Monthly meetings are held on the 4th. Friday of the month at the Edgar Community Hall, Somerton.

We open at 10am for coffee (50p) and the chance for members to meet and chat.
The meeting will start at 10.30 and after announcements and any business will be followed by our guest speaker.

The meeting closes at 12 noon.

Please join us.
Members free. Non-members £2.00.

Dates for your Diary
Fri Nov 22nd

Blue Peter - Behind the Badge

Adventures behind the lens - hot rocks and high places.

Luck played its part a when Alex joined the Blue Peter programme in 1975. The presenters were John Noakes, Peter Purves and Lesley Judd. He describes pivotal events in broadcasting and memorable encounters with an erupting volcano, gorillas in Uganda and a beard of bees. These and other events like John Noakes climbing Nelson's Column secured his position as a producer for 36 years. Others caused a stir like LuLu the baby elephant who ran amok and created probably the funniest moment in Blue Peter history.

ALEX LEGER Television Producer, Director and Cameraman

Alex Leger has led an extraordinary life. For 36 years and working for the BBC he was a prolific film maker. He produced Blue Peter, the iconic children’s programme, and other programmes.
He has survived sandstorms, landmines, erupting volcanoes, food poisoning, difficult presenters and flying bullets to make over 600 films across five continents. Although, he would say, not all turned out in the way he expected. From his first adventure encouraging John Noakes to climb Nelson’s Column through to persuading Helen Skelton to wear a beard of bees, and from flying with the Red Arrows to bluffing cocaine paste smugglers in the high Andes; he can truly say there has never been a dull moment. It is unlikely that there is another tv producer alive today who can begin to match his experiences. He is a great raconteur and his talks are lavishly illustrated with film and video clips and enriched with many behind the scenes anecdotes.
Devon born, Alex was educated at Exeter School before leaving to spend a year as a VSO volunteer in the Solomon Islands. On his return he studied industrial engineering and management sciences at Loughborough University. He then joined the army on a permanent regular commission before joining the BBC in 1973 as a junior management consultant. Three years later came an opportunity to work in television programme production where he stayed for the rest of his BBC career.
Alex started public speaking in 2012 and speaking engagements include national conferences, literary festivals, cruise ships and local groups.

Fri Dec 6th

Christmas Lunch

12.00 for 12.30. at the Edgar Community Hall.

tickets £15 via the application form in your magazine

Lunch will be followed with Entertainment from The Somer Singers

Fri Jan 24th 2020 The speaker this month is David Boag.

David has visited our U3A before when he gave us a brilliant illustrated talk about Kingfishers! We look forward to what will be a tremendous start to our new year.

David writes: 'I am a wildlife photographer and the author/photographer of 18 published books. My first book 'The Kingfisher' was published in 1982 and contained a wealth of unique photographs illustrating the life of this remarkable bird.
Encouraged by my publishers and driven by my enthusiasm, my next book was about another spectacular bird, and 'The Atlantic Puffin' was published a couple of years later.
For several consecutive years my work became the subject of the television programme 'Out of Town' and I have since been involved with both television and radio, either in an advisory capacity or as a knowledgeable guest or presenter.
I lecture regularly throughout the country to a wide variety of natural history, photographic and general interest audiences. On numerous occasions I have spoken at major conferences for organisations such as the National Trust, the RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology and the Royal Photographic Society.
A more confidential aspect of my work are the books I have created for prestigious, private estate owners. I have produced over 20 of these one-off, handcrafted tomes that are leather bound, photographic essays; regarded as heirlooms by my clients
I regularly led African wildlife safari trips to destinations that included Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
More recently I was asked to undertake a corporate commission to photograph, write and design a book about the wildlife and natural beauty of a quarry! This led to several more major commissions throughout Britain and Ireland and eventually to working for 3 years in the USA.'
Fri Feb 28th 2020

The Splendid Isolation of Tristan da Cunha

An introduction to the island's wildlife, history and the way of life of it's people.

Tristan da Cunha is the world's most isolated inhabited island, home to fewer than 250 islanders who are all farmers and rely on a flourishing fishing industry which provides their main income.
Tristan is an active volcano, last erupting in 2004 and famous for the 1961 eruption which forced it's population to evacuate to the U.K.

A presentation by Richard Grundy who worked as a teacher on the island between 1982 - 85 and now works on a voluntary basis to help the community by editing the Tristan Govt. website - and the Tristan da Cunha Newsletter. The latter is a full colour magazine style publication, printed in Glastonbury and sent to Tristan da Cunha Association members across the world, as well as to every family on the island.

Fri Apr 24th 2020


The Sartin experience of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of gardening in verse and song.

The Speaker is Bonny Sartin.
Bonny was for 50 years a member of the Dorset folk band ‘The Yetties’. The band retired in April 2011 and since then he has continued entertaining various organisations with a mix of historical talks, poems, readings and songs, mainly with a Dorset bias. He comes from a singing family. When Robert and Henry Hammond toured Dorset during 1905/6/7, hunting down the singers of the old songs, they collected 111 from the Sartin clan.
The core of the Sartin family have lived in Dorset for over 350 years so Dorset is well and truly in his blood and in his heart. Spare time is often spent cycling the bridle ways of Dorset or walking the footpaths.

Fri May 22nd 2020


Please come and hear what our U3A has been up to for the past year.

The meeting will be followed immediately by our guest speaker Mr Bob Mizon

'Is There Anybody Up There?'

Bob Mizon examines the possibility of the human race having any neighbours, near or far, in our enormous universe. Should we ever encounter them, what happens next?

Bob Mizon MBE FRAS (rhymes with Horizon) is a graduate in modern languages, but is much better known as an astronomer. Having taught French for 26 years at Poole Grammar School, where he met his wife Pam, he embarked on a daring career change in 1996. Responding to a lifelong love of astronomy, he is now a planetarium operator, taking a mobile dome into schools, youth groups and societies all over southern England. Over 150,000 people have experienced a tour of the Universe with Bob at the controls.

Bob is best known in the scientific and environmental community as the co-ordinator of the British Astronomical Association’s Commission for Dark Skies, which aims to turn back the tide of light pollution that has seriously affected our view of the stars over the last fifty years. Glare, light intrusion and skyglow have become the norm nowadays, a situation hardly compatible with a society which is supposed to be saving energy and protecting the environment.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1985, and has been associated with the Wessex Astronomical Society in various offices for many years.
In 2010 Bob was awarded the MBE for his work in astronomy and environmental education. He is a STEM* Ambassador, seeking opportunities to bring astronomy to both adult and young people’s groups in the South.

An active observer of the night sky, Bob lectures to astronomy societies and groups all over the country.
He writes astronomy books, and translates them from French.

Other activities in which he involves himself are the growing of bonsai trees, Egyptology, and painting of astronomical subjects.

(*STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths educational organisation)

Fri Oct 23rd 2020

England in Tune

An unashamed ‘Celebration of Englishness.’

Not the jingoistic ‘Last Night of the Proms’ style but a collection of music, readings, poems by our own countrymen including Flanagan and Allen, John Masefield, Noel Coward, A. A. Milne … and many more, which combines a merry mix of subject matter in word and song with something to suit most tastes.

Our speaker for this month writes:-
'I have been working with pianist and accompanist, Sheila Furneaux for some thirty years from the times when we used to put concert parties together with a group of friends up to our branching out as a duo just over ten years ago.
Initially we started our double act with a talk entitled ‘Glorious Mud, the life and times on Flanders and Swann’, which we illustrate with live songs and pictures. We quickly discovered that this style of entertainment was unique and much appreciated and as we had to increase our subject range as groups asked us back for a second, third or, in some case, more times!
We are very lucky to be approaching our 1000th performance, which we will achieve before the year’s out, and are gratified and surprised by the general response to our ‘hobby’, which you and the Somerton U3A have kindly supported.'

Fri Nov 27th 2020

Wildlife of Dartmoor

John Walters

John Walters is a life long field naturalist who explores the natural world through field sketching, photography and video. He grew up on Hayling Island in Hampshire and has lived in Devon since 1990. He works as an ecologist, artist and public speaker and is based in Buckfastleigh. He has published several books and guides including The Wildlife of Dartmoor and has appeared in many television and radio programmes.

The talk will use photographs, field sketches and video clips to explore the amazing variety of wildlife to be found in Dartmoor National Park including cuckoos and their meadow pipit foster parents, dancing adders, ring-running roe deer and the worlds largest slug!