Coronavirus crisis: Please note that due to the coronavirus crisis our committee have decided to cancel the April, May and June General Meetings and our AGM which is usually held at the May GM will be held later in the year TBA.

The Lane Theatre has been our home for our monthly General Meeting for several years.

You will be welcome to come along from 10.15am, when there is an opportunity to chat over free refreshments before the meeting starts at 11am. Car parking is available, and there are bus services from Newquay town centre to just beyond the Kings Head pub, where you then cross the road and take the first turning right (signposted) 100yds to the theatre.

We welcome prospective members to our monthly general meetings as a visitor, when there is a nominal donation of £1.50. You are also welcome to try a free 'taster' session with any of our Interest Groups.

For anyone interested in joining the Newquay U3A the annual subscription runs from April to April and is currently £15. If you join mid-year a half-yearly subscription becomes due.

If you are a speaker who would like to speak at one of our monthly meetings, please email the Programme Coordinator.


Speakers may be subject to change nearer the dates.

14/05/2019No SpeakerAnnual General Meeting
11/06/2019John Peter SantiGweek Seal Sanctuary
09/07/2019Kyle Reed and Jenny HindsonNewquay Community Orchard
13/08/2019 No MeetingHolidays
10/09/2019Group LeadersInterest Groups Update
08/10/2019Brian FreelandGeorge Bernard Shaw “Playing the Clown”
12/11/2019Richard PeirceLions, Elephants, Sharks Conservationist
10/12/2019No SpeakerChristmas Social Gathering
14/01/2019Sean Sweeney The Hall for Cornwall
11/02/2019Newquay Purple Angel LynnCoping with Dementia
10/03/2020Howard Curnow from Cornwall Wildlife Trust How Climate Change Affects Cornwall
14/04/2020CANCELLEDJohn Denyer: Life and People in China



Speakers may be subject to change nearer the dates.

09/06/2020CANCELLED Falmouth National Maritime Museum
14/07/2020David ChapmanWhere to Watch Wildlife in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
13/10/2020Tony RandallRetired Prosecution Service
10/11/2020Richard PeirceConservationist - return visit
08/12/2020 Roger BrowneEntertainer
12/01/2021Malcolm GouldWheal Martin Clay Works
09/02/2021Peter ScoffhamThe Intriguing Case of the Missing Stones of Stonehenge
09/03/2021A speaker fromCornwall Air Ambulance (to be confirmed)
13/04/2021Melissa ThorpeHead of Engagement,Spaceport Cornwall:Horizontal Launch Solution
11/05/2021John DenyerReal life and people in China
08/06/2021Caroline BirkbyCornwall Air Ambulance
13/07/2021Mary TraceCornwall Bee Keepers Association



10/04/2018Len SheppardOld Cornwall Society
08/05/2018No SpeakerAnnual General Meeting
12/06/2018Mike BearcroftVariety has been the Spice of My Life
10/07/2018Ian BarclayA History of Cartoons
14/08/2018No MeetingHolidays
11/09/2018Group LeadersInterest Groups Update
09/10/2018Rosie WoodmanCornwall Refuge Trust
13/11/2018Clint HoskingGeevor Tin Mine
11/12/2018No SpeakerChristmas Social Gathering
08/01/2019Adam PearsonHypnotherapist "Use Your Brain"
12/02/2019Andy BellamyBlood Bikes Charitable Organisation
12/03/2019Des ProuseGoonhilly: a Tale of Two Half-Centuries
09/04/2019Peter AugerExperiences of a Head Gardener


Below are summaries of the speakers' talks that we have had during 2018 to 2020

General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 10th March 2020

Our Speaker was Howard Curnow from Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Cornwall Wildlife Trust is Cornwall Wildlife Trust a charity organisation formed over 50 years ago, which helps to manage over 60 Nature Reserves all over Cornwall, as well as challenging other environmental issues. Howard’s talk and slide show gave us some insight into the very worthy conservation work that Cornwall Wildlife Trust do helping to protect, preserve and even restore our Cornish wildlife and wild areas, on land and in our sea, relying mainly on donations and volunteers.


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 11th February 2020

Our Speaker was Purple Angel, Lynn Bartrip-Kay

Dementia Awareness Talk The very personable Lynn introduced herself as being someone who had worked with and lived with people with dementia, and told us that the Purple Angel organisation was started by Norman McNamara, and was now global. In Newquay, Lynn has given dementia awareness training to over 180 businesses and organisations, and is aiming to reach 200 in the near future. She informed us that there are over 100 types of dementia, which affect people of all ages, some even as young as two years of age. With approximately 47 million people in the world living with it, dementia has now overtaken cancer as the biggest killer. Lynn warned us of the signs to look out for and then explained how to deal with people suffering from dementia. Lynn’s talk was extremely interesting and informative and she actually put a lot of humour into the talk. After the talk Lynn and her associate took photos of the audience with Gret holding the Dementia Awareness Certificate that Newquay U3A were awarded.


