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  at

Click HERE for forthcoming special events which may clash.


Art Appreciation

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

French    Conversation          1, 2  3 & 4

Fun Scrabble
Garden Visits Geology German Conversation Italian Ipad User Group Handbelle Team (Bellplates) History Industrial Museums Visits
Jazz Jigsaw Lending Library Lip Reading Local History Luncheon Club Mah Jong Massage Group Museums and Galleries
Music Appreciation Play Reading    (1 and 2) Poetry Reading Photography for Fun Potterne Art Group Reading Reading 2 Reading 3
Reading 4 Sketching for pleasure Slow Walkers Smart Phone & Android Users Spanish Language Table Tennis Textile Arts Walking Longer Distances
Walking Wednesday Walkers  Walking with a Bus Pass    (Fridays) 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 Lip Reading 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 Walking Discussion Bridge   Garden Visits
German Conversation Massage Group Wednesday Walkers  Luncheon Club Canasta     Museums and Galleries
Spanish Language "Extend" Exercise to music Walking with a Bus Pass    (Fridays) 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  
      Food Appreciation Chess  


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, 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 we introduced a Members Skills Forum where we review and discuss aviation topics raised at meetings. The first of these, examined the functional benefits and limitations of various elements of airframe designs, and the technical and operational aspects of air traffic control.

It was well received, and new topics will be introduced for the next forum slot in the programme.

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

 Future speakers and programme topics are:                          

 6th February 2019          Tony Van Crump, more on gas turbine engines

6th  March 2019..                   Barry Cooper.   Loadmaster

3rd April 2019                    Roger Beasley - Berlin Airlift 

1st May 2019                      RAF Presentation Team

Visit by Coach to the RAF Museum, Hendon  Wednesday 7th August 2019.  Click HERE for details.


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( updated 14 January 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 are a friendly group of photographers of varying abilities. Some meetings take the form of going out as a group to take photographs. There is also a monthly theme to encourage us to get out with our cameras. Other meetings are in-house at the Nursteed Centre, Devizes and include presentations and discussions with reviews of our photographs, learning from each other. This is your chance to get in on an exciting new venture and improve your skills amongst enthusiastic and welcoming friends. 

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

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(Updated 24 Aug. 2017)


Industrial Museum Visits – 2018

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

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

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

Tues 18th Sept 2018 – Butser Ancient Farm  (

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

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

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(Updated 30 August 2017)



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

Chris Callow.   See Newsletter for contact details.

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(Updated 5 August 2017)



The Disasters Group is led by Martin Houghton

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.

4th March          The RN Norwegian Campaign

 1st April                  Sinking of the Princess Alice on the Thames in 1878

 6th May            Under review, this is a Bank Holiday 

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 14 January 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..



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(Updated 5th August 2017)



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

A message from your group leader!

A reminder that we are meeting on next Tuesday 19th March at my house at 9:45 am. 

Last month we got side-tracked so last months ideas which we didn’t cover are back on the agenda. There are several suggestions so I am proposing to start at the top and see how far we get.

It will include diary , calendar and larger fonts which have been specifically requested.  

 Kind regards, Terence

In the October meeting we discussed the use of Google Pay which had been demonstrated in the September meeting. The use of the phone as a credit card by linking a credit card to the phone and using it as a contactless card was very successful. The fact one received an email telling one when, where and how much you had spent saved the bother of keeping receipts as per our (grand)children and would alert you if someone else tried. The use as a means of not carrying loyalty cards was less successful but we are working on it.

 We will continue to meet at the leader’s home and new members are always welcome.   

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(Updated 17 March  2019)




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

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

 You are assured of a warm welcome at our meetings that are always preceded by a ‘meet & greet’ with friends, accompanied by tea or coffee with biscuits.

 Monday, 28th Jan  Caravaggio; artistic revolutionary  2019 bodes well for us, as our speaker today is the very popular David Evans, who will be talking about the art and influence of this radical artist whose paintings unleashed a pictorial revolution that changed European art for ever; the intense naturalism and the contrasts of light and dark, (chiaroscuro) used to intensify the drama of his work were adopted by his contemporaries and became a defining element in 17th century Baroque art; not the least of which were works by Velazquez, Rubens and Rembrandt.

