Group Vacancies

The Group Secretary is Julia Whitburn who is contactable on 01962 881699 or 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



modnovel1You might reasonably expect a group named Modern Novels to have a pretty clear definition of what it means by modern. But at Modern Novels 1, we haven’t. We know that we don’t read Virginia Woolf or George Orwell, and that we do read Helen Dunmore and William Boyd. But the boundary is fuzzy. There’s no precise rule.

In fact, our group has only two rules. The first is that any novel we choose must be available in paperback. Often we’ll choose one that’s only just been published in that form. But not invariably — we have read novels that are ten years old or more.

Selections that we’ve enjoyed over the past couple of years include: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, The Dry by Jane Harper, Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris, and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. We can recommend any of these titles to other reading groups and to individual readers.

We meet in the afternoon on the first Monday of each month. Currently we have a couple of vacancies. So if you enjoy reading, why not consider joining us? For more information please contact Vic Stenning contact details.

And in case you were wondering: our second rule is that our meetings always finish with tea and cake, often home-made and always delicious. So on those few occasions when we’ve not enjoyed a novel, there are always compensations. And it’s not just the cake — our discussions are usually liveliest when views on the novel are mixed. So why not come and join in? We look forward to welcoming you.




Salut à tous les membres qui veulent améliorer leur Français et pour ceux qui aiment la lecture en plus.

Exploring French Literature is seeking new members for its group of light-hearted Francophiles. Meetings are conducted in French. Novels - mainly Modern - are discussed. We are at present reading a Franck Bouysse from 2014, a new writer to the French literary scene. Other, more well-known writers, include Marc Levy and Andreï Makine. University standard is not necessary, but a sound understanding of the French language would be an advantage. We meet pm on the last Tuesday each month.

Please contact Diane Sparkes if you are interested contact details.




We meet on the morning of the first Friday in the month, visiting buildings or areas of architectural interest in Hampshire and the adjoining Counties, occasionally visiting places further afield such as London. Our programme, arranged in turn by the members of the group, is intended to be of general appeal embracing both historic and modern buildings of the broadest range of uses. We also have talks and exhibition visits from time to time. Lunchtime gives us the opportunity to discuss what we have just seen as well as putting the world to rights. At the moment we would like to have two more members in the group and further details can be obtained from Tony Sexton.

Tony Sexton contact details.




Our group of up to 8 members meets every Thursday at 10:15–12:15, members taking turns to host the class.

We take turns to read out a piece we have prepared in Spanish on any subject of our choice and chat about it. Then coffee break with more chat.

For the last part we take turns to read out and translate paragraphs of a Spanish article that was circulated a week before by a member. The article has usually been found on the web in a Spanish language newspaper.

Alan Soedring contact details.




Members of our Art Today group enjoy visiting art galleries and sculpture parks and discussing with each other the works they have seen. We take it in turn to arrange a visit each month to galleries as far away as Oxford and London, and as near as Southampton. Lymington and Winchester. Visits usually begin with coffee and finish with lunch, allowing time to discuss the art; and to agree or disagree with each other’s views.

In addition to the monthly visits, we have regular ‘study visits’ (once or twice a year) of 4 or 5 days in this country or abroad. We have in the past visited Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Rome and Amsterdam as well as Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Eastbourne, Birmingham, Cardiff and Cambridge.

Our next visit in July will be to Leeds for the Yorkshire International Sculpture Festival, followed in October by a visit to Scotland to see the new V&A Gallery in Dundee as well as visiting galleries in Edinburgh.

Although the group has maintained its optimum number for the past 20+ years, we now have three vacancies.

We would be pleased to welcome new members who enjoy looking at art, and are prepared to give serious consideration to contemporary art. We do also enjoy a lively social vibe in the group; the choice of a restaurant has sometimes been as important as the choice of a gallery. Please contact Jo Watson, details below, if you would like to know more about, Art Today.

Jo Watson contact details.