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 14th January 2020

Our Speaker was Sean Sweeney from the Hall for Cornwall

Sean Sweeney, the Fundraising Officer for Hall for Cornwall, outlined the background of the Hall for Cornwall, and told us about their development plans. This is a £21.6m project, for which they get funding from various different entities, including Cornwall Council, HM Government, the European Union, the Lottery Heritage Fund, the Arts Council and CIoS LEP. With improved access and increased seating in the stalls, circle and upper balcony they will have a much increased capacity of 1354, which should attract the bigger shows to Truro. Sean played us several different videos during his talk, including their Open Day Film, a poem about the Hall written and narrated by Callum Mitchell and an illustrated poem written and narrated by year 2 children. The Hall for Cornwall is on target for reopening in Autumn 2020.
Hall for Cornwall


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 12th November 2019

Our Speaker was Richard Peirce, Author and Conservationist

We Richard Peirce had an extremely interesting but upsetting talk at our General Meeting today, given by Richard Peirce, author and conservationist. His talk entitled "Cuddle Me, Kill Me" was all about the large scale captive lion breeding and canned hunting in South Africa, when lion cubs are taken away from their mothers when they are only a few weeks old so their mothers will quickly produce another litter. All to feed the tourist industry, who come to cuddle the lion cubs, and then hunt the "tame" adults. Shocking!

Sign the trophy hunting petition to stop all this on Born Free Foundation website.

Richard Peirce talk Nov 2019 Richard Peirce talk Nov 2019

Photos of Richard Peirce's latest two books "Cuddle Me Kill Me" and "Orca"

Cuddle me, kill me cover Orka book


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre Tuesday 8th October 2019

Our Speaker was Brian Freeland presenting George Bernard Shaw “Playing the Clown”

First of all Brian introduced himself and told us a little bit about how he came to be doing what he was doing. He then went on to tell us about George Bernard Shaw’s life, interspersing his talk with GBS impressions. His talk, combined with his talented performance, was extremely interesting and amusing. Brian's latest book, his third, called "Searching for my Tambourine" was on sale after the meeting in the foyer, where there was a queue of people eager to see, and hopefully buy, his book.


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 9th July 2019

Our Speaker was Jenny Hindson from Newquay Community Orchard

The very personable Jenny Hindson is the Operations Manager of Newquay Community Orchard. She gave us an interesting talk about the Orchard which is 7 acres of green space on Duchy land, gifted and then crowd-funded to make Newquay a greater place. Work started in 2015. So far about 500 people have been involved in this sustainable organisation, built by the community for the community. There are currently 120 apple trees, plus pear and plum trees in the Orchard itself. Support has been given by John Harris who has a wealth of knowledge of the history of the different apple varieties, some with weird and wonderful names. The first apple harvest will be this year.

In “An Lowarth” (the growing space) other crops have been grown by volunteers who now have their first crop of blackcurrant jam. In the propagation greenhouse they also do courses in various aspects of horticulture. They now have a large poly-tunnel with another due to be erected in the near future. Things growing in the “Forest Garden” can either be eaten or used in some other way. In the “Kreft” (workshop) they do woodwork, making bird-boxes and other things from pallets and other materials. “The Den” is a covered area which is used for workshops and exhibition space. They now have a "Heart and Soul" food wagon, an outside kitchen, where free hot lunches are provided for the volunteer workers, who work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The whole idea of the Orchard is to provide a sanctuary where anyone can come at any time: a green community hub. In August construction will start on a new Community Building (“The Hive”) where rooms will be available for hire, and where they hope to hold pop-up feasts with guest chefs. Construction will also start in August on a 600 seat amphitheatre (“Plen an Gwari”), which will be the second largest indoor venue in Cornwall. Although the first two years it will be an outdoor venue, as they need to raise money for a roof first. Various events are already held at the Orchard, with about 2,500 people attending their Spring Fair. They hold regular craft markets and farmers' markets, and great fun was had at their Wassail in January.

Jenny certainly captured the interest of our audience. Some members indicated they will probably be visiting sometime in the near future. Some indicated they may even be volunteering.


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 11th June 2019

Our Speaker was John Peter Santi from Gweek Seal Sanctuary

John Peter, known as JP, told us that the seal sanctuary started in 1958, all due to a man called Ken Jones who rescued a seal called Cindy. He went on to rescue more seals, keeping them in his back garden swimming pool, until the sanctuary opened in Gweek in 1975.

