The University of the Third Age (U3A) was founded some 35 years ago and the Norton Radstock branch has been in existence for 21 years. The movement encourages groups of people in their third age to come together and continue the enjoyment of learning in subjects of interest to them. ‘Third age’ is defined by a time in your life where you have the opportunity to undertake learning for its own sake. There is no minimum age, but a focus on people who are no longer in full time employment or raising a family.

Norton Radstock meets, under normal circumstances, at the Somer Centre in Midsomer Norton twice a month, a coffee morning and a speaker meeting. Although we have over 450 members these meetings attract around half that number. We have about thirty interest groups run by the members. These groups cover various activities – badminton, table tennis, rambling, computing, creative writing, photography, poetry, singing for pleasure, ukulele, mah jong, current affairs – the list is too long to be included here, but suffice to say that there is something for everyone; if there is something you are interested in that isn’t covered you can receive help in starting up your own group.

Naturally during lockdown we have been unable to meet in the usual way but that hasn’t stopped our members! They continue to find innovative ways to continue with their group activities using Zoom, meeting outside and just recently thinking about how they can start to meet up inside. The groups are extremely keen to get “back to normal” after such a long time locked down. We are not the largest U3A in the county but hope that what we lack in numbers is made up for in enthusiasm.

If you are interested in joining U3A you can contact Mary Piper for more information on: 01749 938650 or visit our website at:

Ginny Edwards