Bonjour -a word or two from the University Level French Literature group. It does sound like a mouthful of a title but it tries to pitch the level of our French and our raison d'être. We do speak and read en français for most of the time.

The leader has an easy time of it as there are no outings or speakers to arrange, just a triage of books, and a venue to be chosen. We rendez-vous monthly to read and discuss the chosen oeuvre over coffee and biscuits, and to delve into the background of both author and story.

So what is on the menu ? Well, no classics. Au contraire. Most of us will have already perused those way back when.

One standout title for me was by Fatou Diome - Celles qui Attendent.(Those who Wait). Originally from Senegal,she writes about emigration, tryng to explain both the situation of those left behind and the grim reality for those who leave their homeland. It's a stark warning to any starry-eyed would be immigrant.She has also presented this message vociferously on TV.

Thinking of stars, another famous émigré came to our notice - Vincent van Gogh. The novel - La Valse des Arbres et du Ciel uses known facts about the artist's final months and offers a different interpretation of the unsolved mystery of exactly how he died.

Finally I would mention Francoise Frenkel, a Jew who was persuaded to leave Berlin and finally reached Switzerland by throwing herself, just in time, over barbed wire at the border. Rien où poser sa tête( Nowhere to lay my Head ) tells of her peregrinations,describes the increasing hardships of living under the ever tightening laws imposed by Nazis in France, and testifies to the amazing kindness of Jewish sympathisers.

On which happy note I can say that our group has given me carte blanche to write this piece and to invite new members to join us; we have a couple of spaces.

A bientôt, see you soon maybe.

Enid Pollock contact details





The Classic 19th-20th Century English Novel group is up and running!

However we are still a smallish group and therefore need your help to stay ‘afloat’!

You are very welcome to join us and explore the best of British novels that have passed into our history as ‘classics’ for their enduring appeal that has not only survived two world wars but will no doubt , continue to inspire and excite for many generation to come.

The group meets on the last Wednesday of the month in a very central location in Winchester, easily accessible by bus, or with parking if you prefer.

Our first three offerings are Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited” a fascinating novel of family disintegration and unswerving faith spanning the early years of World War 1.

Next, we’ll be looking at the terrifying spectre of a world that some might say is just around the corner with George Orwell’s “1984”. A change of pace and a little literary ‘relief’ from the terrors of Orwell in E.M Forster’s “ A Room with a View”, a gem of a romance with a distinctly Victorian tone , will be our third novel. All these will take us from the date of our next meeting in June, to our third meeting in August.

These, and dozens of unsurpassed classical authors have earned their place in the halls of literary fame because they are relevant to all of us in every generation. We will consider all established classics from approximately 1850 to 1945. There is an enormous wealth of fiction from which to choose, so come and be part of an exciting and interesting journey through the best of British (and possibly American) fiction. We don’t want to ignore giants such as Henry James or Steinbeck!

So please... get your copy of “Brideshead” and start reading, and yes, teddy bears (under control) will be allowed.

Please get in touch with me, Chrissie Landale contact details

Date of next meeting is Wednesday, 26th June at 3pm -5pm with a substantial afternoon tea!




Winchester U3A has ten Modern Novels groups and they are usually all full. I am pleased to say that at present there are vacancies for two new members in Modern Novels 6. This group choose and present books, which we all read and discuss. Meetings take place on the second Wednesday of the month in the morning. We currently have two vacancies.

Please get in touch for more details: Judy Smith contact details.




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 about 18 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 2018 activities.

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




We are a friendly group of 12 who meet at the Friends Meeting House in Colebrook Street in central Winchester in the afternoons of the second Thursday of each month. Some members have no scientific background and others have some expertise, a combination which works well. We choose a topic for each month and the discussion is usually set off by a presenter. Topics vary widely, from “What is electricity?” to “Gene Therapy”. We have occasional visits to sites of scientific interest, such as the Large Hadron Collider at Culham.

