Thorpe Bay

We Are Ten

At Thorpe Bay U3A we are celebrating our Tenth Birthday in 2018! We are planning a series of activities through the year. On this page we will be reporting on each of the Birthday events as they take place. Future activities can be seen listed on the Events page.

Magellan Trip - December

For our last Ten Year Birthday event we took 73 members in two coach loads to Tilbury for an overnight non-cruise on the good ship Magellan. Our visit included an excellent dinner with five courses including a “Baked Alaska” Parade followed by a parade by the chefs and catering staff - the bars were all open and guests were treated to a welcome drink, complimentary wine with our meal, tours of the ship and show cabins if interested, an after-dinner show, followed by dancing and/or disco or cabaret and warm welcoming cabins for our overnight stay. Our coaches all arrived on time on Sunday morning, and everyone boarded and we were all home around 10 o’clock. Everyone said they enjoyed the (final) 10 year celebration. Here’s to next year!

Very many thanks to Diane & Shirley Turner for organising this trip. See photos.

Grand Finale Quiz - November

This was the second Quiz arranged by Wendy White as part of our Tenth birthday celebrations. The theme was to chose questions that would cover the interests of all the 100+ Groups in our U3A, which certainly gave us a wide range of subjects! Wendy again did a splendid job of choosing challenging questions but making it all fun at the same time with party hats & streamers to accompany the proceedings. There was a full house of ten teams with eight members in each team. The winning team scored a very creditable 100 points! See photos.

Many thanks to all who helped organise the event.

Flower Arranging Demo - September

U3A member Yvonne Szymczak put on a wonderful display of flower arranging and the lovely floral creations she made which were raffled off afterwards to three lucky winners. Many thanks Yvonne.

Newmarket Races - September

50 members went by coach to the first day of the Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket. We were blessed with beautiful weather & good company, even though not all of us were blessed with good fortune with the geegees. A great day out. Many thanks again to Mick Rider for organising & to Shirley & Diane Turner for the coach.

Foulness Island - September

A great Sunday afternoon visit to this magical island, so close to Southend but yet so remote. We had a two hour plus tractor tour of the island with very knowledgeable commentary by our guide, local farmer Peter Carr followed by tea & cake at the Heritage Centre museum. Beautiful weather if slightly windy.....but at least this kept the mosquitoes at bay. Many thanks to Margaret Wilson for organising.

Seafront Walk - September

Some 15 members enjoyed this walk from St Augustines hall to the far end of the Pier & back. Lovely day for walking with a coffee & cake at the much maligned pavilion at the end of the Pier. Many thanks to Brain Casson for leading.

Romford Dogs - August

Over 50 members of the U3A travelled by coach to an afternoon race & meal at Romford Greyhound stadium. Someone said that our presence probably doubled the size of the entire crowd. A very good time was had by all. Many thanks to Mick Rider for organising the event. See photo

Forensic Psychology Talk - August
In August we were given a very entertaining presentation on Forensic Psychology by Tracy Wise. Tracy describes herself as ‘crime scene illusionist’ and she used an element of magic in her talk. The main focus of the morning was on handwriting analysis, outlining some of the principles of interpreting handwriting – the ‘science’ of graphology. We were all given the opportunity of using those principles on samples that Tracy provided – little did we know until afterwards that we were looking at the handwriting of some convicted murderers, as well as the handwriting of Tony Blair and Richard Branson. Tracy ended her talk with a little close up magic as an example of how eye-witness statements are not always reliable. A very interesting topic presented in an innovative way, enabling the audience to be fully involved.

Tenth Birthday Picnic - July

We had a beautiful sunny day for the 10th Birthday Picnic and a large group of U3A members joined together for an afternoon of fun and games at Shoebury East Beach. Shirley and Diane organised a knockout Boules competition, able refereed by Chris Turner, and won by Malcolm Blain. We also tried our hands at games with bean bags and hoola hoops organised by Anne and Malcolm Blain. There were many other unofficial prizewinners of the afternoon - Ros Sandford was certainly the expert at the hoola hoop, Sue and Roy Clark had the best picnic chair and table ensemble and Bella and Hattie were the cutest dogs. See photos.

