8th September 2023

Our photography group made good use of the current warm weather with a visit to Priory Park, due to staff shortages at the museum, opening was delayed so the group made the most of that extra time with an enjoyable trip to the park cafe, a nice cuppa and a chat.

Missing from the shot is Sue who took the photograph.  If you want to join in the fun and learn a little about photography please get in touch via the groups page.  And remember you don’t need the biggest and best equipment available as many of our members use a phone camera.

1st August 2023

Another group is coming back, so if you want to play or try out Table Tennis then, in addition to the existing groups, Linda and Val are trying to kick start the old Monday morning Table Tennis group into action.  So in need of a bit of exercise or just want to hone those skills head along to the Groups page and make contact with Linda and Val under the Monday Table tennis group at the very top of that page.  Be quick to get your name down as numbers will be limited.

5th July 2023

An old group is being resurrected.  Do you have a love of Poetry?  Then you’ll be delighted to hear that the Poetry Reading group is being re-established and Rosemary has kindly agreed to take it forward, meeting at her home regularly to share her love of Poetry.  If you are interested then please go to the groups page where you will find some details at the top of the page.  Alternatively contact Rosemary using this link or you can always make enquiries via the Groups Co-ordinator, Sally who be delighted to help you.

16th March 2023

Our ukulele group got together with Hadleigh u3a ukulele group for a jammin’ session!  Great fun was had by all.

24th February 2023

The latest Newsflash can be found here

8th February 2023

The ukulele group today discovered how hard the energy crisis has hit the Conservative Party.  They use Iveagh Hall for their group meetings/practise but for the last couple months there has been no heating and playing ukulele wearing gloves is not easy.

  … and have you noticed how the youngsters are for ever on their phone!!

2nd Feb 2023

Jan 2023 Fraud Alerts can be found here.

Click to access Fraud-update-Jan-2023.pdf

17th January 2023

Latest Newsflash can be found here

12th January 2023

A few months back David Stovell gave us a very interesting talk and demonstration on the subject of Bodging and Working with Greenwood.  You can get a feel for what he demonstrated from this short video.

11th January 2023

Well done to Sue and Alan of our Photography Group for successfully having their Festive photographs selected to be shown on the u3a Trust’s website.  The photos submitted are below and all those used by the Trust can be seen here.  Sue took her photo on a day out to Penshurst Place, Kent organised by Moira and for more details of her trips see her group details on the Groups page, Days out by Coach.


5th January 2023


Every year we try to recruit new members into the LEU3A News@1030 discussion group whose political diversity ranges from liberal policies that promote free-market capitalism; neo-liberals agendas that want a reduction in government spending;  young conservatives who want the reintroduction of debtors prisons for those who cannot pay their bills; ultra conservatives who want another Brexit referendum; and a couple of left wing bewhiskered trouble makers.

Meetings are held on the first Monday of the month


Please note that joining the group COULD mean you will FEEL  INSTANT RELIEF from fatigue, drowsiness, disorientation, headache, impaired cognition, poor memory, confusion, flu-like illness, poor stamina, blurred vision, inability to learn new things, speech slurring, hung-over feelings, sensation as if poisoned, muscle aching, degeneration of hand-writing, alcohol intolerance, sleep disturbance, mood disturbance, increased tearfulness, irritability, suicidal thoughts, extreme depression which can cause psychosis, muscle twitching, IBS, poor balance, numb patches, and increased susceptibility to infections and allergies.


Please note that joining the group COULD mean you will START  suffering from apathy, fatigue, despair, hopelessness, drowsiness, disorientation, headache, no cognition, twitching, illusions, no memory, total confusion, long covid flu-like illness, poor stamina, blurred vision, inability to learn new things, sleepless nights, speech slurring, hung-over feelings, sensation as if poisoned, muscle aching, degeneration of hand-writing, alcohol intolerance, sleep disturbance, mood disturbance, increased tearfulness, irritability, extreme depression which can cause psychosis, muscle twitching, IBS, poor balance, and increased susceptibility to infections.

On the other hand you may not experience EITHER OR NONE of these symptoms and just enjoy a delightful fun filled morning of laughter and giggles. Think about it.

25th November 2022

A special thanks to Frances Coombs who after running our Wildlife Walks group for 10 years is taking it easy and retiring from the group. (Although she has hinted that she might just lead a very occasional walk from time to time). So many enjoyable walks and a delight to learn from Frances who is so knowledgeable. Thank you Frances and very good to end with this walk in Belfairs and spotting the Magpie Inkcap fungus.  A few photos from that last walk can be seen here.

16th November 2022

Well done to Richard (5 photos) and Graham of our photography group for getting photos published on the Trusts ‘Found in Nature’ webpage.

15th November 2022

Want to reminisce about your childhood and growing up? Member Laura O’Connor wrote a book through lockdown as her personal walk down memory lane, originally intended for her family she has realised that there will be lots of things she talks about that will jog a few memories for us all so she has decided to sell copies to anyone wanting to join her on that wonderful trip into the past.  Illustrations are also by Laura, if you would like a copy please send a message to her using this link.

1st November 2022

We had a big crowd at our AGM when the new Committee members were all voted in, accounts approved and ‘auditor’ confirmed.  Not sure if the crowd was there for the AGM or to giggle at the Saucy Postcards talk given by our outgoing vice chair David White.  The meeting was held at our new home of the Leigh Community Centre.  Despite problems with the sun (quickly solved with some screen moving by Barbara!) and the PA system packing up (quickly solved with a new system being brought in by the caretaker), I think the venue was a success.  The Committee will be monitoring how things go with the venue and won’t hesitate to make changes if needed.

14th Oct 2022

Latest Newsflash can be found here

13th Oct 2022

The News from the East

12th Oct 2022

Latest Fraud Alerts from Southend Council

22nd, 23rd, 24th September 2022

We hope you were all able to get along to view the Leigh Shops Through Time exhibition.  If you missed the opportunity then a few photos from the event can be seen here.

Saturday 3rd to Sunday 11th September 2022

Don’t forget to check out the Leigh Art Trail now in its 25th year.  And make sure you look into Create 98 along the Broadway where Leigh Estuary u3a member Frances Coombs has an exhibition called The Cinder Path Uncut; wall hanging and accompanying pieces illustrating the flowers and plants flourishing along the cinder path on Leigh seafront.

2nd August 2022

Congratulations to Ruth for getting her submission to the u3a website accepted into their Patterns Gallery.  She was up against some strong opposition as can be seen here.  Her photo was:


23 May 2022

Please note that the June speaker will be Greg giving his TV Commercials talk that was postponed this month due to technical problems.

David White’s saucy postcards will now be our October show.

22nd May 2022

For the first time since lockdown, the White Bus company are presenting us with the Southend Film Festival, this year from Friday 27th – Sunday 29th May, and again is at the Park Inn hotel, where two suites are transformed into cinemas showing four films each day.  This there is an emphasises on the local nature of the programme where apart from the directors and leading stars appearing in support of the main films being shown, there are a number of film programmes that are particular to Southend – which include:

In the Spotlight: Southend’s Pier – Includes a brand new documentary about the pier. Show put together by the Pier Museum.

 By the Dome It’s Known: The Kursaal Story. The history of the Kursaal Amusement park presented using rare archive film. This event will include a Q&A with people who worked there.

How to Survive the End of the World – Locally made feature film much of which was shot on the Hadleigh Downs + locally made short film.

Made in Southend – 12 Locally made short films by various film makers.

Selling the City – Various films will be shown (some using a film projector) to show how Southend has been promoted to potential tourists over the years.

The link to the Film Festival website which details the whole event is

19th May 2022

Sometimes things just conspire to all go against you.  That is exactly what happened at today’s monthly meeting so apologies to everyone that turned up expecting a talk on TV Commercials.  Sadly the technical aspects all went against us and our booked speaker was unable to present what he had brought along.  We are hoping to resolve the problems over the next week or two and bring Greg back to present what promises to be something special.  But a huge thanks to Bernard Hetherington who took centre stage and regaled us with a few of his tales about Leigh, so thanks Bernard for saving the day!  If you want to hear more from Bernard then he is often volunteering at the Leigh Heritage Centre so pay him a visit and he’ll tell you a few more stories.

14th May 2022

Well done to Sue Balkwell for having her “Top of the World” photo featured in the u3a ‘Found in Nature’ programme.  If you are a budding wildlife photographer then please submit your photo (using this form) and maybe consider joining our Photography group where you’ll meet like minded members.

4th May 2022

As many of you will know, we are involved in a joint venture with our friends at Leigh-on-Sea u3a to launch a ‘History of Shopping in Leigh’ Exhibition in celebration of the u3a movement’s 40th Anniversary.  We have today heard that our combined application for grant monies from Leigh-on-Sea Town Council to cover the cost of hiring a room to house the Exhibition has been granted, so a huge thank you to LTC.  This is great news; please all put a note in your diary to attend the exhibition (or even better maybe help us run).

