Brecon u3a has entered its 40th year with an excellent day of celebration at Theatr Brycheiniog, which fully expressed the theme of the year: ‘looking back… to look forward’.

More than 150 people attended, several travelling from neighbouring u3a branches, including Swansea, Porthcawl, Hay-on-Wye, Gilwern, Crickhowell and even Cheddar Valley in Somerset.

All the speakers and performers for the day were local to Brecon, showcasing the wealth of international talent in the area.

The stage was set in the auditorium, with three splendid floral arrangements in the blue and yellow colours of the national u3a movement.

The morning talk was given by the author, Adele Nozedar, who extolled the positive benefits of being engaged in the natural world, learning about the folklore and nutritional values of plants and fungi. She explained how she shares her knowledge of common wild plants through her foraging courses with families and school children in the Bannau Brycheiniog area.

Brecon u3a members had prepared an impressive exhibition of their art work in pottery, needlecraft, sculpture, paintings and photography.

There were also 43 entries in the limerick competition to digest.

Judge, John Edwards, chose two very long-standing members, Deanna Leboff and Hugh Thomas as the worthy winners.

The afternoon was magical: baroque violinist, Rachel Podger, and cellist, Sonia Hammond entertained individually and together with their brilliant playing, excellent rapport, helpful history and beautiful music.

The group was also privileged to hear Chris Meredith and Owen Sheers read extracts from, and comment on, their thought-provoking poems.

A choir was created for the occasion and sang a new work “Three “L”s plus Two” (a reference to the u3a mantra, ‘Learn, Laugh, Live’), especially composed by Nic Shipp and the afternoon ended with a rousing chorus on u3a themes.

For further information, please search for “Brecon u3a events”.