There are two types of seals: Grey Seals (Atlantic Seals) and Common Seals (Harbour Seals). Most of the seals we see around Cornwall are Grey Seals as Common Seals do not like rocky coastlines. Cornwall coast has about 40% of the UK population of Grey Seals, with their pups being born between September and March.

Gweek Seal Sanctuary is now owned by the Sealife Trust. They rescue seal pups suffering from malnourishment and dehydration after separation from their mothers, and seals suffering from plastic pollution, from entanglement in fishing nets and other objects, from propeller damage or even from a seal stampede due to humans getting too close. In 2018 they rescued 89 pups separated from their mothers, the largest number ever, probably due to the number of storms we had caused by climate change. During that time they reached their capacity twice. When at capacity seals can be moved on to other sanctuaries.

JP told us that some seals can never be released back into the wild due to blindness or other injuries. Gweek have several permanent residents, their oldest male being 40 and their oldest female being 44 years old. In the wild a seal’s life expectancy is about 30 years.
Shirley thanked JP for his extremely interesting talk, which had prompted more questions from our U3A audience than anyone else’s talk ever had, and said she hoped it would prompt people to visit Gweek Sanctuary.


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 9th April 2019

Speaker: Peter Auger - "Experiences of a Head Gardener"

Peter Auger, aided by his slide show assistant Peter, took us through photos taken during his time working as a Head Gardener. He started his horticultural training when he was 15 or 16, growing food and flowers under glass before being drawn to working in historic gardens. His first experience of working “in service” was for the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace, 90 acres of garden “grandeur”. Later he worked for Lord and Lady Faringdon at Buscot Park which, in contrast, consisted of 120 acres of horticultural gardens. Peter gave us some amusing insight into what it was like working for gentry and how he dealt with their foibles. His slide show demonstrated that his management of the gardens was an absolute credit to him.


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 12th March 2019

Speaker: Des Prowse - Goonhilly: "A Tale of Two Half-centuries"

Des Prouse talked to the accompaniment of a lengthy slide show, telling us all about Goonhilly and their involvement with the first TV transatlantic TV broadcast in 1962 via Telstar, along with various other “firsts”, such as the first colour TV transmission from USA via Goonhilly and on to the BBC in London in 1968. He described the various different satellite dishes (or antennas) on their site and how they work to link up with the satellites orbiting the Earth.

Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd is the company that acquired the famous Goonhilly satellite station from BT in 2014. Founded by entrepreneur and satellite communications engineer, Ian Jones, the company was formed in order to realise the huge potential at the site. With a vision to create a multi-faceted space hub, Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd is forging ahead in a number of commercial and scientific endeavours. Unfortunately his time was running out but Des ended up by answering a couple of questions from the audience.


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 12th February 2019

Speaker: Andy Bellamy from Cornwall Blood Bikes

Blood Bikes Feb 2019 The Cornwall Blood Bikes distinctive BMW motorbike was already in place in the auditorium when we went in for our meeting.

Andy, a local man from Mawgan Porth, told us all about the very valuable work done by their motorcyclists taxiing blood, drugs, stem cells, human fluids, breast milk and other medical products and equipment needed by the NHS around the county, even as far as Bristol, within a 4 hour timescale.

Cornwall Blood Bikes is a charitable organisation which started in 2015, initially funded by a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Their current fleet of 11 BMW R1200RT police spec motorbikes is made up of new and second hand bikes which knock up between 90k-100k miles per year, funded by donations from the public with no cost at all to the NHS, so they rely heavily on fundraising.

Although Blood Bikes Feb 2019 2 the bikes manage to transport their valuable packages to their destinations speedily, they are not classified as emergency vehicles and are not allowed to use sirens or the blue lights on the bikes and they have no exemption from speed limits. However, with their distinctive colours, usually vehicles see them approaching and pull over to let the bikes by, thinking that they are something to do with the police. Urgent cases would however get a police escort.

The bikers, who all have to undergo an advanced motorcycle test at £1300 per rider, work from 5pm until 7am on weekdays and 24 hours per day at weekends. Running costs are about £500 per month per bike, i.e. about £54k p.a., meaning that they need constant funding from the public. There is no age limit for the riders. Most riders are over 50 and their oldest is 84. They currently have two lady bikers in the team.

As well as the bikers, the organisation needs coordinators, both male and female, who work from home taking calls and organising the riders' duties. Fundraisers are also needed to go to supermarkets and special events to help raise more money for the organisation.

Andy ended up by answering several questions from the audience, who gave him a good round of applause.


General Meeting at the Lane Theatre on Tuesday 8th January 2019

Speaker: Adam Pearson from Newquay Hypnotherapy.

