Groups Wish List

The Groups Co-ordinator holds a list of subject groups that people have suggested they would like to join. Whenever sufficient people express an interest in the same topic, a meeting will be convened to arrange times, place and how the group will function.

Current requests are French Conversation; Greek; Philosophy; Wine Tasting; Church visits & pub lunches; Local History, Spanish beginners; Greek; Philosophy; Canasta; Beginners Latin; Italian Beginners; Grow Your Own but you can also add to the list.

Of course anyone who would like to run a new group will be very welcome - it doesn't have to be on this list!

In either case, get in touch with the Groups Co-ordinator or a committee member. For our current groups see below.....

 Art

Co-ordinator: Evelyn Hamilton-Perkins.

Meetings: Weekly on Thursdays, 11.00am to 1.00pm.

Venue: St Lawrence Church Hall, Countess Lilias Road, Chesterton.

Since we started our Art Group three years ago, our membership has steadily grown to 20 very active and interested 'artists' who like to paint, draw and enjoy a coffee together (our weekly membership fee of £3 covers hall hire, refreshments and workshops). St Lawrence Church Hall is spacious and light and has a parking area with additional parking and a community shop in the road outside. Some members have very little experience, while others have much wider experience, but whatever their level they enjoy sharing knowledge and the opportunity to create art with a group of like-minded people.

Take a look at a short video of our work here ^Top  

Astronomy

Co-ordinator: Peter Watkins.

Contact: Phone 01285 861614.

Meetings: 2nd Thursday of the month at 8.00pm

Venue: currently peoples houses, but an option for a village hall if numbers grow

We have a late starting time in the hope that the sky will be dark and clear, so that after the meeting we can go outside and find our way around the stars and planets. None of us is an expert, but we are enthusiastic and have covered many astronomical and astronautical subjects, from history to the future. We have a mixture of talks by members or occasionally experts, and choosing a topic for each of us to explore in a show and tell manner. There is no requirement for you to talk about a subject if you would rather just listen.

We are still looking for a dark sky site with parking within easy reach of Cirencester, so if you know of one do let us know!

Do come along whether novice or expert to try us out.   ^Top 

 

Bird Watching

Co-ordinator :Tony Natt.   

Contact: Phone 01453 731018

Meetings: 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Venue: A variety of outdoor locations.

Beginners and garden birdwatchers are very welcome. The only requirements are footwear and clothing to cope with local weather on the day plus a pair of binoculars. Contact the co-ordinator for a programme of intended times and locations.  ^Top 

Board Games

Co-ordinator: Richard and Bonnie Green.

Contact: Phone

Meetings: 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6.30 to around 9.00pm

Venue: Daglingworth Village Hall.

The Board Game Group usually meet the 2nd Wednesday of the month in Daglingworth Village Hall. This is subject to change so please look for the dates in the Newsletter or call Richard Green on 01285 656157. There will be a charge of approx £2 per person to cover the cost of the Hall. The focus is learning new games but the aim is to play a variety of games, new and old. ^Top 

 

Bridge Groups:

Co-ordinator: Keith Dancer.

Meetings: Twice weekly.

Thursdays 2.00-5.00pm. We play Rubber Bridge most weeks, with one Duplicate Bridge session on the last Thursday of each month.

Fridays 2:00-5:00pm. We play Duplicate Bridge each week.

Venue for both meetings: St Lawrence Church Hall.

We are a keen group of players with a good standard of Bridge and beginners are encouraged to join in on Thursdays where the atmosphere is more relaxed as well as stimulating and you do not need to bring a partner.

On Friday you are expected to have a partner but those without can usually be paired with someone.

Members are asked to contribute £12.00 every 6 months for Thursday sessions and £16 every 6 months for Friday sessions. This covers the hire of the rooms and refreshments

New members are welcome to join either session.

Each year a beginner's class is available during the winter months.  ^Top 

China Chat:

Co-ordinator: Ruth Kelly and Jane Dyer.

Meetings: Second Friday of the month at 10.30am via Zoom (at present).

