Charity No. 1057642

Welcome to our U3A website

If you are a new visitor to this site you are very welcome to browse the website to see the group activities, monthly speaker meetings and outings that are organised for our members. If you wish to join our branch of the U3A then click the "Join the U3A" link on the left of the screen and provide the details requested, our membership secretary will contact you in due course.

If you are a member and new to this site you will have been sent your membership number together with a password that you can use to log in to the members facilities within the website. We advise that once you have logged in on this first occasion you should change your password to something memorable to you.

U3A Southampton Groups

Groups are the focal points of our U3A and we have two types of group, special interest and open access.

The U3A works on the principle of cooperative self help learning. “Those who teach shall also learn and those who learn shall also teach.” (Peter Laslett 1989.) Further support is available through the national office and many subjects have an advisor who can help find resources, suggest themes and ways of working and share ideas from other U3As.

There are no extra fees for membership of groups. However where a meeting takes place in members’ homes a ‘hospitality contribution’ of 50p towards tea and biscuits is expected. There may be additional costs if, for example, the meeting room is hired or the leader has to provide resources or there are entrance fees. If cars are shared for group outings then the current charge is 36p per mile which is divided by the number of people in the car, including the driver.

Special interest groups may have a limit on membership. If you are a U3A member and are interested in joining a special interest group please contact the relevant groups coordinator "D" (Diana Tizzard) or "M" (Margaret Jenness) through the "U3A contacts" tab at the top of the website. Groups do change and evolve, and there are always new groups at various stages of development. If a group is full the groups co-ordinators try to set up a new group.

Open access groups are open to all members. In many instances details about events for an open access group are advertised in the newsletter and can also be booked at general meetings.

Ideas for new groups

We are always open to setting up news groups. If you have an idea for a new group please contact the one of the groups co-ordinators and discuss it with them. You will find a list of groups currently in the process of being formed at the end of the groups list below.


Current special interest groups:


Led by




Members give a short presentation with pictures, which stimulates discussion. A building, a style, an architect, a period, or even a technical aspect of building would be welcome.

3rd Tues



Art Appreciation and History 1

Studies predominately Painting but sometimes Sculpture or Architecture with talks by members, discussions, visits etc.

4th Weds



Art Appreciation and History 2

As group 1

2nd Thu

Fran Martin


Classical Music
For those who have an interest in classical music. We will review what's been attended by the group over the previous few months and looks at upcoming concerts we may want to book. A member volunteers to do the booking for everyone for a particular concert they are interested in attending. Complete novice to expert welcome! Payment made to the person booking, ideally via BACS, once they have booked the tickets.

Various (approximately four times a year)

Diana Callaghan


This group is exploring different styles of cooking, different flavours and investigating strange or fashionable ingredients being used by celebrity chefs. We choose a theme or region and prepare a dish to bring to the group for a tasting session or have a shared lunch.

3rd Tues 2pm

Lesley Blatherwick


Creative Writing

Each month members write a piece of 500 to 700 words on a chosen topic and read it out for friendly, constructive criticism.

2nd Thur



Critical Thinking

Our discussions are aided by ‘Philosophy: the basics’ (Nigel Warburton) and ‘The Philosophy Gym’ (Stephen Law).

2nd Tues



Current affairs 1

Each month members do some background research on a chosen topic, and meet to discuss and debate the issues raised.

2nd Fri



Current affairs 2 ‘What the papers say’

Members bring newspapers, magazines and TV extracts as starting points for discussion on current affairs.

4th Tue



Film 1

Each month the group discusses films members have seen and suggest films which might be worth seeing.

4th Mon



Film 2

The group meets to review films seen, chosen from the Harbour Lights programme. Members often meet on a Thursday afternoon at the Silver Screen showing.

3rd Mon



Foreign Affairs 1 & 2

Lectures on issues that concern the development of the world economy from 100,000 BC to 2050 AD.

alternate Weds 2pm

John Clements


French Conversation – Advanced

Meets monthly to practise speaking, listening and reading in French, including modern, colloquial language.

4th Tues



French Conversation – Intermediate

The emphasis of this group is on improving conversational skills for those who already have some knowledge of the subject.

1st & 3rd Mon




Members are interested in both tracing our individual families, and in social and local history.

1st Thurs


 Chris Rowland


Geology and Geography

Our remit is broad. We look at topics related to the geological and geographical aspects of any country or area of the
world. We do not follow a set course so all members are expected to make contributions in the way that best suits

4th Monday 10.30am

Rick Cockcroft


German – Basic

A short course lasting 4 to 7 weeks. Participants need to have a basic command of German.



