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U3A's Christmas cracker of an event

Over a hundred members zoomed in to join Ilkley & District U3A’s Christmas Cracker concert last weekend (Saturday 12 December).

The Christmas cracker concert is only the latest in a series of events that the U3A has produced throughout the year. Despite the restrictions caused by Covid 19. our U3A has used technology to deliver a range of talks, special events and group meetings. U3A has a membership of over 1,500 throughout Ilkley, Wharfedale and Airedale.

A spokesperson for the group said: "What a splendid event it was, as the audience sang, smiled, clapped and toe-tapped during an hour of fun and entertainment.

"Celebrations for the festive season started well when the Master of Ceremonies, Marten Koopmans, introduced a special guest - Father Christmas. Santa’s welcome to the audience was followed with a spirited rendition of “So Happy Together”, by the Swinging Sixties and Tuesday Tappers groups, accompanied on guitar, keyboard, drums and bells. Angie Grain, the Chair of Ilkley U3A, was up next, inviting everyone to participate in a Christmas quiz. Some of the audience were well clued up in everything to do with Christmas and almost scored full marks - not bad for oldies!

"Marten cracked some typical corny Christmas cracker jokes between the musical and artistic contributions from the Art Appreciation group and two specially composed festive poems from the Poetry Writing group. This was followed by Jan and Andy Copsey who gave their own hilarious take on the Twelve Days of Christmas. Carols are always an important part of any Christmas concert and the Singing for Pleasure group didn’t disappoint, performing two of their favourites. Finally, the audience was treated to a montage of photographic views taken in and around Ilkley, accompanied to strains of ‘On Ilkley Moor Bar T’at’.

"Wrapping up, Angie Grain thanked everyone for their participation and commented that the U3A had wanted to do something special before Christmas and use technology to do it. She thanked the organising team for achieving this aim and said that the event had showcased a real compilation of what the U3A can do."

The concert can be viewed by a link on the website at where details about how to join can also be found. A special joining fee of £7 is offered from January 2021. This is 50% less than the normal joining fee and will cover membership until the end of July 2021.

Ilkley & District U3A has a thriving membership of over 1500 members who are kept informed through the website and regular NewsFlash updates. The EYE, glossy members newsletter is sent out bi-annually. With a range of activities including sports, arts, languages, music, science and games, Ilkley & District U3A offers something for everyone in some 140 interest groups run by members for members. The emphasis is on self-learning, making friends and having fun. To discover more, find us online at, on Facebook and Twitter.


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