GR0UP ACTIVITIES (Alphabetical)

A reminder that any U3A member can start a new group. Do get in touch with me and I can ensure that your proposal is 'advertised' in the Newsletter and on the Website. I also have a sheet of helpful hints to help you get started. Groups don't necessarily need to meet during the day, or on a weekday. Daytime slots are very crowded and the success of the evening group indicates that there is scope for more.

If you have been disappointed because your chosen group has no vacancies, do consider starting another group. Existing Group Leaders are always pleased to help with advice and information.

Your Group Leader Coordinator is Jane Bull .

Click HERE for forthcoming special events which may clash.


Art Appreciation

Aviation Studies Bridge Chess Cinema Visits Creative Writing Canasta  (1 and 2) Disasters
Discussion 1 Discussion 2 Embroidery and Handicrafts "Extend" Exercise to music Family History Folk Dancing Food Appreciation French Conversation
Friday Bus Pass Walkers Friday Walking Group Fun Scrabble Garden Visits Geology German Conversation Italian Ipad User Group
Handbelle Team (Bellplates) History Industrial Museums Visits Jazz Jigsaw Lending Library 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 pleasure Slow Walkers Smart Phone & Android Users Spanish Language Sunday Lunch
Table Tennis Thursday Walkers Textile Arts Walking Longer Distances Walking Wednesday Walkers  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 pleasure Textile Arts Handbelle Team History Windows Computer Group Play Reading 
Potterne Art Group   Jazz Local History Geology Poetry Reading
Photography for Fun     Disasters Ipad User Group Creative Writing
        Smart Phone & Android Users Reading 3
          Reading 4
French Conversation Folk Dancing  Friday Walking Group Discussion Bridge   Garden Visits
German Conversation Massage Group Wednesday Walkers  Luncheon Club Canasta     Museums and Galleries
Spanish Language "Extend" Exercise to music Friday Bus Pass Walkers Wine Appreciation  Mah Jong Wharf Theatre
Lip Reading   Walking Long Distances Fun Scrabble Jigsaw Lending Library Industrial Museums Visits
    Slow Walkers Family History Table Tennis Cinema Visits
    Thursday Walkers Food Appreciation Chess  
      Sunday Lunch    


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



Our meetings are held in The Assembly Rooms, Devizes Town Hall, 1st floor; stairs or lift.

4th Monday, (unless stated otherwise), 10.15am – 12.15pm Doors open 10am; subs £3, payable at the door.

Membership Secretary LYNNE FARROW (See Newsletter for contact details) or e-mail .

Our Art App programme covers an 8 month period, Sept-March, and comprises occasional DVDs, talks by excellent speakers and 2 London gallery visits led by our London guide Gayna Pelham.

The following covers the first half of the current programme, September to December, 2019.

Monday, 23rd September  Today’s DVD, ‘Raoul Dufy’: Painter and Decorator’ focuses on the artist’s involvement with the Fauves, an early 20th century avant-guarde group led by Henri Matisse and Andre Derain; the style did not last long, but its influence can be seen in the works of Paul Gaugin and Paul Cezanne. Today, Dufy’s art is rated alongside t hat of Matisse and Leger; he is also lauded for his striking ceramic, fabric and furniture designs. (DVD runs for 50 minutes)

Thursday, 17th Oct (provisional date) Dauntsey’s Art Dept has invited us to help select one of the 4 sixth form art history students who will represent the school in ARTiculation, a national  schools’ public speaking competition.  Note: The meeting will be at the school, 10.15 -11.45am: you will need your own transport. Please contact Jill on 726079 if you’re interested. 

 Monday, 28th October  Jane Francis’ talk today is ‘Painting in Turbulent Times’ by Breugel the Elder which she summarises as follows:-

‘At first sight, Bruegel’s paintings seem full of Netherlanders across society going about their daily affairs. However, the period in which he was working was a time of great social tension.  The country was ruled by the Spanish which caused enormous resentment and fear, both in political and religious spheres. Closer inspection of Breugel’s art reveals the strains in late medieval Flemish society.’ Given Jane’s painstaking research, her reference to ‘closer inspection’ will, as always, reveal and unlock many facets of the pictures for us.  She is a very popular and interesting speaker and we are delighted to welcome her back.

