GR0UP ACTIVITIES (Alphabetical)

Click HERE for forthcoming special events which may clash.

Android Users Group

Art Appreciation

Aviation  Bridge Canasta  (1 and 2) Disasters Discussion 1 Discussion 2
Embroidery and Handicrafts Family History Folk Dancing

French    Conversation          1, 2  3 & 4

Fun Scrabble Garden Visits Geology German Conversation
Italian Ipad User Group Handbelle Team (Bellplates) History 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 Potterne Art Group Reading
Reading 2 Reading 3 Sketching for Improvers Spanish Language Table Tennis Textile Arts Walking Longer Distances Walking 
 Wednesday Walkers  Walking with a Bus Pass Wharf Theatre Windows Computer Group Writing      

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
      Disasters Ipad User Group Creative Writing
        Android Users Group Reading 3
French Conversation  Folk Dancing Walking Discussion Bridge   Garden Visits
German Conversation Massage Group Wednesday Walkers  Luncheon Club Canasta     Museums and Galleries
Spanish Language   Walking with a Bus Pass Wine Appreciation  Mah Jong Wharf Theatre
Lip Reading   Walking Long Distances Fun Scrabble Jigsaw Lending Library  
      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.  


(See Newsletter for contact details)   

2nd Wednesday in the Crown Centre at 10.00 am

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. 

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

 Our speaker for September, Prof. Parker, recently retired from Rolls Royce, gave us a comprehensive  presentation on engine development over the company’s history. For October’s meeting, Robert Turner revealed the history of flying at Westonzoyland from the RFC to present day activity, much of it unknown to us.

Our speaker for December, Air Marshall Sir Ian Macfadyen, gave a fascinating presentation on the work of 29 Squadron, and the restoration of the runway for RAF Tornado operations in the Falklands.

Our speaker for February, Tony Van Crump, told us more about petrol engines in aviation, including rotary and radial types and the aircraft using them.

Our speaker for April was Dr Paul Robertson, Cambridge University, and his topic was Hybrid Engine development. The presentation included some film of prototype hybrid power units installed in light aircraft during very impressive test flights.

 Future speakers and programme topics are:        

10th May         Graham Mottram,     The Seafire and beyond. 

14th June          Robert Turner, Westonzoyland part 2 - continued history of the site.

12th July           Tony van Crump, piston engines into jet engine development.

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(last updated  26 April. 2017)



The Disasters Group is led by Martin Houghton 

1st Monday in the Crown Centre at 2.00 pm

The Group continues it’s activities 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. The events reviewed and analysed cover many sectors, including aviation, petrochemical, rail, medical, mining and environmental.

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

 For November’s meeting, Stephen Brown covered the Battle of Midway, a disaster for Japan.

The topic for the June meeting will be Convoy PQ57 - July 1942.
This Arctic Convoy suffered heavy losses resulting from an Admiralty order to scatter as the escort warships were diverted to engage a threatened attack from the Tirpitz.
The Tirpitz group never reached the convoy, however, but the dispersed merchantmen suffered repeated attacks from Nazi submarines and aircraft.
Hope to see you in June.

Please note that we will NOT be meeting next Monday, as it’s the Early May Bank Holiday.  Our next meeting will therefore be on Monday 5th June at 2.00 pm at the Crown Centre as usual

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

Back to list of groups                                                                                        (Updated 26 April 2017) 


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..

See Newsletter for details. 



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Android Tablet and User Group

There is NO Android Users Group meeting in June and the next meeting on 18th July will be at my house not the Nursteed Centre

3rd Tuesday of the month in the leader’s home starting at 9:45am and running to 11:45.  The name might be confusing, if you have a tablet or a phone which is not an iphone or ipad then we probably cover it, 

As numbers are remaining below a dozen we will continue to meet at the leaders home unless numbers now grow because of recent Christmas presents. All are welcome. In February we will be handling emails on your phone and Sat Navs. Suggestions for March would be welcome.

