Books for a time of regeneration


Third Age Press is an independent publishing company dedicated to providing books which recognise that the period of life after full-time, gainful employment and family responsibility can be a time of fulfillment and continuing development  – a time of regeneration. All Third Age Press books are available by direct mail order through this website. PLEASE NOTE – the PayPal logo is displayed on the CHECKOUT page but you can choose to pay as a GUEST if you do not wish to use a PayPal account.  Also, if you wish us to send the book with an invoice which can be paid by cheque please contact us on to find the price, inclusive of postage.


Fans of Eric Midwinter will be familiar with his gift of bringing history to life and relating what is past to the complex world in which we now live.

His latest offering, LABOUR’S PRIZE BAND,  opens with a commentary on the work, chiefly domestic, of the post-war Labour Government, led by Clement Attlee, based on a scrutiny of the background and values of the ministers involved. There follows brief potted biographies of the thirty politicians upon which the essay is based. In each case, in as abbreviated form as possible, the background of each of these thirty ministers is described, before a final paragraph of the contribution each made to the post-war Labour Government.

Third Age Press is offering LABOUR’S PRIZE BAND as a 50 A4 page PDF free to print at home.  To receive (via Email) your free printable PDF copy, simply send an email to

If you wish to purchase a printed copy presented in an A4 folder, this is available for £5.00 including postage. Please click on ‘BUY BOOKS’ and follow the relavant links. Or you may send a cheque made out to ‘Third Age Press’ to Third Age Press, 6 Belvedere Grove, London SW19 7RL.

To order any of the other books for sale via the website, click ‘BUY BOOKS’.

Third Age Press is also proud to publish U3A founder, Dr Eric Midwinter’s, ‘magnum opus’

THE COLLECTIVE AGE   1850 ~ 1950: The Rise and Fall of                             a  Fairer Society

COLL cover F websiteThis is an all-embracing historical study of the rise of Collectivism in the United Kingdom. It traces its development from early Victorian times to the late 1940s,  covering both the enormous expansion of state involvement in everyday life alongside the growth of communal values and activity, culminating in the major reforms and civil ethos of the 1940s.

As well as chapters on the background thinking about Collectivism and its exercise over every section of public life – transport, public health, education, law and order and much else – there is coverage of the corresponding communal culture and leisure of those times, touching on, amongst other topics, sport, theatre and cinema. The central tranche of eighteen chapters may each be viewed as specialist essays within the whole argument.

It is forcefully argued that the arrant neo-liberalism and gross inequality of the modern era is, in structure and character, a return to the woefully crass individualism of the Hanoverian and Regency period. There is, it is claimed, little ‘modern’ or ‘progressive’ about today’s condition; it is an unhappy return to the past.

In order to be able to disseminate this important work to the widest possible audience, we are publishing it in three different formats: an Ebook, an A4 PDF (which can be read on screen or printed out), and a bound version. Go to BUY BOOKS for details and orders. SELECT THE BOOK OR VERSION YOU WANT AND FOLLOW THE PROMPTS TO PURCHASE. PLEASE NOTE – IF YOU ARE PURCHASING THE EBOOK VERSION –  DO NOT  CLICK ON THE ‘ADD TO BAG’ BUTTON.

CarolDon’t succumb to so-called  ‘senior moments’

ON THE TIP OF YOUR TONGUE: your memory in later life by Dr Tony Gibson, for many years, our best seller, may be out of stock and will not be re-printed . . . however, do  not despair . . . it is now available as an E-book  (suitable for Kindle or other tablets). You can also purchase a PDF of the book to read on screen or print out for your own use.

You may  possibly also find used copies of the book by looking at sites such as or amazon. 


Our new address is 6 Belvedere Grove, London SW19 7RL.

All other contact details remain the same. 



VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE: THE WORLDS OF ERIC MIDWINTER . . . the definitive biography of Eric Midwinter, U3A Founder (and so much more), by Professor Jeremy Hardie. Click on ‘BUY BOOKS’ for further details and to purchase.

Douglas Miller, writing in the Journal of the Association of Cricket Statisticians says:  Those of us privileged to review books for the Association (of Cricket Statisticians) should, on occasion, declare a special interest. I will have been one of many members who came to know Eric Midwinter during his years as our President. He was, and remains, a man of massive scholastic achievement, rich humour and personal warmth . . . I was delighted that Jeremy Hardie should have provided the chance to learn more of this remarkable polymath.

