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Roving Reporter - Activities Day 2017

Added on: Wed 23rd August 2017


On the 18th August 2017, the great and the good of Peterborough U3A descended on The Fleet (The Italian Community Association) for the annual Activities Day display of many of the groups and membership renewals. As always the event was very well attended by both Group Leaders (and their “helpers” ) and the general membership. There was also a good turn-out of prospective new members seeing what we do for the first time.

The organisation of such a large event was primarily down to Hilary Keegan who has worked tirelessly for some months pulling the event together. This year saw space being found for 89 different groups on stands throughout the centre – which is about 55% of the total group count.

The day started early for Group Leaders, the Committee and helpers in all aspects of the day. Getting all of the equipment and displays ready for the 11am start takes a bit of doing.

As always, with The Fleet, car parking was an issue, but in the main the organisers have got this in a better state than it was 2 years ago. They now try and get at least 3 “Parking Assistants” on site for the whole day, and whilst they can’t generate any more space they do try to make the most of what is there and organise incoming parkers so there isn’t a mad search for that one elusive parking bay. The committee learn year on year on this point – however there are possible plans for next year to have the event in another venue where parking shouldn’t be a problem.

There was an enforced Opening Time of 11am this year to ensure that all of the stands and especially the Membership Room was set up and ready to go – previous years have seen early entrance causing problems for those on stands and membership renewal. The Door Staff, whilst not in black suit and tie with sunglasses on, did a wonderful job of marshalling this. I wanted to hear them say “If your name’s not on the list you’re not coming in” --- no such luck 😊 . By the time the doors did open there was quite a mass of people chomping at the bit to get in.

At a rough estimate, there were around 1200+ people who turned up this year, so the whole centre was busy for the full day, with the big rush coming around 11:30 to 13:00, but this just makes for a more fun day, with people bumping into others they haven’t seen for weeks or months and renewing friendships.

As usual there were live displays from various groups, including the Acoustic Guitar groups, the Line Dancing group, the ever-present Belly Dancers, the Poetry Writing group, and the Ukulele groups. The audience in the display room were treated to renditions by each, and that room was very popular, quite often having standing room only to watch them play, talk, sing and strut their stuff.

Something different was tried this year, with other groups represented on a video loop that was running in 3 places throughout the centre. The loop also carried adverts and requests for help for activities coming up later in the year.

As is always the case the cafeteria was a hive of activity with drinks and light snacks on sale. It became a hub for conversation for everyone, and also an oasis of calm for Group Leaders and event organisers who needed a break.

The Mayor of Peterborough was, as always, invited along – and as seems to be the case every year with each different Mayor, seemed to leave with a wonderment that the older residents in Peterborough are such an active lot. It’s good that we still have the ability to surprise the young whipper-snappers 😊.

Our publicity organiser, Joy Green, had also invited a photographer from the Peterborough Telegraph and they have suggested there will be an article in that august publication sometime this week (21/8 – 25/8) so watch out for our big moment in the press.

One thing that couldn’t be controlled was the weather, but most of the day passed off pretty dry – with the exception of 2 absolute downpours – I hope you didn’t get too wet.

I think I can speak for all of the attendees in saying a big thank you to the organisers of the event for another interesting and fun day.

We have 3 Galleries of photos of the day which you can see







The next “Big Event” is the PU3A AGM to be held at the Town Hall on Thursday 26th October – we hope you can attend that event as well as PU3A is run by the members for the members.

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