Group Vacancies

The Group Secretary is John Craig who is contactable at


This page shows those groups that are actively seeking new members. The full list of groups, which can be accessed through the Group News page, shows all groups that currently have vacancies



The Apple Mac users’ group has continued to meet on Zoom each month, but in January we will have our first in person meeting for ages. This will be a new year social to which we can bring our laptops, iPads and iPhones to resolve and share issues we’ve had.

Our most recent meeting reviewed the features in the big new software given to our iPads and iPhones which so many of us have, while the November meeting will cover all things Christmassy (cards, newsletters, address labels etc.) as well as the new Monterey software for the Mac.

We always welcome new members to our monthly meetings, so if you’re interested please get in touch. Nick Vernon, contact details.

Nick Vernon




This group was formed over two years ago by Alun Parry–Jones who unfortunately has had to retire because of ill health. The group would like to thank Alun for getting us started. We recall with pleasure his introduction to Latin grammar and his retellings of some of the great stories from classical literature.


During lockdown, we met by zoom but have resumed with face to face meetings in each others’ houses. We have five members but would welcome newcomers – we are currently about a third of the way through the Oxford Latin Course Book 2. If we reach the end of Book 3 we should be of GCSE “O” level standard. If you are interested in joining the group please contact Peter Eagling contact details.


We would also be pleased to hear from any u3a members who were former Classics teachers who would be able to give occasional online assistance if required? If so, please contact Peter Eagling contact details.


Peter Eagling




We have been meeting al fresco on a monthly basis since the end of lock down but have now returned indoors. We usually meet on a Thursday but the actual date is chosen by the host/hostess who rotates. The choice of wines and theme are decided by them but we tend towards 3 red and 3 white. Clearly six glasses in an afternoon would push us all over the limit so we aim for a sixth of a small glass of each wine and that leaves a fair bit left in each bottle and the “left overs” are allocated on a lucky dip basis. The cost of the wine is shared between us. This format provides us with a very pleasant and informative way of spending an afternoon.


If you would be interested in joining us we have a few vacancies – please contact Nick Waring contact details.





Why play the Recorder?


People often react with surprise when they find out that I play the recorder – at my age!

 Range of Recorders provided by Carrick u3aRange of Recorders provided by Carrick u3a

Contrary to popular belief the recorder is a bona fide musical instrument, and it dates from at least the 15th century. Its golden age was during the Baroque period but it was gradually replaced by the flute from the mid-18th century onwards.


The recorder was revived in the 20th century and widely used in education as an excellent introduction to performing music. All musical instruments can be very expensive to buy, but descant recorders are readily available from under £10 these affordable plastic instruments are perfectly acceptable in ensemble playing. It is easy to spend hundreds of pounds on good instruments, and thousands on the biggest ones.


The photograph of a set of recorders, from top to bottom shows: a bass, a sopranino, a treble (aka alto), a descant (aka soprano) and a tenor. There are bigger recorders (great bass, contra bass and sub-contra bass which is over 6 feet long) and one smaller - the garklein, which fits in the palm of the hand. If you learnt the recorder at primary school it was probably a descant. This is the easiest to pick up and play a tune, but arguably the hardest to play well. In most recorder groups it is an honour to be one of the few payers to be trusted with the decant part. During the Renaissance, when the recorder was widely recognised as the ‘proper’ musical instrument it is, most music was written for the treble recorder. Both the treble and tenor have a lovely mellow tone and are well-worth learning.


Once you have learnt to play any recorder you would be able to pick up any other recorder and play a tune by ear. Ensemble playing, which is so rewarding (and exciting if there are great basses playing too) requires the ability to read music. This is where the instrument adds an additional intellectual challenge – the same fingerings on say a descant and a treble produce different notes (because they are different lengths) and so the note you see written on the stave has to be differently fingered.


In addition the parts for bass recorders (and bigger instruments) are written in the bass clef so while the fingering is the same for the same notes on a treble it looks different again written down. I like to think it’s all keeping my brain active when I have to change instruments during a session.


For those who have never been taught to read music it is easiest to learn in tandem with learning an instrument, and probably easier than you might expect. The rewards of doing so include the camaraderie which develops in a group of people making music together, and this has been much missed by members of the Winchester u3a group during our enforced break.


To hear what a recorder consort sounds like search on YouTube for the Royal Wind Music recorder consort, or virtuoso soloist Red Priest.

Judy Smith, a member of the u3a Recorder group.





We are a small friendly group resuming on 10th January 2022. We meet and play Mondays 2pm - 5pm at Weeke Community Centre. Access and Parking is easy. It is on the number 3 bus route.


Please come and join us; following lockdown our numbers have reduced and we need a few more to keep us viable and for everyone's enjoyment. There is a £3 charge to cover the cost of the room and the mid-way break for tea and biscuits.


Please contact Pat Harris on contact details if you would like to join us or any further information.