A couple more members would be welcome. For further information, please contact Roger Warr contact details




Do you own an iPad, Mac or MacBook? The Apple Mac Users’ group meets once a month: there's a presentation on a subject (for example Photos) and an open forum for the many and varied questions from our members. It’s very friendly and we welcome new as well as more experienced users. Come along and sample a session on the 4th Tuesday of the month, Littleton Hall, 10.00 - 12.00 or ring Nick 07714 768398.

A recent item has been written by a member of the Mac User Group




The Advanced French 2 is looking for 2 new members to join our very friendly group. We cover a variety of topics, something to interest everyone. Ideal for those having a sound French knowledge and who wish to converse in natural French. We are now changing our meeting day to the 2nd Monday in the month. For more information contact Diane Sparkes contact details.




History Group 2 has 2 vacancies. We are a very relaxed group studying world history. At the moment we are looking at the nineteenth century worldwide. We contribute whatever appeals to us as individuals and usually three people make a contribution so it’s not too onerous. We meet on the third Friday of the month from 2p.m. until 4p.m. at a member’s house. This is because that particular member has mobility problems. There are three steps up to the front door but there is a handrail and a ground floor loo. Come along and meet us to see if you’d like to become a member. There is always a cup of tea and a biscuit. Get in touch with me, Freda Bates group leader contact details



Mahjong 4 "The Dragons"


The Dragons meet every Tuesday in the Club Room at the splendid Easton Village Hall, Chapel Lane, Easton, Winchester, S021 1EN. We play Western Mahjong between 2.00pm and 5.00pm and, when warm enough, we take our tables of play outside onto the sheltered terrace. There is a sub of GBP2.50 which is to cover the cost of the hire of the hall with a choice of unlimited refreshments plus homemade cake.

Whether you are a beginner, an experienced player or simply curious if this is for you and want to know more, not just about the game but about us, please come along. If you have a Mahjong set bring that too.

Presently there is a membership of 16 players and we very much welcome new members. Especially important is that the facilities are excellent including for those of us who have disability.

Finally, in addition to our regular meetings throughout the year we hold what is described as “Extreme Mahjong” events. Over the last 18 months since we have become established we have had Mahjong in a Yurt in glorious countryside with afternoon tea, several pub lunches followed by Mahjong, and lunch and Mahjong in a garden centre. We have also held an extremely successful mid Summer Celebration at Easton Village Hall where a total of 40 members of Winchester U3A Mahjong Groups 1 and 2 including ourselves as hosts, celebrated with lunch, followed by Mahjong.

If you are interested and would like to know more, please contact me, Anne Wright contact details in the daytime. I look forward to hearing from you.




A new Board Games group has just had its second meeting. The intention is to play a range of games; so far these have included Carcassonne and German card games. Meetings are held in members’ houses at 2:00 on the second and fourth Tuesday afternoons. The group leader is Judith Handbury who can be contacted on contact details.




Art Today 2 is renaming itself to Art Explorers. We are small group, of around 10-12 members, who meet monthly for an outing to an art show. We take it in turns to chose and organise each visit, which usually starts with coffee! We range locally and , on occasions, further afield perhaps to London or Oxford. We would be delighted if one or two more members would like to join us. Please contact Ann Jones contact details.




We are changing the venue for our Chess club as we seem to be getting some interest from U3A members. So we have some spaces if people are interested in playing chess and want to come along and give us a try. The new venue is the Worthys Social and Sports Club SO23 7NJ between 2-4 pm on the third Tuesday of the month.
Please contact Rose Saunders contact details.




We meet between 2-4 pm on the 1st and 3rd Monday afternoons in the month in members houses.
We are currently reading and discussing plays from the 1970s.
We currently have a vacancy for one new member

Please contact Cheryl Greenwood contact details.




