North Norfolk U3A Home Page
U3A is a university in the older, original sense of people coming together for the pleasure of learning and sharing knowledge. There are no examinations and the only qualification for joining is a desire to learn and/or teach with others who have similar interests.
The North Norfolk U3A caters for retired or semi-retired people and it is run as a voluntary, self-help organisation; with a membership of circa 700. It is one of over 1000 autonomous U3As in the UK. North Norfolk U3A geographically encompasses Fakenham, Holt, Sheringham and Cromer as well as all their outlying villages
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NNU3A events are open for members,but guests who are considering joining are welcome to come to hear more of what we do.
70s and 80s journalism- The lengths they went to for a story
Talk by Ashley Walton A (Retired Tabloid Journalist and Author)
Trump World – The First Hundred Days”
Prof. Lee Marsden Head of School of Politics, Philosophy and Communication Studies; Professor of International Relations, UEA
To see the full events programme click here
NNU3A February Monthly meeting.
Our February speaker was John Cushing the man behind the Thursford Collection and Christmas show. He delighted us with a talk which took in local history, family ties and entrepreneurial drive.
John Cushing’s father George had grown up in Thursford village after WW1 , worked on a farm from 12 years old and had then at 19 applied to be the driver of the only steam roller owned by Walsingham Council. After spending years rolling the local roads he demonstrated his love for steam by buying the said steamroller from Walsingham DC for £223 in 1930 , when the County Council took over responsibility for roads. Of course, he hired it back to the County!
When there was massive scrappage of steam machines after WW2 George bought up many of the magnificent machines which are now in the collection for £25 to £50 each ….. machines which today are worth many hundreds of thousands each. It is now one of the largest collections in Europe. To this he added a magnificent collection of steam organs. As a boy John’s father, had been entranced by the lights and the music of the travelling fairs and found there was a surprisingly large audience who wanted to recapture those days in the 60’s. By 1977 the collection was worth millions and John’s father decided to set up a trust to preserve it in its complete form.
John knew how to run a business and was asked to run the Trust investing steadily in 40,000 square feet of buildings and facilities for the visiting public. With encouragement from his father he saw that there was a unique opportunity to use the site for a Christmas show. What started with a carol concert by the Kings College choir of Cambridge in 1980 grew to be 85 shows a year selling out 100 percent of the seating capacity of 1,420 for each performance. To date over 3 million people have enjoyed the highly professional entertainment on offer many returning year after year. The logistics of planning the show and its music, finding the musicians, dancers and singers, accommodating them in nearby villages are daunting but the detail is clearly at John’s fingertips. The audience for the show drawn from every county of the country now massively outnumbers visitors to the steam collection and it is one of the largest Christmas shows in Europe.
John still fizzes with energy and enthusiasm for the collection and his Christmas spectacular. An amazing piece of vision and determination right here on our doorstep and clearly enjoyed by many of our members who are regular customers.