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



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

This group was formed over a year ago now but like everyone else we have not been able to meet since March this year. We had been meeting on the first Saturday and the third Sunday in each month. In the winter months we have met in a pub or somewhere similar for lunch. Other months we have found a good range of places to visit with a lunch nearby.

Visits have included, Gilbert White’s House, Hinton Ampner and other National Trust Properties, Furzey Gardens in the New Forest, Winchester Cathedral and the Kings and Scribes Exhibition, St Cross Hospital. We have been able to arrange for guided tours in some cases which make the visit more interesting.

Hopefully we shall soon be able to meet again if only for a walk and a coffee locally. If you would like to join the group please get in touch as new members are always welcome. Having founded the group I am now handing over to Sheila Ayling. If you are interested to join our group please contact Sheila Ayling contact details


Anna Diamond




We continue to have our meetings each month, now using Zoom Pro which (by subscription) allows longer meetings: so we now run from 10.30 until about 12.00 once a month typically with some 20 - 25 members joining in from home.

This month (August) we plan to have a presentation on ideas to manage our photos and to store them, create albums and more like that.

Apple usually releases new software for all its products in the autumn and this year is no exception. Offered to all users, the new software is free and optional. In the August meeting we will have a preview of the new features to be released so we know roughly what to expect.

We are open to new members so if you would like to consider joining (or a trial session) please email or phone to me contact details. I’ll be happy to explain more of what we do.

Nick Vernon




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




You 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.  .




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.

Anna Diamond 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




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.




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




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



Mah Jong 4 "The Dragons"

Mah Jong 4 (Dragons) meet on Tuesday afternoons from 2.00pm to 5.00pm in the Club Room at Easton Village Hall. We play Western Mah Jong and use a book called The Mah Jong Players Companion by Patricia A. Thompson and Betty Maloney for guidance and reference.

We are a friendly group and anyone, whether a complete beginner or an experienced player, is welcome to come along, meet us, and join in a game. Usually there are between 12 and 16 players. You do not need to bring anything with you but your interest and enthusiasm.

To cover the cost of the hall and refreshments, group members pay £2.50 a week. The hall has a kitchen where we can make tea, coffee, etc and there is usually cake or biscuits.

Venue: Easton Village Hall, Chapel Lane, Easton, Winchester, S021 1EN

If you are interested and would like to know more, please contact me, Stella Kenny contact details. I look forward to hearing from you.




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 Moira Linden 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 Hilary Carr 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 Roger Waghorn contact details