Helga Brayford


German for Improvers

This group is for those who would like to expand and prgress their language skills beyond the basic level.

Fridays 10.30am-12noon

Michael Gardener


Health and Wellbeing

A topic is chosen by the members of the group. Information about the chosen topic is provided through comments and videos. There is discussion by members.

1st Mon


Arjan Shahani


History of Southampton

Studies specific periods of Southampton's history, each member researching a different aspect of that period (eg transport and trade, walls and defences).

4th Thurs


Jean Watts


History Group 2

Currently this group is studying American History. Each member studies a specific item, to present to the group.

3rd Tues


Bob Davies


Italian Intermediate

This group meets every 3 or 4 weeks in Ocean Village. Members read and listen to an Italian language audio magazine, translating an practising pronunciation.

Weds 11am

Paul Brown


Listening to Music 1, 2 and 3

Members listen to a range of classical music with a programme of music plus guidance notes and discussion. every 3rd meeting is a 'bring and play' session.

Fridays 2pm

Jill Meager


Local History 1

We do not follow a set course, so all members are invited to make contributions in the way that best suits them. We cover anything which the group members are interested in, in as much detail as the contributors are happy with.

2nd Mon


Rick Cockcroft


Local History 2

As local history 1

1st Mon 2pm

Doris Street


Mah Jong 2

Depending on how many members are able to attend we have two or three tables.

4th Sunday


Paula Kerwick


Mah Jong 3

The emphasis of the group is to have fun together, whilst improving our skills and knowledge of the game, using the U3A handbook as a guide.

Alt Mons 7.30pm

John Fairbrass



Using various techniques such as mindfulness of breathing and guided visualisations, we aim to reach a point of inner stillness, peace and deep relaxation.

1st Thurs

Joyce Henry


Minds, awareness and meditation

The very harmful wanderings of our conscious mind to the past and the future away from the vitally important present moment are experienced. Work is done on conscious movements, controlled breathing, and meditation.

3rd Mon 2.30pm

Arjan Shahani


Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time

We are watching DVDs of lectures by Prof. Sean Carroll on the subject of Time, covering philosophy, biology, neuroscience, and cosmology.

4th Tues 10am-12noon

Verna Muitt


The Natural World

This group takes a fresh look at various aspects of the natural world. We meet in Portswood.

Alt Mons 10am

Norman McLean


Old Testament Study Group 1

The role of women and other situations in the Old Testament is explored and discussed.

3rd Mon 10am

Carol Cunio


Old Testament Study Group 2

The group explores and discusses the books of the Old Testament.

4th Fri


Carol Cunio


Painting/Art Group at Cobbett Hub

We generally paint in watercolour and acrylic but any medium may be used. The group is open to beginners and improvers.

Mon & Weds 1.30 - 3.30pm

Lesley Ann Jarvis


Philosophy - Intermediate Group

This groups studies philosophy books and examines philosophical problems.

3rd Thurs


Verna Muitt


Philosophy Group 2

This is a leaderless group comprising those with an interest in philosophy and those with formal training.

4th Thurs 10.15

Martyn Dowell


Poetry reading

Each month members choose a poem for discussion and give some background information on the author.

2nd Mon 2-4pm

Margaret Jenness


Psychology 1

Members listen to and then discuss lectures given by Profesor Mark Leary on 'Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behaviour'.

1st Thurs 10.30am

Ann Carpenter


Psychology 2

As Psychology 1

 3rd Mon

10am Bassett

 Morag Bartlett D


We obtain sets of books from the library. Each member chooses a particular character or topic from the book on which to make a presentation at the following meeting.

2nd Weds 2pm

Anne Bothwell



Our interests cover all matters scientific and we explore a wide range of topics, using a presentation or video followed by discussion.

3rd Tues 10am-12noon

Jeff Baggust



One and two day trips at sea on yachts in the summer. Monthly meetings rotating around people's houses in the winter, with topics such as safety, navigation and how sails work.


Judith Hankey


Scrabble 2

If you haven't played Scrabble since childhood, or play just with the grandchildren, then this is the group for you! We use a Collins dictionary for reference.

2nd & 4th Fridays 1.30pm

Ann Carpenter


Scrabble 4

We are of mixed ability and we use any means to make words including the Collins Scrabble Dictionary, finding this a fun way to learn new words and their meanings.

3rd Thurs 10.30am

Julia Brown


Scrabble 5

We play for fun, with one house rule: if you don't know the meaning of the word, you can't use it!

1st &3rd Fridays


Floss Crowder


Spanish Intermediate

We start by commenting on our activities over the past week, all in Spanish, then use a text for grammar exercises and readings.