中國

Hua Shuo Zhongguo

During lockdown, three interested members have been meeting monthly via Zoom to discuss the possibility of convening a new group called China Chat. The main objective of this group was to meet on a regular basis to discuss everything and anything pertaining to this vast country. Suggested topics could include but are not limited to, the history, language, culture, festivals, food and personal experiences etc. Initially we have met via Zoom or at an outside venue if numbers permit. So far, we have discussed a variety of subjects ranging from Chinese customs including the Winter Solstice festival and officiating at a Chinese wedding. It is hoped to develop the group so that we can meet monthly, eventually “adopting” a Chinese restaurant, where we can enjoy a feast and perhaps experience cookery demonstrations.

Please note that we intend this group to be strictly non-political.

If you would be interested, please contact either Ruth Kelly (07484889752) or Jane Dyer (07931100267)  ^Top 

 

Cinema Music

Co-ordinator: Malcolm Lewis

Contact: Phone 01285 644110.

Meetings: 2nd Friday of the month 1.45 - 4.00 except December when we have a social gathering.

Venue: the Baptist Church, Chesterton Lane.

The meeting takes the form of two films being shown that give the members an insight into a genre across a great canvas from Musicals-Opera-Ballet -Biographies of composers and artists from the world of Music.

The equipment has a 10 ft wide screen and is state of the art.

Both groups ('Musical Cinema' and 'Nostalgia and Music') have a large capacity and we welcome new comers to the U3A.

Contact the Group Leader for details. ^Top  

 

Computer Users 

Co-ordinator: Maurice Goodwin

Meetings: 1st Monday, 2.30pm.

Venue: Ashcroft Centre

The usual format is to share any problems or difficulties we have experienced over the last month and offer advice and possible solutions - if we have any. In addition we regularly take a look at a particular topic, perhaps demonstrating software that may be new to some.

Do get in touch if you are thinking of joining.  ^Top 

 

Country Dancing

Co-ordinator: Sheila Laycock

Contact: Phone 01285 643361

Meetings: September to December 2nd and 4th Tuesdays; January to May, from 10.00am-12.00noon

Venue: The Ashcroft Room, Ashcroft Centre.

We are a friendly group with a relaxed attitude to dancing and we welcome new members. Our dances are selected to suit the 'older generation' and are likely to tax the 'grey matter' rather than the agility.
You are welcome to come along to any meeting and watch to see 'if it is for you'. ^Top 

 

Creative Crafts 1

Co-ordinator: Chris Rodgers

Meetings: At the Waterloo on the 4th Tuesday of the month, 2.00 - 4.00 pm. There will be no meeting in August and December.  ^Top

 

 

Cycling Group

Co-ordinator: Christopher Boydell

Rides: Every Friday. 10.00 start. 

Starting Point: Depends on the route, either Tesco Superstore or the Market Place by the Church, start 10.00am,  finishing about 12.00 - 12.30.

We plan weekly rides with 1 shorter ride each month, rides cover 15-20 miles and with members taking turns to lead. There is usually a cafe stop somewhere along the route.

There are several active members but new cyclists are welcome. Please see the contact information in the printed newsletter to be kept to date with details of rides.  ^Top  

 

Earth Sciences

Co-ordinator: Jill Lang

Meetings:  4th Friday, 10.00am 

Venue: The Ashcroft Centre.

Recent topics included Ancient Maps, Iceland and Svalbad, Geopolitics of the Middle East, Wildfires, Venice.

Recent field trips included Gloucester in Stone and Cotswold Scenery. Future topics will include Water Supply and Weather Systems.  ^Top 

 

Family History

Co-ordinator: Alan Stoner

Meetings: This is not a group with meetings but if you are starting out or would like advice,
Alan Stoner 01285 652377 and Richard Tomlin 01285 770477are happy to assist,
either at the library or at home. Wifi needed.
 ^Top 

 

French Conversation

Co-ordinator: Hazel Kolb

Meetings: 3rd Wednesday each month, 2:30 to 4:30

Venue: The Waterloo.

 This group is for those who already have elementary French, but who would like to be able talk more confidently.

Each month we prepare (homework!) and discuss a topic, or we listen to a French guest, or read a short story or play. We aim to improve our understanding of each other’s French; we question each other; we listen to each other.

