Group News

During the Coronavirus ourbreak, whilst we can no longer have meetings in person, Groups are encouraged to continue their activities e.g. using on-line meeting facilities such as Zoom and Skype. See the Coronavirus page for links to guides on on-line facilities to continue learning.

*** A NUMBER OF OUR GROUPS NOW HAVE THEIR OWN GROUP PAGE WHERE DETAILS OF THE GROUP, THEIR NEWS AND EVENTS ARE NOW POSTED. These pages can be accessed by clicking on the name of the group on the Groups page***

Would Group leaders who have items of Group News please send these to Roger Codd Webmaster

A new group, Mixed Music is being started by Diana Wilson. Contact Jenny Marsh, Groups Administrator if interested.
The Moral and Ethical Dilemmas group is looking for new members: contact the Groups Administrator.


History of Art
Book Group 5
Jazz Appreciation 2
Jazz Clip Writers Group 1
Church Buildings and Architecture
Tai Chi (meet each Fri 10am on the Lees by the children's playround)Tai Chi

If you are interested in joining any of these please add your name to the list on the Groups table in the Lower Hall at the Thursday Meetings or contact the Groups Administrator in the hall or via the Contacts page on this site


The Science and Technology Group are now holding their meetings using Zoom - please see the Science and Technology Group page for further details and their revised 2020 Programme. On 23rd September Robert Kyte gave us a very informative on-line talk on the "Applications of Magnetism", showing how electromagnets and permanent magnets can be used for a variety of lifting and separating applications, illustrated by a number of videos.

Strictly Costumes The Outings Group visited the BBC TV Studios at Birmingham at the end of February, and thankfully we didn’t have to cope with blizzards or gales on the day, other than a very heavy hailstorm as we were coming out of Birmingham!

I think I can say that we all enjoyed our tour of the BBC. We certainly learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in both radio and television. It was interesting to see the familiar red settee where the local news presenters sit to read the local news every day, but what we were surprised about were the long hours that they work to get the news to us.

Bar at the Bull Even more fascinating was hearing all about production of the Archers, which is recorded at BBC Birmingham. If you’ve ever wondered how a recording studio can be transformed into a working farm, or the bar at the Bull, all is revealed. I’ll let you into a little secret, the bar at the Bull is a wooden box that they’ve used for years, and is now held together with tape to stop it falling apart, and the farmyard gate is really an ironing board! But enough of that, I don’t want to let out too many secrets.

The tour was rounded off with a quick trip down memory lane in the form of the Tardis and one of those Daleks that we all used to be scared of in Dr Who. A very enjoyable way to spend a day!

Kingston Bagpuize On Tuesday 18th February, 24 members of the Gardening Group and the Local History Group had a joint visit Kingston Bagpuize House. We had a very interesting guided tour of the house given by the owner Virginia Grant, who lives there with her family. The grounds have a lovely display of snowdrops at this time of year and we were able to Kingston Bagpuize Snowrops explore without getting wet or muddy. Spring is definitely on the way. We saw various species of daffodils hellebores and spring flowering shrubs. Afterwards we had tea and delicious home made cakes. This is the first of a number of visits to local gardens we will have this year. For more information contact Jane Clarke

The Local History Group had a talk on Town Planning in Witney in Novemeber including the develment of the Woolgate Centre and surrounding area. Please see the Local History Group page for a full report.

U3A Longer Walking Group 1 - The autumn weather has not been kind to walkers, but the group still managed to complete a number of interesting, albeit muddy excursions into the unknown. On 26th Christmas walk - Group at Jolly Boatman November we did a 7 mile circular walk starting and finishing at the Red Lion Yarnton who Christmas Walk - en route provided an excellent lunch for about 20 hungry walkers. On December 10th the annual Christmas ramble took place in rain and high winds along the Oxford Canal. This 5.5 mile walk started at the Jolly Boatman Thrupp going past the Gibraltar Inn at Enstone. Even the Muscovy duck forsook the canal for a towpath that was almost as wet. Our leader David Bettle provided much needed mulled wine and mince pies under the shelter of a railway tunnel at the half way mark, before the group returned to Thrupp for a hearty Christmas Lunch

Please see the Walks Longer 1 page for further details of this Group

Bothy Vinyard With the grapes ripening on the vine it was a good time for the Wine Group to visit the Bothy Vineyard near Abingdon. English wine is undergoing a renaissance with some wines challenging, and beating, many of the established wines from Europe. The Bothy Vineyard is an award winning vineyard and the Wine Group had a fascinating afternoon tour learning about the many aspects of planting, growing and harvesting grapes (viticulture) as well as actually making the wine (vinification). There followed some wine tasting in the group’s quest for a fuller knowledge of oenology (wine making)!

The Stately Homes visit to Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village on 25th September was the last of our our outings for this year. Thank you for supporting us. The weather was exceptionally kind. Although some parts of the Abbey were closed due to filming, the Medieval Cloisters and the gardens were open. Many of the buildings in the village have been used as backdrops in various films – Pride & Prejudice, Cranford and some of the Harry Potter films. In August 1835 William Henry Fox Talbot captured the world’s first photographic negative at his home, Lacock Abbey. The Fox Talbot Museum tells the story of Fox Talbot’s invention and how it fits with the history of photography

Bluebell Line On 29th July The Railway Group had a very enjoyable visit to the Bluebell Line in East Sussex, one of the oldest Heritage Railways in the UK. See the Railways Group Page for further details


The next meeting of the Science and Technology Group will be held on 28th October when Graham May will give a talk entitled "Forecasting: Art or Science?" From a background in Geography and Town Planning Graham became a lecturer and writer in Futures Research focusing on "how we can deal with the uncertainty of the future". If you wish to participate please contact Roger Ball for an invitation to the the meeting.

Outings by Coach See our Outings Group page for full details of our forthcoming outings - programme currently in abeyance

Stately Homes Trips See our Stately Homes visits page for details of our forthcoming programme - programme currently in abeyance

Theatre Trips See our Theatre Trips page for details of our forthcoming programme - programme currently in abeyance

Please Note

Groups are a very important part of U3A. It is the shared learning within these groups that distinguishes U3A from other organisations. When U3A 's started it was decided that members would not be paid to teach or to give a talk. It is very rewarding to share knowledge with others and we all can learn from other members of a group.
Our range of groups is constantly changing. All groups can be seen on the groups page.

New members are sometimes disappointed that the group they would like to join is full, but there is often sufficient demand to set up a second group, It is very easy to set up a group and there is always support and help available from the Groups Administrator. A group can be on almost any subject, it can meet as often as its members wish, for a set number of sessions or for as long as members are interested.

If have a suggestion for a new group, or would be willing to start one, please contact the Groups Adminstrator at the Groups Table in the Lower Hall at meetings or via this website Contact Page.

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