Bridport & District



Our Regular Monthly Meetings are on the fourth Tuesday of the month, starting at 2pm in the Bridport United Church Hall in East Street when we have a speaker. See details below. It is also the chance to hear about new groups, meet friends and new members, and have a cup of tea or coffee.

(Very occasionally [once?] a speaker has had to cancel at very short notice. Do you have a talk ready to go that you could 'pop back home', collect and present? If so, please contact the Talks Organiser, Julian Rosbrook by clicking this Talks link and discuss it with him).


John Walker is the Events Organiser and, working with his Committee makes arrangements for a variety of one day trips, operated by Crossway Travel.

These trips won’t be exclusively for our members as Crossways currently provide this service for several neighbouring U3A's, but it’s likely that we will make up the majority of participants. These trips will be guaranteed to take place, as part of Crossways’ programme. Crossways prices for U3A per person are in brackets but, depending on numbers going on each outing, there may be a modest reduction in price for each participant. The more, the cheaper!

All Crossways excursions will pick up from Bridport Bus Station. See details of the outings further down the page.

Booking forms will be issued six weeks prior to the event taking place. Forms will also be available at the Monthly Meeting for those members not on e-mail.

It would help if those interested would let John Walker know of your interest in a particular outing. (This does not guarantee a place, which can only be confirmed once you have filled in the application form and sent your cheque).

If anyone is interested in helping organise any of the above, and many other possible outings, please do let John know. Contact him on 01308 458655 or use the Message link at the top of this page.

First Aid Courses

The Red Cross are offering to run short First Aid Courses specifically aimed at the over 65's. These would be free to attend and offer simple, interactive and non-technical first aid that should allow us to help one another should the need arise.
Numbers are limited to 15 per 3 hour course but, several sessions could be arranged. The proposal is to use the upstairs room at Chancery House in Chancery Lane, East Street, Bridport where a lift is available should stairs be difficult for anyone. No dates have yet been fixed, but the room is available weekday mornings other than Thursdays, so if needed we should be able to arrange several courses on different mornings.

If you are interested in taking part in this course please let Pat Grafton know by e-mailing or phoning 01308 898264. Please indicate which morning would be best for you, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday.
Exact timings have yet to be arranged.

Dates for your Diary
Tue Jan 23rd Algorithms and Blues
or how the bean-counters are killing our culture.

The talk by Christian Tyler is a philosophical critique of rule-making and metrics which threaten our intuitive and imaginative understanding of the world and therefore our sense of responsibility and purpose.

Christian is a former writer for the Financial Times on labour, industry and politics and has written books on China, travel and local history
Tue Feb 27th Sarah Shaw worked for the BBC as a secretary in 1971 and spills the beans in ‘The Journey Of A Diary’
Tue Mar 27th Roy Wood on ‘Health and Wealth’
Tue Apr 24th Bee Keeping in 2018 – A talk by Brian Godfrey who has kept honey bees for over 10 years and is a member of the local bee club
Tue May 22nd Paul Atterbury – well known lecturer, writer and broadcaster (27 years on antiques roadshow) will talk about Railway Posters – a journey through my life
Tue Jun 26th 1000 years of London Hospitals. Bob Ayers will talk about the origins of St. Bartholomews and the Knights Templars up to modern research facilities
Tue Jul 24th Helping Hands Tour, Kenya. Catherine Carter will tell us about her grass routes trip to Kenya
Tue Aug 28th Dr. Yvonne Varley, retired GP, talks about the Spy from Tisbury and reveals the identity of a well known childrens’ author who became a spy in the 1st world war
Tue Sep 25th Ian Barclay will present a talk about The Great Exhibition of 1851: gems, content and legacies
Tue Oct 23rd Steve Burman talks about Exploring the ice age art of the Vezere valley, France. Known as the cradle of mankind
Tue Nov 27th Dr Ben Kane presents a talk – Mud, Sweat and Tears – walking Hadrians wall in full Roman armour.
Tue Dec 18th Christmas Quiz with tea/coffee and seasonal refreshments
Tue Jan 22nd Isabel Hooley, NHS Diabetes specialist, gives a talk entitled Diabetes – The Myths, the truth and what it means to you
Tue Feb 26th Ron Morley of the Bridport Lions Club gives a talk about – Who we are and what we do# especially in the Bridport community
Tue Mar 26th Jan Diamond returns to present a talk entitled The age of Pyramids, The World’s first pyramid, the step pyramid of Saqqara
Tue Apr 23rd Martin Lloyd, writer, speaker and broadcaster gives a talk entitled – Passport stories from History – a dramatic talk
Wed Feb 21st “Wicked” - musical at the Bristol Hippodrome (£51.50 -already announced and now waiting list only).
Mon Mar 12th Dartmouth town & Dartmouth Naval College (£39.00); there will be an opportunity to see this pleasant little town in the latter part of the morning and to have lunch. In the afternoon there will be private tour of the Naval College giving an exclusive, behind-the-scenes view of this fascinating establishment which has played an important role in British naval history.

Note: This is a very popular trip so would anyone interested please let John Walker know as soon as possible).
Mon Apr 30th A guided tour of Larmer Tree Gardens followed by a visit to Stonehenge (£43.00): these beautiful gardens, set in the outstanding landscape of Cranborne Chase between Salisbury and Blandford Forum, were created by General Augustus Pitt Riversin 1880. They take their name from a magnificent landmark tree that stood on this site in the 10th century. The Larmer Tree Pleasure Grounds as they were then known quickly became a major attraction. By 1899 the Gardens attracted over 44,000 visitors each year. In the evenings, illuminated with thousands of lights, there was dancing in the open air – “Quite the prettiest sight I ever saw in my life” said Thomas Hardy. But following the General’s death in 1900 the gardens fell into disuse until in 1991 Michael Pitt Rivers, his great grandson, set about restoring the gardens and the adjacent woodland. At this time of year there should be a magnificent display of Camellias and Rhododendrons. There is also a fine collection of ornate buildings with, here and there, macaws flying about and roaming peacocks to add to the colour. The Gardens have a café which provides hot and cold drinks and light meals.

Following the Gardens visit we drive to Stonehenge, which needs little introduction and where the new visitor centre can provide all the background one could want for an inspiring and enjoyable tour of this extremely ancient monument.
Wed Jun 20th The Royal Mint, Cardiff (£39.00): You will be able to go behind the scenes to follow the journey of a coin from a blank to going on its way to a bank, seeing the actual manufacture of our coinage, and maybe even to strike your own coin as a lasting memento of your visit.
Sun Aug 5th Country File live at Blenheim Palace (£50.00): this will be an opportunity to see the making of an episode of this very popular BBC Television programme.
Tue Sep 18th Kennet & Avon Horse-Drawn Canal Cruise (£38.00) – a gentle barge trip on the well known canal, dependent, literally, on horse-power. It should provide a good insight into a major means of travel and transport in times gone by.
Tue Dec 18th Longleat Festival of Light (£41.00): This annual event has become extremely popular. There will be a coach drive through the famous safari park and access to the well-known stately home, and its extensive grounds. In the evening when the sun has gone down, there is a truly spectacular display of illuminations and Chinese lanterns. It has been highly praised over the past few years. (A word of warning from a previous visit – bring warm clothing: a late December evening can be very cold!).
Other Events
Sun Oct 14th Open Afternoon at St Mary’s Church Hall, South Street
3.00 – 5.00 pm