The exhibition dates are as follows:

Thursday 22 September 11.00 – 17.00

Friday 23 September 09.00 – 17.00

Saturday 24 September 09.00 – 17.00

If any member wishes to get involved with the proposals in any way please contact David White

3rd May 2022

This year not only do we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the u3a movement in the UK but we also celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Leigh Estuary u3a.  Do join us in celebration of both events by coming along to the Summer Lunch:

Where: Saxon Hall, Southend

When: August 18th 2022 (12:30 for 1:00pm)

Cost: £30 a head for three course meal and entertainment

Entertainment:  The Hoy Shanty Crew

More Info: please contact Events Manager Maire with any questions you might have.

Tickets: on sale at the next Monthly Speaker Meeting (please bring cheque made out to Leigh Estuary u3a) or contact Maire to reserve tickets.

The Hoy Shanty Crew - Day trip to Southend-on-Sea - YouTube

29th April 2022

April Fraud Alerts can be read here.

27th April 2022

If you missed this month’s talk about Dementia then a copy of the presentation, containing a huge amount of useful information and links can be seen here.

3rd April 2022

The latest fraud alerts can be seen here.

17th March 2022

At today’s monthly meeting we were given an insight into Afghanistan by Dr Nadir Biryai, born in the south of Afghanistan, trained as a doctor in Russia and now living in the UK.  A copy of his presentation slides can be viewed here.

2nd February 2022

Latest fraud alert can be read here.

4th January 2022

Happy New Year to all our members and welcome to what is the u3a’s 40th Anniversary Year.  To kick off the New Year and as part of the wider u3a Trust celebrations of the 40th Anniversary, the Committee decided we would purchase 10 trees to be planted as part of the u3a  Anniversary Woodland which is located on the England/Wales border in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The trees – two-year old saplings – will be native, deciduous trees; a mix of native species will be appropriate to the chosen site. Our purchase includes planting the trees, plus 12 years of maintenance to ensure the trees becomes established. A certificate certifying our involvement can be viewed here.  Yes we have other Anniversary plans for later in the year and if you have any thoughts yourself as to how your group might celebrate this milestone then please contact one of the Committee members.

2nd December 2021

Latest fraud and scam alerts can be found here.

In Addition be aware that fraudsters are circulating posts on social media, pretending to be the NHS, advising about the availability of newly developed PCR tests that detect the Omicron variant of Covid-19. The post includes a link to order the test.

This is a scam; if you see anything like this, please do not get fooled. They will ask you to pay for a test that does not exist.

21st November 2021

Great News – if you love Creative Writing but have been disappointed that the group seemed to have lost its momentum then we have a new leader who is raring to go.  If interested then please visit the Creative Writing tab under Groups and make contact with Richard on

22nd October 2021

Sue Sullivan, who runs our Visiting Gardens 2 group has a talk on the NGS Open Gardens Scheme on 24th November at 2.30pm in Room 7 at Leigh Community Centre.  She is hoping there are more people outside her group who might be interested.  Cost is £6 – and if interested please contact Sue via the Visiting Garden tab or simply by using this link.

21st October 2021

Our AGM was held today and a new Committee voted in.  If you have any ideas or questions then please contact one of the Committee members using the details on the ‘Contact‘ section of the menu.  We were also able to enjoy the stories of a professional football player, Frank Banks.  Frank started his early career at Southend before successfully playing for Hull City for many years and then finishing his playing career back at Southend.  We saw just how playing conditions have changed in a series of video clips from his playing days.

26th September 2021

Members of our Craft Group along with others were involved in the creation of a Lockdown Wallhanging, at present this can be seen hanging in the window of Create 98 in the Broadway.  On Friday 1st October from 7pm to 9pm, Create 98 are having an open evening where it can be seen more closely along with some of the creators who will be there to tell you all about it.  If that is not enough to tempt you along there will also be drinks and nibbles plus local artist, Michelle Goldman, will be displaying a number of her paintings.  Make a note in your diary.  A taste of what you’ll see is shown below –

16th September 2021

After a 19 month long covid-19 caused hiatus and gap in our monthly meetings, we were at long last able to hold our first face to face meeting with Chris Gasper as our guest speaker.  Chris gave an entertaining talk on the history of the Punch & Judy shows, which of course have been a regular feature on many of our beaches as well as other locations throughout our lives.  Apparently the first show in the UK took place in Covent Garden a few hundred years ago.  A few photo from the meeting are included below:

10th September 2021

Our monthly speaker meetings will restart at Leigh Wesley Methodist Church this month, the return meeting takes place on Thursday 16th September at 2:30pm (doors will open at 2:00pm).  We will be taking a number of precautions to help keep you safe, such as spacing of chairs and hand sanitiser on entry and we do ask that members wear a face mask so please come prepared, thank you.

The speaker for September is Chris Gasper. Chris will be relating the history of Punch & Judy. We will also be privileged to receive a production of the art form.

10th August 2021

The Southend Arts Festival, which has been partly funded by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, is set to take place between Friday 3 September and Sunday 19 September 2021.

The event will showcase and celebrate the immense cultural and artistic talent that we have in the Borough, through a variety of fun and immersive activities and shows.

Events include comedy, art, street performance, music, theatre, literature, spoken word and much more. The Festival also incorporates the hugely popular Southend Film Festival, as well as ‘Garden Gatherings’, hosted by Leigh Folk Festival.

To view the events calendar please see the Visit Southend website

8th August 2021

Fraud alerts issued for July can be found here.

27th July 2021

If you missed our July monthly talk on ‘The Secrets of Handwriting’ then be sure to catch up or watch again here.

2nd July 2021

Fraud Warnings issued for June can be seen here.

28th June 2021

A number of our groups are starting to get out and about and meet.  If you are unsure of the position of any of your groups please contact the group leader using the link on the groups page.  One group that enjoyed a gentle stroll around Gunners Park last week was the Wildlife Walks as can be seen in the photo below.  At this time of year there was plenty to see and enjoy including, left to right in the photo, common carder (bumble) bee on vipers bugloss, (male) common blue butterfly on birds-foot trefoil and (misleadingly named, because it is quite small) a large skipper butterfly.  (Click on picture to view a larger version.)

5th June 2021

Latest fraud alerts can be seen on links below:

Fake Cannabis sweets – warn your grandchildren

7th May 2021 Alert

14th May 2021 Alert

21st May 2021 Alert

28th May 2021 Alert

Report fraud or attempted fraud by contacting Action Fraud at or call 0300 123 2040

27th May 2021

Have you renewed your membership?  Time is fast running out to renew so before it is too late please visit our membership page and renew.  We know it has been confusing last year and this year over renewals due to cancelling renewals part way through last year (lockdown restrictions) and being given one free year membership!  If you are unsure then please contact the membership secretary to check.  If you do not have a yellow membership card (expiring March 2021 – yes we are reusing last years stock!) then you have not renewed.

26th May 2021

Occasionally we get asked by a member for help with their computer.  Lorna has provided that help when needed for many years but is now no longer able to do so.  If you have some computer skills and would be willing to assist another member when needed then please let our groups co-ordinator know and we will contact you if or when any assistance is requested.  We have had a member ask for help on a MAC computer so if you have some MAC knowledge then please get in touch.

21st May 2021

Due to covid restrictions and general uncertainties, the Committee decided not to actively hold an event to mark national u3a day this year.  If your group do anything to mark the day. please let us know and we can let all members know.

The Committee are considering what to do for June 2022 when the u3a movement will be celebrating its 40th anniversary.  Do you have any suggestions, can you or your group do something?  Please let one of the Executive Committee members know if you have any ideas.  Committee members can be contacted via the contacts page.

20th May 2021

Shaun Dutton gave an informative and interesting talk about his team’s work at Southend Council to help prevent fraud against the Council.  He also gave a number of tips on how to prevent being the victim of fraud.  If you missed his talk then you can catch it again here.

25th March 2021

Well done to member Sue Balkwell for getting her bird photographs featured in the Trust’s March newsletter.

25th March 2021

Banksy of Leigh-on-Sea and the Marine Parade Post box

23rd March 2021

Are you are interested in viewing the full film that Amy teased us with in last week’s talk?  Click here for full details of “The Living Thames” .  Alternatively keep up with the Partnership’s work via their Twitter page

18th March 2021

Another interesting and informative zoom meeting today with a presentation by Amy Pryor of the Thames Estuary Partnership.  If you missed the meeting then you can catch it again here.  If you want to get in touch with Amy then she can be contacted using this link, more details of the work of the TEP can be found at or

12th March 2021

How is your group managing to keep in touch, please tell us and we can let others know via this news page.  The photography group held a zoom meeting today to look at and review various photographs submitted by members.  Here’s a screen grab and by the looks of everyone’s faces it must have been an amusing photo.

If any group leader wants to use Zoom and the free version doesn’t meet your requirements then contact our Business Secretary to see if the Leigh Estuary u3a account can be used.