Adam Pearson January 2019 After an initial hiccup with the microphone, which was sorted out by the theatre staff, Adam started his talk entitled “Use your Brain,” exploring how our brains work and how to get more out of them.

In this instance USE stands for Understand, See and Enjoy, which Adam took us through step by step using diagrams he drew on a whiteboard. In the first section Adam drew a brain and explained in layman’s terms what each section’s functions were. He demonstrated how we store stressful and negative thoughts in a “bucket” in the brain, which needs emptying during sleep, to enable us to deal with life more calmly and positively. His advice on how to banish worrying thoughts that keep us awake at night was to think about three good things that have happened during the day, or to visualise yourself in a nice peaceful place.

Adam then asked us to talk to our neighbour about our dreams for a few minutes. The final section of his talk was advice on how to enjoy our brains, advising us to be interactive, active and think pleasant and positive thoughts. All in all it was an interesting talk and several questions were asked by our members at the end.


General Meeting at The Lane Theatre on Tuesday 13th November

Speaker: Clint Hosking from GEEVOR TIN MINE MUSEUM

A very personable Clint Hosking, Education Manager at Geevor Tin Mine Museum, gave us an extremely interesting talk entitled “From Rock to Tin.” Clint told us all about the origins of tin mining, which had been the main industry in Cornwall for centuries. He gave us a good insight into what it was like to be a hard working tin miner until the mine closed in 1990, due to the Tin Price Crash of 1985, after which 380 miners were put out of work. Prior to that tin mining had been very much part of the community. Women and children even as young as three used to be involved in various tasks above ground. Items of interest were passed around the audience including a very small child’s shoe and a protective bonnet worn by the women workers to protect their eyes.


General Meeting at the Lane Theatreon Tuesday 9th October 2018

Speaker: Rosie Woodman from the CORNWALL REFUGE TRUST

Rosie, a full-time paid member of CRT staff, gave us an enlightening and interesting talk about the very worthy work done by the CRT to help vulnerable male, female and transgender victims of all aspects of domestic abuse, by both male and female abusers. She explained what was entailed protecting these victims from being found by their abusive partners. After this she showed the audience three different case studies, and engaged the audience by asking whether the victims were male or female. There were lots of questions asked by the audience, who obviously found the talk interesting.


General Meeting at The Lane Theatre on Tuesday 10th July 2018

Speaker: Ian Barclay -“A History of Cartoons”

The Ian Barclay Jul 2018 award winning lecturer and retired Professor, Ian Barclay, gave us a talk on the “History of Cartoons” ranging from Ancient Egyptian days, right through until modern times. His talk covered Hogarth’s “Gin Lane” cartoon, James Gilroy’s “Gout” cartoon, Punch cartoons, Russian Lubok art, and even cartoon strips based on “Pauline and the Matches.”

Then he brought back some memories of children’s comics such as “Boys’ Own Paper”, “Dandy”, “Beano”, “Eagle” and “Bunty”. He took us through the transformation of Disney’s “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” who gradually morphed into “Mickey Mouse” and showed us the X-rated “Fritz the Cat”. Even Shakespeare got a mention. The talk progressed to the war years and the usefulness of cartoons getting our lads to join up and our women to do men’s work while our lads were at war. Of course, saucy seaside postcards had to get a mention too.

He told us how, in our modern society, the cartoon artwork has changed somewhat. Hundreds of cartoon artists have been replaced by hundreds of computer programmers, and he demonstrated how that was done.

Ian wound up his talk showing a few cartoons for which we had to guess the punch lines. We didn’t do very well. They seemed so obvious when we were given the answers though!

Ian was well received by our U3A audience. It was a very interesting talk.


General Meeting at The Lane Theatre on Tuesday 12th June 2018

Speaker – Mike Bearcroft - "Variety has been the spice of my life"#


Mike Bearcroft Jun 2018 Born in Sheffield the day Mussolini died in 1945, Mike Bearcroft gave us an amusing talk about his very varied life, starting as a junior footballer for Sheffield United, progressing through his career in sales and marketing until taking a change in direction. Wanting to join the acting profession, he started as an extra and eventually, having earned his Equity Card, he got small speaking parts in “The Bill”, and other TV programmes. Always looking for new ideas, he then founded a Murder Mystery company and a couple of other companies in the entertainment business. Mike never lost his passion for football though, and he went on to write his thriller novel “Dangerous Score” based on his in depth knowledge of what happens in a football club.

Mike seemed to be well received by our U3A audience, judging by the laughter at some of his anecdotes. He had threatened to talk for five hours, but on advice from our committee members he actually kept his talk to 45 minutes. Mike arrived early, set up his stage with the help of the staff of the Lane Theatre and then enjoyed chatting with us members of U3A. After his talk he stayed to autograph his books which were on sale after the meeting.

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