The U3A Allotment Group needs more members
Do you hanker to grow your own fruit, vegetables or salads, but haven’t the space? Or perhaps you no longer have the energy to look after a plot on your own? If so why not join the Allotment group.
Our plot is next to the railway line in Stanmore, Winchester and has been running for a several years, where we share the learning, the produce and the fun!
We grow soft fruits and rhubarb, the usual range of vegetables and a few flowers but like to experiment with new varieties. This year we have tried mini sweetcorn, inca berries, Jerusalem artichokes and Florence fennel.
Costs and produce are shared equally and in the autumn members discuss the plants to be grown the following year.
We try to avoid digging – but just a little is good for our health!

For more information please contact Vera Hogg contact details.




We are looking for new members to join the theatre group

We meet 3 times a year for coffee in a pub and look at the latest brochures from the local theatre houses and decide which performances we would like to go to.

Obviously not everyone wants to go to the same shows but if several want to go to the same show you meet up and have company.

THE GROUP IS NOT A BOX OFFICE and everyone at the meeting takes their turn in organising the tickets for the various performances.

If you are interested please contact me Pam Underwood contact details.




Science and Technology 2 which meets the second Monday of the month pm has 2 vacancies.

Please contact David Rycroft contact details.




Quester 3 has vacancies. The group visits places of interest some of which are only available to organised groups.

Please contact Jan Reynolds contact details.




Since one of our group has moved away, we would welcome a new face. We have all been learning Spanish for a few years, but are far from fluent. We follow a textbook, but also do some conversation, listening and translation. We have a facilitator who knows a little more than we do but we prove her wrong at least once a session. The Group meet every Thursday afternoon.

Please get in touch for more details: Ginny Allain contact details.




Ameliorez Votre Francais has two possible vacancies. They meet the 2nd and 4th Monday morning of each month. The level is somewhere between the old O level and the old A level standard but they emphasize their group is also about having fun while they work..

Please contact Trevor Samphier contact details.




Science and Technology Discussion Group 1 have two vacancies. They meet in one anothers houses on the second Wednesday of the month in the afternoon.

Please contact Keith Taylor contact details.




Questers 10 are the latest Quester group and currently looking for new members. We will be going visits to all sorts of places, roughly monthly. The visits are chosen and arranged by members. We meet every three months to plan our future visits.

Please contact Elaine Curtis contact details




We would welcome new members to our clarinet playing group.We are of mixed ability and enjoy playing music together.Don't be afraid to come along and join in.

We are a friendly,informal gathering.

We meet on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 10 -12.00

If you would like to know more please contact Terrence Brayshaw contact details




The wider branch membership will, I am sure, understand the excitement of the members of the Railway Group on 9th September.
On this historic day - when the Queen became our longest ever serving Monarch – she not only opened officially the Borders Railway, but she rode with the Duke of Edinburgh on a special train hauled by a steam locomotive over the whole of the 31 mile journey from Waverley to Tweedbank.

It was perhaps fitting that the engine chosen for this historic journey was “Union of South Africa”, one of the famous class A4 streamlined Pacifics designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, and a sister engine to the immortal “Mallard”. Moreover the engine was one of a batch of 5 built specially in 1937 to be coupled with the “Coronation”, a luxury Pullman car express running daily between Kings Cross, Newcastle and Edinburgh Waverley, to mark the Coronation of the Queen’s father, King George VI.

The world wide TV audience will surely have marvelled at the slghts and sounds of the train departing from Platform 7 and in particular the haunting and unmistakeable sound of the Crosby chime whistle fitted to these engines. Generations of railway enthusiasts have thrilled to this sound now for over 70 years as it told them a “Streak”was approaching! It is difficult for younger people today to understand the excitement of the first glimpse of the wedge shaped front end in anticipation of the engine and its train roaring past – often at speeds well in excess of 100 mph – often accompanied by stentorian blasts on his whistle by the driver!

So come and join us on our journey in the Railway Group – and ladies please note – it is now official the Queen loves trains and especially steam trains!!

Please contact Dale Greenwood on contact details

Dale Greenwood