9th March 2021

Membership renewals are due as of 1st April.  This year online applications and payments (online payments only from 1st April) can be made.  Please go to the membership item on the main menu for full details.

18th February 2021

Our monthly zoom meeting comprised a very interesting talk on her life in the world of continuity and more by Sally Lawrence.   We heard all about her experiences as the “Eye in the Sky” for Essex Radio, some high jinx at Channel 4 and how she handled the announcements on BBC for the deaths of both Lady Diana Spencer and the Queen Mother.  If you missed her talk then it can be seen here.

26th January 2021

Some of you may have seen an article in the National newsletter written by our very own Bernard Hetherington and telling of his wartime memories, in case you missed it, you can read the article here.  Of course you may have your own memories and we’d love you to share those with us.  Please contact our webmaster for details of where to send your stories.

21st January 2021

We hope everyone who was able to join our monthly Zoom meeting, a talk on Patient and Public Involvement in Health by Chris Gasper and Jean Broadbent, found it informative and interesting.  If you want to get involved with Healthwatch or just wishing to know more then please use this link.  A capture of a few of those attending can be seen here.

15th January 2021

Our first Zoom meeting for 2021 takes place on Thursday 21st January  Ahead of the meeting, members are being encouraged to review the information that can be found here.  Please review ahead of the meeting and be ready with your questions.  A link to the meeting has already been issued to all members; if you have not seen it please check your inbox and spam folder for any email sent from Leigh Estuary u3a.  If all else fails and you are still unable to find the link then please contact our Business Secretary.

25th December 2020

Congratulations to Graham Mee, a member of our Photographic group, who managed to get one of his photos on the front page of the National u3a’s Christmas Day Newsletter; very well done.

25th December 2020

A very merry Christmas to all our members and here’s to a happy and hopefully healthier new year for us all.

19th November 2020

Ciara Phipps and Claire Reed treated us to an insight into the workings of Southend Museum, how they look after and protect their collection for future generations and told us all about the most important discovery of the Prince’s Grave; uncovered just to the north east of Priory Park in 2003.  Apologies that we were unable to share the presentation slides prepared due to technical difficulties.  As promised the slides have been made available to us courtesy of Southend Museums and Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) and can now be viewed here.  (Please note copyright belongs to Southend Museums and slides may not be copied or used without their written authority.)

14th November 2020

Essex Police issue new fraud alert

10th November 2020

The u3a Trust are looking for volunteers with knowledge and experience of working in a PR, media or marketing capacity.  Can you help?  See following link for full details.

5th November 2020

The u3a Trust has issued guidance for group activities against the latest Covid19 advice – full details here.

28th October 2020

Winter Watch – You are invited by the u3a Trust to submit photos to be included in a Winter themed photography gallery.  Please see following link for full details.

25th October 2020

Are you willing to give a little bit of help to a charity?  All done from home and no real effort on your part – all you need to do is collect your used stamps off any letters you might received.  Once you have a tin or maybe an envelope full pass them on when they will be collected together and the money raised from selling the stamps goes towards the Bone Cancer Trust charity.  So please let’s all get collecting and when you have enough to pass on please contact Lorna.

(The charity are happy to receive your used stamps untrimmed and unsorted as they have a super team of volunteers who are ready with their scissors. If you do wish to trim stamps for them please leave up to 1cm of paper around the stamp to prevent damage. They can not sell if there is too much paper around the stamp. Stamps are accepted if they are already off paper, but please do not remove stamps off paper. Stamps that have been biroed or damaged in any way should be put into your paper recycling bin.)

23rd October 2020

No not a new group but you may have noticed that our popular fashion group is now called “Fashion & Lifestyle“.  Mary Pudney is group leader and says adding lifestyle to our group name reflects more closely the wider range of topics we discuss and events we plan to visit once restrictions are lifted.

15th October 2020

We held our first monthly speaker meeting using Zoom.  Around 50 attended and it was a great success,  Yes we missed that personal interaction and with a need to have members microphones muted to prevent any accidental interruption of the speaker did it it difficult when it came to questions; but the whole experiment went well, the speaker, Peter Monk, aka Peter Optical, told us an amusing story with such great passion and expression that it really brought it alive.  Next month’s meeting is also planned to be via Zoom and full details will be emailed to all members ahead of the event.

17th September 2020

The Zoom AGM meeting was held earlier today.  The Chairman’s report can be read here.  Groups Co-ordinator report can be read here.  The members standing to form the new Committee were all voted in and details of the new Committee can be found here.  Members voted in support of the proposed fee reduction to zero this current year and to return to £12 for next year.  A copy of the minutes will be posted once available.

17th September 2020

The London Open House weekend are showing films and also have online events about buildings in London starting tonight – see link here  if interested.  Events continue up to 27th September.

4th September 2020

We have a new Monday Petanque group starting up soon.  Due to covid19, numbers are initially limited to allow for social distancing so be quick to register interest.  If you wish to get involved then please contact Peter for more information.

3rd September 2020

Our annual AGM will now be held on Thursday 17th September via an online Zoom meeting.  Details have been issued to all members along with a voting form.  If you cannot attend the Zoom meeting you can still cast your votes using the following link – VOTING FORM

16th August 2020

Following the uncertainty and difficulties of the last few months of lockdown, a few groups have started to meet again; for example, see the latest news of the fashion group’s meeting earlier this month on their “News & Events” page

10th August 2020

Central U3A Trust have issued guidelines to help interest groups looking to restart.  Full details can be found here.

13th July 2020

From 13th July to the end of September parking charges in Southend are being adjusted to help the town’s recovery from the economic fallout of Covid.  See news link here.

29th June 2020

Latest advice from central Trust U3A regarding Covid and meetings after 4th July 2020 can be found here.

6th June 2020

What are your Executive Committee doing during lockdown – for update please see here.  If you have suggestions, ideas are thoughts on anything we might do then please get in touch with one of the Committee Members.

5th June 2020

Esther and Linda have decided to step down from the Committee after each putting in many years to help keep things running smoothly.  Both were sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers as thanks from the Committee and from all Leigh Estuary U3A members for their hard work.  We will miss your input and friendly smiles.

2nd June 2020

Your Executive Committee have continued to meet during the lock down using Zoom.  Here is a shot of the latest meeting in progress, left to right, top to bottom – Ian, Ruth, Dave, Linda, Esther, Dave, Lorna:

1st June 2020

Essex Police have issued an information sheet regarding the proposed NHS Track and Trace App and how to stay safe using it – details can be seen here.

17th April 2020

A reminder to anyone forwarding emails to their group please, stay safe:

16th March 2020

In view of the renewal sessions having been cancelled, membership renewals can be made by post using this form and sending to Esther along with your cheque and a self addressed stamped envelope.  We will be setting up new renewal sessions once the current crisis has passed.

14th March 2020

Coronavirus – Please note that all monthly meetings from March and until further notice have been cancelled.  Also all remaining membership renewal sessions have been cancelled.  The message from our Vice Chairman can be read here.

10th March 2020

Want to join in our celebrations for National U3A Day on Wednesday 3rd June?  Click here for details.

8th March 2020

Today is International Women’s Day.  It all started in 1914 when women held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.  Our U3A comprises roughly 70% women; and still wanting to make a difference.

3rd March 2020

Further advice received from the U3A Trust regarding coronavirus can be found here.  Remember always wash your hands and encourage those around you to do likewise.

29th February 2020

We have received from the U3A Trust updated advice and information regarding the coronavirus which we have been asked to share with our members.  Details here as Word format (hyperlinks intact on this version) and as pdf format (no hyperlinks)

28th February 2020

After several attempts at trying to get a third table tennis group underway, it looks like we are dangerously close to achieving that goal.  A Monday morning group has been kicked off, with their first session taking place on Monday 16th March at the Rayleigh MegaCentre (just off Rayleigh Weir) starting at 10:00am for one hour.  If you are after some fun playing table tennis and don’t mind a bit of light activity to keep you fit then get in touch with the group leader, John.  Spaces available.

17th February 2020

The Current Affairs and General Discussion Group meet every 3rd Monday, 10.00am at LCC and are looking for a couple more members to join them for some friendly debate and chat. If this appeals please contact Barry

14th February 2020

We have been asked by the Essex U3A Association to share this information regarding frauds, including romance fraud on this Valentine’s Day

14th February 2020

The Third Age Trust has asked us to share the coronavirus information on this link with all members.

6th February 2020

With the new Havens Hospice opening in the spring, we have been asked if any of our members would be interested in volunteering to help with many tasks and help required by the Hospice.  If anyone is willing to give time to a worthy cause then please contact Havens Hospice direct for details.

28th January 2020

Our next Monthly Meeting on Thursday 20th February is titled The Robin Hood Gardens Estate and will be presented by Kois Miah and Nick Thoburn. 

