Welcome to Caer Urfa South Shields University of the Third Age

Caer Urfa South Shields University of the Third Age (CUSS U3A) is a member of the worldwide family of Universities of the Third Age. In the United Kingdom alone, there are over 1000 U3As with a membership of over 400000.

The U3A is for people who want to keep active in mind and body and who are no longer in full-time employment. Third age learning is when people learn whatever they want. In the U3A, people form groups to study a subject or follow an activity that they all find interesting. Learning is interpreted in the broadest possible sense. Subjects range from Art to Zoology with everything else you can name in between. Subjects don't have to be academic - hundreds of U3A groups enjoy social, physical and cultural activities. There are no entrance qualifications - a desire to learn is all that is needed. There are no exams or certificates - people enjoy their learning; they do not need to prove they've done it.  View our Groups page to see the activities we do at CUSS U3A.

Fees are kept at an affordable level (annual fee £12 in 2019 with small weekly or monthly charges per group activity) allowing access to everyone. If you are interested in joining or want more information, use the contact form on our Contact Us page

  • New name for "French for Beginners"

    Due to the tremendous progress made by the "French for Beginners" group, it is no longer appropriate for them to go under that name. From September 2019, they will be given the very exciting and original name of "French - Group 2"

  • New Committee

    Photos of our new Committee can be found on the People page or by clicking here.

  • AGM 2019

    The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 3 April 2019 at Armstrong Hall, Stanhope Rd, South Shields. The agenda can be found by clicking here


    Membership for 2019 can now be renewed and fees MUST be paid by the close of the February 2019 Members' Meeting (6 February 2019).  Anyone wishing to renew their membership must do so on or before this date otherwise they will no longer be a member of CUSS U3A and their place will be offered to a person on the lengthy waiting list.

  • 1. Grifaid Charity 2. Group leaders' meeting

    1. The speaker for our October 2108 meeting is a representative of a chosen charity, Grifaid, that provides community and family water filters to communities in the third world. To learn more about the vital work of this charity, click here
    2. Group leaders and committee members are having a lunchtime meeting at the Nook Library/Health Centre on Friday 19 October to discuss common issues and problems. Group leaders are reminded to confirm their attendance with Judith Witts.

  • Latest from Northumbria Region

    The latest Northumbria Region newsletter, "Northumbria Messenger", can be found by clicking HERE.
    Notice of a Regional Workshop on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to be held on 30 August 2018 can be found by clicking HERE.

  • CUSS U3A Privacy Policy

    CUSS U3A has a Privacy Policy which describes how your personal information is handled. The policy can be found by clicking here.

  • Message from a Nottingham U3A

    From time to time the website receives news from other U3As about their activities. Sharon Bosworth, Family History Group coordinator for the Stapleford & District U3A (Nottingham), sent this message that she thought may interest our members," Last year we took on the task of recording the gravestone memorials at our local cemetery. The first part is now complete and as well as having books printed for our Local Studies Libraries, I have created a website. With this in mind I am here to 'spread the word' so to speak. We started this because we wanted to 'put something back' and if we can help someone go one step further in their genealogical research then we would consider our job well done. Would it be possible for you to help us in this quest by passing this information on and sharing the link with your members and anyone else you think may be interested https://staplefordcemeterymemorials.wordpress.com/ 
    Thank you in advance. Sharon Bosworth"

  • GDPR 2018

    In order to comply with the Government's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018, all members must complete a membership form before the regulation is implemented on 25 May 2018. If you haven't already done so (forms were handed out at the AGM and at some group meetings), please download the form from here, complete it and give it to Membership Secretary Janet Reay as soon as possible and definitely before 25 May.

  • AGM 2018

    The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 4 April 2018 at Armstrong Hall, Stanhope Rd, South Shields. The agenda and nomination forms can be found by clicking here. Nominations must be submitted to Business Secretary Alan Hall on or before the March Members' Meeting (7 March 2018).

    The full agenda for the AGM is now available here.