In a diverse career it is the worlds of education and consumer rights that have especially benefited from Eric’s ability to think beyond traditional boundaries, his gift for communication and his inspirational leadership.

Never claiming to be a conventional biography, the book takes each of Eric’s ‘worlds’ in turn, drawing heavily on the personal testimony of those who worked alongside him.

There is much fine writing with a few amusing anecdotes and unfailingly happy recollections, but the carefully composed prose of the contributors lacks the spontaneity that comes more readily from taped conversations with their jocular asides.

Should you rush out to buy your copy of Hardie’s book?  If you know Eric and feel you would like to know more, I urge you to do so. If you start by knowing nothing about this splendid man, I won’t press you so hard. But either way, I am glad that this book has been written.

Gathorne Butler praises author Jeremy Hardie:  I am so impressed by the professionalism with which you have managed to encompass so much detail concerning the many many facets of the man and yet you have succeeded in leaving the reader with the essence of his ability to bring to everything he touches his humour, his egalitarian principles and his enthusiasm.  It was clearly a labour of love!

Bernard Whimpress, Australian Cricket Journalist says ~ Congratulations on Variety is the Spice of Life. Now that I have completed it can I say that it is a marvellous book about a wonderful life. In a number of biographies I have read previously I found the collection of testimonials to be tedious. Not so here. Because Eric has led so many lives and everyone offers a different perspective they work superbly. I can only conclude that Eric did the right thing by following a horizontal career and that the academy’s loss is the world’s gain.

Wendy Toms, NCC Press Officer comments ~ I am finding it hard to put down.  It has awakened so many happy memories of life at NCC  and has reminded me yet again of how privileged I was to work under you.  It has also underlined my awe at your far-reaching achievements and the lightness with which you wear your mantle of brilliance.  I was flattered  to see how much of my reminiscence Jeremy has actually included – and also astonished and very touched by your own tribute to me as NCC’s press officer.  But my own personal interest in education, public transport and now, of course, old age, and my affection for Michael Young and John Hosker,mean that I am finding other chapters even more fascinating.  As Miriam Bernard wrote in her tribute to you, you truly are a Renaissance man, and your continuing writing, speech-making and vigorous involvement in the U3A, the Savage Club and in Harpenden affairs put me to shame.

David Howe remarks: I greatly enjoyed your very detailed account of Eric’s life and achievements, and though aware of much of his life story, was left with jaw dropped as your account unfolded. Now, having read it all, I feel a sense of personal under accomplishment – such energy, such purpose, such incredible focus and in the words of my old school motto (finis opus coronat), the end has crowned the work, though in Eric’s case, the end has yet to be defined.


How to be a Merry WidowDO YOU HAVE A BEE IN YOUR BONNET… about ageing and/or the way we are treated by the press or younger people? Now you can get it off your chest and engage in a lively dialogue. Third Age has opened a Blog – where you can EngAge With Age or simply read one (or all) of the Recent Posts listed on the right of this page or under DIanne’s Ditherings or any of the headings and write your own comments as directed.




The original edition of this book (published in 2004) is now out of print but an updated version is available for Kindle and any tablet using a Kindle App.

We can also offer you a copy of the book (complete with update to 2014) in the form of a 265 page PDF for £6.00

If you have a copy of the original book that you would like to sell, please contact: The origins, development, current position & future aspirations of the University of the Third Age in the UK. A Postscript updates the story to 2014.  This is the tale of the origins, the development, the current position and the future aspirations of this unique pioneering of the principles of mutual aid. While closely analysing the national and regional elements in this dramatic success story, the book’s focus is also on the many local stories of individuals battling to make the U3A ideal work amid the homes and streets of their own town or community. The author is Dr Eric Midwinter, the distinguished social historian and social policy analyst, himself the surviving one of the three ‘Founding Fathers’ of U3A in the UK . Go to BUY BOOKS  then Non-fiction for more details. “500 Beacons is a massive piece of research, meticulously conducted but simply and entertainingly presented.” – F. Beckett, U3A News AVAILABLE FOR KINDLE £4.99  [click here to purchase via]

If purchasing from outside the UK, please go to and type in the title of any of our books for Kindle that you wish to purchase.