THE Craven branch of the University of the Third Age, or U3A for short, has launched a new initiative to celebrate its foundation in Skipton 30 years ago.

Craven U3A is organising a two-day summer school on July 9 and 10 which will be held at Ermysted's Grammar School in Skipton.

With more than 900 members attending 60 courses or groups, Craven U3A is the local arm of a country-wide self-help organisation that offers social and educational opportunities for those who have reached retirement age.

Chairman Vic Edy said: “This is an important milestone in our history and we wanted to mark the occasion with a event which allows both members and non-members the chance to enjoy together the U3A experience.”

He adds: “The summer school embodies all that is unique about U3A – it's self-funding, it's organised by the members for the members, and most importantly, open to those of retirement age, it promotes the value of life long learning with enjoyment being the primary motive.”

The summer school programme offers a wide choice of options for those who would like to discover more about some aspects of art, science, music, literature, film, history as well as the chance to meet people with similar interests.

Mr Edy added: “The mix of programme topics at the summer school reflects the breadth of our normal programme – and we hope it offers something for everyone.

"Over the two days in July participants will be exploring such diverse topics as Bob Dylan's Life and Music, the Life Cycle of Stars, Drug Development, Microbes and Us, Film Locations in Yorkshire, The Crankettes – Women Pacifists of the

First World War, and Historical Long Preston.”

Graham Hamilton, headteacher of Ermysted's Grammar School, will open the U3A event by giving a short presentation about the grammar school's long and distinguished history.

Mr Hamilton said: “I am delighted that Ermysted's has been chosen as the venue for the first Craven U3A summer school because it involves us in the enriching process of lifelong learning.”

He continues: “I have always hoped, that at Ermysted's, we encourage our pupils to see the importance of being able to enjoy learning for its own sake, and to carry the desire to learn with them throughout their lives.

"This U3A initiative demonstrates very clearly that lifelong learning not only broadens our minds but is also a positive social experience we can share with others.”

For a programme and enrolment form, visit or copies can be requested from Vic by phoning 01756 795997.