  • Drama at U3A meeting

    The Fairly Accomplished Caer Urfa Players performed their first production, "The Tea Room Sketch", at the August Members' meeting to rave reviews. The sketch was written mainly by Business Secretary and Newsletter Editor, Tony Cauley, with help from the Drama Group. You can see still photos and a video of the production by clicking here

  • New Activity

    Following the success of the Walking Netball group, a Table Tennis group is being proposed. The group, which will be open to both women and men, will combine healthy exercise, keen competition and lots of laughs. Contact either Liz Brownsword or Judith Witts at the July Members' Meeting.

  • Annual General Meeting 2017

    The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 5 April 2017 at Armstrong Hall, Stanhope Rd, South Shields. The agenda can be found by clicking here. Business Secretary, Tony Cauley, has issued a reminder to members saying that nominations for the committee must be submitted to him by Tuesday, 14th March, or they won't be considered.



  • Fifth Anniversary

    The fifth anniversary of Caer Urfa South Shields U3A was celebrated at the Members' Meeting on Wednesday 4 January 2017. The chairman thanked the members of the original Steering Committee - Yvonne Richardson, Rose Isaacks, Alan Johnson, Joyce Smith, Ann White and Shirley Stratford - for their hard work getting our U3A started. At the same meeting we were proud to hand over a cheque for £1000.00, raised by our members over the last twelve months, to the South Tyneside branch of The Alzheimer’s Society. Photographs of the event can be seen by clicking here.

    Please note that the next Members' Meeting will be held on Wednesday 1 February 2017 in the CHARLES YOUNG CENTRE, Talbot Rd, South Shields.



  • Personal Medical Forms

    The U3A National Office has recommended that the personal medical details of members going on trips and outings should be available in the event of them taking ill during the event. CUSSU3A has recommended that each member attending such an event should carry a completed personal medical form. This form would remain in the possession of the individual member and would not be held by the trip organiser.  Copies of the form can be obtained from your trip organiser or from the Admin Matters section of this website or by clicking here.

  • Do you want to be a TV star?

    We have recently received an email from Oliver Warley who is an Assistant Producer working for a television production company called Liberty Bell Productions. They make factual programmes for the major UK broadcasters. He is currently working on a brand new documentary about some amazing senior citizens who defy their age, and perhaps encourage others that their lifestyle can truly be revolutionised when entering the next stage of life post retirement. They are making a heart-warming and uplifting programme about what it is like to grow old in this modern world and want to feature unusual senior citizens who are following a less conventional path during their life post retirement. The email is a casting call to find some of these people. They want to prove that just because of your age you do not have to be confined to sitting in front of the TV and there are still some really interesting outlets for the elderly to express themselves. They recognise that The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a fantastic organisation that provides information and exciting activities to the elderly in a truly inspirational manner, and they want to reach out to you to give you the opportunity to tell others about your inspirational lives. They are looking for big characters and someone who would provide them with an entertaining and eye-opening insight into their lives. They are still in the early phases of the production and are researching potential contributors for the documentary. If you want further details, click here.

  • Newsletters

    Each month, the latest CUSS U3A newsletter can be found in the Newsletter section of this website along with the latest Northumbria region newsletter, "Northumbria Messenger". Past copies of CUSS U3A and NR U3A newsletters can also be found there. Just click on the link at the left-hand side of this page.
    A new section has been added to the website, Regional Notices, where, as the name suggests, notices from the Northumbria region can be viewed. Click on the link at the left-hand side of this page to access the section.

  • AGM

    Message from Chairman Tony Kelly regarding the Annual General Meeting on 4 May 2016:
    "Will you please note that, in order to get the AGM business dealt with as quickly as possible, the committee have decided that the meeting will start at 10.00am sharp. Free refreshments will be served after the business is completed. After refreshments, we will have two speakers from among our own members, Lottie and Peter. Please do your best to help me out and be seated for the start so I'm not trying to deal with the business over the top of members trying to find seats. The AGM business may be boring but it is important, so please help me to get it over with as quickly as possible. I promise to be kind to you all and make it as short as I can. Regards to you all, Tony."

