Group celebrates first anniversary in style

Beccles U3A group celebrating its first anniversary at Beccles public Hall.

Beccles U3A group celebrating its first anniversary at Beccles public Hall. - Credit: Nick Butcher

From French conversation to beginners ukelele, the Beccles University of the Third Age (U3A) group offers something for everyone.

And this week it celebrated a successful first year in the town. Chairman Peter Shannon said: “Last year we sent a letter into the Beccles and Bungay Journal and got a very good response, and we knew that we would have to do some work to launch it.

“So, we had a meeting at the St John Ambulance in September and we thought hopefully we would get about 60 people.

“We don’t know how many came but there wasn’t room to move.”

One year after their first meeting in October 2014, there are now 375 members of the Beccles U3A who enjoy being part of 37 groups and take part in regular trips and events.

“It meets a need for a lot of people,” said Mr Shannon. “It must be the biggest organisation in Beccles.

“We take people that are retired and semi-retired, people who are 50 plus and have finished work.

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The U3A is about getting involved in groups, joining in and having fun. And I would like to thank all the committee, including the webmaster and the person who takes care of accessibility, the people who look after the refreshments at the meetings and the whole membership for getting involved.”

The group’s first anniversary was celebrated with a lecture from aviation historian Ian McLachlan at Beccles Public Hall on Wednesday.

His talk - “Overpaid, oversexed and over here”, gave the packed hall an insight into the Americans in the UK during the Second World War.

To find out more about the Beccles U3A, visit