Interest Group News 2019

Latest News from our Interest Groups & External Events (National U3A & TVN)

Updated on 19th December 2019

The Textiles Group Celebrating Christmas

Some Fabulous Fabric Christmas Wreaths created by the Group

Fabric Christmas Wreath

Interest in joining the Textiles group?  Click the link below

Updated on 18th December 2019

Chalfonts U3A Christmas Walk 2019

The Walking group had their Christmas walk and lunch at Oaklands Park Golf Club in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire.  Check out their photos below:

Interest in joining a walking group?  Click the links below

Updated on 9th December 2019

South East U3A Forum Summer School 2020

The South East U3A Summer School 2020 has been announced. 

For full details of all the courses plus booking form and application instructions, please go to our website at

Applications will be accepted from 1st December 2019.

We look forward to welcoming new and returning students.

You can also click one of the buttons below to view the announcement, programme and go directly to the booking form.

Updated on 6th December 2019

New Interest Groups

Click the link below to find out about the new Interest Group and register your interest in becoming a member. Also you can check for any updates to the group.

Posted on 5th December 2019

A Day Out In Winchester (16)

We visited Winchester on the 4 December to have a guided tour of the cathedral and then time afterwards to explore the city, do some shopping and have a bite to eat before leaving late afternoon. A little about it all ….

Winchester Cathedral, located at the heart of the city surrounded by idyllic green spaces, is one of the most historically significant buildings in Britain. Built on the orders of William the Conqueror it boasts the longest medieval nave in Europe.

Jane Austen who was born, lived and died in the area now rests in the Cathedral together with famous monarchs and consorts. Our guide will tell us about the history of the Cathedral, its characters and events making our visit truly memorable.

The Cathedral Christmas Market is recognised as one of the best in Europe with its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere. Christmas gifts, decorations and festive foods can be found in abundance!

Winchester has museums and art galleries including The Winchester City Mill situated on the River Ichen in the city centre. This Mill is owned by the National Trust and is a grade II listed building.

Blessed with cold crisp weather this was a very enjoyable day out.

A Day Out In Winchester (15)
A Day Out In Winchester (5)

Click on the above link to see the full set of pictures of our trip.

Posted on 21 November 2019

London Walks Nov 2019 13

A great time was had by the members of London Walks Group as we explored the London Underground.   We met Steve Szymanski, our guide outside Baker Street station and a then started the tour.

Steve explained the history of the underground, when Victorian travellers rode in open carriages with a thick atmosphere of coal and cigar smoke.  Our journey was more comfortable as we travelled from Baker Street to King's Cross where we saw the memorial to the thirty one people who lost their lives in the King's Cross underground fire of November 1987.

From King's Cross we travelled on the underground to Covent Garden where Steve explained some of the architecture around the station. We walked overground to see one of the Ghost Stations at The Strand, which has been used as a location by film companies.

We then moved onto a newer part of the network at Embankment and Steve explained about the new extension including Crossrail and Crossrail 2.

Steve was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subject and it was a very enjoyable experience.



London Walks Nov 2019 10
London Walks Nov 2019 7

Click on the above link to see the full set of pictures of our trip.

Posted on 23 October 2019


We had a full day excursion to visit the Forman’s Smokehouse, Britain’s original salmon curer, and one the world’s oldest producers of smoked salmon. The factory is situated in the East End of London on Fish Island in Hackney Wick.

On arrival we were served tea/coffee/pastries in their own restaurant over-looking the water. The tour started with a talk on the history of H Forman & Son, which goes back over a hundred years.

We were given protective clothing to descend into Forman’s famous London Smokehouse. We were shown the process of producing the world’s finest smoked Scottish salmon including a smoked salmon carving demonstration by the Guinness World Record holder, who previously won a carving competition against Gordon Ramsey!

After the tour we collected our specially prepared picnic lunch (a smoked salmon bagel, salad, drink and chocolate brownie) and departed from Forman's by boat for our own private two hour cruise along some of the forgotten rivers of East London and through the beautifully landscaped parklands of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


Click on the above link to see the full set of pictures of our trip.

Posted on 23 October 2019

THE COMMANDANT’S PARADE is the full dress rehearsal for the official passing out ceremony,

The Sovereign’s Parade, which takes place two days later in the presence of the Queen when the cadets become Officers. It involves all the cadets marching out onto the famous parade square in front of the Old College with music provided by a variety of corps of Army.

The group who made this trip had a lovely time and all of us came away inspired by the spectacle we had the privilege of witnessing.

Sandhurst 1

Click on the above link to see the full set of pictures of our trip.

Posted on 18 October 2019

We are a small group of amateur writers, who gather together at a frequency of 4-5 weeks, usually at each other's houses.
Prior to each meeting we circulate our attempts at creative writing of about 500 words. During our meeting we can comment, explain, encourage and celebrate our efforts in a friendly, informal way.
Some of us are writing chapters for our autobiographies and these make interesting reading as it reflects on aspects of our lives, known best to us.

Recently we all agreed to write a story based on the theme of “Amazing Grace”. These are short stories so they won't take up too much of your time to read through them! So go and see what you make of them. Enjoy!



We want more members to join us!
If you enjoy writing and want to join a group of like minded people we would love to hear from you.
Please click on the link below and send Denise, our convenor, a message. She will get back to you and invite you to our next (very informal!) get together.

Posted on 30 September 2019

Tvn Christmas Concert

Your Christmas celebrations start here. Our concert, including popular carols, Christmas music, audience participation and seasonal readings will send you home singing. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served in the interval and there will be an address on an item of interest.

Bob Porter, Musical Director of the Brandenburg Singers, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and he has worked with every major professional orchestra in London. He is a Freeman of the City of London and is passionate about Choral Music, cricket, red wine and jazz.

The Brandenburg Choir is a rich and experienced group of musicians, drawn from choral societies, gospel choirs, cappella ensembles and chamber singers.

St James Church is the second building on the present site. The foundation stone of the present building was laid in 1882 by Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. Two years later, Oscar Wilde married Constance Lloyd in the completed church. During the second world war St James suffered considerable damage and it was reopened in 1958 by the Duchess of Kent. The present organ is one of the finest in any parish church.

The church is within walking distance of Paddington Main Line and Tube stations The concert will begin at 2:00 pm and will finish at approximately 4:15 pm. Tickets are £19.50 to include the concert, mulled wine and mince pies.

For further information call 01491 825864

The link below will take you to the application form for the concert…

Posted on 31st August 2019

We have two thriving groups for table tennis which meet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.

Recently both groups combined to gather a team for a match against Bicester U3A. Fortunately our groups were able to win most of the matches, which comprised singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

The photograph shows our members grinning like Cheshire cats having won by the slender margin of 22 games to 2. 🙂

We are planning a return match and will keep members posted on the date.

If you want to find out more about our table tennis groups then visit the link below.

Chalfontsu3a Ttteam

Posted on 15th August 2019

Our First Stroll!

Our first stroll with 18 members took place in perfect conditions and everyone declared it a success!

New Members Welcome!

We have purposely not set any limit on the numbers of members who can join the group. Please send an email via the main page if you're interested in participating in the group…

Senior Strollers1
The Pub Discussion…

The discussion that took place in the pub after our first stroll produced several ideas about the way forward for the group.

The priority of the group is to find walks which are flat and to walk at a comfortable pace, compatible with ‘strolling’.

Our aim is to be less concerned about distance and to aim for walks of between 2 and 4 miles initially.

In terms of frequency, there were those in favour of monthly and those who favoured twice-monthly. In practice, it may prove to be more irregular, at least until the group settles down.

Individual members are expected to propose, plan and lead the walks, and will liaise with the Group Convenor, Val Hadfield,  to organise and communicate with members.

This is a collaborative group so that the planning and leading are shared amongst us all. Val wants to receive suggestions for walks and does expect help from the group members.

Senior Strollers2

Posted on 12th August 2019

The group had a splendid day out to this National Trust property which is down in Wiltshire.

We took fifty members by coach, leaving Chalfont St Peter shortly after 9am and arrived there at around 11am.

First stop was a drink!

We then made our own way around the gardens, the Abbey and the house that was built on the side that the Fox Talbot family lived in.

William Henry Fox Talbot FRS FRSE FRAS was an English scientist, chemist inventor and photography pioneer who invented the salted paper and calotype processes, precursors to photographic processes of the later 19th and 20th centuries.

He wasn't, as is often believed the inventor of photography as others, around the same time, were coming up with alternative means of recording a picture. His contribution was to do with being able to make multiple copies with light sensitive paper.

The museum of photography wasn't large but it was packed with some amazing information about the pioneers of photography.

Click on the link below to go the gallery we've put together of the trip, and there is also more information about Fox Talbot if you want to find out more about him and his work.

Lacock 9 July 2019 2

The short video below will tell you a little more about Fox Talbot and his life. It runs for about four minutes.
It's made for kids. (Little ones and big ones!)

It's a youtube video so it may be interrupted occasionally by an advert. Just click the little x in the right hand corner to make it go away.

Posted on 7th August 2019

The  U3A Choir under the leadership of our new Choir Master, Mr Ben Ewert, performed their first concert on Friday, 26th July at Woodland Manor Care Home, Chalfont St Peter, Bucks.

We were welcomed by the staff and residents . Ben, with his usual excellent skills, guided us through songs from the shows:- My Fair Lady, Music of the Night and Sound of Music.  We also sang Fields of Gold, Heal the World, Danny Boy and Molly Malone.

It was lovely when the residents and staff joined in the choruses. With the absence of Reg, who is still recovering from surgery, we had just one male singer. Well done Geoff, an excellent job, move over Pavarotti. Seriously though, we need more male singers so if you feel you can hold a note please join us.

I feel sure we will perform at many venues in future. How lucky we were to find such a talented Choir Master.

Singingforpleasure Reduced

Posted on 22nd July 2019

Members of our group met together to mix culture and cake at their summer afternoon tea.

They listened to Richard Burton reading “Under Milk Wood”.

"His voice is beautiful bringing the language alive- we’d thoroughly recommend listening to this.
Afterwards we had a treat of sandwiches, homemade cream tea and cakes!"

