South West U3A Region

Research Development & Shared Learning

This page will contain information about Research Development and Shared Learning. Click here for a full list of all the U3A Research Data.

Shared Learning Projects

‘Cherrie Temple (for Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire) and Pat Fitzsimmons (for Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Scilly Isles and Channel Islands) have volunteered to be coordinators for Shared Learning Projects in the South West region’.

There are a variety of fascinating SLPs taking place within the South West. 'A Shared Learning Project (SLP) involves a team of U3A members, from one or more U3As, exploring a specific topic proposed by a U3A or by an institution such as a museum, university, library, the National Trust or stately home. Some have a set time span but this is not necessarily a requirement.

Honiton U3A and Allhallows Museum embark on a ‘Shared Learning Project’ Honiton u3a updating mseum photo databas
In a casual conversation between Honiton U3A member June Brown and the curator of Allhallows Museum - Margaret Lewis, it came to light that there are a vast quantity of archived photos held in storage at the museum, the information for which requires verifying and updating onto the museum’s database – quite a mammoth task!

June was quick to react and suggested to Margaret that maybe the Honiton U3A could help. The result is a ‘Shared Learning Project’ between the two organisations.

Three fellow U3A members – Janet Powell, Val Frood and June’s husband Keith have come forward and together with June have volunteered to carry out this work.

Now that the darker, colder days are coming the four agreed that a few hours spent each week in the museum steadily working through the large quantity of boxed photos would be time well spent. They have not under estimated the magnitude of the work involved and quite expect to be working on the project for several months to come.

So having been given an initial tutorial by Allhallows curator, Margaret the four are all set to go!

Bath U3A
Surveying cemetery chapels in the area

Bath & Wells U3As
Researching objects in Bath Museum

Devizes U3A
Involved in archive research at Lacock Abbey on grotto and water gardens development and biographies of 13 owners – These to be made available to visitors.

Launceston & District U3A
1. Working at Lawrence House Museum to restore exhibits, produce folders of information for rooms in the museum plus other publications.
2. Assisting with restoring the garden
3. A further project involving researching various objects for the museum
Launceston SLP Update

Minehead & District U3A
Minehead and District SLPs
In 2014, Minehead’s first SLP on the history of the town’s old hospital was successfully completed. In March of that year, the new Minehead Museum was launched and our SLP became one of its exhibits that year. The museum, although small, is thriving and the old hospital SLP was still on display as the fifth anniversary was celebrated in March 2019. The curator, Julian Luke has been very keen to work with the U3A and has encouraged U3A members to undertake research on topics for annual exhibitions designed to maximise the viewing of as many artefacts as possible. To date, Minehead U3A has completed a further three SLPs with the museum. They are listed below in chronological order.
2015 -2016: Entertainment and Leisure in Minehead’s past
2016- 2017: Maritime Minehead
2017-2018: Minehead on the Move

Click Minehead SLP to find out more.

Plymouth U3A
1. Many of the paintings in the Plymouth Art Gallery were not attributed to any artists and very little was known about them, so members of the team are researching the paintings and giving presentation on their findings. This is ongoing.
2. Working with Ford Park Cemetery investigating who is buried there and recording their findings in a book.

Saltash U3A
Reading the Hurlers. Saltash U3A has recently been awarded £33,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), for an exciting project called Reading the Hurlers. The community geo-archaeological project focuses on the early Bronze Age site of the Hurlers stone circles, near the village of Minions, Bodmin Moor. Click Reading the Hurlers for more information.

Salisbury U3As
1. 30 people looked at two collections at Salisbury Museum
2. Assisted the museum with its refurbishment

Salisbury & District U3A
Sorting archaeological items for the new Wessex Gallery in the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum which opened earlier this year.

Sarum U3A
Assisting the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum with the planned development of its archaeological collections.

Torbay U3A
1. Working with Torquay Museum researching the lives and works of Devon naturalists.
2. Working with Teignmouth and Shaldon Museum researching the history of the connection between Teignmouth and Newfoundland.

Wells & Cheddar U3As
Working at National Trust property Lytes Cary looking for a medieval village in the grounds. Ongoing.

West Wilts U3A
1. Three projects with Trowbridge Museum researching objects and writing a leaflet on the research.
2. Craft groups collaborating with Trowbridge Museum on their Magna Carta project.