700 Charter


Earlier this year, to mark the 700th anniversary marking the granting of Tring’s Charter, Tring U3A launched an essay competition for the town’s schoolchildren in Years 11-13. The subject was ‘Can the young learn from the elderly and the elderly learn from the young?’

The purpose of the competition was to invite the young people of Tring to discuss and to better understand the issues facing the older generation. Essays were to consider issues from different perspectives, not only relating to the different age groups but also considering social, political and economic ramifications.

138 entries were received which were judged by an independent adjudicator, Carole Hawkins, a retired headmistress and now an Independent Schools’ Advisor. After much deliberation Carole announced there were joint winners, both from Tring School. They were Grace Palmer and Lara Fisher, both aged 15. Grace and Lara, together with the runners-up, Maisie Bradfield and Joe Hodges, received their prizes at last week’s U3A monthly meeting.

Explaining her decision to announce joint winners, Carole Hawkins said: “the reasons these two young ladies had the winning entries is that they both looked at the whole issue, came up with some original ideas and related their work very specifically to Tring. Lara looked deeply at the philosophical issues whilst Grace related her essay to real situations and happenings in Tring, much more so than any other entrant”.

Roger Sheppard, U3A Committee member and the competition organiser, commented: “we were delighted to get such a marvellous response and our congratulations go to all those who took part and our thanks also go to Carole Hawkins for her time and expertise in judging the competition . And yes, the young overwhelming felt that they could learn from the elderly and vice versa”.