This is the opening few words (listen to Richard Burton's voice in your head!)…

"To begin at the beginning: It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboatbobbing sea."

If you want to hear Richard Burton reading the first few minutes of the story instead click on the link to the youtube video on the right.
(Don't forget that you may get the odd advert at some point…)

Posted on 19th July 2019

Group Convenors &
RUG Meeting

On Thursday 18th July 2019 our Group Coordinators, Sue Fisher and Nigel Trotman, held their annual meeting for the Chalfonts U3A Group Convenors and RUGs.

Not all of the convenors/rugs could make it to the meeting but the photograph on the right shows most of them.

Chalfonts U3a Group Convenors & Rugs July 2019 2

Posted on 2 July 2019

We now have three independent groups that can help our members with learning and improving their Spanish language skills. Which group you choose to join is up to you.

All groups are meeting in members' homes.

To find out more please contact the convenors for the groups…links to all of their main pages is on the right. From there you will find the link to their Contact Form (on the left hand side of the page.)

Posted on 27 June 2019

New Experiences Climbing The 02! - June 2019

32 of our group members made the trip to south London to climb the 02. Fortunately we all managed to do this safely and all 32 made it back to our home base!

To see more pictures of their adventure together follow the link to the gallery page below.


If you want to join this group visit their Interest Group page and ask the convenor to join their list.

Posted on 27 May 2019

Canalboat 23may2019 15

Canal Boat Trip - 23 May 2019

Several members went on our first canal boat trip of the year.

To see the pictures of their day together (in glorious bright sunshine!) follow the link to the gallery page below.

If you want to join this group visit their Interest Group page and ask the convenor to join their list.

Canalboat 23may2019 11

Posted on 27th May 2019

This month we visited Langley Park, famous for its connection to the landscape gardener, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.

A number of us went to see the rhododendrons, which are often at their best in May in the Temple Garden. Several of us managed to make the short trip and we've now started to build a gallery of some of the pictures taken on the day.

There are plenty of opportunities to capture the park in this delightful setting. If you want to look at the photographs please click on the link on the right and it will take you to the Photography Group Gallery page.

Langleypark May2019 Tonyd 1
Langleypark May2019 Tonyd 2

From the left: John Hardwick, Joan Brewell, Steve Patel, John Brewell, Vince Barker, Johnny Baker, Phil Larman and Cathy Williams.

Posted on 4th April 2019

Excursions - Visit to Loseley Park,

Watts Gallery & Artists' Village

We've planned a visit to the world famous house near Guildford, Loseley Park. The gardens are some of the finest formal ones to be found anywhere in the world.

In addition we've arranged a visit to the Watts Gallery and the Artists' Village where there are some splendid works to be seen.

To find out more please visit the link below where you will find a fact sheet and a booking form.

Posted on 26 March 2019

Photography Group - Visit To Black Park

Blackpark Group1

From the left (standing): Robert, John B., Richard, John H.

Seated are Grace and Margaret.

Our bunch of fair weather photographers had their first trip of the year to see what they could capture at Black Park Country Park near Slough.

Apart from the odd few spots of rain it stayed dry. Seven members made the short journey and spent an hour or so seeing what pictures they could take.

Black Park was chosen by our Cathy. She set a simple challenge; to take a picture of a single tree or one that had a reflection in it. We were also allowed to take pictures of anything in the park, just in case there were no trees or reflections to be had. 🙂

We ended with tea and coffee at the cafe before venturing back home.

Some of the pictures taken are now on the website. Follow the link below if you'd like to view them.

Posted on 22 March 2019

Garden Visits Lunch Party

The Group held its first Lunch Party at the Chalfont St Peter Community Centre.

Our guest speaker was Timothy Walker, who talked to us about how to encourage wildlife in the garden.

About Timothy…

He was born and brought up in South Buckinghamshire and at the age of 13 went to school in Abingdon.   From there he read Botany at University College Oxford. In 1995 he was awarded a Master of Horticulture by the Royal Horticultural Society of London. From January 1986 to July 2014 he  worked at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden & Harcourt Arboretum, firstly as General Foreman, then as Horti Praefectus (from 1988) and finally as Director (from 2002). Between 1992 & 2000 the OBGHA won 4 gold, 2 silver-gilt, and one silver medal at the Chelsea Flower Show London. Since 1986 he has been giving lectures to gardening clubs, horticultural societies, WIs, and many other types of group.  He has given more than 1,500 talks in Britain, Ireland, North America, and Australia to more than 100,000 people in audiences ranging from 20 to 350. 

Posted on 17 February 2019

On Friday 15 February the group made a trip to the Baps Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden.

We have now posted a gallery of the photographs taken during the trip. Click on the link below…

Posted on 10 February 2019

The group are arranging a trip to the BMW Mini Plant at Cowley on Tuesday 19th March.

For more details click the link.

Posted on 10 February 2019

At the beginning of 2019 we started a new group for those who would like to play chess.

The convenor of the group, Tony Micallef, welcomes any member that would like to join and play friendly games.

To find out more click on the link on the right and it will take you to the group's main page.