GR0UP ACTIVITIES (Alphabetical)

Click HERE for forthcoming special events which may clash.

Android Users Group

Art Appreciation

Aviation  Bridge Chess Creative Writing Canasta  (1 and 2) Disasters
Discussion 1 Discussion 2 Embroidery and Handicrafts "Extend" Exercise to music Family History Folk Dancing

French    Conversation          1, 2  3 & 4

Fun Scrabble
"Extend"Garden Visits Geology German Conversation Italian Ipad User Group Handbelle Team (Bellplates) History Industrial Museums Visits
Jigsaw Lending Library Lip Reading Local History Luncheon Club Mah Jong Massage Group Museums and Galleries Music Appreciation
Play Reading    (1 and 2) Poetry Reading Photography for Fun Potterne Art Group Reading Reading 2 Reading 3 Reading 4
Sketching for Improvers Spanish Language Table Tennis Textile Arts Walking Longer Distances Walking  Wednesday Walkers  Walking with a Bus Pass
Windows Computer Group Wine Appreciation              

Group Activities  (by subject)

Art Appreciation Embroidery and Handicrafts Music Appreciation Architecture thru' the Ages Aviation  Reading 2
Sketching for Improvers Textile Arts Handbelle Team History Windows Computer Group Play Reading 
Potterne Art Group Lip Reading   Local History Geology Poetry Reading
Photography for Fun     Disasters Ipad User Group Creative Writing
        Android Users Group Reading 3
          Reading 4
French Conversation  Folk Dancing Walking Discussion Bridge   Garden Visits
German Conversation Massage Group Wednesday Walkers  Luncheon Club Canasta     Museums and Galleries
Spanish Language "Extend" Exercise to music Walking with a Bus Pass Wine Appreciation  Mah Jong Wharf Theatre
Lip Reading   Walking Long Distances Fun Scrabble Jigsaw Lending Library Industrial Museums Visits
      Family History Table Tennis  


Click on a topic from the above list to find out more.


 Aviation Studies   (Originally Aviation History )

The Aviation Studies Group is led by Martin Houghton

 2nd Wednesday in the Crown Centre at 10.00 am - for the March meeting

2nd Wednesday in the Nursteed Centre at 2-30 pm from the April meeting going forward

With the closure of the Crown Centre later in the year, we will re-locate to the Nursteed Centre, commencing from April. Note that we will now be meeting in the afternoon.  The name/address of the Nursteed Centre is:-   Nursteed Community Centre, Nursteed Road, Devizes SN10 3AF

 The original Aviation History Group was formed by John Blunden at the centenary year of the first manned flight by the Wright Brothers.  The group has since expanded and we typically attract between 30 and 40 members at our meetings.  The talks are designed to appeal to both a non-technical audience and our members with aviation experience. 

 We have recently introduced a Members Skills Forum where we can review and discuss aviation topics raised at meetings.

 This is a very popular group and new members are always welcome.

 Our speaker for February was Tony vanCrump, reviewing the technology behind propellers.

 Future speakers and programme topics are:                         

 14th March                  David Keen, Behind the scenes of the Battle of Britain

 11th April            Sally-Ann Heygate, topic to be confirmed

 9th May              Professor Chris Dunn, Living & Working in the Space Shuttle

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( updated 1 March 2018)


Photography for Fun.

Group Leader Janet Rutter.  (See Newsletter for contact details)

2nd Thursday.  1.30pm to 3.45pm in the Nursteed Centre.   £3 per session

We are a friendly group of photographers of varying abilities. Some meetings take the form of going out as a group to take photographs. There is also a monthly theme to encourage us to get out with our cameras. Other meetings are in-house at the Nursteed Centre, Devizes and include presentations and discussions with reviews of our photographs, learning from each other. This is your chance to get in on an exciting new venture and improve your skills amongst enthusiastic and welcoming friends. 

Our next meetings are: 14th September, 12th October, 9th November and 14th December. 

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(Updated 24 Aug. 2017)


Industrial Museum Visits – 2018

The following visits are provisionally planned; details will be confirmed nearer the time.

Tuesday 6th Feb 2018 – Milestones Museum, Basingstoke. (

Monday 16th April 2018 – Bletchley Park  ( Monday 9th July 2018 – Black Country Living Museum (

Tues 18th Sept 2018 – Butser Ancient Farm  (

The cost will depend on numbers but will be about £30.  The cost will include coach travel, admission charges and driver’s gratuity.  Bookings will not be taken until the details about each trip are sent out.

These trips are open to all U3A members and their spouses or partners. Booking and contact details will be in the Newsletter and on this web site.      Watch this space!

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(Updated 30 August 2017)



There is now a Chess Group with just three players and we would like a few more to join.  If you know the rules and would like to play the odd game at my house in Devizes please contact me.

Chris Callow.   See Newsletter for contact details.

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(Updated 5 August 2017)



The Disasters Group is led by Martin Houghton 

1st Monday in the Crown Centre at 2.00 pm

1st Monday in the Nursteed Centre at 2.00 pm  (The name/address of the Nursteed Centre is:-   Nursteed Community Centre, Nursteed Road, Devizes SN10 3AF)

With the closure of the Crown Centre later in the year, we will re-locate to the Nursteed Centre, commencing from the April meeting.

Note that we will still be meeting in the afternoon, but on a Tuesday.

 The Group continues with presentations from members, very much supporting the spirit of U3A sharing of information and experience and covering a wide variety of Natural and Man-Made disasters.