 Contact Terry Tovey.  See Newsletter for contact details

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(Updated 3 June 2017)



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

10.15am – 12.15pm, (doors open at 10am)

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

Leaders, Jill & Ken Ross 01380 726079, email



Are you looking for a wonderfully rewarding and stimulating part-time post to enjoy for the next few years?  Then read on!

 Art Appreciation was one of the original founder groups set up in 1996 by Devizes and District U3A and has remained a very popular option for 21 years.

 Ken and I will be retiring as leaders with effect from the end of April, 2018, having done 10 years, as we feel it’s now time for ‘new blood’. So if you’re someone who has a keen interest and love of art, and would enjoy sharing your enthusiasm and ‘spreading the word’ to continue the life of this extremely supportive and friendly group, please do get in touch.

 We have a very efficient and supportive team of helpers within the group and we will of course be happy to pass on all of our art contacts to you, and, if required, initially assist in any way we can.

 Jill & Ken

 OTHERWISE Art App continues to enjoy a relaxing summer break and will be back again for its first meeting of the year on the 25th September. Jan will also be back at Jan’s Desk dispensing her unique brand of bonhomie!

 (JR 9/5/17)

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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(Updated  10 May 2017)


Museums & Galleries Group


Please contact Jan Campbell for details and tickets for all outings.

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  JOHN VINT,   see Newsletter for contact details

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

 On 6th June we will be visiting The Old Mill, Ramsbury, SN8 2PN.  Meet there at 2.20 pm, entry, tea and cake £8.  From Marlborough to Ramsbury, turn right in front of Bell PH,  signed to Hungerford .  Old Mill is 100yds on right beyond the Bell, at end of yew hedge.

 On 4h July we hope to visit two small Devizes gardens Pear Cottage, 28 Pans Lane SN10 5AS and 1 South View, Wick Lane SN10 5DR. These will be on a first come first served basis of letting me know. Combined entry, tea and cake £8.  Meet outside Pear Cottage at 2.20 pm.

 On 1st August the visit will be to Bolehyde Manor, Allington, SN14 6LW.  Meet at 2.20 pm entry, tea and cake £7.50.  On A420 turn N at Allington Xrds. ½ mile on R, parking in field.

 On 5th September, the Court house, Lower Woodford.

 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 13 March 2017)


   Windows Computer Group

To all U3A Members with an interest in using Computers.

Group Leaders;  John Bailey and John Weller

As you will see the Computer Group has changed names to the Windows Computer Group in order to distinguish it from the iPad and Android groups - this was discussed at the May meeting of the Group and agreed as away of hopefully attracting new members.
For the meeting on the 27th June John Weller has a small demonstration concerning the Ordinance survey site and one or more topics is required - SUGGESTIONS PLEASE.

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 24 members regularly attending for a charge of £2 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.   Our meetings consist of two 50 minute sessions with a coffee break between.  

The Group is probably of most benefit to members who have a basic knowledge of using a computer with Windows7, 8 or 10 and can create word documents,  download photos etc, use email and access Web sites.  Most months the first session deals with a specific topic and the second session includes a general Q and A session.

Members new to computers would probably benefit most by attending free courses (based at Libraries in Devizes and other 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.

There are no meetings in July and August.’



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(updated  20 June 2017)


Ipad User Group

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.

See Newsletter for contact details

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.   

At these meetings our members each read aloud their writings that they have made from a title that had been given at the end of the previous session.  These titles had been selected from many suggestions given by the group.  

The styles of work vary considerably; some are reminiscences, some are pure descriptive, some are poetic, some are hilarious but members always enjoy the results. We have no critical discussions as such, but we fully appreciate each other’s work. Our satisfaction is in producing it.  

Items from Pat Taylor, Jan Jolly, Peter Cook, Lesley Payea, Geoff West, and  Carol Longmore  but not necessarily in that order!
The titles that were available were ‘Toffee – nosed, stuck up’ and as an alternative  ‘I’ve found another use for sellotape!’

