Petersfield U3A Events

Petersfield U3A organises a range of events including three monthly meetings, trips, day workshops, study visits and occasionally two or three day residential breaks. These are open to all members (subject to space available) and may be organised by the main Committee or by one of the subject groups.

Monthly Meetings
There are three monthly meetings all held in the Petersfield Community Centre.

The Main General Meeting is held on the second Monday of every month between 2.30 and 4.00 p.m. with a different speaker talking about a general subject of interest each time.

These meetings are the flagship events for Petersfield U3A. They are held in the extended large hall at the Community Centre on the second Monday of each month (except for August and December). The topics are varied and are intended to be of general interest to all of our members. They commence with a welcome by the Branch Chairman and they conclude with tea / coffee and biscuits whilst members enjoy a convivial chat with the speaker, committee members and their fellow members and friends. The presentation normally lasts for approx. an hour with up to 30 minutes of comments and discussions.

U3A activities are mentioned and some Group Leaders have tables at the back of the hall for Group Business. At the back also are tables for discussions with new members and for recruitment and renewal of membership. Copies of the latest News and Views are available for members to take home, if they are not able to receive it by e-mail.

These meetings are seen as being of special interest due to the greater numbers who attend and the possibilities of socialising and carrying out Branch Business.

The Arts and Heritage meeting is open to all members on the third Wednesday of every month 2.30 – 4.00 p.m. and there is a charge of £2.50 per meeting. Each meeting has a speaker who is well qualified in a subject relating to the arts or a heritage topic. Occasionally talks are linked with visits to local sites or exhibitions. Please note that the meetings originally programmed for September and November 2019 have had to be swapped over, due to changes in speaker availability. Those now shown in the programme are the correct entries.

The Science and Technology meeting is open to all members and is held on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 2.00 to 3.30 p.m. with a charge of £2.50. per meeting. We invite speakers on a range of subjects to give a talk followed by questions, discussion and debate. The 2019 programme of meetings is still being formulated and will include a wide variety and type of topic. The Science Forum is an offshoot of this Group and offers informal learning and discussion on a topic of the day. These meetings are held at the Liss Triangle on a monthly basis.

Other Events

There is a regular series of other events ranging from theatre and concert trips, heritage visits, and special interest sessions organised through individual groups but open to everybody. Other one day subject sessions, short courses and occasional social events are held and publicised on this website and members can receive a regular updating “News & Views Extra” email to keep you in touch.

South Bank Group The Group organises visits to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Purcell Room and The Hayward Gallery, travelling by train to Waterloo. Availability of tickets and further information may be obtained from Derek Bowtell by contacting him via the South Bank Group page.

(See below for details of the upcoming meetings and events)

Past Meetings

Click the link above to see descriptions of our last few meetings for Arts & Heritage and Science & Technology

Dates for your Diary
February 2019
Wed Feb 20thArts and HeritageDeidre Mitchell - “The Changing Face of Fashion 1900-1914”

Deidre has always had an interest in costume, with her Mother a constant seamstress, influencing her in embroidery and textiles. She has volunteered at the Hampshire Wardrobe and then the Southern Counties Costume Society. Her interest deepened through being involved eventually in the Petersfield Museum and realised the great changes that came about in costume prior to the 1st world war.
Tue Feb 26thScience and TechnologyThe challenges with making transport "green and sustainable". The presentation will cover the current position of the hybrid market for cars and the government stance, alternative solutions to purchasing a vehicle with so much uncertainty around us and a look into the future. The speaker is Andrew Axson who is very knowledeable and indeed passionate about the subject. This is a highly topical subject and questions, comments and discussion will be a very important part of the afternoon's proceedings.
March 2019
Tue Mar 5thSouth Bank Group7.30pm Royal Festival Hall
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Mozart Overture Don Giovanni
Mozart Piano Concerto No.9 in E flat, K.271
Mahler Symphony No.5
Wed Mar 6thJazz AppreciationAndy Borthwick – Jazz from Beyond the Frontier Focusing on jazz that doesn't come from America or the UK.
Thu Mar 7thScience ForumThere is no meeting this month.
Mon Mar 11thMeetingSue Dewey - “Native American Tribal Culture and History”
Tue Mar 12thFamily History 2Workshop: Children in Victorian England.
Please bring any anecdotes, case histories, stories, etc. from your own family research which illustrates family life in the 19th century.
Wed Mar 20thArts and HeritageAndy Thomas - “The Crop Circle Mystery”

Andy is a leading researcher into unexplained mysteries, having many books published and one on “An Introduction to Crop Circles” He will give a stunning slide show ,exploring the extraordinary phenomenon of crop circles, looking at the fascinating history and possible theories to explain them.
Tue Mar 26thScience and TechnologyProblems with our feet - the what, why and how of problems with walking. A podiatrist's view by Paul Harradine. Paul has worked as a podiatrist in both the NHS and private sector for approaching 25 years. This presentation is aimed at increasing our general knowledge of foot pain and what can or can't be done about it. Symptoms covered will include plantar fasciitis, Arthritis, ingrowing toe nails and painful corns. Paul is happy to answer questions and will be looking for volunteers who are happy to strip to the ankle, walk and discuss foot problems in front of the group. But this won't be compulsory!

