Monthly meetings are held on the 4th. Friday of the month at the Edgar Community Hall, Somerton.

We open at 10am for coffee (30p) and the chance for members to meet and chat.
The meeting will start at 10.30 and after announcements and any business will be followed by our guest speaker.

The meeting closes at 12 noon.

Please join us.
Members free. Non-members £1.50p

Dates for your Diary
Fri Apr 26th

Villains Galore

Martin Lloyd.

Martin Lloyd is a writer, speaker and cyclist. He travels far and wide giving talks to all kinds of societies, business groups and professional organisations; he has written books on history, current affairs, travel, humour, art, romance and thriller fiction; and when he is not doing this he is either riding his bicycle or broadcasting on the radio and television.

Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies

Thrill to a dramatic account of how the actions of a group of assassins brought about a change in the passport regulations; how the unmasking of a spy caused a modification in passport design and how, for one man, the passport itself turned into a killer.

Fri May 24th


Following the A.G.M. we will have Kirsty Jenssen, Service Manager for the Royal Voluntary Service, responsible for the Home Library Service talking to us.

Kirsty writes,
"The Royal Voluntary Service ( previously WRVS) mobilises volunteers to support those in need, in hospital and the community. By inspiring the gift of voluntary service, we keep people happy, healthy and connected. Our volunteers work alongside the NHS and within communities to create more time to care. I will share with you the Royal Voluntary Service journey over the last 80 years since its inception and the work our volunteers do in South Somerset through the Home Library Service".

Royal Voluntary Service volunteers help in all sorts of ways:
• They provide practical help and companionship, deliver books to those who love reading but can't get to their local library and drive people that can't get out and about to GP or hospital appointments, shopping trips and to local social events and activities.
• They run clubs and groups in local communities where older people can socialise, take part in interesting activities and enjoy something to eat and drink.
• They provide exercise classes, activities and companionship for older people in hospital and support them with their return home.
• They run hospital welcome desks and over 230 hospital shops, cafés and trolley services.
• We also run national campaigns to raise awareness of the issues associated with an ageing population and about the impact of voluntary service.
I will focus on the Home library service and some of the community work we are setting up across Somerset.

Fri Jun 28th 'A Freezing Horror': The wreck of the Halsewell, 1786.
An illustrated talk by Mr. Philip Browne.

One of the most dramatic shipwreck disasters on an English shore will be the subject of our talk by Dorset writer, Philip Browne. Drawing on his recent prize-winning book he will describe the terrible events that shocked the nation when a huge East India Company ship was wrecked on the Purbeck coast. On board were the Captain's teenaged daughters, his nieces and several other young ladies, bound for India in search of rich husbands. Despite the dramatic rescue of some of the crew, Captain Peirce and all the young ladies were drowned. In 1786, the peculiar circumstances of this disaster caught the public imagination and filed the newspapers for weeks. More than two centuries later, the story of the Halswell still has the power to move us.

Our Speaker
Philip Browne was born and educated in Ireland, graduating from Trinity College, Dublin with a B.A. and a Higher Diploma in Education. He taught English in a Dublin secondary school before emigrating in 1973 to the U.K. Then followed nearly 40 years working in education, first as a teacher and subsequently as an education adviser with Dorset Education Authority. Since retiring in 2010, he has researched and written the historical biography, 'The Unfortunate Captain Peirce and the Wreck of the Halsewell East Indiaman, 1786', published in 2016 by Hobnob Press. It is his first book. Phillip is married with two sons. He continues to live in Dorset, an area that he loves.

Copies of the book will be on sale after the talk at the discount price of £10. In July, it won the Hall & Woodhouse Dorchester Literary Festival Writing Prize 2018.
Fri Jul 26th

The Genes of Isis

Why Ancient Egypt is known as the Mother and Father of All Things

Somerset author Dr. Justin Newland will give this lively, illustrated talk. He will discuss what this means and how it impacts our lives today.
Justin will also reveal how this period of history inspired his debut novel, 'The Genes of Isis', an epic fantasy and supernatural thriller set under Ancient Egyptian skies. The story is a weave of two threads: the Ancient Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris and the story of the flood in the Book of Genesis.