It is rather strenuous!  English is permitted over the cup of tea!   ^Top
 

 

Garden Group

Co-ordinator: Ann Hardie

Meetings:  1st Monday in every month;

October to March the Garden Group meets on Monday afternoon from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on the first Monday in the month in the Ashcroft Room at the Ashcroft Centre.

April to September the meetings are held in members gardens from 10.00am
to 12.00pm and from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

A member may arrange a visit for the Group to an Open Garden during the summer.

You don't have to have a garden to belong; as long as you are interested, you are welcome. ^Top 

 

German

Co-ordinator: Joan Oakeshott

Meetings: Every Tuesday morning, 10.00 am to 12.00.

The members of the group have all learnt German in the past and are pretty rusty but want to revive the language they once knew.

We do some limited conversation, watch TV, listen to CDs and use some of the BBC language programmes. 

 

German Conversation

Co-ordinator: Ann Hardie

Meeting: 2nd and 4th Tuesday afternoon

Venue: Members take turns to host the meeting and provide the tea and biscuits.

The German Conversation Group is a small group and  was set up in 2017 to give us the opportunity to speak German and to brush up on forgotten vocabulary and grammar through chatting. So far we have achieved our aim and resist lapsing into English.

Members need to have basic German; we don't do formal grammar exercises or written work, though points of grammar may be discussed.  ^Top 

 

Golf

Weekly Golf

Co-ordinator: Ian Crawford

Contact: Phone 07341381686

Meetings:  Twice weekly,  Monday and Thursday

Venue: Oaksey golf course. 13:30 start in the summer months and 13:00 after the clocks go back for the winter.

Monthly Golf

Co-ordinator: Barry Wicks

Contact: Phone 07798682198

Meetings: 4th Monday morning of each month from April to October.

Venues: Various courses with an optional pub lunch to follow.

Players of all standards are welcome at either or both. All you need are some clubs. ^Top 

 

History

Co-ordinator: Chris Sutton.

Meetings:  2nd Monday of the month 10.00 - 12.00 

Venue: Currently meeting on Zoom.

One of the first groups established in Cirencester, its first topic was the 350th anniversary of the Royalist attack on the town.

Normally a subject is chosen for research and discussion. Not surprisingly the Roman occupation features, as does the growth of the town from the Wool Trade. Topics are, however, wide-ranging and include far-away places such as India and China. Most recent discussion has been on the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII with its consequent loss of buildings and other treasures.

On occasion, members choose a famous person, building, garden or painting of special interest, among them Wellington and Nelson, the Silk Route and the history of coinage. ^Top

 

Italian Improvers

Contact Liz Applegate. Phone 01285 658351

Meetings: 2nd Thursday & 3rd Friday in the month

Venue: Members Homes in rotation.


We are a small group and as 'Beginners' we followed the BBC Talk Italian Course. (We did it twice!).

We are about to start a tried and tested 'Italianissimo' course for a different approach, to reinforce our learning and to progress. Homework efforts are shared each week. We devise games, bring in articles in Italian, pamphlets from holidays, etc for variety. After over 3 years we ought to be 'Improvers'!

Actually conversing in this self help group is the hardest part but we now have a fluent speaker of Italian who generously comes one meeting in three to firmly encourage us.

 

Italian Intermediate

Co-ordinator: Maggi Brown.

Meetings: 2nd & 4th Tues 10:00 a.m.

This group is for people with a reasonable knowledge of Italian. This may range from learning the language at school or university through to having lived or worked in Italy. ^Top 

 

Kurling (indoor Curling)

Co-ordinator: Carol Smith. 01285 654494

Meetings: 2nd Wednesday 2-4 p.m.

Venue: Siddington Village Hall

Kurling is similar to Curling but without the ice! It just needs a smooth floor and it does NOT include vigorous brush sweeping. ^Top 

 

Latin

Co-ordinator Jackie Natt

Meetings: See below.

Salve !

The aim is to learn some Latin just for the fun of it and to get to know how the Romans lived.

There are three groups - Intermediates, Improvers Beginners.

Intermediates meet two Mondays a month, Improvers meet two Tuesdays a month and Beginners meet as agreed. ^Top 

 

Literature 1

Group leader Marion Stephenson

Contact: Phone 01285 651073.