Kois Miah is a British Bangladeshi photographer. The Robin Hood Gardens Estate is a 1970s brutalist estate in Tower Hamlets. When its demolition was announced, Kois and sociologist Nick Thoburn photographed and interviewed the residents of this iconic and much maligned building development. The resulting work gave rise to an exhibition in Spitalfields and an article in the Sunday Times magazine. A portion of the Robin Hood estate is now part of an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

They are bringing the Estate to us – not to be missed.

26th January 2020

We are all aware of the potential of being caught by a scam or a fraudulent individual that could cost us dearly.  Essex Police have recently issued this document warning of a number of scams currently doing the rounds.  Always be careful and if in any doubt avoid it, walk away and ask someone else and never ever share personal details via the phone or via any unexpected email contact.  Contact details to the Essex Police Prevent & Protect Fraud Office are included in the document.  More links to useful organisations to help with fraud issues can be found on the Essex Police website.

16th January 2020

We were treated to a very interesting talk on bees given by a member of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust  at the monthly meeting earlier today. If you didn’t already know, the Thames valley around Leigh (Two Tree Island and Canvey Wick) and opposite in Kent is home to one of this country’s rarest bumblebees, the Shrill Carder bee.  The only other place they are known to live is in Bristol area of the Severn valley; they were known to be on the Somerset Levels but after the extensive winter flooding in 2013-14 that site is now under some doubt as to whether they have survived.

If you were at the meeting then you will have heard that Richard, one of our members with a keen interest in bumblebees, is hoping to get a regular BeewWalk group organised and to take part in the Trust’s national recording scheme to monitor the abundance of bumblebees across the UK.  Members of the group would identify and count the bumblebees they see on an hour’s walk each month from March to October and help to identify whether local populations of this essential insect are increasing, declining or staying steady.  To be a BeeWalker all you need is a spare hour or so every month to walk a fixed route of about a mile (you choose where it goes), and submit your sightings.  Before it kicks off some basic training in identifying the different species would be given.  It was good to see a long list of member names wanting to get involved.  If you want to get your name down to help in this worthy study or if you want more information then please contact Richard.

16th January 2020

The new Portrait Painting group will be meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at the Leigh Community Centre.  Their first meeting takes place on Tuesday 28th January from 10:30am to 12:30pm – spaces available so if interested then please contact the group leader for more details.

9th January 2020 

Our Photographic group were invited to take part in an inter U3A competition between Shoebury & Thorpe Bay, Southend, Leigh-on-Sea, New Eastwood and, of course, Leigh Estuary U3As.  Some fantastic photographs had been submitted and competition was tough.  Whilst Leigh Estuary’s overall score of 165 placed them second to Eastwood’s winning score 183, our group did manage to achieve  most maximum scores of 20 (four maximums against Eastwood’s two) and Sue’s “Patriotic Butterfly” was voted top overall winner … congratulations and very well done Sue.  All the entries with individuals scores can be viewed here.  If these have left you thinking I can do just as well then there are spaces in the group so please contact their group contact with any questions or if you wish to join the group.

8th January 2020

Like buses, you wait all year to get coverage in the local newspaper and then crash, bang wallop … two at once!  This week’s Leigh Times covered our Sounds of the Sixties Christmas event as well as reporting on the Art Exhibition at Leigh Community Centre where two of our groups – Art for Pleasure and Photography – both have exhibits.  If you missed the reports, they can be seen here.

8th January 2020

Fancy a day out at the British Museum maybe to discover the many ancient objects of Egypt or China or to see what spectacular celebration they have for the 500th birthday of Raphael or to view the French Impressions: prints from Manet to Cézanne or just explore some of the 60 free galleries.  Of course a trip to the British Museum is just one idea, feel free to explore any other corner of London.   What we have is the chance to travel by luxury coach from the local area to London at a cost of only £21 return on 7th May 2020 when the Theatre group have a coach travelling to London with spare seats.
For further details  & times etc contact Trevor.

3rd January 2020

New Year and a New Group – need a bit of exercise to work off those pounds gained over the celebratory period?  Then why not join our new Carpet Bowls group due to get underway early in the year.  Full details can be found here or contact Peter for more information.

1st January 2020

The Committee wish all our members a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

24th December 2019

Seasonal Greetings to all our members

22nd December 2019

A reminder to everyone that there is no Coffee & Chat this Tuesday 24th December.

19th December 2019

What a fun event we had today with some real musical nostalgia to take us back to the sixties.  Our UNIVERSITY of the third age CHALLENGE had two teams – the Strolling Bones -v- the Mods & Rockers – pitting their wits against each other to identify 60s songs and their artists.  Music by BBC Essex DJ Steve Scrutton and his accomplice Ian Wyatt.  It was a tight contest to start before Mods & Rockers slowly eased away taking 5 bonus points overall to seal the win 31 points to 26.  Well done to both teams for an entertaining afternoon and well done to all those that helped in the organisation of the event.  A few photos below:

18th December 2019

A new name for a new group.  A second Sunday Lunch group got up and running this month with their first meal enjoyed in the surroundings of Southchurch Park dining in the Dining Rooms alongside the lake.  Good home cooking, an opportunity to discuss plans for 2020, and to dream up a new name for the group!  The group decided on Dessert First Lunch Group so you’ll find details of the group on the GROUPS page under D for Dessert.

17th December 2019

The Maths for Fun group wanted to send everyone in Leigh Estuary U3A this greeting

12th December 2019

It wasn’t just a hectic election day today … the Ukulele group managed to squeeze in a performance at St Luke’s given to the Southend Silver Birch Care Group.  A few photos from the event can be seen on their News & Events page.

7th December 2019

Study Days in Essex for 2020 – interested in Geology, Genealogy, Trees or First Aid?  Then maybe one of the Essex Association Study Days planned for 2020 might be of interest to you.  Full details here or for latest updates see the Essex Association U3A website.

7th December 2019

Be quick but there are still spaces on the Days Out Trip to A BRIEF HISTORY OF JAZZ on Wednesday 12th February 2020.  Full details here.

6th December 2019

Reception Ladies at the Mega Centre Rayleigh and gifts donated

Thanks to the members of the Friday Table Tennis group for the support shown to the Mega Centre in Rayleigh (their Friday morning venue).  The Centre give out presents to the children of families needing help and support and ask for gifts to help their cause.  On the suggestion of one of the group members, they had a collection, followed by a swift visit to Sainsbury to purchase suitable items with the money collected.  The Centre had suggested gifts for teenagers might be appropriate as that age group often missed out on suitable gifts being donated.  Left is a photo of the very appreciative reception ladies at the Mega Centre with the gifts purchased by the Table Tennis group proudly displayed.  A huge well done and thanks to all who contributed.


1st December 2019

Get along to the Leigh Community Centre this month or next where you’ll find a number of art and photographic displays from our Art for Pleasure and Photographic groups.  Well worth a visit to see some excellent pieces of art.

30th November 2019

It is hoped that a Portrait Painting Group will get underway soon.  (Some of you may recall that we had such a group running in the past.)  It is hoped this will start in the new year led by Derek, one of our members who is an accomplished artist.  Currently, it is understood a room will be available in the Leigh Community Centre on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday mornings of the the month.  To get things going, a meeting in the cafe at the Leigh Community Centre is planned for those interested in knowing more.  Please contact Derek for more details.

30th November 2019

The London Visits Group 1 has arranged a meeting on Monday December 9th at the community centre at 10.30am to discuss plans, ideas for 2020.  Please make sure you get along if you want to have a  say about where you visit next year.  If you are not currently a member and want to get join her group then please turn up when Allison will be delighted to meet you and hear your suggestions for trips.  A list of proposed trips can be seen here although this is not definitive and will be discussed on the 9th to reach a final agreed list of places to go.

16th November 2019

Want to see “The Man in the White Suit” starring Stephen Mangan?  Then be quick as it must close on 7th December.  Contact Trevor (Theatre Group) or see here for full details 

12th November 2019

URGENT CALL FOR HELP – we really need more volunteers to help put out and put away tables/chairs at the monthly meetings.  If enough members put their hand up, it means those offering would only have to assist once or twice a year.  Currently it is the same few that end up doing the work at every meeting.  So please even if you can only do one or two meetings a year then please get in touch with Graham and offer to help.  He’d greatly appreciate it.

10th November 2019

With the huge numbers of geese currently enjoying the benefits of residing in the Leigh Estuary, one member has drawn attention to the following poem (to be read with each line increasing in volume and intensity).  Do you know who wrote it? No prize for getting it right but bragging rights if you know it.

Brent Geese in the Sky
Brent Geese in the Sky
Brent Geese in the Sky
Brent Geese in the Sky
Brent Geese in the Sky
Fly fly fly.

Answer can be found here.

8th November 2019

Change of Name – Vigorous Walking must have slowed down because they have decided to rename themselves as Country Walks.  (Of course maybe that means they plan to walk the length of the Country which would be going it somewhat!)  Anyway apart from the name change all else remains the same.  They could do with a few more members so if interested please contact Dave, link on the Country Walks tab of the groups page.

