For many retired people in Haringey life begins again in the third age.
Retirement – or the third ‘age’ of life – is celebrated in the Haringey branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) which provides older people with a variety of educational and leisure clubs.
Here they can take their pick from hand craft, reading, walking and writing clubs alongside lunch groups and one dedicated to exploring London.
There is also the stimulating Poetry Reading Club which meets every third Wednesday of the month from 2pm at the Marcus Garvey Library in Tottenham Green Leisure Centre.
It is run by the welcoming Ruby Knight who has been part of the club ever since it started 18 years ago.
“I find poems for the group and I must have given out hundreds of them over the years!” said Ruby, laughing. “But I also encourage members to bring their own poems. We also decide on themes for the next meeting.”
Today’s theme was ‘Memories’. Members of the group took turns to read out a selection of poems provided by Ruby including: Memories by F.Whitehead, The Latch-Key Kid by Margaret Rhodes, My Younger Days by Maya Angelou and one called My Garden which was the first poem Ruby learned at school.
The poems were examined by the group, but the theme also sparked conversations about people’s own memories of times gone by in the borough including a vivid one from Ruby of eating shrimps sold from a stall in St Ann’s Road!
“Poetry stimulates your mind,” she said. “It can take you out of yourself and it helps you lift your spirits. Sometimes we only share when we’re sitting around to have a meal but this is a sharing experience through literature.”
“I came here because I love socialising and poetry is one of my favourite interests,” said Herbie Walker. “When someone writes a poem they might be revealing something about themselves and their life and I am always interested to know about other people’s lives.”
If you are an older person and are interested in joining the group then come to one of the regular U3A meetings held on the first Wednesday of every month at Wood Green Library from 1pm. For more information call 0199 244 1613 or 07765 357077.