Stoke-on-Trent South

News Items


Come to this new writing group to record your own life story or that of someone close to you, through memories from objects, people, events and places. Step by step help and support will be given by the Group Leader, Jo Austin. No experience or qualifications needed. It is intended that the group will meet on the first and third Tuesdays of the month beginning on the afternoon of 18th September between 2pm and 4pm at Stoke Library. If you are interested, please ring Val Greatbatch 07881367509 or just turn up!


Come to this new writing group to write the novel you ve always wanted. Step by step guidance and support will be given by group leader, Jo Austin. No experience or qualifications are needed. It is intended that the group will meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month beginning on the afternoon of 25th September between 2pm and 4pm at Stoke library. If you are interested, please ring Val Greatbatch on 07881367509 or just turn up!


Membership now stands at 437 compared with 433 last month, so we are still growing steadily.

Members who haven’t renewed are no longer entitled to attend any U3A meetings or groups.

Group leaders are requested to please check that their members have current membership cards (a sort of light salmon colour) which are valid until March 2019.

For membership enquiries, please contact Alan Stevenson (Tel: 01782 395760).


On 30th August we had a Jacob's Table which again proved to be a very popular event. Much to the pleasure of the members, we were provided with a good mix of sweet and savoury food. For "Starters" we had a quiz in which all members were able to get involved. Again member feedback was good.

Next month's Meeting on 27th September will be our Birthday Meeting, consequently we will have cakes. Angela Bunn from "Disability Solutions" will present a talk.


This year’s National Conference and AGM took place during the last week of August at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham University. Our Chairman Keith Ward attended on our behalf.

There is still one vacancy on our committee and members are asked again to consider volunteering for this.

Over the next two years we are likely to need several new faces on the committee. This is essential if you wish to keep your local U3A! You would need to attend monthly committee meetings (Thursday afternoons) and to help committee colleagues with administrative tasks where possible.


Trentham Gardens / Edinburgh Woollen Mill– 19th October
The Garden and Nature group will not be meeting on 12th October. Instead, we have a few “2 for 1” vouchers for weekday entrance to Trentham Gardens and we can use these for our October meeting. Members who hold an annual gardens pass will still be able to join in. We will meet at 11.00am on Friday, 19th October at Row K of the car park.

Val Greatbatch has negotiated a deal with the Manager of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, who will supply some discount vouchers for our members to use on the same day. It will be a good discount on production of a voucher (20% off full price goods, but excluding sale items) and the winter stock will be available so it might be a good time to stock up on winter woollies for yourself or presents for the family. You don’t need to join the group going around the gardens to take advantage of this offer, but anyone wishing to make a purchase will need to contact Val Greatbatch in order to obtain the discount voucher (Telephone or text mobile: 07881 367509).


The next evening meal will be a Curry Night at The Tollgate, Blurton on Friday, 28th September, when we will meet at 7pm for 7.30pm. £5 per person deposit will be required. The price is £11.95 for two courses or £13.95 for three. A drink is included in the price.

A Christmas Meal at The Tollgate has been booked for Friday, 14th December, at 7pm for 7.30pm and there are 30 places initially. Food will need to be pre-ordered and £5 deposit is required. Menus will be available soon.

Fay is booking a table at the Toby Carvery (Trentham Hotel) for late October and this will be confirmed or otherwise in the next newsletter. We may return to the Furama Palace at Trent Vale for a Chinese Banquet during November.

For bookings and enquiries about these meals, please contact Fay Howell on 01782 658659.


The Lunch Group’s next meeting will be on Tuesday 11th September at the Hem Heath, Trentham, commencing around 12.30pm. Group Leader Rita Wright won’t be available for this meeting, but Chris Whitfield can be contacted instead on 01782 960327 or 07939 621499.


The next Tenpin Bowling evening will be on Thursday 27th September at Hanley Cinebowl on Festival Park and you need to book and pay in advance.

The group meets at 6.30pm to start bowling at 7pm. It costs £11 including shoe hire, food, one drink and two games. For bookings or queries please contact Michelle Tittle-Wang (01782 657564 or mob. 07753 264402).

IT GROUP (formerly Computer Group)

IT Group Leader, Joe Neilson is still doing computer classes but is also prepared to help members with tablets and mobile phones, since Information Technology (IT) is not exclusive to computers. New members would be welcome to join the group, which meets on alternate Monday mornings at Adderley Green Care Centre. For further information Joe can be contacted on 01782 852042.


The evening Dance Class meets at 6pm on Thursdays at St. Paul’s Church Hall, Longton Hall Road, Blurton. The group have lots of fun learning a variety of ballroom, Latin American and party dances with Group Leader Chris Whitfield. New members would be very welcome.

The next two meetings will be on 6th and 20th September. For further information, Chris can be contacted on 01782 960327 or 07939 621499.

See Groups Section for specific details of summer arrangements.


With the lovely weather continuing, you may be considering outdoor activities such as crown green bowls. We have a bowling group which meets weekly at Florence Bowling Club at 1.30pm on Wednesday afternoons.

The Group Leader is Dave Darby, who can be contacted on 01782 317408.


The new singing group has been suspended for now but may restart during Autumn or Winter months. For enquiries, please contact Chris Whitfield on 01782 960327 or 07939 621499.