 Monday, 25th November. Today we’re off to London for a guided tour of the National Portrait Gallery where we shall be met by GaynaPelham our London guide whose topic will centre on ‘Cultural Icons’ embracing themes and ages of literature/theatre/art & films. The coach will pick up at Station Rd car park en route to the Corn Exchange, and leave at 8.30am; return from London at 4.00pm. Total cost is £29.50: coach only is £14.50: guided tours are 1 hour’s duration at 12.15pm and 1.30pm (state time preference when booking).  BOOKING with Jan email 

Monday, 9th December  - David Evans, our vey popular and charismatic speaker has chosen ‘The Three Wise Men in European Painting’ for his Christmas talk today that charts the origin and history of the theme and how the grandeur and drama of the 15th century’s Adoration of the Magi influenced Leonardo & Botticelli.  We shall also learn how in the 16th century, Bosch and Pieter Bruegel suggested the presence of evil in the painting, and finally we consider the works of Rubens, Rembrandt and Velasquez  and their various interpretations of the theme in the 17th century.

 (JR 22/8/19)

The pictures below give a flavour of Art App.  

Art App members at Tate Britain with Gayna our London guide, April, 2018

David Evans, one of our guest speakers

Jan at her desk taking orders for Devizes U3A Museum and Galleries trips.

 Art App members meeting and greeting

Back to list of groups

(updated 23 August  2019)


 Aviation Studies         (Originally Aviation History )

The Aviation Studies Group is led by Martin Houghton, e-mail;

 First Wednesday from 10-00 to 12-00 noon.    We meet at the Conservative Club, 30 Long Street, Devizes SN10 1NW.

 The original Aviation History Group was formed by John Blunden and 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 experiences. 

In June 2018 we introduced a Members Skills Forum where we review and discuss aviation topics raised at meetings. Group members contribute to the topic based on their experience, general interest, or material they have read.

We visited the RAF Museum at Hendon for our August meeting..

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

 Future speakers and programme topics are: 

 6th November   Tony van Crump, topic to be confirmed.

4th December  Tony Gaunt from Martin-Baker - Ejection Seat development.

15th January    A possible extra meeting - the development of Concorde by a member of the original team

 5th February    Tony Van-Crump - more on technical matters

   Back to list of groups                                                                                                                              ( updated 25th October 2019) 


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 have been established since July 2017. We are friendly and welcoming and we all share an interest in photography. We do not take ourselves seriously.  We share our images and have fun and are not competitive. New members are always welcome. Come and try us out!  Our group is not full.

For our June meeting we will have a Summer outing to Heale Garden . In July we will review the images from the Summer outing plus a review of our topic of the month – Action images. We have a break in August but will resume on 12th September.

Click HERE for samples of our work.

Please contact Co-ordinator if you are interested

Back to list of groups

(Updated 22 May 2019)


Industrial Museum Visits – 2019

Group Leader; John Weller.  Contact details available in the Newsletter.

These trips are all open to U3A members and their spouses or partners.  I will take bookings at any time but will not ask for payment until about 3 weeks before the trip. 

Please note.  All cheques must be made out to "Devizes and District U3A"

* * * *

Tuesday 5th November 2019

Westonbirt Arboretum

Hopefully the trees will be resplendent in their Autumn colours.

Leave Station Rd car park at 0930 returning to Devizes at about 1700.

Cost will be £20 including coach travel, driver’s gratuity and entry

* * * *

Thursday 7th November 2019

Air Ambulance Base Semington

A visit has been arranged to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Base at Semmington.  Meet at 3.00 pm at the base, contact me for directions if required.  There will be a tour of the base and a visit to the helicopter if available.  Numbers are strictly limited so book early, if there is a need I will book a further visit.


Back to list of groups

(Updated 6 October 2019)



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.

Back to list of groups

(Updated 5 August 2017)



The Disasters Group is led by Martin Houghton

First Monday from 2-00 to 4-00 pm.   We meet at the Conservative Club, 30 Long Street, Devizes SN10 1NW.


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.

 7th October                 The most disastrous inventor ever

 4th November                  The Ice train derailment

 2nd December                    Old Severn Bridge disaster of 1960

Further topics from members are always under review for future meetings, and any new suggestions are always welcome. The group can only function as long as members can research and deliver interesting topics. There is plenty of help available to put presentations together.

  Back to list of groups                                                                                        (Updated 25th October  2019) 


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..








Back to list of groups                                                                                                   (Updated 5th August 2017)



Group Leader;  Terence Tovey. (See Newsletter for contact details)

3rd Tuesday of the month in the leader’s home starting at 9:45am and running to 11:45. If you are a I-phone or I-pad user you are a week late! That session is on the 2nd Tuesday

A reminder that  our next meeting will be September 17th and I look forward to seeing you then.

In the April meeting we went through ‘Find my phone’ on both the Google Android system and through Sony’s own which we then realise were the same. Sony piggy backed off Google! It demonstrated how one could locate a lost phone by making it ring even if the phone was on silent. In emergency if you know the phone has been stolen it could be locked or all the information on it deleted. This was repeated at the Windows meeting the following Tuesday. What you can do with Google Calendar in terms of sharing was also run through at both meetings.

 We will continue to meet at the leader’s home and new members are always welcome.  No meeting in August.

Back to list of groups

(Updated 9 August  2019)


Museums & Galleries Group


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

Contact details are available in the Newsletter

* * * *

Friday 27th September

The Sistine Chapel comes to  Winchester Discovery Centre

An opportunity to see the Sistine Chapel frescoes photographed and copied to fabric for a close view.  See for more details.

There is also the Antony Gormley sculpture at Winchester Cathedral, entry £7.50 including a free guided tour. 
Leave Corn Exchange at 0845 and leave for return at 1600.  Coach £12.50, payment to Jan Campbell ASAP please.  Any queries please contact Jan Campbell.  (contact details in the Newsletter).

* * * *

Tuesday 5th November 2019

Westonbirt Arboretum

Hopefully the trees will be resplendent in their Autumn colours.

Leave Station Rd car park at 0930 returning to Devizes at about 1700.

Cost will be £20 including coach travel, driver’s gratuity and entry

* * * *

Monday 25th November

National Portrait Gallery.

Monday 25th November (IN CONJUNCTION WITH ART APPRECIATION)  Jill Ross has organised the popular guide Gaynor to take us through the National Portrait Gallery.
Inclusive price £29.50 some coach only places will be available at £14:50 . Leave 0830 Corn Exchange return leave 16:00

* * * *

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.

Back to list of groups

(Updated 26 July 2019)


Garden Visits 

Group Leader Ann Darling.  (see Newsletter for contact details)

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

This group is open to all U3A members 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 2.20 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 the garden owner 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.  Where there are number restrictions on a visit, it is on a first come first served basis.

Our programme for the summer months of 2019 is published in the newsletter. If you would like to come along on a visit, please contact me; details are in the newsletter.

If you would like to come along on a visit, please contact me, details are in the newsletter.

The Cottage in the Trees

The Cottage in the Trees

The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory

  Back to list of groups

 (Updated 23 May 2019)     


   Windows Computer Group

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

Group Leaders;  Chris Lewis and John Weller

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

By now you should all have renewed your membership of the Devizes U3A and at the recent Group Leaders Meeting we were asked to check membership cards so please make sure you bring it with you next meeting.

The Computing group meets in the large hall of the Nursteed Centre every 4th Tuesday at 10am.  The Group does not meet in December. 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.  



 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.

SUGGESTIONS  for possible future topics welcomed.


Back to list of groups

(updated  12 June 2019)


Ipad User Group

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

The iPad User group meets in the Nursteed Centre every 2nd Tuesday at 10am.  Our meetings are intended to allow iPad users to exchange ideas and allow us to learn from each other.  The subs are £3. 

Back to list of groups                                                                        (updated 8th May 2019)


Creative Writing

 Group Leader;     Peter Cook  See Newsletter for contact details

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

We are given titles upon which to work in some specific styles. Once written, we read each of our efforts aloud and then we appreciate and or discuss them.

The length of the piece is left to the individual unless there is a particular style I.e. Sonnet, etc.

 The group’s members are as follows,   Beryl, Carol, Geoff, Jan, Jill, Lesley ,Pat, Peter, Susan and Sylvia, a few of their efforts follow, the title given was – Adrian’s Wall.


Piece 1 2 3

Back to list of groups                                                                                                   (updated 27 June 2019)


Embroidery and Handicrafts

Group Leader  Anne Saywell.  See Newsletter for contact details

The Craft and Embroidery group meets on alternate Thursdays in each other’s homes from 10 to 12 noon.  We are a very friendly lot, we bring our own current craft with us, whatever that may be, and find that a good chat is also a good encouragement for getting on with things and even for getting them finished!

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.

Back to list of groups                                                                                                     (Updated 26th April 2018)                     


Discussion Group 1

Group Leader  Nina Woolrych.  See Newsletter for contact and venue details. 

The group meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 10.00 to 12.00 noon.

(This Group is now full)

We choose topical subjects for discussion and ask for different volunteers to lead each month. A The atmosphere is informal and friendly.  The group decides what which topics we want to discuss, occasionally we have ‘surprise topics’ when only the leader knows what the topic will be.

Please contact Group Leader if you are interested in coming, We have room for one or two new members in this group.

Future Topics

September 17th  Are feelings more important than thinkings:

October 15th      Surprise subject - no preparation necessary.

November 19th   What are your thoughts about designer babies@


Back to list of groups

(Updated 3rd September  2019)


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. The meetings are from 2 to 4 and are held in a first floor sitting room.

There are usually about 12 people at each meeting but we have a larger membership. If you are interested in joining  us please contact me. My details are  the Newsletter or can be passed on at one of our coffee mornings.

We all suggest topics for the next six months and we choose the favourites to discuss.  The subjects cover a wide range. The following are some of the choices for the next few months:- .

“Death.”     Have attitudes changed regarding our attitudes towards it?

"Fake News”

“Is World Peace Possible”

“Privacy” Do we have any left?

“The English Language”   Is it changing for better or worse?

“Is the NHS Viable in its Present Form?”

“Why are There so Many Hate Crimes?”

“What is Considered to be Art and What is Not?”

Each month someone volunteers to lead the discussion and they give us some facts and figures that they have researches. Then everyone gets the opportunity to join in.

It is an informal afternoon and we enjoy hearing different views. Sometimes we reach a consensus and sometimes we agree to differ! We have a break for tea at three o’clock.  Occasionally we take cuttings from newspapers etc and discuss them.

We meet on the third Thursday of every month, at our house, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The meetings are held in a first floor sitting room.

Back to list of groups                                                                                 (Updated 17 April 2019)


Music Appreciation

Group Leader Pauline St.John Osland   (See Newsletter for contact details)

The group meets on the 3rd Wednesday  at a members home at 2.0 pm

We are in business, though still feeling our way!   Our inaugural session went well and membership is complete now.  Our hopes are high!

Back to list of groups                                                                                                                        (Updated 22 June 2018)


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. 

Back to list of groups

(Updated 5 Aug 17)


German Conversation

Group Leader  Jenny Lund

 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: 

Our Group still meets once a month to talk about anything that has happened or interests us. Holidays are a very good and interesting subject.

Back to list of groups

(Updated  3 September 2019)


Luncheon Club

Group Leader:-  Sheila Peyman  See the Newsletter for further details

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.

Next Venues;

25th September         The Raven at Poulshot

23rd October             The Black Swan, Devizes

Back to list of groups                                                                                                                         (updated 3rd September 2019)



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.  .

Please see the Newsletter for details.

Sheila Smithson, 

Back to list of groups                                                                                                                                     (Updated 5 August 2017)    



Group Leaders;    Nigel Featherstone and Barbara Bailey

This friendly group is for anyone, from beginner to expert, who would like to improve or refresh their drawing skills, experiment with  different techniques and mediums, or just enjoy practising in the company of like-minded people. We have a small but comprehensive library which is available for  group members to borrow or refer to.

We meet between 10am and 12 noon on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month except August.  Meetings are held at Sheep Street Baptist Church, except in June and July when we venture outdoors to various locations in and around Devizes or a little further afield in search of interesting subjects.  The charge for meetings is £1.50 including refreshments, no charge when we go out and about (we usually make sure there is a cafe in the vicinity!)

