One of the largest social groups for the semi or fully retired is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and one of the biggest local groups is helping celebrate it.
The U3A (University of the Third Age) was formed in France in 1972 and ten years later the U3A was set up in the UK.
Carrick U3A has been around since 1990 and has had many members over the years. Today there are over 620 members and it one of the biggest in the UK with over 50 different groups and activities to keep everyone happy.
Its area covers from Truro to Falmouth and anywhere in between but you can join from wherever you live and this is where the name Carrick, comes from.
Rock n roll dancing
The U3A is open to anyone who is semi-retired or fully retired who would like to join.
Their philosophy is to learn new skills, improve wellbeing by meeting new friends and having a good laugh.
Although called the U3A University of the Third Age it’s nothing like a university. You can learn different things and can exercise and have fun but all on your own terms.
There are many groups where you can learn languages such as Italian, Spanish and French. Learn a new card game of Euchre, a Cornish card game, or Scrabble, Mah-jong or bridge.
Petangue on Gylly Beach
There are several groups to keep you fit. Sports like carpet bowls, short tennis, table tennis, badminton and Tai Chi and Yoga.
The social dancing group is popular and you can learn or re-learn or just dance.
If you are a bit more active and adventurous you could join the rock and roll group where the rhythm and movements are a bit more hectic! If line dancing is your thing there is a group for that too. Cornish dancing is another group that might be to people’s liking.
“We have something to suit all tastes! With so much to choose from you won’t have a minute to spare,” said Carrick group member Hilary Harrod.
“If you happen to stroll along the path near Gylly beach one Monday morning you might see about 30 people playing Petanque on the beach. This is our U3A group having fun in the, very fresh at times, Cornish air.
U3A sailing club
“This is another popular group, and we often have people stop to watch us as they walk by. Some of our groups involve talks such as science and travelers tales. Both are really interesting to listen to.
“Our photography group meet to take some wonderful and interesting pictures around the county and closer to home, and have yearly competitions. Some of the photos are featured in our monthly magazine and are a delight to see.”
She says one of the most popular groups in the summer time is croquet, with often 40 to 50 people turning up twice a week to play a game. Towards the end of the season they run a tournament which is also very popular.
Croquet is very popular
Although not strictly a U3A group, the group’s present chairman has been organizing a trip to a hotel near Okehampton once a year for about 16 years, and he often has up to 70 people wanting to go for a non-stop week of fun and activities and lovely food.
There they can try out new crafts like pottery or glass engraving or just join in the tournaments they organize in badminton or short tennis, ice curling etc. They also have music groups, which include jazz appreciation, a choir and a hand bells group.
In the future the group says it aims to add more activities in the near future including archery, opera and cycling.
Petangue on Gylly Beach
As this is the 40th anniversary of the U3A in the UK and coincides with the Queen’s Platinum jubilee, a garden party is being planned in a member’s garden.
To join there is a nominal subscription of £23 a year.
For more information go to U3Acarrick.org.uk