Thursday, 26 November 2009

A cane, rush and restoration course for the U3A

Tomorrow we will be holding an afternoon training session for a few people who are members of the local U3A or to give it its full title, The University of the Third Age. This self help organisation is a brilliant idea, I hope they don't mind me linking to them or quoting from their website:

"U3A stands for the University of the Third Age, which is a self-help organisation for people no longer in full time employment providing educational, creative and leisure opportunities in a friendly environment. It consists of local U3As all over the UK, which are charities in their own right and are run entirely by volunteers. Local U3As are learning cooperatives which draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organise and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership. The teachers learn and the learners teach. Between them U3As offer the chance to study over 300 different subjects in such fields as art, languages, music, history, life sciences, philosophy, computing, crafts, photography and walking. A typical U3A has about 250 members but could be as small as 12 and as large as 2000"

We have met quite a few of the local members over the past few years as each in turn has tackled a new project. Some are learning upholstery whilst others have worked on cane and rush seated chairs. Tomorrow we will try and fulfill their "wish list" - I asked the organiser to ask everyone what knowledge they would like to leave the session knowing, a "wish list" if you like of skills and information. It's going to be fun, we will be covering everything from removing stains on wood to how to shop for antiques, passing through cane and rush weaving tips along the way. We are holding the session at our local library so none of us has far to go. Our last course was in Leamington Spa, a very long journey for us, but we had a lovely day in a pretty village church hall teaching about a dozen people cane and rush work. The organiser bought a magnificent home cooked feast for lunch which included home made soup, sandwiches and cake - fantastic! We didn't get home until 10 o'clock at night! At least this time we can walk home in five minutes from the library!

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