The genealogy group of Woking u3a members has held a special launch event for the timeline that they have created of their ancestors’ lives and achievements. The timeline will be on display at Surrey History Centre until the end of September.

Woking Area u3a (University of the Third Age) is open to anyone who has ceased full-time employment but is keen to take up new interests.

The launch event at Surrey History Centre was attended by Cllr M Ilyas Raja, the mayor of Woking; Barbara Nicholson, the chair of Woking Area u3a; Julian Pooley, public services and engagement manager of Surrey History Centre; and Sally Gardiner, leader of the genealogy group.

All four gave short talks. 

The mayor explained about the importance of family history research and some of his own family research.

Barbara talked about the 30-year milestone. It is 30 years since Woking Area u3a was formed and throughout 2023 this milestone is being celebrated in special events and activities. 

The genealogy group have created a timeline as their contribution to the celebrations.

Julian talked about how Surrey History Centre welcomes this display as it showcases the amazing breadth and range of information that can be discovered about our ancestors through archives such as Surrey History Centre.

Sally talked about the achievement of the group members in putting together all the information displayed.

Group members have written about key moments from the lives of their ancestors, and these are displayed with copies of many family photographs, newspaper cuttings and other references.

Some stories are related to international events, some are personal events. Some are happy and some are very sad. 

A roll of honour for those ancestors lost during the First World War of 1914-18 has been included. 

The genealogy group is an enthusiastic, friendly and supportive team who are researching family and associated social history both online and via local and national archives. 

Woking Area u3a groups and activities are led and taught by members, for members.

The local u3a is self-funded and self-managed, one of more than 1,000 locations in the UK.

The u3a does not provide services for its members – members provide them for each other. 

Nothing can be achieved without enthusiastic members willing to give their time, energy and commitment.

There are many ways to contribute. It may be sharing of skills, and knowledge, by leading or supporting new or existing groups; planning trips, outings and social events; volunteering for the committee; organising speakers for the monthly meetings; preparing refreshments or putting out chairs – the list is endless.

New members from all walks of life are welcome to join the Woking u3a community.

Membership application forms can be downloaded from