U3A Radlett, Hertfordshire

Location: Radlett is a large village, with a population of approximately 8,000, just north of London, in the county of Hertfordshire between St Albans and Borehamwood. Radlett lies on Watling Street, an ancient trackway in England and Wales that was first used by the ancient Britons. However it was only in 1860, when the Midland Railway was extended from Bedford into London and a station was built at Radlett that it grew from a small rural community to a desirable place to live with easy access to London. Radlett lies just inside the M25 Motorway. As well as 4 churches, Radlett is served by 2 synagogues. Bhaktivedanta Manor, the home of the Hare Krishna movement, is within walking distance of Radlett.

Membership: In September 2012 Radlett & District U3A started with a membership of 200, which doubled by the end of that month and has grown by early 2014 to a membership of just over 600. The greater majority of members live in Radlett and the surrounding villages, but some travel from other parts of Hertfordshire or North London. There is a considerable age range amongst the members and a wide range of life experience.

Activities: There are about 50 study groups from Astronomy to Yoga, far too many to list individually. This is entirely due to the enthusiasm of members and their willingness to lead or coordinate a wide variety of groups. A trip to our website will fill in the details at http://u3asites.org.uk/code/u3asite.php?site=468&page=0. The range includes languages, sports and fitness, crafts, history, the arts and philosophy. Most groups are held in members’ homes, but some hire halls. Groups are led by members, but some use outside tutors and speakers. There are also visits to galleries, gardens and places of interest. The monthly meetings, open to all members, are well attended with a wide range of interesting speakers.

Personal comments: Radlett & District U3A has had a very successful first year, growing very quickly so that it is now larger than many longer established U3As. This has required much hard work by the committee, group leaders and the RUGs (Really Useful Group). The way that third agers are keen and able to share their wide range of skills and experiences, learning and having fun together is inspirational.