If you would like to join us please contact the group leaders as above by telephone (see newsletter for details) or by email:  

Back to list of groups

(Updated 11 May 2019)  



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  four 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 are a friendly welcoming group who meet once a month, trying to keep all of our conversation in French.  Our two hours usually consists of discussion on a topic advised in advance, reading and translating a book, and of course catching up on each others news.

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. The Group Leader is Brenda Hillier (contact details in the Newsletter)  The Group is of quite a high standard. We continue to converse in French, read a book or journal article and translate. We look forward to the film club putting on a French film.  

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

Back to list of groups                                                                                                       (Updated 10 August 2019)


Play Reading  1

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

This Group is now full

In October and November we read ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ by Brian Friel. This was followed by ‘She Stoops to Conquer, by Oliver Goldsmith in January and February. Then in April and May we read ‘Time and the Conways’ by JB Priestley. We are about to finish ‘ Major Barbara’ by George Bernard Shaw.

The next plays will be ‘Hobson’s Choice by Harold Brighouse and ‘Billy Liar’ by Willis Hall and Keith Waterhouse

After ‘Billy Liar’ we will read ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ by Shakespeare and ‘Round and Round the Garden’ by Alan Ayckbourn

* * * * * * * * 

Play Reading 2

Group Leader  Catharine Sharples.  e-mail

We normally meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 10.00 am 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. 

We are full but I have a waiting list and you can try a taster.

Back to list of groups                                                                                            (updated 9th May 2019)


Local History

 From 14th January 2019 Local History will meet in the Family Room at the Conservative Club,

30 Long Street, Devizes SN10 1NW, usual time 10 a.m. – 12 a.m. 

(Free parking at the Conservative Club is available while you are attending the meeting.) 

Group Leader  Marlene Lewis.  See Newsletter for contact details

Our next meeting will be on 9th September, 10.00am at the Conservative Club.

 We have been meeting for around 18 years and have about 30 members.   We meet once a month when we may have a visiting speaker, or a member of the group will research a topic of interest to them and then share their information with the rest of us, and occasionally we show a DVD. 

 Nick Hunt recently told us about the Royal Observer Corps’ Nuclear Monitoring Bunkers in and around Devizes and Tony Painter visited us and gave an entertaining talk on place names.

 In December we have our annual social and quiz and in August visit a local town. This year we had a guided tour of Corsham.

 For more information phone Marlene Lewis, for contact details see Newsletter.


Local History guided visit to Corsham Local History Group with guide at Corsham Church
Photo of the Group at the entrance to Stourhead House
Local History Group Summer outing to Stourhead 19Aug2019

Back to list of groups                                                                                                                             (Updated  12th Nov. 2019)


Reading Group 1

Meet on 1st Friday in members homes at 10.30 am.  See Newsletter for contact details

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.

Back to list of groups

(Updated 17th May 2019)


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.

Our next 3 meetings will be looking at poetry as follows:-

June - Paul Simon,

July - Liz Lochhead,

August - poetry on the theme of 'travel''  .

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

Back to list of groups

(Previously updated August 2017.   Last updated 20 April 2019)


Thursday Walkers

Every Thursday. 9.20 am.    Group Leader Sandy Thomson.   See Newsletter for contact details

The Thursday walking group are a friendly sociable group who welcome new members to walk 5 to 8 miles every Thursday.

We meet at the Sports club, London Road at 9.15 am to car share to the walk.

We take a drink and lunch with an occasional pub lunch. Walking boots and appropriate clothing are required. Please contact Sandy or Barbara for a walks programme or further information.

This was a picture taken before the Friday/Thursday Group separated.

"Old Canal Calne"

 Back to list of groups                                                                                                                      (Updated 7th May 2019)



Every Friday - meeting at the Sports Club, London Road, Devizes at 9.20 am

Our walks in the Wiltshire countryside range from 5 to 8 miles

If you are interested in joining this friendly group contact Jane Bull via  < > She will be happy to take details and ensure a warm welcome when you join us.  

Click HERE to view pictures taken earlier this year


A convenient log pile! 

