Chard, Ilminster & District

Group and Members News

This page is where you can find out about past and future events and Group news.



The Newsletter is published 4 times a year, at the beginning of February, May, August and November. It is emailed to all members who can be contacted by email. For non-email members a hard copy may be obtained either at the monthly TALKS meetings or from a group leader. The latest Newsletter may also be viewed here 1st May 2020 Newsletter.

Articles and photographs for the newsletter are welcome from all members. Initially, please contact Jackie Bridge (Tel: 01460 67989) or Bob Inskip (Tel: 01460 62085)


A message from our Chairman re reading the Third Age Magazine online as opposed to receiving a paper copy.

"Earlier this year I contacted everyone about issuing TAM magazine in digital format in order to reduce our carbon footprint. Unfortunately that is not going to be possible for now due to copyright issues.
The good news is that our initiative has prompted HQ to explore how this can be done across the board; this means that the potential savings will run into hundreds of thousands of copies.
So while it's business as usual for the time being, watch this space for updates.
Roy Howells


New Members18 On Monday 13 May (2019!) a get together was held, for new members, at Donyatt village hall. Around 25 people turned up together with several committee members and a number of group leaders.
In a very relaxed atmosphere, topics discussed included how individuals heard about us, what they enjoyed about belonging to U3A and suggestions they had for improving our organisation.
New Members14 Below is a summary of the information gleaned:

The website and word of mouth seem to have been our most successful communication tools. Passing by the Guildhall and the Ilminster coffee morning also lured people in.

Things that people enjoyed were: Monthly talks, Groups, variety of activities, social activity, warm welcome and email communication.

Ideas: Facebook page.

New groups: Musical instruments, Zumba and shooting.
New Members 01
Group leaders then talked about their experiences in the role. All agreed that whilst it had its ups and downs, overall it was fulfilling. We hope that this will encourage a new generation to step forward and done the mantle.

Thanks go to all who attended.

Roy Howells



Here you will find news on Groups that are either up and running or where a member is keen to start a group. We do have requests for new groups to be formed but without Group Leaders this is not always possible. If you feel you would like to run a Group then please look at our REQUESTS page. Maybe one of the topics listed there is something you are really keen to share with others. A link to REQUESTS may be found in the header at the top of this page.



Monday - French Conversation (leader Judy MacOmish)

Monday - Writing for Pleasure (leader Di Goldsmith)

Monday - World Affairs (leader Jane Osborne and Denise Farringdon)

Monday - Life, the Universe and Everything (leader Brian Harper)

Monday - Discussion (leader Mary Coller)

Tuesday - Family History1 (leader Sandra Kibble-White)

Tuesday - Art Appreciation (leader Brian Harper)

Wednesday - Cricket (leader Jim Lobley)

Wednesday - Poetry ( leader Mary Coller)

Wednesday - Poetry for Pleasure (leader Gillian MacDonald)

Wednesday - Short Tennis3 (leader Jenny Rouse)

Thursday - Short Tennis4 (leader Ian Riddle)

Thursday - Yoga (Kay Mendlson)

Friday - Circle Dancing (leader Mavis Harper)


The Natural History Group has a new leader Stuart Musgrove who writes -

"We are lucky living in such an amazing area; SW England is rightly acknowledged by the many visitors who come here to be the top destination for the scenery and diversity of wildlife, and right here Somerset has it all.
All it needs is for you to:
• Get out and find it, OK you normally need good boots or wellingtons in Somerset:
• Have eyes and ears open when in the countryside:
• To have an enquiring mind, to say, what is that, (or if you are a bird watcher, what was that) when you see something that catches your eye?
• To look and learn from others. Your life will be enriched! Promise.

The Group plans to have regular monthly meetings - 4th Thursday - usually arriving somewhere at
about 10.00 for a visit to one of the many spectacular natural history sites in and around Somerset.
Also, we have indoor talks usually held in Donyatt Village Hall.

The programme for 2020 will be published to members before the end of January. This year the
plan is to visit a range of sites, some local, some old regulars, and some a little further away and
never visited before by the group. The length of walk will vary but naturalists are well known for
covering distance very slowly - there is so much to see and discuss.

This year it is planned to identify a second location to visit, if you desire, for an hour or two after
lunch, either close to the morning site or on the way home to Chard. When we have evening sunlight - May to September - there may be opportunities to visit local sites for an hour or so in the early evening too, but I have not planned anything yet.