  • Cancellation

    The Charity Night in aid of Alzheimer's Society has had to be postponed due to a double booking of  Armstrong Hall. Chairman Tony Kelly issued this message "The management of Armstrong Hall have told me today (Friday 8 April) that, due to a double booking, we can't have the hall on 16 April for the Alzheimer's charity night so, unfortunately at this late stage, we have no choice other than postpone the event. I am currently doing my best to make alternative arrangements. As soon as we have a new date, I will let you all know. I apologise for any inconvenience this causes. Anyone wanting a refund will be welcome."

  • New Constitution

    The proposed amended Constitution for Caer Urfa South Shields U3A is now on the website. Click here to view it. It will be presented to the membership for formal adoption at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 4 May 2016.

  • Committee Nominations

    Nomination forms for the CUSS U3A committee for 2016-2017 are now available. Any completed nomination forms should be in the hands of the Business Secretary, Linda Vygus, by 20 April 2016. Any motions (resolutions) should be proposed and seconded and returned to the Business Secretary as soon as possible.
    The Little Book of Big Scams
    The Metropolitan Police has produced a booklet giving details of common scams which are being perpetrated across the country and gives advice on how to avoid becoming a victim. Click here to see the booklet.

  • Latest local and regional newsletters

    The latest copies of the Northumbria region newsletter and our own CUSS U3A newsletter can be found in the Newsletter section of this site. Click on the Newsletter link at the left-handside of this page.

  • Armstrong Hall

    Chairman Tony Kelly has obtained the agreement of the new tenant of Armstrong Hall for the continued use of the hall for our monthly meetings.

    WEA are offering a new  6 week course on the history of pop music from 1955 to 1980. Details can be found by clicking on the Non-U3A Activities link at the left of this page. Note that you are NOT covered by U3A insurance whilst attending this course.


    An amended newsletter has been uploaded to the website showing changes that have occurred since the original publication. Click on the Newsletter link on the lefthandside of this page to see the changes marked in yellow.

  • New Groups

    Three new groups are being proposed:
    Creative Writing - If you like to write, have a lively imagination and a good sense of humour, be you an experienced writer or a complete novice, then this group could be for you. The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 1.00pm in Talbot Rd Methodist Church Hall. Contact Linda Vygus
    Gardening - This group is for like minded amateur gardening enthusiasts to share their experience, knowledge and tips. The proposed group will meet once a month (time, day and venue to be decided). Contact Judith Witts
    Meet and Mingle - This is a re-start for what was an old favourite. It is a relaxed get-together to talk to each other, to discuss, get explanations of U3A matters. The meeting will be held on the third Thursday of each month at the Grey Hen pub between 2.00pm and 4.00pm. First meeting will be on 15 October. Contact Chris Evans

  • Twitter

    CUSS U3A are now using our latest social media tool, Twitter, to inform members of late changes to the published program. Its first use "in anger" has been to inform members of the cancellation of the walk at Cullercoats and Tynemouth on Wednesday, 23 September. Sign up for Twitter and follow @cussu3a to get the latest Tweets or, alternatively, click on the Twitter link on the left of this page.

  • Newsletter and Walks

    The August Newsletter and details of August's walks can be found by clicking on the Newsletter and Walks links on the left handside of this page 

  • Newsletters

    The latest Caer Urfa South Shields U3A and Northumbria Region newsletters are now available. Click on the Newsletter link at the side of this page to access the new newsletters and also to view previous issues.

  • New Committee

    A new chairman and three new committee members were elected at the Annual General Meeting held on 1 April 2015. Tony Kelly was elected as the new chairman without opposition whilst Lynne Houlsby, John Smoult and Richard Wilson were elected in a ballot held at the meeting. Joyce Smith, retiring chairman and Margaret Cassidy, retiring committee member, were thanked for their service over the past three years.

  • Games and Gossip

    Janet Reay and Ann White are reminding everyone of the new start time of 1.30pm for Games and Gossip. This is a fun afternoon with Bingo, card games, beetle drive, free raffle and auction of items donated by members, tea, coffee and plenty of chatter all for the admission price of £1. It is held at Talbot Road Methodist Church Hall and new members are welcome. It takes place once a month on the Tuesday of the week before the Members' Meeting. For more details contact Janet (4248348) or Ann (4566474)

  • Walks

    A new section of the website - Walks - has been added. This section will include the details of proposed walks together with walk leaders' contact details.