 To date we have covered many disasters from the Hindenburg fire, through to the Lynmouth Flood disaster and the Battle for Midway. The events reviewed and analysed cover many sectors, including aviation, maritime, petrochemical, rail, medical, mining and environmental.

 These presentations stimulate lively discussion on the causes and lessons learned from the events.

Further topics from members are currently under review for future meetings, and any new suggestions are always welcome.

Back to list of groups                                                                                        (Updated 1 March 2018) 


Canasta  (1 and 2)

The first canasta group was formed in March 2008.   Due to growing interest a second group commenced in October 2010.

Both groups meet in Devizes on either a Monday or Wednesday afternoon throughout the month.

If additional members wished to play there would be plenty of support and advice for someone to set up a third group!

Ann Morris has taken over Canasta TWO (Mondays) and Ena Hope has taken over Canasta ONE (Wednesdays.) 

Currently Canasta Group Two is full see Newsletter for further details..



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(Updated 5th August 2017)


Android Tablet and Phones User Group

   3rd Tuesday of the month in the leader’s home starting at 9:45am and running to 11:45.

A reminder that we are meeting on next Tuesday 20th at my house at 9:45 am.

I have been asked to cover taking screen shots and recovering from lost/forgotten PIN, the latter I really don’t recommend. I will try again to demonstrate  storing of documents on the phone/tablet so they can be accessed when you don’t have a connection but after last month I make no promises.  As I believe some new members will be attending I will cover settings again.

Any other suggestions would be welcome.

 One topic of discussion was “should we rename the group” as we think the word Android is putting people off, any suggestion?

. We will continue to meet at the leader’s home and new members are always welcome, we had one last month and are expecting another in March, so don’t be reticent.

The next meetings are:                 

                  20th March 2018

                  17th April 2018

                  15th May 2016

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(Updated 16th March 2018)




 4th Monday of every month (UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED) September to April

10.15 -12.15pm (doors open at 10.00.)

Subs £1.50 payable at the door.

ASSEMBLY ROOMS, (first floor – stairs or lift) Devizes Town Hall

Membership Secretary Lynne Farrow;  e-mail

2018   Happy New Year to you all - and a great start for Art App as we welcome David Evans as our first speaker!

Monday, 22nd Jan. ‘Charles 1 and Van Dyck’   The title says it all!  David’s talk today will centre on painting in England before Van Dyck: the taste of Charles 1: the paintings of Van Dyck before his arrival in England: his work for Charles 1 and his legacy.

Monday,26th Feb ‘William Hogarth, most English of artists’  David’s talk today centres on this most famous of 18th century moralising satirists, and it’s interesting to speculate on our speaker’s take on the Gin Lane residents!

Monday, 19th Mar. – Visit to The Royal Academy for ‘Charles 1 - King and Collector’  David’s  talk at our January meeting inspired today’s visit to this unique exhibition.  Charles 1’s art collection was acknowledged as second to none, but after his execution, many of his priceless works of art were gifted or sold; this exhibition reunites some of his legendary collection for the first time since the 17th century. Hitherto unseen works by Titian, Holbein, Durer, Rubens, Van Dyck and Mantegna are displayed.

All bookings via Jan:- email;, or at Jan’s Desk at Art App meetings. Price: coach and entrance fees £32; coach only £14.  Leave Corn Exchange 8.30am return 4.30pm.

Monday, 26th Mar. - ‘What you see...?  Paintings with a hidden agenda’ The clue’s in the title!  Jane Francis explains that whilst we can appreciate and enjoy the aesthetics of a painting, we’re often unaware of the artist’s intended message.  To illustrate this she will be looking at ‘The Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth 1’, ‘The Fighting Temeraire’, ‘Our English Coasts’,   and ‘The Ambassadors’.  Jane is an Art App member and has given some excellent talks in the past; today’s captures the essence of Art App by showing us how to ‘read’ a picture!  Thanks Jane!

Monday, 23rd April – Mod Art Mix – Tate Britain. A guided by our London guide, Gayna Pelham, who will conduct us on a tour of selected paintings and sculptures from works by Hockney, Stanley Spencer, Bridget Riley, J W Waterhouse, John Millais, Epstein, Tony Cragg, Francis Bacon and Barbara Hepworth.

Bookings via Jan: email;   or at Jan’s Desk at Art App meetings.  Price: coach and tour fees £27.50pp: coach only £14. Coach leaves Corn Exchange at 8.30am returns 4.30pm

Museums and Galleries - Jan will of course, as always, be with us at Jan’s Desk taking your bookings and telling us about her current and forthcoming trips.

   Some pictures of last year's visits:-  

Art App. members with our almost visible guide at the back (!) enjoying a Christmas treat at the National Gallery

Spring guided tour of Tate Modern with local guide, Paul Chapman.
Paul explains the concept of modern art using a selection of pictures Art App.  members paying rapt attention as Paul continues his explanation

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JR – Newsletter entry Jan/April 2018,  (Updated 1 January 2018)


Museums & Galleries Group


Please contact Jan Campbell for details and tickets for all outings. Details of trips are available in the Bi-monthly Newsletter, the Art Appreciation panel and the Notices page on this web site

Organised Group Outings.    Members and friends who attend these meetings do so entirely at their own risk, and no responsibility can be taken by the U3A for any mishaps.

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Garden Visits 

Group Leader Ann Darling,   (see Newsletter for contact details}

1st Tuesday at the garden usually 2.20 pm for 2.30 pm start 

This is a group of like-minded people who enjoy, or have enjoyed gardening, and love visiting other gardens for inspiration and pleasure.  Gardens visited range from splendid manor houses to small town gardens, all beautiful in their own setting.

