You may have seen them, they look much like the rest of us, small groups of retired people out and about enjoying a meal here, visiting a historical site there, or grouped together in a local beauty spot learning to use their digital cameras. You could soon spot them enjoying each other’s gardens or setting off to see something special about a particular railway. Others are more discreet! They keep themselves more to themselves, out of sight, but nonetheless just as eager. They’ll be learning a new language, reading some of those classics of literature they never had time to before or indulging themselves in learning a new craft. Just keep your eyes open.
Once you spot one you begin to see them everywhere!
So what do all of these good folk have in common? They belong to our local U3A. And what on earth is that? Well, it's not some secret society and not, as the full name University of the Third Age implies, an academic institution which awards degrees or indeed qualifications of any kind.
These are people in their 'third age' which comes after the first 'age' of childhood and the second 'age' of full time work or parental responsibility. They come together to share leisure and learning activities in Wigtownshire U3A. It was established in February 2008 and now has twenty four different interest groups including Lunch and Supper Clubs, Crafts, Music, Literature, Languages, Photography, History, Art, Railways and Psychology. More details can be found on our groups pages
Anyone can suggest a new interest group and you only need to find another person with the same interest to start a new one, which can gradually snowball. There's a committee member who will help to get a new group up and running. It's all about sharing an enthusiasm for a subject, finding out more and learning together.
The group meetings are almost invariably held during the day and are mostly in members' homes. Where this isn't appropriate, either because of the size of the group or its activity, rooms are hired. For the annual £15 membership fee, members can join any number of groups.
Monthly talks are free to all members and open to visitors at a cost of just £2.00. They are held in the County Buildings Wigtown, usually on the last Friday of the month at 10.00am. Look out for the posters advertising the speaker for the coming month or see the list on our Meetings page. We have tea and coffee on arrival and that gives visitors, plus old and new members, time to chat and find out about what is happening in all the groups.
Anyone interested in joining or wanting more information can contact our Membership Secretary, Ray Hitchcock, (see contacts page), he'll be happy to tell you more, or you can download an application form here.