On Wednesday, September 6 many U3A members enjoyed an excellent talk at the Town Hall by Dr. Gillian White. Entitled 'The Great Fire of Warwick' of 1694 destroyed much of the town centre. In those days it was a bustling, successful town, with 3,500 residents from a diverse cross section of society. The fire was started by someone crossing the road carrying a torch. It spread rapidly through tightly packed half-timbered buildings and very narrow alleyways. It started in the western end of town spreading east then changed direction a couple of times, finally dying out near the Central Square. It was said that the bells of St.Mary's Church melted and six pigs were killed ! No lives were lost but 250 families lost their homes. Town leaders gave the equivalent of £20,000 towards the relief effort. The Bishop of Worcester and subsequently the whole country contributed to the rebuilding. Claimants were given 9 days to apply for relief. The list of professions included apothecaries, tobacconists and ladies of independent means! One of them was the Kings harpist, staying at one of the many pubs; his list included three hats, three periwigs and gold coins worth £4,000 today ! The town was rebuilt with the idea of attracting a' better sort of gentleman', using bricks (no thatch allowed). The town wanted 'a continuous vista of modernity and money', which visitors can see today.

'The History of the Regal' will be on October 4 and our Open Day will be on November 1. Visitors welcome. Website:.u3asites.org.uk/Evesham. Tel: 01386 442475