This group meets on the first Tuesday in the months of May to September, when we meet at the garden at 2.30 pm to start off with a tour of the garden, followed by tea and cake.  Costs are generally under £10 per head for the visit and refreshments, and most of the garden owners donate the total or most of the funds to charity.

The gardens visited are mainly chosen from the National Garden Scheme booklet, which is published each year.  We aim to visit gardens which accommodate groups by arrangement, thereby giving us the opportunity to be the only ones visiting at that time.  Sometimes the head gardener or a gardener accompanies the group around, giving details of the planting.

We are a very friendly group and try to arrange car sharing as much as possible.  There are around 50 members in the group, with up to 25 attending at a time.  Where there are number restrictions on a visit, it is on a first come first served basis.

Our first meeting this year is on Tuesday 1 May to Biddestone Manor.

For contact and further details please refer to the newsletter.

Please arrange car lifts amongst yourselves and let me know your intention to join a visit as soon as possible so that I can give garden owners plenty of notice

  Back to list of groups

 (Updated 23 February 2018)


   Windows Computer Group

To all U3A Members with an interest in using Computers with a Windows operating system.

Group Leaders;  John Bailey and John Weller

For the meeting on Tuesday 27th March  John Weller will demonstrate Macrium Reflect and go through File Explorer.   The April and May meetings provisionally will cover Google Docs and Publisher respectively.

The Computing group meets in the large hall of the Nursteed Centre every 4th Tuesday at 10am.  Our meetings are aimed at all levels from beginner to expert, we all learn something.   We currently have about 15 members regularly attending for a charge of £3 each meeting to cover room hire and refreshment costs.  We want to attract more members. We have two sessions with a coffee break in between. Most months the first session deals with a specific topic and the second session includes a general Q and A session.  Advance notice on queries is appreciated in order to give a more considered response.  Our meetings consist of two 50 minute sessions with a coffee break between.   


The Group is probably of most interest to members who have a basic knowledge of using a computer with Windows 7, 8 or 10 and can create word documents, download photos etc. use e-mail and access web sites.  However we are in the process of considering how to help U3A members who are totally new to computers operating on Windows  and if you feel we can find a way to help you please email us as below or get someone you know to do it if you are not au fait with emailing.


Also members new to computers would probably benefit by attending free courses (based at libraries in Devizes and other local towns) run by the County Council - contact 01225 792500.  The library also has a team of approved volunteers who run computer clubs to learn in a more social environment.  Phone 0300 456 0100, or better to pop into the Devizes library is usually best.


 If you have any questions about the group, the subjects listed, suggestions about future topics  e-mail to

If anyone has a specific subject that they would be prepared to present, or would like John to present, please tell us at the next meeting.

SUGGESTION for possible future topics welcomed.

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(updated  21 March 2018)


Ipad User Group

Group Leaders;  John Weller and Phil Sharman .See Newsletter for contact details

The iPad User group meets in the large hall of the Nursteed Centre every 2nd Tuesday at 10am.  Our meetings intended to allow iPad users to exchange ideas and allow us to learn from each other. 

The group has now finished for the summer and will re-start on 10 Oct at the Nursteed Centre.  All meetings will be on the second Tuesday of the month.

The subs will be £3.  When we re-start we will  concentrate on the basics of Email. Safari, Contacts, Calendar and adding and removing apps aimed at newcomers to the iPad.


Back to list of groups                                                                        (updated 22 June 2017)


Creative Writing

 Group Leader;     Peter Cook

The group meets every second Tuesday of the month excepting August.

We are given titles to work on to be read aloud at the next meeting where they can be appreciated and discussed. The type of written work can be decided upon ranging from a conversation or a dramatic situation.
This month we were given the opportunity to try our hand at ‘upgrading’ some Nursery Rhymes or producing a story with the title ‘It wasn’t like Arthur to get upset’.
As you will see from the following pieces most of the group upgraded nursery rhymes with an immense variety of styles!
The contributors in alphabetical order are Beryl Barron, Susan Carter, Peter Cook, Sheila Jennings, Jan Jolly, Carol Longmore, Lesley Payea, Pat Taylor, and Geof West.


The following pieces are not in the same order. In common parlance ‘enjoy!’


Piece 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Back to list of groups                                                                                                            (updated 23 November 2017)


Embroidery and Handicrafts

Group Leader  Anne Saywell. 

We are a friendly group that meets for a couple of hours in members’ homes every other Thursday morning where we chat as we work on our various crafts.  These include embroidery, cross stitch, knitting, tapestry or any other craft that is portable and can be done by hand.

We usually number about 10 and can always take another new member or two.

Next meeting dates are 14th December, pause for Christmas, then 12th January . Venue details in the Newsletter

If you are interested in joining us please contact Sue Tovey whose details are in the newsletter.


All U3A members have the opportunity to help the organisation to grow and a mention of the display to friends and acquaintances may help to interest others who have not really considered the possibilities and friendliness that the U3A has to offer.

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Discussion Group 1

See Newsletter for contact and venue details.  The group meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 10.00 to 12.00 noon.

We choose topical subjects for discussion and ask for different volunteers to lead each month. At the moment we are alternating prepared topics, with surprise topics. The atmosphere is informal and friendly. 

Please contact Group Leader if you are interested in coming, the group is almost full.

Future Topics

Tuesday March 20th  2018 : Recreational drugs: your view?

Tuesday April 15th 2018: Do big bosses deserve big bonuses?

Tuesday May 17th 2018: What aspects of British life should be controlled by the law?

Tuesday  June 18th 2018: Will we ever solve the homeless problem?