For further info Paul's biography can be found at:

We are delighted to announce that we have arranged a visit, next year, to the above exhibition. This is the exhibition that was so successful in Paris, and we hope that as many of you as possible will join us.
We have been allocated 40 tickets and are told it is unlikely, due to the projected popularity of this event that we will be able to get extras, so if you are interested, please contact me as soon as possible to avoid missing out!
The cost of this trip will be £30.00 per person and includes exhibition tickets at a group rate, the cost of the coach, and a gratuity for the driver.

Please complete the application form attached to the A&H Page on the website and send to myself with a cheque payable to Petersfield U3A. If you have any questions, use the message icon on the A&H page to send me a message.

Joan Shepley
April 2019
Wed Apr 3rdJazz AppreciationStevie Pierce – Strictly Come (Jazz) Dancing Jazz dance's development and place in the world of jazz
Thu Apr 4thScience ForumAndy Borthwick is leading the discussion group on the topic:
“Who do you think you are?" No, not a TV programme on your ancestors but a look at how we are motivated to do the things we do. How do we create a picture of ourselves? How/why do we learn new things and is it different to how/why children learn? Do things change as we get older?” Be at the Liss Triangle Centre at 1400 hrs.
Mon Apr 8thMeetingAvril Owton - “The Show Goes On”

Avril talks about her days as a dancer with the “Tiller Girls” on Sunday night at the London Palladium and how she became widowed when very young and with four children. Subsequently she became a hotelier and turned a failing business round into a thriving success.
Tue Apr 9thFamily History 2Topic: Black Sheep
Tell us about the black sheep in your family's history, or perhaps some family strife ie “who fell out with who” and why.
Tue Apr 16thSouth Bank Group7.30pm Royal Festival Hall
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The Cantus Ensemble
The Food of Love
Celebrate the life of William Shakespeare in this unique theatrical evening.
Wed Apr 17thArts and HeritageMora Abel - “John Constable and the Hidden Depths”

Mora had an extensive teaching background, holding degrees from London University. John Constable is well known for his poetic style of painting such as the “Hay Wain”, but there was a great deal more to the Artist, and Mora will explore the more hidden depths.
Tue Apr 23rdScience and TechnologyGenetically Modified Crops and Europe - Euro sclerosis or intelligent precautionary principle? - With John Pidgeon, a retired agricultural scientist and former director of a BBSRC Research Institute.

Dr John Pidgeon led the scientific team that produced perhaps the first evidence anywhere that, properly managed, a GM herbicide tolerant crop could be better environmentally than the same conventional non GM crop. This generated much controversy. John will briefly review this field experimental work, and consider how and why emotionalism triumphed over reason at the turn of the century and thereafter - the onset of the age of un-enlightenment. Specialist molecular biology knowledge is not needed, and John hopes the discussion will generate more light than heat.
Fri Apr 26thSouth Bank Group7.30pm Royal Festival Hall
Philharmonia Orchestra and City of London Choir
The Lark Ascending
Join Alan Titchmarsh as he hosts an exquisite programme of great English classics by Walton, Butterworth, Elgar, Holst, Delius, Handel, Rutter and Vaughan Williams.
May 2019
Mon May 13thMeetingAndy Thomas - “ Unexplained Mysteries and Cover Ups”.

Andy is an experienced Speaker and Author on Intrigues, unexplained mysteries and the Paranormal . He has investigated many enduring areas of fascination. This talk will cover Ghosts, Ancient Rituals and Classic Conspiracy theories as well as the background to many famous English folklore rituals.
Tue May 14thFamily History 2Helen Whittle: The Civil War and the Interregnum in genealogical records.
Wed May 15thArts and HeritageJonathon Jones - “The Life and Poetry of Emily Bronte”

Jonathon has visited us several times and is always most interesting. This talk will cover the life of Emily Bronte and touching on her novels which are well known, but her poetry less so, and this talk will give an insight into this aspect.
Thu May 16thSouth Bank Group7.30pm Royal Festival Hall
Philharmonia Orchestra
Schubert Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished)
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
Brahms Symphony No. 3
Tue May 28thScience and TechnologyTo be announced shortly.
June 2019
Mon Jun 10thMeetingRichard Poad “Grandma Flew Spitfires” .