There are still a few places available on our day trip to York on Thursday 6th September, and the cost is £16 per person. We will be leaving York at around 5pm. The coach will pick up at the usual points as follows: 9.00am Whittle Road, Meir Park, near the Tesco car park 9.10am Outside Lidl, on The Strand, Longton There’s lots to see and do in York, especially if you’re interested in history, but there are also opportunities for shopping, visiting the Shambles and the Minster, then stopping for refreshments at one of the many pubs and restaurants. For bookings and enquiries, Lynne and Alan Stevenson can be contacted on 01782 395760.


Our Ukelele Group, Uke’n’Sing, led by Bill Whiston will be doing a free concert from 12noon till 3pm on Wednesday, 5th September at Aston Village Hall, at the side of the A34, Astonby-Stone, ST15 0TE. There is parking at the front and rear of the hall and if necessary a nearby lay-by may be used.

During the interval there will be a raffle, with all proceeds going to the Chernobyl Children’s Project (CCP). Margie Haslop, area organizer for CCP, will give a very short explanation of the project, then Uke n’ Sing will provide entertainment for about an hour.

This is a BRING and SHARE event so anyone attending is asked to take along some finger food and drink for sharing. If you would like to attend, please email or telephone Lena La Rosa On 01785 254473.


The next meeting of this very informal group will be from 10.30am to 12.00 noon on Tuesday, 4th September. You are welcome to come and have a chat over a cuppa, with the chance to meet new friends. Members can also suggest what they would like to do at future meetings. This month members are invited to share their experiences and knowledge of various hobbies and are welcome to bring along photos or samples of their work.

If you would like to suggest topics for future discussion, or have knowledge to share, please contact Val Greatbatch (07881 367509), Chris Whitfield (01782 960327 or 07939 621499), or Trish Rowley on 07939 209054.


Members of the Open Craft group have been learning a very diverse range of skills, such as knitting, jewellery making, glass painting, flower making and ribbon weaving to name just a few. They have recently been making bracelets and earrings using memory wire. Group Leader Joan Crozier shows members the basics for whatever crafts they choose to try then if they wish, they can practice or improve their skills either at home or in future meetings.

Meetings are from 11.30am to 1.30pm on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at the Redhouse Residents Association Community House, Longton, ST3 2LR. If you would like to join the group, Joan can be contacted on 01782 213459.


The National Office produce monthly online newsletters and members can register to receive these by email. You can sign up to receive your copy at

The newsletter includes details of current research projects, study days, entertainment, etc. which may interest some of our U3A members. It is worth signing up if you haven't already done so.


There’s still time to visit the Weeping Window at Middleport Pottery, where it will remain until 16th September. Almost half of the 888,246 poppies were made at Johnson’s Tiles and each poppy represents a British or Colonial life lost during World War I. It is free to view the poppies but tickets need to be obtained and you can get these from a variety of sources including libraries, local centres, customer service centres, the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and the Sentinel’s website at:

Land at McGuiness’s scrap yard in Longport is being used for parking at a cost of £3 and there will be a park and ride in operation.


The next free films at Stoke Film Theatre each commence at 7.45pm and are:

Wed 19th Sept - Last Firing 40th Anniversary – Newly digitised original filming of the last firing of a bottle oven in 1978, organised by the Gladstone Pottery Museum two decades after introduction of the Clean Air Act prevented coal-firing throughout the pottery industry.

Wed 26th Sept – Centenary Screening – “A Pottery Girl’s Romance” – 1918. New screening of a melodrama produced for Burslem Picture Palace, with supporting memorabilia and insight into the film’s production.

Wed 3rd Oct – The Gladstone Story – history of the award-winning Gladstone Pottery Museum.

The Heritage Open Days commenced at Gladstone on 15th Aug and lists of September events should now be available at museums, libraries, etc. The next meeting of the Local History group will be at 10:30am on Tuesday, 4th September at Central Hall, Longton. Please use the rear door of room 6, on the left at the end of the path approaching the double doors. Group Leader Phil Rowley can be contacted on 01782 330337.


During August and September the Gladstone Pottery Museum will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the last bottle oven firing. Today only 29 biscuit and glost bottle ovens remain out of over 2,000 in the City. Two-thirds of the remaining ovens are within a five minute walk of the Gladstone.

There will be a variety of displays, activities and events to mark the anniversary. Find out more on the website at: or at or telephone 01782 237777.


Fay has had a new printer and has some spare cartridges which she can no longer use. There is one Multipack (retails at around £34.99) plus two yellow, one cyan and one magenta. Individual colours retail at about £9 each. Contact Fay Howell on 01782 658659 if you are interested in any of these in exchange for a reasonable donation to U3A funds.


Could anyone take over from Fay regarding provision of tea, coffee etc. for monthly meetings as it gets rather tricky being in two places at once! We could really do with a small team of volunteers who could organise a rota to cover each meeting.


Please find attached link to Open Door Stoke on Trent who offer a free and friendly drop in service at Christ Church Fenton every Tuesday 9am-11:30am.
Everyone is welcome into a safe and non-judgemental environment. They offer the hand of friendship and work alongside other organisations to identify those who need further support and advice. Food and drink are also available.

Items for publication in the next newsletter will need to reach Fay Howell by Friday, 21st September 2018.
Tel: 01782 658659 or email: