What’s probably most missed just now: getting together with our mates! Well, for all those not in full-time employment or over 50 in Brecon and the surrounding area, there’s a promising solution on offer almost every week, even in lockdown, and that’s your local u3a.
u3a is a well established national network of independent organisations, to promote learning and curiosity among friends – with plenty of laughs thrown in. Originally called the ‘University of the Third Age’ back at the start in the sixties, it was perhaps at that point a little bit earnest. Now, however, it’s much more relaxed, covering interests of many kinds – from gardening to geology, local history to local walking trips, science to scrabble. And in ‘normal’ times, plenty of trips out. Most of the talks and activities are given by members, but there are also guest speakers.
Until March 2020, u3a met weekly at Theatr Brycheiniog, with around 100 of the 250 members coming along for the pleasure of being together, listening to a talk, maybe having lunch there and joining in smaller interest groups in the afternoon. An excellent Travel Desk arranged visits to cultural events and sites, and a Cinema Club met at Brecon Coliseum. Losing all that was of course very sad – especially the getting together part. But there’s been a very productive bounce back, as Brecon U3a ‘boldly goes’ on Zoom. Since early summer, weekly ‘meetings’ have resumed on Thursdays, with many new tech skills being learned, and much interest and entertainment generated.
So this term, events already booked include talks on Creation of Dyffryn Gardens, Antibiotic Resistance in the Post Covid era, Traditional Farmhouses in Breconshire, etc. and groups for Play-reading, Art Appreciation, Bookshelf, Earth Science, etc. The link with the theatre is still very much alive, with Brecon u3a being included in their ‘Cultural Café’ project, which may be suitable for small group meetings in time. Freedom to pursue group activities is very much Covid dependent at the moment, but Zoom provides a lifeline.
u3a Welcome new members and visitors. Details of all activities are here, on the u3a website. Visitors can contact the Chairman for a link to a talk or activity.