Copies of Justin's book will be on sale after the talk.

Fri Aug 23rd

Enrolment Day

Open to members and non-members alike. A chance to sign up, re-enrol browse and chat to the Group Leaders as Somerton U3A showcases the 50+ Groups available to join.

Fri Sep 27th

The M.G.M. Musical Story

MGM and some of the musical films and stars from the great days of Hollywood

Speaker - Terry Merrett-Smith.

For Terry this will be a return visit to U3A. His interests have always been in nostalgia and record collecting of the early years. Terry presents a programme on Hospital radio and has also been a guest several times at BBC Radio Bristol and Somerset.

Fri Oct 25th

Not for King and Country

Kathy McNally

This talk is about the King Edward VIII and the twice divorced Wallis Simpson. It has romance, intrigue and espionage. After eighty years the truth is emerging, piece by piece about the events that shook an empire.

About our Speaker.
For most of her professional life Kathy was involved with research posts, books and authors. She studied at Strathclyde University for her first degree in Modern European History. While living in Scotland she acted as a Publishers' Reader for new authors of children's books and was a judge for the prestigious Carnegie and Greenaway awards on several occasions. Kathy was also as a freelance researcher and broadcaster for BBC Radio Scotland.

Currently she travels widely as a Guest Speaker including on P&O cruises giving talks about spying and espionage. When at home she indulges her passion for horse racing. One of her favourite race courses is, as might be expected, Taunton.

Fri Nov 22nd

Blue Peter - Behind the Badge

Our speaker this month is Alex Ledger.

Fri Feb 28th 2020

The Splendid Isolation of Tristan da Cunha

An introduction to the island's wildlife, history and the way of life of it's people.

Tristan da Cunha is the world's most isolated inhabited island, home to fewer than 250 islanders who are all farmers and rely on a flourishing fishing industry which provides their main income.
Tristan is an active volcano, last erupting in 2004 and famous for the 1961 eruption which forced it's population to evacuate to the U.K.

A presentation by Richard Grundy who worked as a teacher on the island between 1982 - 85 and now works on a voluntary basis to help the community by editing the Tristan Govt. website - and the Tristan da Cunha Newsletter. The latter is a full colour magazine style publication, printed in Glastonbury and sent to Tristan da Cunha Association members across the world, as well as to every family on the island.

Fri Apr 24th 2020


The Sartin experience of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of gardening in verse and song.

The Speaker is Bonny Sartin.
Bonny was for 50 years a member of the Dorset folk band ‘The Yetties’. The band retired in April 2011 and since then he has continued entertaining various organisations with a mix of historical talks, poems, readings and songs, mainly with a Dorset bias. He comes from a singing family. When Robert and Henry Hammond toured Dorset during 1905/6/7, hunting down the singers of the old songs, they collected 111 from the Sartin clan.
The core of the Sartin family have lived in Dorset for over 350 years so Dorset is well and truly in his blood and in his heart. Spare time is often spent cycling the bridle ways of Dorset or walking the footpaths.

Fri Nov 27th 2020

Wildlife of Dartmoor

John Walters

John Walters is a life long field naturalist who explores the natural world through field sketching, photography and video. He grew up on Hayling Island in Hampshire and has lived in Devon since 1990. He works as an ecologist, artist and public speaker and is based in Buckfastleigh. He has published several books and guides including The Wildlife of Dartmoor and has appeared in many television and radio programmes.

The talk will use photographs, field sketches and video clips to explore the amazing variety of wildlife to be found in Dartmoor National Park including cuckoos and their meadow pipit foster parents, dancing adders, ring-running roe deer and the worlds largest slug!

Tue Apr 30th


Price : £11.00 per person - payable by either cash or cheque – made payable to Somerton U3A.

Pick ups
:Huish Church Car Park 9.00 am.
:Bus Stop Gassons Lane 9.10 am.
:Somerton Market Square 9.20 am.

Return from Bath at 4.30 pm to arrive back in Somerton by 6.00pm

To book a place please contact Ruth Thomas email : or phone 01458 251687

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.