Tuesday July 17th  2018: Pretty pink girls and brave blue boys – gender stereotyping throughout the early years. Do we want to change that?

Tuesday August 21st 2018 : Surprise topic – no preparation necessary.

We have room for a few more members in this group.  Please contact the Group Leader for details

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(Updated 21 February 2018)


Discussion Group 2

Group Leader Jo Wright.  (see Newsletter for contact and venue details)

We meet on the third Thursday of every month at our house at 2pm. The meetings are held in a first floor sitting room.
At the moment we have a full compliment of members, numbering 15 and a waiting list to join us. We usually have between 10 - 12 people attending but occasionally stretch the space in my sitting room when everyone comes.
We all make suggestions for the topics to discuss and the members vote on their favourite six and I collate the votes and send out the programme for the next six months. We are never short of suggestions and the topics chosen for the next few months include, “Sexual Abuse”, “Getting Rid of Plastic”, “What Should We Do With The NHS?”, “Free Speech”  and “The Inequality Between The Haves And The Have Nots”.

We are fortunate that people are willing to lead the discussions and they do a bit of research of the facts and talk for about five minutes at the beginning of a meeting. We then open it up for everyone to speak and give their opinions. Sometimes there is a general consensus but the more interesting discussions occur when we have varying opinions. Sometimes we arrive at a conclusion, sometimes not!  We like people to do a bit of research about the subject but occasionally we take cuttings from newspapers etc and discuss them without any preamble.

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                                                           (Updated 20 March 2018)


Music Appreciation

Group Leader Dilys Peacock.  (see Newsletter for contact details)

This Group meets in the Crown Centre TV lounge from 2.0 to 4.0 pm on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Following a break during August, the Music Group will again be holding meetings from September - as usual we will meet in the TV room of the Crown Centre, from 2.00 to 4.00 pm on the third Wednesday of each month.

The programmes for the Autumn sessions have not yet been finalised, but will include a wide repertoire of compositions, from Baroque to late Romantic, orchestral, instrumental, vocal etc.   A friendly group of music lovers, we welcome any new members who would like to spend an afternoon listening to music eliciting a range of emotions , relaxing, stimulating, happy, sad, joyful - and sometimes challenging.  

Do come and join us.

Back to list of groups

(Updated 3 Sept. 2017)


Click on the picture above for more about the Wine Appreciation Group.

Wine Appreciation Group

"Wine is one of the most civilised things in the world and one of the natural things that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing."           

Ernest Hemingway,  Death in the Afternoon.

Group Leader John Barron.  See Newsletter for contact details.

We are comprised of two groups who meet monthly on the third or fourth Wednesday of the month, from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm., in members homes.  See Newsletter for contact details.

Wines, they say, get better with age.   This is definitely true.  The older I get, the more I enjoy them!  We have recently enjoyed wines from Italy and Portugal.   May brings us wines from rural France and in June we explore the Americas.  The world is our oyster when it comes to wines!  (Does that make sense?)   We find a glass of wine helps solve lots of problems but we have to do a lot of research to find the best wine for the purpose!

September will be "simply pink"

October sees us tackling Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux.

November we have "festive wines.

December, of course, we have our Christmas Buffet Lunch. 

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(Updated 5 Aug 17)


German Conversation

We meet every 2nd and 4th Mondays from 2-4pm in members houses.  New members are always welcome, so please contact the leaders for more information: 

Jenny Lund 

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(Updated  2 March 2016)


Luncheon Club

This is a very sociable friendly group, enjoying good food, chat, and each other's company. It meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at various good pubs and eateries in the surrounding area. Because of this, potential members must note that transport is usually necessary.

Details for future lunches awaited! 

Sheila Peyman leads this group.   See the Newsletter for further details.  

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(updated 6 August 2017)



History Group

Meets 3rd Monday of month at 10.00 am

This group was founded in 1999. Over the years we've covered the Romans, Saxons, France, Islam, Judaism and the Crusades. We then delved into the history of Russia, China and India.

As membership of the group has changed, we decided to study the British Isles, starting from the Stone Age.  At present we are studying The Stuarts.  .

21st August     Visit to Farleigh Hungerford

11th September    The effects of the Civil War on Wiltshire people.

16th October   Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth.

(Please note the change of date for Septemeber.)

Topics are presented by members of the group.

Please see the Newsletter for details.

Sheila Smithson, 

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(Updated 5 August 2017)    


Sketching for Improvers

Sketching for Improvers’ is a generic title for anyone who can hold a pencil and would like to do something with it. The Group has  members ranging from ‘long term experienced’ to ‘relative beginners,’ and we are able to offer encouragement, experience and advice to all comers.  

We meet between 10.00 a.m. and noon on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month  except August in search of inspiration  during the Autumn and Spring.  From 4th April 2018 we will be at Sheep Street Baptist Church in Devizes.  For these meetings, the course fee is £2.00 per session, which includes ‘half time‘ refreshments.

In the Summer months  we sometimes venture outdoors in search of some more varied locations and subjects - 2018’s ‘outdoor’ programme yet to be arranged. 

Essentially a ‘fun’ group, we like to think that, from fun comes enjoyment and, from enjoyment will come improvement, hence our title. Whatever, it offers a very pleasant way of passing a Wednesday morning !

The Group Leader can be contacted by telephone (see Newsletter)  -   or by e-mail ; 


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(Updated 23 March 2018)  


French Conversation 1, 2,  3 & 4  

All French groups are of mixed ability and run on similar lines. They are generally based on a book titled “La Grammaire en Clair” but vary on emphasis a little.