5th November 2019

A couple of photos were sent in by a member dating back to 2017.  Thought you might enjoy seeing them.

5th November 2019

Fancy a trip to Canterbury?  Leigh WI have spare seats on their coach visiting Canterbury on Saturday December 7th.  Local pick ups along London Road from 9:00am departing Canterbury at 5:00pm.  Cost only £20.  If interested please contact Pat on  01702 337388 for further details and to book your seat.

26th October 2019

Two returned tickets available for “We will rock you“ the Queen musical, in two weeks time on Wednesday 6 /11/19 at the Cliffs Pavilion (matinee performance  2:00pm.  Tickets only £28 (not the full £40).  If interested please contact Trevor – group leader Theatre Group.

18th October 2019

Stop Press – details of speakers for 2020 now added to the website, see Events for details.

17th October 2019

BUMBLE BEES — Did you know that we have, locally, some of the last colonies of a nationally endangered bumble bee?
We all know that bumble bee (and other insect) populations have suffered catastrophic declines in recent decades but all of us can help arrest this trend.
We have invited John Taylor, an experienced volunteer with the BBCT (Bumble Bee Conservation Trust) to come and speak to us at our January 16,  2020 general meeting.  He will talk about this small, but much-loved, creature and offer suggestions as to how we can all help to restore its numbers, including joining the Trust’s ‘Bee Walk’ scheme.
Other U3As have enthusiastically adopted ‘Bee Walks’ and Richard Lytheer is prepared to lead an initiative in  Leigh Estuary.   Richard also hopes to start a more general group for those interested in bees and other insects, and their habitats, to work in parallel with our existing popular ‘Wildlife Walks’ group.
Anyone who is interested can contact Richard here.

14th October 2019

South East Essex Organic Gardeners would love you to join them at their next meeting on Monday 18 November at Growing Together Westcliff at 20:00:

‘Growing Community – the soil and soul story of the Southend in Transition Community Allotment’

They’re using one of the allotment plots at Southend East Allotment Society site to create a community plot where local residents can come occasionally or regularly to learn new growing skills; interact with each other and nature; save some money by taking some organic produce home and then maybe start growing at home or take on their own plot when they have the confidence.

Monday, 18 November, 20:00

Growing Together Westcliff, 47 Fairfax Drive, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9AG (corner of Fairfax Drive and Prittlewell Chase)

Please use the entrance in Prittlewell Chase.

Non-members £2.00 – everyone is most welcome!

7th October 2019

Third Age Matters (TAM) – love it or hate it?  Whatever your view ensure you have the date of Thursday 21st November 2019 in your diary.  The newly appointed editor of TAM Joanne Smith – is paying us a visit at our monthly meeting and she wants to hear your views on the magasine – good and bad.  This is your chance to influence the future direction of the magasine; don’t miss it.  If you cannot make it for any reason and have something to say then please contact one of the Committee who will happily pass on your views.  If you missed the TAM article about Joanne then you can read it here.

1st October 2019

All Group Leaders/Contacts were invited to a “thank you” meeting when some lively discussion also took place.  Full details and notes from the event can be found under the Group Documents tab on the Links and Download page.  If any member wishes to raise any ideas, has a comment or just wants to make their view known then please contact any of the Committee members.

24 September 2019

Relive the Days Out by Coach trip to the “Smokehouse Experience” here

22 September 2019

Days Out by Coach – details of the latest trip planned for 12th February have just been released.  If you love Jazz then this is definitely a trip for you.  Details here.

21 September 2019

Enjoy Sunday Lunch with friends then you might be interested in knowing that we are looking at getting a second Sunday Lunch group up and running.  Interested?  Please contact the Groups Co-ordinator to get you name on the VIP list.

15th September 2019

Did you get down to Old Leigh Regatta.  Lovely warm day and plenty of people:

Old Leigh Regatta
Old Leigh Regatta

15th September 2019

Trevor’s theatre group is looking for members who are interested in seeing Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes.  A visit to Sadler’s Wells is being planned in January 2020.  For more details see the Theatre News & Events page or contact Trevor.  Ticket payment needed by 8th October.

12th September 2019

The following link gives details of an event for Friday 27 September 2019 to be held at Hadleigh Old Fire Station in aid of fund raising to purchase medicines for orphans in the Philippines following the last tsunami there.  The concert starts at 8pm and features a talented group of musicians who get together as a band to play for charity fund raiser events only (they are all professional musicians) playing popular music covers from all eras. The lead singer is operatically trained! The event is £8 a ticket, bring your own drinks and nibbles. There will be a raffle with good prizes too. Tables and chairs provided for seating, and coffee and tea service available. A good night out guaranteed. Free local parking, venue easily accessible and at a unique local venue. Proceeds to ‘Music and Medicine’.  To book call or text Dave on either 07968 771483 or 07818 017278.

12th September 2019

Many of you will have visited Stow Maries Aerodrome and will be interested in helping them develop further.

Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome has been shortlisted for a £50K grant to support the long term growth of the site.  Success in gaining the award is partly dependent on a voting process and there is just over two weeks for people to cast their vote and show the judges how treasured the aerodrome is.

It only takes 2 seconds, so please spare that moment of time to vote for them using link below:

11th September 2019

Earlier today, the Ukulele group entertained Leigh Council’s Over 60’s Social Club in a sing-a-long.  Despite the group being down in numbers due to holidays, other appointments or commitments, a rousing rendition was given to all the songs played and they even had a request for an encore at the end!

The group were supported by our very own Frances Coombs who recited a couple of her own poems in the breaks.  If you have never heard Frances then an example of her superb work can be read here.  (Eat your heart out Pam Ayres).  If this poem appeals to your sense of humour and fun then Frances has published two books of her poems (some come with music) – Do Not Exceed the Stated Dose and Keep Out of Reach of Children – contact Frances if you’d like to purchase a copy of either book.

9th September 2019

And a snippet of press coverage we had last month:

So if you know anybody thinking of joining, please invite them along to our monthly meeting on September 19th.

6th September 2019

Wanting to keep our U3A in the forefront of people’s minds, we try to get press coverage whenever we can so watch out for the following in the Leigh Times:

Leigh Estuary U3A members were delighted to have the costume makers for Strictly come Dancing come along to their Summer lunch to tell us the stories behind the clothes – they have just one week from being designed to being made! A young lady from the company modelled several of last seasons dresses and everyone loved viewing them. 
Members were invited to try on the dresses if they wished and several did.  Here are three ladies who did.
From left to right Pamela Walters in Ruth Langford’s Paso dress, Carole Ladd in Kate Silverton’s Ice Maiden Halloween dress, Doreen Davies in Ruth Langford’s Tango dress.
If you would like to join our Leigh Estuary U3A Contact us on 077897 45206 or email : website” 
If you have a story worthy of press coverage then please let one of the Executive Committee members know.





31st August 2019

Our Chairman, Ruth Lancashire, attended the National Conference/AGM which was held on 29th August in Nottingham.  She has kindly prepared a report following her attendance which can be downloaded and read here.  You will also see that Jennifer Simpson, a member of Leigh Estuary U3A, gave a presentation on Shared Learning Projects.  If any member wishes to attend a future National Conference/AGM please contact one of the Committee members.

30th August 2019

The Transport group have 2 places available on on their visit to Orfordness on Tuesday the 1st October, departing Southend at 09.30 by car to the ferry port which will take us to ORFORDNESS (a National Trust Island) where we have Island transport to take us around for about 3 hours.   This National Trust site is not open to members of the public normally.

The cost will be £24 per person. However if we don’t reach the required numbers then this will increase,  So we need 2 more to make this viable.  PLEASE check your diary for the 1st October.  Contact Graham Lipscombe here or phone him on 07929 316 205 if interested or should you need more details.

27th August 2019

Contemporary Novels group are hoping to find a couple of new members to join them.  If you’re thinking this appeals to you and want to know the sort of novels they read or to see the planned future reading list then details can be found here.  If you want to know more information please contact the group leader.

27th August 2019

Fancy a trip to London on 21st November?  The theatre group have a coach visiting a London show with coach seats to spare.  Return trip available for just £20 – an easy and convenient way to get to London without all the hassle of trains and tubes.  The coach is going to Manchester Square which is a short walk from there to Oxford Street and Selfridges (maybe a bit of Christmas shopping?) or even closer a short walk to Hertford House and The Wallace Collection – well worth a visit where you’ll find artworks galore including “The Laughing Cavalier” (who is neither a cavalier nor is he laughing!) Wallace Collection details can be seen here.  Please contact Trevor for full details.

26th August 2019

Just received some photos from the Summer Lunch that took place on 22nd August.  If you have any photos from the event that you’d like to share with the wider membership please email them to  Photos can be seen here.

