York's older citizens celebrated 25 years of a university that believes education begins when the workplace door closes for the last time.

The University of the Third Age (U3A) has been running activities and courses since 1989 in the city for retired people and currently has 1,500 members in and around the city.

In the 2013-2014 academic year, it offered more than 100 courses and activities including learning about coasts and coastal management, foreign and sign language courses and bible theology.

Activities included social dancing – exercise for body and brain, racketball and cryptic crosswords. It runs choirs and music groups including jazz groups and many regular outdoor activities.

A spokesman for the York branch said: "York U3A has a lot to be proud of this year. It is one of the largest U3A groups in the country.

"The University of the Third Age was set up to meet the needs and aspirations of the many, who, having retired from work, were not prepared to retire from life but sought stimulation, both educationally and socially."

The only entry requirement to be a member is to be retired or semi-retired. There are no minimum academic requirements. Members run courses and groups

The anniversary celebrations on Saturday were held at its headquarters at Friargate Friends Meeting House off Clifford Street, which has recently been refurbished with help from a legacy from Henry Mills, a member from 1991 to 2001. Many classes are also held at the meeting house. Courses and activities vary in length and frequency.

Once a month, there is a general meeting for all members to get together and to hear a talk. In the autumn it holds a residential weekend with a variety of activities. The York U3A organises regular theatre visits and coach trips and holidays in the UK and abroad.