The main aim of the groups is to improve our vocabularies and pronunciation, with the emphasis on speaking French . Each group achieves this in different ways either from reading text, or listening to /and watching CD,s of BBC Open University programmes,  but , beware! One or two of the groups have (optional) homework!!!

There are at present  three groups  Each one is generally attended by people living nearby. They are held in the group leaders homes and space is limited. However, there is a waiting list and if enough people were on it, there is always the possibility  of another group starting

Group 1 meets on the 2nd Friday at 10.00 am in the leaders home.  (we have mixed abilities but all members of the group contribute.)  In January we will not be meeting in the first week of the month, but the second: January 11th .   We will be finishing ‘The Heiress’ adapted by Goetz fome ‘Washing Square’ by Henry James. Plays we are considering reading subsequently are ‘Candida’, Shaw, ‘The Tempest’, Shakespeare and some TV plays by Jack Rosenthal The group is currently full.

Group 2 meets on the 4th Friday at 10.00 am  in the leader's home.  ( We continue to talk as much as possible in French and are normally 5/6 in  umber.  This allows everyone to have some input, which is important. We do some quizzes, listen to a podcast as well as read from our set book.  Group now full.

Group 3 meets in the leader's home at 10.30 am on 3rd Friday's.  The group is now full with a short waiting list. 

Group 4 meets on the 1st and 3rd Mondays in leaders home, from 2.30 to 4.0 pm.   We converse in French and read and translate a novel.  The group is now full. We look forward to the film club putting on a French film.

All the meetings are very sociable, good fun , relaxed and  with refreshments.

Please see the Newsletter for more contact and group leaders details.

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Play Reading  1

1st Wednesday in the leader’s home at 2.00pm.        Nina Woolrych.

We are about to finish "Candida" Our next play will be "An Ideal Husband" by Oscar Wilde.

There is room for one or two new members in this group.   

(See Newsletter for contact details for both these groups)

* * * * * * * * 

Play Reading 2

We normally meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 10.00am at members’ homes, usually mine. We read a variety of plays, mostly in a light-hearted mood.  We travel through theatrical time reading classics and other plays from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.  Our latest was ‘Miss Letitia’ by Constance Cox, an amusing look at life in the early 20th century featuring a tetchy old lady, her companion and a 'con man'.

The group is now full.

Catharine Sharples.

Back to list of groups                                                                                            (updated 1 March 2018)


Local History

We have been going for about 10 years now and have about 30 members.
We meet on the second Monday of the month in the Crown Centre at 10a.m.
We have an outing every August - this year we are having a conducted tour of Marlborough.
Sometimes we show a DVD or Video. 
Today we watched a DVD about South Wiltshire - a bit long but otherwise very good indeed.
Next month, December14th. we shall have our annual social time and quiz - will anyone get more than half the questions right?
Sometimes a member of the group researches a topic of interest to them and then shares their information with the rest of us.
Usually in December we have a quiz - and surprise ourselves on how little we actually know about the area where we live!

The following activities are still to be confirmed;

14th August    Guided walk around Melksham.

11th September  Talk - Joseph Priestley.

Phone Marlene Lewis , for contact details see Newsletter.

Local History had an guided tour of the Chippenham Museum and behind the scene store where they had an Irvin flying jacket. Alan Frost, who wore a similar one as a WW2 Spitfire pilot, was persuaded to try it on when we were treated to refreshments after our tour.

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Reading Group 1

Meet on 1st Friday in the Committee Room at the Crown Centre at 10.0am

Founded in 1996, initially to promote an appreciation of modern novels, the group has since expanded its interest to include all literary novels, now even dipping into the classics. 

Our aim is to choose books that are sufficiently thought-provoking to generate debate. We enjoy a lively discussion, advocating the merits or otherwise of our chosen subject and benefiting from each other's insights.  It is hoped that we will be encouraged, not only to read books we might otherwise have overlooked, but more importantly to continue enjoying reading. 

We currently have a full complement of members.  Anyone wishing to join the waiting list should contact Jenny Warren or Annette Percival.

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Poetry Reading

After a short break this group is up and running again. We meet on the 2nd Friday of the month at 2.30pm in members' homes. One of the group gives us a short introduction to their chosen poet and then each member reads a poem of their choice from the poets works. After a cup of tea and biscuit we then each read a second poem. 

Occasionally instead of a particular poet we explore poems on a theme, such as Christmas. We have studied poets from the time of Shakespeare up to the present day and as well as learning about poets new to us, we share our enjoyment of the poetry itself.

August   Own Choice

September    Seamus Heaney

Group Leader Jenny Pape.  Please see the Newsletter for contact details

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(last updated 5 August 2017)



This group meets every Thursday OR Friday morning.  Walks range from 5 - 8 miles, and involve travel to all corners of Wiltshire - and the bits in between.   We meet in the car park at Devizes Sports Club in London Road, Devizes (the road end) and travel to the start of the walk in as few cars as possible.  You will need walking boots, rucksack, coffee, water, lunch and/or snacks plus wet weather gear - maybe!    We often have a drink together in a local pub at the end of a walk, and a pub lunch about once a month.  

A programme is produced every four months detailing the forthcoming walks.  We are a self-motivated group and members are encouraged to lead at least one walk during the year  We are always happy to help new members with suggestions for routes and someone to practise with.  
Monday 25th June 2018 U3A Walking Group   Summer Lunch
Monday 17th December2018 U3A Walking Group    Christmas Lunch 

We haven't yet fixed a date for our Away Day.


