Welcome to the website for Newent & District u3a
Our Monthly Meetings are held on the third Tuesday from 9.45 a.m. for a prompt 10.30 a.m. start in the Newent Memorial Hall to which visitors are very welcome. We currently have 19 active interest groups ranging from Book Club and Computer Improvers to Lunch Club, Nature Appreciation and Writing for Pleasure. Since our start-up meeting in November 2012 we are delighted that our membership has risen to over 150.
Our annual Membership runs from April 1st and costs £16 (individual rate) for the 2020/21 and (as a temporary measure to compensate for the impact of Covid19 restrictions) the 2021/22 seasons.
The u3a originated in France in 1972. The first British u3a was established in 1982 and there are now more than 1000 accross the UK. The u3a caters for retired/semi-retired people who wish to share activities and interests, and expand their knowledge and skills not for courses and qualification but just for sheer enjoyment. Interest groups are led by enthusiasts who may also be experts. Newent & District u3a is always open to suggestions for more interest groups.
Newent is a small market town about 8 miles north west of Gloucester. Close by lie the ancient woodlands of the Forest of Dean, the Severn and Wye Valleys, The Malvern Hills and our local landmark, the pine-topped May Hill.
Dominating the centre of Newent is the black and white Market House dating from 1668. Many more historic listed buildings are to be found in the main streets ranging from half timbered Tudor dwellings to Georgian and Victorian houses. Newent's parish church, St Mary's, dates from the 13th century and has a stained glass window from the famous company of Clayton and Bell.
Newent Lake is the centrepiece of the main recreational area offering peaceful walks and a chance to sit and watch the world go by. Surrounding the town is the Golden Triangle – a seasonal proliferation of wild daffodils which has attracted visitors to the area for many decades.
A great variety of local independent shops and eateries help to give Newent its unique character, and once a year, the town hosts a traditional chartered Onion Fayre with thousands of visitors thronging the streets.
Newent residents can also boast of a plaque marking the Newent-born Joe Meek (of ‘Telstar’ fame) as well as the more recently decorated gold post box, celebrating the Olympic achievements of local equestrian Charlotte Dujardin on her horse Valegro and, until July 2017, the longest cul-de-sac in Europe (Foley Road).
As a result of a Newent Initiative Trust project, a half-size bronze statue of Valegro, sculpted by Georgie Welch, was unveiled in Newent’s Market Square on Thursday 18th February 2021. Due to Covid19 restrictions the planned special public unveiling had to be replaced by a low-key ceremony.