Information from your Group Leaders


This is an additional feature whereby Group Leaders can notify members of their Group of any changes taking place and anything else you feel that other members should know.

You may wish to advertise forthcoming events related to your Group or mention a significant Birthday or Anniversary (with the permission of that person of course!)

Items for this page should be forwarded to the Web master - Steve Barnes - They will then be added to the Website which can be accessed via the Group Leaders button. Please note that the webmaster has editorial prerogative.


There have been a number of requests for the formation of a new Group to possibly be called FRENCH FOR HOLIDAYS!

Would anyone be prepared to head up something like the Still trying to speak French group which was run by Paul Buck quite successfully for several seasons?

If you feel you could do this, could you please contact John Dickinson on 01420 86707 to discuss.

Hi Everyone,
There will be no Gardening for All on Wednesday February 14th as I will be recovering from my Hip Operation.
I hope we will be able to meet up again in March. If we can have a small garden to visit on that date that would be great, otherwise I will have to do something in the Assembly Rooms again.


Welcome to the Alton U3A Poetry Appreciation website information.

At our February meeting, February 9th 2018 at 2.00 at the Community Centre, we will again be looking at a broader theme. This is "Love and Loving". The poetry can be on anything related to this: Valentine's Day, The Love of God, or any other type(s) of love.

There are no specific leaders for this meeting. Please feel free to bring along an A4 or A5 page with relevant poems and we will try to fit them all in.

From March, we are expecting to return to the pattern of two people taking the lead on a couple of poets/types of poetry and, if you haven't already done so and if, but only if, you would like to lead a half session yourself - please just offer.

We are still aiming to cover a wide range of poets/poetry over the year. Can you think of any areas/types of poetry that we have overlooked? Do you have a particular enthusiasm for (or dislike of!) a specific underrated or overrated poet? Lead a half session on them. There is, of course, no pressure to lead unless you want to.

If you have already led a half session and would like to offer another one, that would be welcome.

If you have any ideas about how the group can develop or about any other areas we could explore, please let Rob or me know.

See you on Feb 9th. Steve.


CREATIVE WRITING GOUP....2 to 4pm on Thursday afternoons - Fortnightly - See BLUE BOOK.

We were lucky enough to have a visit recently from Dianne Mannering. A petite dynamo, originally from the Midlands and a successful published author, she is well known for her interesting talks on episodes in our history. But she came to talk to us about her experiences of getting published. It seems you need a great deal of perseverance, a huge amount of energy, a good dollop of assertion – and the ability to seize the opportunity. 'She has also given two talks at our U3A Monthly meetings!'

I’m not sure any of us aspire to be published but it was an inspirational afternoon. So who knows what the future may bring?

We write for fun and enjoy the fellowship of our group which meets fortnightly. Usually we write a short story of around 1000 words, which we share at our meetings. The range of ideas we come up with is amazing given that we all write to the same title. We can weep in anguish or cry with laughter in the same afternoon. Often we go home with much food for thought.

On occasion we experiment with some short writing exercise – such as a character study, or maybe we will use pictures as inspiration for our stories. At the end of a term we often celebrate with a glass of fizzy and a few nibbles and a game or two. Last Christmas we had a word search with a difference; the idea was to find words blocked out from winter and Christmas poems. Quite a brain-teaser!

We do take our writing seriously and do encourage each other. But most importantly, we have fun.

Pauline Hughes - Group Leader


EXPLORING THE PIANO Godfrey Bruce-Radcliffe - Group Leader

Following Ann Alderman’s move from Alton to Dorset, piano group meetings are now held in my house at 21 Anstey Lane.

Our monthly meetings are usually held on the second Tuesday of the month from 2.00pm. Membership has recently increased with one or two new faces and others who now have the time to rejoin, so we can currently expect up to a dozen people. Skills range from beginners to advanced. Performance is of course not compulsory, but people are encouraged to participate and share their interest in the piano. On my own admission my grand piano is fairly decent kit too.
It’s a good way to spend an afternoon, and U3A members who have an interest in the piano, but who may have wondered if joining the group might not be for them, are most welcome to come along and try it out. Give me a call on 83343.



A book on the history of Alton - ‘John Eggar’s Free Grammar School – The Early Years, 1642-1880’, by Pamela Taylor – has been published as part of the Alton University of the Third Age – Local History Group.

Available from the Curtis Museum in Alton at a cost of £3. It can also be obtained from '' PandP is £1.30.


History for Beginners Monthly from 10am until 12noon - NOT 2pm to 4pm as printed in the Blue Book.

The History for Beginners sessions are beginning again in September – after a five-year break.

The topic this session will the 14th Century, mainly in the UK, and we will try to discover:

● Why Edward 2 was such an awful king,

● Whether he and Piers Gaveston were gay, or just blood brothers,

● What caused the little-known Great Famine which killed tens of thousands in England,

● What drove Edward’s queen and her lover to invade England and depose him, and
● Whether Edward 2 died of natural causes, or was murdered with a red-hot poker, or even died of old age in an Italian monastery after escaping to the Continent.
And that is just the September meeting!

Later on we will be hearing about the Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt. Lots of fun to look forward to.

As in previous years, members will be invited to make short contributions if a particular topic appeals to them.

Queries: Barrie Lees