Once we have all read aloud our pieces of work, then we are given refreshments by our host and this is followed by another title or exercise to be worked at for ten minutes. Once again the results are read out. We have imposed a simple limit of approximately 750 words which gives sufficient space to express ideas. If anyone did have a sudden rush of inspiration then they are asked to abbreviate their work before reading. 

Membership is full at the moment at a steady dozen, I feel that any further members would make the reading aloud session cumbersome

Back to list of groups                                                                                                            (updated 29 April  2017)


Embroidery and Handicrafts

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.

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.

Topics for the New Year:

January 17th    -  Should we bring back grammar schools?

February 21st  =  Why are so many children deciding they have been born into the wrong sex?

In March we are going to discuss the English Class System but a precise title has not been chosen yet.

April 20th  =  Can the way we shop change the world?

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Discussion Group 2

The group meets once a month on the third Thursday of the month, from 2 to 4 p.m.  It is held at Jo Wright’s home, in a first floor sitting room. 

 Each discussion is lead by a member who opens up with a brief introduction to the topic. It is then opened up to the floor and an informal discussion follows. We take a short break for cup of tea and a biscuit at three o’clock, which and people contribute 30p towards the cost. 


Our talks are spirited and everyone joins in and as you can see from the following list the subjects are varied. We try to reach a conclusion if we can!.

 List of Topics from December 2016 to July 2017


        December 15th.   Is the education system working? Is it fit for the 21st. Century?

February 16th.    Do we need more women in top jobs and how should we go about achieving it? Women only application lists maybe?  

March 16th.   Do we need nuclear power in the UK?

April 20th.    A & E Departments are struggling.  How do you think they could be improved and their future safeguarded?  

May 18th. “Obesity” How should we deal with it? Should the government legislate to help curb it?

 June  15th.  “ Tax” Should we pay more or should we pay less?  Can we follow the examples of other countries?  

July  20th.  Should we judge the past by the standards of the present?

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

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                                                           (Updated  8 December  2016)


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 our midwinter break during December and January, monthly meetings have started again with 17th century music from  Venice in February and 18th century music from Vienna in March.  The theme for the April meeting will be Violins and Various Variations  and in May we will finish our journey of music associated with the final letters of the alphabet, W-Z.    In June we will be indulging in some Midsummer  Madness.
New members are welcome.


Back to list of groups

(Updated 23 March 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!

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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. 

We are going to The Pizza Express this month on October 26th and to The Bear at Devizes for Fine Dining on November 23rd.
We have room for 2 more to join our group.


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

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(updated 30th September 2016)



Wharf Theatre

With immediate effect this Group is to be led by Delia Merison.  Please refer to your Newsletter for contact details, or e-mail:- 

The U3A takes a block booking of 20 seats for the Devizes Wharf  Theatre and these are sold on to members on a first come -  first served basis.   This local theatre is highly popular in the town and perform to a high standard.  Look at  for full information on the Theatre.

Click HERE for full programme and booking details 

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice   Friday 23rd September to Saturday 1st October at 7.30pm 

HOWDEN JONES   Thursday 13th October at 7.30pm

THE HOLLY AND THE IVY By Wynyard Browne, directed by Tess Richards Friday 28th October to Saturday 5th November at 7.30pm


ROBIN HOOD AND BABES IN THE WOOD A pantomime by Ben Crocker, directed by Craig and Cassandra Fisher Friday 9th to Saturday 17th December at 7.30pm Matinees on Saturday 10th and 17th December at 2.30pm No performance on Sunday 11th or Monday 12th December

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(updated 30th August 2016)


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 England up to 1066.

Topics are presented by members of the group.

Please see the Newsletter for details.

Sheila Smithson, 

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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 been led by Jeff Meddings Since 2007 for the past eleven years and, with members ranging from ‘long term experienced’ to ‘relative beginners,’ 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 in search of inspiration and, during the Autumn and Spring, we use the Crown Centre, Crown Room in Devizes.  For these meetings, the course fee is £2.00 per session, which includes ‘half time‘ refreshments.