West Woods


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(Updated  7th May 2019)


 Wednesdays Walkers

Group  Leaders  Diana Tighe  and John Weller

Contact details in Newsletter OR e-mail

This is a short walks group of three to five miles, usually using cars and occasionally buses and always finishing with a pub lunch (not mandatory).  The programme of events is available from the leaders and members of the group will be emailed a programme every two months.

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. 

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  8 May 2019)

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Friday Bus Pass Walkers

Joyce McMurray, Walk Leader.  e-mail

See Newsletter for contact details.

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.

Welcome to the Friday Bus Pass Walkers, walking every Friday, if possible, with the information for the day, buses, route, obstacles etc. sent by email (or phone if necessary) a day or so beforehand.  This is so I can choose our walk according to the weather conditions at the time.

If you would like to help in starting up another Group, or would like to go on a wait list, please contact me.


Checking out the fish belly plates at the junction of W&B at Semmington Old Canal Calne

Back to list of groups                                                                                                     (Updated 4 May 2019)


  Geology Group  

 Geology Group Leader   Joyce McMurray   e-mail 

Before counting the stars have a look underfoot. 

Daily it is forced home on the mind of the geologist that nothing, not even the wind that blows, is so unstable as the level of the crust of this Earth. — Charles Darwin

The Geology Group meets in the Family Room of the Conservative Club on the first Tuesday of the month at 10-12am.  It usually consists of a talk, a break for tea/coffee and a biscuit, then a discussion/display.  There is a charge of £1.20 per session which covers the cost of the room and refreshments. 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 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. 

Geology Field Trip to Weymouth

A twin bedded room has become available on the Geology group field trip on 26-30th September 2019 to Weymouth. This is for either a couple at £345 each, or a single at £405 dbb.   There is no obligation to join in any of the excursions and there is a separate itinerary for non geologists. The deposit of £40pp will be payable immediately, but the balance will not be due until early July.

For more details please contact Joyce McMurray     See Newsletter for telephone contact detail.


Click HERE for a list and selection of pictures from each geology day.

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(Updated 13 June 2019)  



Group Leaders:-   Judy Whittle and Peter Dibbon  (see Newsletter for contact details

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 (2019) Subject Author
October As I walked out one midsummer morning Laurie Lee
November the Country Girls Edna O’Brien
December The Salt Path Raynor Winn

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

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(Updated 8 October 2019)


Handbelle Team  (Belleplates)

Group Leader   Jean Moss (Contact details in the Newsletter)

1st & 3rd Tuesdays in the leader's home from 2.00 to 3.30pm

After ringing at the Christmas party someone said, "I always wondered what "belleplates" are" -  so here's a short explanation.

They are a modern version of the old fashioned hand bells. Much easier to transport and don't go out of tune (in theory) Our team started in 2011 with a view that  people who enjoyed making music together could learn some carols for Christmas and here we are 8 years later.

We have three octaves including sharps and flats and most of our music has been modified by Don, our founder leader who gave us the confidence we needed to perform. We have enjoyed playing for a lot of disabled and appreciative groups around Devizes. But most of all we get a lot from sharing the joy of making music together. If you want to know more ring me, Jean Moss, or any member of our group. 

a sharp + a natural bell a 2 octave box


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(updated 07 March 2019)


Potterne Art Group

Group Leader;  Wendy Johnson  (See Newsletter for contact details)

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 work mainly in watercolour with forays into acrylics, pen and ink, pen and wash, and scraperboard. The sessions are generally led by members of the group, with local artists visiting from time to time to run workshops. Recently Melvyn Randall gave us a workshop on limited pallet watercolours.  

We take a summer break in August when some of us put our paints away to gain inspiration in places away from Devizes, returning in September newly inspired (hopefully).  After our summer break last year we painted stones collected from the beach.

In the autumn we exhibited our work at the Potterne Art Exhibition.

Each year we work on a group art piece, The Carol Singers based on an original by Dutch artist Anton Pieck (1895-1987), A Postcard from Devizes, and this year the Bayeux Tapestry.