Afternoon Tea - June

On June 29th a packed room at the Baptist church saw us celebrate with a grand Afternoon Tea & raffle. Everyone had a really good afternoon. Richard Brown came up trumps with the tea which was excellent, Paul Adamson sung songs we recognised and knew all the words to, there was dancing, and a ‘speed’ raffle. There was even a special guest who was a member of a U3A in France who joined in the dancing & singing. We wonder what she will report to her U3A when she gets back! Many thanks to Pat Taylor for organising the event so well. (See Photos)

June General Meeting

This months meeting was when officially celebrated our Tenth Birthday!

A packed audience heard a warm welcome & introductions from Pat Taylor, Vice Chairman who particularly paid tribute to all those who had been behind the formation of Thorpe Bay U3A. This was followed by a short speech from Pam Jones, retiring National U3A Chairman. Pam congratulated us on our success & said how amazed she was at the numbers of groups that we had & the obvious enthusiasm of the whole organisation. She said she was going to take away a number of ideas from the impressive display of Group activity that she had seen the Large Lounge.
After these formalities we were then treated to a brilliant concert by local 'Buddy Holly' artist, Marc Robinson who gave us 45 minutes of the best of his songs including Peggy Sue; That'll be the Day; Not Fade Away; It Doesn't Matter Anymore; Rave On, & many more. He even had some of us dancing in the aisles.

A really excellent meeting enjoyed by all. Here's to the next Ten Years.....& beyond!

See photos on this page & the 'Events' page.

Treasure Hunt - May

As part of the Thorpe Bay U3A 10th Anniversary Celebrations, Peter Shaw & Brian Lewis organised a treasure hunt around Great Wakering.
Despite a weather forecast predicting thunderstorms and lightning the day started warm and overcast, and just a slight mizzle was felt during the walk.
The Treasure Hunt started in the large car park of Great Wakering Recreation ground and pairs and groups were allowed to go from 10.30 onwards.
The hunt involved walking along the High Street, down a small lane past the Great Wakering Rovers Football ground, past Little Wakering Hall and around fields to the Wakering Common.
A flow and return route crossed the common and through the Jubilee woods and then back to St Nicholas Church at the head of the High Street.
The route then followed the High Street and somehow ended up at The Exhibition Inn where a wonderful buffet lunch was enjoyed by all.
A total of about 3.3 miles was finished with many smiles and one or two drinks.
A big thank you to all who managed to turn up, to The Exhibition Inn for a wonderful array of food, both hot and cold and vegetarian.
Some photographs of the event are included.

Ten Pin Bowling - April

Mick Rider, organiser of this Birthday year event writes:

Well done to everyone for coming out on this awful day of rain and winds, we only had one person who was unable to get there so it was a very successful day. We had over 40 people attending this birthday event of an afternoon’s bowling followed by a buffet and a free raffle.
It was great to find out that so many people had never tried tenpin bowling, they were helped out by the experienced bowlers around. Some struggled with the idea of using league bowling format, but soon found it was good to get to know everyone on both lanes and also to have the time to practice at the start.
The buffet seems to have been successful and the counters were almost bare at the end.
It appeared that everyone was enjoying the afternoon with lots of banter and laughter and cheers for spares and strikes. We have already had a suggestion for this to be an annual event! See photos.

Boundary Walk

Pat Muller led the first section of the Southend Boundary Walk on the 27th March. Pat set a good pace to walk the 4.91miles which took 2 hrs 10 minutes including the coffee stop. It’s amazing how quickly it goes when you are in good company. As can be seen from the photo the weather was far from kind but the sun did come out eventually in the afternoon. See photo. This first walk will be followed by others on a regular basis. See Events page for details.

Birthday Grand Quiz - March

Wendy White our Quizmaster & Quiz group leader reports:

We held the first of our tenth birthday celebrations on St Patricks Night. In honour of the night most people came in something green & really got into the spirit. Unfortunately, weather conditions were not friendly with snow showers & a biting easterly wind. In spite of this it was amazing that 63 out of the expected 80 people turned up. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH !!! We had a fabulous evening helped by some Irish music at the interval. The quiz was a very close run thing with the winning table scoring 90 & the losers 77. It was so nice to see family & friends with our U3A members, all of whom seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Maybe we have some new recruits?
The winning table were :- Barry & Roma, Pat & Graham, Lesley & Malcolm, & Pauline & Max, so all U3A members but not all members of quiz group. See photos from the event.

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