The Group's Summer Prospectus for 2017 is now available.  It contains two pages, intended to be printed back-to-back.  The outer page can be obtained by clicking HERE  and the inner page HERE!   (Webmaster's note:- The Prospectus has been converted to PDF format in order that those web site visitors who do not have "Word" will be able to open them.)

Our boundless optimism encourages us to venture outdoors during the Summer months in search of some more varied locations and subjects. The reward for such optimism is a reduced fee, -currently 30p !

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 ;

These seven sketches have been provided by the Group Leader, Jeff Meddings, as some samples of their work.

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(Updated  6 February 2017)  


French Conversation 1, 2,  3 & 4  

All three 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

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.

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.   

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 from ‘Washing Square’ by Henry James.

Plays we are considering reading subsequently are ‘Candida’, Shaw, ‘The Tempest’, Shakespeare and some TV plays by Jack Rosenthal

(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 from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.  Our latest venture was ‘Arms and the Man’ by Bernard Shaw – a witty and thought provoking look at love and war in the late 19th century.

The group is now full.

Catharine Sharples.

Back to list of groups                                                                                                            (updated 26 April 2017)


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!

Phone Marlene,  for 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.

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

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(last updated 10 March 2016)



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 26th June 2017 U3A Walking Group   Summer Lunch 
Tuesday 29th August 2017 U3A Walking Group   Away Day  t
Monday 18th December2017 U3A Walking Group    Christmas Lunch 


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  26 April 2017)


 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. 

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 comfortable 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.

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  Geology Group  

Joyce McMurray    Geology Group Leader


We are planning a residential trip to Ilfracombe from September 25th-29th September, staying in the Carlton Hotel on a DBB basis, using Barnes Coaches.  If you would be interested in joining us please contact me via our e-mail address.

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. 

In present sessions we are looking at the Geology of the North Coast of the SW peninsular of Britain, starting in The Valley of the Rocks and progressing eastwards towards Gloucestershire.

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. 

Our trips in 2016 included:- In May we took a day trip to Huntley Quarry and Hock Cliff in Gloucestershire; in September we enjoyed a residential  trip to Portland Bill; then in November joined in a "Discovering Rocks"  Day in Bristol.

Planned trips in 2017:- March will see us having a Geological tour of  Salisbury Close, coupled with a visit to the workshops of the Cathedral  and the opportunity of a Tower tour in the afternoon.. 

Our residential trip in 2017 will be to Ilfracombe, itinerary yet to be finalised.

Please contact us by e-mail if you would like to join us on a trip, if places are available.

The pictures below were taken during the trip to Portland Bill in September 2016

New pictures below under heading "Bath in Stone Walk"


DAY ONE               1.  Chesil Beach

2.  Merchants incline
3.  Admiralty Quarry 4.   Kingbarrow Tramway
5.   Kingbarrow Tunnel 6.   Fossil forest
7.   Chirt Banding in East Cliffs 8.   Kimmerage clay in out cropping
9.   Railway Cutting, East Cliff 10   Portland Roach

DAY 2               1.   Southwell landslip

2.  Crane for loading
3.  Raised Beach 4.  Stromatolite
5.    Portland Bill Lighthouse 6.  Trinity House Obelisk
Bath in Stone Walk.  
Snail Creep Shelley Limestone in Bath entrance hall
Devonian Marble Ripple marks in Penant Limestone
Re-use of Clee Hill DHU cobbles (dark) Bunching on Cobbles
Heathers on Peterhead Granite  

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(Updated 3 April 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. 

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

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Spanish Language Group. 

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.

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 (2017) Subject Author
March The Dust That Falls From Dreams Louis de Bernieres
April Dear Life Alice Munro
May Painter of Silence Georgina Harding

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  3 March 2017)


Handbelle Team

Group Leaders Jean and Don Moss  (Contact information in the Newsletter)

We meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 2.0 to 3.30pm at members homes.  The group re-started on Tuesday 20th September.