  • French group and Regional Newsletter

    A new French group started on 26 January and will meet fortnightly on Mondays at 11.00am. There are about 20 members and the group are starting French from the beginning. New members are welcome.
    The latest Northumbria Region letter is now on the website and can be found in the Newsletter section. Back copies of this newsletter and those of our own monthly newsletter can also be found there.

  • Miscellaneous news

    The frequency of walks has increased from fortnightly to weekly. Ellen Richards and John Smoult will lead on alternate weeks. Details of the walks for February and March can be found by clicking here.

    The agenda for our Annual General Meeting can be found by clicking here.

    Newcastle University runs a series of lectures and music recitals as part of their community programme. Many feature world renowned figures and are often free. Details of the programme can be found by clicking here.

  • Membership Renewal

    Don't forget to renew your membership for 2015. The fee is £12.00 (no change from last year - it's a bargain!). See Janet Reay, Membership Secretary, or one of her helpers, at the January 2015 meeting.

  • Non-U3A Courses starting in January

    The WEA has sent us information about some of their courses starting in January that may be of interest to our members. Information on them can be found here

  • Non-U3A Natural History Courses

    The Natural History Society of Northumbria has sent us details of six courses that will run during the Autumn. Details of these courses can be found here

  • Swing Bridge visit

    Doreen and Joan plan to include this in next year's tours, but anyone can arrange their own visit - see details below.The tours take place on the 1st Wednesday of every month at 1.00pm. The bridge swings open at 2.00pm however, this is subject to operations and is not guaranteed.The maximum number of people on any tour is 15 and children under the age of 12 are not allowed due to health and safety regulations.Places on the bridge tour are on a first come first served basis. All visitors must book via Gillian Scott (Port of Tyne) as there are forms to be signed for access due to the bridge not being open to the public. At the moment there are places available on the following dates:6th August, 3rd September, 1st October, 5th November and 3rd December 2014. Gillian would be more than happy to discuss a visit with any members of our group.Contact Gillian Scott on 0191 4407497 or via email gillian.scott@portoftyne.co.uk

  • MOOCs

    MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses - rhymes with cooks) are the latest thing in bringing a wide range of courses to a large number of people. An organisation called FutureLearn co-ordinates the provision of a number of free, short courses - usually 3 - 8 weeks long requiring about 2 - 5 hours study per week. These courses are all online and require no attendance at a class. Although they are not U3A courses, there is a great opportunity for like minded U3A members to get together and form a study group. The group could last for as long as the course and then disband or could continue to study by more traditional means or take another MOOC. Details of FutureLearn's provision can be found here.

  • Non-U3A Activities

    Chair Joyce Smith has requested that information about non-U3A activities that are happening in the local area is brought to the attention of members. Details of these activities can be found by clicking here. Please note that, as these are non-U3A activities, they are not covered by U3A insurance and the U3A has no responsibility for the organisation or running of these activities. 

  • Newsletters

    The latest news from both CUSS U3A and Northumbria region can be found in the Newsletter section of this site. Quiz fans should note that the fortnightly Thursday night quiz has returned to the Chichester Arms. Next quiz will be on 16 January 2014. The Art Group which meets at the Trinity House Social Centre in Laygate Lane at 1.00pm on Mondays is welcoming new members - just go along and join in. 

  • Pie and Pea Music Quiz

    A Pie and Pea Supper with Music Quiz will be held at the Armstrong Hall at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 7 May 2014. It is expected that there will be a heavy demand for the tickets which are priced at £5 per person. See Chris Evans at your earliest opportunity to ensure that you don't miss out.

  • Lindisfarne Gospels

    The visit to see the Lindisfarne Gospels will be on Monday 9 September 2013. The times will depend on the availability of tickets which are issued for one hour timed slots. The tickets are £6.50, coach £8.00 and must be paid for at the July Members' Meeting. If paying by cheque, please make it payable to Caer Urfa U3A Social Fund. The exact times for the bus and entrance will be available at the August Members' Meeting.