If you are interested in joining us please contact Jane Bull via  < > She will be happy to take details, ascertain which day of the week you would like to walk and ensure a warm welcome when you join us.  

Click HERE to view pictures taken earlier this year (2017)

Coffee in the Sun - April 2017 A convenient log pile!

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(Updated  10th February 2018)


 Wednesdays Walkers

Group  Leaders  Diana Tighe  and John Weller

Contact details in Newsletter OR e-mail,

This group is for those who like walks of around 3 to 6 miles.   You will need your bus pass if you have one.  Our walks take us to Avebury and the Ridgeway, Bishops Cannings and Wansdyke, Bradford on Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal and to Bath for river walks and boat trips.  After each walk we always have a pub/cafe lunch.  

Changes are made to our programmes from time to time.  Before a walk, new members are advised to ring the leaders to check walk details. 

The following are a few pictures of previous walks to give readers a flavour of our activities!  Contact Diane or John for the walking programmes. 


We are organising a visit to St Fagans National Museum of History near Cardiff. It is an open-air museum chronicling the historical lifestyle,  culture, and architecture of the Welsh people ( a bit like the Weald & Downland museum we visited recently but less rural. 

We will be travelling by coach leaving from Station Rd car park at 0830 on  Tuesday 19 Sep 17.  The cost will be £20 each. 

If you are interested please contact me, John Weller, at,


Pictures taken on recent walks.  

The webmaster doesn't know where they are, but if you want to find out - join the group!

(updated  2 June 2017)

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Friday Bus Pass Walkers

Joyce and Bob McMurray, Walk Leaders.  See Newsletter for contact details

Welcome to the Friday Bus Pass Walkers, walking every Friday if we can.

The group is now full and  closed to new members. We are having to do this as we have got to a regular number of people who attend the walks, who comfortably fit on the bus.

As the name suggests we use buses to explore the countryside, villages and towns of Wiltshire, sometimes beyond.  Our walks are between 3 and 5 miles using footpaths, tracks and country lanes.  Along the way we will try to tell you about the scenery you are looking at and add any interesting bits of history, or folklore. The beauty of using buses is that you do not have to take a circular route and it is surprising where you can get to on a bus. The journey is part of the experience and the views are also much better when sitting higher up. We will nearly always end up at some sort of eating establishment, be that a pub, restaurant or cafe; occasionally the countryside views call for a sandwich lunch.

During the winter months we look more at town trails, and good tracks, perhaps venturing further afield on the occasional longer trip as underfoot becomes more difficult.

The actual walks, start place and bus(es), are announced by e-mail (or telephone if necessary) about 3 to 4 days in advance so we can have some idea of the weather situation.  This will also include the type of terrain, mileage and number of stiles so you can judge if it is suitable for you. We will not walk when the weather is inclement, though we may still go to the end eatery! On days when there is a U3A Talk we will endeavour to finish within the environs of Devizes.

Click HERE to view pictures taken during the holiday to the Lakes in 2015

Walking around Windmill Hill Tree hugging in Bath Beckhampton Knoll.

Back to list of groups                                                                                                     (Updated 5 Aug 2017)


  Geology Group  

Joyce McMurray    Geology Group Leader


Preliminary programme for  the 2018 field trip.

24-28th September 2018 to Exmouth staying at The Manor Hotel, Exmouth.  The cost is £339 pp for dinner, bed and breakfast. 
Trip down ;  start at 10am from Devizes, with a three hour stop in Exeter for lunch and Geology Tour/sightseeing
Return trip ; hopefully a three hour stop in Lyme Regis.

The order of Days will be decided nearer the time and will depend on tides and weather conditions.
Geologists Programme
Day A Langstone Rocks and Dawlish Warren
Day B Budleight Salterton am   Sandy Bay, Exmouth and the Geoneedle pm.
Day C Beer Caves, Seaton
Non Geologist Programme
Day A Teignmouth am/lunch   Dawlish pm
Day B Budleigh Salterton am Honiton pm
Day C Beer am - Seaton pm
If you are interested please contact Joyce McMurray (contact details in the Newsletter) who will need a deposit of £40,

So why study Our Dynamic Planet?

    * It is a small blue ball hanging in the infinity of space
    * but it is our home - a home we need to know more about
    * the whole of life as we know it is underpinned by Earth Science
Sounds a bit highbrow, but our aim is to create a greater understanding of the world around us.

The Geology Group meets in the front, 1st floor, room (lift available) in The Crown Centre on the first Tuesday of the month at 10-12am.  It usually consists of a talk, a break for Tea/Coffee in the Crown Cafe, then a discussion/display.  There is a charge of £1.20 per session which covers the cost of the room. Occasionally we meet elsewhere.  You are welcome to join any of our sessions, or come on a regular basis.  Our programme is available in the two-monthly newsletter.

Our programme may sometimes change if there is a serious geological event in the world, when we will look at the rocks and forces in the affected region. 

 In September 2017 we went to Ilfracombe for our annual Geology Field trip.  On the way there we stopped in Bridgwater and on the way back in Taunton, where we had a historical walk around.

Our Geology included a day in Ilfracombe, studying Reparee Cove and Tunnels Beaches (Ladies and Gent’s Beach), a day in Combe Martin, visiting a silver mine and then Combe Martin and Wild Pear beaches, and finally a day in The Valley of the Rocks, Lynton and Lynmouth.  The rocks we studied were all from the Devonian, Ilfracombe Formation, including slates, sandstones and some limestone, many showing metamorphosis from the Variscan Orogeny.

Below are a selection of pictures from each geology day.