The group have lost members during the pandemic (but not through COVID). Therefore we are seeking new members. We are a dynamic group who have recently returned to face to face meetings after the lockdowns. We use “Zeitgeist“ and its accompanying grammar exercises, books developed for AS level students. We also like to read books, discuss topics, translate and talk about everyday life.


We also on occasion link up via zoom with a Brit living in Berlin to learn new words, recently “Gassi gehen, - to walk the dog“, converse in German and be corrected.


If you are interested in speaking and learning German, do consider joining a friendly group twice monthly on Monday afternoons, please contact Judith Handbury contact details.

Judith Handbury





New Members Very Welcome


We meet on the first and third Tuesday afternoon of the month. Across the month we have one session of general conversation and one session with an agreed topic which each member selects in turn. During the pandemic period we met weekly on zoom, but over the summer we reverted to our previous pattern at holding meetings in each other’s houses.


We all have a good standard of German and enjoy expanding our use of the language, but we do not engage with formal grammar and we don’t read a book. The emphasis is informality, sharing ideas and experiences, and enjoying speaking. We have in the past had a native speaker, and latterly a near native speaker, but not at present.


We currently have around 7 members and would welcome one or perhaps two new members. Anyone interested is very welcome to contact me, Mark Brown contact details for a chat.


Mark Brown




Throughout the past year we have continued to meet through Skype. Meetings take place, on the last Tuesday in the month usually, with some exceptions. French is spoken throughout, often leading to a lively debate. The latest novel in our programme, written by Marcel Pagnol, has certainly succeeded in that respect. We try to vary themes, and include modern as well as novels from the nineteenth/twentieth centuries in our reading programme. Please contact me if you think you might be interested in joining us, Diane Sparkes if you are interested contact details.




These last six months have been anxious for us all, although one small advantage for our group was of course, that we've had even more time to spend on our wonderfully absorbing classic novels.

These have included Jane Austen's "Persuasion", Muriel Sparks' "The Girls of Slender Means', George Orwell's "1984" and Somerset Maugham's "The Moon and Sixpence". All entirely different novels in theme and atmosphere, and all great reads.

We are currently reading one that will take us to the end of this year---that amazing epic tale of The American Civil War by Margaret Mitchell,"Gone with the Wind".

It's a book that gently whirls you about in a thrilling dramatic, romantic adventure which, although lengthy, is surprisingly easy on the powers of concentration.

It's the simplicity of the language that you wouldn't expect perhaps, but which makes it so difficult to put down, and such a pleasure to pick up again.

It's pure 'escapism' at its best...but then what good novel isn't?

Yes, you might find those MGM images of a grinning Clark Gable and a stunning Vivienne Leigh looking over your shoulder, but who cares? Who amongst us hasn't seen that film?

This is a 'must' for any serious reader who can appreciate these two multi-faceted characters, endlessly intriguing and annoying us, (often simultously) amidst events that shock, right up to those famous last words of Rhett Butler,.. and we all remember those, don't we?

Next year we'll be starting off with another longish read but nevertheless , one of the greatest literary creations of English Literature, Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities" which should last us through Christmas, (will we be able to have one, we must ask?) and probably to February 2021.

From there we haven't decided, so please join us and let's have your choice for novels written between 1845-1945.

Please don't think that the "classic novel" is 'difficult' to read....quite the opposite in fact.

They are 'classics' for a reason! They have 'endured' the reading fashions of the years and are still the 'best' of English authors' works.

Perhaps you were 'put off' by the pressure to get through school exams in Literature in the 'Classic novel'?

Now is the time to take it up again, with more mature eyes ,and you will no doubt find re-reading them, a totally new and enlightening experience.

Today's 'modern' novels will not be read by your grandchildren or great grandchildren because they'll be 'out of 'PC fashion' and therefore not be re-printed.

Classic novels will always be a part of our enduring English reading culture, because they represent us, our world, and our culture's heroes and heroines!

We have space for a couple more people,so please don't hesitate to join us.

We meet roughly on the last Wednesday of the month, but depending on the length of the novel, this is not 'set in concrete' of course!

Hope to meet you over ZOOM until we are able to meet as usual.

If you are new to Zoom , I'll be happy to 'tutor' you through the very simple process!

please e-mail or telephone me, Chrissie Landale contact details.

Best Wishes

Chrissie Landale



MOTO......Members On Their Own


We have been busy over the last few months, mainly with events where we could meet outdoors - Coffee mornings at the Cathedral Refectory as well as Brambridge Garden Centre, Church Paddock Fisheries and an al fresco lunch in September at the Winchester Golf Academy! In October we visited Twyford Waterworks Autumn Rally Open Day which was very interesting and followed that with a late lunch at the Bugle Inn in Twyford.

MOTO members with a Hawker HunterMOTO members with a Hawker Hunter 

A small group visited Farnborough Air Science Trust Museum in early November. There are many 'real' small jet aircraft around the outside of the halls, (see our intrepid crew with a Hawker Hunter), but the chilly wind discouraged much time outside that day - saved for a future visit. However it was a fascinating visit, with lots of interesting items associated with Flight and Space.