26th August 2019

On Sunday 1st September at 6:00pm at the Highlands Methodist Church (Sutherlands Boulevard, Leigh), there is a tribute concert to ELVIS PRESLEY performed by Michael Glayshers.
Tickets £10 (children £5 if you want to take your grandchildren along) to include refreshments which will be served from 5:00pm.  Trevor from the Theatre group reports that he has heard good reviews so sounds like one worth considering.  Please let Jean/Frank Edmonds know numbers if you intend going on 01702-525250, or email Frank. If you have any questions please contact Trevor.  Thank you for supporting one of our local churches.

25th August 2019

The U3A Theatre Group has two returned tickets (due to illness) for TOAST on FRIDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER at 8 PM. at the Palace Theatre.
It is a play about growing up in the 1960’s by the TV Chef Nigel Slater.  The face value of the tickets is £27 each, but willing a negotiate a price as they are returns.  They are in row K of the stalls.
Please contact Trevor for details.

14th August 2019

Local History group beat The Times Newspaper to a scoop!  Our Local History group recently undertook some research around the history of a number of local villages.  One village included Paglesham where it was discovered the remains of Charles Darwin’s ship, HMS Beagle, was buried deep in the Paglesham mud.  Low and behold, today The Times reported on this same story but they were a month late – did our Local History group tip them off we wonder?

(Sadly, The Times story is no longer available to be read.)

8th August 2019

Fancy a game of Petanque?  The Thursday afternoon group could do with a few more members to join in the fun.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve never played, it’s great fun learning.  Please contact Victor if interested.

8th August 2019

Local Walks 2 have spaces and Janice would love to see a few more join up to the group.  Their walks are not too energetic and they look to make them enjoyable rather than a hard hike.  Please contact Janice if interested, they meet on the first Wednesday of each month.

6th August 2019

Fame for the Fashion and Fashion & Fabrics groups with a write up in the Leigh Times:

Charity Fashion

5th August 2019

Shoebury and Thorpe Bay U3A are embarking on a trip to Kentwell Hall, Long Melford on Sunday 22nd September. At the moment their coach is half full and they are offering this trip  to members of Leigh Estuary U3A.  The cost is £32 and pick up can be arranged for The Elms or Thames Drive.
If interested please contact Sera Hayes direct on phone 01702 621 148 or email

3rd August 2019

There are still spaces on the  Days Out by Coach  trip to  PRESTED HALL FESTIVE LUNCH ON TUESDAY 10TH DECEMBER.
There will be two  coaches departing from Chalkwell Park at about 10.00 am (exact timings and other departure points to be confirmed nearer the time of departure).  There will be a stop for refreshments and an opportunity for a spot of shopping enroute to Prested Hall – probably at Hyde Hall or Perrywood Garden Centre.  Arrival time at Prested Hall will be at about 12.00 pm, when drinks will be available for purchase from the bar in the lounge.  Lunch will be served in the Orangery at about 12.45 pm.  Cost is £46 per person.  For full details please visit the Groups page and open the Days Out by Coach tab.

2nd August 2019

Did you know that Iraq invaded Kuwait on this day in 1990?  Or more importantly did you know there are spaces in the Tap Dancing group; I thought not.  If interested (in joining the Tap Dancing group I mean) please contact Laura or Iris.

29th July 2019

Moira still has spaces on her Tuesday 19th November trip – QUEEN VICTORIA AND AFTERNOON TEA.

Full details of the trip are can be found here and the cost is £51.50 per person, which covers the cost of coach hire, tour as described including Afternoon Tea,  entrance fee to the Exhibition and tips for the driver and waiting staff.
Departure time from Chalkwell Park will be at about 9.00 am to allow us free time in Kensington High Street before our tour of the Exhibition followed by Afternoon Tea.  Exact timings and other departure points will be confirmed nearer the time.
Please contact Moira via her contact page if you are interested or simply want more information.
28th July 2019
Trevor has managed to secure a few tickets for the sold out We will Rock You by Ben Elton and the story of the band Queen’s music.   The tickets are for the rear front stall rows for the Wednesday 6th November performance at 2.30 pm at the Cliffs Pavilion.  Tickets are £40  but if he can sell all 12 he has managed to get allocated to him then the cost will fall to £32.  He has to confirm, with payment, by 8th August so if interested then please contact Trevor quickly who can give you further details.

27th July 2019

Are you interested in our local history or more importantly the maritime life of Leigh from the fishing industry to boatbuilding to the modern day needs of tourism and heritage preservation?  Then we have the opportunity to get involved in a very exciting oral history project about to kick off.  For more details please see full details here or contact Jennifer Simpson to discuss.

17th July 2019

So that you are all aware, the new Committee, elected at the June AGM, is now in full swing.  Details of who is on the Committee and their roles can be found via a link on the Contact page, 5th paragraph down, alternatively click here.

15th July 2019

There are several members wanting to join the fashion groups but sadly not enough room to accommodate so we are looking at getting a third group up and running.  Ideally that third group could do with a few more members so if you are interested then please get in touch with the groups co-ordinator and get your name on the list.  If you want an idea of what the two existing groups get up to then take a look at the groups page, click on Fashion or Fashion & Fabric and visit the News & Events linked on their pages.

10 July 2019

Fancy a convenient coach trip to London on Thursday 29th August 2019?  Do some shopping, see the sights?  The Theatre Group has a trip to the ballet that day and there are spare seats on the coach – so cadge a lift there (and back) at a bargain price to help fill the coach.  Contact Trevor for details.

10 July 2019 – WHITE CHRISTMAS

It’s never too early to be thinking of Christmas and the Theatre group has just had a new ticket release of tickets for the show WHITE CHRISTMAS by Irvine Berlin at the Dominion Theatre London on 21st November (14:30  performance).  Tickets only £67 including a coach from Leigh Elms & Highlands Boulevard.  You don’t need to be a member of that group and full details can be found here or contact Trevor for more details.
9 July 2019
Our Fashion & Fabrics group managed to get their own Yellow Jackets demonstration going outside the Royal Opera House – see here for photos

28 June 2019

BIG SHOUT OUT TO ALL MEMBERS – the Ballroom Dancing Group are offering 2 sessions of beginners Jive on 2nd and 16th July at 10:30am -12noon – £7 for the two sessions.
This will be followed by 2 sessions of beginners Salsa on 6th and 20th August same £7 cost for two sessions but reduction in fees offered for those attending both jive and salsa sessions.
No partner required. No further commitment required. Just come along and give it a try.
Please contact Maire Berry  Group contact for further details.

27 June 2019

Via the Theatre Group, we have been given the opportunity of an exclusive £27.50 Ticket Offer for U3A members to see Captain Corelli’s Mandolin at The Harold Pinter Theatre on Thursday 18th July matinee and stay after the production to meet members of the Cast.     There’s no minimum number required to book so the offer can be booked by individual U3A members.

Members just need to give Theresa Baker (U3A Group Bookings at the Ambassador Theatre Group) a call on 01327 844 263 or email her on to book in seats.  They would be delighted to see you there!

Alternatively contact Trevor (Group Contact for the Theatre Group) and he will assist you

20 June 2019

Following today’s AGM, we have a newly elected Committee to look after all those essential administrative matters that nobody really wants to take on and our thanks to each and everyone of them for taking on that mantle; without our volunteer Committee we would not have a U3A.  Thanks also to those retiring Committee members and for all your hard work and efforts throughout the last year – so thank you Derek, Marilyn and Judy for everything you have done and achieved on our behalf.

The motion to amend our Constitution was also approved by the members, a copy of which can be found here.

8 – 15 June 2019

Ensure you take the opportunity to visit the Leigh Art Trail.  For more information visit their official website –

28 May 2019 – See Around Britain

We have been contacted by See Around Britain, a registered charity which has set up a website, with the intention to provide photographic and detailed written information regarding a large variety of public venues throughout the UK. The information they provide gives a brief description, along with contact details, transport information and accessibility information so that potential visitors, including those with disabilities, can decide whether or not a venue is suitable for their particular needs.

The charity currently has a number of exciting volunteering opportunities available which they feel could be of potential interest to our members. In particular, they are looking for volunteers to write venue descriptions to accompany the backlog of photographs of various venues and/or submit photos or videos of new venues themselves, all of which can be done from home and online via their website. There are online video tutorials available to help volunteers, but they also provide additional support via email if needed.

If you feel this would be of interest, they would be really grateful to hear from you (contact email address: and/or Alternatively, you can register your interest and join directly via the website’s volunteer section at the bottom of the About Us page,

May 2019 – Hever Castle

Our U3A has received an invite from Shoebury and Thorpe Bay U3A to join them on a trip to Hever Castle on the 5th June.  Coach can pick up at usual place at The Elms and the cost for this trip  is £25
If interested, please contact Sera Hayes email:

17th May 2019 – Hadleigh Voices Community Choir

The Hadleigh Voices Community Choir are still seeking a retired person with musical knowledge to help them.  The Choir practices at Hadleigh Fire station every other Wednesday, and the musical director does get paid. Commitment will be only a few hours each month.  Please contact Evelyn at if you are able to help or want more information.