Thursdays 7pm, venues vary

 Olga Costa


Table Tennis

We meet weekly at St Mary's Sports Hall to enjoy an hourly session of table tennis and a good laugh Between us we pay £5 per hour for the hire of a room, table, bats and balls.

Weds 2pm

Tessa Baxter & Pam Rowland


Ten pin bowling

Takes place every second Monday, alternating between West Quay Bowling Centre 10.00am (£3.25) and Eastleigh Hollywood Bowl, Swan Centre 11.00am (£3.05). We play one game and then have a coffee and a chat.

11am, days vary

Diana Gillen-Buchert



Members of the group pursue their own interests including embroidery, patchwork, quilting, tapestry, cross-stitch etc, obtaining ideas and help from each other.

3rd Tues 2pm

Yvonne Blatchford


Theatre Review

Members review and discuss plays they have seen, then choose plays to see in the following season. We take turns to do theatre bookings and share cars for the visits.

Various (approx 4 times/year)

Joy Griffiths



At each meeting one member gives a presentation on a part of the world they have visited or lived in. We also share info on issues such as tour companies or insurance.

3rd Thurs 10am

Idris & Christine Curtis


Two centuries of women writers

The group is studying women writers from the 19th century to the present day. We read several books by each chosen author, one each month.

4th Thurs 10am

Joy Griffiths


Wessex Heritage

Members research different aspects of a chosen town or village within 30 miles of Southampton, e.g. history, industry, buildings, prominent citizens. This is followed by a visit to the place (with car sharing).

3rd Fri 2pm

Chris Harris


Writing now (this minute!)

A writing group with a difference, where we’ll be writing only during the meetings (in short bursts, to suggested themes, over a cup of coffee).

3rd Weds 10.30-12noon

Margaret Doust



Suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience. People do not have to be fit or agile. Each session consists of 10 classes in Portsword and costs £28

Fridays 11.30am

Arjan Shahani


Current open access groups:


 Led by


3 mile ramblers

This group has been set up as an alternative to strollers and walkers, and our rambles will be around 3 miles long.

2nd Tuesday 10.30am

Christine Rowland


Culture Vultures

We meet monthly and discuss various events that are on each month in and around Southampton. The idea is that if you want to do something or go somewhere others may also be interested.

4th Fri 10.30am

Gay Springett



Talks and visits to gardens, mostly within easy reach of Southampton. Visits are often followed by lunch at a nearby pub. Open to all.

4th Tue




Folk Dancing

Run jointly with Monks Brook U3A & Chandlers Ford U3A, the sessions are in Chandlers Ford and led by an experienced caller. Beginners welcome.

4th Weds

Kate Roberts

Monks Brook U3A 



This group meets weekly at the Sports Centre. Petanque is a simple game to learn but grows more interesting as skill is developed. Open to all.

Weds 10.30am

James Searle


Singing for Pleasure

The Group welcomes those who enjoy singing yet do not feel they could meet the standards of a conventional choir. There is always room for new members. Sessions are at St James Methodist Church, Shirley and cost £2.

2nd Mon 2pm-3.30pm

Eric Petterson


Small Crafts

We enjoy a couple of hours knitting, sewing, embroidery, card making or any other small craft of your choice and sharing ideas, we all enjoy a good natter. Please come and join us.

1st and 3rd Mon pms

excl bank hols

Anna May


Strollers (short walks)

Open to all U3A members, the average length is 2 miles usually over fairly flat terrain and at a leisurely pace, followed by an optional pub lunch.

 2nd Tues 11am

 Alice Green


Sunday Lunches

Open to all U3A members who enjoy good food, conversation and companionship. Venues and dates are published in the newsletter. Bookings are taken on a first come first served basis.

1st & 3rd Sundays from 12.30pm

Mary Gunn



Open to all U3A members who are free to join us regularly or to come as and when. Walks average 3 to 4 miles in winter and 4 to 5 miles in summer, at a moderate pace covering open countryside, woods and forest in all weathers.

2nd Tues 10.15

John & Carmen Northcott


New groups currently in the process of being formed:


Dancing/Boppers: groups co-ordinator: M


Finance: groups co-ordinator: D


Genealogy: groups co-ordinator: M


Italian beginners: groups co-ordinator: M


Photography: groups co-ordinator: M


Science 2: groups co-ordinator: D


Spanish beginners: groups co-ordinator: M




Message Board

Speakers at General Meetings
This is the last year in which I will be organising speakers. If you are interested in this important role, please conta.... read more
Posted by Mary Gunn on 26th April 2018