A Special Interest Day on the Victorian Age was held by Minehead and District University of the Third Age this autumn.
Literature was explored through talks on George Eliot, and writing for children. Poetry was read, both dramatic and the comic and extracts from the early part of A Christmas Carol brought an uplifting ending.
The audience heard about the Great Exhibition of 1851, a platform to showcase British superiority in pretty much everything. Its success was undisputed, 6 million people visiting the exhibition.
Minehead has always been home to sailors and in the Victorian age many ships plied their trade along the Bristol Channel. Another presentation was from a relative of the captain of the last ship in Minehead.
Photography was the theme of the next speaker; he brought along a selection from his own camera collection and spoke of the inventive Victorians who concealed cameras disguised as binoculars, parcels, even firearms.
Technological advances were covered and inventions still with us today including anaesthetics, telephones, typewriters, pneumatic tyres, dynamite, self-raising flour, and the sewer system.
The afternoon was rounded off with the audience singing a selection of well-known songs from the era.
The U3A is a national organisation for retired or semi retired people offering a range of groups, coffee mornings with speakers, and other events. Details about joining can be obtained from membership secretary Phillip Cook on 01984 639459 or email firstname.lastname@example.org