In November we met for a successful Coffee Morning at the Winchester Royal Hotel and now plan to make this into a regular event there on the 3rd Thursday of each month starting January 2022.


If anyone on their own would like to join MOTO please contact Sheila Ayling contact details





I recently was asked to organise future meetings of book group Modern novels. 5. I set up a Zoom site on my computer so that I could reach all the members for a meeting once a month to replace in our homes face to face. We have now had two meetings via Zoom. We found after everyone had contributed to the discussion we had time to chat and catch up as our sessions lasted 50 minutes. We have six members at present, but would like to have two more people join as we have previously had eight. We do need members, who drive, as we are all lively very much older age people and four members no longer drive.

We take our turn being the reviewer and hostess and everyone in our group always contributes to the discussion. We can all make suggestions on which books to read for a six month period and a selection is made of books and willing reviewers at that time. We have mostly been members for years, and it would be refreshing to expand to eight again. I like the choice of reading, the informal meeting and the way everyone has always read the book and contributes to the discussion. My reading list has been expanded considerably by this group and the discipline of having to read the book each month means I make more time to read other books too. We do also read a Dickens novel , or a good detective story, so our reading is unlimited Recent books we have read;-

Becoming-Michelle Obama, The second sleep--Robert Harris, Transcription---Kate Atkinson, Silence of the girls —Pat Barker, Happiness--Aminatta Forna, A single thread - Tracy Chevalier, The Quiet American---Graham Greene, and Tidelands — Phillipa Gregory

I enjoyed all of them for different reasons. The quiet American is of course an old book, but it could have been written today. I had only read one other Graham Greene and it renewed my interest in his books. It raised a lot of discussion about modern America and how their attitude has not changed. It is one of the books I shall read again to really do it justice.

Michelle Obama's book, Becoming, was a surprise, in that it was so informative about being resident in the White House, and the restrictions on black Americans through prejudice even today. It is well written and informed through her own life experiences. If you are interested to join our group please contact Grace Gray contact details

Grace Gray





A newly-formed Canasta group meets on Friday mornings in a central Winchester location which is well-served by buses and is accessible. So far the group has six members, so more are welcome. Those with previous knowledge of playing Canasta are especially welcome. Please contact Anne Wright contact detailsfor more information.




Tony King is a Winchester U3A member and takes part in a collaborative U3A yachting group covering U3A members from across the South Hampshire. This Group is led by Judith Hankey. The Group has grown to now about 20 members.They would welcome other U3A members from Winchester U3A who are interested in yachting and might be interested in joining. A Report is available of their 2020 activities. Earlier Reports for 2018 activities and 2019 activities.

Tony King would be happy to share more information if you think there would be interest contact details



Mah Jong 4 "The Dragons"

Our weekly Mah Jong meetings have resumed at Easton Village Hall on Tuesday afternoons from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Many of our regular players have returned and we have some new members as well. We were a little rusty and had forgotten some of the rules but now we are playing again with more confidence.


What is Mah Jong and how is it played?


Mah Jong is a tile-based game that was developed in the 19th century in China and has spread throughout the world since the early 20th century. It is commonly played by four players.


It bears some resemblance to the card game rummy. You draw and discard tiles and aim to complete a hand with playable sets. However, instead of a pack of 52 cards, Mah Jong is played with a set of 144 tiles. When you complete a winning hand, you call "Mah Jong!"


We are a friendly, fairly informal group. New members, including complete beginners, are welcome to join us. Please let me know if you are planning to attend as we have to ensure there is enough space to play safely. You do not need to have a Mah Jong set of your own as several members bring their sets.


Some members have brought sets that they were given as gifts years ago and have never used. So, it is an opportunity to unpack that set and play with it.


We are observing current Covid rules and members will be bringing their own refreshments. For everyone’s safety we would ask that you wear a mask if you can.


Please email Stella Kenny contact details if you would like to join us. .





An exciting and varied programme has been planned for 2022. Highlights include a visit to the London Transport Museum at Acton; an illustrated talk on The Isle of Man railways; a long awaited trip on the Bluebell Line; walks along the old railway line at Avon Causeway, Hurn and one of the disused lines on the Isle of Wight; and visits to the Swindon & Cricklade and Cholsey and Wallingford Heritage Railways. There are plenty of vacant seats on our train so welcome aboard to all new membe rs!


If you are interested contactDale Greenwood contact details


Dale Greenwood






We have all been learning Spanish for a few years and come together to improve our listening and speaking skills. We use the Pasos2 textbook as a base for grammar and usage for part of each session, which also includes general conversation, listening to texts on aspects of Spanish history, cultu re and customs, and sometimes games to help us think in the language. None of us is fluent so the emphasis is on self help and pooling our knowledge.


The Group meets fortnightly on a Thursday afternoon and the venue circulates by rotation between the members.


Anyone interested is very welcome to contact either Mark Brown contact details (John Cosby )