Reparee Cove; Slate Silkstone and Sandstone Layers Normal fault in Reparee Cove
Reparee Cove; Saddleback Structures Cleavage in the Kentisbury Slates, Ladies Beach
Close-up of imbrecated quartz Imbrecates on Gents Beach
About to descend 15 fathoms down Harris Shaft Negotiating a narrow passage
Out of the mine! Holey limestone, Combe Martin beach
Close-up of holey limestone with limpet scaring to outer rock Condrites in Combe Martin beach rocks
Lesser slates and sandstone layers on Wild Pear beach Folding on Wild Pear beach
Quartz veining on Wild Pear beach Climbing up to Devils Cleevewring
Vallery of the rocks from Castle Rock Castle Rock sandstone showing current bedding
View from Cliff railway Lynton River Lyn now three times width to prevent flooding
Lynmouth Gorge Banks of River Lyn showing past flood deposits

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(Updated 6 November 2017)  



The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at Rowde village hall from 2.0pm until 4.30pm.   

We aim to provide a playing forum that is forward looking and pleasurable to enjoy by playing bridge without an over serious element but one which has personal improvement in mind.  

Acol is played as standard and includes Acol conventions such as – Weak No Trump – Strong No Trump – Weak Takeout – Gerber – Blackwood – Strong Two’s – Quantative Bidding – Two Club openings and responses and other useful conventions that the group members may wish to present and consider from time to time.   

The group is not suitable for complete beginners as we do not offer basic tuition which is in fact better provided by teachers with a good knowledge of current trends in respect of the game, and who would perhaps not lead new players into bad or out of date habits!!!! Although all of our members are open to new and interesting methods of improving play.   

We are able to accommodate a few more players and either of the two group leaders would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to join this friendly group. 

If you are a bridge player come along and join our friendly group. There isa no need to have a partner.  Rowde Village Hall is easy to find and rthere is plenty of parking.  We have space for new members so do come along and join us.

Judy Whittle / Pat Bruce (contact details available in the bi-monthly newsletter) 

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(Updated 5 August 2017)


Spanish Language Group. 

Group Leader Leslie Smith.

The group continues to meet every other Monday at 10-30 a.m. There are currently ten members and attendance is usually between six and eight. Membership has been fairly stable for a while now so we are becoming increasingly proficient. We can accommodate two or three new members.  Meetings are held in member’s homes on alternate Mondays from 10.30 pm to 12.30.

A monthly crossword helps in extending our vocabulary, translating a Spanish language comic strip cartoon introduces a little light relief.

If you would like to join us please see the Notices for contact details. 

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Reading Group 2

This group started in 2012 because the original reading group was full.  We meet in the leader's home at 2pm on the second Thursday of the month.

Date (2018) Subject Author
January The Gustav Sonata Rose Tremain
February Exposure Helen Dunmore
March Some Luck Jane Smiley
April The Hours Michael Cunningham
May Our Spoons came from Woolworths Barbara Combyn

The group is now full..

To go on a waiting list please contact Jenny Macey. (Contact details in the Newsletter)

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(Updated 16 January 2018)


Handbelle Team

1st & 3rd Tuesdays in the leader's home from 2.00 to 3.30pm
The group is full at the moment but please ring Jean Moss and we will put your name on the waiting list. 

(Contact details in the Newsletter)

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(updated 6 March 2018)


Potterne Art Group

Potterne Art Group

Potterne Village Hall, 2.0 pm to 4.0 pm on the first and third Tuesdays of the month with a holiday break in August.

 We are a friendly group of would be artists who enjoy getting together twice a month to improve our skills and stimulate one another by trying new ideas and techniques.  At the end of each session we display our efforts and chat over what we’ve done.

We took a summer break in August when some of us put our paints away and now have to rummage around and find them for the autumn session starting on September 5th.  Remaining dates are September 19th, October 3rd and 17th, November 7th and 21st, and December 5th and 19th.

The sessions are generally led by members of the group, with local artists visiting from time to time to run workshops. We’ve worked mainly in watercolour with occasional forays into pen and ink, pen and wash and acrylics.  This session Margaret Thomson is introducing us to Brueghel and Ria Rys-Reuten  is leading  a session on scraperboard art.

Why not come along, join in the fun and discover your hidden talents -  you could be another Camille Pissarro or Pablo Picasso.

If you would like to know more please contact Wendy Johnson  (See Newsletter for contact details) 


A window on Christmas  

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                                                                                                           (Updated 28 August  2017)


 Folk Dancing

Group leaders;  John and Linda Totten.     e-mail folkdance@devizesu3a/

As from January 2018, this group will meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month .[ previously 2nd and 4th].

New members very welcome.

Only £2.50 per session - don't forget to bring a drink, as it can be thirsty work.

 The venue , the Wyvern centre , small hall 2-4pm remains unchanged.

Back to list of groups                                                                                  (Updated 28 November 2017)                  


Walking Longer Distances

2nd Tuesday (variable)   Group Leader; Jean Allen

Evolving from the Thursday/Friday walking groups, this group tackles longer walks, 9 - 12 miles.  Sometimes these are "way marked" as well as circular routes.  By its nature, often requiring car shuttles or overnight stops, this group is limited in number and is presently full.  However vacancies will occur so please contact the co-ordinator if you are interested.  

Contact details are in the Newsletter.

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Group Leader   Andy Geddes (See Newsletter for contact details)

There are now two Italian Groups  - Italian for Beginners and Italian.  Both are run by Andy Geddes

Italian  -  We are working on our reading, speaking and listening skills using a range of sources, but always focussing on Italian life and culture as well as our love of the Italian language. The group meets on the second Monday in the Leader's home at 2.30 pm .   Full complement at present.