 Monday, 25th Feb  Van Gogh: the making of an artist  Today’s talk, again by David, is intended to whet our appetite for Art App’s trip to the Van Gogh exhibition at Tate Britain on Monday 29th April (see below) and will be a general overview of Vincent’s work with some attention to links with his life and experiences in London.

 Monday, 25th March  Today we are delighted to welcome our new speaker Sarah Latham Phillips who is an Art Historian, a teacher and freelance lecturer on the Victorians and Modernists in English literature; her speciality is The Bloomsbury Group on whom she has published works. This morning’s talk is ‘Introducing the Bloomsbury Group; at the heart of which were two sisters, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell’.

 Monday, 29th April, Tate Britain Exhibition – ‘Van Gogh and Britain’. Coach leaves Corn Exchange 8.30am-returns 4.30pm.  Coach plus exhibition tickets £32.50: coach only £14.50. Exhibition entry times, 12.30pm & 1.30pm (please state preference when booking).  Book with Jan; email 01380 721032 or at Art App. This exhibition centres on Van Gogh’s time in London (1873 to 1876) and the city’s lasting influence on his life and work.  40 of his paintings are exhibited and works by English artists that he was inspired by (Constable and Millais) and those whom he inspired, while some of his paintings also reflect the influence of literary works by Charles Dickens and George Elliott.

The Van Gogh exhibition trip marks the end of Art App’s current season: we reconvene on Monday, 23 September

  The following pictures were taken at Tate Britain during our recent guided tour conducted by Gayna our London guide.

(The pictures most favoured by the groups)

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

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(Jill Ross 7th January 2019)


Museums & Galleries Group


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

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

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Garden Visits 

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

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

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

This group meets on the first Tuesday in the months of May to September, when we meet at the garden at 2.20 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 a gardener accompanies the group around, giving details of the planting.

We are a very friendly group and try to arrange car sharing as much as possible.  .  Where there are number restrictions on a visit, it is on a first come first served basis.

Our first gardens in May 2019 are The Old Rectory and the Cottage in the Trees, in Boscombe

For contact and further details please refer to the newsletter.

Crofton Lock House

East Chisenbury

East Chisenbury

Lower Woodford



  Back to list of groups

 (Updated 24 February 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

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.  

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


 If 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.


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(updated  15 December 2018)


Ipad User Group

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

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

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

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


Back to list of groups                                                                        (updated 22 June 2017)


Creative Writing

 Group Leader;     Peter Cook

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

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


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


Piece 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Back to list of groups                                                                                                            (updated 23 November 2017)


Embroidery and Handicrafts

Group Leader  Anne Saywell. 

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

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, the group is almost full.

Future Topics

January 15th  : John Stuart Mill claimed ‘It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied’. What matters in human lives?

February 19th: Should life mean life?

March 19th: Should parents have the option to choose their child’s school?

April 16th: Has the move towards Western style democracy taken a backward step throughout the world?

May 21st      What is your attitude towards tatoos? 

June 18th     Surprise topic – no preparation necessary.

July 16th        Is The Channel our friend or our enemy?

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(Updated 24 January 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 around 12 people at the meetings but we have more members and at the moment our membership is closed. Phone if you would like to be added to a waiting list.

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.

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                                                           (Updated 6 February 2019)


Music Appreciation


This Group has ceased to meet

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

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.

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

Back to list of groups

(updated 14 Oct. 2018)



History Group

Meets 3rd Monday of month at 10.00 am

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

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

21st August     Visit to Farleigh Hungerford

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

16th October   Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth.

(Please note the change of date for Septemeber.)

Topics are presented by members of the group.

Please see the Newsletter for details.

Sheila Smithson, 

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(Updated 5 August 2017)    



Group Leader Barbara Bailey and  Nigel Featherstone 

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

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

In the Summer months  we sometimes venture outdoors in search of some more varied locations and subjects.

