during her time in the Chair.

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FROM THE ARCHIVE 2005

Following an initiative from Peter Davie of Age Concern, a meeting was held at London House in 2005 when members of the Steering Committee were cajoled, pressed and persuaded to take on the exacting and fulfilling roles of creating a new U3A.

I too was volunteered by my husband, who in turn, covered numerous other tasks-often at the last minute!

Subsequently, the unique nature of the organisation was explained at an Open meeting on March 17th 2005 in the Scout and Guide Hall. The meeting was chaired by Peter Davie and was attended by nearly 90 people, together with speakers from Tonbridge U3A and the newly formed Battle U3A. Opportunities were given for questions and answers and the meeting concluded with a formal proposal by Peter Davie:

"I hereby propose that a new U3A be formed and launched here today and that it be known as the Mayfield and District".

This was seconded from the floor and a show of hands indicated enthusiastic support from a sizeable majority. It was a momentous occasion. A headline in the East Sussex Courier for April 2nd also underlined its importance:

‘MEETING ABOUT A NEW UNIVERSITY PROVES TO BE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL’

The first General meeting on 12th May 2005 was addressed by Matt Scott, a professional geologist, who gave an illustrated talk entitled
‘The Making of the British Landscape with particular reference the Weald.’ This meeting also gave members the opportunity to indicate their interest and readiness to join and support the embryo subject/interest groups

Between this first General Meeting and the first AGM in July 2005, Mayfield and District had recruited 150 members and created 15 study/interest groups. The Steering Committee had given up a large amount of their time liaising, publicising and attending numerous committee meetings. After the AGM the Steering Committee became the formal Committee.

I noted that at the conclusion of the AGM in 2010, I quoted Eric Midwinter, one of the three founder members of the U3A:

‘It important to set our sights high. Third Agers should be active participants, not passive recipients in this proud mutual venture’

13 years on, I have no reason to take issue with that statement!

Ann Scott (Chair 2005-2012).