  • Christmas Party

    The CUSS U3A Christmas Party will take place at the Armstrong Hall on the evening of Wednesday, 11 December 2013 between 7.00pm and 11.00pm. Tickets are £10 (member) and £12 (non-member) and can be obtained from Chris Evans. Please book your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment

  • Street Angels

    Following the recent talk by the Street Pastors, CUSS U3A member Ann Trollope has obtained information about the Street Angels who operate in South Tyneside. Click on this link for more information.

  • Regional Study Day

    There will be a Regional Study Day at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday, 5 December 2013. Full details and application form can be found by clicking here

  • Regional events

    Click on the following links to find details of a Vindolanda Study day (23 September 2013) and a Science Day at the Centre for Life (20 November 2013) which have been organised by the Northumbria Region of the U3A.

  • Regional Newsletter

    The latest edition of the Northumbria region newsletter can be found, along with previous editions of regional and local newsletters, on the Newsletter page

  • Green Bowling

    Doreen Burdess and Joan Porteus are encouraging members to try Green Bowling at the Jack Clark Park. Click on this link to a poster showing further details.

  • Aquarobics

    A new Aquarobics class is being started in conjunction with South Tyneside U3A. The classes which are suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers will be held on Thursdays at 2.00pm in Brinkburn Community Centre. Centre joining fee is £5.00 and there is a £3 charge per session. Contact Ann McLoughlin on 4554697 for further details.

  • Quiz News

    In addition to the scheduled quiz on 21 February, there will be a quiz on 28 February 2013 in place of the shindig. Both quizzes will be held at the Chichester Arms commencing at 7.00pm

  • New Spanish group

    The first meeting of the Spanish group took place on Monday 14 January 2013 in the Chichester pub.Thirteen members attended and learnt how to greet each other in Spanish. The notes for the first lesson are on the Spanish page.

  • Newsletters and minutes

    The latest issues of our U3A newsletter and the Northumbria region newsletter "Northumbria Messenger" can be found, together with past issues, in the Newsletter section.
    The minutes of Members' Meeting of 7 November 2012 can be found in the Admin Matters section.

  • Newsletter

    The latest issue of the Northumbria region newsletter "Northumbria Messenger" can be found, together with past issues and our own newsletter, in the Newsletter section.

  • Outings

    Beryl Marshall has released dates of a number of proposed outings in December 2012 and into the New Year. Details of the trips are:

    22nd December
    MYSTERY WEEK-END, dinner bed and breakfast.   £39
    18th January
    ALL- INCLUSIVE MYSTERY WEEK-END 4 days/3 nights D.B&B  £99 
    DOWNTON ABBEY, 3 days/2 nights D.B&B

  • RITA

    Northumbria Region have announced the start of next year's Research Ideas from the Third Age (RITA) competition. Full details of the competition can be found here. In 2012 there were 40 entries from 15 U3As across the region. A first prize of £1000, second prize of £500, and third and fourth prizes of £250 were awarded to the U3As of the winning applicants.

  • Newsletter

    The September newsletter is now available here. It includes a timetable for the month and some corrections to the paper version issued at the September general meeting. The minutes of the September meeting can be found here

  • French conversation group

    The Regional French conversation group mentioned in the Miscellaneous news of July 2012 has now been established and will meet on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month commencing on Monday 10 September 2012. Full details can be found by clicking here

  • Resignations - update 1 December 2012

    Vice Chairman Alan Johnson, Business Secretary Vic Codling and Committee Member May Johnson have resigned from CUSSU3A Committee. Vic Codling issued a statement which said " I could not identify a way to work effectively alongside the current Chair. Anyone seeking greater detail should refer to the minutes of the respective meeting (16/7/12) and/or my letter of resignation ". Joyce Smith, CUSS U3A Chairperson said, on behalf of the Committee,"The Resignation of the Business Secretary was tendered and accepted.  We thank him for the work and time he committed whilst in post and wish him well in the future." 
    Alan Johnson issued a personal statement as follows "I have tried but found it impossible to continue to work on the Committee with Chair Joyce Smith. A number of issues have made working on this Committee an unwanted stressful activity which I can well do without consequently I have resigned for these reasons and not for "personal reasons" as stated in the minutes."

