One of Burnham-On-Sea’s biggest and longest-running community groups celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special event on Saturday (March 11th).

Burnham’s University of The Third Age (U3A) marked the milestone with an open day and a cake-cutting ceremomy by its oldest member, 99 year-old Peggy Bessant, pictured above.

The silver anniversary celebration took place at Burnham’s Community Centre in Berrow Road and included displays by several of the U3A’s popular groups.

There were also speeches by Burnham U3A President Ken Hindle, Chairman Paul Hambleton, and Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr Michael and Maria Clarke.

A special congratulatory message from HM The Queen, written by a Lady-In-Waiting at Sandringham, went on display, as pictured here with U3A Secretary Veronica Richardson. We recently featured the Royal letter here.

The U3A in Burnham-On-Sea has 560 members, with 42 separate groups offering a wide range of activities from table tennis and Scrabble to walking and craft-making.

The Mayor told “The U3A is vitally important to many local people in the town and it is an organisation that the town can be rightly proud of. Burnham’s is one of the biggest U3A groups in the county – and 25 years is a superb milestone to celebrate.”

Ken Hindle, Burnham-On-Sea U3A President, right, said: “25 years marks a whole generational shift and can provide an opportunity for reflection and a vision of what the future may hold. We can be proud of what we have achieved over the growth in membership, providing a wide range of activities, life-changing for many members, companionship and opportunities to learn.”

“We are fortunate in having Burnham Community Centre as our home, much to the envy of other U3As.”

He added: “Looking to the future, we are told that people will work longer and retire later, and that technology will play an increasing part in our lives. Change is a perpetual element in our lives. But, in spite of the many problems that appear to affect society, we are living in a golden age. It is important, therefore, to reflect on the fact that the benefits we enjoy today are things that we once only hoped for.”

Burnham-On-Sea U3A’s celebrations continue on May 11th with a celebratory tea for the founder members. Then, from June 12th-24th, there will be a display of craft work and activities of the U3A in Burnham-On-Sea Library.

In July, a cream tea and other U3A activities will be held in St Andrew’s Church, and then on September 15th a concert will be held at The Princess with entertainment performed by the U3A Concert Party and U3A Ukelele Group. In October, a tree will be planted by Ken Hindle and a lunch will be organised for the whole of the U3A.