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


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(Updated 24 October 2018)  


French Conversation 1, 2,  3 & 4  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Play Reading  1

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

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. 

The group is now full.

Catharine Sharples.

Back to list of groups                                                                                            (updated 24 January 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.)

 Our December meeting on 11th December will be the last one in the Baptist Church in Sheep Street.

 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

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(Updated 29 November 2018)


Reading Group 1

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

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

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

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


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Poetry Reading

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

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

August   Own Choice

September    Seamus Heaney

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

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(last updated 5 August 2017)



Please could you take out the Summer Lunch date and the reference to the Away Day (which didn't happen in the end.  Also take out (2017) from the note about photos.  I don't think we have aged that much since 2017 but I will ask Sue if she has any more recent photos.  Many thanks.
I will write to the GLs today to remind them to update their entries.


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 17th December2018 U3A Walking Group    Christmas Lunch 

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


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

Click HERE to view pictures taken earlier this year  

Coffee in the Sun A convenient log pile!

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(Updated  11th October 2018)


 Wednesdays Walkers

Group  Leaders  Diana Tighe  and John Weller

Contact details in Newsletter OR e-mail,

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

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

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


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

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

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


Pictures taken on recent walks.  

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

(updated  2 June 2017)

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Friday Bus Pass Walkers

Joyce 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.


Wish hounds in Croft Wood, near Wichelstowe View over Avoncliffe Viaduct from Winsley

Back to list of groups                                                                                                     (Updated 22 October 2018)


  Geology Group  

Joyce McMurray    Geology Group Leader


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. 

Each year we take a few day Field Trip; this year (2018) to Exmouth.  Below are some of the highlights from each Geological day of the trip.


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

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(Updated 7 November 2018)  



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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(Updated 5 August 2017)


Spanish Language Group. 

Group Leader Leslie Smith.

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

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

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

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Reading Group 2

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

Date (2018) Subject Author
January Eleanor Oliphont is completely Fine Gail Honeyman
February The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
March A Man Called Ove Frederick Backman
April The Seige Helen Dunmore
May The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver

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 11 January 2019)


Handbelle Team

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


Contact details in the Newsletter)

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(updated 07 March 2019)


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 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 we painted stones collected from the beach.

In the autumn we exhibit 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.

The sessions are generally led by members of the group, with local artists visiting from time to time to run workshops. We work mainly in watercolour with occasional forays into pen and ink, pen and wash, scraperboard and acrylics.

Dates for Spring Term are:

January 15th - Still Life fruit and veg!

February 5th - Watercolour Workshop on Tonal Values and Limited Palette with Melvyn Randall

February 12th - note this is the SECOND Tuesday (Village Hall not available on 19th). Practice what we learn with Melvyn.

March 5th – Acrylic workshop with Nick

March 19th – More acrylics with Nick

 We 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

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                                                                                                           (Updated 3rd January 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 28 November 2017)                  


Walking Longer Distances

2nd Tuesday (variable)   Group Leader; Jean Allen

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

Contact details are in the Newsletter.

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Group Leader   Andy Geddes (See Newsletter for contact details)

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

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

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

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(Updated 5 August 2017)


Fun Scrabble

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)

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(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.

(Updated 6 March 2018)



Textile Arts

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

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

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

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(updated 5 August 2017)


Family History Groups

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)

Back to list of groups

(5 August 2017)


Jigsaw Lending Library

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

Contact details in the Newsletter

Anne Morris

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Table Tennis  

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

Group Leader Lynn Austin  (see Newsletter for contact details)

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

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

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

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(updated 6 August 2017)



Lip Reading Group

To all U3A Members with an interest in Lip Reading.

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

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

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

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

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(updated 2 Jan. 2017)


EXTEND -  Exercise to Music

Group Leader Gloria Droy.   e-mail  

(see Newsletter for other contact details)

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

No sessions 27 September, 4 and 18 October 2018.

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

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

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

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(updated 19th August 2018)


                         FOOD APPRECIATION

Group Leader Sue Thompson 



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.  


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(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.

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(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


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