    Alzheimer's Awareness Day
    Alzheimer's Research UK are holding an awareness day at Centre for Life, Newcastle on 19 September 2012. Pre-registration is required and details can be found by clicking here.

  • Miscellaneous

    Parlez-vous français? Voulez-vous practiquer à parler français avec vos amis? If so, then why not join the new Regional French Conversational group? Details can be found here.
    A new Walking group has been started for longer walks (5-8 miles). A 6 mile walk will take place on Thursday 12th July at 10.15am, starting at the Mill Dam, following the riverside path to the steps up to the Lawe Top. Continuing through North & South Marine Parks and Bents Park. then onto the Leas.The walk will finish at the  Marsden Inn where public transport is available.
    Northumbria region Third Age Trustee, Joyce Leiper, presented a Certificate of Membership of the Third Age Trust to Joyce Smith, Chairperson of Caer Urfa South Shields U3A. Joyce Smith is on the left and Joyce Leiper on the right on this photo of the event. 

  • Group News

    The new Reading Group will hold monthly meetings (fourth Monday in the month), 10.30am start, in the new library building in Prince Edward Rd (the Nook). Members interested in joining a new Poetry Group should put their names forward at the July General Meeting. New Soft Furnishings and Digital Photography Groups will commence in September. The Swimming and 10 Pin Bowling Groups are suspending their activities at the end of June for the summer and will re-commence in September. There will be no Dining Experience in July due to holidays. A trip to Blackpool will take place on 17- 19 August 2012. Interested members should contact Margaret Cassidy at the July General Meeting.  

  • Northumbria Messenger

    The latest edition of the "Northumbria Messenger", the quarterly newsletter of the Northumbria Region of the U3A, is now available for viewing in the Newsletter section. It may take a few seconds to load as it is quite a large file. Earlier 2012 editions can also be viewed there.

  • National U3A News

    Two items of information have arrived from national U3A. The first item advises us of a new competition to devise a walk in your local area or a place you know that tells a story about a place. For full details, click on this link.The second item is an order form for U3A diaries for 2013. Click here for the order form.

  • Newcastle University Research Study

    Carolyn Taylor, a researcher from Newcastle University, has contacted CUSS U3A with a request for volunteers to take part in a trial to test the effectiveness of a nutritional product aimed at improving muscle mass and strength in men and women aged over 65 years.The product is specially formulated to help improve muscle strength and function. The aim of the study, called Provide, is to find out if the product, taken for 13 weeks, will have made improvements to the muscle mass and strength of the participants. For further details, see this link. If you wish to volunteer, contact Carolyn Taylor on 01912223592 or e-mail Carolyn.Taylor@ncl.ac.uk

  • New events and cancellations

    Drawing and Painting (Wed 25 April) and Birdwatching (Thurs 26 April) have been cancelled. New events  - Outing to Whitby, Lunch at Mr Lau's and Party Night - have been added to the schedule and require booking and payment of deposits at the next general meeting on Wednesday 2 May.

  • Quiz nights

    Tony Kelly, the quiz night organiser, says a big thank you to all who have supported the popular quiz nights. Entry to the quiz is £1.00 per team member, most of the money is returned in prize money, with a little kept back for any expenses, Each quiz is compiled by a different volunteer member. Don’t worry if you don’t have a full team or if you are on your own as you will be welcomed  into one of the teams. Some may be desperate for your help! The Next Quiz night will be on Thursday 10 May  at The Chichester Arms, South Shields then 24 May and every two weeks until further notice.

  • Change of location

    Due to an increasing membership, CUSS U3A's next general meeting on Wednesday 2 May 2012 will be held in Armstrong Hall, Stanhope Road at the new start time of 10.15am. After the Annual General Meeting held on 4 April 2012, the new Committee is now in place. Names and photos of the new Committee can be found on the People page.