Following a lengthy period of inactivity due to ill health the team has now begun rehearsing again and our first session on Tuesday 20th October revealed that neither our musical skills or our enthusiasm have deserted us. It will therefore be business as usual from now on with rehearsal sessions at 2.00 pm in  Bowerhill on the first and third Tuesday of each month when we have great fun making music together. Our next performance will be at the U3A Christmas Party in the Wyvern Centre on 15th December. There  are currently eight of us but we could accommodate another member or two. If anyone is interested in joining us please contact the group leaders.

This group was formed in September 2011 to provide interested members with an opportunity to get together and ring some carols for Christmas on a two octave set of belleplates.. We met every other Tuesday afternoon in Bowerhill and after just six sessions had progressed so well that we had developed a repertoire of seven carols. Then, to our great surprise (and joy!), we received invitations to perform at two separate carol functions, one for the Women's Fellowship at Melksham United Church and another for the U3A Art Appreciation Group.


There are currently eight members and we continue to develop our technical and presentational skills and extend our repertoire, meeting in the leader’s home on the first and third Tuesday each month from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm. The range of belleplates and the size of our rehearsal room limit our membership, but we could accommodate another one or two members.


These two events provided a fitting climax to a very entertaining and enjoyable project, so we have decided to continue in the New Year 


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(updated 13 August 2016)


Sugarcraft For Beginners

2nd Thursday in leader’s home at 2pm

We are splitting the year into three ‘terms’ of four months to help us produce a display or cake topping relevant to the season.  January to April we have created spring flowers and starting in May we will move to summer flowers and possibly butterflies.

We are a small group who welcome new members, no previous experience is required and all equipment is supplied please contact Jenny for more information.

JENNY OTRIDGE (See Newsletter for further details on venue and contact details.)


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(Updated 5 March 2016)


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 had a little madness in March painting hares!  After a short break for Easter we will meet up again on the 2nd May for a six session term when we will have another visit from Jean Perrett to look at landscapes, and in July Jenny Otridge is venturing into acrylics. 

We are taking a break during August and meeting up again on 5th September. Why not come along, join in, and discover your hidden talents, you could be another Bacon or Bruegel!

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


A window on Christmas  

Back to list of groups                                                                                                            (Updated 1 May  2017)


 Folk Dancing

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

We meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at the Wyvern Centre  small hall  2pm -4pm

The folk dance group is now closed until 13th October   due to operational reasons.

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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  -  meets on the second Monday in the Leader's home at 2.30 pm .   Full complement at present.

Italian for Beginners  -  Meets on 1st and 3rd Mondays in the Leaders home.  Full complement at present.

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(Updated 13 August 2016)


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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Reading 3

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

Books for the next few months are:

25th October  -  Armadillo  -  William Boyd

Please contact Sue Tovey whose details are in the newsletter.

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(30 Sept.2016)


Mah Jong

Alternate Tuesdays.  Group Leader;  Diana Slater.  

Mah Jong is flourishing but our venue may change.  We welcome those who already play and those who would like to learn.

If you are interested in joining please contact Diana Slater, Contact details in the Newsletter. 

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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.

If anyone is interested contact Wendy Weller or Barbara Bailey. - contact details in the Newsletter.

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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.

We do not have quite enough members to start the next two groups so, if you have an interest in starting your family history research or in moving it forward, please contact me and we will be able to start the group the groups as soon as we have just a few more people interested.   Although we use the resources of the Wiltshire Family History Society, you do not need to have Wiltshire ancestors or be a member of WFHS to benefit from this course.

 Chrissi Gedes  (See Newsletter for contact details)

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(13 August 2016)


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.  

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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13 August 2016



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)


Massage Group

Group Leader  Denise McCronhan.  Contact details in the Newsletter

3rd Tuesday of each month in leader's home from October - if there is a minimum of three people.

The six week massage course teachessimple massage techniques through clothing.  If you are interested in joining the group, which will be a maximum of four people, please contact Denise.

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(updated 30th September 2016)


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