CAROL EVANS: Nigel entertains with Ripping Yarns

The Portsdown U3A publicity officer looks forward to an exciting talk by one of the group’s members. 

We are pleased to welcome Portsdown U3A member Nigel Gossop to the stage at  Portsdown U3A’s next monthly meeting at 2pm on July 18 at Cosham Baptist Church.

Nigel is a book collector, researcher and writer with a special interest in children’s adventure literature from the first half of the 20th century.

His illustrated talk is entitled Ripping Yarns and the Tale of Portsmouth’s Forgotten Author, Percy F Westerman.

Westerman's children's adventure stories of daring do sold more than 1.5m copies. 

He became one of the UK's most popular adventure writers for the next 50 years, publishing almost 200 books.

Tales like The Flying Submarine, Wilmshurst of the Frontier, and Deeds of Pluck and Daring in the Great War led to him being voted Most Popular Boys' Author in a Daily Sketch poll in the 1930s.

His short stories and serials were published in popular children's magazines of the time, like Boy's Own Paper and Chums.

If you would like to come to hear Nigel we hold our meetings at Cosham Baptist Church, 48 Havant Road, Cosham. 

Visitors are welcome for a small fee of £2 which includes tea and biscuits.

The Portsdown U3A is currently involved in a project led by Royal Holloway University of London: Citizens: 800 Years in the Making.

This explores the history of liberty, protest, rebellion and reform from Magna Carta to the 21st century.

At Portsdown we have created a local group to research the activities of campaigners for female suffrage in the Portsmouth area.

If you have any stories of family or community involvement in the women’s struggle in this area, we would love to hear about them!

Please email us on

As well as our monthly meetings we have a wide variety of self-run interest groups so come along to one of our monthly meetings held on the third Wednesday of each month (except August).

We would be very pleased to welcome you and to tell you more about us and how you can become involved.

For further information, go to