16th May 2019 – Peter Jones

Peter gave a very entertaining talk at our May monthly meeting, full of fun and humour with a few “arhhhhhs” and one or two “hoorayyyys” thrown in.  If you want to give feedback on Peter and his talk then please do so using this link.  He mentioned his website and if you want to know more about Peter and his books then you can do so here.

Summer Lunch – Thursday 22 August 2019

Don’t forget our Summer “Strictly Come Dancing” Lunch – full details here

26 April 2019 – Saddlers Hall

Our U3A were given the opportunity of a guided tour around Saddlers Hall, London.  A group travelled to Gutter Lane (near St. Pauls) and had a fabulous day out.  A few photos from the visit are below:

23 April 2019

Enjoy looking at great photos then take a look at the various monthly submissions from the Photography group.  Their latest photos can be viewed here.

23 April 2019

Whilst not a U3A group, if you have a baritone voice and interested in Barbershop Style then one of our members is hoping to find a couple of suitable singers to join Bob’s Barbershop Boys based in Leigh-on-Sea.  If interested or you just want more information then please call John on 01702 479793.



23 April 2019

If Barbershop Style isn’t your thing (see above), but maybe you are a musical person with good musical knowledge that you want to use and share, then a choir based in Hadleigh called Hadleigh Voices Community Choir, are soon losing their musical director, and they are seeking a retired person with musical knowledge to see if they could come along and hopefully take the position on.  The Choir practices at Hadleigh Fire station every other Wednesday, and the musical director does get paid. Please contact Evelyn at if you are able to help or want more information.

18 April 2019

With the hot weather and Easter holiday period, you might expect numbers at our monthly speaker meeting to be down but no we had a good crowd turn out to hear Chris Truran talk on how fingerprinting and DNA developed in detecting crimes.  He spoke of numerous infamous crimes with which he had been involved during his almost 40 years working for the Metropolitan Police as a Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO).  A well received and entertaining talk.  If you were there and want to give your feedback please do so using this link.

3 April 2019

A busy time for the Ukulele group as they have given yet another performance to the Home Sweet Home Day Care at the Estuary Club, Leigh-on-Sea – photo here

27 March 2019

The Ukulele group gave a well received performance to members of the Jewish Community at Finchley Road Synagogue – see photo here.

21 March 2019

We were treated to some magic at our March monthly meeting – a couple of photos can be seen here.

12 March 2019

Make sure you check out a couple of new groups being set up.  You’ll find details under the groups page (orange tabs at the top)


A reminder that renewal sessions have been set up at Leigh Community Centre for the following dates/times:

Tuesday 5th March – Room 1, 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Wednesday 13th March  – Room 3, 10.00am to 12.00am
Tuesday 19th March – Room 3, 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Monday 25th March – Room 8, 10.00am to 12.00am.

Local Walks 2

After being on hold for a period, we are delighted to announce that Janice has agreed to get this group up and running once more.  The first walk is planned for Wednesday April 3rd so get your name down quickly.  If you want more information please go to GROUPS page or contact Janice direct HERE


After last Thursdays’ meeting at Wesley Church, 21st Feb, a silver ear-ring was found and is now with a committee member. If you, or someone you know, has lost an ear-ring please get in touch with a committee member.

23 February 2019

  • MINI BREAK 10-12th SEPTEMBER 2019 – click HERE for full details

23 February 2019

Renewal time is creeping up on us.  You can renew well in advance by downloading the membership form on the Links & Downloads menu item (then top blue tab – click to open and download form by clicking on the Membership Form button).  Subscriptions have had to be raised to £12 per annum to cover some rising costs but I am sure you will agree excellent value.  It covers your “Third Age Matters” magazine, the monthly speaker meetings (and your cuppa of course) plus a lot more.  Any questions over renewals please contact our Membership Secretary, Esther, by clicking here.

22 February 2019

Don’t forget to give your feedback on our speaker for this month’s meeting.  You can do so by clicking here

22 February 2019

Please note that the dates for the planned Summer Lunch and the 2019 Christmas meeting have had to be changed due to availability of entertainment planned for both events – and I bet you thought February was far too early for even thinking about Christmas!  (Please note that the dates for these meetings shown on your U3A calendar are therefore incorrect.)

February 2019

There are quite a few places left on our March Days Out by Coach trip, as above:
Our March trip is another outing with City and Village.  More details along with cost of the trip can be found here.
Please let Moira know if you would like to come on this trip – if you have friends from other U3As they will be welcome.

February 2019

  • Would you like to join us?

Jennifer and Ed (of Leigh-on-Sea U3A) will be travelling to take part in some of these Research Retreat Days at Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey. Don’t let the title put you off, it’s just finding information from online resources.  You just need to have basic computer ability (all instructions given) and have an interest in Social History.

 It’s not a bad journey from Leigh to West Ham and the Jubilee line to Waterloo and then the short trip on the train out to Egham. The workshops don’t start until midday so there is plenty of time to get there. There are cafes on the campus for a midday snack.

The findings will contribute to free online learning courses. U3A has been involved in this project for the last 3 years and you can find more information at

  • 6th March 2019 – Peterloo Rediscovered

What was the official reaction to the Peterloo Massacre in August 1819? Join us as we examine copies of testimonies held at The National Archives and review contemporary newspaper accounts of this seminal event in our democratic heritage.

  • 10th April 2019 – Chartism 1839

What was the response to the first mass Chartist petition presented to Parliament in 1839? Join us as we delve into contemporary newspaper archives and biographies of key figures to find out more.

  • 8th May 2019 – The Great Unrest

The period 1910-1914 saw a wave of industrial action across Britain. In this Research Retreat we will look at one month in particular to map, using contemporary newspaper accounts, the scale of the challenge facing the government.

  • 26th June 2019 – Peers vs the People

What was the press coverage like of the constitutional crisis that followed the House of Lords’ attempts to frustrate Lloyd George’s 1909 budget, dubbed ‘the People’s Budget’? Join us as we explore the newspaper archives.

  • TBC July 2019 – The Home Rule Crisis

On 11th April 1912 the Third Home Rule Bill was introduced, promising to create devolved government for Ireland. A crisis followed, with opposition from the Lords and unionists. Join us as we examine how the crisis unfolded. More details to follow soon.

If interested or you want more information, please contact Jennifer using this link


February 2019

  • Not quite the 9 0’clock BBC news but we did get a mention in this month’s Leigh Times (even if we’ve all now forgotten Christmas).  In case you missed it you can read the article here.

January 2019

  • There is now a page on the Essex Record Office, Sound Archive website all about the Listening Bench at the end of Southend Pier.  Members of U3As in the Southend area took part in this Shared Learning project during 2018.  Members who took part were from  Hawkwell Village,  Leigh Estuary,  Leigh-on-Sea and Southend U3As.  If you click on the link below you can then get to the list of recordings and just scroll down to find the recording given by the  member.  They are all very interesting memories and these are just sound bites. The full interviews contained much more and will be held for posterity by the Sound Archive. They will provide information on the history of Southend for future researchers.   This was our second project and thanks to all the interviewees for helping us to update the bench. The team members who did the recordings were Audrey Stirling, Christine Major, Kate Broad and Jennifer Simpson.
January 2019
  • Despite a bit of a chill in the weather, we had a superb turn out at our January meeting when Noel Kelleway spoke to us about the History of Southend; an interesting topic with clearly a lot more to to be said than time allowed. Noel mentioned an amusing spoof song “Sometimes our Pier is on Fire” on You Tube that includes a number of old photos of the Southend area; if you want to take a look it can be found here.
  • Judging by the size of the crowd gathered around Marilyn’s “Groups table” at the end of the meeting there is a lot of interest in groups; so will we be seeing new groups starting up or was it all interest in existing groups?
  • We are looking for new group leaders to take over on Local Walks 2, Walking with Lunch and Serendipity … anyone willing to assist and help avoid these groups from closing down?  Please contact Marilyn, Group Co-ordinator if you can help.

January 2019

  • Things are once again looking good for a Table Tennis group every Monday morning. A change of manager at the Megacentre Rayleigh (near Rayleigh Weir) means they are once again taking longer term bookings. If you are interested in joining this new group please contact group co-ordinator, Marilyn Abraham. Fingers crossed there will be enough interest to get this off the ground.
  • It is also looking promising that we will get a second London Visits group running. We have a member willing to organise some trips and act as group contact. Again if interested in joining this group then please let Marilyn Abraham know.

January 2019

  • A very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all our members.

December 2018

  • A Christmas Greeting was played to all our members at the December meeting; did you miss it? Then view it here.