It is hoped that we can build the social side of the group during the visits, so I will be happy to explore every hostelry in the area of the visits to advise you all as to the most appropriate location for a lunch break. Some visits may be to sites that are remote and therefore sandwiches will be the
order of the day. In the winter months a flask of warm drink is often invaluable. Strong boots or
Wellingtons are essential.

We would welcome your input on special sites you have discovered or, if you are a specialist (I
can call anyone who knows a little more than me a specialist), then please come forward and let’s
enjoy your knowledge together.

These meetings are generally well attended, and everyone is very friendly and welcoming. When
travelling to sites group members often offer car places to those who do not want to use their own
transport. Generally, the U3A does not charge for the visits, unless an entrance fee is requested
by the organisation we are visiting, but car parking is often payable.
So, all are welcome, please join the Group, come along on the visits and be amazed at the world
on your doorstep.
Stuart Musgrove"


This monthly group is full at the moment, but if you would like to run a second group please contact Tricia Proud on 10460 54948 who will give you all the assistance she can. The members choose the venues and car share could be arranged.


Linda Allen has just started a Skittles Group, meeting on the first Monday of the month at the Bell Inn, Broadway, starting at 11.30am.

If you are interested in joining the group, would you please contact her directly.

Tel: 01460 239442


Liz Dewar has set up a choir which will meet on Wednesday evenings from 7 - 8.45pm at her home at Chard Junction. All singers welcome! As well as singers, she would also like to include musicians.

Anyone who is interested should get in touch with Liz,
Tel: 01460 220764 or 07790 857016


Rusty Racquets Lunch The Badminton Tuesday Rusty Racquets gathered recently for a summer lunch and can be seen here enjoying a drink before the meal.




There are spaces in the discussion Group, which meet on the 1st Monday in the month at 2.15pm. For further details please contact Mary Coller, Tel 01460 63461.


Yvonne Roskelly is starting a new Beginners Family History Group and would like a few new members. Meetings will be on the second Thursday of the month, in the afternoon, at her house. Please contact her for more details :-

Tel: 01460 419674


Bob Partridge, the leader of the newly formed Guitar Group, is seeking a drummer and singers. The drummer does not need a full set of drums, just to keep rhythm.

So if you want to join in on the fun please contact Bob on or telephone him on 01460 250755


After many years as group leader Ann Hipwood has relinquished her role due to ill health. I have now taken over as group leader and we continue to meet at 10.00am on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings last for two hours and we listen to a programme of music selected by one of the members of the group. This music is generally ‘classical’ but programmes often include other genres, for example jazz and musicals. We are a relaxed and friendly group who just enjoy listening to music.
At the moment we do have space for a couple of new members so if you would like to join us please contact me on 62085.
Bob Inskip


Most Music Appreciation groups focus primarily on ‘classical’ music but there are many people who love to listen to other kinds of music. I formed this group to offer a forum for those people to meet together to listen to pop, rock, folk and country music together with anything else that takes their fancy.
We meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 9.30am. Usually the host chooses a theme and we all take along a few tracks that match that theme in some way. The music played can be very varied, but we all enjoy finding out about new artists or indulging in the nostalgia of old ones.
We do have space for one more member at the moment, so if you would like to join us please contact me on 62085.
Bob Inskip


Please note that the venue and time for this group has changed. The group now meet at Holyrood School Sports Hall in Chard at the new time of 5pm. The sessions are still on a Wednesday and last for one hour.

There are still a few places left, so if you want to join in contact Jim Lobley at Jim is a Chard & Ilminster member. Please see the Cricket Indoors Page for further information.


Do you enjoy reading the news and airing your views? Our group does just that, with members bringing along any item of news, serious or trivial, that they have found interesting and would like to be the subject of a brief discussion.

To sample a meeting please contact Clive Robinson on 01460 234719 or email The group meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 10.00am.


Do you enjoy reading poetry? Would you like to know more about poets and their work? If so, why not come and meet a friendly and welcoming group who read their own choice of poetry on a theme selected in advance.

Please contact Gillian Macdonald on 01460 64687 if you are interested.


A new Needlecraft Group has been formed to replace the Patchwork Quilting Group. This new group is for anyone who likes making things using a needle including knitting, crochet, embroidery, cross stitch and tapestry. The group also visits exhibitions and needle craft shows.

They meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 2.00pm at St Gildas in Chard. The Group Leader is Maggie Darby, Tel 63428