Town group marks national u3a day in style

Honiton mayor the mayor, councillor John Zarczynski,  town crier Dave Retter and Honiton u3a chairman Peter Halse

National u3a Day is marked by Honiton mayor the mayor, councillor John Zarczynski, town crier Dave Retter and Honiton u3a chairman Peter Halse - Credit: Honiton u3a

Despite the wet weather, Honiton u3a celebrated the first National u3a Day in style.

The event outside St Paul’s Church on June 2 was officially opened by the mayor, councillor John Zarczynski, accompanied by the town crier Dave Retter and by Honiton u3a chairman Peter Halse.

A selection of music was played by the Folk Dance Band and by the Recorder Group, and was enjoyed by the many members of the public who visited the stall to find out about u3a. Many existing members also took the opportunity to catch up with friends.
Visitors were able to discover details of the 27 interest groups run by their local u3a, as well as details of the programme of monthly talks presently held on Zoom. The subject of July’s talk is ‘Beaver Trials on the River Otter’.
In the afternoon, u3a members and their invited guests enjoyed a special Zoom talk given by Dr Alun Withey of Exeter University. In his talk, entitled ‘To Beard Or Not To Beard’, he took his listeners on a journey through shaving and grooming trends from 1650-1900. He answered the burning questions of the day, such as: “Why were big bushy beards once the height of fashion? When was it better to have a smooth face? And what were the perceived health benefits of whiskers, moustaches or goatees?”
During the week leading up to u3a Day, there was also a Spot the Teddies competition, in which the public were asked to hunt out knitted teddy bears hidden in shop windows all over Honiton town centre. Prizes for the competition were donated by local businesses, including Combe Farm Shop, Combe Garden Centre and Peter Betteridge.
First prize was won by Annabelle Arnold. Second prize went to Amelie Liebig and Third were Jacob and Daniel Stidworthy. A further Runners Up prize went to Finley and Lean Farrant.
Speaking exclusively to the Midweek Herald, a spokesbear for the u3a teddies said that they were very grateful to all the local businesses that made them so welcome during their shop window staycation. However, they have now packed their suitcases and headed home to U3 Acres, where they are planning their next Honiton adventure later this summer.
Honiton u3a is a group of 230 like-minded people seeking to go from retired to inspired, to enjoy the freedom that is your third age. For details of how to join u3a, go to

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