Dates for the next 3 months are:-:

September 3rd and 17th

October 1st and 15th

November 5th and 19th

We do have a short waiting list.  If you would like to know more please contact Wendy Johnson  (See Newsletter for contact details) 



2018 Carol singers viewed through a leaded glass window based on an original by Anton Pieck 2017 A postcard from Devizes
Stone painting of a hedgehog by Keith Stone painting of Marloes Sands by Nick

Melvyn Randall Workshop

Melvyn Randall Workshop

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                                                                                                           (Updated 3 September  2019)


 Folk Dancing

Group leaders;  John and Linda Totten.     e-mail

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 4 May 2019)                  


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

Group Leader:- Diana Cowdrey (see Newsletter for other contact details)

Every Tuesday at Needham House from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm

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)

Back to list of groups

(Updated 28 March 2017


Reading 3

For more information contact the group leader, Sheila Mitchell (details in the newsletter)

Reading Group 3 meets in members' homes at 7.30 pm on the fourth Tuesday in the month.

We read and discuss a wide range of books (mainly fiction) chosen by group members.

The books may be classical or modern and are written by authors from various countries and backgrounds.There are currently spaces for new members.

Back to list of groups

(11 October 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.

Back to list of groups                                                                            (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. 

If you are interested in joining the group please email

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(updated 9 April 2019)


Family History Groups

Please note that Chrissi is to suspend the  Family History Group for now, with a view to starting up again at the end of the year.

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.

Back to list of groups                                       (updated 6 August 2017)


EXTEND -  Exercise to Music

Group Leader Gloria Droy.   e-mail  

(see Newsletter for other contact details)

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.

Following e-mail message received from the Group Leader

Due to my imminent foot surgery, last Extend session is on Thursday 25 July.  Renewed sessions possibly in October,
but this is not certain.  Please watch this space for further notice. 
In the mean-time remember good tall posture and to stand up/sit down x 8 every day from a kitchen chair, without using hands!
Stay fit and well - I will miss you all.
Gloria Droy

"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 June 2019)


                         FOOD APPRECIATION

Group Leader Sue Thompson        e-mail;


A new  food appreciation group will commence on the 23rd August at 14.00.   The meeting will take place at The Group Leaders home.

Please bring a favourite recipe with you.   The initial meeting will be about what direction the group wishes to take so come with plenty of ideas.


If you are interested in the group but unable to attend the group please e-mail me with any ideas.  


Back to list of groups                                                                                  (updated 22nd December 2018)


Slow Walkers

A walking group aimed at slow walkers who can only manage shorter distances. Every Monday at 1015.

See Newsletter for contact details.

Back to list of groups

(updated 8 February 2019)


Jazz for Jazzers and Non Jazzers

1st & 3rd Thursdays 2.30 to 4.30. See Newsletter for contact details

Jazz for Jazzers and non Jazzers enrolled eleven members and has had really consistent attendance of around eight. We are in week nine and our programme has been a keen mixture of listening to good jazz music including their own favourites, lively discussion and unique DVD footage of early jazz stars. We have had a Mardi celebration session with homemade masks and King cake and Rum bananas. We have started our jazz journey at New Orleans and met George Lewis – New Orleans jazz and Scot Joplin – Ragtime.

We are now ready to move into the 1920’s 1930’s and a distinct change of music, musicians and jazz history. So it’s all to play for! I hope we have had as enjoyable a time as I have had leading this group and I am looking forward to sharing more jazz with the group soon. We have planned and are planning visits to local live jazz concerts and pub venues to hear live jazz being played. In the UK and Europe there may be opportunities to visit city and other festival venues in the future.

Back to list of groups                                                                                      (Updated 12 February 2019) 


Cinema Visits

Group Leader  Madelaine Lestrange

Car shares to cinemas in nearby towns, with possibly a discussion afterwards to share our thoughts over a coffee.

Contact  details in the Newsletter.

Back to list of groups                         (updated 3 September 2019?


Sunday Lunch

Group Leader  Madelaine Lestrange

The first Sunday of each month at 1.00 pm.

6th October              The George, Sandy Lan

3rd November          The Rising Sun, Bowden Hill

1st December            The One Bell, Bowden Hill

I reckon it will take a few years to cover the rest of the county!

Contact  details in the Newsletter       

Back to list of groups                                    (Updated 3 September 2019)