University of the Third Age in Brent

Learn, laugh and live!

Outings group of Brent U3A

To enrol in any Brent U3A learning/interest group, you should become a member of Brent U3A. See the 'membership' link.

Thursday 26 September 2019 to Rainham Marshes Bird Reserve

Do join us on this trip to one of London’s biggest and best bird reserves: RSPB Rainham Marshes, New Tank Hill Road, Purfleet, Essex RM19 1SZ. Rainham Marshes is a huge RSPB bird reserve on the Thames Estuary and is also a haven for dragonflies, water voles and much more. Entrance £6, free to RSPB members. Excellent facilities – 400 acres of marshes with hides and cafe. In case of poor weather, Purfleet Museum nearby is also excellent and free – on the way to the bird reserve. Rainham Marshes is a short step from Purfleet Main Line Station, on the C2C from Fenchurch Street and West Ham. Purfleet is beyond the Zone 6 Freedom Pass Boundary. Either buy tickets in advance or Oyster and Contactless can be used and with these the fare is less than £5. Meet at Neasden Station at 9.30am, as usual bottom of steps on platform at front of southbound train. Travel on Jubilee Line to West Ham and then 18 minutes on the C2C train. Or meet at Purfleet Station at ticket barriers at 10.45. No need to book – just turn up on the day.
More about the RSPB reserve.
Please note that this trip replaces the usual paddle steamer cruise on the Waverley, as there are no sailings whilst they fundraise to replace the boilers!

Tuesday 24 September 2019 celebrate 25 years of Brent U3A

Brent U3A was born in 1994, 25 years ago this year. To mark this we’re delighted to invite members to a tea party, Tuesday 24 September 2019, 2.30-4.30pm at The Preston, 161 Preston Road, HA9 8NG. Two minutes’ walk from Preston Road Station (Metropolitan Line) and buses 79, 204 and 223. Some free parking (online voucher on bar counter). The Preston did a great Christmas lunch for us and they’ll do a great tea as well – sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks (first cup – then from the bar). It’s a chance to meet other Brent U3A members and also for you to bring a friend to Brent U3A. Happy birthday, Brent U3A!

Aboard the the Waverley Paddle Steamer
Sunset over Barking Creek

We had a fantastic Thames cruise on paddle steam Waverley at the end of September 2018. Built in 1946, the Waverley is the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer.
In brilliant sunshine, we sailed from Tower Pier as Tower bridge opened for us. After passing Greenwich and Woolwich, most of us disembarked at Gravesend for an excellent lunch in a riverside pub, watching the boats sail by and hoping for a glimpse of Ben the beluga whale.
Some of us sailed on to Southend and then to the Thames Forts, with an evening return to Tower Pier.
This was Brent U3A’s third cruise on the Waverly and, as ever, this was a fantastic day out.
Photo above (© SM), On-deck with a sunset over Barking Creek.

Cruising the Thames to Gravesend and beyond
On-deck with Waverley branded tea cups

In 2017 we had a wonderful cruise down the Thames on the Waverley, the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer. Beautifully restored with twin red, white and black funnels, timber decks, varnish and brass.

Sailing through Tower Bridge as it opened specially for Waverley, we had a commentary as we cruised in sunshine to Greenwich and the Thames Barrier. We visited the cafe-bars and restaurant and saw the steam engines as they powered the paddles that took Waverley along the River Thames.

Some of us got off at Gravesend for lunch in a fabulous riverside pub.

The rest sailed to Southend and beyond to see the famously long Pier and Red Sands, the Thames Estuary sea forts. Gigantic metal Maunsell gun towers built in World War II to protect London. Later used by 1960s pirate radio stations!
Waverley sailing through Tower Bridge Thames Forts and wind generators
Photos above (© SM), On-deck with Waverley branded tea cups; sailing through Tower Bridge; Thames Forts.

Jo Cox get-together

We had a lovely bring-and-share picnic in the beautiful Barham Park walled garden, Sunday 18th June. This was part of a nationwide celebration of the life of Jo Cox, a highly respected working Member of Parliament, who was murdered on 16th June last year. It was two picnics in one, with a tea party in Barham Park Community Library. It was the hottest day of the year and there were get-togethers all over the borough, so many thanks to everyone who turned out and braved the heat to enjoy a cucumber sandwich! Thanks especially to Val, Celia and team for producing a lovely surprise tea in Barham Park Library. Much appreciated!
Barham Park, Harrow Road, Sudbury, HA0 2HB Open website in a new tab or window.

Milton Keynes Court buildings

In 2016, Celia's tour visited this modern court and learnt a lot about the legal process.

Happy 21st birthday, Brent U3A!
Cake with candles.

A 21st birthday always deserves a good celebration and so we decided to push the boat out and enjoyed a delightful tea party on 21st September 2015 – when else?


Donald cleverly got a grant for us from U3A HQ and this meant we were able to treat ourselves to tea and Portuguese cakes at the Portuguese Café in Dollis Hill. This was organised by Cathy, conveniently placed by the Jubilee Line station for easy access.


Heavy rain failed to put a damper on the proceedings. Nearly 50 members came along, as well as guests of honour: Councillor Lesley Jones, Mayor of Brent, Councillor Mohammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, and Melvyn Leach, former head of Brent Adult Education. Melvyn had helped set up Brent U3A back in 1994. Founder members Rina Rosselson and Celia Stern, both of whom still run Brent U3A groups, cut the cake. New people came along to meet Brent U3A and find out what was on offer.

Covent Garden Opera House

Celia's 2015 tour of the Opera House included the front and back stage and a lovely lunch in a nearby hotel.

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show
Visitors to the Hampton Court Flower Show.

'Gardens, florals and shopping' is the advert for the Royal Horticultural Society's Hampton Court Flower Show. We had special reduced price tickets and enjoyed this stunning garden show, photo right (© SM).


Our visit in July 2014 was organised by Cathy, with good weather and a speedy train ride from Waterloo.


An early refreshment break at the Hampton Court tea-room was a good start for our visit to this enormous site.


The exhibits extended along the appropriately named Long Water in Home Park and covered the nearby Golf course.


There were crowds at the Show but the queue for the train home afterwards wasn't too long!

View of the Shard in sunshine.

The Shard

A large group enjoyed bright sunshine for Celia’s tour of the Shard in June 2014.


The Shard is London’s latest must-do attraction – a tower 1000 tall with stunning views over London and beyond, photo right (© SM).


We were especially lucky, as it had rained overnight, clearing away all the dust and giving us views as far as the Downs and Richmond.