Meetings:  4th Thursday afternoon at 2.15p.m.   

Venue: Members Homes

Literature 3

Co-ordinator: Liz Dancer

Contact: Phone 01285 770919

Meetings: 1st Wednesday afternoon of each month

Venue: Members homes, though it is not compulsory that you host.


We aim to challenge ourselves by trying many genres and have read classics such as Dante's Inferno, Virgil and Beowolf. We have a liking for literature which is either set against and informs us of history or of current issues in this country and abroad. We tend to fit in the Booker prize winner some time in the year.
If you feel that you would like to join us, please contact Liz Dancer on 01285 770919 ^Top 

 

Mah Jong 

Co-ordinator Brenda Lissimore

Contact: Phone 01285 652809

Meetings: Alternate Thursdays, 2.30 – 4.30 pm

Venue: The Waterloo.  ^Top 

 

 Music Group

Co-ordinator Cate Luck

Contact: Phone 01285 658021

Meetings: 4th Wednesday 2:30p.m.

Venue: The Waterloo.

We have a theme and everyone is encouraged to bring along some appropriate cds.

It's a good opportunity to have almost two hours of listening and sharing in a very relaxed, friendly and informal atmosphere to a varied selection of all types of music chosen by members. ^Top 

 

Petanque (French boules)

Co-ordinator Peter Chambers

Contact 01285 885883

Meetings:

Group 1 Monday morning 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m

Group 2 Thursday morning 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m.

Group 3 Tuesday morning 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m 

Venue:  St. Michael's Park.

We play all year round and in all weathers. Players should arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time stated above for a prompt start of play at 10am. We usually play 3 timed games of about 35 minutes each game. We run occasional internal competitions and also play competitive home and away matches in the Cotswold League during summer months. We have 5 lanes available and are limited to a maximum of 30 players on any one of the sessions.
We are a friendly and welcoming group and if you want to come and have a go, please either visit during one of our sessions for a chat or ring the Co-ordinator above. If you do not own a set of boules of your own, a set can be borrowed until you obtain your own set, with prior arrangement with the Co-ordinator. ^Top 

 

Play Reading Group 2

Co-ordinator: Val Faulkner

Contact: Phone 01285 239367

Meetings: 1st Wednesday in the month 9.45-12.00

Venue: The waterloo

We read a variety of plays to hopefully suit all tastes; everyone has a chance to take a part and make suggestions for new plays for future months. We are an extension of play reading 1 group which was so popular it ran out of spaces for members.

If you are a U3A member and would like to join us, please contact the Co-ordinator; you will be made very welcome!  
^Top 

   Radio Group

Meetings: Ad hoc.

The U3A Radio Group meets each month to record a programme, broadcast monthly on Corinium Radio, our local community radio station. We meet on an ad hoc basis during the preceding month to plan each programme and record interviews with U3A members with an interesting story to tell.

Training is offered in interviewing and developing the technical skills to make and broadcast a programme.

Spaces are available for anyone else wishing to join a Group.

Click here to listen to a recent broadcast.  ^Top 

Rail Buffers Group

Co-ordinator Dennis Peters.
Meetings: 4th Thursday of month.

Venue: Normally in members Houses.

A group for those who are in any way interested in railways, from their history through to the present day (and beyond). Members' interests include railway technology, operations and economics and include the impact of railways on the social and economic affairs of nations.

In the summer months we try to fit in trips. These typically include outings to preserved railways, railway museums, and places of particular interest from a railway architectural/historical point of view. We also take occasional trips on lines of interest, Crossrail is high on the list when it finally opens. ^Top 

Recorder Group

Co-ordinator Peter Stephenson.

Contact: Phone 01285 651073

Meetings: Second Wednesday at 11.00 am and 4th Monday at 2.30 p.m. If you can read music and used to play a recorder, or wish to do so, please join us to make music together.  ^Top 

 

Scandinavian Group

Co-ordinator Nigel and Janet Wardell.

We meet on one Tuesday per month, in each other's houses.