December 2018

  • Our Great Group Christmas Outfit competition took place on December 6th at the Wesley Methodist Church. Members looked very festive in their Christmas clothing and even met Father Christmas, who had joined us to enjoy the event and turned out to be no other than our local MP Sir David Amess. 
  • Our independent judges introduced themselves and told us a bit about their businesses.  One of the judges, Jackie, gave us a brief but most interesting guide to working in the costume department for the Royal Opera House and encouraged us all to visit their Thurrock premises.  After viewing the 19 excellent outfit entries and talking to the entrants, they decided to award first prize to a fireplace and mantelpiece outfit made by several members of the craft group with second prize going to the Friday Table Tennis Group with their take on a tin of Quality Street, again the making of which was from the efforts of several members.
  • We had a record attendance of just over 200 members at the meeting and everyone took place in selecting their favourite outfits where the Maths for Fun group took the honours with the superb “Mince Pi” entry modelled by Joyce and made by Richard, with second place going to the Fashion group with their outstanding take on a Christmas tree, modelled by Mandy and made by several members of the group.
  • All the entries can be viewed here

October 2018

  • Southend Apple Day – Saturday 6th October, 11.00 – 14.00 Come along to St Laurence Orchard, Eastwoodbury Lane (opposite St Laurence Park), Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6UY. Free family event – open to all! Come celebrate our annual Apple Day at historic St Laurence Orchard!
  • Apple tasting and pressing
  • Apple peeling contest
  • Apples and plants for sale
  • BBQ
  • Orchard tours
  • Homemade cakes and apple treats
  • Local groups (including SEEOG)
  • Children’s arts and crafts
  • Music
  • Raffle
  • Stalls
  • Join us and embrace all things apple! More information: 01702 213134

September 2018

  • PROMS IN THE PARK Saturday 1st September. For more details please click the link on the right.

August 2018

  • There is a new shared learning project involving members of local U3A’s and The Heritage Centre, Leigh, in which they are transcribing documents about A VICTORIAN ANTIQUARIAN’S HISTORY OF LEIGH. If you are interested, please click this link.
  • There is no speaker meeting at the church on Thursday 16th August as we will be at Saxon Hall for our Summer Lunch.

May 2018

  • Please don’t forget to come along to our AGM on Thursday 21st June. We will need a quorum of members to validate our proceedings. The AGM will be followed by our speaker and refreshments.
  • Leigh-on-Sea U3A’s Gardens Group are organising a coach trip to Cambridge Botanic Gardens and Wimpole Hall on Wednesday 20th June, and have invited any Leigh Estuary members that are interested to join them. The price is £37 which includes coach and admission to both gardens. Pick-ups along the London Road, starting at Chalkwell Park at 9 am, to arrive in Cambridge at around 11 am. There is a good cafe for lunch at the gardens and the coach will be leaving at 1.30 to arrive at Wimpole Hall at 2 pm. The coach will be leaving Wimpole Hall at 4.30 pm for the return journey, arriving back in Leigh at approx 6.30 pm. Payment to be made by June 14th. If interested, contact Jennifer Simpson on 01702 712922.

April 2018

  • The tickets for our Summer Lunch have now gone on sale. You can buy an individual ticket, a table of 8 or a table of 12. The menu can be viewed from the link on the Events page. Tickets are available at a main meeting.
  • If you haven’t renewed your membership by now, please do so at the next main meeting or by post as it is now overdue.

January 2018

  • The drop-in coffee and chat sessions, which were very successful last year, are continuing. Come along on the 4th Tuesday in the month to ‘The Snug’ in Truleigh Scrumptious Cafe, Broadway West, opposite Leigh Library, anytime between 10.30 and midday. Open to all members. The first meeting of the year is on Tuesday 23rd January.

December 2017

  • What a fantastic time we all had viewing and eating cakes! The standard was incredible. Many thanks to all those who took part, helped or contributed in any way to make it a success. To view the many photos, click on this Great Group Christmas Bake Off link.
  • Congratulations to the winners:
  • Sue Wright – Play Reading 1 – Best sponge cake
  • Margaret Dunley – Discussion Group – Best fruit cake
  • Mike Dias – Ukulele – Best decorated cake


You can get a newsletter from the National Office of U3A by going to and signing up for news, events and regional updates straight to your mailbox. There is an advert in the latest edition of Third Age Matters magazine (TAM) on page 9.

  • If you like the TAM and Sources magazines please can you send off the Reader Survey in TAM. This can be done online by post or by smart phone. This is very important as these magazines may be lost if U3A members don’t say they like receiving them. They let people know what the U3A is all about and give ideas and news of other U3As. It is important that everyone continues to get both magazines so that U3A members recognise they are part of a larger organisation.

November 2017

  • The Leigh Society have produced a calendar which contains many photographs taken by members of our own Photography Group. Jennifer Simpson will be selling these for £5 each at the next speaker meeting on the 16th November at Wesley Methodist Church. Please visit her on her Clay Modelling group table. All sales will go to support the running of the Heritage Centre in Old Leigh.

October 2017

  • Barbara Zybutz has taken on the role of Almoner for our U3A. Please click on the link on the right of this page or the Contacts page to find out more.
  • If you haven’t already booked your place for next year’s holiday to Warwickshire, then please have a look at what’s on offer. Just click on the itinerary link on the Travel Group page or contact Lorna Reeve at to find out more details. Deadline for booking is 31st December.

September 2017

  • The speaker meeting this month generated some very positive comments about the new venue from our members. We also received the following message from Alan, the Property and Lettings Coordinator at Wesley Methodist Church:

“Just thought I’d drop you a line to say that U3A’s hire of the church was mentioned at last night’s Church Council meeting, as an example of how well things can work! We were delighted by the way it went, a testament to the planning which your team put into it, and it was so nice to see so many new faces in the space, helping us to fulfil our ambition to provide a place used not only for worship but for the wider community to enjoy and benefit from.”

  • It was announced at the Group Contacts Meeting recently that there will be a special event at our Christmas meeting on Thursday 7th December. We are having a Great Group Christmas Bake Off. If you would like to take part by baking a cake to represent your group, then please speak to your Group Contact, who will have all of the details or email

August 2017

  • Please note that our monthly speaker meetings will be held at the Wesley Methodist Church from the September meeting onwards.
  • Any gardeners out there? Please see the link on the right entitled Southend in Transition for details of local events you might be interested in. For full access to the document, click on ‘Enable Editing’ at the top. To open a link to a relevant webpage (text in blue) hold down the control key (ctrl) on your keyboard and left click your mouse button on the blue text.
  • Group News: London Visit group 1 has vacancies. Please leave a message for Linda Butler on the group page if you would like to join.
  • Visiting Gardens 2 is a recently formed group but is not up and running yet. The group is planning to meet at the beginning of 2018 to plan garden visits for the year. Please leave a message for Barbara Hull on her group page if you are interested in joining them.

July 2017

  • Please be quick to book your places on the U3A Study Day at Maldon on Tuesday 24th October, as places are filling up fast. You will have received full details and the booking form by email or post at the end of June.
  • IMPORTANT NEWS It was announced at the monthly speaker meeting this month that we will be moving over the road to the Wesley Methodist Church for our speaker meetings, starting on September 21st. The meeting at the Leigh Community Centre on August 17th will be the last one at that venue. Please make a note in your diaries.
  • Marilyn Abraham has set up drop-in coffee and chat sessions, which will be held on the 4th Tuesday in the month at The Snug, TruLeigh Scrumptious Cafe, Broadway West, opposite Leigh Library. Drop in anytime between 10.30 and midday. Open to all members. The dates are: August 22nd, September 26th, October 24th and November 28th. This will continue after these dates if supported by members.
  • The following new groups have been suggested: Talk Sport, Book Group 2, Quiz, Bridge for Beginners (needs someone with an understanding of bridge to help take this idea forward) and Visiting Gardens 2. Anyone interested in joining a new group, please contact the Group Coordinator, Marilyn Abraham via the Group Enquiries email link on the Contacts page or on 07947 023803.
  • The following existing groups have vacancies: Art for Pleasure and Marine Forum.
  • Members Interested?
  • Terry Steel’s Astor Big Band and singers, together with our guests, the Leigh Operatic & Dramatic Society, present ‘Miller Plays the Musicals’ at the Palace Theatre, Southend on Sept 23nd 2017 at 3 pm. This show is our tribute to Glenn Miller and other great big bands, and to their singers like Frank Sinatra and the Andrews Sisters. Plus, songs from musicals, old and new, presented in the big band style. All our profits, and a collection at this performance, go to the Royal British Legion to support their work with PTSD sufferers. Tickets are available via the website or Box Office Tel: 01702 351135

May 2017

  • Jennifer Simpson is re-launching the Clay Modelling Group. Please visit the groups page and open Clay Modelling tab to find out more.

February 2017

  • Please take a look at the stunning photos taken by the Photography Group. Follow the link via their “News & Events” button under the Photography tab on the groups page to view their many beautiful photographs.
  • The Gilbert and Sullivan Group is under way and has a limited amount of vacancies for anyone that is interested. Please make contact via the groups page and Gilbert & Sullivan tab.