U3A's anniversary off to puzzling start
SCHOOLCHILDREN aren't the only ones in town gearing up for a year of learning.
Warwick's retired residents came together yesterday in a bid to broaden their knowledge and skills through the University of the Third Age.
Celebrating 25 years in the community this year, U3A continues to gain popularity, and hundreds turned up to sign on to new courses for the year ahead.
Tai chi and bird watching were among the favourites, but computer classes, dancing, French cinema and recorder ensemble were also on offer, and members seemed keen to try something new.
Glenis Fitzgerald runs the book discussion group and has been involved with U3A for about 15 years.
"But I still haven't learnt the tai chi routine,” she laughed.
"The best aspects about it are meeting new people and exploring new fields,” she said.
"It keeps you mentally active.”
Brain-benders are certainly popular in the Warwick community, with three different cryptic crossword groups on offer.
"We've got one for beginners, one for novices and then there are the experts,” said Arthur Maynard, who runs two of the groups.
Mr Maynard has been puzzling at U3A for 10 years, and has gotten it down to a fine art.
"I used to be able to solve the Warwick Daily News crossword in two passes over my breakfast,” he said.
He said the group was very collaborative, but didn't mind a peek at the back page.
"We encourage people to cheat,” he said.
"It's better to know the answer and understand the clue in the end.”