This group started in May 2017. At each meeting, one or two members describe an aspect of Scandinavia: travel, language, music, food, film, art, mythology, traditions, culture, history; which we then discuss, talking about our own experiences. We intend to explore aspects of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and possibly Iceland, Finland and the Faeroes too. Group activities could also include: watching Scandinavian films, looking at Viking and later history, tasting typical food, observing main celebrations and learning some useful language - we are open to suggestions.

Spaces are available for anyone else with interest in Scandinavia, who wish to join the Group. ^Top 

Science and Technology

Co-ordinator Brian Wells

We meet once a month, on the second Tuesday of the month, at 10.30 in the St Lawrence Hall. (Doors open at 10.00 am for coffee). We generally have a speaker giving an illustrated talk, followed by a (hopefully) informed discussion. The group started at the end of 2012, and to give you the flavour of the subjects, here are some that we have dealt with since then: Small Electric Motors, Wind Turbines, Graphene, the Autonomous Car, 3-D Printing, Military Vehicles, Composite Materials, Fracking, Batteries, Lasers and Nuclear Power. Other subjects coming up soon include Genetics and Artificial Intelligence.

Also, we occasionally go visiting, and recently we've been to the Armoury at Shrivenham College and the Aircraft Scrapyard at Kemble.

All are welcome at the meetings - no need to book ahead: no qualifications needed, except an interest in how things work. ^Top 

Singing - World Music Singing Group

Co ordinator: Anne Vardy.
Meetings: Every first Tuesday of the month, 2 to 4pm. St Lawrence Church Hall, Countess Lilias Road, Chesterton.

Can't sing? No problem. Can't read music? No problem

Everyone is welcome on this Song Journey around the world. No solos; no auditions; easy to learn songs. The objecctive is to 'Bring out your voices and fill the air with song.'

We learn a couple of new songs at each session with one or two longer songs which carry over each month. The cost is £1 per session. You are welcome to try out at any time and there is no need to book. 
^Top 

 

Spanish Intermediate

Co-ordinator  Maureen Folliard.

This small group meets each Monday from 10.00am - 12.00 and is for people who already have some knowledge of Spanish. We work together to make language learning fun by using lots of different activities. These include watching Spanish DVDs and TV programmes, playing language games, listening to CDs and podcasts, using Internet resources and talking and reading in contexts relevant for people visiting Spanish speaking countries. We also use an intermediate level textbook.

If you are interested in joining our group, please contact me.   ^Top

 

Spanish Improvers

Co-ordinators  Sally & Vedant Wood.

Meetings: 2nd and 4th Mondays 2-4pm.

This is for people with some knowledge of Spanish. We use different methods of learning to accommodate people with a range of ability. Sessions are relaxed and we try to make learning fun and help each other.  ^Top

 

 

The Stitch Group

Coordinator Pauline Phillips.

Meetings: 2nd Monday at 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm Venue: St Lawrence Hall.

The meetings take the form of general support, discussion and displaying current projects. Help will be given to new and less experienced quilters, whilst it is also an opportunity for sharing amongst the more confident quilters. ^Top 

 

Supper Group

Co-ordinator Sue Slack

Meetings: We meet on the 15th of the month, usually at 7 p.m.

The Supper Group is a great way to meet new people and catch up with old friends, whilst enjoying an evening with food, wine and conversation.
Each group of diners consists of 6 to 8 people - singles and couples. People take it in turn to host the supper at their home, and the members are rearranged each month to provide a mix of hosts and guests.

This is how it works:- The host provides the main course, tea or coffee and perhaps a welcome drink with some nibbles.

Other members bring a starter or dessert as their contribution to the meal.

If there are more than 6 members participating, then the others provide cheese and biscuits.
Everyone brings along wine and / or soft drinks to be shared at the table.

The aim is to enjoy the evening, and not spend all day in the kitchen! Sometimes in the summer or around Christmas, we hold "all comers" bring-and-share outdoor suppers, lunches or barbeques. ^Top

 

 

Table Tennis

Co-ordinator Jane Miller

Meetings: Wednesdays 2-3pm at Fentons Community Centre, South Cerney.