Richard is an authority on Air Transport Auxiliary and knew many flying veterans, so his talk is of a personal nature, illustrated with newsreel and archive films. This will cover the forgotten stories of WW2, of courage, skill and sacrifice of both female and male pilots, flying without the technical devices we commonly use today.
Tue Jun 11thFamily History 2

Visit: details tba.
Suggestions include: London Metropolitan Archives, the Guildford Spike [restored workhouse vagrant's ward]

Thu Jun 13thSouth Bank Group7.30pm Queen Elizabeth Hall
Chineké! Orchestra
Grieg Peer Gynt Suite No.1
Stewart Goodyear Callaloo-Caribbean Suite for piano & orchestra
Dvoråk Symphony No.7
Wed Jun 19thArts and HeritageBob Bravington on “Film Music of the 20th Century”. Bob in the past has given scientific talks, but being a Trustee of the Regis School of Music, became involved in illustrated talks on music and musicians. This has led to a broadening of interests . This talk which will have 7 examples ,demonstrating how music can richly complement the story in the film itself.
Tue Jun 25thScience and TechnologyDetails to be announced shortly.
July 2019
Mon Jul 8thMeetingMadeleine Salvetti on “The Planning of D Day Landing & Creation of the Overlord Embroidery”.
This talk covers the planning of the D Day landing and the strategy, and what a huge exercise it was involving many facets which came together like a jigsaw.
The Overlord Embroidery tells the story of the build up of the landing,and the involvement of civilian and military personnel.
Wed Jul 17thArts and HeritageAndy Skinner on “Chalk Figures in England”.
Some years ago Andy did some geophysical work on the Long Man of Wilmington in East Sussex, this started a fascination with the incredible world of chalk cut figures in down land. These embrace such fascinating themes, on identity to religious expressions and even poking fun at the famous.
September 2019
Mon Sep 9thMeetingMalcolm Nelson on “40 years of Catching Smugglers-Part 2 –You're Nicked”
Malcolm gave us a fascinating talk in 2018 and it was requested by many members that he return again, so here we go with Part 2. Drugs having been found, now show the concealments with real life stories behind the pictures.
Tue Sep 10thFamily History 2Chris Lightfoot: writing up your family history
Bringing your family history to life. Getting started - uncovering the stories but who wants to know? How to make it interesting and avoid boring people.
Wed Sep 18thArts and HeritageRyan Watts on “People and Archeology of Petersfield Heath”.
Ryan studied at Exeter University with a keen interest in Prehistoric people of Britain. He now works as Learning & Community Engagement Officer at Petersfield Museum & hopes to expand the museum’s reach to schools, colleges and special interest groups. His talk will cover the Prehistoric Petersfield exploring those who lived here 4000 years ago. There have been exciting discoveries on the Heath over the last 4 years and Ryan will talk about the first people to live here, as well as about the artefacts & monuments left behind.
October 2019
Tue Oct 8thFamily History 2Topic: On-Line Parish Clerks
The origin and development of OPC projects, including Hampshire; and how they can help our own research
Mon Oct 14thMeetingMalcolm Wells with “So far so good”.
Malcolm has been recommended as a Speaker with a presentation both informative and humorous. It covers his life as an army musician for 24 years, 15 years working with Canine Partners and lastly an insight into the experience of receiving the MBE at Buckingham Palace.
Wed Oct 16thArts and HeritageMark Watts on “The History of Winchester Prison”.
There has been a jail in Winchester since the 13th century at Jewry St (now a pub). The present one built in 1849 in the “Classical Victorian Radial Design”, covers 6 acres of land and has stood punishment, hangings and rehabilitation. Mark joined Winchester Prison in 1988 and retired in 2017 as Head of Security, so will be well qualified to unveil it’s secrets, both dark and humorous.
November 2019
Mon Nov 11thMeetingColin van Geffen on “Lawrence before and after Arabia”
The legend of Lawrence of Arabia is well documented, but what of his life before the Desert War? Described as one of the most influential Englishmen of the 20th century, but he wasn’t even English! There are many myths, but the truth is far more fascinating.
Tue Nov 12thFamily History 2Topic: Ireland and Irish records, using Genuki records
Format tba
Wed Nov 20thArts and HeritageAlexandria Loske on “ Chinoiserie”.
Alexandria returns once again, this time to talk about the decorations every grand home in mid 18th century had, inspired by the Far East, predominantly China. This lecture (always beautifully illustrated) will explain the origins, with particular focus on various East India Companies around the year 1600.
Tue Nov 26thScience and TechnologyThe Battle of Britain - the making of the movie, with Phil Holt.
December 2019
Tue Dec 10thFamily History 2Mince pies again
Format tba
March 2020
Tue Mar 24thScience and TechnologyControlling 911 with Phil Holt