Italian for Beginners  -  This Group is for those with no previous knowledge of Italian, and is working on conversational basics and the vocabulary needed for travel, shopping and eating out using the BBC "Talk Italian" course.  Meets on 1st and 3rd Mondays in the Leaders home.  Full complement at present.

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(Updated 5 August 2017)


Fun Scrabble

The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, at 10. 15 in Members homes..

This new group is up and running.  We now have a scrabble board suitable for people with visual impairment.

All are welcome, and we would love to see some new faces. (We have room for 2 more players)

Group Leader Diana Cowdrey.  Please see the Newsletter for contact details 

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(Updated 5 August 2017)


Reading 3

We meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm in members’ homes.

At the time of writing we have a few spaces. If you are interested in joining us or would like more information please contact the Group Leader, Sheila Mitchell.  (Contact detail in the Newsletter) 

Books for the next few months are:-   (awaiting update)

Please contact Sue Tovey whose details are in the newsletter.

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(5 August 2017)


Reading 4

Group Leader Catherine Wright.  3rd Thursday in the month, 2.00 pm in members homes.

(See Newsletter for contact details)   The group is now full.

(awaiting update)

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(Updated 5 August 2017)


Mah Jong   

Alternate Tuesdays.  Group Leader;  Diana Slater

(Contact details in the Newsletter)

This is a game similar to rummy but played with tiles decorated with Chinese symbols but fortunately English numbers.   Initially the game appears complicated but by learning a few basic hands it is soon possible to participate in a game and win.  Although there are 81 scoring hands, these do not need to be learnt in one go.  What usually happens is that a new player learns a few hands and then as they see other hands being played they investigate further to extend their own repertoire of methods.  You can build up at your own speed whilst still enjoying the game.

For those who have played before we follow the rules established in 1998 to reconcile the many different versions of Mah Jong and a book explaining it all can be purchased from the group leader.  For those who have never played before tuition is given during your first couple of sessions and then you will be raring to go.

Our group is a friendly group enjoying interesting chats on most topics whilst also exercising our brains.  From the latest research these are some of the requirements to ward off loneliness and dementia as we age.

We meet on alternative Tuesdays throughout the year, normally near the brewery but occasionally in Potterne.  For more information please contact the group leader, Diana Slater.  .

As a group, we look forward to meeting you.

(Updated 6 March 2018)



Textile Arts

Group Leaders Wendy Weller and Barbara Bailey  (Contacts in Newsletter)

4th Thursday at St. James Parish Rooms, Victoria Road, Devizes, 2.00 to 4.00 pm

This group is for all those interested in textiles of any form and wanting to try out different techniques.  No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm.  It is hoped that each month will have a different topic to be decided by the group.  We will continue to meet during the summer.  Unfortunately we are full at the moment but if you would like to join the group please contact Wendy Weller or Barbara Bailey.

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(updated 5 August 2017)


Family History Groups

The groups meet on the 2nd Monday and 4th Thursday, at 2.15 pm,   both at the Family History's Society's Resource Centre at the Bath Road Business Centre.

The aim of the group sessions is to make the resources of the Wiltshire Family History Society available and, with the help of volunteers, to enable people to make progress with their research. You do not need to have Wiltshire ancestors to take part.

The Monday group is currently full and the Thursday group will restart once I have enough names on the waiting list so if you are interested, please contact me to be added to the list.

 Chrissi Gedes  (See Newsletter for contact details)

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(5 August 2017)


Jigsaw Lending Library

I have about 100 jigsaws ranging from 500 - 5000 pieces which are the basis of the Jigsaw Lending Library.  Unwanted jigsaws would be appreciated to add to the library.  Just contact me anytime to come and make your choice, no time limit for returning them, borrow more then one.  Just enjoy puzzling.

Contact details in the Newsletter

Anne Morris

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Table Tennis  

2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm at Market Lavington Community Hall

Group Leader Lynn Austin  (see Newsletter for contact details)

If Table Tennis was your 'thing' and you are out of practice but missing the buzz, this new group may be for you.  All equipment provided.  A few more players welcome.

We meet at the Community Hall in Market Lavington where there are four tables and all the necessary equipment.  

The cost will depend on numbers but shouldn't be more than £2.00 per session.  Numbers will be limited to give everyone a chance for plenty of games.

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(updated 6 August 2017)



Lip Reading Group

Lip Reading Group

To all U3A Members with an interest in Lip Reading.

Contact Group Leader Tish Nelson (contact details in the Newsletter)

After discussion with new and existing members it has been agreed to meet the 2nd Thursday of the month, 2.00 to 3.30pm at The Village Hall, Cock Road, Rowde. Coast £2 (will be less if there are more members).

Sessions based upon Tish’s work in the NHS teaching Lip Reading.

Next meetings 12th January 2017, 9th February, and 9th March.

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(updated 2 Jan. 2017)


EXTEND -  Exercise to Music

Group Leader Gloria Droy.   e-mail  

(see Newsletter for other contact details)

Every Thursday in the 1st Devizes Scout Hall on Southbroom Road

from 10.00 am to 11.00 am plus 30m minutes social coffee time.

There will be a charge of £2 for the venue and refreshments.

"EXTEND" is a countrywide organisation specialising in exercise to music for older people.  Extend's mission is to promote health, increase mobility, improve strength, co-ordination and balance.


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(updated 30th December 2016)


Visitors to this web site requiring further information please contact the Webmaster, Derek Henry. e-mail  It is the policy of the Branch Committee not to display  personal telephone numbers or home addresses.