All abilities - relaxed atmosphere playing both doubles and singles. Small monthly fee payable to cover cost of hall hire. ^Top

 

 

Tai-Chi

Co-ordinator Tom Kolb

Meetings: First Tuesday 10.25am at the Watermoor Hall

TAI-CHI is a chinese system of co-ordinated gentle exercise particularly suitable for promoting health in older people. It is not stressful or violent, and improves mental as well as physical health.
In our class, we go through a series of gentle exercise known as Quigong to improve strength of the muscles and mobility of the joints. We then do standing meditation exercises to promote stamina.
The main part of the session is devoted to true Tai-Chi which is the system of gentle co-ordinated movements that you see performed by Chinese in many situations.

Finally, we cool down with some exercises taken from chinese medicine to promote longevity. ^Top

 

 

Theatre Group

Co-ordinator   Cacilda Warriner

Around 4 to 6 visits a year are offered to theatres in Malvern, Bristol, Bath. Oxford, etc. We look for good quality drama and comedy productions with the emphasis on straight plays rather than musicals, ballet or opera. Travel is by coach from Cirencester.   ^Top

 

 

Ukulele

Co-ordinator Andrew McKechnie.

Meetings: Fortnightly by arrangement, Thursdays 2pm to 3.30pm

Interested in playing the Ukulele? This is your opportunity! The group is open to beginners and to more experienced players, all you need is enthusiasm and a ukulele. If the group is very popular we will look for a bigger room as our aim is to eventually widen the group to include other instruments. ^Top

 

 

Walking Group

Co-ordinators Jennifer Crawford and Diane Stallabrass.

Meet new friends, keep active and enjoy the lovely Cotswold countryside with Walking Group 1. The group meets on the 1st Friday of each month for a walk of about 5 miles, followed by a Pub Lunch. Walks are usually within a 15 mile radius of Cirencester and we meet at Cirencester Rugby Club at 9.20am in order to share cars as much as possible. Please meet and park just inside the gateway from The Whiteway. New members will be made very welcome. You need to be reasonably fit, have walking boots and waterproofs, bring your walking pole if you use one, and a drink for the mid-morning break.

Information on current walks, and how to reserve a place on a walk, can be found in the printed copy of the Cirencester U3A Newsletter which is distributed to members. Members take turns to lead walks and arrange the lunchtime venue throughout the year. Meals and snacks are pre-ordered at the pub before the start of the walk.

Occasionally the number of walkers may be restricted by the catering facilities of a pub. If a walk is oversubscribed, anyone failing to get a place will get priority booking on the next walk. Hope you will join us. ^Top

 

 

Short Walk Group

Co-ordinator Frank Lindsley
Tel: 01285 656174
Mob: 07563548260

We are a friendly, chatty group who take gentle walks of 2 to 3 miles, enjoying conversation and taking in the countryside around us. We try to find circular walks, generally flat and starting and ending at a pub or café for lunch.

We meet at the Cirencester Rugby Club Car Park at 10.15 on the last Thursday of every month. Please meet and park just inside the gateway from The Whiteway. ^Top

 

New Walk Group

Co-ordinator Frank Lindsley
Tel: 01285 656174
Mob: 07563548260

Purpose of the group: To provide a more taxing walk than that offered by the Short Walk Group. Where possible a brief resume will be provided to help members assess whether a walk is suitable for them.

We meet at the Cirencester Rugby Club Car Park at 10.00 on the third Thursday of every month. Please meet and park just inside the gateway from The Whiteway. ^Top 

 

 

Walking Netball

Co-ordinator Liz Dancer. 01285 770919

Meets every Thursday at 10:30 for an hour's game.
Venues: Weekly meeting at Cirencester Leisure Centre sports hall from the 10.30 to 11.30 There is no need to be a member of the Leuisure Centre, just say you are with the U3A.

Walking Netball is a women's activity. Even at walking speed, it is an exhilarating and competitive game, and lots of fun. The group often enjoy some well-earned refreshment afterwards. ^Top

 

Writing for Fun

Co-ordinator Elaine Harris.

Meetings: Second Wednesday of each month at 2.30 - 4.00pm

This is a relaxed and friendly group. At each meeting the next title is chosen, by mutual consent. Members read their work in turn and then there is general discussion, followed by the essential cup of tea. ^Top